Fundación Civismo, in collaboration with the Acton Institute, presented the book Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy, in which its author, Robert Sirico, sets the free economy on adequate and coherent moral foundations, as well as highlighting the ability of people to be in charge of their lives, allowing them to succeed both financially and spiritually.
Sirico, president of the Acton Institute, assured, speaking of the content of his work, which is now republished, that “the free economy in a free society leads to the flourishing of the human being.” He underlined that an economy of these characteristics is productive and leads to prosperity: it generates employment, offers goods and services at lower prices (raising the standard of living) and fosters a remnant of wealth. “The free society helps social justice, rather than being an obstacle,” he said.
“A free economy in a free society leads to the flourishing of the human being”
This last concept, he explained, does not imply “a vast State of impersonal social assistance, but that people fulfil their responsibilities of justice with their neighbours, while the State plays a subsidiary role.” For this to be feasible, he emphasised that we not only need freedom, but objective criteria about good and evil: “Virtuous people will see the market as a means, not as an end; their moral formation will influence their economic choices and the institutions they build.”
Institutions that “must ensure that people have sufficient means to lead a dignified life,” for which, he indicated, the Catholic Church contributes with principles such as freedom, solidarity, or a preferential option for the poor. “The free market is not the official doctrine of the Church on economic matters, since it does not intend to promote any one in particular. Rather, the free economy, well understood, is consistent with the teaching of the Church”, he pointed out.
Francisco Cabrillo, secretary of Civismo’s board of directors, added, presenting the book, that the values that it defends “are acceptable to anyone who believes in freedom and dignity of the human person, whether or not they have religious beliefs”, and he stressed the importance of rebutting “convincingly, the idea that socialism is morally superior to capitalism, or more just than the market”. He concluded that “Christian thought can be fully compatible with the defence of individual freedom and the market economy”.