Thursday, December 17, 2015

Is America's Freedom Unhinged From Reality or Truth?

Economic historian, Dr. Rupert Ederer issued an urgent warning to America and other nations who had adopted the neo-liberal ethic. In October 2012 in his article "America and Catholic Social Teaching: An Urgent Warning". He wrote:
"Capitalist plutocracies should be forewarned. They may well be facing some kind of parallel to the heinous outburst known as the French Revolution. That followed prolonged abuse of political power by long-standing hereditary monarchies and their associated aristocracies. The current murmur of revolution stems from the abuse of economic power by a class of capitalistic plutocrats nurtured in recent centuries by a cult of freedom which has come to be known as liberalism. Basically that is about freedom unhinged from reality — or truth." [This is] "Indicated in the Catholic Church’s social teachings from the start....the failure of the economic liberals, and now neoliberals, to observe “in the area of economic and social activity” the important link between the “truth about man.” That shortcoming gave birth to Marxian socialism, and now to the current and fatal capitalistic economic pandemonium."
Ederer invokes the stated concerns and even outright opposition of a long series of leading Catholic world figures over the way the neoliberal ideological movement first took hold and then became firmly entrenched:

  • the present Pope Benedict XVI [encyclical, 'Caritas in Veritate']
  • Pope John Paul II in January 1999 and his 'Laborem Exercens', 'Sollicitudo Rei Socialis' and 'Centesimus Annus
  • Pope Paul VI [May 1971 'Populorum Progressio']
  • Pope John XXIII [1961 encyclical 'Mater et Magistra']
  • Monsignor Fulton J. Sheen ['Communism and the Conscience of the West' (1948)]
  • Pope Pius XII [Address to Italian Workers, June 1941]
  • Pope Pius XI in 1931 [encyclical Quadragesimo Anno]
  • Father Heinrich Pesch, Jesuit Master Economist [Lehrbuch der National√∂konomie (1923)]
In the forward to the 5th volume Pesch wrote:
"People, not excluding learned economists, tend to lapse all too easily into extremes. The recklessness in socialistic free labor union policy did evoke and continues to evoke reaction, so that today one feels entitled to talk about a kind of ‘neo-Manchesterism.’ Mises is regarded as the main exponent of this trend, and because of his incisive and original criticism of socialism he has also gained acceptance and respect among authors who, unlike him, have stepped forward and supported the legal protection of women and children, and social insurance of workers. Mises is on the wrong track when he attributes the terrible conditions in English factory regions where Manchesterism prevailed, not to that phenomenon, but to other circumstances. The historical development of industry among the various nations, and also a proper understanding of human nature, pass judgment on individualistic freedom."
Also mentioned are earlier Catholic popes who laid the foundation for the Church's social teachings on the economic order and the institution's opposition to economic liberalism:

Leo XIII [his encyclical 'Rerum Novarum' and his important encyclical On Human Liberty (Libertas Praestantissimum) which came out in 1888.]

Ederer concludes his article by pointing out that the present Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical 'Cartitas in Veritate' "addressed precisely the quintessential link between charity and truth.

"Serious study of Caritas in Veritate" says Ederer "not to mention widespread implementation of that principle, has scarcely begun."

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