Fortune magazine celebrated the anniversary for anti-capitalist, socialist Pope Francis by ranking him first among the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.” Today the pope’s in an ideological war with Big Oil backed GOP as well as conservative leaders everywhere. Yes at war in America’s unstable, endlessly fickle, political arena, a very long war, with pollsters warning that partisan politics may be pushing aside the pope’s pronouncements.
Big picture: Economics leads the political soap opera. Lurking in the shadows, a new crash. Inevitable. And like 2000, nobody will hear it coming … hidden under irrational exuberance, dot-com mania, millennium celebrations … followed by a 30-month bear recession … later the 2008 crash … Fed Chairman Greenspan and Treasury Secretary Paulson clueless … already two crashes this century … $10 trillion losses each … next one coming after 2016 election cycle, with echoes of the McCain loss … yes, a bigger, badder bear than 2000 and 2008 … because once again bulls and optimists, traders and leaders fall into denialism … blinded by a new balloon of irrational exuberance.
What about the promise of big political changes? The GOP Congressional leadership talks a good game, but their anxious, conservative GOP base is sitting on the shifting tar sands of Big Oil cash threatened by higher costs, long-term risks. Yes, talk is cheap, but once partisan conflicts blow up, climate disasters will bury the GOP’s aggressive energy agenda, support will fade. Eventually reality will set in, too late.
Yes, Pope Francis has laid down his anti-capitalism manifesto for his army of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide. He has also been removing conservative cardinals and bishops from leadership roles. He’s hell-bent on changing the world fast. And his mandate is unwavering and unequivocal. He’s drawing clear moral and political battle lines against repressive capitalism, excessive consumerism, rigid conservatism. Listen:
“Inequality is the root of social ills … as long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of 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.” Yes, it sure sounds like a declaration of war: The anti-capitalist Pope Francis versus America’s self-destructive amoral capitalism.
New Holy War: Pope’s Moral Authority vs Capitalism’s Atheism
Pope Francis’s target is clear: economic inequality is the world’s No. 1 problem. Capitalism is at the center of all problems of inequality. And he speaks with a powerful moral authority — something totally missing from American political leaders who are ideologically guided by atheist Ayn Rand, patron saint of the GOP’s capitalism agenda in this moral war.
Without moral grounding, the GOP is no match for Francis’ vision, his principled mandate, his long-game strategy to raise the world’s billions out of poverty, to eliminate inequality, to attack the myopic capitalism driving today’s economy, markets, politics.
Moreover, the pope has the resources: As commander-in-chief of the world’s largest army: 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide who are now motivated to defeat capitalism’s grip on inequality. His army includes 78 million Americans in 17,645 parishes, plus a huge officer corps of 213 cardinals, over 5,000 bishops, 450,000 priests and deacons worldwide, all sworn to carry out his vision. He needs no legislative approvals; popes have authority to act unilaterally, with speed, a dictator whose word is law, commanding allegiance, obedience and action.
Pope’s 10 New Commandments In War On Capitalism & Inequality
So welcome to his first-anniversary celebration: Yes, it was just one year ago Pope Francis laid down his anti-capitalism agenda as a battle plan for Catholics. Mitch McConnell probably hasn’t even read it yet. But every American should. So here’s an edited copy of Francis’ 10 economic commandments. They define the specific strategies guiding his economic war against inequality and capitalism.
Here are Pope Francis’s 10 strategies, in his own words directly from his “Apostolic Exhortation,” a 67-page manifesto published by the Vatican before Thanksgiving last year. Listen to how driven Pope Francis is to changing the world. He really is a radical anti-capitalist, socialist, revolutionary leader with a message that American conservatives and capitalists worldwide, will face for years, long after any one politician’s tenure. Listen:
SOLVE ECONOMIC INEQUALITY NOW, BEFORE CAPITALISM DOOMS WORLD
Pope: “Inequality is the root of social ills … as long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of 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.”
CAN’T TRUST GREEDY “INVISIBLE HAND’ OF FREE-MARKET CAPITALISTS
Pope: “We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the ‘invisible hand’ of the market. Growth in justice requires more than economic growth … a better distribution of income … The economy can no longer turn to remedies … such as attempting to increase profits by reducing the work force and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded.”
TRICKLE-DOWN ECONOMIC IDEOLOGY OF SUPER-RICH IS THE REAL HOAX
Pope: Some “continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. … a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power … the culture of prosperity deadens us.”
NEW TYRANNY OF CAPITALISM GETS RICH STEALING FROM PUBLIC
Pope: “While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation, and reject the right of states charged with vigilance for the common good. … A new tyranny … unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules.”
CAPITALISM’S WORSHIP OF MONEY IS NEW GOLDEN CALF IDOLATRY
Pope: “Money must serve, not rule … The current financial crisis can make us overlook the fact that it originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! … The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money … lacking a truly human purpose.”
CAPITALISM FUELS EXCESSIVE CONSUMERISM, UNDERMINES SOCIETY
Pope: “Today’s economic mechanisms promote inordinate consumption, yet it is evident that unbridled consumerism combined with inequality proves doubly damaging to the social fabric. … Inequality eventually engenders a violence … new and more serious conflicts. Some … blaming the poor and the poorer countries themselves for their troubles … more exasperating … widespread and deeply rooted corruption found in many countries … businesses … institutions.”
COMPETITION TO AMASS GREAT WEALTH DESTROYS DEMOCRACY
Pope: “Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless … masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape. … Such an economy kills … it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”
CAPITALIST TREATS HUMANS AS LEFTOVERS IN THROWAWAY ECONOMY
Pope: “Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a ‘throw away’ culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. … those excluded are no longer society’s underside … no longer even a part of it. … but the outcasts, ‘leftovers’.”
EXTREME CONSERVATIVE INDIVIDUALISM KILLING GLOBAL DEMOCRACY
Pope: “In a culture where each person wants to be bearer of his or her own subjective truth, it becomes difficult for citizens to devise a common plan which transcends individual gain and personal ambitions. … freed from those unworthy chains and to attain a way of living and thinking which is more humane, noble and fruitful, and which will bring dignity to their presence on this earth.”
CAPITALISM REJECTS GOD, MORALITY, ETHICS, LOVES MONEY, ANARCHY
Pope: “Behind this attitude lurks a rejection of ethics and a rejection of God. … condemns the manipulation and debasement of the person. … ethics leads to a God who calls for a committed response which is outside the categories of the marketplace. … makes it possible to bring about balance and a more humane social order.”
You really can’t afford to stand by passively. Join the dialogue, tell your friends about Pope Francis’s radical plan to save the world from itself. Inequality impacts everyone. You, your kids, grandkids, the world, veryone. Nobody’s on the sidelines in this new “Holy War.”’ Pass this on. Post the 10 new economic commandments on social media, tweet, retweet, let others know where you stand. The pope’s 10 new economic commandments can save the world, save capitalists, save conservatives, save democracy … yes, hope does spring eternal. Besides, as the catechism assures us, our true reward is in heaven.