I think many corporations are criticized, and rightly so, for designing business with the eye to short-term gain. There is gain mostly for investors and for the brief rule of the upper class. Inflated salaries and golden parachutes have created a new class of overlords and nobility who dabble, often without a full skill set, only to retire to gated communities, yachts, and lives of comfort. Riches are passed on to a new generation, not unlike the practices of royalty of old.
178. In the face of many petty forms of politics focused on immediate interests, I would repeat that “true statecraft is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good. Political powers do not find it easy to assume this duty in the work of nation-building”, [Laudato Si’ 178] much less in forging a common project for the human family, now and in the future. Thinking of those who will come after us does not serve electoral purposes, yet it is what authentic justice demands. As the Bishops of Portugal have taught, the earth “is lent to each generation, to be handed on to the generation that follows”. [PORTUGUESE BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE, Pastoral Letter Responsabilidade Solidária pelo Bem Comum (15 September 2003), 20; cf. Laudato Si’ 159]
I do not see an easy way out of this. Revolutions in the Americas, France, and other European nations troubled the movers and shakers of the 18th and 19th centuries. They also inspired ideologies that ran aground in human selfishness. Some, like the extreme capitalism of the West, are still practiced today and continue to place a drag on the future.
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