Page 1, 21st July 1961

21st July 1961
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Page 1, 21st July 1961 — THE MAIN POINTS
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THE MAIN POINTS

STATE INTERVENTION

HISTORIC evolution itself puts into relief ever more clearly that there cannot be a wellordered and fruitful society without the support in the economic field both of the individual citizen and of the public authorities; a working together in harmony in proportions which correspond to the needs of the common good in the changing situations and vicissitudes of human life.

Where the personal initiative of individuals is lacking, there is political tyranny; and there is also stagnation in the economic sectors engaged in the production of the wide range of consumer goods, and of services which pertain to the requirements of the spirit.

Where the due services of the State are lacking or defective, there is incurable disorder, and exploitation of the weak on the part of the unscrupulous strong.

SOCIALISATION

SOCIALISATION is, at one and the same time. an effect and a cause of growing intervention of the public authorities in even the most crucial matters such as those concerning the care of health, the instruction and education of the younger generation, and the controlling of professional careers and the methods of care and rehabilitation of those variously handicapped.

But it is also the fruit and expression of a natural tendency. almost irrepressible, in human beings, the tendency to join together to attain objectives which are beyond the capacity and means at the disposal of single individuals.

AUTOMATA?

SOCIALISATION, so understood, brings many advantages. At the same time, however, socialisation multiplies the forms of organisation and makes the juridical control of relations between men of every walk of life ever more detailed. As a consequence. it restricts the range of the individual as regards his liberty of action; and uses means which make it difficult for each one to think independently of outside influences, to work of his own initiative. to exercise his responsibility, to affirm and enrich his personality.

Ought it to be concluded, then, that socialisation, growing in extent and depth, necessarily reduces men to automata? It is a question which must be answered in the negative.

Socialisation is not to be considered as a product of natural forces working in a deterministic way; it is a creation of men: beings conscious, free and intended by nature to work in a responsible way, even if, in so acting, they are obliged to recognise and respect the laws of economic development and social progress and cannot escape from all the pressures of their environment.

BALANCE

SOCIALISATION can and ought to he realised in such a way as to draw from It the advantages contained therein and to remove or restrain the negative aspects..

It is required that a sane view of the common good be present and operative in men invested with public authority: a view which is formed by all those social conditions which permit and favour fur the human race the integral development of their personality.

Moreover, we consider it necessary that the intermediary bodies and the numerous social enterprises in which above all socialisation tends to find its expression and its activity, enjoy an effective autonomy in regard to the public authorities, and pursue their own specific interests in loyal collaboration between themselves, but subordinately to the demands of the common good.

WAGES

(Pope John deplores the sub-human condition of vast numbers of underpaid workers in lands where the few enjoy unbridled luxury at the expense of the majority; or where the present genera

A world divided between wealth and want

tion suffers inhuman privations to increase national output; or where large sums are spent on building up ill-conceived national prestige, or on nrmaments).

The remuneration of work cannot be left entirely to the laws of the market; neither can it be fixed arbitrarily; it must rather he determined according to justice and equity. This requires that the workers should be paid a wage which allows them to live a truly human life and to face up with dignity to their family responsibilities. It requires, too. that in the assessment of their remuneration regard he had to their effective contribution to the production and the economic stale of the enterprise; to the requirement of the common good of the respective political communities, with special regard to the repercussions of the overall employment of the labour force in the entire country; as also to the requirements of the universal common good, that is, of the international communities of different nature and scope.

WORKERS' SHARES

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THE economic wealth of a people arises not only front an aggregate abundance of goods, but also, and more so, from their real and efficacious redistribution according to justice, as a guarantee of the personal development of the members of society, which is the true scope of a national economy.

In many economies today, the medium and large enterprises not rarely effect rapid and large productive developments by means of self-financing. In such cases we hold that the workers should acquire shares in the firms in which they are engaged, especially when they earn no more than the minimum salary.

The demands of the common good, both on the national and world level, are to be kept in mind when there is a question of determining the rate of return to be assigned as profit to those responsible for the direction of the enterprise; also I:: the contributors' capital in the form of interest and dividends.

