The Subtle Poison of Socialism

Pope Leo XIII

With Rush Limbaugh crowing about the Pope being a Marxist and arch-conservatives having hissy fits about Pope Francis,  John Zmirak voices a strident, but smart critique of Cardinal  Maradiaga’s simplistic socialism. Go here.

I like his quote from Leo XIII’s harsh criticism of socialism:

they assail the right of property sanctioned by natural law; and by a scheme of horrible wickedness, while they seem desirous of caring for the needs and satisfying the desires of all men, they strive to seize and hold in common whatever has been acquired either by title of lawful inheritance, or by labor of brain and hands, or by thrift in one’s mode of life. . . .But the boldness of these bad men, which day by day more and more threatens civil society with destruction, and strikes the souls of all with anxiety and fear, finds its cause and origin in those poisonous doctrines which, spread abroad in former times among the people, like evil seed bore in due time such fatal fruit.

I trust Pope Francis and his eight reforming cardinals will remember this perspective on economics when they continue their work.

As I’ve said before, I’m not even an armchair economist, but the criticisms I’ve read are not knee jerk reactions by dyed in the wool fat cat capitalists. They are balanced and informed opinions by experts commenting on the pope’s ideas in a respectful and intelligent manner.

Read my post: Is Pope Francis a Marxist? and a basket of comment and links on the Pope and economics here and my further comments and links to Ross Douthat’s column on the subject here. Theodore Dalrymple weighs in here saying the pope’s economics are nice, but naive.


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