By Michael de la Bedoyere
THERE are plenty of valid objections to Britain's joining Common Market, and these are objections that spr from Christian social values. The Common Market, after involves a great widening of the area of free trade, and it ri well lead to something like a super-state.
All this, while it may well raise standards of living. tends to diminish the responsibility of the individual and it could lead to the establishment of great political blocs that could increase, rather than decrease, political and national tensions involving the danger of war. Furthermore, the increase in the size of these blocs involves the risk of political and social revolutions that could widen the area of communist and socialist ideologies unacceptable to the Christian.
Had the Commonwealth Prime Ministers pressed these points, they would at least have done a real service, for practically no notice has so far been taken of these deeper moral problems. Instead, the argument has been entirely self-regarding. Neither the Commonwealth. nor for that matter this country and Europe, has even thought, it seems. of this aspect of the great revolution. This is a great pity and it reflects the lack of interest in moral and real social problems that is characteristic of nations today.
COMMONWEALTH: The only way NNTE believe that the trend towards much larger political and economic units today is irreversible not only for social reasons, but because in the end the only hope of avoiding world disaster must lie in some world political authority. Believing this, one cannot but regret the inability of the Commonwealth countries, as well as the inability of so many of our own people, to see that joining the Common Market is in the long-term the only way forward, since only if Britain is economically healthy can the Commonwealth fully profit from its association with us.
Nevertheless there is need of a serious study of the theological and moral dangers inherent in the experiment. The neglect of this may have serious and unforeseen consequences in the future.
RETIREMENT: Nothing to do THE question of the retiring age for men has come up again, and the suggestion has been made that men should retire when they are no longer capable of do
ing the work asked of them inst of at an arbitrarily chosen age There is no doubt that be standards of living and far be medical care, if these do actually prolong human life, least considerably prol ability and desire to carry effectively in a great many it The old T.U. view that retirerr age should be fairly early to a chance of employment to yo men is clearly out of date. pending economies and the wic ing of areas of trade invo more jobs, many of which suitable for older men. Then little joy in having nothing m to do especially in urban life with inadequate means.
Perhaps in the future more telligent standards of educe' will enable older people to leisure with pleasure and profi themselves. That time has not come, and carrying on as Ions possible with the job of a lifet remains the happiest way of p ing one's later years.
KIBBUTZ: A perfect blend IT was fascinating to watch week on BBC television Min tacsn in Kibbutzim in 1st One could not help wonderins one watched the communal lift the families: why Catholics in West have rarely succeeded building up co-operative enterpt covering so many basic hui needs. From what one saw seemed that here was a per blend of family and personal dividualism and freedom with joy and reward of sharing toge in producing so many of the n4 of the community. To go by film at least, the democratic government of the community fectly expressed the essence Christian democracy.
In densely populated Bri with heavy agricultural costs would be difficult indeed to and establish such vommuni but there must still be many ph in Europe where the experin could be tried — still more America. Where the attempt been made, a kind of ! consciousness and insistence spiritual dedication have given experiments an artificial air. TI was none of this in the Is colonies where the common g' striven for with commonse seemed to make for the raisin, human standards in every tion.