Liberty, Equality, Fraternity is the national motto of France.
It is based on the Declaration of human and citizen rights of 1789.
In France, up until the Lockdown, les Gilets Jaunes: the Yellow Vests, were out every weekend,
often with a high risk to their own safety. It was not just motivated by their long tradition of
demonstrations, revolts, insurrection and strikes.
The movement was made up of ordinary people of all professions,
who due to never ending punitive new taxes, suffered so much financially that there would not
be enough money to buy food. With the Lock down, the economy have taken a hard blow,
many people have lost their jobs.
There was already a high suicide rate before, but now things are worse.
The villages are almost more or less abandoned, whereas up to even 20 years ago they were full
of little enterprises, cafés, shops, little factories, that gave enough income to live on.
And there was a community spirit of cooperation.
The cooperative model, apart from being equitable, has many facets and dimensions that will help reduce the problems attached to our current model; of which crime and mental health are two.
A successful model of a cooperative community is the Kibbutzes which we find in Israel,
where I myself worked as a young person. It shows clearly that this approach is not utopia,
it is workable and creates strength in communities.
In addition, on a human level, the concept of sharing and cooperating is fundamental for human growth. During the confinement, the community spirit and genuine care that people had for each other, was heartwarming and gave a lot of hope.
In the 1960's and 70's many young people tried to live in communities based on the principles of non profit, cooperation, and human love. The communities that grew out of the hippie culture did not succeed because they were based on drugs, sex and lack of any genuine spirituality.
In Christianity we are all declared equal.
We are all going to die, we are all going to turn into dust.
Ironically, also in France, the Catholic Church has a long history of aligning herself with
the rich and powerful, la bourgeoisie.
The result of that, and also of Vatican 2, is that the catholic doctrine has in many parts disappeared
and been replaced by a protestant one, and a structure of human worldly power, instead of teaching
the truth about God.
It is a tragedy because God is not whatever we want him to be. He is what he is and he does not
change and modify himself over time, he does not follow fashion. He does not think like us.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD
( Isaiah 55, 8)
Accumulation of wealth, materialism and consumerism are obstacles to living in union with God.
And we know that it does not bring happiness.
It brings stress.
It becomes an obsession.
In reality there is enough of everything for everybody.
Human beings actually needs very little to live; oxygen, water, food, shelter, but in order to
expand and grow in the dignity that God wants him to live in, he also needs to develop a
relationship with the Creator.
We are like coins with it's two sides;
at the same time as being present in this world we have the possibility of also living in union with God. This is why Jesus came. And just as all relationships needs to be worked at; the relationship with our family and friends, with God it is not any different.
We do not find God in the sky, in the clouds,we find him in the here and now, in everyday life.
If we cooperate with God's light and intelligence, which He has put into each and every one of us, and to which we gain access through the true teaching of the Church, inside ourselves, by letting go of our obstinate ego and pride, this perfect cohesion will also necessarily manifest itself in society, in economy, in creating authentic Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
The Creator and the creatures, two sides of the same coin.
Living in communities where everybody contributes to create a whole, for the common good, corresponds perfectly with the true teaching of the Catholic Church where every member forms a part of the whole Body Of Christ.
People would have a higher quality of life, human relationships would be better, and the current widespread underlying mentality of regarding each other as competitors would no longer need to exist. It is the result of a society where it has been instilled into us from an early age that you have to be better that the others in order to succeed. People are often taught how to (ab)use and betray each other. We forget that we are, in spite of being different, in fact equal, in value, by nature.
Covid 19 lockdown, and afterwards, revealed a lot, and since it has had such a severe effect on the world's economies, we do not know yet how it will pan out.