September 23, 2013
Will They Whack That Socialist Too?
Someone in Manhattan called a guy in the City of London:
Hi Miles, did you see that Reuters piece about that new lunatic?
Pope attacks global economics for worshipping 'god of money'
About that guy speaking in Sardinia? yeah I did. And I had thought we had the Soviets down the toilet.
Yeah, we had. But now these socialists are creeping up again.
That and with an long-term ideology and a big following.
How did this wacko come to power? He have had such a good run. That Polish guy was great for us and that German dude never made a fuss as long as he could get away with his hobby.
Hehe, a small boy a day ...
Look, we can't let this get any more grounds. It must be snuffed out and as soon as possible.
I agree. Do you still have those friends in Palermo.
You mean Mario and his brothers? Those silent knife folks? Yeah. Should I give them a call?
Do so immediately. This guy must be buried before he creates more damage. We have our bottom lines to watch.
I agree. I'll get Mario on the phone as soon as I'll hang up on you.
The pope, who later celebrated Mass for some 300,000 people outside the city's cathedral, told them: "We don't want this globalised economic system which does us so much harm. Men and women have to be at the centre (of an economic system) as God wants, not money."
"The world has become an idolator of this god called money," he said.
The pope made clear that his assessment was not limited to the local situation.
"It is not a problem of Italy and Europe ... It is the consequence of a world choice, of an economic system that brings about this tragedy, an economic system that has at its centre an idol which is called money," he said to the cheers of the crowd.
"To defend this economic culture, a throwaway culture has been installed. We throw away grandparents, and we throw away young people. We have to say no to his throwaway culture. We want a just system that helps everyone," he said.
I am starting to really like this guy. Let's hope that he has some good protection.
Posted by b on September 23, 2013 at 01:14 PM | Permalink
Tarpley will be ecstatic.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 23, 2013 1:16:59 PM | 1
Someone in the LRB, forget which issue, wrote that when one takes Economics at the uni he's really only studying Capitalism, since that is the only system that is ever seriously discussed.
Posted by: ruralito | Sep 23, 2013 1:41:56 PM | 3
Yeah, since the "Black Pope" and the Jesuits have long been thought by many to be among the more powerful of secret societies - if not THE most powerful - I wonder what it all means when the first Jesuit Pope comes out and actually sounds like a Christian? ;)
Posted by: JSorrentine | Sep 23, 2013 1:43:26 PM | 4
Xtians believe that God had a Son; something, as I hear, Islam is dead-set against. At some point, this irreconcilable has to cause a ruction.
Posted by: ruralito | Sep 23, 2013 1:54:53 PM | 5
Whether Xians believe that God has sons, daughters, aunts and uncles, or for that matter a whole harem of wives, is relatively unimportant. Much more to the point is that Xians believe in the sanctity of private property, just like Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and members of any other faiths that aspire to respectability. That means, in practice, that no matter how sentimentally populist they may get, they will kill commies with the best of them.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 23, 2013 2:42:36 PM | 7
Not to offend anyone but, sorry, I think that new pope is a cut-out, a fake.
Sure, he says nice sounding things about the "golden calf", mammon being the de facto god. But so what? That's just nice talk for the masses.
Fact is, this guy is a liberal, a destroyer, who is tolerant toward gays and who opens up the church to women diacons.
But, of course, everyone is free to believe in miracles. Such as in "Finally God sent us a warm, friendly, understanding man full of mercy and kindness".
Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 23, 2013 3:13:52 PM | 8
it doesn't matter, it's not like he's ruling the financial show... But as long as this message is received & digested by billions of people worldwide, it provides a shift in the right direction, as small as it is compared to our usual daily media crap. and we should appreciate it , whether we're atheists jews christians martians muslims pastafarians, homo/hetero/bi, who gives a shit...
