Article Critical of Dorothy Day:
The Catholic Communizer Dorothy Day.
Vic Biorseth, Friday, December 2, 2011 http://www.Thinking-Catholic-Strategic-Center.com
The Catholic Communizer Dorothy Day’s life work involved Marxist Community Organizing for future revolution, both in American culture and in Catholic culture, from within America and from within Catholicism.
The mental image of a thoroughly Communist Dorothy Day, who remained committed to Marxist notions of the overthrow of government, might be shocking to a lot of Catholics. But even after her conversion to Catholicism, she maintained her Communist and anarchist views, promoted them, and brought them into the Church Christ founded.
This is all based on a new book I just read; The Catholic Worker Movement (1933-1980) A Critical Analysis, by Dr. Carol Byrne; I recommend it highly, and I have added it to the Reference Material for this website.
While reading this book I had an epiphany regarding a question I have wrestled with before, which is the question of whether Marxism and its utopian ideal is predominantly evil, or predominantly stupid. This was addressed most recently in Evil and Nonsense page back in October. I had then felt that the leaders of Marxist movements – Lenin, Mao, Fidel, etc., and Marx himself – were infected with evil genius, and that only their useful idiot underlings suffered from varying degrees of sheer stupidity, blended with and/or manipulated by evil genius.
But what Dr. Byrne’s book showed me is that the leaders and instigators of Communist revolution of societies could be just plain stupid, even as they are seen to be somehow brilliant, by themselves and by others. This made me go back and re-read some other authors, to see if Lenin himself didn’t do the same things, although on a different scale, than Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin did, repeatedly – failure after failure after failure.
Another sort of epiphany brought to me by this book involves the relationship between Communism and Anarchy, which I had not correctly understood before reading it. Communism as defined by Marx is a hare-brained socio-economic system that cannot possibly work, does not exist, has never existed and is quite impossible. When brought into existence, it cannot possibly survive in the form described by Marx for very long. It must transform into something else, lest all members either starve to death or turn into cannibals.
But I had thought that anarchy is something else – only after reading this book did I understand that anarchy is, in fact, the state of Marx’s Communism. It is a stateless, classless, government-less, law-less, hierarchy-less, private-property-less, authority-less collectivist socio-economic order, based on the commune and communal living. The difference between an anarchist and a would-be Communist is that the anarchist wants the state of Communism right now, and the would-be Communist wants to move through stages of Socialism to eventually arrive at Communism.
My previous understanding of anarchy was of a black flag, and the motto Rape, Pillage, Plunder and Burn. Might makes right. The biggest bully or the most powerful gang rules the community. Simple barbarism, and barbaric rule. Open, outright, lawless piracy.
But what the anarchists associated with Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, and what indeed Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin themselves sought to accomplish was to move their Catholic Worker Movement communal cells right straight into the state of Communism (or anarchy) without benefit of Marx’s intervening evolutionary stepping stone of Socialism – the so-called Dictatorship of the Proletariat– which was supposed to “perfect” mankind by changing his nature and remaking him into a new image of non-authoritarian man ready to accept living peacefully as a happy worker in the Communist state.
My previous vision of anarchy, i.e., utter barbarity, is what the “commune,” unless it is bailed-out by some authority, must ultimately descend into when it economically fails – and they always, always, economically fail.
Permit me to continue this digression from the Catholic Communizers Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin to address my stupidity epiphany, because I think the utter stupidity of Marxism really needs to be addressed at every opportunity. The Evil and Nonsense page may not have been enough.
A long time ago I saw a movie about the life of Woody Guthrie, the famous folk singer who became famous as the Troubadour of the Dust Bowl. I don’t remember the name of the movie, or the names of the actors, or much about it, except one small scene that somehow stuck in my memory. Woody Guthrie had known and witnessed hardship and poverty. In this scene, Woody was invited into a sumptuous home, and was gazing at all the finery while being entertained by his hostess, a lovely young lady who lived in this seeming luxury. And he was moved to ask his hostess “Don’t you feel guilty?”
This, and this alone, is what stuck in my memory about this whole movie. Woody Guthrie had been convinced of the truth of the Property Is Theft Marxist stupidity that we spoke of in the Fatal False Premises page. He actually, truthfully believed that the simple fact that this young lady lived in a nice house with nice furnishings actually caused someone somewhere to be in poverty. And he believed it so fervently that he caused her to begin to believe it, and to feel guilty about it.
This is not just an isolated instance; this feeling, this emotion, this stupidity, is all around us. The super-rich, uber-bourgeois Beatles put this stupidity to music, when they sang “Imagine no possessions – I wonder if you can.” Yet, most of us probably could not imagine any filthy rich Beatle without any possessions, and in all probability, neither could they. They’re not even smart enough to recognize the open hypocrisy in their own lyrics, and neither are most of their fans.
