In his latest spewing of extreme hatred toward free societies Pope Francis ominously warned of the “grave risks” of an “invasion” of the ideas of “libertarian individualism.” He sounded as if this was his worst nightmare.
What the pope (and all of his fellow socialist/communists) fear is individualism as defined by the man who was perhaps the foremost authority in the world on the subject, F.A. Hayek. In The Road to Serfdom(pp. 67-68) Hayek explained, in 1943:
We are rapidly abandoning not the views merely of Cobden and Bright, of Adam Smith and Hume [i.e., free-market economics], or even of Locke and Milton, but one of the salient characteristics of Western civilization as it has grown from the foundations laid by Christianity and the Greeks and Romans. Not merely nineteenth- and eighteenth-century liberalism, but the basic individualism inherited by us from Erasmus and Montaigne, from Cicero and Tacitus, Pericles and Thucydides, is progressively relinquished. . . . the essential features of that individualism, which, from elements provided by Christianity and the philosophy of classical antiquity, was first developed during the Renaissance and has since grown and spread into what we know as Western civilization — are the respect for the individual man qua man, that is, the recognition of his own views and tastes as supreme in his own sphere, however narrowly that may be circumscribed, and the belief that it is desirable that men should develop their own individual gifts and bents. ‘Freedom’ and ‘liberty are now words so worn with use and abuse that one must hesitate to employ them to express the ideals for which they stood during that period. ‘Tolerance’is, perhaps, the only word which still preserves the full meaning of the principle [individualism] which during the whole of this period was in the ascendant and which only in recent times has again been in decline, to disappear completely with the rise of the totalitarian state” (emphasis added).