COMMUNISM, DEMOCRACY AND CATHOLIC POWER by Paul Blanshard

COMMUNISM, DEMOCRACY AND CATHOLIC POWER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author of American Freedom and Catholic , faces an even more difficult task in this study of the three way struggle between the Vatican, the Kremlin and democracy. In seeking basic parallels he has confined his thesis to the institutions of Communism and Catholicism, their political significance as world powers, ""their individual significance as state powers"", their policies, programs and totalitarian aspirations. He has included matters of faith only so far as both have used their philosophies to further their aims. The first third presents the historical background, first of one, then the other, important as groundwork for the detailed dissection which follows. Inevitably he sometimes takes refuge in broad generalities. He then studies those phases of Communism and Catholicism which afford parallels of techniques and devices rather than substance -- the ticklish subject of education, the concept of the dedicated personality, the discipline and devotion reflected in institutionalism, the devices of distortion, deception, exploitation (it is here he will arouse passionate denunciation). The next part explores the strategies of penetration by which each institution conquers without majorities. With Catholicism in Europe leading the crusade against Communism, this section is peculiarly challenging, controversial on all grounds, political, social, religious. Finally he draws his balance sheet, urging adoption of a policy that must oppose the authoritarian spirit wherever found, if democracy is to survive. To be anti-Communistic, he feels, is a moral and intellectual necessity for free men. A different set of values is involved in a temperate anti-Vatican policy but the danger he urges can be faced only by breaking the taboo against frank discussion of the Vatican as a threat to responsible citizenship... Though better organized, better written than the earlier book, it inevitably faces the same challenge as a contribution to awareness of democracy's battles on many fronts.

Pub Date: May 16th, 1951
ISBN: 1443729434
Publisher: Beacon Press