Jacques Maritain Center : The Range of Reason

Chapter Fourteen



EVERY great period of civilization is dominated by a certain peculiar idea that man fashions of man. Our behavior depends on this image as much as on our very nature -- an image which appears with striking brilliance in the minds of some particularly representative thinkers, and which, more or less unconscious in the human mass, is none the less strong enough to mold after its own pattern the social and political formations that are characteristic of a given cultural epoch.

In broad outline, the image of man which reigned over medieval Christendom depended upon St Paul and St. Augustine. This image was to disintegrate from the time of the Renaissance and the Reformation -- torn between an utter Christian pessimism which despaired of human nature and an utter Christian optimism which counted on human endeavor more than on divine grace. The image of man which reigned over modern times depended upon Descartes, John Locke, the Enlightenment, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

Here we are confronted with the process of secularization of the Christian man which took place from the sixteenth century on. Let's not be deceived by the merely philosophical appearance of such a process. In reality the man of Cartesian Rationalism was a pure mind conceived after an angelistic pattern. The man of Natural Religion was a Christian gentleman who did not need grace, miracle, or revelation, and was made virtuous and just by his own good nature. The man of Jean- Jacques Rousseau was, in a much more profound and significant manner, the very man of St. Paul transferred to the plane of pure nature -- innocent as Adam before the fall, longing for a state of divine freedom and bliss, corrupted by social life and civilization as the sons of Adam by the original sin. He was to be redeemed and set free, not by Christ, but by the essential goodness of human nature, which must be restored by means of an education without constraint and must reveal itself in the City of Man of coming centuries, in that form of state in which "everyone obeying all, will nevertheless continue to obey only himself."

This process was not at all a merely rational process. It was a process of secularization of something consecrated, elevated above nature by God, called to a divine perfection, and living a divine life in a fragile and wounded vessel -- the man of Christianity, the man of the Incarnation. All that meant simply bringing back this man into the realm of man himself ("anthropocentric humanism"), keeping a Christian façade while replacing the Gospel by human Reason or human Goodness, and expecting from Human Nature what had been expected from the virtue of God giving Himself to His creatures. Enormous promises, divine promises were made to man at the dawn of modern times. Science, it was believed, would liberate man and make him master and possessor of all nature. An automatic and necessary progress would lead him to the earthly realm of peace, to that blessed Jerusalem which our hands would build by transforming social and political life, and which would be the Kingdom of Man, and in which we would become the supreme rulers of our own history, and whose radiance has awakened the hope and energy of the great modern revolutionaries.



If I were to try now to disentangle the ultimate results of this vast process of secularization, I should have to describe the progressive loss, in modern ideology, of all the certitudes, coming either from metaphysical insight or from religious faith, which had given foundation and granted reality to the image of Man in the Christian system. The historical misfortune has been the failure of philosophic Reason which, while taking charge of the old theological heritage in order to appropriate it, found itself unable even to maintain its own metaphysical pretense, its own justification of its secularized Christian man, and was obliged to decline toward a positivist denial of this very justification. Human Reason lost its grasp of Being, and became available only for the mathematical reading of sensory phenomena, and for the building up of corresponding material techniques -- a field in which any absolute reality, any absolute truth, and any absolute value is of course forbidden.

Let us therefore say as briefly as possible: As regards man himself, modern man (I mean that man who seemed himself to be modern, and who starts now entering into the past) modern man knew truths -- without the Truth; he was capable of the relative and changing truths of science, incapable and afraid of any supra-temporal truth reached by Reason's metaphysical effort or of the divine Truth given by the Word of God. Modern man claimed human rights and dignity -- without God, for his ideology grounded human rights and human dignity on a godlike, infinite autonomy of human will, which any rule or measurement received from Another would offend and destroy. Modern man trusted in peace and fraternity -- without Christ, for he did not need a Redeemer, he was to save himself by himself alone, and his love for mankind did not need to be founded in divine charity. Modern man constantly progressed toward good and toward the possession of the earth -- without having to face evil on earth, for he did not believe in the existence of evil; evil was only an imperfected stage in evolution, which a further stage was naturally and necessarily to transcend. Modern man enjoyed human life and worshipped human life as having an infinite value -- without possessing a soul or knowing the gift of oneself, for the soul was an unscientific concept, inherited from the dreams of primitive men. And if a man does not give his soul to the one he loves, what can he give? He can give money, not himself.

