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A few weeks ago Pope Francis challenged unfettered capitalism. He called it a "new tyranny." The Pope is justifiably concerned with income and wealth inequality and the effects on the poor and humanity.

Ken Langone, the billionaire that is spearheading the $180 million dollar restoration of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York is concerned. He said a potential seven figure donor took exception to the Pope’s statements. The donor is concerned about the Pope’s criticizing market economies as “exclusionary.” The donor did not like phrases like "culture of prosperity" that leads some to become "incapable of feeling compassion for the poor."

Langone took his concerns to Cardinal Timothy Dolan. What was amazing is how the Cardinal in his response seemed so subservient to the concerned wealthy donor. Instead of taking on the issue and the donor by the horns, he decided to change the Pope’s message. He said the Pope was misunderstood and loves both the rich and the poor and appreciated the gratitude of American philanthropy. Langone went on to tell the Cardinal "you get more with honey than with vinegar."

For those who believe in Jesus, Cardinal Dolan made Judas and Peter seem like the bastions of bravery. What ever happened to using this as a teaching moment? It was not a moment for retreat; it was a moment to remind these “christians” about what their religion preaches in Matthew 19:25, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." He should have reminded the wealthy donor about James 1:10, “But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.”

For more on the Pope and capitalism, please read below the fold.

But let’s forget about the scripture and dive into the present. The Pope was not misunderstood. He understands that capitalism as practiced is unsustainable and that the systemic poverty throughout the world is the by-product in many ways. The Pope has lived among those in abject poverty and understands that many of the poor in his country of Argentina was a direct result of the ills of capitalism. This is best explained in Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine.

Dolan bowing to the mighty dollar is a travesty. He is no different than the evangelical preachers that have made capitalism their god. The actions of these religious leaders have consequences. They hurt the poor and middle class when they bow to the rich and give tacit acceptance to the selfishness and thievery of many in the wealthy class.

Where was the outcry and the empathy from religious leaders when Texas governor Rick Perry and other Red State governors sentenced many of their citizens to death by failing to accept the Medicaid expansion to Obamacare? Where is the outcry and empathy for Americans working 40+ hours a week and unable to live without government assistance? Where is the outcry and empathy for the refusal to extend unemployment compensation for the unemployed? Most are unemployed specifically because of "new tyranny" the Pope speaks about.

Governor Perry wrote an op-ed about the Affordable Care Act in the Dallas Morning News that is nothing short of evil. He continues to support junk medical insurance from companies profiting from poor and middle class premiums that don’t pay or pay little. He makes a statement that at the core sounds somewhat inconsequential. It is the new Republican ideology which seem to have tacit approval from the cloth.

Another consequence of Obamacare is the effort to cram more people into an already broken and costly Medicaid system without any reforms. Increasing income disregards, eliminating asset testing and forcing previously ineligible individuals into Medicaid all function as a backdoor expansion of Medicaid. Yet Obamacare’s own system to transfer Medicaid applicants to Texas doesn’t even work.

Within Perry’s words lay something more ominous. The statement “asset testing and forcing previously ineligible individuals into Medicaid,“ is a requirement of his ideology. It is what Obamacare is intent on eliminating. This implies that, as in Texas, one must be near destitute before qualifying for any assistance.

The shortsightedness of said ideology is profound. If one gets a helping hand without having to be destitute the ability to grow out of poverty is that much greater. One has a base to build from. In Perry’s world, the Republican world, you must be relegated to a permanent underclass or die on the path to permanent underclass seeking healthcare. This is not hyperbole. It is reality. Where is the outcry from Cardinal Dolan? The one wealthy donor sure got a response.

Unfortunately most minorities in America get no press. They suffer in silence. They feel as if they have no voice. As such they do not vote. They do not participate in the body politic. The constant attack on them by Gov. Perry and his ilk demoralizes them. The Pope gave many a ray of hope. Cardinal Dolan and many others of the cloth have proven useless as they give the American Plutocracy pseudo approval to be evil.

It is our civic responsibility as Americans who love democracy to ensure the failure of this ideology’s immoral endeavors. It is time to get up from the computer and help that demoralized neighbor, to engage them, to listen to their problems, to help them with solutions and bring them back into the body politic. It is time that all Americans know this is their country and it is up to them to take away the reigns from those that have decimated the poor and the middle class as they built up the wealth of the few on their backs. It won’t be the men of the cloth in America. It will be you.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This pope is too cool to be believed (35+ / 0-)

    It sure seems like it. I could not suppress a feeling that somebody is going to off this guy...not unlike the feeling about Obama surviving HIS Presidency.

    Perhaps the pendulum is finally swinging back to the left--after more than thirty years in the wilderness. Like the snow we just got, I'll believe it when I see it.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 06:50:52 PM PST

  •  We are the Romans (26+ / 0-)

    Our rich are as decadent and corrupt as the wealthy Romans were. And biblical hypocrites have nothing on the hypocrisy of the Koch Bros. and other American billionaires who profit on the backs of millions of poor people.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 06:52:40 PM PST

  •  A rich guy is trying to buy the church's silence. (21+ / 0-)

    We'll see whether the church's silence can be bought.

    Whose message will prevail here?  The Pope's or Dolan's?

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 06:54:14 PM PST

  •  Dolan is no more a man of God than... (20+ / 0-)

    ...the moneychangers Jesus chased out of the Temple. It's obvious he's pissed because he lost the Pope election--to a brown-skinned furriner Latino, yet. How many Cardinal sins do you count? The closer you look, the higher the count...especially when the topic of priest sexual abuse coverups comes up.

    Grrr. 'Christian'? I'm just glad Francis is Dolan's BOSS. Maybe Dolan will learn a thing or two before he steps in front of St. Peter. But I doubt it.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 06:59:22 PM PST

  •  I'd Venture to Say That More Than a Little of the (9+ / 0-)

    problem motivating minorities is an unfamiliarity with what government could do, or has done in the past.

    They certainly wouldn't have learned that in school or from the news or commercial history programming.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 06:59:58 PM PST

    •  I don't know about that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Patango

      Blacks are certainly familiar with what government did to them under Jim Crow, as are Mexicans. Immigrants are certainly familiar with what the government deportation policy is doing to their families, friends, and coworkers. This might indeed explain why they are hesitant to vote - fear of what the government will do to them, regardless of who wins.

      We shouldn't blame minorities for not voting. Certainly not for ignorance of their political environment. We should blame ourselves for allowing the system to exclude and terrorize them.

      “I’m able to fly, do what I want, essentially. I guess that’s what freedom is — no limits.” Marybeth Onyeukwu -- Brooklyn DREAMer.

      by chuco35 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:26:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  IMO (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SME in Seattle, chuco35

        What happens is people get out and vote and volunteer , only to watch the policies you were fighting for flushed down the toilet by the very people you voted for , if we do not have solid policies that benefit the minority community , and if we do not even fight for them , why would they even bother to vote ? I can not blame them at times  

        Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers

        by Patango on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 10:32:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe Dolan will be out soon. (14+ / 0-)

    He's kind of a dick anyway.

