Friday, 13 December 2013

Pisspoor Guardian gets it wrong again

Adam Brereton writing in the increasingly pisspoor Guardian either in ignorance or wilfully fails to understand Pope Francis on Capitalism. He doesn't like Rerum Novarum - an old favourite of this blog - either, almost certainly because it limits the lawful authority of the State over man, making human duties and obligations of those things that socialists imagine should be enforced and imposed by an all-powerful State. 

And Rerum Novarum comments on the same world as that of Burke and Adam Smith - a world in which a man who invests his savings in tools and his time in acquiring skills, to sell the products of both on his own account, is a Capitalist. The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker owe their livelihood to the communities they serve; they have an interest in the wealth and well-being of their fellows, as customers and purchasers of the products of their craft, to ensure their own wealth and well-being. Their belonging to the 'little platoons' creates bonds and obligations in common that act for the common good. Rerum Novarum provides a spiritual wrap for Burke and Smith and it all fits together in a very localist way. 

Brereton and those like him repeat the most stupid of mistakes. The village butcher and Global Mega-Pharma plc are equivalent capitalists under Brereton's construct, there being no Germanic compound words in English to distinguish small local responsible capitalists and large global rapacious and predatory capitalists. But let's be clear - the two are very different creatures. 

This is clear in the Pope's Apostolic Exhortation; it is the de-humanity of the global mega-firms, the international banks, the corporates and conglomerates to whom his comments are addressed. Francis says 'No'. No to an economy of exclusion, No to a new idolatry of money, No to a financial system that rules rather than serves, No to the inequality that spawns violence and No to selfishness and spiritual sloth. I have no problem at all with any of this; it's a break from the Marxist Catholicism of the South American 'liberation' movement and from an Argentine Pope excellent stuff indeed. 

Brereton hates all of this. A doctrine that Man must have authority over not only the State, but over global Statist corporations, is directly at odds with left-wing authoritarianism and Central Statism. Well, let him pick the bones from it - Francis has found an echo and hit the spot, and thank God for it.


Anonymous said...

A little capitalism is a fine thing, where it fails is when large conglomerates become so big and bloated commence dictating to the market and halting the rise of smaller competition and or with other like minded big companies they form cartels and that's called statism.

The Conservative party purported, used to fight the corner of the SME's.
In the UK, the conservative party no longer exists. All we get is a mulch, a wrong headed, mendacious form, a consensus of statism, of RED policy allied to the deviation of Cultural Marxism.

Pope Francis, is a Jesuit and deep thinker and he understands [Capitalism v cronyism-Statism] this very well.

Pope Francis, fights for the individual and for men and women to take personal responsibility for own their lives in the temporal and in their faith : that sets him apart from the South American Church and the Church in general.

Whereas, the likes of Brereton et al: wouldn't 'get it' if it kicked him and them in the head.

Elby the Beserk said...

Good post, Raedwald. I'm impressed by Francis. I often point out to Lefties I know who rail against Capitalism that all the comforts we now ejoy are down to two things - Capitalism and fossil fuels, the fruits of which we all enjoy, but only the Left rail against. I also point out that the local cornershop on which they rely on is a Capitalist enterprise.

anon 2 said...

Communists are very good indeed at capitalism --- the very kind you describe as "large global rapacious and predatory," Raedwald.

The Chinese (who tend also to be talented at maths.) are especially good with it: when I used to go to Hong Kong ('early 70s) the biggest, shiniest, newest building was The Communist China Bank. And lets not forget their traditional penchant for businesses and 'emporia' and restaurants. Then, as Anonymous above suggests --- they pool their resources (gang up) and gather force. Maybe they learned something from all those typhoons.

Demetrius said...

It is a great pity that during the 20th Century the Catholic Church did not place Rerum Novarum at the forefront of much of its teaching.

G. Tingey said...

NOTHING about the unlawful authority of greasy dago "pope" / Bishop Georgie Gigolo over anyone at all, nasty little tinpot argie dictator that he is.

Johnm said...

Speaking as the chief exec of a worldwide religious organisation with assets measured in the hundreds of billions, to people with assets in the tens/hundreds.
nothing like speaking crap hypocritically is there?
Not bad, the vatican bank being number eight in the top ten of the worlds money laundering operations, with over 55 billion dollars wandering through its accounts on bahalf of criminals.
yeah, I´ll buy his sermon.

Anonymous said...

Hi Raedwald,

You might like to pick up a copy of Herbert McCabe OP's "God Matters" and read his excellent essay on the left, The Class Struggle and Christian Love. You can read excerpts on Scribd here:

What I was driving at in the Guardian was that the atheist left (I'm a Catholic myself) is interested for the most part in a political solution to capitalism Pope Francis can't give them because he is, after all, seeking to place the church in the centre of the world as its unifying force.

I don't think distributist ideas like you've put up in your original post make a lot of sense now, in part because capitalism is and has always been a set of relations. While I agree the local butcher is being cannibalised, it's not because it's opposed to the megacorp, but because it's a small player in the same set of relations: it can't leverage as much debt to expand, can't get the ear of government to seek rents etc. The better question is what happens to the truly radical fringe of late capital: the software developers, the biotechnicians, the drone pilots etc. I don't think Francis can answer that question.