Posted by: zingaro | Sep 23, 2013 3:48:48 PM | 9
this pope doesn't live in the papal apartments, but in a sort of guesthouse in the Vatican; I think he does so to avoid being isolated from events and rumors, but mainly for personal protection (pope Luciani was found dead in his bed, remember?); Francis has decapitated the power structure that governed the Vatican and the IOR (Istituto Opere Religiose, the Vatican bank, at the center of many mysteries implicating mafia, secret services, P2, etc)
where all this will lead I don't know; two things are certain: his belonging to the Jesuits seems to really make a difference, culturally; and it's difficult not to like him
from the beginning I was wary of him, but I'm still waiting for that "aha!" moment where your suspicions are proven true, and you congratulate yourself for not having fallen for it; instead, he has until now surprised me positively
Posted by: claudio | Sep 23, 2013 5:15:28 PM | 10
In our society, to go against the World is a sure proof of insanity. If a member of any branch of the US government said the things that Francis did, say, on a Monday, then on Tuesday his best friends wouldn't talk to him, and on Wednesday he would be an unperson, his name forgotten, or a dirty word.
Of course the rest of us nobodies can grumble all we want - no one is listening anyway. Like the dogs of a certain country: they don't feed you much, but you can bark all you like.
And when you call Francis a "liberal", specifically who are you comparing him to?
Posted by: rackstraw | Sep 23, 2013 6:04:48 PM | 11
Yeah, I’ve been having similar feelings about “that Socialist”. It ‘s almost too good to be true but I’m enough of a skeptic that I wonder if he’s just impersonating a real human being to help quell the global revolutionary attitudes of those being quashed by the global elite. And if not, I worry he’ll come to the same end as John Paul I.
hope that he has some good protection.
Posted by: juannie | Sep 23, 2013 6:09:24 PM | 12
I meant to use this link - John Paul I.
Posted by: juannie | Sep 23, 2013 6:24:52 PM | 13
@juannie - yes, that's the danger; an alternative not only to revolutionary attitudes, but any political project; I studied a little the writings of another South American cardinal, Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, that supported the military coup in Honduras against president Manuel Zelaya, too close to Chavez, in 2008; the Vatican was the first state to recognize the new president Roberto Micheletti, while Obama and Clinton were still stuttering
Maradiaga has been nominated by Francis to supervise a group of 8 cardinals in charge to make proposals for the reform of the curia (the catholic church central government)
Maradiaga, to make it short, in my interpretation, is guided by a medieval dualistic idea, the coexistence of the Empire (the Us and the hierarchy of friends, vassals, etc) and the Church, where the Empire wields economic and military power, the Church spiritual power and social representation
this pits the church against any kind of autonomous, democratic process of emancipation
but in this age of "clash of civilizations" and "there is no alternative", attacking the power of the "permanent war" lobby and of the financial lobby can't be bad; it could also have the unintended consequence of legitimizing and preparing the ground for new political movements
let's hope Francis isn't too reactionary on this front
Posted by: claudio | Sep 23, 2013 6:41:05 PM | 14
I’m presently reading Howard Zinn’s “The Twentieth Century” and am so disillusioned by the cynical pragmatism of the leaders such as Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower and even Kennedy around the issue of human rights and civil liberties, in regards to all of the working class but especially black Americans. Their civil liberties advances were but ploys to quiet the minds of the dispossessed and were given little power of enforcement; so the revolutionary attitudes were quelled and the captains of capitalism could continue to amass fortunes at the expense of the working class as well as the natural world. My skepticism about the ruling elites is almost total. I have almost zero trust in anything coming out of the mainstream global world. As in the previous thread, of course Kerry can’t be trusted. Nor can Obama or any of the rest of our government or corporate honchos. The only time they tell the truth is when it just happens to coincide with their agenda.
Posted by: juannie | Sep 23, 2013 7:11:19 PM | 15
Not so fast.
This guy has to undo about 1400 years of bullshit - not just make a few speeches.
The Catholic Church has far more to answer for than living in fancy apartments and wearing fancy gold hats.
As someone who was brought up in the shadow of these miserable fucks and their endless hypocrisy, I take Mr. Pragma and juannie's view until I see something more substantive.
