2 years ago: ‘The moral rights corresponding to this obligation’

November 9, 2011, here on slacktivist: ‘The moral rights corresponding to this obligation’

Those relationships, and the relationships between those relationships, are complicated because the world is complicated. It’s always tempting to pretend the world isn’t complicated. To pretend, for example, that instead of an inescapable network of mutuality, we live in a simplistic world of binary, exclusive responsibilities. That view tends to correspond to a model of reality consisting only of two actors — rugged individuals and a monolithic, leviathan state.

Those clinging to such a simplistic model will likely be bewildered by JP2′s ensuing discussion of the various and varying mutual responsibilities of the “many different factors” that constitute the “indirect employer” he deems responsible for ensuring the right to work. The bewilderment induced by this simplistic model tends to express itself through the attempt to force every discussion into one of two binary categories: unfettered laissez-faire capitalism or socialism. Since what John Paul II describes as the duty of the indirect employer clearly is not the former, the bewildered simplifiers will likely jump to the conclusion that he is advocating the latter. That’s wrong, but it wouldn’t be the first time these folks have inaccurately assumed that someone is a socialist. That seems to be a hobby of theirs.


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