Evangelii Gaudum on free market idolatry

… 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. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. 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.

wrote Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation titled “Evangelii Gaudum”.     It’s  quite strong criticism for the mainstream globalist, free-market worshipping banker world.  Yes,  “the invisible hand of the market” is a cold, dead one.

Pope Francis

Why is this relevant on this blog?   Because I think some of Hungary’s “unorthodox policies”, like the bank taxes or abolishing the mandatory private pension system, are direct challenges to the free market bigotry Pope Francis criticized here and Hungary is a battleground against this “new tyranny” .  So, even though I myself am an atheist, I find Evangelii Gaudum (The Joy of the Gospel) a very interesting read indeed.

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2 Comments

  1. Southerner

     /  08/12/2013

    Human nature almost never migrates to the greater good of those without power by those with it. Great men in addition to Smith in, Wealth of Nations’ (which to me has great insight into human nature); Fredric Bastiat, The Law, Madison, Federalist Papers, Samuel Rutherford Lex Rex, St Augustine, The City of God. All of these works at a practical level point out mans inability left to his own devises to; ” love you neighbor as yourself.”
    Tragically most people are not curious enough to learn even when they are free too, choosing to curse the darkness rather than fight for the light. All any of us can do is govern ourselves well, protect the innocent and fight the good fight for the deliverance of those enslaved in bondage to debt. I am not Jewish even though I admire their brilliance in adversity. But under their law given Moses (by God), every fifty years all debts were to be cancelled. All historic land was returned to the respective families. With all respect to you Leto, as one who came to a personal faith in Christ later than many (kicking and screaming not unlike C.S. Lewis) I now see how my gifts and talents were given me and I owe a debt to those around me. In addition to be the faith I profess to believe, I must mercifully love those less able and assist them to understand their options and encourage wise choices. But must not mother them, they are free men. It is also not my duty to draw fools from foolish behavior unless and until they are done with their stupidity. With all respect to John Wayne, you can fix stupid, it takes generous doses of suffering. I know first hand, my own dad loved me to much to not allow me to suffer, it probably saved my life, it definitely gave me one I’d otherwise not known! For me Capitalism and Conservatism are without a self governing selfless worldview irreconcilable even though educated people use the terms synonymously. In the area I live my grandchildren are the ninth generation within fifty miles. (rare in the states) Being conservative means taking great care of that which you are this generations steward. Leaving it better for your having been there. Not allowing the treasure of quality of life and real values to die at the altar of the temporal. Capitalism is not motivated by and would not be able to entertain these objectives. Its engines are are completely different and while necessary, only as a tool- managed to serve a society, not rape it. I am amazed at this Popes comments and actions. Not being a Catholic, I don’t know how he is received, but the little man has a mighty voice, God bless him! Great post!

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  2. Angela Bogaczy

     /  06/12/2013

    This from Pope Francis: ‘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. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power’,

    and this from Rush Limbaugh: ‘This is just pure Marxism coming out of the mouth of the Pope. There’s no such (thing as) “unfettered capitalism”. That doesn’t exist anywhere.’

    Oh? The Pope did not so much as utter the word ‘capitalism’. His beef is that a tyrannical body of law forces on the world a tightly-regulated marketplace, debt, crippling interest rates and the disabling of the state. In the UK, we are still bailing out banks with taxpayers’ money, because we are told that they are ‘too big to fail’; the WTO tells states exactly what they may not do to protect their own industries; the IMF cripples states with debt, then tells them how they are to run their economies to ensure that they remain in debt forever; the ICSID, an arm of the World Bank, which is formally a body of the United Nations, protects ‘investors’ and brutally penalises states, no matter how fragile their economies. Then there is the host of ‘financial instruments’, such as the one that enables the collection from states of insurance payouts even where ‘investors’ made no investment.

    Marx never even thought of the possibility of skulduggery at this level when he condemned capitalism. And this skulduggery is ‘orthodox’, so Viktor Orban is ‘unorthodox’ when he makes banks pay tax! Sheesh! Hooray for Pope Francis: Vivat, vivat, vivat Pastor bonus.

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