R&L: What impact has the Revolution of 1989 had on liberation theologians?
Novak: In a debate two months ago, I heard Hugo Assman say that the upheaval in Eastern Europe prompted him to rethink the notion of “basic needs.” He used to say that there were some things that he did not admire in Eastern European socialism, but at least those countries met the basic needs of their people. He wished that all countries in Latin America could do at least as well. But the revolt of Eastern Europe showed him that a strategy of “basic needs” is not enough.
Prisons fulfill the basic needs of prisoners; free peoples want more than that. They want real freedom, not just the satisfaction of animal needs. So, the revolt against socialism in Eastern Europe is...
Last November the Orange County (CA) Register and Hillsdale College’s Shavano Institute co-sponsored a conference entitled “Faith and the Free Market”. The following is adapted from Fr. Robert Sirico’s speech by the same name.
That socialism is at a critical juncture is evident by the numerous recent conferences, monographs, books and articles attempting to assess the significance of the unscrambling of the Communist omelet in Eastern Europe and the legitimacy of replacing it with an economic system organized around the principle of the right to ownership of private property.
My thesis is that there is no necessary contradiction between a society that is free and one that is virtuous; more precisely, it is my contention that economic liberty is necessary for a free...
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