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Following sheep101, this is sheep102 asking whether if men in a settled community, following natural laws, would inevitably lead to a capitalist form of economy?  :)
(07-20-2009, 01:53 AM)iggyting Wrote: [ -> ]Following sheep101, this is sheep102 asking whether if men in a settled community, following natural laws, would inevitably lead to a capitalist form of economy?  :)

I don't know.
Quote: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.

This is the main point.  If you are in a capitalist country, and the people demand pornography, capitalism will provide the most porn, at the cheapest price, and available in the most places.  If the people want usury, capitalism will provide it in the most efficient way.  It is a-moral.  It requires the Catholic Church to remain stable and prosper.

However, socialism is always immoral.  You can not be a Catholic and a socialist.  You can be a Catholic capitalist.  I am one, depending on your definition of capitalist.
(07-20-2009, 03:07 AM)James02 Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote: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.

This is the main point.  If you are in a capitalist country, and the people demand pornography, capitalism will provide the most porn, at the cheapest price, and available in the most places.  If the people want usury, capitalism will provide it in the most efficient way.  It is a-moral.  It requires the Catholic Church to remain stable and prosper.

However, socialism is always immoral.  You can not be a Catholic and a socialist.  You can be a Catholic capitalist.  I am one, depending on your definition of capitalist.

I would agree with you that capitalism by its nature is sinful. Prosperity is defined by the proliferation of wants, which is to say exploitation of our base desires.

I could see that a person could not be a Catholic and a communist at the same time, but I don't understand what you mean by "you can not be a Catholic and a socialist". Why not?
Quote: I would agree with you that capitalism by its nature is sinful.
Then you completely misunderstand me.  MAN is by his nature sinful.  Capitalism is A-moral, not IMmoral.  However, free market competition is a natural (though inadequate) check upon Original Sin, just as decentralized government (voting with your feet) is another check on Original Sin.  Voting with you feet is just another form of competition, however.  Therefore, a capitalist society, even a secular one, will tend towards being a better society vs. socialism.  But since Capitalism is amoral, it is CAPABLE of producing a lot of evil.  It is an economic system and needs the Church for its conscience.  But there is no condemnation by the Church against capitalism.  There is, however, a wonderful framework given inside of which it must operate.  Rerum Novarum is the obvious example.

Quote:Prosperity is defined by the proliferation of wants, which is to say exploitation of our base desires.
That may be your definition, it certainly is not mine.

Quote:I could see that a person could not be a Catholic and a communist at the same time, but I don't understand what you mean by "you can not be a Catholic and a socialist". Why not?
Unlike capitalism, the Church has clearly condemned socialism:

Q.A. Wrote:120. If Socialism, like all errors, contains some truth (which, moreover, the Supreme Pontiffs have never denied), it is based nevertheless on a theory of human society peculiar to itself and irreconcilable with true Christianity. Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.

Q.A. Wrote:117. But what if Socialism has really been so tempered and modified as to the class struggle and private ownership that there is in it no longer anything to be censured on these points? Has it thereby renounced its contradictory nature to the Christian religion? This is the question that holds many minds in suspense. And numerous are the Catholics who, although they clearly understand that Christian principles can never be abandoned or diminished seem to turn their eyes to the Holy See and earnestly beseech Us to decide whether this form of Socialism has so far recovered from false doctrines that it can be accepted without the sacrifice of any Christian principle and in a certain sense be baptized. That We, in keeping with Our fatherly solicitude, may answer their petitions, We make this pronouncement: Whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement, Socialism, if it remains truly Socialism, even after it has yielded to truth and justice on the points which we have mentioned, cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth.
(07-20-2009, 11:55 AM)James02 Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote: I would agree with you that capitalism by its nature is sinful.
Then you completely misunderstand me.  MAN is by his nature sinful.  Capitalism is A-moral, not IMmoral. 

Private property and the development of goods and services is not immoral, I would agree. The capitalism of our times, however, is entirely run on usury. Monetary capitalism is not the same thing as classical capitalism.  Most people, for example, do not own anything. They are in debt to a bank who actually owns all the property that they use. People go to work not to create wealth for themselves or the greater society, but for a small group of people who leach off of their labor.


