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(07-18-2009, 05:14 PM)lamentabili sane Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-17-2009, 11:46 PM)Rosarium Wrote: [ -> ]
Luke 12:14-15 Wrote:But he said to him: Man, who hath appointed me judge, or divider, over you? And he said to them: Take heed and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life doth not consist in the abundance of things which he possesseth.

Capitalism is not Catholic, but neither is any other economic system. A pre-occupation with economic systems seems to be very dangerous. A Catholic is a Catholic no matter the economic system which surrounds them; we should behave the same way.

An economic system can be contrary to the natural law however. That's why communism and socialism were condemned by the Church.

All defined economic systems are contrary to natural law in some degree.
(07-18-2009, 03:18 PM)glgas Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-17-2009, 11:46 PM)Rosarium Wrote: [ -> ]Capitalism is not Catholic, but neither is any other economic system. A pre-occupation with economic systems seems to be very dangerous. A Catholic is a Catholic no matter the economic system which surrounds them; we should behave the same way.

This was certainly the opinion of the Church until the 19th Century. The Kingdom of God is not from this world, and whatever is the worldly power Christian preparing to the eternal life should obediently accept it. The cross is cross, the sword is sword each should stay withing it's own territory.

The view changed when the state started to take traditional Church functions: education, birth and marriage certificates, and the worldly power went trough a centralization process related to the economy. Leo XIII reacted with the Rerum Novarum. The teaching was repeated by Pius XI, who also take stance against the Communist and the National Socialism too.

The active struggle against the economic injustice (liberation theology) is not and cannot be part of the Catholic life, but the teaching of clear moral principles is, and based in the good old times.

The problem I think exists when one focuses almost solely on economics. Economics should be for people who are not in power (someone who can make decisions which are important would obviously need to be more in tune with ecomonics) just a side thing, not a primary area of focus.

I certainly have an idea of how things should be, but I can't really do anything about it, so I don't discuss it much because it is futile. Even if 100% of this forum were for distributionism, it wouldn't change anything. It grants us no grace or benefit.

I don't think it is wrong to study various things such as economics, just giving it too much emphasis. We should, I think, focus our time and energy on things in proportion to the amount of influence we have in that area.
(07-17-2009, 11:46 PM)Rosarium Wrote: [ -> ]
Luke 12:14-15 Wrote:But he said to him: Man, who hath appointed me judge, or divider, over you? And he said to them: Take heed and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life doth not consist in the abundance of things which he possesseth.

Capitalism is not Catholic, but neither is any other economic system. A pre-occupation with economic systems seems to be very dangerous. A Catholic is a Catholic no matter the economic system which surrounds them; we should behave the same way.

Beautifully put.

No economic system is, in itself a Catholic system. The Catholic Church does not have an economic system it promotes, it never has and never will, because the development and maintenance of an economic system is the function of the state and its citizens.

The Church's only concern is that the state and faithful act with virtue (particularly Charity and Justice) in their economic affairs. She affirms that all material goods, including one's own personal property, exists for the good of Society, not for the good of one individual.

Once the Church became involved in outlining what constituted Virtue in economic affairs (mainly because of the inhuman approach of the moguls during the Industrial Revolution) various people, particularly well know among them Chesterton and Belloc, proposed ideas for how to reorder Society and economic affairs according to a more Medieval structure. The reason for this is that when and where this structure last existed, the Faith was professed by most everyone, so it has a historical basis in Christendom.

The proper approach to this "Distributism" as it was called, since the fundamental pillar was the ideas that property should be well distributed, not concentrated (though it proposes no specific means in order to "redistribute" overly-concentrated property), is to view it as one in a potential myriad of approaches to reordering Society toward a fundamentally Christian foundation. There may be more, or even better approaches. This is one idea, proposed by a number of Englishmen, based on their ideas. It is not the only system, nor does the Church necessarily promote this particular set of ideas. The Church promotes Virtue. In so far as Virtue exists in this system it is Catholic, but in so far as Virtue exists in any system, it is Catholic.  Distributism is as much "Catholic Economics" as an Annulment is a "Catholic Divorce". The idea for the economic system is based in Christian history, but that does not make the system necessarily Catholic. The only thing that makes any system Catholic is when the people who operate in the economic clime have the Faith and follow its tenets in their economic affairs.

That said, it is probably the only well-known holistic example of Catholics trying to propose ideas for how to order the economics of a Society after Catholic prinicples.



EDITED TO ADD: For those who think from this I condemn "Distributism" this is false. I am well acquainted with the ideas, and I would support, to the extent possible, a study of how to apply its ideas to our economy. But also, I wrote above that it is one of potentially many ideas, and that it does not propose any certain or specific means for achieving its end (of well-distributed property) in order to point out to those people who instantly call anyone who has a fondness for Distributism, "Socialists," because they do not want you to be able to own everything and anything you want are also, perhaps making too much out of these ideas and not putting them in their proper place.
(07-18-2009, 05:34 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]Beautifully put.

No economic system is, in itself a Catholic system. The Catholic Church does not have an economic system it promotes, it never has and never will, because the development and maintenance of an economic system is the function of the state and its citizens.