Posted by: guest77 | Sep 23, 2013 9:04:56 PM | 16
juannie, I haven't read that book, but the 20th century, in its central part, has seen a real general trend towards more equality: social advances were real, thanks to mass movements and organized labor; civil right issues are another matter, also regarding their enforcement; I'll read the book when I can, we all feel the need for a general appraisal
My skepticism about the ruling elites is almost total. I have almost zero trust in anything coming out of the mainstream global world
I agree; I think after the end of the sixties movements, and then the collapse of the USSR, we were rolled back to the world of the late XIXth century: plutocracy, militarism, colonialism, darwinism; but without a socialist movement and leftist parties
Posted by: claudio | Sep 23, 2013 9:05:10 PM | 17
I meant liberal as in liberalism (one of the capitalism, socialism, liberalism triplet and the most dangerous one).
Matching the issue I'll put it in theological wording: The devil isn't a beast of 53m in size (plus an additional 6m of horns) but rather an army of tiny creatures disolving and destroying everything; it's about annihilation of structure and order. And that's quite exactly what liberalism is.
To go against the god mammon is cheap (pun intended); everyone loves it and it paints "good guy" in big neon letters on the one doing it.(And one might ask when the immensely rich vatican will give its possessions to the poor and needy. my tip: Don't hold your breath.)
Now, having "good guy" freshly and loudly painted on him, the paint still wet, this pope sells out the very spine of his religion by liberalizing it - which comes down to usurping its core. This is simply a sales action or should I say a sell out.
(And, no, I'm not a devout catholic).
For comparison: The russian orthodox analogon, the Patriarch, would never, ever, no matter what, do what francis does there.
Just wait for francis to accomodate and please the "chosen people" ... (who themselves call their true "god" "el shaddai") ...
Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 23, 2013 9:29:42 PM | 18
Love the Popes' rhetoric, can the church actions match it? But, at least we have a religious leader actually saying something relevant. He better watch his back.
Posted by: ben | Sep 23, 2013 10:25:04 PM | 19
Thanks for posting that Ben...
Mr. P's statement "... it's about annihilation of structure and order. And that's quite exactly what liberalism is." has me flummoxed!
@ 17 Mr. P... are you referring to 'Neoliberalism'? rather than liberalism?
Posted by: Crone | Sep 23, 2013 11:00:10 PM | 21
Those who suggest that the Pope may be less than sincere may well be correct but there is nothing in Christian doctrine to prevent Francis from, essentially, repeating the Sermon on the Mount.
To say, as Rowan does, that religious leaders looking for acceptance by the ruling class - 'respectability' he calls it- will not challenge the system espoused by those rulers is perfectly true. As are most circular arguments.
But it tells us very little about the religions themselves, which generally long pre-date anything approximating capitalism and all include what can be construed as critiques of characteristically capitalist behaviour such as money lending at interest, failure to protect the vulnerable from famine and other uncharitable and anti-social behaviours.
It is senseless to exempt religion from the overwhelming and distorting influence of capitalism. To argue that religious practices today have not been shaped and licensed by the ruling class and the ruling ideas is disingenuous and certainly unhistorical.
In the past many dedicated socialists have come from the ranks of the Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and other religions- many of the bravest and most dedicated Latin American opponents of imperialism in the past few decades have been Christians, many thousands of whom have been killed by death squads and torturers.
Anyone seriously opposed to imperialism will not be turning away poor people who haven't signed on to Richard Dawkins' and Christopher Hitchens' sneering atheism. And those, like the two fore mentioned, who do tend to end up preaching islamophobia on the imperialist payroll.
One thing we do know about Francis: he has seem imperialism at its worse in his own country.
He has been criticised for not being sufficiently critical of the US backed Junta which killed so many Argentinian socialists and trade unionists. (Such criticisms are very easy to make, thirty years afterwards in a country which exports death squads but rarely employs them at home-rarely needs to.) It is possible that the Pope, guided by experience, and with the power of his pulpit, now makes his feelings and his understanding of theology clear by denouncing war and greed.
Is there anything wrong with that?
Would it make the world a better place if he just went along with his recent predecessors and sprinkled holy water on cannibalism and other forms of exploitation?