As concerns civilization, modern man had in the bourgeois state a social and political life, a life in common without common good or common work, for the aim of common life consisted only of preserving everyone's freedom to enjoy private ownership, acquire wealth, and seek his own pleasure. Modern man believed in liberty -- without the mastery of self or moral responsibility, for free will was incompatible with scientific determinism; and he believed in equality -- without justice, for justice too was a metaphysical idea that lost any rational foundation and lacked any criterion in our modern biological and sociological outlook. Modern man placed his hope in machinism, in technique, and in mechanical or industrial civilization -- without wisdom to dominate them and put them at the service of human good and freedom; for he expected freedom from the development of external techniques themselves, not from any ascetic effort toward the internal possession of self. And how can one who does not possess the standards of human life, which are metaphysical, apply them to our use of the machine? The law of the machine, which is the law of matter, will apply itself to him, and enslave him.

As regards, lastly, the internal dynamism of human life, modern man looked for happiness -- without any final end to be aimed at, or any rational pattern to which to adhere; the most natural concept and motive power, that of happiness, was thus warped by the loss of the concept and the sense of purpose or finality (for finality is but one with desirability, and desirability but one with happiness). Happiness became the movement itself toward happiness, a movement at once limitless and increasingly lower, more and more stagnant. And modern man looked for democracy -- without any heroic task of justice to be performed and without brotherly love from which to get inspiration. The most significant political improvement of modern times, the concept of, and the devotion to, the rights of the human person and the rights of the people, was thus warped by the same loss of the concept and the sense of purpose or finality, and by the repudiation of the evangelical ferment acting in human history; democracy tended to become an embodiment of the sovereign will of the people in the machinery of a bureaucratic state more and more irresponsible and more and more asleep.



I have spoken just now of the infinite promises made to man at the dawn of modern times. The great undertaking of secularized Christian man has achieved splendid results for everyone but man himself; in what concerns man himself things have turned out badly -- and this is not surprising.

The process of secularization of the Christian man concerns above all the idea of man and the philosophy of life which developed in the modern age. In the concrete reality of human history, a process of growth occurred at the same time, great human conquests were achieved, owing to the natural movement of civilization and to the primitive impulse, the evangelical one, toward the democratic ideal. At least the civilization of the nineteenth century remained Christian in its real though forgotten or disregarded principles, in the secularized remnants involved in its very idea of man and civilization; in the religious freedom -- thwarted as this may have been at certain moments and in certain countries -- that it willingly or unwillingly preserved; even in the very emphasis on reason and human grandeur which its freethinkers used as a weapon against Christianity; and finally in the secularized feeling which inspired, despite a wrong ideology, its social and political improvements, and its great hopes.

But the split had progressively increased between the real behavior of this secularized Christian world and the moral and spiritual principles which had given it its meaning and its internal consistency, and which it came to ignore. Thus this world seemed emptied of its own principles; it tended to become a universe of words, a nominalistic universe, a dough without leaven. It lived and endured by habit and by force acquired from the past, not by its own power; it was pushed forward by a vis a tergo, not by an internal dynamism. It was utilitarian, its supreme rule was utility. Yet utility which is not a means toward a goal is of no use at all. It was capitalistic (in the nineteenth-century sense of this word, which is the genuine and unmitigated sense), and capitalist civilization enabled the initiatives of the individual to achieve tremendous conquests over material nature. Yet, as Werner Sombart observed, the man of this age was neither "ontologic" nor "erotic"; that is to say, he had lost the sense of Being because he lived in signs and by signs, and he had lost the sense of Love because he did not enjoy the life of a person dealing with other persons, but he underwent the hard labor of enrichment for the sake of enrichment.

Despite the wrong ideology I have just described, and the disfigured image of man which is linked to it, our civilization bears in its very substance the sacred heritage of human and divine values which depends on the struggle of our forefathers for freedom, on Judaeo-Christian tradition, and on classical antiquity, and which has been sadly weakened in its efficiency but not at all destroyed in its potential reserves.

The most alarming symptom in the present crisis is that, while engaged in a death struggle for the defense of these values, we have too often lost faith and confidence in the principles on which what we are defending is founded, because we have more often than not forgotten the true and authentic principles and because, at the sine time, we feel more or less consciously the weakness of the insubstantial ideology which has prayed upon them like a parasite.



The great revolutionary movements which reacted against our secularized Christian world were to aggravate the evil and bring it to a peak. For they developed toward a definitive break with Chrisian values. Here it is a question both of a doctrinal opposition to Christianity and of an existential opposition to the presence and action of Christ at the core of human history.

