Monday, May 09, 2011

The Short Version of "Catholics on Capitalism"

The blog author's warning to "define your terms" is critical.

But John Paul II did define them--mostly--in a response to the question 'whether capitalism should be the model and goal' of countries:

The answer is obviously complex. If by “capitalism” is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a “business economy,” “market economy” or simply “free economy.” But if by “capitalism” is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative.

Makes sense to me. And by the way, the first definition given by JPII is close to the system extant in the US.

One more thing: his response is not "dogmatic," nor "infallible" teaching. It's normative and pastoral.

1 comment:

Badger Catholic said...

Many libertarian types think that "free market" means "unregulated market" when tends to be the opposite.