In the rush to sell products to consumers, some marketers often seek to create demand by appealing to lower appetites and desire for prestige.
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For them, the market is only a means to make money and not a way to improve society or its members. Whether pornography, subprime mortgages or truly useful products, such marketers are often indifferent to what is sold and how it affects society. Their focus is upon selling in general.
In a more balanced society, there should be a general concern for the well-being of society and the formation of character that should extend even to the economy.
Author and scholar Edward Skedelsky makes the distinction in this way:
“The writings of Aristotle and Aquinas express an aspiration to mould people’s characters, to make them less greedy, more generous, and so forth. Modern economists, by contrast, take people as they are, not as they ought to be. Their ambition is limited to changing outward conduct; they have no desire to transform the soul.”
(Taken from Edward Skidelsky, “The Emancipation of Avarice,” Samuel Gregg and Harold James eds., Natural Law, Economics, and the Common Good, Imprint Academic, Charlottesville, Va., 2012, p. 165.)
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