la Tour du Pin, Charles Humbert René (Marquis de la Charce)
LA TOUR DU PIN, CHARLES HUMBERT RENÉ (MARQUIS DE LA CHARCE)
French Catholic social thinker; b. Arrancy (Aisne), April 1, 1834; d. Lausanne, Switzerland, Dec. 4, 1924. He was a descendant of an illustrious family, began his career as an officer, and took part in military campaigns in the Crimea, Italy, and Algeria. When taken prisoner during the War of 1870, he was interned at Aix-la-Chapelle with Albert de Mun. Together they came upon Émile Keller's condemnation of liberalism [L'Encyclique du eight décembre 1864 et les principes de 1789 (Paris 1865)] and the social doctrine of Wilhelm Emmanuel von ketteler. Seeing in liberalism and social injustice the causes of the French defeat, La Tour du Pin wished to combat these forces, especially after the experience of the Commune. Maurice Maignen's circle of Catholic workers gave him the desired tool.
Toward the end of 1871 there was born the movement of Catholic workers' circles that multiplied encounters between employers and workers under the presidency of a member of the "ruling class." The republican government soon began to harass the circles. La Tour du Pin, who kept in close contact with Frédéric le Play, wished to give them a corporativist character. In 1877 he was named military attaché to Vienna, where he met the Comte de Chambord and continued his social studies with the Austrian Social Catholics. His work was published in his movement's official organ, L'Association catholique. Raised to the rank of colonel, he retired from the army in 1882 to devote himself to his estate at Arrancy and to the movement.
La Tour du Pin played an important role in the studies undertaken by the Fribourg Union that prepared the way for rerum novarum (1891). He greatly influenced Albert de Mun's legislative projects and strongly encouraged Léon harmel in the transformation of his enterprise and in his appeal to Christian employers. He took an interest in the founding of the Catholic Association of French youth by the Comte de Roquefeuile. He favored the introduction of the agricultural syndicates in 1884. His closest followers were Henri Lorin, founder of the Semaine sociales de France, and the deputy, H. de Gailhard-Bancel. In 1891 he published his Aphorismes de politique social.
The ralliement, which he refused to accept, and the decline of the circles isolated him. His influence narrowed, and he turned to action franÇaise. His wife's death and the German invasion that drove him out of Arrancy saddened his declining years.
La Tour du Pin was the thinker among the early Social Catholics, exerting considerable influence on the entry of the state and the Church into social questions between 1880 and 1895. He repudiated liberalism and sought to transform society, in accord with God's will, into an organic whole, a "body social" based on the family and not on the individual, on property, on work, and having the king at its head.
Bibliography: Vers un ordre social chrétien: Jalons de route (Paris 1929), essays of La Tour du Pin. e. bossan de garagnol, Le Colonel de La-Tour-du-Pin d'après lui-même (Paris 1934). c. baussan, La Tour du Pin (Paris 1931). r. sÉmichon, Les Idées sociales et politiques de La-Tour-du-Pin (Paris 1936). a. canaletti gaudenti, Un corporativista cattolico: Renato de La Tour du Pin (Rome 1935). h. rollet, L'Action sociale des catholiques en France (Paris 1948). r. talmy, René de la Tour du Pin (Paris 1964).