    "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

    by MargaretPOA on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:01:49 PM PST

  •  It's not the capitalism, it's the conservatism. (17+ / 0-)

    Ever since Burke puked out his screed on conservatism, the ideology was never about freedom, prosperity, stability, traditions, or even enrichment of the 1%. It is and was about arbitrary social and class domination -- even the 'reasonable' conservatives like Calhoun and Buckley made no bones about the fact that the true aim was to preserve a hierarchy. Given the choice between domination with deprivation or prosperity with equality, conservatives throughout history without exception picked the former. Better to be on the second-to-bottom-rung on the ladder in hell than equals with God and man in heaven, is the thought of the conservative.

    You see, capitalism -- even unrestrained capitalism-- used to be a relatively leftist ideology. It had some real feathers in its cap like taking down American slavery and being the death blow to French and Japanese feudalism. Before the 20th century, capitalism was seen as a huge threat to the overclass. Unfortunately, after World War I completely destroyed every other economic system but capitalism, socialism, and communism all of the conservatives fled to capitalism -- briefly to fascism, but even that proved to be a bust. It's not their ideal economic system, but it's the only one that has a chance in the 20th and 21st century to preserve their power.

    Even if we created a kinder, gentler capitalism or switched onto full-on socialism or even communism, that would only be a non-fatal setback to the poisonous doctrine of conservatism. As long as there exists a tinpot dictator with their armies of Ewells and Beatties and Bledsoes aching for the chance to dominate an 'other', conservatism will always find a way.

    •  Wonderfully stated. I knew nothing (11+ / 0-)

      of Burke's original credo (my bad) until I heard Thom Hartmann and his reference to Russell Kirk's writings of the 1950s, who looked upon Edmund Burke as a god of sorts.

      The real demon, as you assert, is the perpetuation of class divisions.  A classic example of that is depicted in the currently mega-popular "Downton Abbey" -- and I continually am surprised at what the British non-titled folks have endured for so long.  Their descendants are among the uber-wealthy Americans, as well as millions more not-so-wealthy Americans.

      It's tragic that, due to massive propaganda, Americans generally take a lifetime to discover that they also live under a very similar class system, albeit without titles and the peerage system.  And there are, indeed, a very few who manage to move up in class... and some of them, after a few generations of behaving themselves, are allowed to join the club.

      "There's always room for cello." Yo Yo Ma

      by ceebee7 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:58:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Kennedys (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marykk

        are a perfect illustration of how the entrenched American class system worked in the 20th century. Moneyed and neighbors to the wealthy, but always outsiders. Old Joe didn't help the cause by his behavior, but Rose would have compensated for him if there had been the slightest cracking of the door to acceptance.

        But now money has come into its own power and the hell with the Cabots and the Lodges, they say. I'd love to be a fly on the wall for dinner table conversation with Really Old Money. Talk about your quiet rooms!

        I suddenly started a blog. http://jglookups.blogspot.com/.

        by JG in MD on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 05:33:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It is not an "either/or." (0+ / 0-)

      I want to continue to think about what you wrote, and agree with some of it, but I cannot endorse it completely (not that you asked anyone to). Here are some thoughts, trying to put things somewhat in context of the religious dimension that was the subject of the diary:

      The class struggle is real, we agree on that. But capitalism DOES need to be replaced. The battle is no longer primarily about "conservatism" in the sense you use the term. Having a bunch of socially liberal economic "Libertarians" running our world would not make us free or feed the poor, both aims of Pope Francis. What to replace capitalism with, and how much of it can be socialized, are critical issues.  

      Conservatism and capitalism are now joined at the hip for the most part; together both are often perceived by those at the bottom as oppression manifested. Of the two, I believe that capitalism trumps, and not the other way around; however, I do not think it is necessary to view them separately under most circumstances, as both unite in hegemony.

      And this hegemony gradually takes in others who may not think of themselves primarily as capitalists or conservatives. For instance, when it comes to capital, neoliberals are the same at their economic core as those we know as conservatives in the U.S., with the addition of a sprinkling of welfarism and regulation to go with the sprinkling of religious charity. Often neoliberals have socially liberal positions but they always are capital friendly and in service to the hegemony and in that sense not only capitalists but also conservatives in the common parlance. Being capital friendly is the sine qua non to being both a capitalist and a conservative in much of the world today.

      Gradually what passes as conservatism is becoming less religious and more overtly capitalistic both in the U.S. and abroad. Pope Francis is aware of this. Even the fundamentalists churches in America are losing members these days. The Catholic Church is losing market share to the fundamentalists AND to "the Unchurch." Together capitalists in the international markets with the cooperation of conservatives in the churches have exploited Latin America, and gradually more and more Latin Americans are not happy about that, but many of them still treasure the Church as a place of comfort and beauty in their lives.

      The Pope is well aware that continuing to cozy up to capitalism threatens the Church's demographic position. But he is in a tough spot in many, many ways. The Church is indisputably on the side of irrational social conservatism, and the Pope is waging a difficult battle to try to draw a distinction between irrational social conservatism, which the Church wants to keep, and exploitative capitalism, which truly runs society. If he truly wants to address capitalism, he may also have to address conservatism because they are both working in tandem.

      Like popes beginning with Leo XIII, he wants to bring comfort to the masses economically, but the capitalists know that the Church is dependent upon them for money. The capitalists by and large do not care about social conservatism as such but realize that it is a wonderful wedge to keep Catholic workers voting for "conservative", i.e., capitalist, politicians.  

      Now is not the 1830's and capitalism is no longer a truly democratizing force. Capitalism is constantly slyly changing its uniforms, whether religious or even political, but down deep it remains capitalism and wants not democracy but what it wants, e.g., stable access to materials and accommodating trading partners, whether they are "democratic" or not. Capitalism was semi-"democratizing" only until such time as the new merchant lords could take the place of the old titled ones, and then they no longer wanted democracy, except if it could assist them in gaining new markets, ensuring monopolizing powers to bring protection from their competitors, etc.

      Marx was largely right about capitalism, but he did not fully flesh out a good alternative--that is our job and every generation's, democratically endowed, despite the pitfalls of democracy that understandably bothered Marx (and Reinhold Neibuhr, for that matter. See http://gardenvarietydemocraticsocialist.com/...).

      These days, it would be difficult to look at the leisure and mating habits of conservatives and capitalists and tell them apart. They do have their own subcultures, but all are conjoined conservative and capitalist subcultures. The Bible thumpers take market share from Catholics by being more capital-friendly, and Cardinal Dolan knows that too, so why bite the hand that feeds him. Whether it is Constantine, Duck Dynasty, or the Bush Dynasty, the powerful adopt religion as they would a social club and always self-justify. They are laser-focused on this too and, except when they are hunting, fishing or partying on yachts down in warm climates, defend their interests viciously, just like the Ming Dynasty did--but they are always capitalists at their core. Bushies smile and make nice but are dirty in politics and want to see Bushies running the show. Same with Koch Brothers and the father who gave them their filthy rich John Bircher start in life. They need their battalions engaged in watching Duck Dynasty and gun collecting, and their battalions do what they are expected to do.

      Make no mistake, capitalism is the mucky pond they all swim in economically. It is the corrupt system which social scientists like Jeffrey Sachs and clerics like Cardinal Dolan do not want to drain because it will rock their own toy boats. It uses desperate and generally corrupt regimes as convenient, whether for resources or luckily employed workers to produce goods. The corrupt regimes may call themselves something else, even communist, but they are all part of the global capitalist system. It is capitalism that is currently directly or indirectly committing the land grabbing around much of the world fostered by neoliberals who triumphantly talk in glowing terms about global capitalism.

