We see this argument fairly regularly, that Louisiana needs to make herself into a business-friendly State in order to attract folks from other States (like California, Washington, etc.) to come live and work here. A larger population earning higher wages will bring joyful times to Louisiana, we are told.
There is some truth in that, but there is also a dark side to this proposition: It largely accepts the same assumptions about human nature that the Communists make: namely, that man is a blank slate (tabula rasa), merely an interchangeable part in a vast economic machine that can be moved about within that machine whenever necessary with no negative effects and, indeed, beneficial ones (bigger income, more benefits, etc.).
But all this ignores the real needs and nature of man.
It ignores, for instance, that he belongs to a particular ethnic group with certain predispositions: A Mongolian, a Celt, a Yemeni, etc., will always remain a Mongolian and so on, no matter where you place him in the world. Certain changes to his surrounding conditions will modify his characteristics somewhat but not totally erase them. Louisiana needs to bear this in mind if she is going to throw open the door to all and sundry from places like California: You can take a Yankee out of the West Coast, but you can’t take the Yankee-ness out of him. Do we really want to fill up Louisiana’s empty spaces with people who do not share our worldview?
This leads to the next point to ponder: Men and women have a need for roots; they cannot flourish if they glide along the surface all their lives without any deep connections to a place and to people and to the past. Family history, church history, the history of one’s neighborhood, city, parish, State, and region (like the South); the stories of ancestors and the sight and touch and smell of old buildings, furniture, trees, landscapes, and so on – mankind needs memories and a sense of belonging as much as he needs a paycheck.
Communists make man simply a material being, neglecting his soul completely, but the strict capitalist view does the same thing, making of man nothing but a free consumer in a giant emporium of endless goods and services from which he can choose. Both visions are false, and there is a great danger in exalting too highly the purely material side of life as modern capitalists do. For if gaining material goods is presented as the highest goal of life, then mankind, without any spiritual discipline from Christianity, will happily go the path of least resistance to obtain those goods. In other words, he will one day happily trade his hard, honest work that he has been giving in exchange for a paycheck for a welfare check that requires less exertion on his part from the comrades of a Communist government.
But mankind has a higher calling than this. The words of an heroic Orthodox priest in Romania, Fr George Calciu, who was imprisoned and tortured and harassed for many years by the Communists in Romania, in his second homily addressed to the confused and aimless youths of his country given on 15 March 1978, are every bit as relevant for us here in the States, showing us clearly what kind of being man is and what his goals ought to be:
The voice of Jesus calls you to His Church.
You live within a family, within a society, within a world. You are bound to your family by the unbreakable bond of blood, which you cannot deny and which seeks vengeance, if ever you betray it through your suffering. You live in the midst of your nation, which you feel to be one metaphysical entity—not a group of isolated individuals, but one immense and united soul in which you are the whole and in which the whole lives through you. And, finally, you exist in a world of suffering and joys, to which you respond because something in you unites and binds you inextricably to all your fellow human beings.
Where then is the Church of Christ to which you are called?
She is everywhere. She holds within her all human life, and, more, she contains all heavenly beings, too. For the Church knows no history; her history is the spiritual present. Family and society bear within them the tragic fate of their own limitations within the boundary of history. History is, by definition, the chronology of unhappiness, yet the road to salvation. But you, my young friend, are called to the Church of Christ, which was conceived in God’s eternity and which bears within her perfection, just as the world bears within it its own limited nature. Society considers you simply a component part, one brick lined up alongside other bricks. . . .
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!
Anathema to the Union!