A first development continued and climaxed the trend of secularized reason, the "anthropocentric humanism," in the direction which it followed from its origin, in the direction of rationalistic hopes, now no longer constituted solely as philosophical ideology but as a lived religion. This development arises from the unfolding of all the consequences of the principle that man alone, and through himself alone, works out his salvation.

The purest case of this tendency is that of Marxism. No matter how strong some of the pessimistic aspects of Marxism may be, it remains attached to this postulate. Marxist materialism remained rationalistic, so much so that for it the movement proper to matter is a dialectical movement.

If man alone and through himself alone works out his salvation, then this salvation is purely and exclusively temporal, and must be accomplished without God, and even against God -- I mean against whatever in man and the human world bears the likeness of God, that is to say, from the Marxist point of view, the likeness of "alienation" and enslavement; this salvation demands the giving up of personality, and the organization of collective man into one single body whose supreme destiny is to gain dominion over matter and human history. What becomes then of the image of man? Man is no longer the creature and image of God, a personality which implies free will and is responsible for an eternal destiny, a being which possesses rights and is called to the conquest of freedom and to a self-achievement consisting of love and charity. He is a particle of the social whole and lives on the collective consciousness of the whole, and his happiness and liberty lie in serving the work of the whole. This whole itself is an economic and industrial whole, its essential and primordial work consists of the industrial domination of nature, for the sake of the very whole which alone presents absolute value, and has nothing above itself. There is here a thirst for communion, but communion is sought in economic activity, in pure productivity, which, being regarded as the paradise and only genuine goal of human endeavor, is but the world of a beheaded reason, no longer cut out for truth, but engulfed in a demiurgic task of fabrication and domination over things. The human person is sacrificed to industry's titanism, which is the god of the merely industrial community.

Rationalistic reason winds up in intoxication with matter. By the same token it enters a process of self-degradation. Thus it is that in the vision of the world offered by Marxist materialism, rationalistic over- optimism comes to coincide, in many respects, with another development, depending upon a quite opposite trend of mind, which may be described as an utter reaction against any kind of rationalism and humanism. The roots of this other development are pessimistic, it corresponds to a process of animalization of the image of man, in which a formless metaphysics avails itself of every misconception of scientific or sociological data to satisfy a hidden resentment against Reason and human dignity. According to this trend of mind the human species is only a branch which sprouted by chance on the genealogical tree of the monkeys; all our systems of ideas and values are only an epiphenomenon of the social evolution of the primitive clan; or an ideological superstructure determined by, and masking the struggle for life of class interests and imperialistic ambitions. All our seemingly rational and free behavior is only an illusory appearance, emerging from the inferno of our unconscious and of instinct. All our seemingly spiritual feelings and activities, poetic creation, human pity and devotion, religious faith, contemplative love, are only the sublimation of sexual libido or an outgrowth of matter. Man is unmasked, the countenance of the beast appears. The human specificity, which rationalism had caused to vanish into pure spirit, now vanishes in animality.

Yet the development of which I am speaking has its real sources in something much more profound, which began to reveal itself from the second half of the last century on: anguish and despair, as exemplified in Dostoevski's Possessed. A deeper abyss than animality appears in the unmasking of man. Having given up God so as to be self- sufficient, man has lost track of his soul. He looks in vain for himself; he turns the universe upside down trying to find himself; he finds masks and, behind the masks, death.

Then was to be witnessed the spectacle of a tidal wave of irrationality, of hatred of intelligence, the awakening of a tragic opposition between life and spirit. To overcome despair, Nietzsche proclaimed the advent of the superman of the will to power, the death of truth, the death of God. More terrific voices, the voices of a base multitude whose baseness itself appears as an apocalyptic sign, cry out: We have had enough of lying optimism and illusory morality, enough of freedom and personal dignity and justice and peace and faithfulness and goodness which made us mad with distress. Let us give ground to the infinite promises of evil, and of swarming death, and of blessed enslavement, and of triumphant despair!

The purest case of this tendency was Nazi racism. It was grounded not in an idolatry of reason ending in the hate of every transcendent value, but in a mysticism of instinct and life ending in the hatred of reason. Intelligence for it was of use only to develop techniques of destruction and to pervert the function of language. Its demonic religiosity tried to pervert the very nature of God, to make of God Himself an idol. It invoked God, but as a spirit protector attached to the glory of a people or a state, or as a demon of the race. A god who will end by being identified with an invincible force at work in the blood was set up against the God of Sinai and against the God of Calvary, against the One Whose law rules nature and human conscience, against the Word Which was at the beginning, against the God of Whom it is said that He is Love.

