From “A Tour of the Summa” by Msgr. Paul J. Glenn:
1. Liberality is a virtue, for it puts to good use the things that might be used, for evil purposes–such, for instance, as more or other material things.
2. And, indeed, liberality deals, first and foremost, with money. A liberal man is an open-handed man, who is ready to “liberate” money from his own possession, and thus shows that he is is not inordinately attached to it.
This is a concept of liberalism that I would never have extrapolated for what passes as modern day liberalism. If what I have read about the meager amount of charity given by liberal lawmakers according to their tax returns is true and that the so-called “Bush Country” out gives to charity then those Democratic enclaves of big cities then I would write the definition for liberalism as expressed now as follows:
A liberal man is a closed-handed man, who is ready to “liberate” money from others possession, and thus shows that he is inordinately attached to his own money and inordinately attached to their money.
Now of course this is a generalization and doesn’t apply to each individual who identifies themselves as liberals, but I believe it does encapsulate the main trend of today’s liberalism. Maybe some of the factors for this are as follows. Many democrats view people as groups vice individuals. You are seen and sorted based on race, income, age, sexual preference, et cetera. These groups are played off against each other and promises are made that the government can correct any perceived wrongs between these groups. If there is a problem then the solution is always with the government. This view removes all problems from the realm of the individual into the realm of government. This is why we have lost personal accountability, since no person is really responsible for their actions but instead it is attributed that there wasn’t a big government program to help them or prevent the problem in the first place.
Since the government is responsible and not the individual you never have to reform yourself. If you see a problem you don’t have to personally try to help another individual, but instead you can bemoan the fact that there isn’t a government program to help this person. Why open your wallet when it is the group that is responsible and not yourself? If only we had the right laws and programs all injustices would disappear. If people are not saving enough for retirement, institute social security. Your neighborhood schools are failing to teach your children, simple add another cabinet position to the federal government. People can’t really live on Social Security and schools are still failing, oh well it’s not my problem; I have bestowed all responsibilities to the government.
G.K. Chesterton when asked to write an essay on what was wrong with the world replied “I am. Yours truly, G.K. Chesterton.” This is the antithesis of modern thinking. The concept of sin has passed away and is replaced by genetics or the actions of others. How can you repent when it is not really your fault? This attitude is pernicious and has done much damage to both the individual and society. Now I would’t want us to go the other direction into radical individualism, yet we need to reorder ourselves and then society on the proper balance of each unique individual and their roles together as first person, family, community, and then nation.