Friday, January 6, 2012

A more, rather than less, radical critique…

Does Catholic Social Teaching approve of capitalism?

"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.' …

"The theology that makes CST 'a category of its own,' makes it a more, rather than less, radical critique of Capitalism, because it subordinates economics to other, higher, dimensions of society…. [Médaille] painstakingly builds the case for introducing ethics and justice into economics and business, starting with the most basic issues. … Médaille confronts [the problem of relativism] directly, and carefully reconstructs the process of moral reasoning, taking the reader all the way from the Bible and the Greeks to the Enlightenment, and the separation of reason from faith—the source of our modern (or post-modern) predicament, where relativism rules."
-- Angelo Matera, Book Review: The Vocation of Business: Social Justice in the Marketplace by John Medaille -

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