A Universal Culture of Human Rights and Freedom's Habits: Caritapolis

Michael Novak

in Making Globalization Good

Published in print April 2003 | ISBN: 9780199257010
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596223 | DOI:
 A Universal Culture of Human Rights and Freedom's Habits: Caritapolis

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Michael Novak addresses some broad issues relating to culture, basic human values, and globalization, and how these affect both individuals and institutions as societies are transforming themselves within the framework of global capitalism (GC). In identifying the political, economic, and cultural attributes of GC, he argues that its success and acceptability depend on a supportive moral ecology, the ingredients of which he describes at some length. Novak believes that we are currently experiencing a crisis in moral ecology both at an individual and societal level; he cites as evidence, the cult of excessive self‐interest in the market place, the emphasis on power and vested interests in politics, and the widespread expression of relativism and subjectivity in culture. He then discusses four cardinal virtues, which he believes must be embraced by individuals and institutions engaged in, or influencing, the character of global economic activity, viz. cultural humility, truth, respect for human dignity and solidarity; at the same time, he believes that to reach a socially acceptable global vision, it is not necessary, nor indeed desirable, to work for univocal moral principles. The chapter concludes by referring to the Earthly City described by St Augustine in The City of God, and elaborates a modern version, which he terms ‘Caritapolis’, the City of Communion.

Keywords: capitalism; Caritapolis; cultural humility; culture; global capitalism; global market place; globalization; human dignity; human rights; human values; markets; moral ecology; morality; power; respect; self‐interest; solidarity; truth; universal culture; values; vested interests; virtues

Chapter.  13797 words. 

Subjects: International Economics

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