A 5.2.4 Response to Exercise


It is mainly ##336-339 that refer to various positive benefits of business enterprise.  Here is a précis of the main ones.

#336:  Business enterprise gives people opportunity to make use of their talents and thereby both “to contribute to the abundance that will benefit all” and “to harvest the just fruits of [their] labour”.  Business is a way in which people can express their humanity “as creative and relational subjects”.

#337:  This “creative dimension” is “an essential component of human activity”.  In business, it can find expression in planning and innovation (among other aspects), and so is “a source of wealth in today’s society”.

#338: Businesses can “serve the common good of society through the production of useful goods and services”. In doing this, they “create wealth for all of society, not just for the owners”.

Businesses also “perform a social function” by “creating opportunities for meeting, cooperating and the enhancement of [people’s] abilities”.  Indeed a business is “a ‘society of persons’, in which people participate in different ways” whether as investors or as workers.  In other words, each business has its own common good, which comes to exist as participants fulfil their specific responsibilities.

#339:  By enabling such participation, small businesses, not least those organized as co-operatives, also make a distinctive contribution to the overall common good.  Their way of operating can lead to “the growth of a sense of personal and social responsibility”.  This can, in turn, foster democratic life.

#343 sums up: “Economic initiative is an expression of human intelligence and of the necessity of responding to human needs in a creative and cooperative fashion”.

Italics in quotations above are in original.



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