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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Evangelii Gaudium


I've read the part on economics, and it does not seem so revolutionary: people should be content with less; the wealthy should share from their abundance; greed is not good; the State should protect the weak and ignorant from fraud and privation.

Beyond that (and I don't think Evangelii Gaudium goes beyond that), the hierarchs can preach all the social democracy they want. They still can’t re-write economic law.

I don't see where +Francis has condemned central banking and government-sponsored enterprises as appalling moral hazards, nor called out monetary inflation as inter-generational theft and a disincentive to thrift. Is anybody in the Church even thinking along these lines?

Economics, properly understood, is descriptive. We can no more rewrite the laws of economics to assure nobody ever lacks for chemotherapy than we can rewrite the laws of physics to assure nobody ever gets hurt. I thought that was the whole point of Adam's curse.

The poor in the West actually share the sins of the Biblical rich: they are obese, addicted and live debauched lifestyles. Elsewhere, Western foreign aid enables the Third World literally to breed itself into a Malthusian apocalypse.

Steve Sailer likes to point out how the handwringing over "racism" is about 100 years backward-looking, with cruel WASP overlords brutalizing their servile African workforce. Nobody thinks too hard about anything more current, like the fact that Mexicans evict black Americans from their neighborhoods (and their labor pools), or that Sunnis and Shias want to rip each others' heads off. Similarly, a lot of churchmen seem to be worrying over Victorian-era chimney sweeps or Medieval European serfs, instead of the entitled, TV-watching, bling-wearing, resentful reality.

What's way closer to the truth is that the Rich and the Poor are both parasitic. The middle class is the one that needs protecting.

16 comments:

Visibilium said...

Pretty thin gruel, thankfully.

lannes said...

As long as there are NGOs to cart them to the USA, third worlders ain't gonna breed themselves into
no apocalypse !

August said...

The problem is he doesn't describe reality properly and therefore is unlikely to act appropriately. Rather than condemning the complicity of the state in creating this corporatocracy he misidentifies these false, created markets for the free market, for the spontaneous order. Consider how ridiculous it is to suggest people are excluded from a free market. Exclusion requires force, and for a market to be free it would have to be, among many other things, accessible.
So, we cannot hope for much from the Church. We may need to protect the bourgeois, but it is increasingly obvious we should never let them anywhere near the reigns of power- like children with sharp objects, they are very likely to destroy themselves.

Anonymous said...

http://againstfreemasonry.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/bergoglio-mano-nascosta2.jpg

I'm no expert on Illuminati and so forth, but this is a very unnatural pose to strike on a tram!

Anonymous said...

"I don't see where +Francis has condemned central banking and government-sponsored enterprises as appalling moral hazards, nor called out monetary inflation as inter-generational theft and a disincentive to thrift. Is anybody in the Church even thinking along these lines?"

Let us pray not. For the Church to go completely crank on economics would be a travesty.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Let us pray not. For the Church to go completely crank on economics would be a travesty.

Indeed. The last thing any Christian should want is for an atheistic, nuclear-armed government and its tax base to live within their means.

Michael in Oceania said...

Although I am Orthodox myself, I agree with the Pope entirely on this issue.

What this Pope (and all his predecessors) condemns is the ideology of doctrinaire liberalism (a.k.a., libertarianism). Liberalism, like Marxism, is antithetical to Christianity. Not merely non-Christian, but anti-Christian. Ludwig von Mises was as militant an atheist as Marx ever was. Both thinkers took a purely instrumental view of human beings. Both of them saw traditional family relations and any kind of spiritual values as impediments and obstacles to their respective Utopias and thus "immoral."

I simply cannot see how the so-called "Christian Right" can embrace Mises or his disciple, Ayn Rand. I note that it is Calvinists (like Gary North), who are the most doctrinaire about Mises. This, to me, is simply one more indication that Calvinism is not Christianity at all, but a combination of Gnosticism and paganism in Christian drag.

