1. Each of your possible explanations for the dominance of economic liberalism among Catholics (at least in the United States) seem plausible. I would add two more:

    1) Economic liberalism was accommodated and even praised during the Cold War period because it was obviously more compatible with Catholic teaching than godless communism. After the Cold War, too many Catholics began to mistake economic liberalism’s relative merits for absolute merits. Moreover, corporatism and other “Third Ways” became tarnished by their association with fascism/Nazi which prevented them from being viables option either in the Cold War or post-Cold War period.

    2) To the extent there are alternatives to economic liberalism in the United States today (and that is an open question) those alternatives are associated with social liberalism which is openly hostile to the Church. (This is sort of the domestic analogue to the first explanation: certain ideas are dismissed ab initio because they are associated with other presumably worst evils, which eventually leads to entrenched acceptance and endorsement of the lesser evil)

    1. Yeah, those are also helpful. I don’t think my little sketch here is either exhaustive or as detailed as it could be. I was more or less spit-balling ideas based on a variety of things I have read. I actually doubt there is a single, monolithic explanation. There seems to be a confluence of factors at work here. I suppose the bigger question I am trying to drive at is, “Why did we [Catholics] give up the fight for moral reform?” That is, why did we give up the fight for the sort of moral reform QA presupposes in order to create a just economic order?

  2. This is the same Schumpter who coined the term “creative destruction” as well as the Salamanca Thomists as proto-Austrians?

    1. I think defenders of Catholic Social Teaching desperately need to come up with a scholarly work on the School of Salamanca, to counter all the Austrian claims. So far I think there is only Prof. Kwasniewski’s article on the subject, which while a good start only managed to cover a small facet of a vast topic. It really needs someone who specializes in economic or Scholastic history.

      1. As for the Salamanca Thomists, I am not sure why people make so much of that. It’s not as if every school of Thomistic or Scholastic thought had everything right, nor is it fair to claim that people who lived centuries ago necessarily presaged very modern developments. That kind of thinking goes on all the time, though, like when people claim Roman law is responsible for capitalism.

    2. Yes, though like the “invisible hand” the “creative destruction” line has probably been freighted with more than it can handle. All the same, I am not advocating Catholics rally to Schumpeter, only that it’s interesting that a man who was neither a practicing Catholic nor anything but a fan of liberal economics could, based on his own reflections, come to conclusions — or at least entertain conclusions — congruent with Catholic social teaching. It certainly disrupts the image of a modern economist.

      1. I agree that we can learn a lot from some of him. I have read most of his magnum opusCapitalism, Socialism and Democracy wherein he essentially agrees with Marx that Capitalism creates the conditions of its own demise. Schumpeter is very candid about the fact that Capitalism undermines the family. This is contrast to the other Austrians who hold hyper-progressive views of the market as the cure to any and all social ails.

  3. Why would you want economic fascism? Why not just direct-democratic worker councils running their businesses and everything else would be decided at the local level democratically.

          1. How is it not elitist? Also, elitism is bad because it is arrogant and assumes that somehow by the very nature of one’s social position, that one is more fit to rule, command etc.

Comments are closed.