Thanks.

I do think that strict adherance to any system, no matter how ideal it is, is wrong. We must be careful not to become attached to them. Look at the 50s. In comparison to communist USSR, the capitalistic USA was superior both in terms of personal freedom (therefore, more freedom to live properly for those who wanted to) and production, but we all know the perils of capitalism when it becomes central to one's life. Any economic system can do that. Distributionism could, if it becomes a central policy, have  just as much room for abuse (imagine someone trying to force it on everyone, it would become de facto socialism).

My central idea for such things is "whatever works". Working defined by be agreeable to the Faith in practice and working to achieve its goals in an efficient manner.
(07-18-2009, 05:18 PM)Rosarium Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-18-2009, 05:14 PM)lamentabili sane Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-17-2009, 11:46 PM)Rosarium Wrote: [ -> ]
Luke 12:14-15 Wrote:But he said to him: Man, who hath appointed me judge, or divider, over you? And he said to them: Take heed and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life doth not consist in the abundance of things which he possesseth.

Capitalism is not Catholic, but neither is any other economic system. A pre-occupation with economic systems seems to be very dangerous. A Catholic is a Catholic no matter the economic system which surrounds them; we should behave the same way.

An economic system can be contrary to the natural law however. That's why communism and socialism were condemned by the Church.

All defined economic systems are contrary to natural law in some degree.

But not all economic systems are condemned by the Church.
(07-18-2009, 07:15 PM)lamentabili sane Wrote: [ -> ]But not all economic systems are condemned by the Church.

That is true. Some are restrictive of proper living, and therefore cannot be accepted at all. A Catholic can live in a capitialistic society, but they can't rightly live in a communist one.
(07-18-2009, 07:44 PM)Rosarium Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-18-2009, 07:15 PM)lamentabili sane Wrote: [ -> ]But not all economic systems are condemned by the Church.

That is true. Some are restrictive of proper living, and therefore cannot be accepted at all. A Catholic can live in a capitialistic society, but they can't rightly live in a communist one.

In a society which is Capitalistic to the extent that the raw fundamental principles of Capitalism are practiced without restraint, a Catholic cannot rightly live there either.

Capitalism in its raw form is the same error as Communism. Both are fundamentally atheistic, dialectic materialism. Both deny the human person in some way. Communism denies the soul. Raw Capitalism disregards the person, putting in the place of the good of Society and the salvation of each soul, greed.

This is why Fr. John Hardon, S.J. was able to write, "The United States of America is the most powerful Marxist country in the world."

The reason our "Capitalistic" system has, at least until recently, seemed to condone the Catholic life is because enough people had the Faith and there was at least some remnants of a desire for a Christian life left in most good-willed people. The massively apparent turn toward Socialism in the last 20 years under "Conservative" and "Liberal" rule should demonstrate that it's not any single individual, but a systematic problem.

That said, it does not mean that we cannot try our best to live a Catholic life in any economic situation. It also does not justify a "Revolution", a revolt which is based in this same atheistic sentiment.
(07-19-2009, 04:53 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-18-2009, 07:44 PM)Rosarium Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-18-2009, 07:15 PM)lamentabili sane Wrote: [ -> ]But not all economic systems are condemned by the Church.

That is true. Some are restrictive of proper living, and therefore cannot be accepted at all. A Catholic can live in a capitialistic society, but they can't rightly live in a communist one.

In a society which is Capitalistic to the extent that the raw fundamental principles of Capitalism are practiced without restraint, a Catholic cannot rightly live there either.

Capitalism in its raw form is the same error as Communism. Both are fundamentally atheistic, dialectic materialism. Both deny the human person in some way. Communism denies the soul. Raw Capitalism disregards the person, putting in the place of the good of Society and the salvation of each soul, greed.

This is why Fr. John Hardon, S.J. was able to write, "The United States of America is the most powerful Marxist country in the world."

The reason our "Capitalistic" system has, at least until recently, seemed to condone the Catholic life is because enough people had the Faith and there was at least some remnants of a desire for a Christian life left in most good-willed people. The massively apparent turn toward Socialism in the last 20 years under "Conservative" and "Liberal" rule should demonstrate that it's not any single individual, but a systematic problem.

That said, it does not mean that we cannot try our best to live a Catholic life in any economic situation. It also does not justify a "Revolution", a revolt which is based in this same atheistic sentiment.

I don't really find much to disagree with in your post. I only want to make sure that we don't confuse the use of capital (which any and every economic endeavor must have) with the what I'll call the "industrialist capitalist system". I assume that when you speak of the "raw fundamental principles of Capitalism", you are speaking of the latter and not the former. Is that right?



I posted a link to this some time ago.  I'd be interested to hear what you all have to say about this:

http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=687&chapter=69509&layout=html&Itemid=27

Capitalism is the staus quo before government intervenes, nothing more, nothing less. Live with it because you
know you have to  :P. Capitalism will always triumph because it is the economic reality, governments have tried to impose new realities but they have always ultimately failed because they are fake "realities", and people eventually realize they are living in a matrix.
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