Rorate Caeli

"No Socialist system can be established without a Political Police: this would nip opinion in the bud, and stop criticism."

In 1937, Pius XI authored several encyclicals on political matters, including the majestic Mit Brennender Sorge. But, while National-Socialism was sent to the trash heap of history in 1945, Communism and the various forms of Atheistic Socialism ended the war in a position of strength. And, as we see clearly today throughout the West, even after the Cold War, extreme Socialism has gone from strength to strength in the halls of culture and education to reach the streets and the halls of power. Pius XI's warning in Divini Redemptoris could not be clearer:

Insisting on the dialectical aspect of their materialism, the Communists claim that the conflict which carries the world towards its final synthesis can be accelerated by man. Hence they endeavor to sharpen the antagonisms which arise between the various classes of society. Thus the class struggle with its consequent violent hate and destruction takes on the aspects of a crusade for the progress of humanity. On the other hand, all other forces whatever, as long as they resist such systematic violence, must be annihilated as hostile to the human race. Communism, moreover, strips man of his liberty, robs human personality of all its dignity, and removes all the moral restraints that check the eruptions of blind impulse. There is no recognition of any right of the individual in his relations to the collectivity; no natural right is accorded to human personality, which is a mere cog-wheel in the Communist system.


Right after the war in Europe was over, the British Prime Minister,  Winston Churchill, who had been as prescient as it could have been expected about the Nazis, fought his former Labour allies in the 1945 General Election. His first radio speech is considered a "blunder" by historians, and is even called by some the "Crazy Broadcast". However, pay attention carefully to his words below, and see how they also explain in a more practical level the fears expressed by Pius XI in 1937. Also, notice how the same extreme Socialism is rearing its head throughout the West today:

 ...there can be no doubt that Socialism is inseparably interwoven with Totalitarianism and the abject worship of the State. …liberty, in all its forms is challenged by the fundamental conceptions of Socialism. …there is to be one State to which all are to be obedient in every act of their lives. This State is to be the arch-employer, the arch-planner, the arch-administrator and ruler, and the arch-caucus boss.

A Socialist State once thoroughly completed in all its details and aspects… could not afford opposition. Socialism is, in its essence, an attack upon the right of the ordinary man or woman to breathe freely without having a harsh, clumsy tyrannical hand clapped across their mouths and nostrils.   

But I will go farther. I declare to you, from the bottom of my heart that no Socialist system can be established without a political police. Many of those who are advocating Socialism or voting Socialist today will be horrified at this idea. That is because they are shortsighted, that is because they do not see where their theories are leading them.

No Socialist Government conducting the entire life and industry of the country could afford to allow free, sharp, or violently-worded expressions of public discontent. They would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo, no doubt very humanely directed in the first instance.

And this would nip opinion in the bud; it would stop criticism as it reared its head, and it would gather all the power to the supreme party and the party leaders, rising like stately pinnacles above their vast bureaucracies of Civil servants, no longer servants and no longer civil. And where would the ordinary simple folk—the common people, as they like to call them in America—where would they be, once this mighty organism had got them in its grip?