Damn Komminnisses is Everywhere

  • capaxdei

    Every time I read this, I thank God I’m not a math teacher at a Catholic high school.

  • rich

    You might not believe this but with the correct translation the pope’s message is quite compatible with Ayn Rand’s philosophy and all other libertarian stuff.

    • Roki

      I guess it’s a matter of priorities: is Ayn Rand the standard against which you judge all other statements, including the teachings of the Catholic Faith? Or is the Catholic Faith the standard by which you judge all other statements, including Ayn Rand?

      As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

    • Dan C

      You are then choosing to read him in a certain way that is obviously not what he means.

    • Dan C

      “On the other hand, we can no longer regard so naively the liberal-capitalistic system (even with all the corrections it has since received) as the salvation of the world. We are no longer in the Kennedy-era, with its Peace Corps optimism; the Third World’s questions about the system may be partial, but they are not groundless. A self-criticism of the Christian confessions with respect to political and economic ethics is the first requirement.”

      Joseph Ratzinger 1985.

      Any pretense of papal blessings conferred on our capitalist system of economics will struggle.

    • Andy

      I recall with much shame being enamored of Ayn Rand in my youth, and her impact on my life lead me to really stupid actions and beliefs, especially the belief that says I am most important and that money is king. Thankfully I then rediscovered my Catholic faith and the Catholic principle of solidarity. Nothing in Ayn Rand’s writings comes close to what the church teaches, and to compare her to these truths points out even more her shortcomings as a person, and as a philosopher.

      • Elaine S.

        My husband was also briefly enamored of Ayn Rand in his youth (before returning to the Catholic faith) and when I met him he still had a few of her books. I read, or tried to read, some of them out of curiosity because I’d never heard of her before then.
        My take on her is that her entire philosophy was a massive knee-jerk reaction to Nazism and Communism (she was born in Russia to a Jewish family and emigrated after the Communist revolution). Because those regimes used concepts like “common good” and “shared sacrifice” to justify oppression and genocide, she went off the deep end in the other direction and saw those concepts ONLY as excuses for oppressing people.
        In my opinion she is also a good example of the saying that it’s easier to kick down a barn door than to build one. She WAS good at knocking down the pretensions of 1960s Leftists — one essay of hers that I actually liked compared the crowd of spectators that attended the Apollo 11 moon launch to the crowd that attended Woodstock a month later — but not so good at providing a coherent, alternative philosophy.
        Ironically, she was also famous for insisting (in books such as “Philosophy: Who Needs It”) that ideas matter, that philosophy is more than just navel-gazing and has real world consequences, and that objective truth and falsehood do exist — that’s why she called her philosophy Objectivism.

    • chezami

      No. It’s not. Stop lying to yourself and everybody around you.

      • rich

        There is nobody around me.I don’t care if Rand was an atheist and pro abortion she was still a better Catholic than Nancy Pelosi because of her economic import.

        • chezami

          A textbook exhibit of the Thing that Used to be Conservatism’s fantasy that it’s fine to be an enemy of God as long as you wear the Precious Feet pin.

          • The Deuce

            …and his even more obvious sarcasm here.

      • The Deuce

        Mark, I’m pretty sure you failed to grasp rich’s sarcasm here.

    • BadMF

      Are you a Randian Catholic? How do you square Rand’s complete rejection of sacrifice, and how it supposedly saps the soul of its purity, with Catholicism’s demands that we give ourselves away to others? When I read Rand as a teen, this discrepancy marked the philosophy as irretrievably false, on its own terms, and straight up evil on Catholicism’s terms. I don’t understand how both views can be held without one of them being modified on this point.

    • Mariana Baca

      A lot of libertarian stuff is not compatible with Ayn Rand’s philosophy, though, according to Ayn Rand. I’d find it a stretch to believe Ayn Rand is compatible with the Pope, who is farther away philosophically.

  • ChGPe

    Yes, let’s raise the minimum wage….because if someone isn’t happy with the wage they have, it’s best that we just un-employ them altogether…

    • capaxdei

      There is the irony that, whatever else raising the minimum wage might do, it’s hard to argue that it would attack the structural causes of inequality.

    • Marthe Lépine

      You might find this interesting:
      From: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/minimum-wage-in-canada-one-woman-s-story-1.2495203
      Minimum wage in Canada: One woman’s story
      No fancy meals and no vacations: ‘I am working poor’
      CBC News Posted: Jan 14, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 14, 2014 6:22 PM ET

      • ChGPe

        I’m not unsympathetic to those who struggle to live off a minimum wage job, but people need to realize that in almost all cases raising the minimum wage doesn’t actually raise anyone’s pay. It merely un-employs anyone who was making below the minimum wage.

        • Heather

          Funny, when I was in minimum wage retail hell for five years, I didn’t lose my job and my pay went up when minimum wage was raised. It just meant I continued to make the same as a new hire, since the minimum wage increases replaced the $.10 per year or whatever token raises we would otherwise have received.
          When the recession hit, they didn’t bother touching the minimum wage folks, they just let go of the three non-management associates who actually were classed as more than “casual part time” and therefore had guaranteed hours and benefits.

          • The Deuce

            Heather, it might not have happened to *you personally* but it is the net market effect of raising the minimum wage.