Quote: However, free market competition is a natural (though inadequate) check upon Original Sin, just as decentralized government (voting with your feet) is another check on Original Sin.  Voting with you feet is just another form of competition, however.  Therefore, a capitalist society, even a secular one, will tend towards being a better society vs. socialism. 

How does a decentralized free market economy keep original sin in check? It runs on self-interest and embraces monopoly. The idea of natural law to the capitalist favors Darwin's survival of the fittest. If the tendency of capitalism creates a better society, one might wonder why secular society today is on the verge of jettisoning religion all together.

Quote:  But since Capitalism is amoral, it is CAPABLE of producing a lot of evil.  It is an economic system and needs the Church for its conscience.  But there is no condemnation by the Church against capitalism.  There is, however, a wonderful framework given inside of which it must operate.  Rerum Novarum is the obvious example.

It doesn't seem this economic system will be looking for a conscience any time soon. Especially since morality crimps on the capitalist's idea of 'liberty'.

Quote:
Quote:Prosperity is defined by the proliferation of wants, which is to say exploitation of our base desires.
That may be your definition, it certainly is not mine.

Porn, drugs and weapons are perfect goods for a free market system. Why is that?
Quote:
Quote:I could see that a person could not be a Catholic and a communist at the same time, but I don't understand what you mean by "you can not be a Catholic and a socialist". Why not?
Unlike capitalism, the Church has clearly condemned socialism:

I think this is too black and white. The Church has definitely condemned much of what we consider to be capitalism. And what I think the Church has feared the most (and rightly so) is that socialism would replace the position of the Church itself. Hence, the introduction of the Church's social doctrine, which has some similarities to socialism.

Quote:
Q.A. Wrote:120. If Socialism, like all errors, contains some truth (which, moreover, the Supreme Pontiffs have never denied), it is based nevertheless on a theory of human society peculiar to itself and irreconcilable with true Christianity. Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.

Q.A. Wrote:117. But what if Socialism has really been so tempered and modified as to the class struggle and private ownership that there is in it no longer anything to be censured on these points? Has it thereby renounced its contradictory nature to the Christian religion? This is the question that holds many minds in suspense. And numerous are the Catholics who, although they clearly understand that Christian principles can never be abandoned or diminished seem to turn their eyes to the Holy See and earnestly beseech Us to decide whether this form of Socialism has so far recovered from false doctrines that it can be accepted without the sacrifice of any Christian principle and in a certain sense be baptized. That We, in keeping with Our fatherly solicitude, may answer their petitions, We make this pronouncement: Whether considered as a doctrine, or an historical fact, or a movement, Socialism, if it remains truly Socialism, even after it has yielded to truth and justice on the points which we have mentioned, cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth.

Could you give me a link?

Quote: Private property and the development of goods and services is not immoral, I would agree. The capitalism of our times, however, is entirely run on usury. Monetary capitalism is not the same thing as classical capitalism.  Most people, for example, do not own anything. They are in debt to a bank who actually owns all the property that they use. People go to work not to create wealth for themselves or the greater society, but for a small group of people who leach off of their labor.
You are absolutely correct.  The problem is usury, not capitalism.  Usury is charging interest on a non-productive loan (an investment loan, which is backed by production, pays the lender his "interest" in the production, and is not usury).  Usury is a great evil and it introduces extreme Moral Hazard.  However, the widespread use of usury is a failure of the Catholic Church, not capitalism.  It is the same thing as abortion.  The Church could shutdown abortion in a few weeks if it did its job.  Same with usury.
Quote:How does a decentralized free market economy keep original sin in check? It runs on self-interest and embraces monopoly. The idea of natural law to the capitalist favors Darwin's survival of the fittest. If the tendency of capitalism creates a better society, one might wonder why secular society today is on the verge of jettisoning religion all together.
  If you hire a plumber to fix your plumbing, Original Sin will make him tend to be lazy, to show up late, and to cheat you.  However, in a capitalist society, he knows that there are 10 other plumbers that you can call, so there is a strong incentive for him to do a quality job, to show up on time, and to deal straight with you.  In government, before the income tax and federal reserve, power was mostly at the State level.  Power corrupts.  However, States soon realized if they overreached, the producers would move to another State, thus keeping their power in check.  They knew they had over 40 other States to compete against.  If you read some of the progressives from the early twentieth century, you will see they were obsessed with eliminating the 10th amendment since it prevented them from launching their utopias.  As far as this country being secular, that is a failure of the Church.
Quote:It doesn't seem this economic system will be looking for a conscience any time soon. Especially since morality crimps on the capitalist's idea of 'liberty'.
Capitalism doesn't look for anything, accept supply and demand.  It is up to the Church to LEAD its flock in moral living.

