Catholic Social Teaching Yet Again

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Another day, another weird column attacking me, this one by a professor who insists that no one can be saved unless he believes in the mixed economy and state involvement in wage determination.

For the record, my forthcoming book on Catholic social teaching is not so much a critique of Catholic social teaching as it is a sustained argument in favor of the pure private-property regime from a Catholic point of view. It does offer substantial, if fundamentally incidental, critiques of certain papal statements on wage rate determination, and it looks critically at Paul VI’s disastrous defense of foreign aid. But it is primarily intended to show that one can take an antistatist approach to economics without risking eternal damnation or placing himself outside the legitimate bounds of Catholic obedience. And yes, there are plenty of people who dispute this point, so the book does serve a purpose.

The book includes chapters on the nature of economics; on prices, wages, and labor; money and banking; foreign aid; and the welfare state, and concludes with a critique of distributism. Even some of my harshest critics will find themselves agreeing with much of it, with the exception of the social democrats who have been welcomed aboard the paleocon bandwagon in order to lecture me on what a bad and ill-informed person I am (don’t I know capitalism originates in atheism? Sheesh!).

If there really are paleocons out there who consider it a good idea for the state to step in and adjust wage rates, I’d better start seeing that case advanced (for what would be the first time, I might add) in their magazines. Otherwise, I win by default.

8:32 pm on July 5, 2004