            Employees are offering a service to their employer in exchange for money, and just like any other good or service, the supply and demand are related to the price on a curve. There’s no free lunch and no way around this.

            When you raise the minimum wage, you are increasing the price that must be paid for the services of unskilled labor. The price of any good or service is inversely related to demand, so the effect of this is to lower the demand for lower-level employees (ie, the number of those employees that businesses are willing to pay for at that price).

    • ivan_the_mad

      I didn’t see anything about the minimum wage in the quote. This seems rather the non sequitur to me.

      • ChGPe

        I didn’t intend to criticize the quote itself. I was criticizing the poster that the quote was posted on, which was clearly trying to use the quote to support their agenda.

        • ivan_the_mad

          Ah, I see now – rather small text for my eyes, I had to magnify the image. I was wondering that $11 in the upper corner was about.

  • Mark R

    Not that nothing should be done for the poor (“Lord, when did we see you hungry…”), “…the poor, will always be with you….”
    I am a bit uncomfortable with phrasing the problem of poverty in terms of a solution — as if it can be solved once and for all. Of course morals in commerce would do a lot of good as would cleaner living and morality among the poor, but getting either group to embrace this is very difficult even if it is demonstrated that it is best in the long run.

    • Andy

      You know of course that the poor do not live cleanly or live moral lives?

      • Mark R

        I dunno, a giveaway is sex at an early age. Poor people give birth to more poor people and the cycle goes on. Some wise up and get their priorities in order Putting off immediate satisfaction of many kinds (besides sex, drugs, booze, etc.) is the straightest and fastest road out of poverty…it personally took me a longer time because I am an idiot.

        • Andy

          So you are saying that poor people have more sex at an early age? Is it possible that those who aren’t poor use birth control so they aren’t caught? The idea that poor give birth to more poor seems to say that they should either abstain even if they are married or use a form of birth control
          Also the people I know who are rich have more booze, can afford drugs, and use their money in equally for immediate gratification.
          People are people – being poor or rich makes you no more apt to seek immediate gratification or to do “bad” acts. We are all sinners and it is the fruits of our sins that we reap, regardless of SES.
          It seems that you are blaming the poor for being poor, because they are poor.

          • The Deuce

            The point isn’t that the poor are “bad people.” The point is that if we’re going to address the structural causes of inequality we have to examine, well, the structural causes of inequality.

        • Dan C

          Sexual ethics are not the only form of morality.

          • The Deuce

            They are a form though, and it’s true that they are especially implicated in the cycle of poverty.

            • Dan C

              You are so right! I have met so many (dozens) of these 20 and 30 something Wall Street Traders, the officer class of the army of capitalism and they have no sexual ethics. I claim it is part and parcel of the self- centered money- seeking endeavors that they pursue all day, that nights and off-time is spent in drug- fueled sexual excess.

              Yes. Defective sexual ethics are part of the problem of poverty.

              • The Deuce

                Imo, the worst sexual behavior tend to be at the very top, where arrogant narcissists believe themselves invincible and are insulated from the immediate personal consequences of their hedonism by their money, and at the very bottom, where you have people caught in multi-generational cycles of out-of-wedlock birth, broken families, and dependency, and have been so neck-deep in the consequences their whole lives that they take it for granted and can barely imagine anything else.

        • Obpoet

          Children are a natural byproduct of poverty.

  • Eve Fisher

    Funny how the idea of unfettered capitalism seems so much more natural to some people than unfettered Christianity. Of course, unfettered capitalism is all about Me; unfettered Christianity is all about God.

    As for Ayn Rand… her whole life was a testament to a selfishness that is beyond belief. Ever notice there are no children in any of her works? Nobody with any disabilities? Nobody old, or sick, or dying? Nobody caring a rat’s ass about anyone else? Unless you consider the Dominique/Roark relationship caring, in which case…

  • AquinasMan

    Turn these stones to bread.

  • Raphael

    Unfortunately, the structural causes of inequality is because people are not equal. Not everybody has the same talents, inclinations, ambitions, or luck. We are not born to equal circumstances, we don’t have equal upbringings, we don’t have equal genetics. or equal anatomy. Trying to impose equality (aka communism) results in injustices just as severe, if not worse than those of a free-market economy. I believe a former pope somewhere had a few words about communism too. Trying to create equality is an impossible task, like trying to stop plate techtonics.
    If I work my tail off, study for years and years and in order to obtain the credentials to get a good job, I would expect my economic outlook to be better than the slackers who dropped out of high school because they were too busy smoking dope. We are all equal in the sight of God, and have equal dignity as members of the human race, but that’s about it.
    Mark, we get it, you think most conservatives worship at the altar of the almighty dollar and conservative Catholics use our faith as a hypocritical veneer. With all respect, you are wrong. What gets conservatives riled up is precisely what this quote above shows. The pope appears to be profoundly ignorant of economics. Yes, he is my pope, yes I take very seriously what he says and try to examine my own life and my own generosity towards the poor. But I don’t have to shut off my brain, and I don’t have to treat every utterance as an ex cathedra statement to be believed upon pain of excommunication. Pope Francis is tilting at straw man – there is no country in the world that practices “absolute autonomy of the markets and financial speculation”, none. What creates problems in market economies is SIN, but that is no less present in any other economic system. And greed is just as much a problem of the poor as for the rich.


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