Quote:Porn, drugs and weapons are perfect goods for a free market system. Why is that?
  I don't understand your point.  A good example of perfect competition would be agricultural products, such as wheat and corn.  But even there you have government subsidies messing things up.  Let's look at drugs.  Despite all of the billions of dollars spent to eradicate drugs, I can go to any town or city and buy all the pot I want.  It is a completely free market because the government has outlawed it, so by definition it stays out of the market.  No regulations and no taxes.  And despite the huge "war on drugs", the free market still delivers fresh quality pot to every city in the USA.  That is the power of free markets.  Now why do so many Americans want drugs?  Is that a failure of the market, or a failure of the Church?
Quote:I think this is too black and white.
It is, very black and white.  You can't be a socialist, or you cease being Catholic.  Can't get anymore black and white than that.

Sources:  "Quadragesimo Anno", "Quanta Cura", "Rerum Novarum", "Quod Apostolici Muneris"
"Capitalism", the belief that man is entitled to the fruits of his labor and the sweat of his brow, and that the the means of production should lie within the sphere of private ownership, is neither Catholic nor anti-Catholic.

"Capitalism" the belief that "if a man shall not work, neither shall he eat" may have some biblical susbstantiation, but is neither Catholic nor anti-Catholic.

"Usury Capitalism", the belief that some are entitled to profit at the expense of the poor due to government connections or deception, or the belief that some are entitled to profit at the detriment of those who require to buy debt from them, is not Catholic.

(Guess which most countries labeled capitalist have.)
(07-20-2009, 06:16 PM)James02 Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote: Private property and the development of goods and services is not immoral, I would agree. The capitalism of our times, however, is entirely run on usury. Monetary capitalism is not the same thing as classical capitalism.  Most people, for example, do not own anything. They are in debt to a bank who actually owns all the property that they use. People go to work not to create wealth for themselves or the greater society, but for a small group of people who leach off of their labor.
You are absolutely correct.  The problem is usury, not capitalism.  Usury is charging interest on a non-productive loan (an investment loan, which is backed by production, pays the lender his "interest" in the production, and is not usury).  Usury is a great evil and it introduces extreme Moral Hazard.  However, the widespread use of usury is a failure of the Catholic Church, not capitalism.  It is the same thing as abortion.  The Church could shutdown abortion in a few weeks if it did its job.  Same with usury.

While it may be off-topic, I'm interested in how you think the Church could shut down abortion in a few weeks.

Quote:How does a decentralized free market economy keep original sin in check? It runs on self-interest and embraces monopoly. The idea of natural law to the capitalist favors Darwin's survival of the fittest. If the tendency of capitalism creates a better society, one might wonder why secular society today is on the verge of jettisoning religion all together.
  If you hire a plumber to fix your plumbing, Original Sin will make him tend to be lazy, to show up late, and to cheat you.  However, in a capitalist society, he knows that there are 10 other plumbers that you can call, so there is a strong incentive for him to do a quality job, to show up on time, and to deal straight with you.  In government, before the income tax and federal reserve, power was mostly at the State level.  Power corrupts.  However, States soon realized if they overreached, the producers would move to another State, thus keeping their power in check.  They knew they had over 40 other States to compete against.  If you read some of the progressives from the early twentieth century, you will see they were obsessed with eliminating the 10th amendment since it prevented them from launching their utopias.  As far as this country being secular, that is a failure of the Church.
Quote:The problem I have with the libertarian version of capitalism is that it ignores the centralization of power in private firms and then makes a dubious assumption that a nation will benefit by association with these firms. At least with a government, federal or otherwise, I can vote out a representative that wields too much power. I can't do that with the head of some corporation.

Don't get me wrong here. I don't think the solution to this problem is that we all give up private property and hand everything over to the government to take care of us.  From the way I see it, our government is at best a hostage of corporations and banks.

