For approximately seventeen centuries men acknowledged that authority comes only from God, and temporal rulers sought the approval and the blessing of their bishops who, by divine right, ruled in their dioceses as successors of the Apostles. Then came the Philosophists. As always, the Power of Darkness used pride to achieve his aims, the pride of human reason. As always he called the Light, Darkness and the Darkness, Light (Isaiah 5:20). That is why the Medieval times are now referred to as the "Dark Ages"; (in fact, the Dark Ages were pre-Medieval), and why Philosophism is referred to as "Enlightenment".
As always, the Devil acted with subtlety: he did not bring in Communism immediately, he brought in Modern Democracy first, knowing that the one would lead to the other. The lures inherent in the first would more easily lead to the destruction of man by the second. The Devil acted with cunning. So shrewd is he that even Christians were deceived. To make a thorough job of it he instilled into modern minds the myth of historical inevitability. "We must march with the times" we are told, as if the times were not what we are making them!
A SUBTLE AND GRADUAL PROCESS...
The present state of the world is not due to chance, it is the outcome of the everlasting struggle between good and evil. The Devil knows that his fight against God has to be gradual if it is to have any chance of success. Therefore, he began his fight in the 16th century by dividing Christianity.
When the first battle had been won, the Devil moved from the religious field into the philosophical field, and conceived Rationalism, which put human reason before Revelation.
Christians being already divided, there was no single front to defend the primacy of Divine Revelation. The interpretation of Divine Revelation being divided against itself, it could not resist the claim of the so-called primacy of human reason. Human reason appeared more reliable, and so the new philosophy installed itself. It naturally followed that man began to think about an earthly paradise.
Hence Rationalism begot Human Messianism (i.e. Humanism). It was then logical that man should not want to be impeded by standards of moral conduct. He had to be free from all restraints, and his reason alone was going to tell him how to act and behave.
Thus came into being the doctrine of Liberalism. Almost immediately, this doctrine extended to every field of human activity, especially economics, politics and science. From being philosophical, it became practically a way of life, the philosophical origin of which, most people do not suspect nowadays.
AN UNHOLY TRINITY...
After this, Human Messianism combined with Liberalism to set up CAPITALISM, an economic system based on greed and usury, which paves the way for Communism. Rationalism and Liberalism combined to give birth to the principle of POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY, being free and reasonable, every human being was to make all decisions.
Rationalism, and Human Messianism, combined to give birth to SCIENTISM (or the cult of Technology, the worship of the work of man, i.e. TECHNOLATRY) whereby we expect salvation from better and higher production, an error which was observed by Pius XII in his 1952 Christmas message. We speak of "Progress" in terms of industrialisation, completely unaware of "the undeniable advantages of an economy based chiefly on agriculture". (Pius XII)
Thus, the unholy trinity, that is, Rationalism, Human Messianism, and Liberalism, laid the ground-work for all the evils which are destroying modern society. Observe how gradual the process has been:
a) Difference in religious views (affecting the soul).
b) Alteration in philosophical thinking (affecting the intellect).
c) Organisation and purpose of the physical world (affecting the will).
Observe how logical the development:
a) REFORMATION (dividing Christianity to weaken Divine Revelation).
b) RATIONALISM (doubting that man can rely on Divine Revelation).
c) HUMAN MESSIANISM (asserting that man can rely on himself).
d) LIBERALISM (trusting man wholly).
e) CAPITALISM (Human Messianism plus Liberalism).
f) DEMOCRACY (Rationalism plus Liberalism).
g) TECHNOCRACY (and Technolatry) - (Nationalism plus Human Messianism).
These developments are too gradual and logical to leave any doubt that there is an Intelligence behind it. This Intelligence is that of the Power of Darkness.A number of Saints have said that, in the Latter Days, evil will be done by men of good will. There is no doubt that many Catholics believe in good faith that we are living in an age of progress, and that Modern Democracy IS Progress. The superficial advantages which it presents hide from many its intrinsic nature, the errors on which it is based, and the evils which accompany it.
The deception of the Devil has worked.