      Just like racism, sexism, and all manner of tribalism help to effect capitalism, so too does elitism. But capitalism is still the system, and a deeply flawed, exploitative, and environmentally unsustainable system at that, whatever combination of other isms help to effect it. Few of the old titled lords are still around, but quickly, as with the Princelings in China, new ones arise under one form of capitalism or another (market or state), and especially with the absence of high inheritance taxes, the new lordships can become incredibly well-funded and multi-generational. So-called actually existing socialism was actually state capitalism.

      The challenge is ever to democratize the economy, minimize alienation, and meet everyone's basic needs in an adequate and fair manner, and the powerful do not want that to happen, and capitalism is the perfect system to accommodate them. But, as in the Big Lebowski, where "nobody f---s with the Jesus," in the real world, NO ONE, not even a pope, f---s with capitalism without facing enormous blowback. The current powerful remain in power until perhaps a new set of capitalists knocks their stock value down to the point of bankruptcy. In China the rulers may not be conservatives but they are capitalists.

      I agree with much of what wrote about who typically forms the powerful class in the Western countries, but capitalist lordship is the indisputable heir of titled faux lordship, and we do not want the needy dependent upon any of them. In Turgenev's brilliant Virgin Soil, the "liberal" titled lord is desperately trying to morph into being a capitalist lord, but he will fail at it. The merchant class arose as a new group of people to a large extent. They used their wealth to create new estates patterned after the old ones.

      I'm on the left wing of the possible. I write for the same reasons Eric Arthur Blair did, just not as well.

      by Galtisalie on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 09:31:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The good Cardinal is bigger than a camel I fear. (9+ / 0-)

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:03:19 PM PST

  •  pretty sure the americas were "settled" (8+ / 0-)

    based entirely on trading humanity for material gain.  Everything since "discovery" has been about creating economic servitude for the many to improve the material comforts of the select few.  There's been times when the chains have been looser and the cages a little roomier with prettier toys but its ALWAYS been about applying animal husbandry techniques to make humans into draught animals.

    until we deal with that part of the foundation our society is built on...

    elipsii: helping the masses express aposiopesis for...

    by bnasley on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:04:33 PM PST

  •  a potential seven figure donor (18+ / 0-)

    That's a lot of indulgences.

    "If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out." Levon Helm

    by BOHICA on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:11:03 PM PST

  •  why does that stupid St Pat's need restoration (5+ / 0-)

    anyway? Stupid waste of money.

    Those who quote Santayana are condemned to repeat him. Me

    by Mark B on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:12:28 PM PST

    •  Excellent question (6+ / 0-)

      I'd say the actual answer is akin to billionaires making their piss marks in the sand. They rebuilt Yankee Stadium as almost a clone of its previous incarnation. Why? Because they COULD. The billionaire owners of the St. Louis Cardinals refused to properly maintain the most beautiful stadium in sports, and replaced it with yet another cookie-cutter faux retro brick stadium--because they COULD. It seats 10K fewer fans, but they said they needed a new stadium to make more money...so they built a SMALLER ONE.

      Kickbacks come immediately to mind. You can't get a kickback when a property isn't demolished. $180 million must have planned for kickbacks WITHOUT demolition. That costs even more--in the Fantasyland billionaires live in.

      Anyone who takes the word of a billionaire for ANYTHING, much less what they can afford or WE can afford, is as big a fool who ever lived. And they are in the majority, it would seem.  

      "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

      by DaddyO on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:20:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Kickbacks and (3+ / 0-)

        tax writeoffs. Don't forget those when you talk about stuff like this...

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:45:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Busch Stadium II was far from beautiful. (0+ / 0-)

        It was a round cookie cutter multipurpose stadium of the 1960s just like Three Rivers in Pittsburg, Riverfront in Cincinnatti and the pre 90s one in Atlanta.  The new stadium (Busch Stadium III) is much better.  Your overall point would be more convincing without the Cardinals example.  I know of what I speak.  I first went to a game at Busch II in 1966.  We liked the stadium because the Cards played there, but III is much better.

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:17:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agree about St Patrick's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Santa Susanna Kid

        but sorry, Dodger Stadium is the most beautiful stadium for watching a ballgame.
        Warm summer night in Aug, cold beer and Vin Scully calling a game. Doesn't get any better than that.

        What do we want? Universal health care! When do we want it? Now!

        by cagernant on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:38:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  i would not be suprised (3+ / 0-)

      if Langone wanted the church renamed
      the Langone St. Patricks Cathedral

      He may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: he really is an idiot...Groucho Marx

      by distributorcap on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:44:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Presumably because, like all old buildings (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, wintergreen8694

      it requires more than a little maintenance to remain in a state close to its original vision.  And because, for many, particularly for Irish Americans whose roots in the U.S. begin in New York, it represents a significant contribution by their forbears.  I know it does mine.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:46:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  St. Patrick's Cathedral is not an architectural (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ProgressiveOldMan

      wonder.  It is a tired concrete wannabee, and its significance, if at all, is derived from the Kennedys and other very important dead people. No intentional reference to the famed musical artists bearing a similar name.

      Got a feeling that Francis is thinking, $180M...that's a good chunk...is the highest and best use to celebrate Park Avenue wealth? You go, Frank!

      •  I beg your pardon (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dr Swig Mcjigger

        For some of us, this Cathedral is a symbol of the immigrant experience.  And I would hardly describe it as a "tired concrete wannabe."  Construction on this building began in 1858, and it was a beacon for the waves of Irish immigrants coming ashore and finding themselves in a world only slightly less hostile than the one they left.

        Now do I think for a moment that means the Pope should kiss Langone's a**?  No, of course not.  Do I think that buildings are more important than almsgiving? No, of course not.  But in a civilized world, there's room - and there are resources -  for both.

        If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

        by marykk on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 06:16:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  About the camel (9+ / 0-)

    Among conservative Christians there is an urban legend claiming that once there was a gate in the Jerusalem wall called the Eye of the Needle. It was so narrow, one would have to get off your camel, strip off any baggage, and slip through. So instead of a warning to the rich, it becomes a message of "you can't take it with you."

    There is of course no evidence that any such gate existed.

    There is also the claim that "camel" should actually be "rope" or "knot," but that apparently doesn't fit the available evidence very well.

    Conservatives believe evil comes from violating rules. Liberals believe evil comes from violating each other.

    by tcorse on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:14:16 PM PST

  •  "Ideology" Is Double Plus Ungood Oldspeak (6+ / 0-)

    WHy do you think they are dismantling the education system?  Without thoughts and words, dissent becomes impossible.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:16:45 PM PST

  •  Cardinal Dolan.... (8+ / 0-)

    ....is a conservative first and a Catholic a distant second.

  •  I would very much like to ignore (15+ / 0-)

    the Catholic church since I am not a member.   I do not feel it is my place to offer an opinion one way or the other on the affairs of this church.

    However, as long as the bishops of the church insist on intervening in our political debates over health care and women's reproductive rights, I feel obliged to pay attention and to respond insofar as I or my fellow Americans are directly affected.