Again, property is not theft; property is merely property. Violation of the right to private property is theft. So someone who owns something – say, a pair of socks – may not properly be called a thief merely because he has and holds personal property.
In the Refuting Marx page we exposed the open fraud of Marx’s whole Communist Manifesto for what it was. The whole goal was and is the ascendancy to dictatorship, pure and simple. Everything else is a flat out fraud, designed to recruit useful idiots who would sympathize, at least, and contribute to, and at best, actively participate in eventual violent overthrow of the existing regime.
For the purposes of this great fraud, Marx created many straw villains for his useful idiots to concentrate their attention on while they were being mesmerized into his political camp. The too biggees were the bourgeois class and the proletarian class, but there were many others. The bourgeois are supposed to be the holders of Capital and the means of production, and the proletariat are supposed to be the “wage slaves” stuck in perpetuity to a meaningless existence of work and poverty.
But here’s the thing: It’s all a Marxist fairy tale. The rigid class structures Marx described have not existed in Western civilization since feudal times. There are no such classes.
•There is no such thing as a bourgeois class.
•There is no such thing as a proletarian class.
•There is no such thing as a “wage slave.”
•There is no such thing as “Property is Theft.”
•There is no such thing as a “system of greed.”
•There is no such thing as a man-made system called Capitalism.
•Workers are not “exploited” by mere fact of being employed.
•Marxist “equality” can only exist at the expense of all liberty.
•Violating property rights is a violation of the Commandment to not steal.
•Promoting class warfare is a violation of the Commandment to not covet.
The Marxist fairy tale gets the useful idiots all up in arms and tilting at windmills. The thing Marxism rails against the most, and seeks to destroy, isn’t even a controllable man-made system – Capitalism is a natural thing – Capitalism just happens. It comes into being when men are free and enjoy liberty. Any attempt to control it destroys it. Wage controls, price controls, interest controls, controls on labor, controls on capital, controls on property, controls on fuel, controls on resources – any controls – destroy the natural workings of the natural Capitalist system. If it is not free of controls, if it is not natural, then it is not any longer Capitalism.
Capitalism equals a free market.
All you have to do is look at the number and size of all of the American bureaucracies, every single one of which controls some part of the economy, to see that we are most certainly not a Capitalist nation. Every single small part of the remaining “free” market is under bureaucratic and political attack. That is why we are in economic decline. We are no longer Capitalist. The market is no longer free.
If you look at the public rantings of America’s best known Marxists, all of whom seem to be super-rich uber-bourgeois Democrats, you will see that they all are always pushing some part of Marx’s idiotic fairy tale. Whenever you hear them, just change the word “rich” to “bourgeois” and change the word “poor” to “proletariat” and you will see that they are all talking right down the Communist Party Line. What they are purposely aiming us at is dictatorship. What I have a hard time believing is that there are so many American voters stupid enough to vote for them. But here we are.
Here’s an example of Democrat talking points using Marx’s class-warfare words.
In Marxist-Democrat Party lingo, there is no such thing as a mere tax cut. There are only tax cuts for the bourgeois class. And in their lingo, conservatives, the dirty rotten exploiters that they are, are always insensitive to the plight of the proletarian class. Pay no attention to the fact that these classes do not exist. Pay no attention to the fact that the only existing rigid social classes in America are the ones either invented or co-opted, and then fed and controlled by the Marxists. I mean Democrats.
We have the Homo-Nazi Movement.
We have the Femi-Nazi Movement.
We have the Eco-Nazi Movement.
I will have to do another page called the Racial Nazi Movement and put a link to it right here.
We have the Professional Liars (Journalists) Movement.
We have the Secularist Liberal Intellectual Media Complex.
And of course we have the Democrat Party.
Every one of these politically invented or co-opted “movements” or “fronts” is another purported “class” of so-called disenfranchised or somehow exploited victims, herded into a larger group, be it a Rainbow Coalition or whatever, to try to form a majority voting block out of multiple minorities. The goal of the Communist Community Organizer, like that of the Communist Labor Union Organizer, is to contribute to building a larger United Front against the existing regime, and to destabilize society.
Getting back to Catholic-Communizer-Dorothy-Day and her partner-in-crime Peter Maurin, they seem to have swallowed every bit of Marx’s supreme fairy tale, hook, line, sinker, rod, reel, fisherman, boat, motor, oars and anchor. I’ll bet you heard that Dorothy Day dropped her Communism after she converted to Catholicism. So did I. But Dr. Byrne’s The Catholic Worker Movement says otherwise, and this book is just too well researched, foot-noted and cross-referenced to just write off as alarmist or ignore. I looked up a bunch of the references and they were all accurate. Dorothy Day was a proactive Communist agitator and organizer throughout her career, long after her “conversion” to Catholicism.