To be honest with you, I find some of the comments made by conservatives about the poor, minorities and women to be sickening. And when those same people say that they represent Christian principles, I wonder if we are both reading the same teachings of Christ. As Catholics, I think our memory is a little short when it comes to the American conservative. These were (and still are in many respects) the people who waved the anti-Catholic flag, murdered our anscestors, burned down our churches and convents and spread the worst of prejudices about Catholicism.

Regarding subsidiarity, the concept itself I think is sound, and I am not just saying that because of the Church's endorsement of the idea. There are, however, certain functions that the centralized authority must take up. Mainly, the interest of the nation as a whole, which over-rides the interest of a particular firm.

As for the Church's involvement, what do you suggest that they do? I'm not saying that to be snarky. I'd like to know what legitimate action you think the Church should take.

Quote:
Quote:It doesn't seem this economic system will be looking for a conscience any time soon. Especially since morality crimps on the capitalist's idea of 'liberty'.
Capitalism doesn't look for anything, accept supply and demand.  It is up to the Church to LEAD its flock in moral living.

I'm just saying that greed has a tendency to win out over moral argument. If you make large sums of money by putting Americans in debt and the Church tells you that you are wrong, chances are you will either buy out the Church to shut them up or smear them as being anti-capitalist and join a more 'liberal' church.

Quote:Porn, drugs and weapons are perfect goods for a free market system. Why is that?
  I don't understand your point.  A good example of perfect competition would be agricultural products, such as wheat and corn.  But even there you have government subsidies messing things up.  Let's look at drugs.  Despite all of the billions of dollars spent to eradicate drugs, I can go to any town or city and buy all the pot I want.  It is a completely free market because the government has outlawed it, so by definition it stays out of the market.  No regulations and no taxes.  And despite the huge "war on drugs", the free market still delivers fresh quality pot to every city in the USA.  That is the power of free markets.  Now why do so many Americans want drugs?  Is that a failure of the market, or a failure of the Church?

Forgive me if I sound ignorant here, but are you saying that the government should legalize drugs while increasing the influence of the Church?


Quote:I think this is too black and white.
It is, very black and white.  You can't be a socialist, or you cease being Catholic.  Can't get anymore black and white than that.

Sources:  "Quadragesimo Anno", "Quanta Cura", "Rerum Novarum", "Quod Apostolici Muneris"
[/quote]

One of the reasons why the Popes choose to even discuss this matter was because of the abuses brought on by capitalism. It's why socialism sounds like a good idea to many, both then and now. That's not to say I disagree with the Church's conclusion (it's why I asked in the first place).

From Quadragesimo Anno:

Quote:113. The other section, which has kept the name Socialism, is surely more moderate. It not only professes the rejection of violence but modifies and tempers to some degree, if it does not reject entirely, the class struggle and the abolition of private ownership. One might say that, terrified by its own principles and by the conclusions drawn therefrom by Communism, Socialism inclines toward and in a certain measure approaches the truths which Christian tradition has always held sacred; for it cannot be denied that its demands at times come very near those that Christian reformers of society justly insist upon.

114. For if the class struggle abstains from enmities and mutual hatred, it gradually changes into an honest discussion of differences founded on a desire for justice, and if this is not that blessed social peace which we all seek, it can and ought to be the point of departure from which to move forward to the mutual cooperation of the Industries and Professions. So also the war declared on private ownership, more and more abated, is being so restricted that now, finally, not the possession itself of the means of production is attacked but rather a kind of sovereignty over society which ownership has, contrary to all right, seized and usurped. For such sovereignty belongs in reality not to owners but to the public authority. If the foregoing happens, it can come even to the point that imperceptibly these ideas of the more moderate socialism will no longer differ from the desires and demands of those who are striving to remold human society on the basis of Christian principles. For certain kinds of property, it is rightly contended, ought to be reserved to the State since they carry with them a dominating power so great that cannot without danger to the general welfare be entrusted to private individuals.

Would anyone from Fox News agree with that?

Quote:115. Such just demands and desire have nothing in them now which is inconsistent with Christian truth, and much less are they special to Socialism. Those who work solely toward such ends have, therefore, no reason to become socialists.

Seems clear to me that the Pope is saying that there is no need for a Catholic to become a socialist because the Christian principles already contain the same objectives, though the theory behind socialism contradicts those aims by conceptual origin (liberalism).

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