Posted by: bevin | Sep 23, 2013 11:39:36 PM | 22
The Pope is a Jesuit? Ay mi madre santisima, there is goin to be a lot of trouble. The priest need to marry, the Vatican ambassador to Dominican Republic fled the country and is now being sought by the prosecutor for molesting children and a deacon say's he was that sad creature's lover. No no no this will not help the holy father one bit. Priests should be allowed to marry and have families. The current system is crumbling, I don't accept women priests, just like I don't accept female imams.
Posted by: Fernando | Sep 24, 2013 1:13:56 AM | 23
"It is possible that the Pope, guided by experience, and with the power of his pulpit, now makes his feelings and his understanding of theology clear by denouncing war and greed."
But it is also possible that he is putting up a front by which he will entice people to look towards a far away power center at the cost of their political involvement in local movements which are actually changing lives.
Of course it isn't a bad thing for the Pope to be saying the right things - but they mostly always have said whatever sounded right at the moment.
When they put as much money and action behind this new anti-capitalism as they did behind anti-communism, then maybe we'll have something. But until then it is just more pie in the sky bs.
Posted by: guest77 | Sep 24, 2013 4:02:27 AM | 24
Ben @ 18 says, "But, at least we have a religious leader actually saying something relevant. He better watch his back."
Ayatollah Khamenei has been on the leading edge of relevance for a generation and more. The English section of his website might be decent and worth a visit if you are interested in relevance, real and actual relevance, from a religious leader.
Posted by: Unknown Unknowns | Sep 24, 2013 4:05:50 AM | 25
I do not mean liberalism variant A or variant B or the one in pink.
I mean the bloody concept that talks about freedom but somehow leads people into de-individualized herds lacking any real freedom. I mean the liberalism that propagates individualism and individual rights that stupidizes and leads people to vanity, to say things like "everyone is intelligent (or beautiful) in some way" and to accept ridiculous implementations of "democracy" as paradise.
And I don't care batshit about the particular colour of the diverse incarnations of that evil.
That is, btw. another "face" of the evil; it has 100 names and faces but never shows truth and its real name. It's a zillion lies, big lies, small lies, nice lies, frightening lies, lies about freedom and "personal growth", lies of souvereignty, lies, lies, lies - not to lie, but to keep people away from finding truth.
Just look at zusa and you'll see what degenerated bio-waste liberalism has made out of what once were human beings, lowly human beings, yes, but human beings. And those bio-waste creatures are terrorizing the world, beautiful countries with high culture like Iran; they terrorize Russia with biowaste sluts like pussy riot so as to tear it apart and to "liberalize" it and make it part of their "liberal" empire.
And I don't care batshit about all those niced up intellectualized forms and faces and schools of liberalism, neo liberalism, western liberalism, blah liberalism. Feces are feces, no matter how you spray paint them.
Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 24, 2013 7:21:17 AM | 26
Mr P, you have a theory lurking in there which could easily be extrapolated in a very right-wing way. Let's untangle this a bit. Historically, 'liberalism' arose along with the nascent capitalist bourgeoisie at a time when feudal monsters still roamed the land. Therefore, first and foremost, it was opposed to 'the Divine Right of Kings' and similar claptrap espoused by The Church. Out of this come, on the one hand, a defense of the free market (which of course never was that, since it was dominated by corporations, such as the various East India and West India Companies, from the word go); on the other hand, a determination to push religion, and 'religious values', out of public life. That is still the heritage of 'liberalism', and one shouldn't allow the manipulated 'colour' (or 'color') revolutions pioneered by the CIA, to obscure it. Don't forget, the CIA used a dialectical strategy on Russia (some even call it, rather unfairly, a 'Hegelian strategy'): they backed and funded 'progressive' and 'reactionary' fringe groups at one and the same time, the purpose being to destabilise the actually existing state, which operationally can be defined as 'centrist'. They funded right-wing religious fanatics (pravoslavic Tsarists) at the same time as they funded ultra-progressive cultural dissident groups such as militant gays & feminists. You get the idea?
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 24, 2013 8:14:41 AM | 27
But: Right wing? Huh? I don't see where what I say makes me a right-wing. (Not that I would care to be called right-wing, Nazi, whatever, but for the sake of correctness).
