Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Brief excerpt from Dorothy Day
The Catholic Worker, February 1954

"We need to look back to the city states of Italy (all of their good aspects, as Kropotkin did) and to the guilds; to our own early American principles, "he governs best who governs least;" we need to study such a teacher as Don Luigi Sturzo who held political office and founded a party which worked towards credit unions, cooperatives, labor unions, land for the people, as the beginning of an order in which men could be conscious of their dignity and responsibility; we need to consider the principle of subsidiarity when we talk of authority and freedom.

Everything needs to be broken down into smaller units to be workable and according to man's nature, whether it is States, cities, factories. A union, a cooperative, is no better than the men in it, than the locals or cells which make it up.

Man must be responsible, in other words, to exercise his freedom which is God's greatest gift to him. The greatest message which Peter Maurin had for us was this reminder of man's freedom."

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