    When a U.S. bishop took it upon himself to deny presidential candidate John Kerry communion, I took notice.  When the church sues the state over contraception coverage, I take notice.  When the church tells parishioners how to vote, I take notice.  

    But I would really love to ignore them.  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:27:02 PM PST

  •  What would Jesus advise the Church to (7+ / 0-)

    value: a building, or many souls???

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:32:39 PM PST

  •  There is much work to do to undo (14+ / 0-)

    the sanctification of selfishness and the glorification of the rich and the deification of the powerful that has come to be emblematic of the modern conservative Catholic (and similarly conservative Protestant) Church.  

    They forgot their Jesus was a poor unemployed itinerant man who hung out with fishermen and prostitutes and the impoverished and the diseased, and irritated the wealthy, the selfish, and the powerful such that they nailed him to a cross and lanced his side with a spear and left him to die slowly as punishment for his wasted impoverished powerless life.  That's Christianity, right?

    "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:33:19 PM PST

    •  don't forget Jesus was a jew (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, Janet 707

      Christianity as practiced by conservatives is not the Christianity of the Jesus' message. just as they have a different understanding of the constitution, the conservative understanding of the new testament can not actually be found in the new testament

    •  Sounds like a radical to me. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jrand, ProgressiveOldMan, Janet 707

      Storming into the Temple, the most sacred of Jewish sites, guarded by the Roman legionnaires, and violently challenging the ruling monied elite who were protected by the hated Romans, all of whom were defiling everything that the Jews held sacred -- that all sounds downright revolutionary to me. Along with absolute ballsy.

      “I’m able to fly, do what I want, essentially. I guess that’s what freedom is — no limits.” Marybeth Onyeukwu -- Brooklyn DREAMer.

      by chuco35 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:44:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  grain of salt (4+ / 0-)

    I think all this must be taken with a grain of salt.  I appreciate the current pope is working to make the Vatican less of a criminal organization(a year ago it was listed by the US as a money laundering organization, i.e. organized crime) but it is primarily an organization that uses essential public funds(i.e. tax exempt contribution in the US) to effect private adgendas such a promoting physical and verbal attacks on homosexuals and limiting the ability of women to obtain equal opportunities to succeed.

    That said in places where there is weak but civilian government The Church does do some good.  In the area where the Pope is from I can tell you first hand that The Church is central in providing medical care and schooling and help for the poor.

    But what about the US.  How does refurbishing a cathedral directly help the poor.  How does limiting the option of health care for women help the poor.  It specifically does not, and with tax exemptions it transfers monies that can help the poor to places where it only helps the elite.  The elite get to say I helped rebuild the church so despite anything else I have done I am moral.

    Some people interpret the camel through they eye of a needle to mean that if you give all your stuff away, so the camel will fit, you do get in.  That is, give you wealth to church you are saved.  It is an interesting story because the challenge of fitting into the hole only applies if you are late.  Metaphorically, if you are a good and honest person, i.e. get to the city on time, it doesn't matter what baggage you have.  Of course, if you do not prostrate yourself to the pope, either in deeds or in cash, you are not getting in anyway.

    In any case, as I have said before, the I give the pope no credit on the attack of capitalism.   The church formed in, and the pope is from, a time and place where the economy was much more zero sum.  Capitalism arose from a technological explosion where we were no longer limited to the amount of land we owned or the number of peasants that owed their allegiance to us.  It is a system that does not depend on forcing women to deliver more peasants to increase the personal power of the elite.  It does not require magnificent castles and expansive private estates to prove wealth.  Capitalism has it flaws, but I certainly would no want to go back to a zero sum economy where I have to murder my neighbor in order to get his house.

    So I would say that if all the rich people leave the church, and they have to manage on a small building feeding the hungry and saving the occasional soul, then that is when they are doing their job.  I grew up in a church on a small quarter of a city block, with no place to park, and no extensive grounds, and no large building to worship, but we still found god.  I say let the rich find other ways to redeem themselves.

  •  things are sooooooooooooo political (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, Galtisalie, jrand

    at that level. That seems the church's stategy for now, say the Pope didn't say what he said.

    But he needs to keep saying it and the big times guys below him need to repeat it.

    The Cardinal should've told that guy to take his money and fk himself.

  •  Pope Frank = Hipocrisy (0+ / 0-)

    A quick Google

    "The Catholic church is the biggest financial power, wealth accumulator and property owner in existence. She is a greater possessor of material riches than any other single institution, corporation, bank, giant trust, government or state of the whole globe. The pope, as the visible ruler of this immense amassment of wealth, is consequently the richest individual of the twentieth century. No one can realistically assess how much he is worth in terms of billions of dollars."

    Dear Pope,

    Actions speak louder than words --- sell some of that stuff and feed the poor. The big GUY said that.

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

    by Da Rock on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:37:18 PM PST

    •  Maybe you missed the part where that's what he's (4+ / 0-)

      working on, precisely. In office less than a year and he's already got a lof of 'em running scared.

      Money and time are to be spent on the poor, not on acquiring more stuff. No more careerism. Priests and bishops are to be servant leaders.

      But there is no way to sell all that stuff they already have without flooding the market and causing other problems. So that will take awhile to sort out. Meanwhile, you can see clearly he is leading by example, not just words.

      I must be dreaming...

      by murphy on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:33:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I will retract this WHEN (0+ / 0-)

        and only WHEN I see the results.

        I know where there are more than a few gold chalices.

        A good start would be to STOP taking collections and BEGIN using their resources to use for whatever they were using the collections for. Like paying the local priest enough for him to drive a new Mercedes. Not true?? check out the priest in So Fla.

        Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

        by Da Rock on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 03:35:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting... but not surprising (7+ / 0-)

    that a billionaire would weigh in supporting free market capitalism in response to the Pope's populist-oriented speech.  I read the referenced articles.  One of these guys says the rich are responsible for spreading the doctrine of free-market capitalism to the poor... I'm sure the poor will consequently rush to apply free market principles to their own paltry personal budgets.

    The onslaught of the uber-wealth continues in all circles, in all media... now even countering the pope's message in "seven-figure donors'" own self-interests.  This mega-powerful mega-rich class assumes themselves to be above the law; reality is proving that correct (see Wall Street bankers); I suppose next they'll assume they are above God.

    It's no secret that since recorded history the richest among peoples have been the primary funders of religions and churches.  This is one of the prime reasons the masses have never been able to successfully organize -- the church has been seen as the ultimate authority, alongside royalty.  This is likely the reason communism became branded by capitalists as "godless" -- it was convenient and expedient to use any tactic to discredit communism.

    Now the right sees in the new Pope a powerful voice against laissez-faire capitalism, invoking, of all things, the teachings of Jesus as they appear in the New Testament, which has the double whammy of exposing right-wing, reactionary Christian Conservatives as self-righteous, dishonest hypocrites.  No surprise they're immediately circling the wagons.

    "There's always room for cello." Yo Yo Ma

    by ceebee7 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:39:10 PM PST

  •  Excellent Diary. From the heart and from the mind. (5+ / 0-)

    For the praxis implications of this, please see: http://gardenvarietydemocraticsocialist.com/...

    For the Niebuhrian critique of these rat turds and their helpers, please see: http://gardenvarietydemocraticsocialist.com/...

