Entrepreneur: "Indirect" and "direct"
Entrepreneur: "Indirect" and "direct"

Fragment of the encyclical Laborem Exercens that talk about the rights of the men of the work specifying the difference between an indirect and direct entrepreneur and their responsibilities.

Author: Pope John Paul II | Source: Laborem Exercens,

Entrepreneur: "Indirect" and "direct" 
Fragment of the encyclical Laborem Exercens that talk about the rights of the men of the work specifying the difference between an indirect and direct entrepreneur and their responsibilities. 
By: Pope John Paul II | Source: Laborem Exercens, 

Laborem exercens 
Loanes Paulus PP. II 
1981 09 14 
or 17. Entrepreneur: "Indirect" and "direct" 

17. Entrepreneur: "Indirect" and "direct" 

In the concept of an indirect entrepreneur, people and institutions of different kinds enter as well as the collective contracts of work and the principles of behavior, established by these people and institutions, that determine all the socio-economic system or deriving from it. The concept of an indirect entrepreneur implies many and varied elements. The liability of the indirect entrepreneur is different from that of the direct entrepreneur, as the word implies: the responsibility is less direct, but it is still true responsibility: the indirect employer determines substantially one or the other aspect of the working relationship and thus conditions the behavior of the direct entrepreneur when the latter determines the contract specifically and the labor relations. This finding is not intended to exempt the latter from its responsibility but only to draw attention to the whole network of conditions influencing its behavior. When it comes to determining a correct labor policy from an ethical standpoint, all these conditions must be taken into account. Such a policy is correct when the objective rights of the laboring man are fully respected. 

The concept of an indirect entrepreneur can be applied to any society and, in the first place, to the State. Indeed, it is the State that must make a fair labor policy. However, it is known that, within the current system of economic relations in the world, there are between the States multiple connections which have their expression, for example, in the processes of import and export, that is to say, in the reciprocal exchange of the goods whether they are raw materials or medium-developed or processed industrial products. These relationships create reciprocal dependencies and, consequently, it would be difficult to speak of full self-sufficiency, that is to say, of autarky, with regard to any State, even if it is the most powerful in an economic sense. 

Such a system of reciprocal dependencies is normal in itself; however, it can easily become the occasion for various forms of exploitation or injustice, and thus influence the labor policy of States and ultimately on the worker who is the subject of work. For example, highly industrialized countries and, moreover, companies that direct large-scale industrial means of production (so-called multinational or transnational corporations), put prices as high as possible for their products, while they seek to establish prices as low as possible for raw materials or to be produced, which, among other causes, results in an increasing disproportion between the national gains of the respective countries. The distance between most of the rich countries and the poorest countries does not diminish or level, but it increases more and more, obviously to the detriment of the latter. This can only influence local and labor policy and the situation of the man of work in economically less advanced societies. The direct entrepreneur, immersed in concrete in a system of conditions, fixes the working conditions below the objective requirements of the workers, especially if he wants to make benefits as high as possible of the company that he directs (or of the companies it directs, when it is a situation of “socialized” ownership of the means of production.

This table of dependencies, relative to the concept of the indirect entrepreneurs as can easily be deduced is enormously vast and complicated. To define it, one must take into account, in a certain sense, the set of decisive elements for economic life in the configuration of a certain society and State; but, at the same time, much broader connections and dependencies must also be taken into account. However, the realization of the rights of the laboring man cannot be condemned to constitute only a derivative of the economic systems, which, on a broader or more restricted scale, are guided mainly by the criterion of maximum benefit. On the contrary, it is precisely the consideration of the objective rights of the man of the work of all type of worker: manual, intellectual, industrial, agricultural, etc. what must be the appropriate and fundamental criterion for the formation of the whole economy, either in the dimension of every society and every State, either in the whole of the world economic policy, as well as the international systems and relations that derive therefrom. 

In this direction they should exert their influence all international no calls to it, starting with the United Nations Organization. It seems that the World Labor Organization (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and others have yet to offer further input in particular in this regard. In the sphere of the States there are ministries or dicastery of the public power and also various social organizations instituted for this purpose. All this indicates effectively how important the indirect entrepreneur has previously said in the realization of full respect for the rights of the man of work since the rights of the human person constitute the key element of all the social moral order.

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