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Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Unperceived Ideol. Transship. and Dial.

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6. Reform of Structures, An Indispensable Tool in Unperceived Ideological Transshipment


With the above example, one can easily see how much unperceived ideological transshipment, itself a process of ideological action over public opinion, can be helped by so‑called reforms of structure.

Liberalism and especially egalitarianism can and have inspired laws leading to an ever more revolutionary transformation of the institutions and life of many countries.

Under the laudable pretext of destroying excessive inequalities and privileges, one can go farther by gradually abolishing legitimate privileges and inequalities indispensable to the dignity of the human person and the common good. As the steam roller of egalitarianism becomes heavier and more destructive through socialist and egalitarian reforms such as agrarian reform, urban renewal, corporate and industrial reform,6 society as a whole draws closer to the communist ideal. And to the degree that public opinion becomes accustomed to this, it too will become communist (cf. The Church and the Communist State: The Impossible Coexistence, in Crusade for a Christian Civilization, vol. 6, JulyOct. 1976, item VI, p. 27). One can see how socialist and confiscatory reforms of structure amount to indirect action over public opinion, which gradually becomes communist without perceiving it.7


6 We do not take the expressions "agrarian reform," "business reform," and "urban renewal" in their proper and natural senses, which can merely denote a just and proportional improvement in the living conditions of city workers, farm workers, small rural landowners, and tenants, respecting the principle of private property and attending to the social function proper to it (cf.Reforma AgrariaQuestao de Consciencia by Most Rev. Geraldo de Proenca Sigaud, Most Rev. Antonio de Castro Mayer, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, and Luiz Mendonca de Freitas, Ed. Vera Cruz, 4th edition, Sâo Paulo, 1962, pp. XIX and 9). We use them in the current sense given to them by demagogylaws that mutilate private property with the pretext of imposing the exercise of its social function, as if the proper exercise of a function could mean the destruction of the right itself. The protection of workers and of small rural landowners; the participation of employees in the profits, management, and property of enterprise, as long as it is encouraged where appropriate and not imposed by law; and the protection of renters against possible excesses of lessors, have nothing to do with the confiscatory measures about which we have just spoken.


7 Here we do not mean to say that everyone who promotes reforms of this nature is necessarily a communist. The process of ideological transshipment is unperceived not only by its patients, but at times by some of those who do it.


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