Anti-Statism and Christopher Dawson

Some of my favorite Dawson quotes from BEYOND POLITICS, 1939:

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The “coming together of politics and economics involved the death of the liberal State and the emergence of a new type of community which whether we call it socialist, or democratic, or fascist is essentially totalitarian since the planned organization and unitary control of the economic system inevitably means the organization and control of social activities.”–C. Dawson, 1939

The French Revolutionaries “anticipated practically all the characteristic features of the modern totalitarian regimes: the dictatorship of a party in the name of the community, the use of propaganda and appeals to mass emotion, as well as of violence and terrorism, the conception of revolutionary justice as a social weapon. . . and above all the attempt to enforce a uniform ideology on the whole people and the proscriptions and persecution of every other form of political thought.”–Christopher Dawson, 1939

‎”Above all the principles of personal honour and individual responsibility, which have always been the life blood of freedom in the ancient world and in medieval and modern Europe alike, must be preserved at all costs, if democracy is to be a community of free men and not an inhuman anonymous servile State.”–Christopher Dawson, 1939

‎”Liberty is not the right of the mass to power, but the right of the individual and the group to achieve the highest possible degree of self-development”–Christopher Dawson, 1939.

“The essential characteristic of National Socialism is to be found rather in its attempt to create an ideology which will be the soul of the new State and which will co-ordinate the new resources of propaganda and mass suggestion in the interests of the national community.” (81)

“The chief safeguard of personal liberty in democratic society has been the anarchy and disorder of capitalist individualism, but if that anarchy is to be replaced by a collective order, the resultant democratic State may be no less totalitarian in character than Italian Fascism or German National Socialism.” (84)

“What the non-dictatorial States stand for to-day is not Liberalism [classical] but Democracy, a very different thing, as the old Liberals themselves recognized. . . . Democracy has quite abandoned the unfriendly and suspicious attitude to the State that was characteristic of Liberalism. . . . It still rejects the paternalism of the old authoritarian Christian State, but it is quite ready to treat the State as a sort of universal aunt and to welcome its intrusion into the most intimate relations of life” (102-103)

“At the present day this spirit of the World is stronger than ever.  It is becoming fully self-conscious and threatens to absorb the State and to constitute itself as the universal order of human life–A Church-State which would be the Kingdom of Antichrist.  And hence the Christian Church to-day is the ally of the State in a new sense, because it is only so long as the State continues to exist as something separate from the community–an organization with definite functions and limited responsibilities–that the Church itself can maintain its right to exist.” (113)

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