Sunday, June 15, 2014

What's behind the new crusade against capitalism

Catholics Against Capitalism | National Review Online - Kevin Williamson:

June 10, 2014 - "The errors of the Catholic hierarchy regarding the economy are the product of errors in its thinking regarding the state. Catholic thinking about the role of the state has evolved precious little since 'render unto Caesar,' even though there is, especially in the Christian world, a blessed shortage of Caesars just now, and has been for some time. The Catholic clergy still operate under the Romans 13 assumption that 'the powers that be are ordained of God'.... From the old royalist Right to the redistributionist Left, there is an implicit and sometimes explicit belief that the state is a channel for moral expression, whether that expression takes the form of entrenching traditional ideals about family life or of collaborating with the state in the seizure and redistribution of wealth....

"This is true even among the so-called conservatives. Consider John Paul II writing on the 100th anniversary of Rerum Novarum:
If Pope Leo XIII calls upon the State to remedy the condition of the poor in accordance with justice, he does so because of his timely awareness that the State has the duty of watching over the common good and of ensuring that every sector of social life, not excluding the economic one, contributes to achieving that good, while respecting the rightful autonomy of each sector....
"But the state in fact has no way of knowing to any practical effect what the common good even is or how its policies might affect priorities relating to it.... Meanwhile, he also expects the state to determine just wages and union work rules, to administer unemployment insurance, to calculate the economic consequences of immigration, and a hundred other things that the state has no capacity for doing. Like Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga and others, he assumes that the state will act in the cause of justice for the poor rather than being the most ruthless and pitiless exploiter of the poor, as history, including the history of this country, very strongly suggests that it will be....

"'The case against libertarianism'? As usual, the most important part of the question goes unstated and unanswered: 'Compared with what?'"

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