Sunday, February 19, 2017

A Well-Governed State

According to Esolen and his reading of Pope Leo XIII's writings, a well-governed state should promote its citizens' material and moral prosperity, protect private property, allow free associations, and protect the poor from the abuse of the rich and powerful.  Although there is no single solution that will work for everyone everywhere, there are four principles that should be used to create a solution:
  1. The state should be directed by objective moral law, self-restraint, and industriousness.
  2. The state should assist the poor by creating an environment that allows families to raise healthy children who can become healthy, moral citizens.
  3. The state should allow families and associations to act independently to do what is best and teach virtue.
  4. The state should ensure that the commercial world is just and respects the persons who work; economic efficiency should not trump human dignity.
Esolen notes that, in a healthy culture (not a market), everyone will act in their "truly human interest."  One has a right to property but the responsibility to use it productively by employing others (not paying taxes).  Experienced workers have a right to a living wage but also a responsibility to do good work and to teach younger ones their trade.  We have a right to spend our money as we wish but a responsibility to make the world more beautiful and more human.