Here, too, man is no longer the creature and image of God; a person animated by a spiritual soul and endowed with free will, and responsible for an eternal destiny, who possesses rights and is called to the conquest of freedom and to a self-achievement consisting of love and charity. And now this disfigured image of man is rooted in a warring pessimism. Man is a particle of the political whole, and lives by the Volksgeist, yet for this collective whole there is even no longer any decoy of happiness and liberty and of universal emancipation, but only power and self-realization through violence. Communion is sought in the glorification of the race and in a common hatred of some enemy, in animal blood, which, separated from the spirit, is no more than a biological inferno. The human person is sacrificed to the demon of the blood, which is the god of the community of blood.

There is nothing but human despair to be expected either from Communism or Racism. On the one hand, Racism, on its irrational and biological basis, rejects all universalism and breaks even the natural unity of the human race, so as to impose the hegemony of a so-called higher racial essence. On the other hand, if it is true that in the dialectic of culture, Communism is the final state of anthropocentric rationalism, it follows that by virtue of the universality inherent in reason -- even in reason gone mad -- Communism dreams of an all- embracing emancipation and pretends to substitute for the universalism of Christianity its own earthly universalism -- the universalism of the good tidings of Deception and Terror, and of the immolation of man to the blind god of History.



If the description which I outlined above is accurate, it appears that the only way of regeneration for the human community is a rediscovery of the true image of man and a definite attempt toward a new Christian civilization, a new Christendom. Modern times have sought many good things along wrong tracks. The question now is to seek these good things along right tracks, and to save the human values and achievements aimed at by our forefathers and endangered by the false philosophy of life of the last century, and to have for that purpose the courage and audacity of proposing to ourselves the biggest task of renewal, of internal and external transformation. A coward flees backward, away from new things. The man of courage flees forward, in the midst of new things.

Christians find themselves today, in the order of temporal civilization, facing problems similar to those which their forefathers met in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. At that time modern physics and astronomy in the making were at one with the philosophical systems set up against Christian tradition. The defenders of the latter did not know how to make the necessary distinction; they took a stand both against that which was to become modern science and against the philosophical errors which at the outset preyed upon this science as parasites. Three centuries were needed to get away from this misunderstanding, if it be true that a better philosophical outlook has actually caused us to get away from it. It would be disastrous to fall once again into similar errors today in the field of the philosophy of civilization. The true substance of the nineteenth century's aspirations, as well as the human gains it achieved, must be saved, from its own errors and from the aggression of totalitarian barbarism. A world of genuine humanism and Christian inspiration must be built.

In the eyes of the observer of historical evolution, a new Christian civilization is going to be quite different from medieval civilization, though in both cases Christianity is at the root. For the historical climate of the Middle Ages and that of modern times are utterly diverse. Briefly, medieval civilization, whose historical ideal was the Holy Empire, constituted a "sacral" Christian civilization, in which temporal things, philosophical and scientific reason, and the reigning powers, were subservient organs or instruments of spiritual things, of religious faith, and of the Church. In the course of the following centuries temporal things gained a position of autonomy, and this was in itself a normal process. The misfortune has been that this process became warped, and instead of being a process of distinction for a better form of union, progressively severed earthly civilization from evangelical inspiration.

A new age of Christendom, if it is to come, will be an age of reconciliation of that which was disjoined, the age of a "secular" Christian civilization, in which temporal things, philosophical and scientific reason, and civil society, will enjoy their autonomy and at the same time recognize the quickening and inspiring role that spiritual things, religious faith, and the Church play from their higher plane. Then a Christian philosophy of life would guide a community vitally, not decoratively Christian, a community of human rights and of the dignity of the human person, in which men belonging to diverse racial stocks and to diverse spiritual lineages would work at a temporal common task which was truly human and progressive.

