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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Going Places?

City of God, or "Soap City"?

Following on the feast day of St. Augustine and continuing on with the debate on the Just ordering of the Economy from last week, Columcille gives you another Capitalist propaganda cartoon from 1948 to mull over.

As you sit back and watch this film, rest assure in knowing that Capitalism produces much fruit:

- Real evil in the human heart and in the social system is automatically weeded out through the self-correcting mechanism of the market,
- In a Capitalist system, everyone can become a tycoon with just a bit of imagination and hard work (never mind the issue of the necessary free time and capital needed to do all those soap experimentations),
- Capitalism = progress; the market system automatically creates progress for all (as long as progress; is narrowly defined in material and technological terms),
- If you work for a Corporation, it will take care of your every need, especially a secure life - plenty of money, health care, insurance, vacations, even a home (oh, right, this is a propaganda film from 1948, not a documentary from 2006),
- Corporations are natural and good for everyone - it is a mark of business success - as too are the financial and capital markets that lead to "Soap City" as the natural and just ordering of our civil society,
- Capitalism automatically leads to product "improvements" (as long as "improvements" are narrowly defined as those characteristics that best appeal to the consumptive nature in man).

To add more fuel to the debate, check out http://www.economyincrisis.org

"If the citizens themselves devote their life to matters of trade, the way will be opened to many vices. Since the foremost tendency of tradesmen is to make money, greed is awakened in the hearts of the citizens through the pursuit of trade. The result is that everything in the city will become venal; good faith will be destroyed and the way opened to all kinds of trickery; each one will work only for his own profit, despising the public good; the cultivation of virtue will fail since honor, virtue's reward, will be bestowed upon the rich. Thus, in such a city, civic life will necessarily be corrupted."
- Thomas Aquinas, On Kingship (III, 3)