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CHAPTER 4 MORAL

PRINCIPLE 1:
Human Dignity in the Priority of Labor
Over Capital
“When business does not attempt to see a rigorous respect for
the moral, cultural and spiritual requirements, based on the
dignity of the person and on the proper identity of each
community… then all the rest (availability of goods,
abundance of technical resources applied to daily life, a
certain level of material well-being) will prove unsatisfactory
and in the end contemptible”
- Pope John Paul II
MAN ABOVE OTHER M’S
“Man, the human person, is above other M’s (Material resources, machine, methods,
management, money, etc.) The human labor, the spiritual worker, and intelligent capital,
with God-given sublime dignity, is the real wealth creator”
- PopeJohn Paul II, 1981

As differentiated from human capital (labor), material wealth includes money and
other financial resources, machines, gadgets, and state-of-the-art technology,
methods and other technical resources, and the whole collections and means, which
management appropriates and transforms into products and services in order to
obtain profit. All of these are secondary to the dignity of the human labor.
WHAT ARE THE M’S
•Materials resources
•Methods
•Machines
•Management
•Money
WHAT BUSINESS FACTORS
CREATE WEALTH?
Providers of Capital, otherwise known as shareholders
or stockholders lay claim to most wealth that
corporations create or generate. They are more than
convinced that corporations do exist for one purpose
alone: to maximize returns to shareholders.
Friedman, 1970

“Maximizing returns for the stakeholders” is


universally accepted as the kind of international
mandate.
The Wall Street Journal
Milton Friedman, 1970
WHAT BUSINESS FACTORS
CREATE WEALTH?
• An Author of the “Divine Right of Capital”
• She challenges the idea that achieving 15%
returns for the shareholders is more important than
paying employees a living wage or protecting a
community’s source of water.
• She argues that material capital does not and
cannot create wealth and that pile of physical
capital (machine, a method, a management tool)
sitting anywhere creates nothing.
• Underlines the importance of labor, otherwise
known as the human capital or intellectual capital,
Marjorie Kelly, 2001 the intelligent entrepreneur, the strategic manager,
the diligent worker.
• Human resource is also called human capital and
human knowledge is known as intellectual capital
WHERE DID ALL MATERIAL
CAPITAL CAME FROM
DID ABRAHAM LINCOLN EVER
SAY THAT “CAPITAL IS THE FRUIT
OF LABOR?
•Human Labor is the “mother” of all
capital, who conceive and gave birth to
it.
•Capital is the fruit of labor, and can
never have existed if labor had not
existed; labor can exist without a
capital but capital can never exist
without a labor.

Abraham Lincoln (Former US president)


IS HUMAN LABOR A
SACRIFICIAL LAMB?

Labor is sacrificed on the inflation rate’s


altar of Oblation

Richard Gwyn,1997
IS LABOR THE MEAN TO
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT?

“Being is better than


having”
God-given dignity depends
on the former, not on the
latter.
Archibishop John Foley, 2003
IS LABOR THE MEAN TO
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT?

He is an Econimist
“In assessing what we should
first service – labor or capital
and its high interest rates – we
have chosen to service the
latter when it is the welfare of
the former we should be most
concerned with at this time”
Mahar Mangahas
IS THE SPIRIT SUPERIOR OVER
MATTER?
John Paul II, in Centessimus Ammus, 1991
•He emphasizes that the priority of ethics over technology, the primacy of
the person over things, and the superiosity of spirit over matter.
•It is good business when employers learn to accept the truth that every
single worker is a human person and that his sublime dignity is God-
given.
IS THE SPIRIT SUPERIOR OVER
MATTER?
June 5, 2013 Pope Francis waves to the
faithful as he attends his weekly audience
in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City,
Vatican. This Wednesday Pope Francis
dedicated his general audience with
thousands of pilgrims and visitors to St.
Peter’s Square to the UN World
Environment Day.

Pope Francis
IS THE SPIRIT SUPERIOR OVER
MATTER?
“If you break a computer it is a tragedy, but poverty, the
needs, the dramas of so many people end up becoming the
norm… If in so many parts of the world there are children
who have nothing to eat, that’s not news, it seems normal. It
cannot be this way! Yet this things become the norm: that
some homeless people die of cold on the streets is not news. In
contrast, a ten point drop on the stock markets is a tragedy!
Thus people are disposed of, as if they were trash”
HOW IS HUMAN DIGNITY
PRESERVED AMONG OUR
MIGRANT WORKERS OR OFW’S

It is unfortunate that overseas or migrant workers, considered


as modern-day heroes, are almost always prone to all sorts of
exploitation by their employers in the host counties
HOW IS HUMAN DIGNITY
PRESERVED AMONG OUR
MIGRANT WORKERS OR OFW’S

In 2003, A malaysian employer burned the face of her filipina maid with a red-
hot flat iron – a case that has been repeated a dozen times in other countries.
Cases of brutality, abuse, and mistreatment are even expected incidents when
domestic helpers from the philippines, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Vietnam,
Cambodia, and Thailand work abroad – mainly in the Middle East, Japan,
Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia
IS THERE A MORE PHILOSOPHICAL
UNDERTANDING OF HUMAN
DIGNITY?
The best concept must definitely ascribe to the
human person a worth without an equal and an
assessment that is priceless.
IS HUMAN LABOR AT TIMES REDUCED TO SOME
ASPECTS BELOW HIS DIGNITY?
The human person is reduced from Homo Sapiens (thinking being) to
Homo Feber (Working man), as if the whole being of the worker is equal
to his work only and nothing more.
From homo faber, labor is at times reduced to Homo oeconomicus, as if
the whole essence of human person is equal only to his qualified
materially, position occupied in the corporate ladder, income bracket,
number of credit card, insurance or financial worth.
WHY IS THE IDEA OF IMAGO DEI
RELEVANT TO HUMAN LABOR
We are all created in the image and likeness of God, hence the
expression in Latin Imago Dei. That image and likeness of
God in us is our spiritual nature, our intelligence, our free
will.

Movie, Elephant Man based on the


1923 book on the same title.
Directed by David Lynch
WHY IS THE IDEA OF IMAGO DEI
RELEVANT TO HUMAN LABOR
According to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human
Rights:
“All men are created equal in dignity and rights” That is every
man, woman, and child possess intrinsic dignity, regardless of
race or color, religion, sex, party affiliation, or business
connections
WHAT SHOULD BE THE APPROPRIATE
ASSESSMENT OF HUMAN LABOR IN
TRADE AND INDUSTRY

The World Trade Organization (WTO) First


Ministral Conference in Singapore
WHAT IS THE MORE SUBLIME
PARADIGM OF THE HUMAN DIGNITY?
The correct image of labor and human dignity is that of the
divine image, and this concept of labor is possible regardless
of various beliefs or religious affiliations.
Each and every one of the factory workers and office
employees is far more important than all capitals, new
technology, and expensive equipment imported from abroaad.
WHAT IS THE MORE SUBLIME
PARADIGM OF THE HUMAN DIGNITY?

The chief butler in 2003 movie


“Maid in Manhattan
SHOULD THE PRIORITY OF LABOR
OVER CAPITAL AT THE HEART OF
BUSINESS?
Yes, this moral principle should be at the heart of every business, where labor is
always the primary efficient cause, while capital, the whole collection of means of
production, remains a mere instrument or instrumental cause.

Man is first among other M’s Drucker’s own words: “Unlike material and financial
Assets, human resources, by their nature, are highly dynamic and elusive, defying
foolproof quantitative analysis and predictability. The challenge of management is not so
much in its money, machines, methods, market but on its people. There is no exact
replacement for human resources” (1954)