To give a strking example of what I mean: In our wonderful "democracies" we can chose between variants of zionism called "left, socialist", etc., "right, conservative", etc. and sometimes yet another variant like e.g. "green" or "liberal" - one variant, however, is consistently absent "human" - not as in "humanism" but as in "people out there and their needs".
Am I now a Nazi? A communist? A "not yet specified kind of enemy"? Maybe a sexist or a gay-hater?
Frankly, I don't care batshit.
Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 24, 2013 8:48:12 AM | 28
Thank you Mr P. I often think about this problem, so I hope I have indeed become good at explaining it. But the obvious danger when the 'progressive' ultra-liberals are as you say sapping the fibre of the nation, is to resort of a sort of Evolian reaction, and in fact Evola is well worth reading so that you know what you're dealing with. The people who performed the 'strategy of tension' bombings in Italy in the 1970s were Evolians. Wikipedia rather surprisingly says on its 'strategy of tension' page:
Carlo Digilio, an Italian neofascist codenamed "Uncle Otto" coordinated CIA activities in the Italian Regions of Veneto and Friuli from the 1960s to the 1970s, recruiting former fascists to serve the NATO and US interests in Italy. He himself had been recruited in Verona by US Navy captain David Carrett. In 1998, David Carrett was indicted by a Milanese magistrate, Guido Salvini, on charge of political and military espionage and his participation in the 1969 Piazza Fontana bombing, among other events. Judge Guido Salvini also opened a case against Sergio Minetto, Italian official for the US-NATO intelligence network, and pentito Carlo Digilio. La Repubblica underlined that Carlo Rocchi, the CIA's man in Milan, was surprised in 1995 searching for information concerning Operation Gladio, thus demonstrating that all was not over.
But the person I was thinking of was Franco Freda
, who was a declared Evolian. Evola himself, until 1945, had been vehemently anti-Jewish (I don't like the expression 'anti-Semitic', since to me it implies a race theory which is seldom actually relevant any more). But after 1945, Evola's anti-communism and general anti-leftism became so dominant that he began to see USrael (and he knew perfectly well what it was, a Jewish-dominated imperial system), as preferable to any further 'cultural degeneration' produced by the Left. So his hatred of liberalism became, in the end, a sort of sub-fascism in the service of NATO. This will never, of course, happen to you, my dear Mr P, but hatred of liberalism can do that.
Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Sep 24, 2013 9:09:20 AM | 29
I simply want the Pope to go to the Mises Institute for a few courses in Free Market Economics.
Posted by: martha | Sep 24, 2013 9:27:20 AM | 30
The new Pope has given French Catholics a new breath and impulse.
The demos for-against gay marriage in F rested almost purely on pro-Sark and pro-Hollande, and had nothing to do with their electorate’s religious affiliation or their traditional family values.
First off, Catholics (or Zombie Catholics as E. Todd calls them -1) won the election for Socialist Mitterand, and even more strongly this last time round for Hollande. To make it clear, the more religious, observant and traditional came out for gay marriage (pro Hollande), and the most libertarian, traditionally Protestant, least family oriented, pro-Sark, came out against, a bizarre switcheroo.
The FN did not campaign on gay marriage and polls show its members were pro- and anti- gay marriage in French average proportions, far more for than against. The FN in F is a centrist party (footnotes skipped.)
The Catholics are trying to create a platform between various factions who oppose current financial etc. Gvmt. functioning, and have reached out to -- dissident and radical economists! Which has sort of surprised both of them.
All of this partly due to the French MSM being the absolutepits - far far worse than the US MSM. Which has had as a result that ‘alternative’ media, groups and associations, etc. are moving forward as best as can, fast clip, or slow confusion.
1- not an insult, meaning Catholic tradition, etc. without full observance, more of a sociological definition, related to F regions, etc.