    I have done diaries on both pieces, but the originals are worth studying and praying over carefully.

    When the rat turds are this blatant, it means that they are desperate and we are beginning to engage.

    Thank you Egberto and thank you Francis. No forgiveness of me necessary for calling them rat turds. Jesus weeps at what these rat turds are doing, and their helpers better watch out, in case he's making a list.

    I'm on the left wing of the possible. I write for the same reasons Eric Arthur Blair did, just not as well.

    by Galtisalie on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:42:03 PM PST

  •  Systemic poverty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nextstep

    The claim of the diary is that systemic poverty and capitalism go together. That notion stumbles against history. If you want true, systemic poverty, you look at the pre-capitalist world, century after century of glacial, often imperceptible, progress and its interruption by plague or earthquake.

    Then, beginning in the 16th century, came a deliberate turning of men's minds from God and heaven to money and material comfort. In brief, better things, for better living, thorough chemistry. Welcome to materialism and, eventually, the theoretical summation in Smith and Mandeville of what Marx would term "capitalism," but which its theoreticians saw as freedom made actual.

    And from those deliberately planted roots came the deliberately cultivated fruits of the biological and physical sciences, machines to free men and women from the sheer unending drudgery of the previous centuries. The result—not Paradise, certainly. But a world in which ever greater numbers of human beings live in ever greater prosperity. The latest converts to the cause, places like China and India, understand what this diary does not—that what goes with capitalism is, literally, systemic progress, not systemic poverty. People who believe the latter have forgotten how we got to where we are today and would throw the baby out with the bath water.

    •  Ah yes, a Jeffrey Sachs acolyte. Please (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ProgressiveOldMan

      come forward and take your place at the altar.

      I'm on the left wing of the possible. I write for the same reasons Eric Arthur Blair did, just not as well.

      by Galtisalie on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:58:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jeffrey who? (0+ / 0-)

        I live happily not knowing a thing about Mr Sachs. Instead, I read history and political philosophy. That's not nearly as much fun as dismissing an argument with the mere mention of a name, but thinking through this stuff is so terribly tedious that I can understand why you can't be bothered.

        •  Sorry Willard Mitt, I will leave you to your (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chgobob, ProgressiveOldMan

          beliefs. I am using name-calling as short hand tonight, but I have put in my hours for the cause I believe in. You might look him up though, you and Dr. Sachs think alike. Then look me up and what I and others on the left have written about Dr. Sachs's views, track record, and empty promises of ending poverty through the miracle of the marketplace. In the real world you claim to know, things are not working out so well with the high tech widget-making for billions of people, even in the success story places such as China and India; creativity and innovation does not depend upon capitalism; wide dependence upon capitalism is unsustainable; the U.S. military is wasting huge sums of money that should go to the poor and instead are used to support, defend and extend around the world capitalism; drug war and prison industrial complex similarly are capitalist-motivated farces and injustices; some capitalism is okay but it needs to be subject to democracy so that it can be socialized, including the expropriation at time of death of Willard Mitt-type's estates, which should not pass on to the next generation of faux "wealth creators," but because of things Marx, Calvez, Niebuhr, etc., and now Francis, wrote about, democracy is not allowed to do things the powerful disagree with, with certain exceptions in the welfare state pushed through by the left I am thankful for; small businesses, such as small family farms, indeed are not a problem and give people incentives to work hard, which I and the vast majority of the poor and unemployed have nothing against doing, but which failure to give economic justice, such as 40 acres and a mule after the Civil War, makes difficult; and the pull yourself up by your bootstraps mythos makes no sense without a government and mutual aid to extend helping hands. Perhaps some of my views you agree with. I simply don't care.

          I'm on the left wing of the possible. I write for the same reasons Eric Arthur Blair did, just not as well.

          by Galtisalie on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:56:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Empty promises (0+ / 0-)

            of ending poverty, supposedly a feature of capitalism (doubtful) as opposed to the explicit empty promises of Marxism to do the same? Here's a good book for you, though—http://www.amazon.com/...

            And your lack of interest in opinions not your own is duly noted.

            •  You will not find any lack of understanding (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cville townie

              on my part of the evil and corruption of totalitarians, including Stalin. My hero, who was an anti-totalitarian democratic socialist, wrote great books on the subject. You will see diaries I have published at Daily Kos criticizing modern day authoritarians on the left and acknowledging Marx's failures as well as the failures of actually existing socialism.

              On the other hand, capitalists you presumably would laud as intelligent participants in the marketplace, sometimes wearing white robes and pointy hats, beat and harassed my relatives for decades for trying to form unions to address serious flaws of capitalism. If you would like to write a diary honestly acknowledging, and addressing how capitalism can mend, its serious flaws, that would be a good starting point for a constructive dialogue, and I will read it and comment. As it stands, you seem to be another capitalist triumphalist in the Jeffrey Sachs/Mitt Romney tradition. I have heard those horns tooted my whole life. I have seen creative destruction and capitalist slums up close and personal.

              Next you may say, "What about Cuba? That place has widespread poverty." True, one can point to poor housing and other signs of poverty on the constantly U.S.-harassed island of Cuba (along with signs of economic justice), which has been under actually existing socialism for my entire life. I am of Cuban descent, and I am no defender of the Castro regime. I am I think well familiar with the subject of Cuba, where I am encouraging a move to democracy and human rights under a new constitutional framework to reform socialism to be democratic rather than jettison it to adopt Helms-Burton mandated capitalism, as exists on the neighboring island of Hispaniola, with which I am also familiar.

              Again, please write a diary so that the Daily Kos community can hear from you in a comprehensive way, and send me a message so that I will be sure to read it. I have nothing to fear, and who knows I may learn something.

              I'm on the left wing of the possible. I write for the same reasons Eric Arthur Blair did, just not as well.

              by Galtisalie on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:10:14 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I appreciate the invitation (0+ / 0-)

                and possibly I ought to write such a diary. Meantime, I would only note that I have no illusions as to the downsides of capitalism (let alone of business practices here or anywhere). It is still not the case that capitalism is the systemic enshrinement of poverty but, IMO, quite the opposite.

                And as for the guys in white robes opposed to unionization, I can't see the slightest reason why they ought to be taken to be representative of capitalism than, say, pogroms against Jews as representative of Christianity.

    •  You forgot labor... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, marykk
      The claim of the diary is that systemic poverty and capitalism go together
      and will continue to do so as long as man's labor is not held to have a certain inherent value, along with mankind itself -- above that of any material.

      "There's always room for cello." Yo Yo Ma

      by ceebee7 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:06:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Labor has value (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marykk, nextstep

        to anyone who needs or can profit by the labor. Labor in and of itself has no inherent value whatsoever, except perhaps to the person who does it for his own reasons. For instance, all the labor I put into creating a giant ball of belly button lint, thousands of hours now, appears to have surprising little value to anyone but myself (and I'm reconsidering that part of it, as well).

        •  That's Capitalism (0+ / 0-)

          It's not a law of nature.

        •  Labor has value (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ceebee7

          Labor cannot exist without knowledge. The greatest assets of a company are its workers and their knowledge. Without a workers' knowledge there would be no way to produce goods and services to sell for a profit. What is happening is a worker is looked at as nothing other than a servant to a company. Its CEO is paid for his or her knowledge rather than sharing its profits with workers because of workers' knowledge and skills that makes profits.

