Thomas Storck has a new piece up over at Ethika Politika, “The Catholic and the Modern Loss of Purpose.” In it, Storck takes aim at the vacuousness of modern economic thinking while calling on Catholics to “reorient our thinking to see ourselves, and indeed the entire trajectory of history with the Catholic understanding of nature and purpose[.]” Here is a sampling of Storck’s critique of economics.
All that economists have to see is this man selling and that man buying, this man producing and that man consuming. They are simply facts, facts from which we can discover how to buy most cheaply or sell most dearly or produce and consume the most. Wealth, however obtained, for whatever end and in whatever amount, is the purpose of economic activity. If I can make money producing a good or service, so long as it is legal, I need never ask if the community really needs the things that I make, or if they are not in fact harmful to it, or if I am otherwise destroying any of the higher goods that pertain to the community.
This understanding of economic life is possible only because men were first convinced that the purpose of economic activity is whatever an individual wants to make it, that it has no inherent purpose to which one must in humility submit. And that view is only possible because Western civilization had already decided that things have no inherent nature. There is no standard by which to judge any economic action because there is no purpose inherent in them, and they have no purpose because they have no nature.
Be sure to read the entire article. And while you’re at it, take a moment to check out Storck’s latest book, From Christendom to Americanism and Beyond, which is now available from Angelico Press. I am currently in the midst of reading it and will be reviewing its contents in due course.