Her goal, and that of Maurin, was to contribute to the eventual overthrow of the American government, and to the eventual overthrow of the Catholic Church hierarchy. I remember reading Dorothy Day’s periodical, The Catholic Worker, as a youngster way back in the 1950s, and I remember the uneasy feeling that this stuff was Communist. I still remember trying to understand how it could be both Communist and Catholic. As it turns out, my gut feeling was right, because by the 1970s the FBI dossier on the Catholic Worker Movement was some 581 pages long.
The list of Communist revolutionaries, anarchists and anti-Americans closely associated with Dorothy Day would rival even the list of Obama supporters, associates and friends. That is to say, in both cases, just about all of them. Dorothy Day’s list even included the Communist Party’s candidates for President and Vice President. It reads like a Who’s Who of the extreme radical Left. She was a Community Organizer, just like Obama, and she never stopped her grass roots Communist organizing.
The amorality of Marxism always draws the dregs of society to itself; from the worst of the lawless lowlifes to organized crime families. Dorothy Day was equally positively disposed toward and supportive of the mobster Jimmy Hoffa as she was the rabid revolutionary Saul Alinsky.
Like Walter Cronkite and so many others of his era, the Catholic Communizer Dorothy Day was an anti anti-Communist. This, if you parse the words carefully, is to say that she was a Communist. (Who else would be opposed to being opposed to the international Communist revolution?) It was her mission to oppose the anti-Communist sentiment, and the anti-Communist hearings in Washington, and to berate and ridicule those who opposed the Communist Revolution, while pretending that there was no such thing as a Communist Revolution, and that Communism was just another harmless political viewpoint. The fact remains, however, that wherever Communism does not rule, the strategic goal of Communism is, precisely, Revolution.
She wrote in the Catholic Worker “We are un-American, we are Catholics,” implying the existence of a Catholic duty to oppose America, to oppose Capitalism and to oppose the anti-Communist sentiment. Even the mere implication of this Catholic duty is a flagrant categorical lie. Dorothy Day was a MEJTML.
Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker Movement (CWM) may have been the originating source of the perversion of Catholic Social Justice in the minds and hearts of many professed Catholics, both lay and cleric.
It perverted Distributionism from anti-trust, anti-monopoly sentiments toward Communist Redistributionism.
It perverted Solidarity from committing oneself to the Common Good, to committing oneself to Opposing Capitalism.
It perverted the sense of holiness and grace to the arrogant belief that one can only gain holiness through self-imposed worker-poverty, gainby renouncing the world and entering a CWM or CWM-like Commune, for life.
The CWM encouraged, supported and incorporated into itself Liberation Theology and Feminist Theology. Within the CWM the term Social Justice came to mean everything and anything that would or could be used to promote their anti-Capitalist Revolution, which is the one thing that the CWM was really all about.
Communizer Day on Catholicism.
Dorothy Day was quite a writer and quite a speaker, and in her written and spoken words she grossly miss-interpreted various Scripture passages to support the so-called Social Justice in her Communized version of Catholicism. Dorothy Day identified herself and her “Catholic” movement with the Old Testament Prophets who challenged the rulers of their time and called them to Justice, and who were persecuted for this. She was the modern Prophetess, and the Church and the State were persecuting her for her new prophesies. Note well that none of the real Prophets called for any revolution, or for the abolition of private property, or for the abolition of any “class,” or for the abolition of any government, whether temporal or ecclesial.
Day joined, supported and openly promoted the Third Hour ecumenical group that celebrated a plurality of faiths under the idea of cosmic ecumenism in which people of all faiths might meet on common ground in a “stretching out of soul to God.” See? This is, of course, condemned as religious syncretism.
She presented as Catholic the distinctly un-Catholic Liberation Theology concept that anyone working with and especially living with the poor thereby encounters the Divine and achieves salvation. By becoming poor and joining with other poor you contribute to and participate in a sort of collective salvation. So, if that’s true and that's all there is to it, no more need for Church; no more need for Sacrament; no more need for anything else; just work with and move in with the poor. See?
Communizer Day and the Worker-Priest Movement.
If any national branch of the Catholic Church might go soft on viewing Communism as a menace to the Church and to civil society, it would likely be the Church in France. So it should come as no surprise that the Worker-Priest movement started in early 1940s Paris. This new movement involved itself with priests taking off all clerical garb, wearing working-man’s clothing, leaving their parishes and their supplied housing, taking up residence among the poor, getting non-clerical, non-religious jobs and working in the neighborhood.