In the last analysis, I would say that from the end of the Middle Ages -- a moment at which the human creature, while awakening to itself, felt itself oppressed and crushed in its loneliness -- modern times have longed for a rehabilitation of the human creature. They sought this rehabilitation in a separation from God. It was to be sought in God. The human creature claims the right to be loved; it can be really and efficaciously loved only in God. It must be respected in its very connection with God and because it receives everything -- and its very dignity -- from Him. After the great disillusionment of "anthropocentric humanism" and the atrocious experience of the anti- humanism of our day, what the world needs is a new humanism, a "theocentric" or integral humanism which would consider man in all his natural grandeur and weakness, in the entirety of his wounded being inhabited by God, in the full reality of nature, sin, and sainthood. Such a humanism would recognize all that is irrational in man, in order to tame it to reason, and all that is supra-rational, in order to have reason vivified by it and to open man to the descent of the divine into him. Its main work would be to cause the Gospel leaven and inspiration to penetrate the secular structures of life -- a work of sanctification of the temporal order.

This "humanism of the Incarnation" would care for the masses, for their right to a temporal condition worthy of man and to spiritual life, and for the movement which carries labor toward the social responsibility of its coming of age. It would tend to substitute for materialistic- individualistic civilization, and for an economic system based on the fecundity of money, not a collectivistic economy but a "Christian-personalistic" democracy. This task is joined to today's crucial effort to preserve freedom from totalitarian aggression, and to a simultaneous work of reconstruction which requires no less vigor. It is also joined to a thorough awakening of the religious conscience. One of the worst diseases of the modern world, as I pointed out in an earlier essay,{1} is its dualism, the dissociation between the things of God and the things of the world. The latter, the things of the social, economic, and political life, have been abandoned to their own carnal law, removed from the exigencies of the Gospel. The result is that it has become more and more impossible to live with them. At the same time, Christian ethics, not really permeating the social life of people, became in this connection -- I do not mean in itself or in the Church, I mean in the world, in the general cultural behavior -- a universe of formulas and words; and this universe of formulas and words was in effect made subservient in practical cultural behavior to the real energies of this same temporal world existentially detached from Christ.

In addition, modern civilization, which pays dearly today for the past, seems as if it were pushed by the self-contradiction and blind compulsions suffered by it, toward contrasting forms of misery and intensified materialism. To rise above these blind compulsions we need an awakening of liberty and of its creative forces, of which man does not become capable by the grace of the state or any party pedagogy, but by that love which fixes the center of his life infinitely above the world and temporal history. In particular, the general paganization of our civilization has resulted in man's placing his hope in force alone and in the efficacy of hate, whereas in the eyes of an integral humanism a political ideal of justice and civic friendship, requiring political strength and technical equipment, but inspired by love, is alone able to direct the work of social regeneration.



The image of man involved in integral humanism is that of a being made of matter and spirit, whose body may have emerged from the historical evolution of animal forms, but whose immortal soul directly proceeds from divine creation. He is made for truth, capable of knowing God as the Cause of Being, by his reason, and of knowing Him in His intimate life, by the gift of faith. Man's dignity is that of an image of God, his rights derive as well as his duties from natural law, whose requirements express in the creature the eternal plan of creative Wisdom. Wounded by sin and death from the first sin of his race, whose burden weighs upon all of us, he is caused by Christ to become of the race and lineage of God, living by divine life, and called upon to enter by suffering and love into Christ's very work of redemption. Called upon by his nature, on the other hand, to unfold historically his internal potentialities by achieving little by little reason's domination over his own animality and the material universe, his progress on earth is not automatic or merely natural, but accomplished in step with freedom and together with the inner help of God, and constantly thwarted by the power of evil, which is the power of created spirits to inject nothingness into being, and which unceasingly tends to degrade human history, while unceasingly and with greater force the creative energies of reason and love revitalize and raise up this same history.

Our natural love for God and for the human being is fragile; charity alone received from God as a participation in His own life, makes man efficaciously love God above everything, and each human person in God. Thus brotherly love brings to earth, through the heart of man, the fire of eternal life, which is the true peacemaker, and it must vitalize from within that natural virtue of friendship, disregarded by so many fools, which is the very soul of social communities. Man's blood is at once of infinite value and must be shed all along mankind's roads "to redeem the blood of man." On the one hand, nothing in the world is more precious than one single human person. On the other hand, man exposes nothing more willingly than his own being to all kinds of danger and waste -- and this condition is normal. The meaning of that paradox is that man knows very well that death is not an end, but a beginning. If I think of the perishable life of man, it is something naturally sacred, yet many things are still more precious: Man can be required to sacrifice it by devotion to his neighbor or by his duty to his country. Moreover a single word is more precious than human life if in uttering this word a man braves a tyrant for the sake of truth or liberty. If I think of the imperishable life of man, of that life which makes him "a god by participation" and, beginning here below, will consist in seeing God face to face, nothing in the world is more precious than human life. And the more a man gives himself, the more he makes this life intense within him. Every self-sacrifice, every gift of oneself involves, be it in the smallest way, a dying for the one we love. The man who knows that "after all, death is only an episode," is ready to give himself with humility, and nothing is more human and more divine than the gift of oneself, for "it is more blessed to give than to receive."

