January 21, 2022

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Economics with a binary: we should not focus on material needs, but on the hunter himself

Economics with a binary: we should not focus on material needs, but on the hunter himself

František Economy, an initiative supported by the Pope, aims to reconsider the role that the economy and business can play. It will take into account the economic and commercial models that integrated development can create.

On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This document was a milestone in history because, for the first time, it defined in a consensual way what fundamental human rights should be protected everywhere in the world. Since then, the Declaration has been translated into more than 500 languages ​​and inspired numerous international treaties. It consists of thirty articles, on which the recognition of the dignity of the people is based.

Protection of basic human rights, in addition to a universal goal, is also a cross-cutting issue. It resorts directly to legal, political and economic structures. However, he is not a foreigner or a religion, because there is no way to find common ground with different religions. In the Catholic Church in particular, social doctrine addressed the value, foundation, and integrity of human rights and their relationship to the moral obligations of the individual.

However, Pope Francis’ teaching brings new content in this regard, particularly because of his concern for the rights of the most vulnerable and his concerns about collective problems such as climate change. Both problems require the commitment of companies to solve them and they are at the heart of what is known as the František economy.

František Economy was born in 2019 in an attempt to bring together young economists and entrepreneurs from all over the world to come up with the idea of ​​a more just and inclusive economy. However, in a short time, it has grown into a movement that starts entrepreneurs and professionals from all walks of life. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and American economist Jeffrey Sachs are examples of the personalities who attended its events.

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The movement has a clear Franciscan inspiration. Eternity, solidarity and community culture are some of the values ​​that give life to its development. The humanistic and universal Encyclical of Saint Francis of Assisi, with its concept of fraternal life, is a reference in the pursuit of ideas for an economic model that works for the benefit of all while ensuring respect for “Our Sister, Mother Earth”.

With this reference, economic problems arise from a different point of view: instead of taking into account the material needs of people, the starting point is the hunter’s reflection.

František economy proposes a hunting-oriented economy. Although macro theorizing in economic sciences is implicitly or explicitly based on a particular concept of man, the only understanding here is not as an independent being (an assumption in modern thinking), but as a relational being. This idea, which has matured for centuries in Christianity, puts the well-being of the hunter in a position largely dependent on the quality of relations. Therefore, it inspires the idea of ​​an economy whose ultimate goal is nothing more than the promotion of fraternity, the common good, the protection of the environment, and above all respect for the dignity of the fisherman and his integral development.

Pope Francis insists on the integrated development of the fisherman, it turns out. In his explanation, he refers us to the publication Populorum Progressio, which talks about the integral evolution of the hunter as follows: “Development is not limited to simple economic growth. In order to be authentic, it must be integrated, i.e. support all the people and the fisherman.”

Two ideas emerge from this. There is no need to exclude from the concept of evolution and to understand the hunter as a temporary subject that develops in its potential and vulnerability in all its dimensions (body, soul and spirit) through its own experience.

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The promotion of such a business model obviously places demands on the business community, political class and economists, but to a lesser extent on consumers. František Economics attempts to initiate a global thinking process about a different way of running the economy and business, based on a clear belief in the need to include other concepts, purposes, and protagonists in the new economic story.

To make this story a reality, it requires initiatives that are able not only to include other elements in the discourse, but also to correct negative consequences derived from economic models, which are valid and effective at a particular moment in history, but harmful at that moment. . In addition to meeting the basic material needs of people, the safety of man, his future and the environment in which he grows are at risk today. In this sense František economy gives economics a higher and more transcendent purpose. However, the question arises: will the economy be more efficient? Probably not, although it is more robust, and therefore more resilient, in the unpredictable environment we have here today. Therefore, the reassessment of the business model also includes a reassessment of the criteria for measuring its results. It was not in vain that Pope Francis on numerous occasions reiterated the need to give life to the economy of tomorrow, and in his appreciation suggested a different consideration in some way.

By these premises, it can be assumed that putting František’s economy into practice, regardless of the variables it adopts, will to some extent contain the economics of the “matter” of economic events, so that they can be rooted in the heart of business gone life.

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