Priests, dressed indistinguishably from anyone else, working in factories, shops, docks, driving taxi-cabs, trucks or whatever. Living in cheap flats or whatever poor housing was available and paying rent out of their wages. They were very involved with trade unions, which, of course, were very involved with Communism. In this movement, it was no longer the role of the priest to bring salvation to the poor, but to receive salvation from the poor. See?
The whole idea was to move out of the bourgeois comfort of clerical life, seek salvation through poverty, and get out from under the bourgeois authority of the Church hierarchy. It was a resurrection of the old anti-cleric sentiment from the French Revolution.
I would not be surprised if this movement is where the idea originated for members of various religious orders abandoning religious attire, no longer living in community, no longer living by any discernable rule for their order, moving out and becoming “one with the people.”
Of course, the Catholic Communizer Dorothy Day jumped on this just as soon as she learned of it, gave it support abroad, and helped it to spread to America and elsewhere. This sort of thing was right up her alley. These priests and their “movement” supported the CWM, and the CWM supported them.
Christian Communism and the Worker’s Utopia.
Dorothy Day believed that Communism could be “rehabilitated” and toned down by making it more voluntary and less violent, achieving utopian ideals via evolution rather than revolution, and therefore be made more acceptable to the Catholic Church. She titled this new view “Christian Communism.” The CWM’s movement toward voluntary communal living, what Maurin called his Green Revolution still maintained four basic Communistic rules:
1.Opposition to Bourgeois values of private property, private business, big business and Capitalism in general.
2.Replacing all state and institutional authority with self-regulating communes independent of external authority and power.
3.Elimination of cities, city life and the social problems emanating from them.
4.Absolute and total pacifism.
Through the establishment of multiple voluntary communes they hoped to achieve, in the long run, a withering away of the existing regime. They were convinced that their Catholic Worker farm communes would be the seed of a world wide movement toward communal living, and that even the Church would be challenged to get on board. “We will lead and the Church will follow” was the motto.
The inspiration for the CW communal farm was the Israeli Kibbutz of the day. The Kibbutz was a collective farm in which the Kibbutzniks (members) submerged their personal ambitions and property into the collective cause. Members voluntarily joined, giving all they owned to the Kibbutz, and being assigned the basic furnishings necessary for life in their little corner of the Kibbutz. Even the family was submerged in the Kibbutz; children were cared for and raised by the collective, leaving mothers free to work in the fields. You would think that this would be a feminist’s dream, with women achieving total equality.
But here’s the thing: The Kibbutz system ultimately failed. None of them ever became economically independent. They couldn’t support themselves, let alone produce a profit – meaning, they could not produce more than they consumed. They couldn’t even produce enough to consume. (Workers producing profit – more than they themselves consume – is the only way on earth that wealth is created. Profit equals wealth.) Again, the Kibbutzniks could not produce enough to even feed themselves.
The Kibbutz was anarchistic - meaning members were free from authority over each other – only internally. They were never totally free from the government that launched them. The land they occupied and worked was leased to them, they always depended upon external funding, and they never were able to become successful enough to be independent of this funding. It was quite the other way round. They wound up dependent on government dole and bank loans, and became mired in impossible, and increasing, monumental debt. The Kibbutz system disappeared perhaps too quietly; it should be held up today as typifying the predictable failure of Communist economic organization.
The problem was the kind of people such an authority-less community attracts, besides the naive idealist with utopian leanings. It soon came to pass that many Kibbutzniks spent more time sitting around idling or discussing religion and politics than doing their share of the work, and those who worked harder and longer soon became embittered by all this. And, of course, this dichotomy increased over time.
Man needs authority.
The Kibbutzniks began to leave the Kibbutz system in droves in the 1980s, and those who remained changed things radically, with the most radical change involving the return of the normative family. Mothers preferred to raise their own children – imagine that – and Kibbutzniks started family businesses and took jobs outside the Kibbutz. The Kibbutzim as originally designed just faded away.
It was no different with the hundreds of voluntary CWM Catholic Worker collective farms that were started all over America. Even Dorothy Day herself could not point to a single one of them that was ever successful. Their first Distributist farm called Maryfarm in Pennsylvania was a particular disappointment. Like all the others, it could not provide enough to feed itself, let alone feed the urban poor, which was one of its planned purposes. Again, one of the problems involved the kind of person attracted to life without authority. Day remarked about Maryfarm that “the more people we have around here the less work gets done.”
