Thursday, 21 July 2011
Trust and the Big Society
The editor of The Tablet has some interesting comments on Catholic social teaching online here. She points out that most social scientists would agree with the Church that trust is a "key ingredient in the ecology of a sound society". But trust cannot flourish in a society where everyone is encouraged to pursue their own short-term self interest. Too often those in whom we place our trust have proven unworthy of it -- whether it be bankers, MPs, health-service providers, priests, newspapers, or police.... "One of the points made by Caritas in Veritate is that an economic system driven purely by self-interest not only cannot be relied upon to provide a moral basis for economic activity, but will actively undermine it." Where does trust come from? How do we get it back, once it has been betrayed? Not from the government or the market, that's for sure. From civil society? Yes, but only if there is a religious dimension present -- a tradition -- by which individuals are encouraged and enabled to give of themselves to others and seek the common good. Without faith there is no trust.
Posted by Stratford Caldecott at 12:28