Thursday, December 17, 2009

Forgotten Teachings: Universal Suffrage is Madness

Share/Bookmark Pius IX, Address to French Pilgrims (May 5, 1874), in J.M. Villefranche, Pio IX, (São Paulo: Ed. Panorama, 1948), pp. 372-373.

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I give you my blessing for the difficult but necessary task in which you are engaged, which consists of eliminating or diminishing a great affliction which plagues contemporary society: this is called universal suffrage.

To entrust the decision of momentous issues to the naturally ignorant and passionate multitudes - is this not equivalent to leaving it to chance and running voluntarily toward the abyss? Yes, in this case, universal suffrage would better deserve to be called madness; and when the power of decision lies in the hands of secret societies, as so often happens, we can call it a universal lie.


- said...

Just as a heads-up, thinks the Pope is a heretic.

Mark said...

What is the solution, then? What if the group that holds power in a non-democratic society is less than benign?

Don Paco said...

If we assume the ruling party will be evil (be it the mob, the aristocracy, or the royalty), there is no solution. But in general the mob is less fit to rule than the rest.

Also, note the issue is not whether democracy is better than aristocracy, but whether universal suffrage is a good idea: that is, the question of whether EVERYONE in the population (every adult) should vote, as opposed to every aristocratic head of family or suchlike.

Mark said...

Thanks, Don Paco; I hadn't appreciated that subtlety.

Don Paco said...


Thanks for the heads up. As it says in the sidebar "Nota Bene: Ite ad Thomam is not responsible for the content of any external links." If we made ourselves responsible, we would hardly be able to post good, traditional Catholic content because we have to give credit to the online source from which we get the content, and a good percentage of the good content comes from sites with at least some objectionable content. Our intention is not to approve of that objectionable content (much less to direct readers to it), but simply to acknowledge our sources, which is an essential requirement of academic honesty.

Marko Ivančičević said...

Universal Suffrage is what got Barabas chosen over Our Lord and Saviour.

'Nuff said.