        •  Considering the way you spend your time, (0+ / 0-)

          your myopic view of the inherent value of labor is not surprising.

          Snarkism aside, you admit

          Labor has value to anyone who needs or can profit by the labor.
          That's EVERYONE!  The value of man(kind)'s labor is inherent. That it has been relegated by capitalism to an element of capitalism only shows the ultmate failure of capitalism as an economic (and thus social) system.

          What is the value of a corporation or any "business" entity without people working in/for it?  I submit the answer is "$zero."

          "There's always room for cello." Yo Yo Ma

          by ceebee7 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 04:18:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Presbyopia (0+ / 0-)

            That's not an admission, it's a simple description, which nevertheless you manage to misunderstand. The value of labor is in no way inherent, otherwise the value of my ball of belly button lint would reflect the labor that went into it. Labor's value is determined from outside, by the person who needs or profits by it, not by anything inherent. The mere fact that business needs labor says nothing whatsoever about the value of the enterprise. Labor may possibly—possibly—have some inherent dignity, but that's not what is usually meant by value in a discussion of economics.

            That said, I have to confess I'm utterly flummoxed by whatever it is you wanted to say about the ultimate failure of capitalism. If you can turn that sentence into intelligible English, I'll be happy to give it another go.The best I can do so far is: "The fact that labor has been made by capitalism into an element of capitalism shows the failure of capitalism," which is pretty much nonsensical. Work on it.

            •  Not being qualified to discuss (0+ / 0-)

              economics in theoretical or academic terms, I'll respond as a humanist, which I suppose informs my ideas and opinions more than any esoteric discussion of economic theory.  Any assertion can be academically or intellectually taken apart; doing so does not necessarily deny the accuracy of the big picture.  The big picture, to me, shows that most Americans are less well off than they were 40 years ago... not only in material terms, but in hopes for the ultimate well being of their children.

              The few have controlled the many for millennia, through religion, royalty, and most recently the employment of capitalism as an economic system (which I just learned was originally feared by classic, old line conservatives -- the ruling class in Europe -- which was ironic but not surprising).  While capitalism as the economic vehicle of American democracy is preferrable to the former European formal class system  -- which preference formed the basis of the foundation of America -- it cannot be argued that the implementation of "democracy" in America -- the one person, one vote element of it put forth in the Constitution -- has failed to result in economic equality... and further, that for the past 40 years wealth and income disparity between the uber-rich and everyone else has gotten worse, not better, due to the deliberate undoing of social/economic progress resulting from the New Deal.

              My standpoint is merely that I believe in the ultimate equality of all socio-economic classes, which the Constitution seems to advocate via democracy... and I don't believe you'd assert that we have equality in economic opportunity today.

              Your arguments in other threads that the masses are "better off" than they were, for example, in the 1600s cannot be denied.  You generally assert capitalism as the reason.  By the same token, I don't believe it can be denied that the masses are worse off today than they were in 1970, and I assert capitalism (largely unregulated, via non-enforcement or roll back of law -- for examples, the undoing of Glass-Stegall and the Citizens United decision) as the reason.  The role of big money in elections and corporate media dominance and the relegation of "journalism" to the sidelines (at best) as a limiting force on government (contrary to its avowed intent by the "founders") are results of capitalism in America; and the masses are less informed than they were in 1970 and thus every American is worse off.

              The Powell memo is ample evidence that the lessening of economic opportunity for every citizen has been deliberate.  Capitalism is the system we have; thus, capitalism is the device used by those that control most of the wealth.  To defend this, conservatives argue "the poor are lazy, the poor are takers, etc. ad absurdum.  This case cannot be made. The poor are getting fucked; we've had re-distribution of the wealth upwards.  The causes are indeed many and varied, but unregulated capitalism has surely done its part.

              "There's always room for cello." Yo Yo Ma

              by ceebee7 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 02:43:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Correction: (too complicated a sentence structure) (0+ / 0-)
                it cannot be argued that the implementation of "democracy" in America --
                Should be "I would argue that the implementation of..."

                "There's always room for cello." Yo Yo Ma

                by ceebee7 on Tue Jan 07, 2014 at 02:48:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Technology, coming from science, is the cause of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yet another liberal

      the world's great increase in wealth since the 1500s, when the vast majority of people were farmers.

      The world would be wealthier under any economic system than it was 500 years ago so long as technological innovation was permitted by that system.  The world would not be significantly wealthier under capitalism in the absence of technological innovation.

      Arguably, democracy has done far more for people in the Western world than capitalism over the past 5 centuries.

      Capitalism overall has been a net positive, IMO, but to say it's the cause of all the improvements is to have the tail wag the dog.

      •  Technology from science (0+ / 0-)

        The drive to grow the science, in order to develop the technology, did not come out of nowhere. It was a deliberate program set in motion by identifiable thinkers who recognized the need to turn private desire into public benefit. The scientific revolution, liberal democracy, and capitalism are three faces of the same drive.

        •  What a myth (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cville townie

          You really believe this?

          Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

          by yet another liberal on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:22:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Santa Claus is a myth (0+ / 0-)

            My statement is demonstrable via the writing of Bacon Hobbes, Descartes, Locke, Mandeville, and Smith, among others. It's actually a fairly conventional view.

            •  Got anybody that was alive in the past century? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cville townie

              I would classify your view as old rather than conventional. A lot of historians stopped actually believing that in the late 1980s. People didn't stop thinking in the 17th century.

              The reasoning for why societies evolved the way they did, particularly in terms of technology and economy, has undergone quite a few tectonic shifts in the past few decades. There's been some especially interesting lines of thought to come out in the past decade or so. Burbank and Cooper wrote a pretty interesting book about the evolution of empires. There was another great book written in the past decade, I think, that talks about the reasoning behind which countries advanced in which order. One of my favorite books in a while.

              Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

              by moviemeister76 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 02:55:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wealth of Nations: 1776 (0+ / 0-)

                There are all sorts of explanations (and pseudo-explanations) of why western Europe proved to be particularly well adapted to this development. It nevertheless remains the case, in my long-considered judgment, that political events in our civilization were driven first and foremost by theories and ideas.

                In any case, all I ever attempted to back up was the thought that capitalism does not in its essence, nor is it intended to, insure systemic poverty. To do that, all I need is to bring in its theorists and note how well the theory resulted in (or, at minimum, foresaw) a vast improvement in material well-being. To ice that cake, all I need to do is to look at the similar improvements in very recent times in places that adopt similar outlooks.

                The defense rests.

                •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

                  So in other words, you've not actually kept up on the literature, and feel confident that because you read a bunch of stuff written by long-dead white guys that you know what you're talking about. How boring.

                  And capitalism will never exist without poverty purely because of the way humans behave. To believe otherwise is quite naive.

                  Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                  by moviemeister76 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:20:30 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Good grief (0+ / 0-)

                    Being dead and white is a disqualification for intelligence? And having been written recently denotes superior intellectual achievement? Give me a break. I guess you've neglected to keep up with the literature discussing all those dead white guys and why they (many of them) understand some really big deal stuff in ways that contemporary writers fail to appreciate. If you had, you might have learned a few important things.

                    If history were some sort of science making measurable progress, as opposed to clashing opinions and interpretations, you might just have a point. But it isn't, and you don't.

