In dismay, I must denounce an ideology that I believe to be as dangerous as totalitarianism. An ideology that promises a moral and upstanding world, but in reality only delivered injustice and tyranny.
My dear reader, recall the most glorious moments of history- when the Americans signed the Declaration of Independence severing the link to a tyrannical empire, when the people of France stormed the Bastille beginning the end of centuries of despotism. While I have no doubt those who believe in this ideology are moral, upstanding citizens- the possibility for usurpation under this ideology is heightened as is infringement on human rights if this ideology is adopted.
I am working on a 20 page paper in defense of classical liberalism, the ideology I hold dear- but my dear reader, I understand you probably would much prefer a short condense version of why I do not believe in integralism
I'm not a Catholic
Nor am I from any Catholic background. In fact- the majority of my country isn't Catholic either. That being said, I am aware that any religion can adopt integralism. However, I condemn this as dangerous- the moment you mix church and state together as one both will become corrupted. Leave the churches to be centers of community and help with morality and leave the government to do the rest. Lest we intertwine them and risk the whole system collapsing. That being said I respect and acknowledge in specific countries they have had to have an official church due to unique cultural reasons. This is speaking about my own country, the United States.
It crushes dissent
"I will defend your right to the death even if I disagree with you" However, under integralism the state punishes what is perceived as "heresy." This strikes at the very core of our rights- the right to believe whatever religion or doctrine we so desire. If we do not have this right, the rest will crumble as if we take out the foundation of a building.
That being said for my dear Catholic readers- John Paul II himself condemned regimes that infringed on religious freedom and in his encyclicals he praised the right of free worship. John Paul and I may not see eye to eye theologically, but he has all my respect as a champion for liberty.
While I respect that the average integralist is an individual with positive intentions of unity and morality- if we look at what happened in history to regimes such as France and Spain horrible crimes were committed against dissidents with a different religion. This isn't to say Protestant are off the hook, the United States treated Catholics terribly. So did every religion and ideology.
However in a liberal democracy with the proper checks and balances we have room for dialog and respect through education.
Educate! Educate! Educate!
Alas dear citizen come back to me! I see you running away and flipping pages! Did I get your attention? Instead of trying to create a society where everybody thinks like you, I have a challenge. Here I am, a classical liberal. I studied Rousseau, Locke and Voltaire at the tender age of 14 upon seeing my country enter a deep crises I was looking for answers. All too often we mainly like to be around those who think like us, and it may be difficult to see the other side but instead of closing the others out, lets sit at a coffeehouse and sincerely listen to what we have to say.
Under integralism, I wouldn't be able to do this. In fact I'd probably be labelled a dissident. But under this free and liberal democracy, we can sit for coffee and discuss what truly is liberty?
I understand integralism is a response to not being heard- perhaps instead we can talk about ways that you can express your beliefs in public before it gets to the point where you have to take away my beliefs.
Integralism Will be the New Strongman
In despair I longing look from the Capitol Dome wanting my dear Patria to have liberty, equality and fraternity. So many of my peers have had to leave, or forsake their dreams. Polarization has not yet reached 1790s levels, but the monster whom we shoved in the closet is coming again and never left.
My dear reader whomever you may be- take my hand and look with me to our horizons. Perhaps instead of trying to hide our differences lets realize that a liberal democracy is here to protect us all. Without a liberal democracy to secure our rights with checks and balances we will quickly dissolve into a group of petty countries fighting amongst themselves- strongmen of every race and every religion will attempt to take control in an endless succession of petty elections. There is a way to stop this mon amie, it is found in the Constitution, the Declaration of Rights and these documents of human rights. Classical liberal democracy may be flawed, but the beauty of it is that it gets more liberated day by day as we discover more rights and defend the rights of the oppressed. Without a liberal democracy, history has proven those times are tough.
I do not know where you stand on the question, but I do believe the integralist path is the one that should not be taken. Forever I shall stand for the republic, and I shall be the most fiercest supporter of our rights.