Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Pope's Bare Knuckles

Pope Francis is finding his groove. In a new "apostolic exhortation" (Evangelii Gaudium, for all you Latin geeks), specially "Chapter Two" of that exhortation, the Pope weighs libertarianism in the balance and finds it wanting.

Libertarianism ... the philosophy that puts "market-forces" over all else, the mind-set that has defined the Tea Party from the get-go, the politics of "let them eat grass."

This is what Pope Francis said (in part -- his exhorting goes on for many thousands of words):
Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape .... In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system .... While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules .... In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule....
Beware the "deified market," saith the Pope, and I do believe His Holiness just endorsed the Dodd-Frank "Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act."

So we reckon that Sarah Palin was right: the new Pope's a liberal. I'll light a candle to that! Hell, I'll light two.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds rather like Jesus' teachings, doesn't it? Liberal, generous, compassionate. I think I'm getting the Christmas Spirit early this year, and gearing up for the "Advent Conspiracy" (find it on YouTube).