As with Marxism, there is an enforcement of Austrian "orthodoxy" and banishment of "deviationists" on sites such as LewRockwell.com.

For a brief, yet effective, take-down of the philosophical premises behind "Austrianism," see this article by Thomas Fleming of Chronicles magazine:

http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/2010/02/22/abuse-your-illusions/

We need to get out of the false dichotomy that Marxists and libertarians try to corral everyone into accepting. Opposing Mises as anti-Christian (which he was and is) does not imply embracing Marxism - I don't care what ideological hacks like Judge Napolitano have to say about it. Market economies and political liberty existed long before the Enlightenment, and do not depend upon atheistic philosophies for their justification.

Left-wing Communism and right-wing "Economism" are two sides of the same evil coin. Again, this Pope is completely correct about this. Orthodox and Catholic Christians need to anathematize Mises and his disciples as the enemies of Christ, and of all mankind, which they are. "And what accord has Christ with Belial?"

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Of course the Pope is right. But the Pope's exhortation is just that, hortatory. He did not, because he cannot, declare the supply-demand curve invalid or insist that consumption can precede production.

Where I find this exhortation stunted is in what it does not condemn. Neo-Keynesian monetary policy, printing money to pull future production forward for present consumption, is exactly what fuels high time-preference consumerism. Government debt is not for necessary expenses; it's to provide risk-free, tax-free income to capitalists. (Via Clyde Wilson. Inflation is a huge disincentive to thrift and incentive to financial speculation. Public welfare generates all sorts of perverse incentives, literally enabling the sins of the Biblical rich by the democratic poor.

Like Visibilium said, pretty thin gruel.

Visibilium said...

The RC is a crank on everything, but I'm lucky that I don't have to explain more to her imbecile minions. Maybe that makes me a crank. too

Gyan said...


"Where I find this exhortation stunted is in what it does not condemn"

He is rightfully interested in correcting fundamental errors of philosophy and not technical errors in macroeconomics.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

He is rightfully interested in correcting fundamental errors of philosophy and not technical errors in macroeconomics.

Then he's got the two mixed up, because now the poor literally have too many calories and we pay women to stay single. Something else is going wrong here, and our clerics just don't have a clue. They're weeping and sermonizing about the widows and orphans and we're looking at this growing mob of grifters and baby-mama's and wondering how much more time we've got.

Gyan said...

"now the poor literally have too many calories"
Not in Africa, though.
"this growing mob of grifters and baby-mama's"

And the vaster mob of those that choose not bring children into the world.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Africa is in the middle of a population boom. Where in Africa are you talking about?

The response of K-selected individuals to the high levels of taxation, open-borders crowding, and inflated living costs of the welfare state is to limit the size of their families.

Do you have any sense of the coming horror? Only people productive enough to generate surplus can fund charity. K-selected populations are literally extinguishing themselves for the sake of transfer payments to r-selected groups.

Muddled economic thinking and misplaced altruism will be the death of the West, and when it's gone it's gone.

Gyan said...

I do not accept biological determinism. As such, I dispute the notion of K-selected or r-selected as applied to humans.

I ask again, how do you know which country or population is K-selected or r-selected. Is it in the genes?.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

I do not accept biological determinism. As such, I dispute the notion of K-selected or r-selected as applied to humans.

A statement of an incurious mind.

K-selection and r-selection is a spectrum of behavior and phenomena. Towards the r-side there will be more rapid physical maturity, lower parental investment and shorter life expectancy. You can take it from there.

Let me put it this way: without a great deal of intervention by individuals with very obvious K-selected traits, the populations of Africa and lots of other places would be one-tenth their current size. And as we continue to tax K-selection to subsidize r-selection, we make it all the more likely that one day they will be one-tenth their current size.

Gyan said...

So it is the visible behavior you mean and not the explanation of this behavior.

How stable are these behaviors in a given society?. As the West is undergoing a great social shake-up, is it possible that the children of K-selected individuals display r-selected traits?