Pope Francis may not be a Marxist, but the world will eventually be Socialistic. Capitalism is doomed as a fair and just economic system, and must be abandoned. Socialism is more ready to lend itself to true Humanitarian causes, which the vast number of people will support. Capitalism is inherently anti-humanitarian, and must not be allowed due to the human atrocities that it produces.
It has been suggested (e.g. in Iain M Banks’ ‘Culture’ series of sci-fi novels) that capitalism, and indeed money itself, will only survive as long as there is a need to ration resources.
So once technology evolves to a sufficiently high level that there is no need to ration land, goods, medical resources and so on, capitalism will be doomed.
An alternate view is that the population will always expand to take up the available resources, and that capitalism is the best way to ration those resources…
Capitalism is natural; socialism must be enforced.
While the world might go into periods of command economics, the natural means of market exchange will always return.
-]Capitalism/-]. -]Socialism/-]. -]Communisn/-]. Distributism.
Capitalism requires no enforcement? What must be enforced in socialism that capitalism is immune to?
Capitalism makes the money into a god. Socialism/communism make the state into the god. Both have their well-documented excesses. Distributism acknowledges that only God is God and, as a system, is a far greater respecter of human dignity than any man-made governmental system.
I find this post to be very judgmental, false and extreme. Socialism has not served Europe well. In fact the overall economy of the EU has been stagnant for decades. Greece is an example of the failures of socialism.
Is Greece’s failure at socialism due to the ill effects of socialism per se, or is it that Greece’s socialism must compete in an otherwise capitalistic Western world?
Capitalism is not natural. Commerce and trade is natural. This myth about capitalism, an economic ideology and system that has an identifiable historic genesis, being somehow “innate” to human society is the greatest con of the Western world, akin to the Soviet bloc’s Marxist delusion about the inevitability of proletarian revolution.
Capitalism, like socialism, had a beginning - growing out of the collapse of feudal economics in the late middle ages and the seventeenth century mercantilism of the European empires. The church has never supported capitalism since its emergence. It has rather seen it as the bedfellow of soulless consumerism, liberal exaltation of the individual beyond any restraints, worship of the golden calf and anti-clerical tendencies. Only in America do I see Catholics vainly try to “baptize” capitalism. It cannot be redeemed, because its very foundation is anti-Christian.
The church has condemned capitalism and socialism in equal measure as inherently immoral systems.
“…And what of a regime in which capitalism is dominant? Does it offer a prospect of real welfare…? We have no need here to describe the economic and social consequences of this system. You know its characteristic signs and you yourselves labor under the burden it imposes: the excessive crowding of the population into the cities; the ever-growing and all-invading power of big business; the difficult and precarious condition of other industries, especially the crafts and even more especially agriculture; the disquieting spread of unemployment…”
***- Venerable Pius XII (QUESTA GRANDE VOSTRA ADUNATA), 1945 ***
“…Catholic social doctrine is not a surrogate for capitalism. In fact, although decisively condemning “socialism,” the church, since Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum, has always distanced itself from capitalistic ideology, holding it responsible for grave social injustices (cf. Rerum Novarum, 2). In Quadragesimo Anno Pius XI, for his part, used clear and strong words to stigmatize the international imperialism of money (Quadragesimo Anno, 109). This line is also confirmed in the more recent magisterium, and I myself, after the historical failure of communism, did not hesitate to raise serious doubts on the validity of capitalism, if by this expression one means not simply the “market economy” but “a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality” (Centesimus Annus, 42)…”
***- Blessed Pope John Paul II (“What Social Teaching Is and Is Not,” in Origins, Vol. 23, No. 15), September 1993 ***
Capitalism idolizes the individual, socialism idolizes the state. At the extreme end, capitalism leads to libertarian disregard for any authority and a selfish mentality, the hoarding of wealth in the hands of big business and a “survival of the fittest” attitude that leaves the economically weak at the mercy of tycoons. Socialism at the extreme end leads to a totalitarian disregard for any individual freedom, hoarding power in the hands of an almighty state and inhibiting free trade.
