Synopsis: Centesimus Annus

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"Human persons should be respected, for they are created in God's image and charged with God's life." Centesimus Annus as published in 1991 as a papal encyclical is not just a commemoration and praise to Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum but also an endorsement of a free market economy towards the enjoyment of freedom, preservation of human dignity and devotion to liberty. In its concerns for workers' rights, for families and voluntary associations, and for religious liberty, and in its endorsement of democracy, the Pope develops classic themes of papal teaching about the modern economy and the modern state. The overlooked human respect led to the brutalization of the workforce in Pope Leo's time, the two world wars, holocaust, the recent dictatorships in the East, and the gap between the rich and the poor. The break-up of atheistic communism was due to its disrespect for the dignity and the consequent rights of the human being. The encyclical calls for a revolution that offers the hope of a new, alternative world in which God's gifts are shared in a just way and where all human rights are respected . In its first part, Pop John Paul II reviews Rerum Novarum as well as the long stream of social encyclicals which ensued thereby providing a panoramic vision of the Church's teachings on the social order. Centesimus Annus simply gave a modern perspective on known social teachings of the church. Pope John Paul II tells us that the new source of economic affluence is no longer "land" as it was in the time of Pope Leo. It is not even "capital", in the sense of accumulation of money. It is a combination of new skills and talents. These skills include the knowledge of new technologies, but also entrepreneurship, acumen in marketing and the knack of organizing the work of many people effectively. Such talents need be honed by the development of the virtues, including diligence, industriousness, reliability, fidelity and courage. The second part focuses on the importance of political and economic freedom of individuals for reshaping nations into democracies. Pope John Paul II thinks naturally of the fall of Communism after the fall of the Berlin wall as it also mark the end of the cold war in 1989. He places economic freedom parallel to political freedom. Marxism is based on a refusal of political freedom for the purpose of introducing a false sort of morality in the economy. Capitalism works only when enough practical freedom is granted entrepreneurs to initiate new businesses and managers to manage their business so that they can follow the changing needs of the market. In essence, Pope John Paul II tells that the economy should rely first on free-markets and second, only when other human needs cannot be met by free-markets should the state provide for them in another fashion. In the political realm, most human needs should also be met by private initiative; and only when private initiative is lacking and only when the common good is at stake, should the State intervene. The free market is the most efficient instrument for utilizing resources and effectively responding to needs." Pope John Paul II emphatically affirms "an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property, and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector . PERSONAL MEANING AS A BUSINESS PRACTIOTIONER

I believe that Centesimus Annus provides a philosophical approach not just to work but in all aspect of human life: the individual, family, associations, social structures and the state. A lot of topics depending on certain types of approach may be discussed; approach on politics, economics, business, philosophy of man and so on. I was really optimistic while reading the text; firstly because I love philosophy, secondly I saw the significance of this precious work in my goal to become a good states man. But much is to be discussed in...
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