(Aspects of the common good to be taken into consideration in this context include the provision of employment fur the greatest number; keeping an equal balance between wages and prices; making goods and services accessible to the majority; keeping a balance between economic expansion and the development of essential public services; co-operation in the economic development of countries less economically advanced).

ENTERPRISES OF FAMILY SIZE

THE artisan enterprise and the farm enterprise of family size, as also the co-operative enterprise that serves to integrate the two, are to he preserved and encouraged. They must adapt themselves to ever new situations created by the advance of science and technology. Craftsmen and members of co-operatives must have a good training, both technically and human, and they must be organised professionally. 11 is imperative that appropriate economic measures he taken by governments regarding their information, taxation, credit and social security.

These two categories of citizens (craftsmen and co-op members) uphold true human values and contribute to the advance of civilisation.

WORKERS' PARTICIPATION IN LARGE

AHUMANE view of the enterprise ought undoubtedly to safeguard the authority and necessary efficiency of the unity of direction, but it must not reduce its daily co-workers to the level of simple and silent performers without any possibility of bringing to bear their experience, entirely passive in regard to decisions that regulate their activity.

But the decisions which have the most far-reaching effects arc not those made within the individual productive unity. Rather i, is those made by public authorities acting on a world-wide regional or national scale and pertaining to some economic sector or category of production. Among such authorities or institutions, it is not only the owner~ of capital who should have a say, but also the workers or those who Tepresent their rights, demands and aspirations.

PRIVATE PROPERTY

DURING these last decades, there has been an increasing tendency whereby those who own producti 'e goods are not the people responsible for the actual management of the larger economic entities.

It is also true that many citizens today-and their numbers are growing-are able, through their membership of insurance groups or through systems of social security, to face the future with a serenity which in former times derived front the inheritance of properly, however modest. Finally, it is noted today that men strive to acquire professional training rather than become owners of properly, and that they have greater confidence in income deriving from work, or rights founded on work, than in income deriving from capital. or rights founded on capital. This is in conformity with the pre-eminent position of work as the immediate expression of the individual against capital.

But the aspects just alluded to have certainly helped to spread the notion that the principle of the natural right to private ownership has diminished or lost its importance.

There is no reason For such a doubt to persist. The right of private ownership of goods, including productive goods, has a permanent validity, precisely because it is a natural right founded on the ontological and finalistic priority of individual human beings as against socktv. History and experience testify that in those political regimes which do not recognise the rights of private ownership of goods, Including productive goods, the fundamental manifestations of Freedom are suppressed or stiffed. (The right of private ownership is a means of asserting one's personality and of exercising responsibility; it is an element of solidity and Se curity fur family life and of peaceful and orderly development in society.)

PUBLIC PROPERTY

Pope John reiterates the doctrine that the State and other public agencle., should lawfully possess productive goods as property, especially when they " carry with them an opportunity too great to be left to private individuals without injury to the community at large ". But he also warns that Pope Pius Xl*s principle of subsidiarity must be maintained, namely that: "It is an injustice, a grave evil and a disturbance of right order for a larger and higher organisation to arrogate to itself functions which can be performed efficiently by smaller and tower bodies.") The State and the other agencies of public law should not extend their ownership except where motives of evident and real necessity of the common good require it, and not for the purpose of reducing. much less of abolishing, private property.

AGRICULTURE THE DEPRESSED SECTOR

THE farming sector-almost everywhere-is a depressed area, whether as regards the index of productivity, or as regards the standard of living of agricultural-rural populations. A fundamental problem that arises in practically all political communities is: how to proceed in order that the disproportion in productive efficiency between the agricultural sector on the one hand, and, on the other, the industrial and services sectors be reduced; that the standard of living of the rural population be as close as possible to the standard of living of the city people; that the tillers of the soil may not he possessed of an inferiority complex, but rather be persuaded that even in agriculture they can develop their personality through their toil and look forward to the future with confidence.

In agriculture the existence of two forms of insurance may be indispensable; one concerned with the agricultural produce, the other with the labour force and their families.

It would not he in accordance with social justice and equity to set up systems of social insurance or of social security in which the allowances accorded to the forces of agricultural labour and of the individual families were substantially lower th an those guaranteed to the sectors of industry and services.

