In a March 31 interview with communications students, Pope Francis responded to previous accusations of being a communist, explaining that his preference for the poor is in fact based in the Gospel.
“I heard two months ago that a person referred to my preference for speaking about the poor, saying: ‘This Pope is a communist, no?’ And no, this is the banner of the Gospel, not of communism, of the Gospel,” the Pope explained during the encounter.
Given to three Belgian youth who are studying communications sciences, the interview was broadcast on the evening of April 3 on the Belgium website deredactie.be., and was later picked up by Italian news agency ReppublicaTV.
I think the reason why right wingers want to criticize the Pope is because they conflate economic policies with political systems. One could have certain essential services be socialized but still not have a socialized/communist society. For instance, the UK has a socialized health system (just an example, not saying it’s a great thing) but is not a socialist/communist empire. On the other hand, one could have a partially private health care system but a communist political system with a government-run religious system and restrictions on freedom of speech (think China or North Korea). I think (and I could be wrong) that Pope Francis would be in favor of decreasing income inequality and insuring poor people have essential services. He would be again a communist political/social system. The two are not the same thing, but people who really don’t want to see reforms of present inequalities want to conflate them for political gain.
=bioethics1985;11866011]I think the reason why right wingers want to criticize the Pope is because they conflate economic policies with political systems. One could have certain essential services be socialized but still not have a socialized/communist society.
A lot of criticism about the Pope is because people are too gullible to believe what the Western main-stream media reports, which is misreading the Pope and trying as hard as possible to make it look like the Pope is endorsing left-wing ideals.
For instance, the UK has a socialized health system (just an example, not saying it’s a great thing) but is not a socialist/communist empire. On the other hand, one could have a partially private health care system but a communist political system with a government-run religious system and restrictions on freedom of speech (think China or North Korea). I think (and I could be wrong)
The focus should be on what works. Getting government out of the health care industry is the best thing that could happen anywhere.
that Pope Francis would be in favor of decreasing income inequality and insuring poor people have essential services.
Income inequality is something that is not well understood. First of all, income inequality is not necessarily a bad thing; people who do more and are more productive get paid more, but they should share with the less fortunate.
The Catholic concern for the poor has permeated Western civilization to the point that we (Westerners) think it is a part of human nature. I don’t think true Communists are the least bit concerned about the poor but that they use our concern to draw us into their philosophy.
Wow, you certainly have a way with words, as well as a window into the psyche of the “right wingers.” Suffice it to say I disagree with your claim. Conservatives I know are not conflating economic policies with politics. They realize that economic policies are embedded in whatever politics that happen to be around. They have to be, due to the nature of the, um, political system. Everyone has their own opinion whether government’s policies have communist, socialist, capitalistic or distributive properties, as well as the outliers that claim doom or promote conspiracy theories on either side. As SuperLuigi pointed out, poverty/income inequality is not well understood. Claiming that “people” use this reasoning (conflate economic policies with political systems ) to prevent reforms in the general sense is merely incendiary.
By “right wingers,” I was referring to individuals who would ascribe moral approbation to the poor rather than acknowledging that opportunities are not equal. I think back to a statement I heard on Fox where a conservative activist claimed people should just basically stop being poor, like it was all their choice. Options are very much dependent on where you are born, how much money your parents have, who you know, etc. Additionally, socioeconomic inequality has actually been linked with poorer overall health for everyone in a society (I can find the citation from a longterm study of British civil servants if you are interested.). The end result of unfettered capitalism is slavery where the human dignity of workers is jeopardized. Extreme socialism or communism would also devalue persons. However, encouraging a society where all are insured essentials is not communism. But, people who benefit from the status quo can use the “C” word to whip everyone into a frenzy. For the record, my family is very conservative and I’ve heard these arguments against the Pope multiple times. I was discussing classic rightwing arguments and the role I feel they play. I didn’t attack you personally. No need to be sarcastic and flippant. Generally, it seems like anytime I try to offer some observtion or analysis on this board that differs from what someone else believes, people become sarcastic and rude. Don’t worry though, I am not planning on engaging in any more convos on CAF. If I try to offer a different perspective, I’m apparently incendiary. Here I just thought we all were having a sociopolitical discussion.
I believe I was demonstrating a very serious and respectful attitude to the subject, and thank you for your concern, but I did not regard it as an attack. You may have regarded it as sarcasm if it seemed suitably distant to your trajectory of thought, but that’s perception, not sarcasm. What I did do is challenge your statement, as I do also do for “The end result of unfettered capitalism is slavery where the human dignity of workers is jeopardized.” It is up to you to prove this claim, as well as the claim that dignity is something to be jeopardized. I will grant that people may not recognize dignity, but it is an intrinsic part of our makeup, image and likeness of God, imago dei, and as such not subject to jeopardy. As far as being rude, that is something for the moderators to decide if you feel that strongly about it. Perhaps you object to my directness.
The term "Robber Baron(s) was a derogatory term used by critics of that time, and I am familiar with its use to describe American businessmen who were accused of unethically concentrating wealth at the expense of the poor. What is it I am supposed to see in this history, the source of bioethics1985 arguments, or a warning of whats to come, or both? If it is a prognostication, then I am unimpressed; the track record of those divining the future is poor at best. We have as many warnings about the dangers of capitalism as we do the dangers of communism, although communism may have a larger body count. I suppose it depends on how you define body count.
Those who are ignorant of history are bound to repeat it. I’m actually arguing that the history of both unfettered capitalism and communism should reveal either direction is problematic. The Pope is advocating for the middle position, and people who would rather see less fettered capitalism may in some cases use this against him. Extreme leftwingers use the Pope for their own purposes too. But, pretending the extreme right wing doesn’t do this too (especially with the communist label) is wrong.
