Populorum Progressio 58: Free Trade Concept Inadequate

Heresy for US conservatives, all the way back in 1967:

58. It is evident that the principle of free trade, by itself, is no longer adequate for regulating international agreements.

For many conservatives, it is far from evident. In fact, when the reality stares many people in the face, they still resist a conversion to reality, let alone a Christian view.

It certainly can work when both parties are about equal economically; in such cases it stimulates progress and rewards effort. That is why industrially developed nations see an element of justice in this principle.

This is fairly accurate, I’d say. But the problem is not only among nations, but when labor and other interests of the people are at a disadvantage.

But the case is quite different when the nations involved are far from equal. Market prices that are freely agreed upon can turn out to be most unfair. It must be avowed openly that, in this case, the fundamental tenet of liberalism (as it is called), as the norm for market dealings, is open to serious question.

This encyclical letter is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana, and can be found in its entirety at this link.

The image is of Lady Justice at the Central Criminal Court of London.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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