For decades, this book has been recognized as the finest book ever written by a Catholic on the subject of communism. Dedicated to Our Lady in prayerful hope for the conversion of Russia, this is one of Fulton Sheen’s most forgotten yet most important books. In Communism and the Conscience of the West, Sheen explains the problems with society stemming from socialism and communism, which continue to infect universities and political discourse today. This timeless book exposes communism’s defects, its attitude toward the family, the decline of historical liberalism, and the rise of the antireligious spirit that pervades our world.
Readers will be impressed as Sheen diagnoses the issues facing our once peaceful cities, with history being put on trial, scrubbed, rewritten, and explained in terms of class hate. While communism destroys human freedom, Sheen illustrates how man is free as a result of two guarantees: one economic and the other spiritual. The economic enables man to call something his own which is outside of himself. The spiritual is the soul, which makes man independent of an earthly tyrant or a political dictator. In short, man’s soul is his own on the inside, as his property is his own on the outside.
Sheen carefully illustrates how even though we are living at a time when man has all the material conditions necessary for his happiness, “having lost the purpose of life which religion supplied, modern man became increasingly frustrated as his disappointed hedonism turned to pessimism. Thus man, who isolated himself from the religious community, now by reaction finds himself absorbed by the political community as despair becomes the dominant note of contemporary philosophy and literature.” For anyone seeking to understand one perspective.
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