July 2018 Print

Liberalism, Fascism, and Humanae Vitae

by Dr. John Rao

Lest anyone be disturbed by the title of this article, let me assure my readers that I am in no way writing it to praise Liberalism and Fascism, but to bury them. Still, my goal is to bury them in a proper as opposed to a fictitious manner; one that demonstrates the entire modern vision to be of a power-mad character that both of these “isms” fully share. As far as I am concerned, promoting the message of Humanae Vitae is one of the most effective means of achieving this task. Please bear with me as I attempt to unveil this encyclical’s immense prophetic value as a “hammer of heretics” by first addressing myself to the true spirit of modernity.

Liberalism and Fascism

I may have already, once before, made reference in these pages to the chilling statement uttered by Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello: “I am not what I am.” With these words, Iago identifies himself as a mendacious and ultimately downright diabolical schemer, the antithesis of the good God, who “is what He is.” The same phrase can be used to label most of the liberal polemicists who have specialized in the use of the term “fascist” as a tool for pommeling their enemies since the end of the Second World War. For they are not, what they admittedly, may even think they are—enemies of fascism—but promoters of it in another, more “politically correct” and seductive post-war fashion.

What such liberals wish to do with their politically-charged vocabulary is to equate the concerns of all of their opponents not just with Fascism in general, but with that of Nazism in particular, and, through Nazism, with death camps and genocide. They feel all the more justified in appealing to this vocabulary when the object of their attack is associated with the authoritative command of an identifiable leader, who can thereby be accused of playing a Hitler-like role. Nevertheless, they lie: to the people they hope to influence, and, even more tragically, to themselves as well.

There is no denying the fact that Fascism has the “leadership principle” as a guiding element, and effective liberal propagandists can indeed make this seem as though it is the same thing as the principle of authority as such. But the essential difference of the fascist leadership principle and that of the Christian and Socratic principle of authority, is lack of interest on the part of the former in the “truth content” or the moral goodness of the commands that are given by the man in charge. For Fascism in general, the only thing that matters is the “will” of the dictator—his “choice”—and the necessity of assuring him the strength to translate that will into practical action. Nazism adds to this basic lack of truth or moral content, the one conviction that whatever the leader commands is being ordered for the benefit of the race whose superiority destines it to dominate the rest of the human species.

As much as its supporters might recoil in horror from this naked truth, Fascism is nothing other than the last gasp effort of Liberalism to prevent the total destruction of the social order that its fundamental principle inevitably ensures. For what, ultimately, is Liberalism’s key principle? It is, as John Locke (1632-1704) makes crystal clear, the autonomy of the individual, who himself is the product of all of the purely physical influences shaping him from birth to death, and who is said to possess the “natural right” to satisfy, by means of his personal labor and his personal property, the “needs” that these sensual experiences command him to fulfill.

The War of All against All

Unfortunately, the “war of all against all” that this liberation of individuals seeking satisfaction of their different, personal, material “needs” unleashes, has created the capitalist injustices against which an equally materialist Marxism seeking fulfillment of class “requirements” has unjustly reacted. The struggle of diverse, unjustifiable, individual national ambitions, useful for fulfilling the desires of the strongest individual “patriots” within each autonomous land, has been another bloody consequence of the “freedom” that liberalism has encouraged.

Liberalism’s appeal to a “gentlemen’s agreement” among the strongest individuals of a given country regarding what the limits of personal or individual national desires “should” be—an agreement whose purely contractual judgments it baptizes with the term “the dictates of common sense”—having utterly failed to work historically, the discovery of some other means of stemming the tide of the war of all against all was clearly predictable. Fascism provided this tool for ensuring social order through its outright, unabashed adulation of the “right” of the strong individual to allow his raw will to triumph, without any appeal to its justification through faith, reason, or “common sense”. The fascist solution always lay lurking behind the liberal insistence on the materialist individual’s autonomy and rights, and this is why the average liberal in the interwar era ran to a Mussolini and Hitler who at least would protect his property from Bolshevik expropriation.

