This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

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Agreements between employer and employee

In our discussion of justice we distinguished between commutative, distributive, and social justice. The direct agreements between employer and employee fall under the domain of commutative justice, which is the justice of exchange and is the most basic order of economic justice. However, these agreements must meet certain conditions beyond “mutual consent” in order to be considered just. They are not automatically just simply because the employer offered the contract and the employee accepted, for the right of the worker is not something determined by the worker himself, but is determined by an objective standard:

“Let the working man and the employer make free agreements, and in particular let them agree freely as to the wages; nevertheless, there underlies a dictate of natural justice more imperious and ancient than any bargain between man and man, namely, that wages ought not to be insufficient to support a frugal and well-behaved wage-earner. If through necessity or fear of a worse evil the workman accept harder conditions because an employer or contractor will afford him no better, he is made the victim of force and injustice.”[1]

In addition to commutative justice, this contract must be capable of taking into consideration the requirements of distributive and social justice.[2] This is the “political logic” which must participate in and guide all “economic logic”:

“Economic life undoubtedly requires contracts, in order to regulate relations of exchange between goods of equivalent value. But it also needs just laws and forms of redistribution governed by politics, and what is more, it needs works redolent of the spirit of gift. The economy in the global era seems to privilege the former logic, that of contractual exchange, but directly or indirectly it also demonstrates its need for the other two: political logic, and the logic of the unconditional gift.”[3]

[1] RN, 45.

[2] CV, 35.

[3] CV, 37.

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