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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Pope and Capitalism

In my speech last night, I asserted that a free economy (like the kind that produces Wal-marts) respects the individual in a way consistent with Catholic doctrine. How can this be when the Pope is so clearly left wing. But is he? Here is a quote from 1991
Can it perhaps be said that, after the failure of Communism, capitalism is the victorious social system, and that capitalism should be the goal of the countries now making efforts to rebuild their economy and society?

...The answer is obviously complex. 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." (emphasis mine)

He follows this with

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 sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative...

That is, a free economy should be our goal, but we should we remember what this freedom is for. This is not the statement of a socialist. He's seen that firsthand.