        •  The scientific revolution came from a handful of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cville townie

          individuals who sought to learn more about the physical world for varying reasons. Some were motivated by money, while others were indifferent to money.  Some were motivated by a desire for fame, others preferred obscurity.

          To try to jam these disparate individuals into capitalism is a disservice to them and, in some respects, to capitalism.

          Looking at the broad scope of human existence, there have been periods of economic growth following major technological changes: fire, agriculture, domestication of animals, use of metals, the wheel, etc.  None of them happened under capitalism.

          Your claim that our current circumstances could only have happened under capitalism doesn't explain most of human history.

          •  Misreading (0+ / 0-)

            I did not attribute the scientific revolution qua science to motivation by commerce. But the deliberate reordering of political arrangements to bring that revolution about was based on selling its material benefits (see e.g. the prefatory letters in Descartes' Passions of the Soul) and on a sharply revised mechanistic picture of human nature in which the desires are to be no longer restrained or made to conform to religious or other 'higher' standards, but are to be set free for satisfaction via the universal desire solvent—money.

            None of this is an argument that technology only follows from capitalism, merely that the organized, systemic goal of capitalism is prosperity through technological progress [although it is pretty obvious that even the basic technologies you list are easily tied to commerce].

    •  Perhaps you are right if you limit your (0+ / 0-)

      argument to Europe. Or define "prosperity" as an accumulation of "stuff". As I understand it, for example, many, if not most, Native Americans were quite "wealthy" living within the means that nature provided.

      Capitalism was not mankind's savior, in other words. Unless "making it" means having a couple of Porsches, a midtown Manhattan condo, and a second home in Aspen.

      “I’m able to fly, do what I want, essentially. I guess that’s what freedom is — no limits.” Marybeth Onyeukwu -- Brooklyn DREAMer.

      by chuco35 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:53:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nothing you wrote negates the diarist (0+ / 0-)

      The argument you are making is very similar to the people who say we really don't have poverty in America, that not many really go hungry here, because things are so much worse elsewhere.

      Things can be much better average-wise today, and yet capitalism stills go hand in hand with systemic poverty. Because fact of the matter is, we still have not implemented an economic system that works without it.

      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

      by moviemeister76 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 02:40:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Poverty and poverty (0+ / 0-)

        In other words, you wish to redefine "poverty" as "inequality." If that's the case, I have nothing to say (except that I think the redefinition is misguided and mistaken), as capitalism does not envision equality as a systemic goal. It's more than enough for my original point to note that poverty in the West today is not even vaguely comparable to the poverty that was endemic in pre-capitalist centuries.

        •  Things are better than they were in 1600. (0+ / 0-)

          Yay capitalism.

          There is no existence without doubt.

          by Mark Lippman on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 09:16:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  No I do not (0+ / 0-)

          Poverty is still poverty, and if you think we don't still have it here then you are very much mistaken. We still have people going hungry in this country and other places all over the world. I think, perhaps, you've just never actually witnessed it.

          Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

          by moviemeister76 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:17:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Certainly, there is still poverty (0+ / 0-)

            But unless you have some evidence that it is or was the declared promise of capitalism to wipe poverty off the face of the earth, I would suggest that we can't exactly blame it for something that it never intended. It did intend to make life materially better for large numbers of people, and that it did and still does.

            •  That's kind of a weird argument (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cville townie

              Especially since capitalism was created hundreds of years ago when people didn't remotely believe in things like equality. Capitalism wasn't about the eradication of poverty or making things better in general for everyone, it was just about making things better for the businessmen who developed it.

              Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

              by moviemeister76 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:32:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not so weird (0+ / 0-)

                Factual. The thinker most identified with what Marx called capitalism was Smith, who called what he championed a "system of natural liberty." And he very precisely proposed it as a way of making things better for people in general, not for some nonexistent "businessmen who developed it." And once again, the discussion is not equality but material betterment. Try to stick to one topic.

                •  Capitalism started centuries before Smith (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cville townie

                  So I don't know what you are trying to argue. Just because Smith saw a way to use it for what he believed was good does not mean capitalism was created for that purpose. It wasn't.

                  Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                  by moviemeister76 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 11:53:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Just playing with words (0+ / 0-)

                    AKA specious sophistry.

                    Commerce is as old as mankind, but the theoretical turn towards the abolition of sumptuary laws and spurring on of commerce as the primary focus of society predates Smith by about a century—time to reread Dead White Hobbes. The thing called capitalism in the precise sense is that understanding of economics that replaces mercantilism, and that is an 18th century creation. At best, you could maybe stretch out a chain as far as Machiavelli's blessing of the desire to acquire, but that only gets you to about 1525.

                    •  And you just changed the argument (0+ / 0-)

                      You have tried to argue that capitalism wasn't intended to require poverty, and the only proof you've offered is Smith. Since you now acknowledge he didn't create it, what proof do you now offer that capitalism wasn't intended to require poverty, or even gave a shit about it?

                      And I actually do know the history of capitalism, particularly the evolution its taken from mercantilism to industrial capitalism to what we have now.

                      Though I don't think sumptuary laws had much to do with capitalism. Sumptuary laws were predominantly used by the ruling class to demarcate themselves. Once the idea of individuality and equality took root, sumptuary was on its way out, particularly with the middle class. Of course, I am still waiting for it to kick the bucket as we still have some sumptuary laws around today.

                      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

                      by moviemeister76 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 01:03:45 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Try to keep up (0+ / 0-)

                        1) Whether or not Smith provided the definitive formulation of capitalism is entirely irrelevant to the issue of whether capitalism entails poverty. In any case, Smith very clearly thought quite the opposite—try to recall those remarks about his system of natural liberty.

                        2) Like his contemporary, Mandeville, already also cited, he argued that private desire would add up to public benefit. Hint: they did not envision poverty as a benefit.

                        3) That was also the opinion of their intellectual progenitor, Hobbes a century earlier, proposing to set us all in search of money, as that would be the universal satisfier of desire, leading to peace and prosperity.

                        4) Along with Bacon, Descartes and others, these men all mounted a very deliberate, entirely conscious attempt to turn minds away from religion, religious authority, and Aristotelianism and to replace all that with the commercial pursuits we call capitalism and a new form of natural science which would eventuate in medical and industrial technology (again, see the prefatory letters to Descartes' Passions). Along with the new conception of nature came conceptions of natural rights, essentially freeing the individual to be his own sovereign.

                        When this entire chain of intellectual effort began, Europe was still largely a semi-feudal society with a vast peasant underclass. Over the following couple of centuries, pushed on by these commercial and scientific waves and abetted by a new form of political theory, it became a place of vastly improved economic welfare—the direct result of deliberate intent on the part of these theoreticians.

                        As I have now said and shown in multiple ways, capitalism does not and was never intended to rest of the backs of the poor, but quite the opposite. It came into self-conscious being in order to raise the standard of living generally, not to benefit or privilege rich over poor.

                        BTW: all I meant by bringing up sumptuary laws was to note a symbol tied strongly to ancien regime moral prescription, the very thing these thinkers worked to sweep away—and thus sparking a complaint on that score from Rousseau in the First Discourse.

                        And that does it for me. Gotta get the next time machine back to Paris 1641. That Hobbes fella throws one helluva a dinner party, let me tell you.

