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Catholic Social Science Review

Volume 16, 2011

John Larrivee
Pages 51-65
DOI: 10.5840/cssr2011166

Caritas in Veritate: Learning Lessons about Truth, Religion, and Civil Society from the Economic Experiments of the Twentieth Century

Caritas in Veritate emphasizes authentic development as growth in virtue and love for each other and for God. Civil society, especially religion and the family, set upon a foundation of truth about man and what is good for him, is critical. In the last century, debates about the economic and political mix were driven by theories which, because they overemphasized the impact of economic factors (especially capitalism) on individuals and society, often saw religion and civil society as irrelevant. The failure of the alternative economic arrangements demonstrates the error of those theories and testifies to the importance of truth, religion, and civil society to authentic human flourishing. Excessive criticism of capitalism hinders learning this lesson by keeping the focus on economic factors rather than moving to the more central issues of truth and civil society.