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The sudden collapse of socialism does not entail the triumph of capitalism. In fact, by its nature, capitalism is not the kind of system that should be described as triumphant. It is a system whose origin is rooted in part in the experience of human contingency, imperfection and sin. Capitalist institutions are involved in ethical ambiguities; but, by contrast, traditionalist, precapitalist leaders do not believe that ordinary men and women can live freely and responsibly without the tutelage of dictators and ruling elites. Pope John Paul's 1991 encyclical Centesimus Annus, offer greater clarity about the ethical situation of human beings engaged in business than anything yet produced by any theologian or church body. Novak hopes to persuade his audience that there is something in the encyclical "for all men of good will." Novak discusses the encyclical, which supplies the architecture for a practical business ethic in the modern society.
Novak, Michael, "Two Christian Ideals for Business" (1993). Boardman Lectureship in Christian Ethics. Paper 11.
Date Posted: 29 September 2006