Why on earth, would you suppose either of these man-made systems to be in any way “natural”?
I find that truly bizarre :shrug
No capitalist or socialist am I! :mad:
You might want to check with the people of North Korea.
Nonetheless, a Catholic should not be fooled by the wiles of capitalism either.
I would say that socialism and communism, at least as incarnated so far in the world, seem less able to deal with corrupt politicians and leaders than capitalism. Russia’s communism (IMO) fell more because of internal corruption than because of innate failures of the ideology. ( Excepting the ‘innate failure’ of an inability to deal with corruption, of course!)
And its aborted experiment in capitalism during the 1990s led to great poverty, sweeping unemployment and turned it into a country run by criminal gangs, tycoons and directly led to a ruined economy, resulting in the return of yet another autocrat “strong man” in the form of Vladimir Putin. Today, Russia’s economy is just as dire as it was in the heyday of the Soviets and the move away from communism has neither democratized nor humanized it one iota.
Russia is a case-study in the evils and artificial nature of both these man-made systems, which were imposed on a society not capable of sustaining either. The embracing of liberal capitalism has been disastrous for the economies of many post-Soviet republics.
Amoral consumerism and the surrender of society to the law of unfettered competition is not the “cure”. It is simply the opposite evil from socialism but an evil nonetheless, marginally better perhaps in the context of a western country with a strong ethical foundation and humane culture but in and of itself, not.
I wish that everyone on this thread would read the painfully overlooked 1987 encyclical, “Sollicitudo Rei Socialis” by Blessed Pope John Paul II:
(20) In the West there exists a system which is historically inspired by the principles of the liberal capitalism which developed with industrialization during the last century. In the East there exists a system inspired by the Marxist collectivism which sprang from an interpretation of the condition of the proletarian classes made in the light of a particular reading of history. Each of the two ideologies, on the basis of two very different visions of man and of his freedom and social role, has proposed and still promotes, on the economic level, antithetical forms of the organization of labor and of the structures of ownership, especially with regard to the so-called means of production…
(21) This happens with particularly negative effects in the international relations which concern the developing countries. For as we know **the tension between East and West is not in itself an opposition between two different levels of development but rather between two concepts of the development of individuals and peoples both concepts being imperfect and in need of radical correction. This opposition is transferred to the developing countries themselves, and thus helps to widen the gap already existing on the economic level between North and South and which results from the distance between the two worlds: the more developed one and the less developed one.
This is one of the reasons why the Church’s social doctrine adopts a critical attitude towards both liberal capitalism and Marxist collectivism.**…
- In the light of these considerations, we easily arrive at a clearer picture of the last twenty years and a better understanding of the conflicts in the northern hemisphere, namely between East and West, as an important cause of the retardation or stagnation of the South. The developing countries, instead of becoming autonomous nations concerned with their own progress towards a just sharing in the goods and services meant for all, become parts of a machine, cogs on a gigantic wheel. This is often true also in the field of social communications, which, being run by centers mostly in the northern hemisphere, do not always give due consideration to the priorities and problems of such countries or respect their cultural make-up. They frequently impose a distorted vision of life and of man and thus fail to respond to the demands of true development.
Each of the two blocs harbors in its own way a tendency towards imperialism, as it is usually called, or towards forms of new- colonialism: an easy temptation to which they frequently succumb, as history, including recent history, teaches.
… This super-development, which consists in an excessive availability of every kind of material goods for the benefit of certain social groups, easily makes people slaves of “possession” and of immediate gratification, with no other horizon than the multiplication or continual replacement of the things already owned with others still better. This is the so-called civilization of consumption" or “consumerism ,” which involves so much “throwing-away” and “waste.” An object already owned but now superseded by something better is discarded, with no thought of its possible lasting value in itself, nor of some other human being who is poorer.
