In remarks made today in advance of the latest G-8 summit, the Pope stated,
“Today’s international economic scene, marked by grave deviations and failures, requires a profoundly new way of understanding business enterprise….Above all, the intention to do good must not be considered incompatible with the effective capacity to produce goods. Financiers must rediscover the genuinely ethical foundation of their activity, so as not to abuse the sophisticated instruments which can serve to betray the interests of savers.”
His overall statement – part of his monolithic Third Encyclical Letter – is based on a specific Christian belief and worldview that I do not share. Regardless, his conclusions – that capitalism in its currently operating form is antithetical to healthy and appropriate human functioning – is 100% right on.
When I used to give papers against capitalism back in the early 1990’s, shortly after the fall of the USSR, people thought I was a nut. So I stopped. I decided to join the system, make some money, and perhaps help change things from the inside someday. But in the last 15 years, something funny has happened: the cracks in the Machine are showing. The walls are crumbling. And it just might become time to pick up the banner again and expose capitalism for the naked emperor it is. This time, perhaps, the wisdom of those words will be what carries the day, as opposed to ignorant fear regarding the implications of replacing an entrenched but fatally flawed system.
Me and the Pope, in lockstep, against the ignorant G-8. Who woulda’ thunk it?!