Social Confession

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SOCIAL CONFESSION.

TRANSLATED FROM THE DEMOCRATIE PACIFIQUE.

IT is necessary by Repentance to prepare for the kingdom of God, as it is said, in the Evangelist, " Repent ye, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Repentance consists in the mortification and confession of our sins, which confession leads us towards the kingdom of God, and renders us worthy of entering into a participation of that kingdom. Fourier says, "I have often observed, that the initiation into, or advancement to Good, must be through the confession of Evil.—(Theorie of Universal Unity.) There is a collective and social confession, as there is an individual confession; and in the same manner that the progress of the individual towards Good is by the confession of his faults, so, for society, social progress realizes itself only after that society, by the aid of Science, has made a full confession of its faults and its errors.

If the confession, the social Repentance had taken place before 1793, on the part of the society where the error existed, where the fault had been committed, it is incontestable that the progress towards Good (towards political liberty, the right to exercise thought and power) would have realized itself without ravages, without revolution.

Thus, in our days, if the middle classes, who, occupying the political power that the nobility did in 1789, would make a confession of the errors which are contained in the social constitution over which they have the control; if they would recognize true industrial liberty, or the right which every one has to live by the aid of his labor; then the progress towards the future will proceed peacefully, and without pains.

For man to live, it is not only necessary to have nourishment for himself, but for the objects of his affections; for there is in modes of life, the life of the mind, the life of the heart, and the life of the body. Where, then, will one find, if it should not be in false philosophies, that the right to live politically shall be more a sacred thing than the right to live bodily and by the affections ? Who of us can think of his political rights, when his family are in destitution, the boys without vocational careers, and the daughters fatally carried towards prostitution?

Pursuing this train of reasoning, we shall affirm, then, one has the right to live politically only when the intellectual life is sufficiently developed to exercise this right to govern. 2d. When the heart is not in suffering, in a compression of the most holy affections, which suffering and compression leads to passional subversion, for ordinarily extreme suffering as well as insolent happiness produces iniquity and violence. The passions, finding no legitimate way for the satisfaction of the triple life of Man, seeks an outlet in iniquities and crime.

By extreme suffering, we understand that which results from such a compression of our vital wants that man is killed in one of his modes of life, or in all three at once,—in his body, his mind and heart. From this it follows logically, that Man has an equal right to the exercise of those three things which are the elements of a complete life.

By insolent happiness we understand that which one obtains and preserves at the expense of others. Considered collectively, this happiness, acquired by iniquity, maintained by iniquity, and which only produces in itself iniquity, because it is immoral in its three modes of action, must be ranked among those things which, according to the word of God, "sown, by the wind must reap the whirlwind."

Let us, then, make Repentance for our insolent happiness by Charity, in permitting our sympathies to burst forth and direct our souls—by the social confession, collectively made of our faults, which, according to the word of the Divine Master and the scientific, is necessary for our initiation and advancement into Good. Let us do so, for the kingdom of God is near, and if it shall not establish itself peacefully on earth, it will enter by violence, and as a thief and a robber. This is terrible, truly, but it should be proclaimed on the house-tops, for it is inevitable.