- Paperback: 383 pages
- Publisher: Remnant Press; 1st edition (July 15, 2010)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004UI30P0
- Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,883,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Church and the Libertarian: A Defense of the Catholic Church's Teaching on Man, Economy, and State Paperback – July 15, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
It would be a misnomer to insist that things looked grim for the Austrian school, because there was no school at this time: it was just Mises. But the last knight of liberalism managed to secure a job teaching at NYU through the Volker fund. The disciples he gathered there were able to ensure that his system would not be regulated to the dustbin of history. Today, the Ludwig von Mises Institute provides articles, books and courses furthering the cause of the Austrian school of economics. Thanks to the advocacy of congressman Ron Paul, the teachings of this school are reaching a large audience.
Enter Christopher Ferrara with his book, The Church and the Libertarian, in which he seeks to combat the errors of the Austrians, be they economic or ethical. He also provides a defense of Church teaching, utilizing various encyclicals from Rerum Novarum through Caritas in Veritate. This Ferrara does exceedingly well.Read more ›
However, things may be a little more complex than I used to think. Ferrara does agree with much of what the Austrians have to say, but he also shows that, whenever they impinge on ethics or politics (often under the guise of doing «value-free» science), they go against Church teaching. Ludwig von Mises, the leading figure of the movement, after whom the Mises Institute was named, was a strongly anti-Christian secular Jew. And even though Woods and Llewellyn Rockwell are self-professed Catholics, they hold positions on social issues that do seem to be at variance with the Magisterium.
The problem with Ferrara's book, though, is that it fails to actually refute Austrian economics per se. Ferrara is fond of repeating that Woods does not have a degree in economics (he «only» has a PhD in history), but he himself is no expert on the subject and he even warns readers that «this book is not concerned with `economics' as an academic discipline involving such technical matters as supply and demand curves and schedules» (p11.Read more ›
While I did not go over the book with a fine tooth comb, it basically attacks the viewpoints of those (especially professed Catholics) who support modern "Libertarianism" and instead defends Distributist views of politics and the economy. No one is likely to agree with everything in the book, but it could provide fodder for a discussion on these topics, especially within a Catholic context.
Some background about me. I am a former libertarian. In graduate school I discovered libertarian ideas and was struck by how clear and simple they made the world seem. As a student of the social sciences, I had a formula that was 100% foolproof, and enabled me to make sense of any social question.
The formula was this: The state holds a legal monopoly on the use of force and is therefore incredibly dangerous and based on violence. Free markets operate with coercion and are therefore infinitely superior and ought to be operate with no government interference at all. The end.
I learned quickly that is was easy, once this formula was mastered, to plug in any social question and write cogent well thought out and well argued papers. Some of conclusions one draws following this approach are sound. I am still opposed to zoning laws for instance largely because of arguments I mastered utilizing the libertarian paradigm. But to say that it is a simplistic formula, and certainly entirely ideological as opposed to scientific, would be an understatement.
As I grew deeper in my Catholic faith as I discovered what the Church had always taught on moral questions such as contraception, I started to question many of my prior libertarian assumptions. Having children, raising them, hoping for their future, and trying to provide for them, teaches one lessons one can learn no where else. I looked at my grandfather's America, and spoke with people of his generation, and learned a few things.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This has to be the single best book on Catholic Social Teaching written in recent times. Don't let the title fool you--it's less about the Libertarians and more about authentic,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Batjacboy
A prequel to his book "Liberty the god that failed". Both books, and hopefully a 3rd of this group will be penned, are worthy of your bookshelf especially for the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by S. Cunningham
This book reminds me of John Maynard Keynes' The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (Great Minds Series) in that it is so full of deception, deceit, dishonesty,... Read morePublished on September 18, 2012 by Ned Netterville