Even in countries with democratic forms of government, these rights are not always fully respected. Here we are referring not only to the scandal of abortion, but also to different aspects of a crisis within democracies themselves, which seem at times to have lost the ability to make decisions aimed at the common good. Certain demands which arise within society are sometimes not examined in accordance with criteria of justice and morality, but rather on the basis of the electoral or financial power of the groups promoting them. With time, such distortions of political conduct create distrust and apathy, with a subsequent decline in the political participation and civic spirit of the general population, which feels abused and disillusioned. As a result, there is a growing inability to situate particular interests within the framework of a coherent vision of the common good. The latter is not simply the sum total of particular interests; rather it involves an assessment and integration of those interests on the basis of a balanced hierarchy of values; ultimately, it demands a correct understanding of the dignity and the rights of the person."
Men have succeeded in using the courts to attain legal approval for many types of immoral conduct, including abortion and homosexuality, without any consideration for the common good. And this is precisely why America is deteriorating, it has succumbed to a moral cancer which will ruin it from within. In the words of English correspondent Ian Brodie: "The keys to this personality change [from God-fearing nation to pagan society] are a number of Supreme Court decisions which virtually outlaw censorship and decree that obscenity is not illegal...It is a curious irony that the Supreme Court, dedicated to preserving the freedom which is the foundation of American life, has confused it with license. In doing so it has given its seal of approval to the sick society which will undermine the United States from within." (Sir Arnold Lunn and Garth Lean, Christian Counter-Attack, London: Blandford Press, 1969, pp. 50-51).
Or as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn so eloquently warned: "Destructive and irresponsible freedom has been granted boundless space. Society appears to have little defense against the abyss of human decadence, such as, for example, the misuse of liberty for moral violence against young people, motion pictures full of pornography, crime and horror. This is considered to be part of freedom, and theoretically counterbalanced by the young peoples' right not to look or not to accept. Life organized legalistically has thus shown its inability to defend itself against the corrosion of evil." ("A World Split Apart," Commencement Address at Harvard University, June 8, 1978, reprinted in National Review, July 7, 1978).
Where is all of this leading? Initially to a thinly disguised and then an eventually open totalitarianism. When man becomes God, as Gabriel Marcel noted, society becomes a termite colony and collapses from within. Enter the Man of Sin and the concentration camp. - for this is where atheistic humanism will lead us. To absolute despotism.
Related reading: The first Bishop of Worcester and the common good.