by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.: 'Idolatry
of the Market'?
calls for global government, read the headlines in early July.
Then, as night follows day, the Popes conservative supporters
lined up to eviscerate the media for distorting the Popes
meaning. Those darn liberals how dare they twist the
Pontiffs words like that.
This is not
exactly the first time such a thing has taken place. The pattern,
over the past couple of decades, runs as follows: the media more
or less accurately portrays something the Pope said or did, and
then his conservative supporters, anxious to explain away these
unusual statements and activities, devise convoluted explanations
as to what the Pope really meant.
It is worth
reproducing the relevant passage of the Popes new encyclical,
Caritas in Veritate:
face of the unrelenting growth of global interdependence, there
is a strongly felt need, even in the midst of a global recession,
for a reform of the United Nations Organization, and likewise
of economic institutions and international finance, so
that the concept of the family of nations can acquire real teeth.
One also senses the urgent need to find innovative ways of implementing
the principle of the responsibility to protect and of giving
poorer nations an effective voice in shared decision-making. This
seems necessary in order to arrive at a political, juridical and
economic order which can increase and give direction to international
cooperation for the development of all peoples in solidarity.
To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis;
to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater
imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely
disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection
of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there
is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my
predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago. Such
an authority would need to be regulated by law, to observe consistently
the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, to seek to establish
the common good, and to make a commitment to securing authentic
integral human development inspired by the values of charity in
truth. Furthermore, such an authority would need to be universally
recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure
security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights.
Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance
with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated
measures adopted in various international forums. Without this,
despite the great progress accomplished in various sectors, international
law would risk being conditioned by the balance of power among
the strongest nations. The integral development of peoples and
international cooperation require the establishment of a greater
degree of international ordering, marked by subsidiarity, for
the management of globalization. They also require the construction
of a social order that at last conforms to the moral order, to
the interconnection between moral and social spheres, and to the
link between politics and the economic and civil spheres, as envisaged
by the Charter of the United Nations. [emphases in original; internal
may say about this passage, was it really so unreasonable for reporters
to have interpreted it as they did?
didnt want to write anything about the Popes encyclical.
In 2007, I wrote a book, Sacred
Then and Sacred Now: The Return of the Old Latin Mass, in
defense of the Popes restoration of the traditional Latin
liturgy, an area in which Benedict XVI is quite knowledgeable and
has much of value to say. I like this Pope. He is smart and serious,
not frivolous or vain. He is in many ways a substantial improvement
over his predecessor. (I cite as evidence the very fact that the
media believes the opposite.) And having been viciously denounced
and ridiculed by some pretty despicable people, he certainly has
all the right enemies.
I have reluctantly
yielded to the urging of quite a few correspondents and typed up
a few thoughts. So here goes: Caritas in Veritate strikes
me as at best a relatively unremarkable restatement of some familiar
themes from previous social encyclicals. At worst, it is bewilderingly
naïve, and its policy recommendations, while attracting no
one to the Church, are certain to repel.
to the encyclical throughout the right-of-center Catholic world
was drearily predictable: with few exceptions, it was a performance
worthy of the Soviet Politburo, with unrestrained huzzahs everywhere.
It is one thing
to receive a statement from the Pope with the respect that is due
to the man and his office. It is quite another to treat his every
missive as ipso facto brilliant, as if the Catholic faith depended
on it. If his supporters are trying to live down to the Lefts
portrayal of Catholicism as a billion-person cult, they could hardly
do a better job.
the rest of the article
E. Woods, Jr. [send him
his website], a senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises
Institute, is the author of eleven books, most recently Rollback:
Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse and
How to Resist Federal Tyranny in the 21st Century, as well
as the New York Times bestsellers Meltdown:
A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy
Tanked, and Government Bailouts Will Make Things Worse and
Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. He is
also the editor of five other books, including the just-released
on the Road to Serfdom.
© 2011 Taki's
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