Thursday, September 24, 2015
Open memo to Pope Francis, President Obama, and Senator Sanders: Capitalism Does Not Cause Poverty or Inequality
Socialism and its bastard cousin, communism, brings equality to the masses, the equality of mediocrity. Everyone is equal, except as in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the privileged few. Chairman Mao and Lenin-Stalin killed about 100 million in the pursuit of equality. They are equal in death. Socialism seduces with its appeal to equality, but deadens the human soul and impoverishes the people. Chairman Mao turned China Communist and Nehru India socialist. The result was economic stagnation and mass poverty. Vice Chairman Deng Xiaoping unleashed capitalism in China in 1978. India followed in 1991. The result is an economic renaissance in those countries with India raising hundreds of millions out of Poverty. Prime Minister Erdogan did the same on a lesser scale in Turkey a decade ago, but President Erdogan is resorting to statism with a resulting decline in the economy. Communism failed in Vietnam and the Soviet Union. Russia sadly is reverting to a statist dictatorship with a decline in living standards. Quasi-socialism in the form of the post-World War II social democracy movements of Western Europe has resulted in economic stagnation in Western Europe. The Pope grew up in the world of Liberation Theology, a natural reaction to the economic bankruptcy of Latin American statism, dictatorships, and corruption. The Latin American countries profess to be capitalistic, but it is faux capitalism. It’s easy to be radicalized in that milieu, especially if one is a liberal Jesuit.. What Pope Francis witnessed was at best a bastardized capitalism, more akin to the national socialism of the Nazis, only with less oppression. He experienced and lived in a universe of state sponsored mediocrity and inequality. He said: “Inequality is the root of social ills …As long as the problem of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of the markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems.” He, as many before him, misdiagnosed the problem. Inequality is not the root of social ills, but the result. President Obama listened to Reverend Jeremiah Wright preach Liberation Theology for two decades and sucked it up. Senator Bernie Sanders is an unabashed socialist. Capitalism is the means by which people offer goods and services to others, who are willing to pay for them at a profit to the supplier. Capitalism allows the individual to seize an opportunity to escape poverty. Pope Francis criticized capitalism in his November 24, 2013 Apostolic Exhortation, “Evangeli Gaudium”, “The Joy of the Gospel.” He wrote: “Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories, which assure their 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 ….” He cautioned that “We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market.” Pope Francis complained “The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us.” Sounds like capitalistic, bourgeois decadence. If though Pope Francis wishes to view the miracles of capitalism in action, he should visit the Apple Store at Grand Central Station tomorrow when the new IPhone goes on sale. Elsewhere he quoted a 4th Century Bishop to the effect that the unfettered pursuit of money is “the dung of the devil.” Pope John Paul II (1978-2005), the Polish Pope, was a supporter of capitalism. He lived, experienced, and preached through the depravity and corruption of communism. He knew capitalism had its limits, but that it was the hope for humanity.