Posted by: Noirette | Sep 24, 2013 9:52:14 AM | 31
All the major economies are converging on state-run capitalism, another name for corporate feudalism. They're doing this because it's working for China, at least for the moment, and it suits the wealthy who move the economy. Like all economic systems, it carries the seeds of its own destruction. Those at the top know no restraint, and when those at the bottom suffer enough, an upheaval will ensue. Even now, with neural-control technology coming closer each day, it simply won't matter when the lights go out and food gets scarce. Electricity is a luxury and a formerly over-medicated, amused, overfed and pampered populace gets very, very angry.
Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 24, 2013 10:12:20 AM | 32
@29 Very interesting, thank you.
Posted by: guest77 | Sep 24, 2013 8:24:40 PM | 33
@30 And while ther, he should crack open the ark of the covenant à la Indiana Jones and melt the lot of them.
Posted by: guest77 | Sep 24, 2013 9:08:34 PM | 34
Sorry Cynthia, though there are certainly huge numbers of people getting very rich in China and a great number of poor, the US and Europe are out pacing them in the stratification of their societies exponentially.
Posted by: guest77 | Sep 24, 2013 9:10:53 PM | 35
@ 25: Thanks for the heads up, think I'll take your advice. It could be cathardic.
Posted by: ben | Sep 24, 2013 10:11:31 PM | 36
"Just look at zusa and you'll see what degenerated bio-waste liberalism has made out of what once were human beings, lowly human beings, yes, but human beings. And those bio-waste creatures are terrorizing the world, beautiful countries with high culture like Iran; they terrorize Russia with biowaste sluts like pussy riot so as to tear it apart and to "liberalize" it and make it part of their "liberal" empire."
This is demented, Mr Pragma.
Regarding people as "bio-waste" whether they are Iranians or Americans reveals a very nasty attitude which is unjustified by any arguments to be found in your batshit, be-speckled rants.
You call Liberalism, Capitalism and Socialism equivalents "triplets". They are actually am occasion to ask which is the odd man out?
Capitalism and Socialism can be defined as alternative socio-economic systems. Liberalism cannot. On the other hand Socialism and Liberalism are rival political perspectives. Capitalism is not.
What is wrong with liberalism is not that it promotes individual rights or that it promotes individualism in the forming of characters and opinions or that it promotes rule by the people but that it does none of these things and degrades them all into submission to the rule of capital. In the end it becomes fascism, which strikes me as being the direction in which you are headed too.
Posted by: bevin | Sep 25, 2013 12:07:57 AM | 37
They are actually AN occasion...
Posted by: bevin | Sep 25, 2013 12:09:13 AM | 38
I'm with RB @ 7 and Mr P et al on religion.
My favourite 'dead give-away' is the dubious habit of inducting children into the religion of their parents before they're old enough to have an informed opinion and without advising them of their Consumer Right to terminate a contract made under 'duress' - which pressure from 'family' on an unworldly minor - most certainly is.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 25, 2013 3:18:38 AM | 39
The amusing thing about Papal frothings is that the "flock" on whose behalf he speaks was hijacked in the cradle, from under the noses of gullible, brainwashed parents.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 25, 2013 3:38:01 AM | 40
Your "arguments" can be summarized as
- Mom Uber-Ich reprimanding "One doesn't do that!"
- rationalizing and redefining terms so as to fit within usual system bounds (and indirectly calling me uneducated)
- Indicating that one might put a "fascist" tag on me.
I'm not impressed.
And, of course, I stand with my statement. zamericans are bio-waste and they demonstrate that sufficiently.
The only counter-position that would have made some sense would be to be picky in assuming that "the zamericans" meant to include each and every one of them - which is obviously not the case. "the zamericans" means the mass, the greatest part but clearly spares the very few with intelligence, education, culture, and human qualities (PissedOffAmerican comes to mind as such an exemption).
Btw, one of the reasons I don't care for academia games (likes those above) any more is that academia is a) part of establishment, payed by it and playing to its tune and b) so bloodily wrong, perverted, ill conceived and arbitrary, particularly in the humanities, social and political sciences.
Kindly note that this post does not constitute an invitation or acceptance to discuss this sideline any further but rather a friendly act of courtesy.
Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Sep 25, 2013 6:58:56 AM | 41