The social order of all of the Catholic Worker farms eventually descended into depravity. Thievery, drunkenness, predation, bullying, assault, sexual licentiousness, all the things you would logically expect in a community devoid of authority, came to be. Reading about all these voluntary collective communities of yesterday is quite a bit like reading about the rather silly Occupy Wall Street movement that’s going on today, on a similarly small scale.
If I may digress from this book just one more time, and say a word or two about Lenin, and stupidity. Lenin, in my view previous to encountering this book, was almost evil personified; whenever I thought about evil genius, his image came to mind. However, he was the first to try to force-fit a whole people into this idiotic vision of a collective society. He knew that ruthless authority was necessary to force it to work, which made him, perhaps, a bit smarter than Day and Maurin; however, it was still a stupid idea.
In Lenin’s war with the White Russians, in the period Robert Conquest called “War Communism” Lenin was systematically eliminating all the owners of land and Capital who resisted giving up their private property. Lenin also began a program of de-Kulakization, meaning the killing of the Kulaks. A Kulak was a peasant (farmer) who owned or farmed more than some arbitrary number of chickens, or pigs, or goats, or hectares of land, or whatever was determined to be more than the local allowed average. The Kulaks were labeled bourgeois exploiters of “the people’s resources,” and so, he killed them all, as a terrorizing lesson to the rest of the population.
The result of this de-Kulakization exercise was that virtually all of the people in Russia who were expert at producing food from the land were dead. All the best farmers had been killed off.
Now, it seems to be a particular failure of Marxists in that they, universally, cannot not recognize the quite simple fact that it is not easy to productively farm. Farming is not a simple, easy, easy-to-learn, risk-free thing to do for a living. Just anyone cannot do it. Marxists, from Vladimir Lenin to Dorothy Day, universally betray a simplistic view of the work of farming, which says that anyone can do it, all you have to do is plant seeds, wait awhile and then harvest. Add into that the ability to milk cows, butcher meat and so forth, and anyone can do it.
This is beyond evil personified. It is stupidity personified.
After killing all the farmers, Lenin then herded city-dwellers into farm communes and ordered them to farm. As a direct result, untold millions upon millions died, in a famine that could have been and should have been quite easily predicted. Perhaps ten percent of the Russian population died of starvation in this horrible famine that was induced by Marxism, evil and sheer stupidity.
It looks like Lenin actually believed the farm communes would produce. It therefore looks like Lenin was actually dumber than a box of doorknobs.
Even after this monumental failure – the failure of the de-Kulakization program, the failure of the so-called agrarian reformation and the failure of the very idea of the collective or commune-farm – the whole failed program was repeated, by Mao, by Ho, by Pol Pot and others, everywhere Marxism gained control, and always with the exact same disastrous results.
What can I say? What more needs to be said?
The Catholic Communizer Day and Distributism.
Nevertheless, the CWM sought to achieve what no one else had ever achieved, Marx’s dream of the utopian society, but to achieve it with something less than force. They still sought to skip Marx’s centralized state, his “dictatorship of the proletariat” as a temporary way-point in which the population would be “perfected” and remade into Marx’s image of the perfect worker. That’s what Socialism is supposed to do; it’s supposed to “perfect” the citizen worker. See? But Day and Maurin wanted to move right along into the Communist-anarchist classless state, of no government, no authority, just wonderful and altruistic human beings all cooperating for the good of community. Dorothy Day called this new third way between Capitalism and Communism “Distributism,” and Maurin called it his “Green Revolution.”
In this dreamland all Capital was family controlled, which sounds pretty good; the best way to spread capital around was to divide it up among families, right? But when Day used the word family, she was talking about the collective – the Commune was the new family. The normative family was no more. It was the same old same old with new jargon and buzzwords to describe it. It was the same tired old tested and failed strategy of Communism, which should be seen as obvious to the critical thinker to be impossible without the need to even try it. It, and everything like it that goes against nature is clearly doomed to failure.
Distributism differs from Communism in that it seeks to control the distribution of property rather than the redistribution of wealth. It makes the logical error of not recognizing that property is a solid, tangible expression of wealth. The two things are the same. Wealth, in its creation, is indistinguishable from profit; indeed, it is profit. Someone made more income than was needed for immediate sustenance, and that excess income was called profit. He used that profit to purchase property. If the state (or the CWM) would seek to control the distribution of property, how does that differ from redistribution wealth?
