Christmas and Liberty (my articles in Forbes.com)



"Rosmini was a strong critic of the socialists of his time (Saint-Simon and Robert Owen) and anticipated many of the ills that would follow from the adoption of socialism. For him, socialist policies violate basic rights such as being able to choose one’s own way of life, the rights of ownership, of free competition and work. He went further, socialism annihilates the incentives for individual initiative, family love, care of property and free association. All these were fundamental principles in Rosmini’s own economic philosophy. He wrote “The economic and social impact of socialism would be devastating, but the worse impact would be the ‘complete destruction of human freedom,’ which leads to the destruction of man’s moral and economic capacity because freedom ‘is the root of all duties and, thus, of all human rights (…) the source of all individual and social goods’”




"St. Boniface's efforts to Christianize Europe are seldom celebrated, but each Christmas season brings his story back to life. Christians see the lighted tree as symbol of peace between God and human beings; of immortality; of the light that Jesus brought to the world; with its triangular shape it reminds them of a trinity pointing up to heaven. From a pure human perspective, the Christmas tree is a reminder that nature is for humans, and can be used for good or bad. As its use is to celebrate the good, most of us will continue to rejoice to its sight."




St. Francis of Assisi and Christmas



"No other saint is more identified with the ecology than St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226). The stories about how he approached and communicated with animals, from wolves miraculously brought under his control, to harmless little birds, are abundant and bewildering. For Francis contemplating the sun and fire, should lead us to God: "as with its brightness he illuminates our sight during dark darkness … The Lord gives light to our eyes through these two brethren … for this reason, consider them and other creatures that we use every day, we should glorify and bless their Creator."



"Christmas is an ideal day to reflect about liberty. Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), the author of “The Law,” one of the most widely read and translated books about liberty, is acclaimed by lovers of free enterprise. Awards and associations across the United States and the world, such as the Bastiat Society, are named after him. Christmas is also an important day to highlight a major aspect, usually neglected, of the philosophy of this French writer and political economist: his grounding on God."
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