Pope Pius IX had everything modern in his sights when he wrote the Syllabus of Errors and related encyclicals. It was not just socialism that came in for a pasting and I am sure he would have been no friend of a liberal market economy. Non-Catholic Christians would also be offended by some of what he wrote, but that is not a subject for the IEA blog. However, I was particularly struck by two phrases on socialism:
“To this goal also tends the unspeakable doctrine of Communism, as it is called, a doctrine most opposed to the very natural law. For if this doctrine were accepted, the complete destruction of everyone’s laws, government, property, and even of human society itself would follow.”
Quite a good prediction for 1846 of what was to happen in much of the world. And:
“As regards this teaching and these theories, it is now generally known that the special goal of their proponents is to introduce to the people the pernicious fictions of Socialism and Communism by misapplying the terms ‘liberty’ and ‘equality’. The final goal shared by these teachings, whether of Communism or Socialism, even if approached differently, is to excite by continuous disturbances workers and others, especially those of the lower class, whom they have deceived by their lies and deluded by the promise of a happier condition. They are preparing them for plundering, stealing, and usurping first the Church’s and then everyone’s property.”
Again, not bad for 1849 (in this case). I was particularly interested in the phrase “misapplying the terms ‘liberty’ and ‘equality’”.