Of course, the difference between “being” and “having,” the danger inherent in a mere multiplication or replacement of things possessed compared to the value of “being,” need not turn into a contradiction. One of the greatest injustices in the contemporary world consists precisely in this: that the ones who possess much are relatively few and those who possess almost nothing are many. It is the injustice of the poor distribution of the goods and services originally intended for all…
(41) Following the example of my predecessors, I must repeat that whatever affects the dignity of individuals and peoples, such as authentic development, cannot be reduced to a “technical” problem. If reduced in this way, development would be emptied of its true content, and this would be an act of betrayal of the individuals and peoples whom development is meant to serve.
The Church’s social doctrine is not a “third way” between liberal capitalism and Marxist collectivism, nor even a possible alternative to other solutions less radically opposed to one another: rather, it constitutes a category of its own…It is necessary to state once more the characteristic principle of Christian social doctrine: the goods of this world are originally meant for all…
**In this consists the difference between sociopolitical analysis and formal reference to “sin” and the “structures of sin.”… **
37: This general analysis, which is religious in nature, can be supplemented by a number of particular considerations to demonstrate that among the actions and attitudes opposed to the will of God, the good of neighbor and the “structures” created by them, two are very typical: **on the one hand, the all-consuming desire for profit, and on the other, the thirst for power, with the intention of imposing one’s will upon others.
In order to characterize better each of these attitudes, one can add the expression: “at any price.” In other words, we are faced with the absolutizing of human attitudes with all its possible consequences.
Since these attitudes can exist independently of each other, they can be separated; however in today’s world both are indissolubly united, with one or the other predominating**.
The former. Socialism has never in the world’s history displayed a lasting, continuous economic growth. It always collapses, not because of outside influences, as many people ardently wish to believe, but because it itself is a failure.
The New York Times published a feature-length article commentary on this encyclical in 1988 which you can find in the archive:
It defends capitalism and criticizes the pope, nevertheless it correctly conveys his argument. The author’s view shows how anti-Catholic strict capitalism can be:
In his doctrinal instruction, he sees ‘‘the existence of two opposing blocs, commonly known as the East and the West.’’ He recognizes that at the base of this antagonism are ideologies with ‘‘two very different visions of man and of his freedom and social role.’’
So far, so simplistic; he is at least a decade out of date on his geopolitics. Both superpowers now face great schisms within each ‘‘bloc,’’ and totalitarian ideology is in turmoil. But let us accept his bipolar thesis. We know that the East is statist and atheist, that the West makes an effort to respect the individual’s free will rooted in Judeo-Christian precepts. On which side is the Roman Catholic Church?
Apparently on neither side. ‘’. . . the church’s social doctrine,’’ he pontificates, ‘‘adopts a critical attitude toward both liberal capitalism and Marxist collectivism.’’ Why? ‘‘Each of the two blocs harbors in its own way a tendency toward imperialism . . .’’
He labels the two blocs as ‘‘structures of sin’’: ‘‘on the one hand, the all-consuming desire for profit, and on the other, the thirst for power, with the intention of imposing one’s will upon others.’’
In sum, the West’s greed is the moral equivalent of the East’s power lust, and both are guilty of impoverishing the innocent and exploited third world. If words have meaning, that is now the official world view of the Vatican…
Socialism would be the best form of socio-economic system if only Jesus would come back and be prime minister and materialize a few million uncorruptable and unfoolable angels to be the police and bureacrats overseeing the mechanisms. Actually, even that might not be enough. We might need to wait until heaven since socialism fails to account for the fallenness of man at all. Man is fallen and in general won’t be motivated to work hard for the good of the collective.
Until then, socialism is hopelessly corrupt and prone to cronyism FAR more than private asset ownership and free enterprise is (not I didn’t say “capitalism”).
I predict that the countries characterized by socialism will abandon it within the next 20 years. They’ll have to since they’re ALL on the brink of bankruptcy right now. So is the USA, of course, but once we collapse, our replacement will also rely on private ownership and free enterprise. Socialism NEVER builds up strong economies. It only takes over strong economies built up under freedom and rides them down to ruin in the long run.
There is no perfect system. All systems have their positive and negative points.