You wanted examples of the results of unfettered capitalism. I provided the best you’re going to get as unfettered capitalism hasn’t been practiced since the days of tribes sending out war parties to raid other tribes for loot and slaves. But, you apparently know more than me so please enlighten the rest of us with examples of unfettered capitalism and how said didn’t result in workers being exploited.
As for “Robber Barons” being a derogatory term, well its kind of hard for a thug to get upset when someone calls them a thug. But, please once again enlighten us and tell us how these poor ill-labeled men didn’t engage in enough immoral and illegal business practices to be deemed robbers and didn’t accumulate enough wealth and control over their employees to be deemed barons.
I concede that my use of irony could be interpreted as mockery, and I apologize for that.
You may have provided reasonable examples of poorly managed capitalism, but I don’t see unfettered capitalism. Unfettered capitalism, or laissez faire capitalism would represent unstable states due to their effects on competition and consumers, so I don’t see it happening. I predict that they would become so unstable that they would no longer operate, and be replaced with more stable examples of capitalism. What I can see, and what happened before in the last century are the effects of command economic systems in the former USSR, China and North Korea. That is real and well understood in its effects.
I am sorry that your ancestors suffered in that way. My ancestors died as Huguenots in France, on the Atlantic crossing, and as citizens on the Oregon Trail. This should not happen, but it does.
I have yet to see an example of unfettered capitalism, but I do see examples of poorly managed/operated capitalism. You are being disingenuous when you claim that I commented on the characteristics pro or con of “unfettered capitalism.”
It is a historical fact that the term was derogatory, so it appears that at least we may agree about that. What you seem to be doing for the rest of your post is re-framing the discussion into a form you are comfortable with, that of attacking the capitalism. Good luck with that.
Just because some “right wingers” are mistaken abou Pope Francis , does not all of a sudden mean some Leftist ideas are in conformity with the Church.
For instance, the principle of subsidiarity goes against the worldly notions of secular promotion of “Socialized medicine” or socialized programs.
Certain things, as our existing federal means of welfare are not Catholic. Even if some on the Right are mistaken when they oppose all more localized government means of helping the poor.
Because some on the Right are wrong , does not validate the Socialist policies, which is not Christian. And feeling good about healthcare for all through the means of the State is not good when it ultimately leads to Euthanasia, Abortion and Secular Tyranny against the Moral Order through social Engineering, and upsets the correct order that serves the labors of physicians.
One could have certain essential services be socialized but still not have a socialized/communist society. For instance, the UK has a socialized health system (just an example, not saying it’s a great thing) but is not a socialist/communist empire.
The Poor should be helped, and if the State may need to provide some of that help so be it, with the principle of subsidiary , but not by the means of socialist policies and central planning as promoted by the Democrat party and parts of Western Europe.
Another example, Decreasing income inequality should not be promoted by the way that Leftists promote the idea of Class warfare, the idea that wealth is to be coveted…
but should conform to the principles of Rerum Novarem and other Papal teachings.
The Pope is advocating for the middle position
I think that’s an imprecise characterization of the position of the Pope and his predecessors. It’s moreso a position that is *above *the false left and right spectrum. One can’t have a middle position between two errors. One can only have a neither/ NOR position.
Marxism came into existence in the 19th century, Capitalism is a protestant influenced system with a complex history that has some basis in certain practices not mentioned in our education during the time of Adam Smith – Therefore the church is not a middle position between these practices, but merely social applications of economic interactions of men that conforms to actual reality which is independent of flawed practices of economic exchanges set forth from the 17th and 19th centuries as the Church has been around a lot longer, it did not need to learn from these ideologies, but responds to its errors.
Extreme leftwingers use the Pope for their own purposes too.
I agree I do not thnk it’s helpful for Catholic unity to subscribe to the Left or Right paradigms, because by doing so, it opens oneself up to ultimately following a falsehood, hence the disunity that arises in Catholic voting blocs, because both ideologies of the current Left and the Right are false and one gets stuck with defending an ideology that will in the end run into opposition one part of Catholic teaching for the sake of embracing a half-truth within the ideologies that coincide with Catholic Teaching.
But, pretending the extreme right wing doesn’t do this too (especially with the communist label) is wrong.
I agree to an extent, just not with the terms, it’s not a matter about what is considered radical/extreme because the way these particular terms are used is relative to the exercise of the ideas based on the period its implemented, such modifiers end up being useless based on the vagaries of sinful men. ( For instance, Republicans who believe in the definition of Marriage, are considered the extreme right by society in 2014, when in the 1990’s Clinton supported DOMA, and 2008 the democrats opposed gay marriage. )
It’s a matter of what is and what isn’t so. Both Socialism, and the Materialism of Capitalist Consumerism, are wrong not because of its implementation of its perceived extremes , but because of whether or not the practice and ideas conform to reality and the Moral order. For instance the value of labor, is not to be understood by Marx’'s ideology, but in what we know is the nature of this life, in respect to man’s nature and the natural goods, talents provided by God…
The errors of Leftist policies are still ultimately based on materialism, and this notion that man’s end was made for natural goods is to be rejected by Catholics living in the world, because it inhibits the witness that all Catholics should be aware of, the Supernatural part of man’s existence.
This talk is relevant to this discussion, and it is good that Pope Francis is waking up some Catholics not to get set into understanding political factions in a simplistic manner, in respect to how it conflicts with the Church, and Catholic social principles.