Yesterday, commenter Bradley wrote in part:
Hey Rick! Please understand it's not something you're saying necessarily it's just the very idea of getting all worked up over the opinon of a european socialist (or any other human being, no personal disrespect to Joseph Ratzinger, a good man by all accounts)...
As a conservative, I cringe a bit when I see words such as "we're all in this together"or "we need each other" or "the common good". I've always been one who sees the individual as trump and have been, perhaps like Bradley, quick to brand something socialist when it seems to favor the collective over the individual.
But there's danger in a mindset, as there's danger in any mindset, that takes things to an extreme or jumps to conclusions that have no real basis in fact.
All that to set up this piece at Mark Shea's place that I find challenging and relevant:
Subsidiarity, which is very popular and often discussed among Libertarian Catholics means that the people closest to a problem are usually the ones to take care of it. This is, like most Catholic teaching, common sense: You don’t want Congress passing laws on many parking space you can have in the local library parking lot or arbitrating which printer toner you can buy for your home’s printer.
At the same time, not everything is done on the basis of raw individualism since we are not an aggregation of individualists anymore than we are a collective hive mind. We are a free society of fallen creature who are capable of moral agency, but also of sin that can do massive damage. So checks on pure selfishness are necessary for the sake of the common good since we are, in fact, all in this together. That’s what solidarity means: we’re all in this together and sin affects the whole. This truth tends to get short shrift from Libertarians and their sympathizers since it somehow sound “socialist” even though it is actually just Christian (it undergirds, for instance, the doctrine of original sin, as well as the doctrine that the human race is a unity).
He's got more including an excerpt from the Catechism that expounds on the concept.
It's food for thought... especially if the thought being thunk is related to what is or isn't socialism but more particularly, to what is or isn't a Godly application to real problems we face as a society that our politicians are simply not solving.