Thursday, March 14, 2013

Catholic Decentralization

Butler Shaffer's quite right. By her own account, the Church of Rome is a centralized, hierarchical and “vertically-structured institution,” to borrow from his terminology. Yet she, too, shows the effects of the emergent spontaneous order.

Then again, the hallmark of liberty—and therefore decentralization—lies in secession. In this respect, the Catholic Church—purported bastion of reaction—compares quite favorably to her enlightened counterparts infesting the sea of politics. For while the faithful are always free to withdraw their allegiance to the Church, the citizenry’s control (such as it is) over democratic leaders begins and ends at the voting booth.  

No doubt the cynics will point to fear of hell as motivating the faithful. They prove too much. If our leaders relied on that fear to ensure tax compliance, we’re keeping our tax dollars and laughing all the way to the bank.  


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