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Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 7:43amSanction this postReply
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I spend a lot of time on the Galt's Gulch website of the Atlas Shrugged movies. Many of the regular writers there are Christians and therefore conservatives. This topic also came up, of course. Quickly, the Objectivists and Christians stated their cases, not always with insight. In fact, the Christians were somewhat more polished in their presentations. The Objectivists just called the Pope obscene names, while the Christians quoted Biblical passages supporting hard work and enterprise.



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Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 6:15pmSanction this postReply
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I would like to know where the Pope thinks "unfettered Capitalism" exists... I sure don't know. Everywhere I look it is so harshly and deeply fettered as to be nearly unrelated to pure Capitalism.

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Friday, November 29, 2013 - 10:43amSanction this postReply
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If you look at the history of "papality" you can watch as, over time (as recent as the 1800s), the Church turns away from the freedom and individualism inherent to capitalism and toward the slavery and collectivism inherent to socialism.

Taking the view that the Pope has a pipeline to God, the differences are so striking that it could lead you to believe that God changed His mind about the subject (which is, according to other principles of organized religions, preposterous).

Ed

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Sunday, December 1, 2013 - 7:42pmSanction this postReply
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[double post deleted]

(Edited by Ed Thompson on 12/01, 7:46pm)


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Sunday, December 1, 2013 - 7:44pmSanction this postReply
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Here's Leo XIII, in 1891 ("Rerum Novarum"), on the tyranny of unfettered socialism:
The Socialists, therefore, in endeavoring to transfer the possessions of individuals to the community, strike at the interests of every wage earner, for they deprive him of the liberty of disposing of his wages, and thus of all hope and possibility of increasing his stock and bettering his condition in life.
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Wherefore it is in his power to exercise his choice not only on things which regard his present welfare, but also on those which will be for his advantage in time to come. Hence man can possess not only the fruits of the earth, but also the earth itself; for of the products of the earth he can make provision for the future. Man's needs do not die out, but recur; satisfied today, they demand new supplies tomorrow. Nature, therefore, owes to man a storehouse that shall never fail, the daily supply of his daily wants.
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Man is older than the state and he holds the right of providing for the life of his body prior to the formation of any state.
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... private ownership is according to nature's law. For that which is required for the preservation of life and for life's well-being, is produced in great abundance by the earth, but not until man has brought it into cultivation and lavished upon it his care and skill.
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Private ownership, as we have seen, is the natural right of man; and to exercise that right, especially as members of society, is not only lawful but absolutely necessary.
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... private ownership must be held sacred and inviolable.



Contrast this against Pope Francis today (from the link above):
Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and na´ve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system.
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While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few.
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In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market.
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A financial reform open to such ethical considerations would require a vigorous change of approach on the part of political leaders.
Pope Francis is saying is that you can't trust rich people to give (and that the only way poor people ever get ahead in life is if they are given gifts), so we ought to have reform which forces a transfer, to "the majority", of at least some of the possessions produced by the "happy few". Yet Pope Leo had said that a forced transfer of possessions from individuals to the community would bring widespread despair. Pope Francis says that nature is fragile and so we ought to have reform which defends the environment against the economic interests of man-- that man should serve the earth. Yet Pope Leo had said that man is fragile, and that nature owes man a daily supply of his daily wants -- that the earth should serve man.

Like I said, it's quite a difference in opinions.

Ed

p.s., And the income inequality disparaged by Pope Francis is not from unfettered (i.e., laissez-faire) capitalism, but from its opposite: socialism/communism. According to Avi Tuschman (book: Our Political Nature; p 385), if you look up the Gini scores (income inequality scores) at the UNDP Human Development Report, you will discover that the worst inequality -- highest scores are found in China (.47) and Venezuela (.43) -- is in authoritarian regimes (anti-capitalist regimes with centralized power and regulatory control over their economies). In the 1980s, when the United States was still largely a capitalist country (because we were sticking to the US Constitution), the Gini score was only .34 -- but today, after circumventing the Constitution in order to effect wealth transfers and arbitrary power concentration, the Gini score is now up to .41 (almost as much income inequality as is found in communist Venezuela!).

(Edited by Ed Thompson on 12/01, 8:18pm)


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Monday, December 2, 2013 - 6:54amSanction this postReply
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Ed, thanks for the mention of Leo XIII:
"As soon as he was elected to the papacy, Leo XIII worked to encourage understanding between the Church and the modern world. When he firmly re-asserted the scholastic doctrine that science and religion co-exist, he required the study of Thomas Aquinas[16] and opened the Vatican Secret Archives to qualified researchers, among whom was the noted historian of the Papacy Ludwig von Pastor. He also re-founded the Vatican Observatory "so that everyone might see clearly that the Church and her Pastors are not opposed to true and solid science, whether human or divine, but that they embrace it, encourage it, and promote it with the fullest possible devotion." -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Leo_XIII

However, he also wrote extensively on the Rosary and the Scapular. (Rosary, I am sure you know. Scapular even I had to look up: I never was all that Catholic...) But, even Newton wrote more about theology than physics. So, we take the good with the whatever-else.


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