Dorothy Day’s Distributism, as Communism under yet another title, is a gross misinterpretation of the Distributism spoken of by multiple Popes. The Catholic Popes who addressed Distributism were, in my opinion, mistakenly attempting to find a middle way between Communism, which they condemned, and “unrestrained Capitalism,” which they believed brought about the huge discrepancy between the income and the wealth held by the poor, and the income and the wealth held by the rich. Following the lead of Marx, the Luddites, etc., they blamed this huge division on the Industrial Revolution. That, I believe, is erroneous.
There has always been a huge difference between the income of the poor and the income of the rich, and there is nothing that can be done about it, successfully, without incurring serious negative unintended consequences. The income difference between the two extremes can only grow over time, as it always has. At the poor end of the scale we find the poorest of the poor, who have no income. Zero never changes. At the other end and at every other point on the scale, income increases over time. Income always goes up in the long run. Throughout all of human history, the discrepancy has grown, and it may logically be expected to continue grow in the future. This does not mean that anyone has been mistreated.
The honest mistake made here by the Catholic Distributionists is that “Unrestrained Capitalism” has been demonized in their eyes by Marxist and Luddite thought. But Capitalism is not a man-made system that may be tweaked, tuned and adjusted. If you restrain it, you injure it, and perhaps destroy it.
Question: What does “restrained” Capitalism look like?
Question: What does “unrestrained” Capitalism look like?
Answer: Read the I, Pencil … page.
Some Distributionists would differentiate between personal-use property and “Capital” property used to produce income. But where do you draw that line? If you own a cow, you can sell some of the milk. If you own so much as a lawnmower, you can make some money with it. If you own your house, you can let out a room. Right now, I own a car, and guess what: I make money with it as a courier. So, is my car my private property, or is it my Capital investment? Every giant factory began with someone’s personal idea and effort, and was built into whatever it is by work. Giant public corporations are already under wide and diverse ownership through stock ownership. If you have a 401K you own corporate stock - a capital investment.
Free market principles apply to competitive job availability just as much as they apply competitive availability of goods and services. Work is always, always available to the worker who is not too proud to accept it.
I have never been unemployed except for very brief periods throughout my entire life. I have been a gas-station attendant, a soldier, simultaneously a factory laborer and college student, a programmer-analyst, a landlord, a semi-truck driver and a retiree-local delivery driver. Here in America, even in the worst of times for employment, there are always jobs available. Always. I don’t know how to not work.
When the market is truly free, competition, supply and demand automatically set the most appropriate prices for labor, just as it automatically establishes appropriate prices for goods and services, and interest rates for money.
Communization via “withering away” of the state and the Church.
Dorothy Day hoped her CWM communes, as they became more successful and numerous, would slowly eat away at the American government, and at the Catholic Church, and replace both with utopia – man made heaven on earth. She and her followers worked, got their hands dirty, and looked with disdain on those who still lived in bourgeois comfort. The CWM had a holier-than-thou attitude expressed toward all outsiders who had not yet committed to communal life and the “service of the poor” for life.
The Church was seen to be siding with the rich, and indeed the Church was seen to be bourgeois and rich itself, in its holdings and property. Day encouraged Catholics, both lay and clergy, to choose between buildings of stone and people, where people were seen to be “living stones,” and join her movement. Encouraged by the CWM and by the Worker-Priest movement, thousands of Catholic priests and nuns shed their religious garb, moved out of convents, monasteries and rectories and into CW communes, or into poor neighborhoods to share in the lives and living conditions, and work, of the “poor.”
Dorothy day wanted to stop all poor people (meaning anyone with or without a job) from giving even one coin to the bourgeois Church. She held that no Catholic Churches, schools or other buildings should be built or even maintained so long as anyone anywhere was “poor.”
Dorothy Day’s “Distributism” used ambiguous language to describe property and its use. While opposing private property, she spoke and wrote of collective property; but what she usually meant when she said ownership was occupancy and/or use. She actually encouraged people to move into unoccupied buildings and execute “squatter’s rights” and make use of them. Further, she encouraged people to squat in occupied buildings, where people lived, especially mansions or very large homes, or Churches or other buildings, and to simply begin occupying and using them exactly as if they actually held an ownership interest. And the owners may be damned.
Communizing the Liturgy.
Day adopted much of the background philosophy for her movement within the Catholic Church from the theories of Lamennais (1782-1854,) the priest who broke with the Church over his Modernism. He emphasized a Democratizing of the Church and culture producing a Solidarity with all mankind, placing Social Unity over doctrine and dogma, forming a new Christianity distinct from the old one.
I’ll bet you thought that the new second altar, the priest facing the people, the vernacular language and all that began with the Post-Vatican II changes, didn’t you? That’s funny; so did I. Well, it began long before that, with the CWM and the priests associated with it. A Benedictine Priest named Dom Virgil Michel of St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, MN got the ball rolling. The intention was the total reconstruction of all of society by means of changing the Liturgy.
