The Constitution Under Social Justice
Antonio Rosmini-Serbati (1797D1855) was one of the first natural law scholars to bring natural law thinking into a conversation with the market economic order that was beginning to emerge in Europe in the 19th century. His reflections on matters such as the origin, nature, and limits of private property, the role of the state, and the nature of human reason show him to be a unique, innovative thinker who nonetheless was determined to work within the parameters of Catholic doctrine. Many of these ideas are concretized in his seminal work The Constitution Under Social Justice, a text that has profound instights to offer those today seeking to integrate theology, philosophy, and economics into their conceptions of a social order that aspires to be both free and just.
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On Constitutions of the French Kind
The Vices of Constitutions
Remedy for the Two Radical Vices of the Constitutions Molded on the French Model
A Constitutional Project
Explanation for the Reasons for the Constitutional Project Reasons for the Distribution of the Matters
Reasons for the Disposition Contained in the Preliminary Article
Reasons for the Dispositions Contained in Title I
Reasons for the Dispositions Contained in Title II
Reasons for the Dispositions Contained in Title III
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Page xxv - The rights of men in governments are their advantages ; and these are often in balances between differences of good ; in compromises sometimes between good and evil, and sometimes, between evil and evil. Political reason is a computing principle; adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing, morally and not metaphysically or mathematically, true moral denominations.
Page xvii - These metaphysic rights entering into Common life, like rays of light which pierce into a dense medium, are, by the laws of nature, refracted from their straight line. Indeed in the gross and complicated mass of human passions and concerns the primitive rights of men undergo such a variety of refractions and reflections that it becomes absurd to talk of them as if they continued in the simplicity of their original direction.
Page xxiv - The science of constructing a commonwealth, or renovating it, or reforming it, is, like every other experimental science, not to be taught a priori. Nor is it a short experience that can instruct us in that practical science, because the real effects of moral causes are not always immediate; but that which in the...
Page xviii - The pretended rights of these theorists are all extremes : and in proportion as they are metaphysically true, they are morally and politically false. The rights of men are in a sort of middle, incapable of definition, but not impossible to be discerned.
Page xliv - For to everyone who has, will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
Page xliv - Dico autem vobis, quia omni habenti dabitur, et abundabit : ab eo autem, qui non habet, et quod habet auferetur ab eo. 27. Verumtamen inimicos meos illos, qui noluerunt me regnare super se, adducite hue: et interficite* ante me.
Page xxiv - The house of commons too, though not necessarily, yet in fact, is always so composed in the far greater part. Let those large proprietors be what they will, and they have their chance of being amongst the best, they are at the very worst, the ballast in the vessel of the commonwealth.
Page xlix - Charles Dunoyer and French Classical Liberalism," Journal of Libertarian Studies 1, no. 3 (Summer 1977): 173.