Free Markets and the Common Good: A Few Methodological Remarks
In this chapter, Rocco Buttiglione, professor at the Università degli Studi S. Pio V, Italy, vice-president of the Camera dei Deputati of the Republic of Italy, examines the interrelationship between pure economics and politics and ethics. Buttiglione states that “pure economy is like a compass that helps a pathfinder to determine the direction in which he has to move. It helps but it is not enough”; the map necessary for this pathfinder is constituted by politics and ethics. The author thus begins with a consideration of the nature of the free market, founded upon a rule of law and characterized by the ethical value of the free interaction of free men. Having investigated the a priori nature of economics, he then refers to the post-World War II era and globalization to show that pure economics does not always provide the best solution. The necessity for social justice demands a mediation between gratuitous exchange and economic laws; this mediation can be found in the civil society, characterized by solidarity, within which market interactions take place.
KeywordsSocial Justice Free Market Austrian Economic Economic Meaning Command Economy
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