John Paul II vs. Lugwig Von Mises

If you're a follower of local blog ontheborderline.nut for comic relief, like I am, you may have been surprised to see a another rambling cut and paste from the obscure Austrian Economist and Mentor to the OTBL radical Laissez Fair Capitalists/pseudo-entrepreneurs. But then again you probably expected it. In their latest mind numbing bag of wind article OTBL's Flash, aka Dr.Bill chastises the evils of Christian Socialism.

"The protagonists of Christian social reform as a rule do not regard their ideal Society of Christian Socialism as in any way socialistic. But this is simply self-deception. Christian Socialism appears to be conservative because it desires to maintain the existing order of property, or more properly it appears reactionary because it wishes to restore and then maintain an order of property that prevailed in the past. It is also true that it combats with great energy the plans of socialists of other persuasions for a radical abolition of private property, and in contradistinction to them asserts that not Socialism but social reform is its aim. "
and on and on......

Contrast this with the following:

Moral Values and Global Capitalism
John Paul II's Economic Ethics


Many commentators have highlighted the Pope extensive travels throughout the world and his use of advanced telecommunications to spread his message. Less noted is the fact John Paul's vision of globalization sharply countered the pro-corporate triumphalism spread by "free trade" boosters.

Reflecting on the process of globalization during his 1998 visit to Cuba, the Pope contended that world is "witnessing the resurgence of a certain capitalist neoliberalism which subordinates the human person to blind market forces." He claimed that "[f]rom its centers of power, such neoliberalism often places unbearable burdens upon less favored countries." And he remarked with concern that "at times, unsustainable economic programs are imposed on nations as a condition for further assistance."

Coming at a moment when protests against the type of "structural adjustment" mandated by the U.S.-dominated World Bank and International Monetary Fund were beginning to make headlines, the targets of John Paul's condemnation were not mysterious. Because of such economic policies, the Pope argued, we "see a small number of countries growing exceedingly rich at the cost of the increasing impoverishment of a great number of other countries; as a result the wealthy grow ever wealthier, while the poor grow ever poorer."

John Paul elaborated his arguments in his 1999 exhortation, Ecclesia in America. There he asserted that the increasing global integration of the current era presents an opportunity for progress. "However," he warned, "if globalization is ruled merely by the laws of the market applied to suit the powerful, the consequences cannot but be negative." He spoke out against "unfair competition which puts the poor nations in a situation of ever increasing inferiority."

The Pope's sentiments reflected the church's wider understanding of political economy. In a 2001 address to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, John Paul reiterated the faith's teaching that "[e]thics demands that systems be attuned to the needs of man, and not that man be sacrificed for the sake of the system." Furthering this idea, the Pope insisted on "the inalienable value of the human person" who "must always be an end and not a means, a subject, not an object, not a commodity of trade."
Further Reading on a just economy:

"In 1993, John Paul II would provoke mocking headlines when he criticized Poland and other post-Communist countries for accepting pure market economics from the West and thus abandoning the "grain of truth" in Marxism. Although many thought the pope was reversing himself, he was in fact using almost the same words he had used forty years before in class lectures and in his book, and had been using ever since.

Wojtyla separated Marx's analysis of economic exploitation, which he largely accepted, from Marx's solutions, which he rejected. "The Catholic social ethic," he wrote in 1953, "agrees that in many cases a struggle is the way to accomplish the common good. Today...a class struggle...is the undeniable responsibility of the proletariat." Not only is classconscious revolution compatible with Christianity, he argued; it is sometimes necessary to Christianity. What is incompatible is Marxism's subjugation of the individual human spirit to a grand economic design after the revolution.

In Catholic Social Ethics, Wojtyla set down rules for social struggle that are strikingly similar to those that would be enunciated less than a decade later by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., in the United States. Wojtyla and King each believed the struggle should be aimed at persuasion, not at violent, Marxist-style upheaval. Wojtyla wrote:

Demonstrations, protests, strikes, and passive resistance - all these are means of class struggle that need to be considered appropriate. The struggle for rights, after exhausting all peaceful means...is a necessary act of justice that leads only to the achievement of the common good, which is the goal of social existence....

It is clear that from the view of the ethical assumptions of the Bible, such a struggle is a necessary evil, just like any other human struggle.... It is also evident from the Bible that struggle itself is not the opposite of love. The opposite of love is hate.

A struggle in a specific case does not have to be caused by hate. If it is caused by social and material injustice, and if its goal is to reinstate the just distribution of goods, then such a struggle is not [hatred].... Social justice is the necessary condition for realization of love in life...."

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