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Evangelii Gaudium and Acton

Friday, 29th November 2013

«Evangelii Gaudium» is a pretty tough read but we (Catholics) must first understand that it is neither an encyclical nor an apostolic letter meaning Pope Francis is not defining an article of Faith here which binds us to obedience.

Honestly, it is too soon for anyone to come to a conclusion. Reading a papal letter, even just an «exhortation» has a number of layers which one must keep in mind when reading to understand. Right now, there are even questions about the accuracy of the English translation coming up. (The original was probably in Spanish.)

To my mind, Pope Francis’ assertions are correct in that he accurately describes a system which crushes people. However, identifying this flawed system as «capitalism» is what is making the Austrian economic community wince. True, it is the same (popular) definition that everybody accepts «capitalism» to be, but then I never expected Pope Francis to have the economic training to differentiate between capitalism, crony-capitalism (US definition), and mercantilism. (I don’t even expect this from professional economists who were trained in Keynesian orthodoxy.)

All this tells me is that we just have to step up usage of the term «Entrepreneurial System» rather than trying to explain to people why their definition of capitalism is just wrong and our definition of capitalism is just right..

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