Aparecida 61 – The Economic Dimension of Globalization

The bishops recognize in paragraph 61 that globalization is multi-faceted, but its economic dimension is the most apparent. They also note that globalization should not be either totally dismissed or totally embraced; careful and nuanced analysis is needed.

Globalization is a complex phenomenon with various dimensions (economic, political, cultural, communicational, etc). Correctly appraising it requires an analytical and nuanced understanding, allowing both its positive and negative aspects to be detected. Unfortunately, the most widespread and successful face of globalization is its economic dimension, which becomes paramount and conditions the other dimensions of human life.

Yet the bishops are mostly concerned about  the absolutizing aspects of globalization, especially as experienced by Latin America and the Caribbean.

All too easily efficacy (efficiency) and productivity became the only significant factors to evaluate human life. Reliance on these criteria can lead to injustice and inequality.

In globalization, market forces easily absolutize efficacy and productivity as values regulating all human relations. This peculiar character makes globalization a process that fosters many inequities and injustices.

Thus globalization tends to reduce evaluation of cultures and economies in quantitative terms. “Objective values” such as truth, justice, love, dignity and human rights are considered secondary, not important for an evaluation.

In its current form, globalization is incapable of interpreting and reacting in response to objective values that transcend the market and that constitute what is most important in human life: truth, justice, love, and most especially, the dignity and rights of all, even those not included in the market.

One way of understanding what the bishops are say is to note how often analysis of the quality of life or “development” in countries is measured almost exclusively in terms of GNP or GDP or statistics of violence and crime.

Even if there is an analysis of income distribution or land distribution these are often not considered as important as economic statistics.

Here is the USCCB translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

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About John Donaghy

lay missioner with the Catholic diocese of Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras, since June 2007, helping in the parish of Dulce Nombre de María.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization, Guest Writers, John Donaghy and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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