As concerns civilization, the man of Christian humanism knows that political life aims at a common good which is superior to a mere collection of the individual's goods and yet must flow back upon human persons. He knows that the common work must tend above all toward the improvement of human life itself, enabling everyone to exist on earth as a free man and to enjoy the fruits of culture and the spirit. He knows that the authority of those who are in charge of the common good, and who are, in a community of free men, designated by the people, and accountable to the people, originates in the Author of Nature and is therefore binding in conscience, and is binding in conscience on condition that it be just. The man of Christian humanism cherishes freedom as something he must be worthy of; he realizes his essential equality with other men in terms of respect and fellowship, and sees in justice the force of preservation of the political community and the prerequisite which, "bringing unequals to equality," enables civic friendship to spring forth. He is aware both of the tremendous ordeal which the advent of machinism imposes on human history, and of the marvelous power of liberation it offers to man, if the brute instinct of domination does not avail itself of the techniques of machinism, and of science itself, in order to enslave mankind; and if reason and wisdom are strong enough to turn them to the service of truly human aims and apply to them the standards of human life. The man of Christian humanism does not look for a merely industrial civilization, but for a civilization integrally human (industrial as it may be as to its material conditions) and of evangelical inspiration.



As regards, finally, the internal dynamism of human life, the man of Christian humanism has an ultimate end, God to be seen and possessed -- and he tends toward self-perfection, which is the chief element of that imperfect happiness which is accessible to him in earthly existence. Thus life has meaning and a direction for him, and he is able to grow up on the way, without turning and wavering and without remaining spiritually a child. This perfection toward which he tends is not perfection of some stoic athleticism wherein a man would make himself impeccable, but rather the perfection of love, of love toward Another whom he loves more than himself, and whom he craves above all to join and love even more, even though in the process he carries with him imperfections and weaknessses. In such an evangelical perfection lies perfect freedom, which is to be conquered by ascetic effort but which is finally given by the very One Who is loved, and Who was the first to love us.

But this vertical movement toward divine union and self-perfection is not the only movement involved in the internal dynamism of human life. The second one, the horizontal movement, concerns the evolution of mankind and progressively reveals the substance and creative forces of man in history. The horizontal movement of civilization, when directed toward its authentic temporal aims, helps the vertical movement of souls. And without the movement of souls toward their eternal aim, the movement of civilization would lose the charge of spiritual energy, human pressure, and creative radiance which animates it toward its temporal accomplishment. For the man of Christian humanism history has a meaning and a direction. The progressive integration of humanity is also a progressive emancipation from human servitude and misery as well as from the constraints of material nature. The supreme ideal which the political and social work in mankind has to aim at is thus the inauguration of a brotherly city, which does not imply the hope that all men will someday be perfect on earth and love each other fraternally, but the hope that the existential state of human life and the structures of civilization will draw nearer to their perfection, the standard of which is justice and friendship -- and what aim, if not perfection, is to be aimed at? This supreme ideal is the very one of a genuine democracy, of the new democracy we are expecting. It requires not only the development of powerful technical equipment and of a firm and rational politico-social organization in human communities, but also a heroic philosophy of life, and the quickening inner ferment of evangelical inspiration. It is in order to advance toward such an ideal that the community must be strong. The inauguration of a common life which responds to the truth of our nature, freedom to be achieved, and friendship to be set up at the core of a civilization vitalized by virtues higher than civic virtues, all these define the historical ideal for which men can be asked to work, fight, and die. Against the deceptive myths raised by the powers of illusion, a vaster and greater hope must rise up, a bolder promise must be made to the human race. The truth of God's image, as it is naturally impressed upon us, freedom, and fraternity are not dead. If our civilization struggles with death, the reason is not that it dares too much, and that it proposes too much to men. It is that it does not dare enough or propose enough to them. It shall revive, a new civilization shall come to life, on condition that it hope for, and will, and love truly and heroically truth, freedom, and fraternity.

{1} Scholasticism and Politics, 1940, chapter I, page 22.

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