Patrick Deneen holds a Ph.D from from Rutgers University. He is professor of political science at Notre Dame University. His published writings include The Odyssey of Political Theory and Democratic Faith.
This part of the interview grows out questions readers had about the much circulated The Neo-Conservative Imagination: An Interview with Patrick Deneen. As a result, in this portion of the interview Deneen addresses the issue of what economic systems consonant with Catholic Social Teaching have looked like and should look like.
I would first commend Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation for a sweeping but deeply learned account of how modern economic arrangements were not merely the result of impersonal economic forces, but rather in what ways the “transformation” of society was the result of vested interests that sought to redefine the relationship of economics and society. Modern economics, on Polyani’s telling, was the result of the effort to “disembed” economic activity, and the very sphere of economic, from social norms and moral considerations. This transformation represented a reversal of the dominant way of considering economics heretofore, both within ancient philosophical systems and Christian morality. As he wrote, “Ultimately that is why the control of the economic system by the market is of overwhelming consequence to the whole organization of society: it means no less than the running of society as an adjunct to the market. Instead of economy being embedded in social relations, social relations are embedded in the economic system.”
Now train your eye-of-the-tiger on the rest of “The Neo-Conservative Imagination: An Interview with Patrick Deneen, Part II.”