Continuing with the same theme as my post from yesterday, I stumbled across a piece by Fr. Dwight Longenecker at his blog, Standing on my Head. Again the emphasis is on sound moral virtue as the foundation of a just society. A democracy is only as "good" as the people who live in it...
...[A]ny form of government that is dominated by ruthless, self seeking, ambitious and power hungry people will be corrupt and will eventually end in tyranny and revolution. This is why personal virtue is vital for any political system to bring about a truly good and free society. The ruler must himself be virtuous, but so must the whole society, for a corrupt society will despise a good and noble ruler just as a corrupt ruler will despise a good and noble populace.Read the whole article here.
This is where the Catholic worldview becomes so important. Catholics should not believe in the strict separation of Church and State. That is not to say we support a 'State church' or that explicit religion must be integrated into every aspect of national life. Instead we believe that the teachings of Christ must consciously influence the governments of the state for the good of the people. We are to be salt in the dish and yeast in the dough. Through Catholic education and the Catholic religion we should be reminding our leaders and teaching future leaders the principles of servant leadership. We should be grooming rulers who are virtuous at the same time that we teach the people to follow those same principles of virtue and self sacrifice.
People may hold these principles without holding to the Christian religion, but without the Christian religion they will not hold them for long because there is no ultimate motivation to do so. What human being, given great power and wealth, will have the nobility of spirit and self sacrificial ideals to truly serve the people and lay down his life for them every day? Apart from the grace of God, no one, and if there were a person like that he or she would probably not be seeking power in the first place.
This is why, in the end, political solutions to the world's problems are not the ultimate answer. G.K.Chesterton said, "Every argument is a theological argument." Same here. Every form of government will be eventually become corrupt unless it is founded on a supernatural faith which calls all men to lay down their lives in service of others--just as the Master did