Pope Francis on Capitalism as Idolatry
Pope condemned globalized markets as alleged “idolization of money” — so government doesn’t idolize money? They sure seem to take a lot of it. Also, is there no idolization of political power in the name of ‘security’ in the form of a welfare state?
““Where there is no work, there is no dignity,” the Argentine pontiff said after a week in which some western stock markets hit record highs. “It is not a problem of Italy and Europe…It is the consequence of a world choice, of an economic system that brings about this tragedy, an economic system that has at its centre an idol which is called money.””
This is kind of a confused look at how economies work. Every economic system in the world, with the exception of primitive barter, uses money in the center of exchange. Every economic system in the world has human beings–people–engaging in those exchanges, so humans are the center. The difference between the systems of free-market exchange and the system of central planning is which people are in the center. Under a market system, the individual or family is in the center. Under the planning system people who work for the state are in the center. Over history, it is the state, not the individual who has most frequently been elevated to the status of idol. Francis’ predecessor, St. Peter, was not murdered by some lone individual; he was executed by the state.
Jesus and Peter were crucified by the state because the most effective power manipulators in the world, rightly, saw him as a threat to the power of the state. How strange it is when Peter’s successors shed the role of threats to state power and put on the role of Caesar’s cheerleaders.