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We Urge Our Readers to be Personalist

We are urging our readers to be neither collectivist nor individualist,but personalist. This consciousness of oneself as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ will lead to great things.

We are working for the Communitarian revolution to oppose both the rugged individualism of the capitalist era, and the collectivism of the Communist revolution. We are working for the Personalist revolution because we believe in the dignity of man, the temple of the Holy Ghost,
so beloved by God that He sent His son to take upon Himself our sins and die an ignominious and disgraceful death for us. We are Personalists because we believe that man , a person, a creature of body and soul, is greater than the State, of which as an individual he is a part. We are personalists because we oppose the vesting of all authority in the hands of the state instead of in the hands of Christ the King. We are Personalists because we believe in free will, and not in the economic determinism of the Communist philosophy.

Peter Maurin, founder of the Catholic Worker, derived his inspiration, not only from the education he received from the Christian Brothers, but from his contact with French radical thinking.

He kept in touch with such thinkers as Jacques Maritain. Peguy was the great influence in the life of Emmanuel Mounier, young student at the Sorbonne who started the magazine Esprit, which began publication around the same time as ours, and which led Peter Maurin to translate for us Mounier’s “Personalist Manifesto” which was followed by other articles about revolution, a necessary but nonviolent revolution which Mounier called “the Personalist and Communitarian Revolution.”

Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XV, No. 2, March 1995. (Reprinted from The Catholic Worker)