Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 442.

YOUCAT Question n. 442 - What is the Church’s stance on capitalism or the free-market economy?

(Youcat answer) Any form of capitalism that is not embedded in an established system of law runs the risk of detaching itself from the common good and becoming a mere means for individuals to make profits. The Church rejects that decisively. On the other hand, she supports a free-market system which is at the service of man, prevents monopolies, and ensures that all are supplied with employment and vitally necessary goods.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2426) The development of economic activity and growth in production are meant to provide for the needs of human beings. Economic life is not meant solely to multiply goods produced and increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of persons, of the whole man, and of the entire human community. Economic activity, conducted according to its own proper methods, is to be exercised within the limits of the moral order, in keeping with social justice so as to correspond to God's plan for man (Cf. GS 64).

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Catholic social teaching evaluates all societal arrangements according to whether they serve the common good (common good), which means: to the extent that they enable “men, families, and associations more adequately and readily [to] attain their own perfection” (Second Vatican Council, GS). This is also true of commerce, which in the first place should be at the service of man.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2425) The Church has rejected the totalitarian and atheistic ideologies associated in modem times with "communism" or "socialism." She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of "capitalism," individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor (Cf. CA 10; 13; 44).  Regulating the economy solely by centralized planning perverts the basis of social bonds; regulating it solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for "there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market" (CA 34). Reasonable regulation of the marketplace and economic initiatives, in keeping with a just hierarchy of values and a view to the common good, is to be commended.       

(The next question is: What is the duty of managers and entrepreneurs?)

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