  •  Not one person will be fed, clothed, or ... (7+ / 0-)

    given shelter with this $180 million dollars, but several 'mysterious' shadow dancers will surely get their tax deductions. Without the deduction these donors would never have loosened up their purse strings.

    Ken Langone, the billionaire that is spearheading the $180 million dollar restoration of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
    One of the donors is pissed at the Pope, and is threatening to withhold his donation. Maybe, as part of the restoration project, a special station could be erected in St. Patrick's Cathedral so that the parishioners can genuflect to his/her generosity.

    Crony Catholicism dovetails quite nicely with Crony Capitalism.


    I object to the violations being perpetrated upon me by the laws of physics.

    by glb3 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:45:23 PM PST

  •  Everyone here (0+ / 0-)

    does realize that the Pope is steadfastly against abortion and gay marriage I hope.

    •  Sure (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chgobob, firemage

      To me, economic issues are more important. This Pope has the power to influence the thinking of billions with his words alone, and so far his words have been loud, precise and decidedly left-leaning when it comes to economics.

      •  And (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jrand, Russycle

        he has made it clear that the pursuit of wealth for its own sake is akin to worshiping a false idol.  This has been his largest focus throughout his life, and now as Pope he is offering a much needed reminder to all Roman Catholics of the real world implications of Jesus' teachings.  Every conservative who criticizes Francis's teaching, is guilty of rationalizing their own greed, and demonstrating a total lack of comprehension of the New Testament.

  •  "the rich should take pride in their humiliation"? (0+ / 0-)

    Sounds kinky to me.

    You can't stop progress (or is that "profit"?)

    by Miscweant on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 07:55:59 PM PST

  •  Well, what else would you expect from Dolan? He is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, jrand

    of the faction who do not get the Popes message; whether it is about inequality or moving the conversation away from Abortion and Gays to dealing with poverty.

    "Three things cannot be long hidden: The Sun, The Moon, and The Truth." Buddha

    by Grandson named me Papa on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:07:32 PM PST

  •  Who would have thought a cancerous tumor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftykook

    could speak so glibly?

    "So listen, oh, Don't wait." Vampire Weekend.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:12:39 PM PST

  •  "What ever happened to using this as a teaching (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chgobob

    moment?"

    I haven't run into many rich people who want to be taught.  

    Most of them just like to talk because it appears to them that people take great stock in what they say.  If I had 3 wishes from a genie, I think I'd like wealthy people to know what the people who serve them really think.

  •  to me capitalism (0+ / 0-)

    is nothing more than tyranny without brute force but that is coming considering the direction america is moving.

    nero fiddled while rome burned and the 99% are doing the same as america marches on a path towards fascism if not worse.

  •  Most important statement in the piece: (0+ / 0-)
    Unfortunately most minorities in America get no press

    We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

    by franklyn on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:25:05 PM PST

  •  All I know is this Pope is bringing people back to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jrand

    the Church (or at least making them take a second look). I'm one of them. Guys like Dolan should take that into account. Do they want followers & butts in the seats on Sunday or do they want a handful of wealthy donors?

    A village can not reorganize village life to suit the village idiot.

    by METAL TREK on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:29:39 PM PST

  •  It is clear that the Pope believes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jrand, wintergreen8694

    and Dolan does not.  The Pope believes in the teachings and Dolan, along with the rest of the wealthy, clearly does not.  I hope he enjoys his pieces of silver as he just worked his corrupted ass off for them.

  •  The Pope's response should be interesting. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Life is short, but long enough to get what's coming to you." --John Alton

    by Palafox on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:43:08 PM PST

  •  Aside from the fact (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694

    that the good Cardinal should be doing jail time for covering up the chid sex scandal in Milwaukee, don't pay attention to much  that comes out. He, like any other politician, is just checking to see which way the winds are blowing.
    Gotta keep those billionaire donors happy, doncha know. They're much more important than some single mom with kids who can't afford to drop a few shekels in the collection plate at Mass.  

    What do we want? Universal health care! When do we want it? Now!

    by cagernant on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 08:43:32 PM PST

  •  Curious? How many commenters are Catholic? (0+ / 0-)

    Because I read a LOT of misinterpretation and outright ignorance of Catholic Doctrine and the Pope's words.

  •  sameness for 2000 years or more (0+ / 0-)

    Religion and gov has always sold out to the wealthy. they know who butters their bread.

    I hope this pope knows what he is getting into taking on established religion, the very kind of people Jesus had the most problems with.

    Dressed up in their pretty robes and hats they dont have a clue about Jesus when the stated they have eyes and ears but they see and hear not, nor do they understand. not a clue.

  •  Dolan will be one of the next to be fired... n/t (0+ / 0-)

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Sun Jan 05, 2014 at 09:16:42 PM PST

  •  Dolan has a Father O'Malley act (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694

    he got from watching Bing Crosby in "Going My Way" as a kid. He was completely outmaneuvered on marriage equality in New York, which would not have happened to his predecessors.

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 01:31:33 AM PST

  •  the butthurt from the rich and their media pawns (0+ / 0-)

    ... is quite revealing.

  •  Please! Langone is not catholic! (0+ / 0-)

    Just because MSM put the word "Catholic" behind his name and scum like Donohue don't make it so.

    By what stretch of the (moral) imagination are we raising money to beautify a cathedral while there are homeless in the streets of New York?

    It's some strange religion that preaches that they are there because they are lazy.

    But it's not mine. I wouldn't allow a single penny to be spent on a building until every citizen of that city had a home, a good income and health care.

  •  MAMMON: enjoy life — guilt free! (3+ / 0-)

    Rehost this image and pass it on, if you please:

    Full size image at: http://oi41.tinypic.com/...

    •  Thanks for your first comment, rarely comments; (0+ / 0-)

      this image is sadly hilarious. However, it's my job to tell you that it's against the rules to post images here directly from a site like this and other captioned-photo sites, even though they invite you to. You can grab them and put them into your account at a Daily-Kos-approved host, such as Filckr or Photobucket, or you can upload them into the Daily Kos Image Library. Or you can just provide a link, as you did, but you are not supposed to embed the picture directly.

      An explanation, and help with all this, is found at the Help Desk "Knowledge Base" at this link. (For a discussion of approved outside hosts and why they are required, scroll down below the Image Library material to the "###Using Outside Image Hosts###" section.) If you need help with any of this, feel free to open a discussion at the Help Desk or ask questions in an open thread.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.


      Shop Kos Katalogue ❧ Help Okiciyap at Cheyenne River reservation.

      by belinda ridgewood on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 12:51:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A better teaching moment (0+ / 0-)

    would be for the Pope to come out and say, "no, Cardinal Dolan, I was not misunderstood, I was very clear in what I said".

  •  Of course (0+ / 0-)

    Texas is good at sentencing poor citizens (and non-citizens) to death.

  •  This is a great Diary- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Lippman

    and there is so much real truth--here.  

    It will not be the clergy who does this-- it will be all of us----the people of this country-- who will stand up.

    It's on us---but you know what?

    That's where it needs to be to get it done.

    "The people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking the day off. Why should I?”---Bob Marley

    by lyvwyr101 on Mon Jan 06, 2014 at 10:37:41 AM PST

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