Fascism suffered the worst fate that a political theory appealing to the naked “triumph of the will” of the strong could ever suffer—it lost. The winners in the Second World War thus gained the chance to define Fascism’s meaning exactly as they willed, the western liberals in a liberal one. That is to say, they defined Fascism precisely in a fascist manner. Moreover, Liberalism “willed” to equate Fascism with Nazism. It commanded the world to join in a morally high-minded condemnation of the National Socialist repression and murder of forces and groups that it personally did not “choose” to be controlled or eliminated. And it “willed” that its own unfolding and admittedly more subtle repression of other forces it disliked, not be labeled as Fascist, since it insisted on viewing itself as the sole true enemy of this supposedly now “defeated” evil.

The Important Role

Humanae vitae played an enormous and even pioneering role in uncovering the fact that Fascism was still very much alive, and that western Liberalism was its standard bearer in the postwar world. The pain of this unveiling can be seen in the liberal Paul VI’s own seemingly only divinely ordained acceptance of his duty to proclaim the encyclical’s message. And the outrage over it being revealed is vivid in the reaction of its opponents and their depiction of the encyclical as a fascist-like leader’s insult to individual freedom and human dignity. Such a reaction was only to be expected, given the success of such liberal rhetoric over the years, but both the pain of Paul VI and the outrage of his enemies were more than understandable.

For what did Humanae Vitae actually say? To eyes that would not see and ears that could not hear, it expressed nothing other than a mean-spirited prohibition of a union that took place in a way that prevented the birth of children, whom sincerely concerned parents knew they could not properly rear. But for minds and hearts open to the truth, its assault on artificial contraception served as a prophetic witness to Liberalism’s subtle, step-by-step realization of the triumph of the irrational and disbelieving will.

In pointing out the reality of the couple’s application of its own rules for the sexual act—in violation of those demanded by both faith and reason—Humanae Vitae indicated that what was at stake here was a matter of naked imposition of personal will aimed at the satisfaction of a physical desire. Liberalism had insisted on the “right” of autonomous individuals to achieve such satisfaction from the very outset of its tortured history. The raw physicality of the illicit act could, however, at least at this stage of the development of the evil, still quite easily be masqueraded with reference to the “love” involved, both of the man and woman stimulated by it, as well as that for the offspring that might suffer from their unprotected union. Nevertheless, perspicacious supporters of the encyclical underlined from the very outset where this was all headed.

For the very same willfulness, backed by the very same rationale, was what would give “loving”, “concerned”, autonomous individuals the “right” to prevent the children who might have been formed in the womb despite all of their contraceptive precautions, from coming to their still unwanted birth by means of abortion. Similarly, it was these factors that would give them the “right” to end helpless creatures’ lives even after birth, should their unwanted or sickly nature seem to guarantee them what their sorrowful parents might deem a meaningless existence. Moreover, that same willfulness would ensure that those fortunate post Humanae Vitae beings actually given the chance to see the light of day could learn to exercise their same “right” to satisfy their pressing material desires by adding to the prevention of conception, the abortion of those who were unexpectedly conceived, and the euthanizing of their now useless parents, the changing of their own bodies from one sex to another or even their very “transhumanization.”

Thank Heavens

Liberalism, in its desire to free individuals from dilemmas created by the use of reason and Christian Faith, molded many people who did not realize that their appeal to their individual freedom and dignity would lead down the direction that it did. In the 20th century, both Planned Parenthood and the Nazis were there to tell them what their “rights” could actually allow them to do: destroy everything they did not wish to deal with and sacrifice to maintain, for the betterment of the species and with the weakest of mankind paying the highest price for their egotism. Postwar liberals have had to hide this affinity with an enemy that they associated purely with responsibility for the genocide of groups that were not offensive to their pet causes. They can run, but they cannot hide. For Liberalism ultimately seeks the devastation of everything true, good, and beautiful standing in the way of a progressively degraded set of individual physical passions that lowers the bar of what common sense will accept. Thank heavens for Humanae Vitae! Its prophetic vision covers a multitude of petty Catholic sins held over our heads for centuries by supposed friends of individual freedom and dignity who turn out to be nothing other than a monstrous Triumph of the Will.