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Reflecting the Mind of the
Vatican since 1850
Business, Society and the Human Community
Somewhere between “society” and “community,” the concept of “living together” is still searching for its right formula, as can be seen in settings like the family, religious associations, sport and work teams, and in the Church or in business. Indeed, Jürgen Habermas argued that community or society are not alternatives. In every human life, both are necessary.

Of course, our organized world tends to exclude any reference to the community, for the exclusive benefit of society. The latter, with all it presupposes in terms of institutions, organizations and rules, necessarily complements the community by virtue of its political character.

The limitation of community is that it seems to concern only interpersonal relations and friendship, where feelings and freely given reciprocal aid play a more important role than transactions, which tend to be rational if not always calculable.

Consequently, in today’s liberal world, community is relegated to the margins, as a purely private matter. In reality, any business enterprise in which the collaboration of several people is required must combine the characteristics of community with those of society. But how to do this?
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