It says something of the current state of public discourse that the inclusion of a paper on the social teachings of an organized religion as part of a Conference on Ethico‐Economics must be explained. Theology and Religion, once at the center of any discourse on public policy, has become marginalized in such discussions. There are those who associate the decline of theology with the era of the Cold War. That conclusion is at least debatable. “Economic Man”, in the context of the post‐war period, was very much a social being for whom government and public institutions, a pro‐Keynesian economics, were essential allies. Adam Smith, accepted as the founder of classical Economics, wrote his seminal work, The Wealth of Nations, when he was Professor of Moral Philosophy. Smith's concept of markets was framed as a social and ethical instrument. The Reagan and Thatcher regimes did succeed in undermining economic policy as a social instrument to the extent that most industrial nations and the important international organizations now give pre‐eminence to the balanced budget as the vehicle for corporate interests. The elimination of deficits and the efficacy of financial markets are seen in some quarters not only as ends in themselves but also as means to facilitate each other. The critics of these policies are presently weak and unpopular but they are not silent. This disparate group between them embrace a range of social, cultural, and ethical values. They seek to establish that some ends and some means must be rejected as being ethically unacceptable. It is this context that this paper seeks to position the social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
CitationDownload as .RIS
MCB UP Ltd
Copyright © 1996, MCB UP Limited