5.3.11 PP Conclusion: development and peace (##76-87)

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Unit 5 Contents

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“Development is the new name for peace.”  This is the heading at the start of #76, giving the theme for ##76-80.1. #76 begins, “Excessive economic, social and cultural inequalities among peoples arouse tensions and conflicts, and are a danger to peace”.

Words that directly reflect that heading then appear in the encyclical’s final paragraph: “if the new name for peace is development, who would not wish to labor for it with all his powers?” (#87).

Yet the meaning of “development is the new name for peace” is not self-evident.  It is a memorable phrase, but what exactly is it saying?

The historical context is important here.  The Cold War was at its height in the 1960s, with advocates of ‘nuclear deterrence’ holding that actual war between the USA and the USSR would be avoided by both maintaining vast arsenals of nuclear weapons targeted at the other – so vast that neither side would risk firing first.  In the worldview of Cold Warriors, this was the way to peace.  Pope Paul VI rejects this:

Peace cannot be limited to a mere absence of war, the result of an ever precarious balance of forces. No, peace is something that is built up day after day, in the pursuit of an order intended by God, which implies a more perfect form of justice among men. (#76)

Pope Paul VI is rejecting a status quo characterised by the threat of ‘mutually assured destruction’ (MAD), which is what the policy of nuclear deterrence came to be called.  In the last few paragraphs of PP, he makes a series of appeals to different groups of people: to Catholics (#81), to all Christians and members of other faiths (#82), and “to all men of good will who believe that the way to peace lies in the area of development” (#83).  These include “delegates to international organizations, political leaders, people of the press, [and] educators” (#83).

The way to peace, then, lay not in the Cold War’s armed stand-off – which embodied a conflict between economic liberalism and Marxist Communism, both of which CST had long rejected – but in the authentic human development that PP had described.  In this way, the heading makes sense.

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Reading (4pp)

Populorum Progressio, Conclusion: ##76-87

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Reflection

How do you react to the idea that “development is the new name for peace”?

From what you know of countries recently subjected to war, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, South Sudan and Nigeria, to what extent do you think that integral human development would enable them to move beyond the deep conflicts that scar them?

Such conflicts often have several causes, which makes that an impossible question to answer!  But this last section of PP provokes us to ask it.  We return to issues of peace and war in Unit 7.

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We are now at the end of Populorum Progressio, the only papal encyclical you are asked to read in full in Module B.

Take a moment to review your reading by looking at what PP has addressed, as outlined in the contents page for 5.3.

As that shows, its structure is straightforward: there are two parts, each with three chapters:

*  After giving some attention to historical context, Part I introduces the encyclical’s driving principle, which is integral human development, and then outlines several aspects of what this means in practice. (These are summarized at the end of 5.3.6.)

*  Part II focuses on what the “solidary development of humanity” means for “the better-off nations” (#43). This is threefold: generous aid, justice in trade, and the practice of love in relations among different peoples, which is made real in hospitality, sensitive respect, and sustained commitment.

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Reflection

As you review your study of PP, what points would you make if someone asked to discuss it critically?  For example, do you see particular strengths or weaknesses in it?  Are there points with which you clearly agree and others with which you disagree?

These questions are a prelude to the next screen when we look at some ways in which PP was subject to critique after its publication.

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End of 5.3 POPULORUM PROGRESSIO

Go to 5.4 ASSESSMENT AND ACTION

 

Module B outline

 

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  1. This is literal translation of the French original.  The text at www.vatican.va has ‘Development, the New Name for Peace’. 

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