Watch these before quoting me a social encyclical

I’ve been largely absent from blogging the past few weeks (you’re welcome!) due to work. Weren’t all-nighters supposed to end in grad school? Anyway, I stumbled across a series of four videos that would make excellent primers for anyone interested in economic or political issues, including folks of a religious inclination who wish to bring Christian social thought to bear on such issues. I’ve been saying, until I’m blue in the face, that Catholics will never be taken seriously in the policy arena unless we get our economic and political understanding right.

So blue in the face, they don’t even talk anymore. Though all economists experience the former, my students wish the latter were true.

Unfortunately, most offered Catholic opinions, informed as they are on Catholic social teaching (Rerum Novarum and such) are usually woefully ignorant of even basic economics (sometimes admittedly so). It’s great to know that the Church supports a living wage, but what exactly does that mean in practice? Is it even possible to practically implement? While the Church’s voice can legitimately be taken seriously in debates on bioethics, because Catholics have delved deeply into that and related disciplines, it seems to almost proudly stand aloof from the discipline of economics.

Check that; I suppose one could consider the antiquated antagonism of the “capital vs. labor” mentality as a branch of economics, but it’s been overturned for a few centuries now. Despite that, the Church and her social theorists seem determined to cling to economic theories that still want to rage against the (literal) machine.

These four videos provide some refreshing insights for those interested in Catholic social doctrine. Since papal encyclicals are not infallible, even those that suggest that human laborers have more dignity than human capitalists, keep an open mind and consider whether it may be time to get with the times. Watch the intro, then click the four videos that appear at the end.

 

1 Comment

  1. Mike in KC, MO /

    It has been my experience that many Catholics who love to quote Rerum Novarum are neck and neck with college kid wannabe Marxists for not actually exerting any serious thought on the REAL WORLD outcome of a policy they want to enact.

    Just like the college students, too many of these people do not analyze anything. The iron belief is that if a certain economic policy sounds like it might be tied in with a Catholic social principle, then to heck with real practical analysis, it is obviously the best thing to do!! If you disagree, why, you just don’t care about the poor!!!

    Marxist college students at least have an excuse: being young and dumb. Catholics REALLY ought to know better.