I was reading an article from Foreign Affairs about global inequality [Rosanvallon, Pierre. “How to Create a Society of Equals,” Foreign Affairs. 14-Dec-2015.] Under the section heading, “Three Principles for Democratic Equality,” the author had this to say:
These days, equality is usually defined mathematically, as a comparison of the economic positions of individuals or segments of the population. This notion has its uses. But equality should also, and perhaps primarily, be defined socially, as a measure of the communal bond. A theory of equality needs to focus on the structure of society. It should rest on three principles: a recognition of people’s singularity (as opposed to individualism), the organization of reciprocity (in the relation of citizens to one another), and the constitution of commonality (for the community as a whole).
It occurred to me that what the author was articulating was what the Catholic Church has always taught in its social teaching:
- Recognize human dignity (“people’s singularity”)
- Practice the virtue of justice (“organization of reciprocity”)
- Seek the common good (“constitution of commonality”)
There was no need to invent scholarly words. We need to only embrace what the Catholic Church has to say about social teaching.