The Enemy Within

December 2008

Analyses of the mortgage and banking crisis, from both the Left and the Right, are not hard to come by. Neither is criticism of the record $700 billion government bailout -- more than one wag has called it the "mother of all bailouts." One is tempted to ask: Why are wealthy bankers being handed golden government parachutes while our neighbors who are being foreclosed are kicked to the curb? Eamonn Fingleton, writing in The American Conservative (Oct. 20), wonders at the "amazing aptitude of Wall Street insiders to feather their own nests at the taxpayers' expense." It's Christmastime: Where's George Bailey when you need him? Instead, we've still got George "Bailout" Bush.

The "key question" for Fingleton is "how Wall Street's greed can be reined in." (He goes on to make the conservative case for regulation.) Greed is what led to our nation's financial downfall. But greed doesn't exist only in the rarefied air of Wall Street high rises. According to Greg Erlandson, president and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor (OSV), "Greed has permeated our society."

In his October 5 OSV column, Erlandson says that our economic crisis "was an inside job," perpetrated by "the brokers and bankers pulling in bonuses that weren't just in the hundreds of thousands but in the millions." These are the people who have been "most blessed by this country's abundance, and these were the people most driven by greed." They are also the ones receiving what might go down as the most mammoth dose of government welfare in U.S. history.

But Erlandson hits a point that has largely gone unnoticed: "What's pushed America to the brink of financial disaster was not all those illegals coming in and ‘stealing' our jobs as busboys and janitors and underage laborers in meat-processing plants." It wasn't "day laborers on the city streets hoping for a job or the field hands bent double from hoeing weeds on corporate farms."

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New Oxford Notes: December 2008

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Defeat international Marxism and you will defeat greed and poverty. We are now on the brink of wallowing in Marxism, which makes people poor, keeps people poor and then exploits the poor to gain more power and money. Your words are kind and caring but you miss the big picture by a country mile. Posted by: j17ghs
December 26, 2008 02:54 PM EST
I usually refrain from making a comment on another reader's comment. But in fairness to the author of this article which I find very incisive and very Catholic, I would say that the above comment appears to be coming from someone who is easily swayed by euphemism and grand political terminologies without really understanding the philosophical implications of those terms.

There are quite a number of good Catholic authors who can help anyone understand different political subjects. Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul have made very delicate analyses of this subject, Marxism, but not to enshrine Capitalism. Fr. James Schall is another. He has the ability to present academic materials in a way that a naive person like myself could understand. I majored in Political Science from a secular university in a country whose educational system is imperialistically patterned after that of the 'superpower' that is now in turmoil. I have to confess that other than learning to sputter the different political categories, there was nothing substantial that I learned about politics and goverments. It's only been when I started reading Catholic materials (after my convertion to the Catholic Faith) that I really started to appreciate the intricacies of political systems from the only reliable viewpoint: The Catholic perspective. It's interesting to know that the Church doesn't endorse any particular system over another, and yet can rightfully claim to understand all of them than anyone else!

Ever since I came to this country, other than those other serious Catholics I have had the privilege to pray with and occasionally discuss matters like this - and they themselves are subtly persecuted by their own governments (all levels) - more and more I realize that I'm dealing with persons who claim they are my friends, but in deeper sense act like an enemy not only to me, but more so to himself.

So, you can say that in our current human drama, we are indeed dealing with not a few enemy within, wherein within himself is his own worst enemy who he no longer has the wisdom to recognize. So, to play a little bit with words, you can say that we're now dealing with 'the enemy within the within!'.

Sometimes he calls himself 'liberal' who wants to do away with God in a gradual, subtle way. But sometimes he is also comfortable in calling himself 'conservative' who wants to keep the 'right to bear arms' so that he can keep God within his territory for himself and dictate on to Him how He should behave as a God leaning to his favor as he conveniently deploy Playboy and Penthouse magazines around the world in the name of Freedom of the Press...and military fabrics will follow just as soon as he gets the 'outside world' to engage in internecine, fratricidal fights that will accelerate his population control program and enrich his coffers through the sale of our ever-sophisticated instruments of human destruction. After all, he says, "we are the 'enlightened civilization' under the tutelage of the lady with the spiked crown and have no room for the other lady who is 'merely' the handmaid of the Lord."
Posted by: humblesoldier
December 31, 2008 02:50 PM EST
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