Seeking Solidarity: The Necessity of Christian Democracy

As Americans, we tend to focus on our own achievements rather than see those of others. As such, President Reagan is often credited with destroying the Soviet Union. This is not only untrue–though Reagan did play a large role–but actually unintentionally disparaging of other actors and, no, I don’t mean Margaret Thatcher.

Poland in 1980 was ruled by the Soviet Union and several good, Catholic Poles had had enough of the Soviets running the trade unions. In 1980, Solidarity was formed in protests against higher cost of living expenses dictated by the Soviet Polish government and the firing of union members from the Lenin Shipyards. With the government forced to recognize the legality of Solidarity in 1980 under the Gdansk Agreement, the first trade union free of Soviet bureaucracy and espionage.

Their numbers soared as distrust and disapproval of the Soviet government rose. They formed a platform of republican principles against the single party rule of the Soviets. Even the martial law of 1981 could not break them. The Soviets were forced to negotiate with them. When the Polish Round Table Talks were finished in 1989, Solidarity had secured semi-free elections of a president and senate as well as the allowance of independent trade unions. Solidarity’s political wing then went on to sweep the elections and taking the majority of the seats in the newly formed legislature as well as the presidency. This was a shock to the Soviet power that was felt all the way in Moscow. If one small association of people can gain autonomy from the empire, then it could spread.

Solidarity was formed with the principles found in Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis or “The Social Concern.” It is in these principles, coming from the very font of Life and Wisdom found in the Gospels, that succeeded in engendering the support of the West and destroying the empire. They were able to affect real social change and true political development because of their commitment to solidarity. We need Solidarity in America.

The social concern of the Church, directed towards an authentic development of man and society which would respect and promote all the dimensions of the human person, has always expressed itself in the most varied ways.”

Indeed, this is should be the social concern of all human beings in all governments everywhere. What man would honestly eat dung if he could have cake? The only way you can is by convincing him it is not dung, but cake. A more appropriate analogy would be two competing piles of indistinguishable dung being advertised as red and blue cakes of radically different flavors.

But here Pope John Paul II gives us several things: purpose, scope, and options. He gives us a purpose: authentically develop man and society. The scope he gives us is to do that in ways that respect and promote the human person in all his dimensions. He gives us options by saying that this has been done in a variety of ways. Here he speaks of the Church’s concern being expressed, but as I said before, it is a good model for all of us to follow.

Our nation suffers from a lack of purpose. The red liberals and the blue liberals offer nothing but crass materialism and and 30 year old grudges. They offer no authentic developments for man or society, certainly none that respect and promote even a few dimensions of the human person. So what must we do? Well, we can write as I have done. We can also form a new party.

This is not such a radical idea; the libertarians have been fairly successful and may prove even more successful in the upcoming election. Also, it worked for Poland. If we accept the idea that this evil empire of red and blue are inevitable and unchangeable, then we have already lost. We have not gotten to the protests of 1980, or the martial law of 1981. We would never get to the talks of 1989.

The American Solidarity Party seeks to follow those principles that Solidarity fought hard to see realized and have that social concern for authentic development. Christian democracy has been widely successful in countries such as Austria, Poland, and Germany. These parties have not only led their countries to financial solvency, but also show to be some of the happiest countries.

If the decadence and the corruption of the nation, at the very heart of each person, is too much for you to bear; if you see the two dung piles for what they are and cannot stomach them further; and if you believe that man was made for greatness, not mediocrity of the slaves to pleasure and profit we have become, then join us in solidarity and united together, we can defeat the American evil empire.

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