Even his opposing intellectual giants, like Father Antonio Rosmini Serbati (1797-1855), had similar views on this topic. Rosminis daring views were condemned for some time. His cause for beatification was started by John Paul II, and he was the first person beatified by Pope Benedict. Rosmini wrote The Constitution Under Social Justice. Published recently by the Acton Institute, it carries an outstanding introduction by the translator Alberto Mingardi. Mingardi, founder of the Bruno Leoni Institute, wrote that Rosmini openly criticized redistributive policies, which limit and seize private property in the name of compulsory benevolence.
During the period that goes from Aristotle to Adam Smith, there is an abundance of moral philosophers and jurists who have focused on distributive justice. It is almost impossible to find one who equates it with Peronist social justice. Wages, profits, and rents were always parts of commutative justice, or contract law. Distributive justice dealt with taxation, rewards, and honors. Even those who had a warm heart for the poor, such as the Jesuit Juan de Mariana (1536-1624), argued that equality before the law required some inequality, as it was just that the most productive should earn more. Mariana was a scholar and his copious writings made him into a one-man think tank. His works were known to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. A small but effective think tank analyzing and promoting free enterprise, now carries his name in Spain, the Instituto Juan de Mariana.
Pope Francis has a chance to renew the old tradition of social justice and, in this way, move the focus from redistribution to the building of an orderly framework of society that is effective in lifting the poor. Respecting private property, promoting sound money, combating corruption, weeding out crony capitalism, protectionism, and other causes of unjust inequalities, which especially affect the poor, is a path to a truly liberated and more just society.
Emphasis and italics mine.
Social justice has NOTHING to do with government redistribution. Nothing. In fact Capitalism is, in my opinion, the ONLY system that allows FOR social justice.
Good article. Social justice is all too often a code word for socialism. When I heard the new Pope’s claim to fame was “social justice” I was immediately wary. Many people are arguing that he isn’t a supporter of big government and point to his distancing himself from liberation theology, but I’m still not that confident. It certainly looks like he is on record as opposing “austerity” cuts in Argentina because they would supposedly hurt the poor. Argentina has been unstable for years because they’ve spent too much money building disastrous social welfare states.
Quite frankly, and I know this is very politically incorrect, I am tired of hearing about the poor. I think a misguided focus on helping the poor through government is precisely why the West has run up massive debt and is slowly imploding. We’ve spent far too much time talking about “the poor”. It’s time society focuses on people that actually produce something, folks that make free markets work, entrepreneurs that build businesses and employ people, business that bring food and medicine to people all over the world, etc.
God's word calls for private property which should not be stolen. Also, Leviticus 19:15 says "You shall do no injustice in judgement; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly."Any law which gives an advantage in the economic sphere to anyone, rich or poor, violates Biblical justice, because Biblical justice requires equality before the law, not equality of incomes or abilities.
The Christian, firstly, must call for true social justice which is compatible with Biblical justice: equality before the law and freedom of opportunity, rather than equality of opportunity, which means not that everyone must start with the same skills and social contacts, but that no one must be prohibited by law from attempting something morally legitimate in the market place, and secondly, he must declare with Proverbs 16:8, "Better a little gain with righteousness than much gain with injustice."
Excellent and most informative article. Thanks for posting..