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In the United States, where the encyclicals are better known and understood even than here, the large Catholic population and the advanced teachings of Catholic societies have saved the national industry from thuggery.
THE Papal teachings have given the lie to the attraction and charms of an allsufficient secular progress, and
have shown that doctrinaire Marxist socialism is as injurious to the workers as unbridled capitalism. They have shown that the worker has obligations as well as rights, and that he must not expect his rights to be served automatically in some amoral way.
This jubilee of the second social encyclical should be an occasion of splendid jubilation and gratitude for nearly 100 years of formal Christian social teaching.
Let it be a reaffirmation to the world that these teachings, it obeyed, will ensure to all men economic freedom and justice, and protect the greatest principle of all—the dignity of man.
You can divide the world into co-existing groups, perhaps, but you cannot divide a man against himself—one half of him a Godless ape. the other half created in the likeness of God.
That many trade union leaders here to-day have shown their determined enmity to Communism, the very fact of a man hieing in a union at all. expresses the fact that, if only unconsciously, the British worker reacts to the basic Christian concept of this very human movement.
Who will doubt the Christianity of men like Jock Campbell of the Railwaymen, TOM Yeats of the Seamen, and Ernie Jones of the Miners ?
PEOPLE are too quick to write off wage demands these days as mere greed. But the worker's difficulties are real, and very great for the large numbers of men and women in the poorly paid grades.
Unique, perhap s, is the Britisher's love for his children and his readiness to fight at any cost to ensure for them the advantages he never had himself. Wage claims to-day are. in fact, often disproportionate and even useless—for the benefit is cancelled out by the resulting increase in prices. But it is not just the working classes. The whole country is in the grip of a disease germinated by the way in which we have all taken American aid too much for granted.
What we've once had we don't want to give up—any of us. Who is to make the first move and cut the Gordian knot ?
The leadership of which this country stands in such desperate need to-day could be given by
the great industrial companies themselves. They could, for in stance, begin by redistributing one year's profits in reduction of the prices of their products, thus reducing the cost of living and the need for wage demands. That is the sort of language those two great Popes would have understood.