Skip to main content

Dear Friends,

Human social organization is amazingly complex. Experience alone shows us that the network of our economic, political, and social relationships forms a staggeringly intricate whole. As a result, we can see the impossibility of any single person, or even an elite group of people, orchestrating the whole show. Rather, such relationships develop and organize spontaneously.

Consider language. Right now, there are, according to Wycliffe Bible Translators, over 6,000 languages spoken on the globe. In each case, the vocabulary and grammar were not established by government fiat but developed over time as people learned how to communicate better with each other. By contrast, no central committee has ever created a language as useful as the ones that have arisen naturally.

The same is true for the dynamics of the market, which develop over time as people learn how to better trade with each other. Free markets, therefore, tend to work more efficiently and effectively than government-regulated markets.

This is not to say that the free development of markets always yields perfect results; the doctrine of original sin teaches us otherwise. But when people exercise their freedom in relation to the truth, markets develop in ways that are not only efficient and effective but also ethical. It is such a perspective that the Acton Institute seeks to promote to our future religious leaders, and I thank you for the support that allows us to do it.

Rev. Robert A. Sirico