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Joseph J. Hyde



Oeconomia Suffocato: The Origins of Antipathy Toward Free Enterprise Among Catholic Intelligentsia

Issue: 7:2 (The twenty sixth issue)
What is the source of the antipathy of Catholic intellectuals toward free
markets? That is the issue addressed in the present paper. We see the
antecedents of this viewpoint of theirs in terms of secular humanism, Marxism
and mistaken views of morality and economics. One of the explanations for
this phenomenon are the teachings of St Augustine. He greatly distrusted the
City of Man, seeing it as anarchic and chaotic. In contrast, his City of God is
more orderly, but far removed from the hurly burly of free enterprise. Another
source of the rejection of capitalism on the part of Catholic intellectuals is
liberation theology, which is Marxism minus the atheism of that doctrine. Both
economic and cultural Marxism have played a role in the alienation of such
intellectuals from the tenets of laissez faire capitalism. Are there any counter
currents? Yes, the School of Salamanca, which has been all but forgotten in
this community.