These people were using a simple table rather than an altar, with the priest facing the people, and a vernacular Mass, way back in 1937. Emphasis was put on more attention paid to the “collective” gathered round the Altar facing each other than on the Divine Presence. All of this stuff rolled on right into and beyond Vatican II.
The CWM, way back then, was promoting and supporting the whole gamut of unholy intrusions into Catholic theology and liturgy that we all thought began with the post-Vatican II changes. The feminine priesthood, acceptance of homosexuality, a gross form of all inclusive “ecumenism,” and on, and on.
Communizer Day and Pacifism.
Pacifism, as publicly preached by Dorothy Day, is the doctrine that says that violence or war are never, ever justified under any condition whatsoever. It insists on complete disarmament and permanent renunciation of the use of military force for any reason. But it is apparent that this level of pacifism was only applied to the United Sates of America, and not to any revolution against Capitalism. During the Cold War she wrote that “it is better that the United States be liquidated than that she survive by war.”
Like the subject of dissent, pacifism at some point becomes treason against one’s nation. I think that point is reached when someone would deny their own nation the right to defend itself against naked aggression. And I think dissent becomes disloyalty when someone publicly defecates on the American flag, as was done at anti-Vietnam war rallies supported by Dorothy Day and the CWM.
The no-violence-no-matter-what pacifism preached by Dorothy Day did not apply to any anti-Capitalist activity, demonstration or even open revolution. In Day’s opinion Capitalism “asked for it” by being bourgeois. The whole goal of the CWM was to make the rich poor, and thereby end bourgeois oppression and exploitation. See?
Capitalist countries, like the USA, cause violent revolutions, by being Capitalist, and therefore oppressive and exploitive of the worker “class.” So, Dorothy Day was against violence, but she insisted that all violence and war were caused by Capitalism, and therefore the reactive violence of revolution against Capitalism was justified and forgiven. See?
Same thing with the Catholic Church. The Church is bourgeois, the Church supports Capitalism, therefore the Church periodically incites violence against itself, and that violence is justified violence, because the Church asked for it. All of the periodic persecutions of the Church throughout all of history were caused by the Capitalistic bourgeois nature of the Church.
All wars, throughout all of history, were caused by the existence of Capitalism and an exploitive bourgeois class. See?
So, in a nutshell, extreme pacifism applies only on the Capitalist side of the street; violence, revolution and war are justified when applied against Capitalism, because Capitalism causes a violent reaction in those who don’t like Capitalism.
The fatal flaw in this logic is the same one that applies in every other section and area of Marxist thought: to oppose Capitalism is to oppose the liberty of man. Man can only be free when the market is free. Liberty and Capitalism are inter-dependent things; if you harm one you similarly harm the other.
To “get free” of Capitalism is to become enslaved to some man-made system.
To “get free” of the laws of God is to become enslaved to sin and the World.
The Record Clearly Shows that the Catholic Communizer Dorothy Day was a very proactive anti-American American citizen and a very proactive anti-Catholic Catholic layman throughout her entire career. She supported the advance of Communism from within America and from within the Catholic Church throughout that entire long career. Dr. Byrne’s book is a very enlightening, well done and solidly foot-noted form of a documentary on the subject, and I encourage you to get it and read it. Refute it if you can.
Dorothy Day was never what she appeared to be or what she was publicly portrayed in the press to be. She was not what her autobiographies and biographies purport her to be. She was a hidden, treacherous form of deadly parasite working to destroy the host organism from within. While her form of spreading Communism was slow and gradual, she would have welcomed violent revolution or even foreign invasion at any moment, if it would mean the end of America as founded, or the end of the Church as founded.
She accepted donations and help from guilt-ridden (or Maxist) wealthy bourgeoisie in the same manner that Comrade Obama and other Democrats do today. In fact, most of the richest bourgeoisie in America today are Democrats, which is to say, Marxists. The executives of General Electric, GM, Chrysler, the biggest banks, all the big businesses that are in bed with the current Democrat regime. The Obamas, the Kerrys, the Kennedys, the Gores, the Pelosies, the Reeds, Barney Frank, the whole lot of them, are all filthy rich uber-bourgeois who live unscrupulous and scandalous lives at taxpayer expense.
And they, too, are working to destroy us from within.
You can read about how our media is in this anti-American camp and how they supported the Viet Cong movement against America’s interest in the Vietnam War page, with Walter Cronkite in the lead.
