Thursday, September 24, 2015


See this article. Some excerpts:

"But the kind of economics he reserves his highest praise for has less to do with ledgers and figures than with the challenges of people sharing and governing their enterprises together. It’s not an economics of the right or left, of Democrats or Republicans, but an economics of cooperation."

"Over and over, he has turned to grass-roots social movements, rather than economists, as his source of hope for change. While in Bolivia, he told a gathering of activists, 'The future of humanity is in great measure in your own hands, through your ability to organize and carry out creative alternatives.' The future Francis hopes for is one that comes chiefly from the bottom up."

"Key economic advisers to both Francis and his predecessor, Benedict XVI, come from the school of civil economy, which seeks to foster not just wealth, but also vibrant, values-driven, self-governing economies. This approach has roots in the ancient Christian insistence on the priority of the common good over short-term profits and private property."

"A different kind of economics also means a different kind of business. In his recent encyclical, Laudato Si’, Francis recommends cooperative enterprise as a means of both humanizing technology and converting to renewable forms of energy. Co-op businesses are owned and controlled by the people who depend on them most, rather than designed to maximize profits for the founders or investors. Some, for example, are owned by their workers, others by their customers. Though they unite around values of democratic management and profit-sharing, co-ops come in many different forms."

"The priest-economist John Ryan surveyed these efforts in his 1916 book Distributive Justice and concluded, 'Co-operation is a golden mean between individualism and socialism. It includes all the good features and excludes all the evil features of both.' More important, he wrote, cooperatives cultivate 'a greater development of the altruistic spirit than is possible under any other economic system that has ever been tried or devised.'”

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