sexta-feira, 22 de outubro de 2010

Trecho de "The Spiritual Roots of Europe: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow" do Ratzinger/Bento XVI

Ler os trabalhos do Ratzinger/Bento XVI é sempre um prazer e infelizmente, aparentemente, poucos, no grande bananão conhecem a sua rica produção. O trecho abaixo, por ex, permite uma leitura bem diferente da difundida em verso e prosa sobre sua visão política.

Let us return to the situation in Europe. In the nineteenth century, the two models that I described above were joined by a third, socialism, which quickly split into two different branches, one totalitarian and the other democratic. Democratic socialism managed to fit within the two existing models as a welcome counterweight to the radical liberal positions, which it developed and corrected. It also managed to appeal to various religious denominations. In England it became the political party of the Catholics, who had never felt at home among either the Protestant conservatives or the liberals. In Wilhelmine Germany, too, Catholic groups felt closer to democratic socialism than to the rigidly Prussian and Protestant conservative forces. In many respects, democratic socialism was and is close to Catholic social doctrine, and has in any case made a remarkable contribution to the formation of a social consciousness.
The totalitarian model, by contrast, was associated with a rigidly materialistic, atheistic philosophy of history: it saw history deterministically, as a road of progress that passes first through a religious and then through a liberal phase to arrive at an absolute, ultimate society in which religion is surpassed as a relic of the past and collective happiness is guaranteed by the workings of material conditions.

This scientific façade hides a dogmatic intolerance that views the spirit as produced by matter, and morals as produced by circumstances. According to its dictates, morals should be defined and practiced on the basis of society's purposes, and everything is deemed moral that helps to usher in the final state of happiness. This dogmatism completely subverts the values that built Europe. It also breaks with the entire moral tradition of humankind by rejecting the existence of values independent of the goals of material progress. Depending on circumstance, anything can become legitimate and even necessary; anything can become moral in the new sense of the term. Even humankind itself can be treated as an instrument, since the individual does not matter, only the future, the cruel deity adjudicating over one and all.

The communist systems collapsed under the weight of their own fallacious economic dogmatism. Commentators have nevertheless ignored all too readily the role in this demise played by the communists' contempt for human rights and their subjugation of morals to the demands of the system and the promises of the future. The greatest catastrophe encountered by such systems was not economic. It was the starvation of souls and the destruction of the moral conscience.

The essential problem of our times, for Europe and for the world, is that although the fallacy of the communist economy has been recognized — so much so that former communists have unhesitatingly become economic liberals — the moral and religious question that it used to address has been almost totally repressed. The unresolved issue of Marxism lives on: the crumbling of man's original uncertainties about God, himself, and the universe. The decline of a moral conscience grounded in absolute values is still our problem today. Left untreated, it could lead to the self-destruction of the European conscience, which we must begin to consider as a real danger — above and beyond the decline predicted by Spengler.

Fonte: "The Spiritual Roots of Europe: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow"