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Furthermore, in the post-Cold War world, the political preoccupations that necessarily overshadowed questions of the relationship between capitalism, freedom, and wealth for a half-century or more no longer threaten to overwhelm their open consideration. Real communists are now almost impossible to find; committed socialists-especially of the orthodox Marxist variety-are almost as rare. But on both the political Left and the political Right, one now finds both proglobalists and anti-globalists, partisans of the international hegemony of the dynamic and mobile capitalist society and critics of the same. Such political confusion is a good thing, insofar as it leads to a more searching consideration of the matter at hand by all sides.
For religious believers, the moral import of these economic questions would seem to make their careful consideration something of an obligation. But it is not always realized that even among those who subscribe to traditional doctrinal Christianity, there are different schools of thought as to how men and women of faith should regard the global capitalist order, especially as it affects the poorest among us.
The essays presented here by editors Doug Bandow and David L. Schindler present, in essence, two very different points of view: the first, represented by Bandow's contributors (Hill, Novak, Gregg, Morse, Griswold, and Neuhaus), tends to construe free-market economics as the real-world option that most benefits the poor, even while it emphasizes the moral and social context in which this sort of economic system must be embedded. These contributors also argue for the essential compatibility of the liberal (that is to say, free-market) economic order with Christian teaching and belief. Schindler's essayists (Walker, Long, Cavanaugh, Crawford, Lewis, and Davis) are not as sanguine about the new capitalist order; they regard it as depending on a philosophical liberalism that is not neutral but fundamentally opposed to Christian theology and social thought. Furthermore, they view this liberalism as subtly undermining the possibilities of achieving individual virtue and genuine community.
These chapters have not been written in a point-counterpoint fashion, but the differences of opinion and interpretation that emerge are as obvious as they are instructive. Editors Bandow and Schindler consider all twelve chapters in their responses and attempt to highlight for readers the most important points of convergence and divergence within the arguments of the book's contributors. Two pieces, one by Wendell Berry and another by Max Stackhouse and Lawrence Stratton, are included here as appendices. They serve as additional background to this important debate over the moral status and religious implications of twenty-first-century capitalism. It is our hope that readers will find this book a useful aid to reflection as they consider their own posture towards the economic order in which, increasingly, we all find ourselves entangled.
-Jeremy Beer Senior Editor, ISI Books January 9, 2003
Excerpted from Wealth, Poverty, and Human Destiny Copyright © 2007 by Doug Bandow . Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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|1||Creating and Distributing Wealth: Whose Responsibility?||1|
|2||The Poverty of Liberal Economics||19|
|3||Catholic Social Teaching, Markets, and the Poor||51|
|4||Catholic Social Teaching and the Global Market||77|
|5||The Unfreedom of the Free Market||103|
|6||Individualism, the Market, and Christianity: Can the Circle Be Squared?||129|
|7||The "Bourgeois Family" and the Meaning of Freedom and Community||155|
|8||Making Room in the Inn: Why the Modern World Needs the Needy||179|
|9||International Markets, International Poverty: Globalization and the Poor||213|
|10||Wealth, Happiness, and Politics: Aristotelian Questions||241|
|11||"We Are Not Our Own": George Grant's Critique of Science, Technology, and Capitalism||271|
|12||The Liberalism of John Paul II and the Technological Imperative||289|
|Editor's Response: The Conundrum of Capitalism and Christianity||307|
|Editor's Response: "Homelessness" and Market Liberalism: Toward an Economic Culture of Gift and Gratitude||347|
|App. A||The Total Economy||415|
|App. B||Capitalism, Civil Society, Religion, and the Poor: A Bibliographical Essay||431|
|About the Contributors||465|