Micheal Novak is the prolific author of numerous monographs, articles, and reviews, and has written over twenty-five influential books in philosophy, theology, political economy, and culture. He holds the George Fredrick Jewett Chair in Religion, Philosophy, and Public Policy at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C., where he also serves as Director of Social and Political studies. He has lectured almost all over the world and has taught at Harvard, Stanford, Syracuse, and Notre Dame. During 1981 and 1982 he served as Chief of the United States delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva as a Regan appointee with the rank of Ambassador. His writings have appeared in more than a dozen languages. In 1994, he received the prestigious Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion for his service in defense of freedom and for his credibility in influential work in Christian social teaching on economics. Throughout his many writings, Novak has urged his readers to embrace a tripartite system of democratic capitalism, including a market economy, a democratic polity, and a moral-cultural system that would nourish the values and virtues on which free societies depend. Novak’s achievements lie in his construction of a theory of democratic capitalism based on clear thinking about the world.
He has defined and analyzed the underlying ideas that make our system of democratic capitalism meaningful. Novak envisions democratic capitalism as a trinity of systems in one-an economy based predominantly on markets and incentives, a democratic polity, and a moral-cultural system that is pluralistic and liberal (Novak, The Spirit of Capitalism, 13-20).
For the past six hundred years a culture and a society, dedicated for the most part to development and trade as the ultimate source of well being, began to expand all over the world. In a great number of ways this development, capitalism, became the most successful culture and society the world has ever seen. Capitalism ascended as a successful social means. It was successful as it ...
Novak argues that the virtue of enterprise can be taught and that a social system can be constructed to enable human beings to create wealth in a sustained and systematic way. The best way to help the poor is through a system that creates economic growth from the bottom up-a system that creates jobs for the poor. Tho help the poor is to help each poor person exercise his god-given right to personal economic initiative. Novak suggests that business as a mediating institution has seven internal responsibilities that arise from the nature of corporation itself and an additional seven external responsibilities that are derived from Judeo-Christian religious teaching. In order to succeed, a business must: 1.
Satisfy customers with goods and services of real value; 2. make a responsible return on the resources entrusted to it by investors; 3. create new wealth; 4. create new jobs; 5. defeat envy be generating upward mobility and by demonstrating that talent and hard work will be rewarded; 6. promote inventiveness and ingenuity; and 7.
diversify the interests of the republic (Novak p.17-19).
According toi Novak, the corporation’s independence from the government makes a vital pillar for democracy and freedom. He explains that sources of private capital and wealth are critical in the survival of freedom-the alternative is dependence on the state. The corporation is the chief supporter of research, the arts, universities, charities, and other good works. In addition, corporate ownership extends through more that half of the adult American population through pension plans, mutual funds, and so on, thereby securing the financial hopes of individuals and families. Most important, Novak explains how corporate activities expand the space for the private action and independence from the state.
Exxon and Mobil were two big competitors in the oil industry. In the 20 th century, Exxon and Mobil operated with relatively low-price, and in low-margin environments. The market in the United States and Europe have grown and matured, allowing them both to grow with great success. The competitiveness has tightened worldwide in the crude oil business. Both companies have continued to advance new ...
Novak urges corporate executives to represent stockholders rather than “stakeholders”(Novak p.18).
he observes that a war is still being waged to socialize the American corporation. He warns business leaders to be wary of modern attempts to recycle socialist ideas.