Acton Institute, July 19, Grand Rapids, MI — As the G-8 meet in Genoa this week, thousands of protesters will gather to demonstrate against what they consider to be the negative moral and economic effects of globalization.
For the past 11 years, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty has been studying the relationship between morality and economics. It believes that, while the process of globalization has some negative effects, the benefits of globalization are widely ignored.
— Globalization has been occurring from the beginning of history. It is not the result of a conspiracy of the rich. It proceeds from the social nature of the human person.
—Globalization is reducing the costs of producing many goods, thereby making them more available to all.
— Globalization involves the abolition of tariffs and the privileges of protectionism. This has allowed the developing world access to the markets of the developed world, and forced the developed world to compete on more equal terms with the developing nations. We also know that nations that are open to free trade enjoy a faster economic growth rate than those that choose isolation.
—Globalization is increasing the degree of social integration, thus increasing inter-cultural understanding and reducing the potential of war.
— Globalization is furthering the spread of the technical advantages of wealthy nations throughout the developing world.
The Acton Institute is deeply concerned that the many religious groups involved in the Genoa protests are effectively ignoring the deeply anti-Christian and anti-humanistic positions of many anti-globalization groups.
Many protesters employ the language of class war, rely upon pseudo-scientific claims to bolster their arguments, and embrace extremist environmental views. In sum, radical protesters cultivate a deep contempt for the culture of life as well as a tendency to downplay what Christians consider to be the uniqueness of the human person.
An articulation of the Institute's work on globalization is available in the book A Catholic Response to Economic Globalization , available through the Institute's online bookstore or by calling the Institute directly at 616-454-3080.
The Acton Institute calls upon these groups to be more discerning and to repudiate explicitly any association with any aspect of the anti-globalization movement that is not faithful to the Christian view of humanity and the world.