101. Relational metaphysics at the basis of ecology
Contrary to Jacques Maritain’s personalism, which forms the metaphysical basis for the social doctrine of the Church that is an attempt to baptise the political, social and economic institutions born of the Revolution, relational metaphysics defines the individual being as a creature to whom God gives existence in order to answer a vocation in the universe. God makes us son of such and such a father, of such and such a mother, members of the human race, in such and such a society, in such and such a nation and confides us the task to receive, to preserve and to transmit the heritage of the lineage.
The family thus existed before each person. It is not the limited framework of the nuclear family dear to personalists; it is also the extended family with all its heritage of experiences, of tradition and civilisation. Unlike the young animal whose conduct is guided by instincts, the human infant, who is absolutely powerless, needs an immediate circle that protects and educates him. Moreover, most of our innate traits are in fact hereditary; they, too, are a family heritage for good or for evil.
The Phalangist thus posits as a principle that the family is the basis of fraternal human life and that family welfare, the foundation of social happiness, is a specific good distinct from the eternal salvation of persons, from national security, and from the individual’s interest as well as from any collective or state interest.
1. As a Catholic, the Phalangist works at his own personal salvation and that of his neighbour. Revealed dogma and morality are the science and the art of this eternal life, and the Church its means, its providential setting and its ultimate end in glory. In this religious toil the saints are our models.
As a Frenchman, the Phalangist puts himself at the service of his nation. The object of political science and art is the tranquillity of the temporal order and the safeguarding of the common good, the deepest desire of the whole nation. The heroes of our history give us an example of this dedication.
But as a member of a family to which he owes all, the Phalangist naturally and daily devotes himself to the bodily and spiritual prosperity of this family, where the fate of each depends on all. Such is the object of communitarian ecology.