I think it was Fr Robert Sirico who first came up with the idea of masking his individualistic economics by wrapping it in the term “subsidiarity”. Congressman Paul Ryan has taken up the word as well, speaking piously about how important Catholic social doctrine is to him, and how his proposed budget, which to all appearances punishes the poor and rewards the rich, is really all about caring for the downtrodden in the name of “subsidiarity”. This gives his ideas the aura of authentic Catholic social teaching, but because the accompanying virtue of solidarity is ignored by Ryan and his like, what you end up with is a total aberration, a social philosophy that uses “subsidiarity” as a cover for individualism. I mean, really, Paul Ryan is a public fan of that evil woman, Ayn Rand, an antiChrist if ever there was one, and pushes her books on his staff. How can he speak of his esteem for Catholic social teaching with a straight face?
James Beresel recognizes the hypocrisy, saying, “(t)here may be those who are confused and think that the Catholic doctrine of subsidiarity is the same as libertarian or other “small government” doctrines common in the United States. I would like to highlight some of the differences between the two.”
And he does so brilliantly. Read his piece in The Distributist Review here.