Rural workers should feel a sense of solidarity one with another, and should unite to form cooperatives and professional associations, which are both necessary if they are to benefit from scientific and technical progress in methods of production.

PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS

TO increase farm incomes the Holy Father offers a list of remedies including:

I. Giving the country areas the same essential public services as are available in the cities. 2, Modern agricultural methods to increase productivity.

3. Moderate taxation, hearing in mind that in agriculture the returns develop more slowly and are exposed to greater risks.

4. A special credit policy, and specialised banks providing capital to agriculture on suitable terms.

5. Price protection regulations which should primarily be the work of the interested parties, though supervision by the public authority cannot be dispensed with.

6. The setting up in Fenn areas of industries and services for the processing and transportation of farm products.

7. Adjustment of farming enterprises to the proper size. The Christian ideal is either a "community of persons operating on internal relations and whose structure is formed according to the demands of justice", or still better, " enterprises of family size".

8. But to ensure decent comfort for enterprises of family size, it is indispensable that such enterprises should "forma flourishing system of co-operative undertakings, be organised professionally, and participate in public life".

UNDER DEVELOPED COUNTRIES

GIVEN the growing interdependence among the peoples of the earth, it is not possible to preserve lasting peace if glaring economic and social inequality among them persists. There are countries which produce consumer goods and especially farm products in excess, while in other countries large segments of the population suffer from misery and hunger. Justice and (CONCLUDED ON PAGE 5)

HELP FOR 'HAVE-NOTS'

humanity demand that the former come to the aid of the latter. To destroy or squander goods that other people need in order to live is to offend against justice and humanity. Emergency aid, although a duty imposed by humanity and justice, is not enough to eliminate or even to reduce the causes which, in not a few political communities, bring about a permanent state of want, misery, and hunger. These causes flow, for the most part, from the primitiveness or backwardness of their economic systems. And this cannot be remedied except by means of varied forms of co-operation directed to making these citizens acquire new outlooks, professional qualifications, and scientific and technical competence.

This co-operation must also consist In putting at their disposal the necessary capital to start and to speed up their economic development with the help of modern methods,

INDIVIDUALITY

THEpolitical communities on the way towards economic development generally present their own unmistakable individuality, due either to their resources and the specific character of their own natural environment, or due to their traditions frequently abounding in human values, or due to the typical quality of their own members. The economically developed political communities. when lending their help, must recognise and respect this individuality and overcome the temptation to impose themselves, by means of the help they are giving, upon the community which is still in the course of economic development.

DISINTERESTED HELP

BUT the bigger temptation with which the economically developed political communities have to struggle is that of using technical and financial co-operation as a mean. to influence the political situation of the less developed countries, with a view to bringing about plans of world domination.

If this takes place, it must be explicitly declared that it would be a new form of colonialism, which, however cleverly disguised, would be no less blameworthy than that from which many nations have recently been emancipated: and it would constitute a menace and danger to world peace. It is, therefore, indispensable and corresponds to the requirements of justice that the above-mentioned technical and financial aid be given in sincere political disinterestedness, for the purpose of putting those communities on the way to economic development, and in a position to realise their own proper economic and social growth.

In such a way, a precious contribution to the Formation of a world community would be made, a community in which all members are subjects conscious .:f their own duties and rights, working on a basis of equality for the bringing about of the universal common good.

POPULATION

(Repudiating the arguments of those who call for birth control measures to counter the population Increase, Pope John declares:—)

To tell the truth, the ratio of population increase on the one band and the economic development and availability of food supplies on the other, does not seem—at least for the moment and In the near future—to create a difficulty. Besides, God in His goodness and wisdom has diffused In nature inexhaustible resources and has given to man intelligence and genius to create fit instruments to master It and to turn it to satisfy the needs and demands of life.

Hence, the real solution of the problem is not to be found in expedients that offend against the moral order established by God and which in jure the very origin of human life, but in a renewed scientific and technical effort on the p art of man to deepen and extend his dominion over nature.

The progress of science and technology, already realised, opens bp in this direction limitless horizons,




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