But, how is it that filthy rich, uber-bourgeois, super-Capitalists like George Soros and Warren Buffet actively participate in what would appear to be the mechanism that would seal their own doom, once the anti-Capitalist revolution is successful? Well, you see, that’s not what the game is really about …
It’s all an elaborate Shell Game.
The huckster shows you the pea; he places a shell over it, next to two other shells. You watch closely, as instructed, as he smoothly slides the shells around and around on the table, and keep your eye on the one the pea is under. But when you point to the shell, the pea isn’t under it. Ever. Again and again. Every time, the huckster fools you, no matter how carefully you pay attention. Because, you see, the pea isn’t under any shell; the huckster has palmed it. He lets it roll out and appear to have been under another shell. You’re watching the shell, but the pea only appeared to have been covered by a shell. The huckster is just too slick for you.
Read the Refuting Marx page to see the shell game Marx designed. When he wrote his Communist Manifesto he began perpetrating perhaps the greatest hoax and fraud in all of history. From 1848 until now, it’s still fooling millions. The goal isn’t the end of Capitalism, and the enemy isn’t the invented bourgeois class. The goal is, and always was, dictatorship, with a super-grand-prize possibility of world dictatorship.
The ones at the top of this fraud know full well what the game is really about, and their personal character may be described as almost purely evil. As you go down the many levels of hierarchy within the Marxist fraud you encounter a mix of evil and stupidity, and as you go down toward the bottom rungs of Marxist worker-bees you encounter the almost pure useful idiots of Marxism, who are basically just dumber than a box of rocks.
Marx’s brilliant fraud makes even Al Gore’s gigantic Cap And Trade hoax, with it’s potential for fraudulently generating trillions of dollars for him, look like the simple little trick of a small time third rate carnival huckster. Look how many highly educated men believe Marx was some kind of philosopher, or believe in his economic theory, or in his description of history, and in the existence of the rigid classes he described, or in some part of his monumental hoax. Look how many, at all levels of society, are highly emotionally involved in his manufactured class warfare hoax. Upper academia, journalism and show-biz are loaded down with them.
What can I say?
Traveling under a gross misconception.
When I was a boy, I thought that Dorothy Day was some kind of nun, that she had founded (and might be the Mother Superior of) an odd sort of order, with both brothers and sisters, but not wearing religious garb. Always farming or gardening or feeding the poor. There was only one encounter that I remember with a copy of the Catholic Worker, and I still remember being puzzled after reading it, because I thought it was Communist. I don’t even remember where that copy came from or where I was when I read it. Everything else available about Dorothy Day was quite positive; she was supposedly a very good woman, practically a saint.
Now, in retrospect, after having read The Catholic Worker Movement (1933-1980) A Critical Analysis, by Dr. Carol Byrne, I question whatever all the other sources were that left me with such a positive impression of such a clear enemy of America and of Catholicism. And what I am left with is the mainstream media. I wrote my complaints about American journalism in the Professional Liars of Journalism page. It appears that American Journalism had crossed the line and become mostly Leftist before I was even born in 1943. And we have the SLIMC, including even the elite of Show-Biz, who also went predominantly Red.
I still remember the McCarthy Hearings, in which Senator Joe McCarthy accused hundreds of government employees of being Communist infiltrators. And I remember that the media, and the whole of the SLIMC, ultimately won the day, and made him look like a fool. To this day, he is treated as a buffoon, ridiculed and used as an example of the stupid anti-Communists who actually think that Communism is some kind of actual threat, and not peaceful.
But Dr. Byrne used, among her sources and footnotes, the opened Soviet archives that showed who the Communists in America were. And I remember learning that those same records showed that Joe McCarthy was right in what he said, in every respect.
Is it any wonder, then, that Paul VI is credited with saying that The smoke of Satan has entered the Church. ?
If you still think Dorothy Day is worthy of sainthood, or even if you don’t, I urge you to read this book.
Seek the Truth; find the Way; live the Life. Please God, and live forever.
If you have looked into the facts behind the very heavily documented life of Dorothy Day, not as written by the CWM, or biographers, fans or fellow travelers, then you have gotten more than a glimpse of the real story. Look to alternative sources, not the “official” biographies. Begin with the reference material referred to in the book, and branch out from there.
Dorothy Day’s cause for canonization was put forward in 2000 by Cardinal O’Connor of New York and it has enjoyed the support of successive Cardinals since then. They have been fooled. The pious mask has to come off, in the full light of day.
I urge you to write to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to register your objection to the cause for sainthood of Dorothy Day, and explain how the Cardinals were misinformed about Dorothy Day, at the following address:
His Eminence Angelo Cardinal Amato
Congregatione per le Cause dei Santi
Palazzo delle Congregazioni
Piazza Pio XII, 3