Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
Tagle, Hugo. ""El principio de subsidiariedad"". Persona y Derecho, 3 (1976) : 129-149.
The cosmos is a complex whole ordained towards an end which derives from
its general nature and from the particular nature of those parts which constitute it.
In the cosmos there exist man and society, the latter being made up of
different beings which are man himself, married couples, families, municipal, industrial,
professional and ideological societies, regional societies, nations, the
different societies of nations, and, finally, the universal society.
The difference between the natural world and the human world resides in the
fact that man, as a free being, can divorce himself from that end which corresponds
to him according to his essence. This has indeed happened and is the gravest
problem of these modern times, made manifest in one of its main aspects by an
inadequate relationship between man and society, and between the diverse components
which constitute the latter, an inadequateness which brings forth violence
The PrincipIe of Subsidiarity is that principIe which establishes the order that
must exist in society and which, if it is applied, contributes towards the rise of
a true social order, which is that one which serves man according to his essence
and existential ends.
The PrincipIe of Subsidiarity is studied here in terms of its material causes or
subjects, formal cause or structure, efficient or original cause, and its final cause
or reason of being. An analysis is made of its theoretical conception and of its
practical application. Its importance, which is vital for society, is also pOinted out
in a rapid aperr;;u. The author then shows its application throughout the history
of the Western World, and points out how the destiny of the West is linked to
its having been enforced. Finally, the author makes a few brief comments about
the crossroads at which today's world finds itself.