Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Nine Common Human Needs: Security of Person and Property

Uncertainty is a root cause of fear in Man. This fear before our Exile was a Fear of Certainty. Both of these fears preserve in them the original intention that Man is to be - as the Angels, a social creature - a loving and faithful keeper to each other.

The former, which is a fear of the unknown - is manifest in each of us as an abiding and mortal fear of our impending temporal death, and exists as a consequence of our Exile.

The latter, which is the Fear - of the God Who Is - the Ultimate Truth - is a holy, loving, and awe-filled reverence that abides in the hearts of those who seek after Him - whom He calls unto Himself - in order to more perfectly love Him, and serve Him, and know Him.

The latter inspires us to freely strive for Peace and Human Community. The former bends the will and the spirit towards an understanding of the latter. The former must lead to the latter and the latter must enlighten the former. That the burden of our civilization may be light. One leads to safety, the other to freedom.

For the LORD, our God and Creator, is a God of Community - the LORD of hosts. He dwelleth in Unity and this Unity is Peace.

One of the main reasons that spur our human civilization forward is our need of a common relief from this fear of the uncertain. For it is painful.

The human spirit itself is driven by a universal thirst for a more perfect understanding of that Fear, which leads to Wisdom, and that Wisdom which is an understanding of the Truth - Truth that to our souls is Peace.

Aspects of this interior seeking universal to all Men and to all Women remain common to all our Sacred Remembrances; a spirituality of Peace therefore, remain as a common teaching in each our most cherished and honorable religious traditions as well - particularly, within our three Abrahamic faith traditions.

And so, in spite of the long shadow of War, we as a people remain yearning for Peace. It is more certain to us than War - in ways we often fail to readily understand.

AT THE VERY LEAST, in the sense that we are all equal partakers of this yearning (for Certainty) in our Nation (and in our world), we hold to an expectation as citizens that each of us may - in common - enjoy, security of person and property -

THAT dignity of each individual human life and the safety of its promise - from conception to natural death, along with each our respective right to private ownership - as a natural right and as a public trust - be duly preserved by the Philippine State.

The value of Sacred Life being already well defined, to further expound on the right of private property, I shall take from a teaching in Catholic Morality (excerpted from the book, Catholic Morality by Fr. John Laux, M.A.)

4. Duties Concerning Material Goods

a) The Right of Private Property

1. Ownership defined. - Not only spiritual goods, but material goods also have been placed at the disposal of man by God. But whilst the goods of the soul and the mind are accessible to all and do not diminish, no matter how many partake of them, a material good can, of its very nature, belong undivided only to one person, and the oftener it is divided, the smaller becomes the portion of those who use it. The right to possess, enjoy, and dispose of any material good for ourselves, to the exclusion of others, is called the right of private property or individual ownership.

2. Private ownership rests on the divine law and, taking man as they are, is necessary for the individual and for society -

a) the Seventh Commandment forbids theft as a violation of the rights of others. If private property were theft, as the French Communist Proudhon calls it, theft would not be a violation of the rights of our neighbor, but the right of the State. But God does not forbid theft as a violation of the right of the State, but of the right of our neighbor individually. In the New Testament parables such as those of the sower, the vineyard, and the fig tree pre-suppose the right of private property.

(As regards to plunder of the public coffers, it is the individual tax payers' right of representation, direct as well as indirect, in the official affairs of the State that is violated.)

b) Private ownership is founded on the nature and condition of man; it is a natural right. Nature imposes upon man the duty of preserving his life, and hence it also gives him the right to exclusive ownership in those things necessary for the preservation of his life.

c) The individual has natural duties to provide for the material needs of his family and the education of his children. But he can not fulfill these duties without the right of accumulating and retaining a variety of these goods. If all men were perfect Christians, then the difficulty would be minimized. But we must take men as they are.

d) Without the right to private ownership there would be no incentive to work and consequently no progress in the arts and sciences.

e) God is the true Lord and Master of all things by the right of creation. But man also, the image of God, can mold and modify things at his pleasure. The fruits of his labor bear the stamp of his personality; and thus becomes their true lord in a limited sense, as God is their absolute lord in an unlimited sense.

f) Under a system of common ownership (Communism) the distribution of labor and of the rewards of labor would destroy individual liberty and make all citizens slaves of the State. Under such circumstances, peace and order are inconceivable.

(As regards the peace process with the NDFP, it is not condemnation of each side our Republic whole must seek but a re-calibration of interests leading towards the beginnings of a common ground vision pursuant and compatible with the reality of the Philippine State, a transformation of the nature of the conflict, and ultimately a reversal of the mindless tides of prejudices and cessation of the cycles of violence that have consumed this Nation for several generations now.

In short, we must together make this Republic of ours work - and, in an imperfect world, labor for the common good of all. Upon our Peace - one, whole, and complete - much depends.)


4. Whether we possess much or little, we must always remember that we are only the stewards of what we possess, not the absolute masters, and that we must one day give an account of our stewardship. For as God never gives up His dominion over the gifts of life, so He never relinquishes His right over the gift of material goods.

The fruit of this vision 
in the reality of the Nation is -
An institutionalized, civilian Policing, 
Public Safety, and National Security Service.

The Nine Common Human Needs