Gillis Harp Writes a Fine Piece for Crisis

Gillis Harp Writes a Fine Piece for Crisis July 11, 2015

pointing out the obvious fact that capitalism, unmoored from all consideration except profit is as deadly an enemy to the Faith as Communism (perhaps more deadly since Communism kills the body while capitalism seduces the soul).

He is instantly shouted down by a great crowd in the comboxes.

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Mt 10:28).

American Conservative Catholicism runs a grave risk of having that on its tombstone if it cannot find a way to reject its role as Court Prophet for American Movement Conservatism.

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  • Dave G.

    In 1992, a pastor friend of mine told his congregation that without Christ, Capitalism is no better than Communism. Oddly, most seemed to agree. There weren’t any outcries at least. But then, that was when, except for those on the far left who have always pined for the liberal socialist model of Europe, Capitalism was seen as at least the better way, as long as it wasn’t abused. Now, that’s not the case. A growing number, most on the left now, as well as others, are treating Capitalism and Satanism as one and the same. which, in usual form, leads to those defenders of it hunkering down and defending the indefensible, even turning a blind eye to how unchecked Capitalism, greed, consumerism and the immorality that has become its main selling point, are helping to rot away any sense of traditional values of Christian living. Again, an example of one extreme invariably causing an equal and opposite extreme.

    • Artevelde

      The best your apparently lily-livered FAR LEFT can come up with is European liberal socialism? The world’s a funny place because said liberal socialists tend to describe their own ideology as checked capitalism.

      • Joseph

        I’m sure Greece would agree (waiting for the “they did it to themselves” retort).

        • Artevelde

          I’m not sure what it is in my post that the Greeks are supposed or not supposed to agree with. I’m quite sure though that almost all of them wouldn’t label mainstream European policies as ”far left”.

  • Sam Schmitt

    So Communism kills the body but not the soul? Solzhenitsyn would shake his head and sigh . . .

    • Guest

      The opportunities for sainthood come fairly easily in a gulag. In a nicely-appointed four-bedroom home in the suburbs, it’s a little harder.

      • Alma Peregrina

        I would like to point out that, even though opportunities for sainthood come fairly easy in a gulag, it is not true that sainthood itself is easier in a gulag.

        In fact, I wager that most of us armchair commenters here wouldn’t be able to be saints in a gulag.

        • Guest

          Oh, of course not. But after all, if sainthood were easy, we could do it ourselves.

      • Christian martyrdom generally requires bad action directed towards christians who resist on the grounds of their christian faith. Death may or may not be a consequence (red vs white martyrdom). I really find it Orwellian to criticize capitalism for a shortage of bad actors coming after us. This is just perverse.

        • Guest

          I’m not just talking about martyrdom. I’m talking about the anesthesia of the soul that is clearly in effect in our culture. I believe much of it a direct result of capitalism’s materialist roots.

          • Your thesis is too easy. We anesthetize ourselves starting with pap coming from the pulpit on Sunday. Following Christ is a choice, one of many. Capitalism enables all sorts of harder to accommodate choices but not following Christ? I just don’t buy it, especially since you don’t provide any sort of mechanism for how capitalism is discriminatorily anti-christian.

            • Guest

              Capitalism, like Communism, is a descendant of Enlightenment materialism. All they have to offer is the satisfaction of material needs. Unlike Communism, Capitalism excels at filling material needs. It also, by its nature, excels at creating material needs – or at least the perception thereof. This is doubly dangerous: material satisfaction is ultimately unsatisfying, leading to increased demand for material remedies (the classic symptoms of addiction), but that temporary satisfaction is often spiritually numbing. There’s a very good reason why Christ warns of the difficulty the rich face with respect to entering the Kingdom – their possessions (I should say “our posessions,” since I have all my needs met with a fair surplus) distract from matters of spiritual import while you adapt to their presence, making it harder to willingly let them go and turn to Christ.

              This is not a condemnation of riches or a celebration of destitution. It’s just a recognition of the clear truth that it’s very easy to put wealth in the wrong place in our lives, and that it’s even easier to do when we’re surrounded by our own wealth. Handling money requires prayerful discernment and constant vigilance, and not only is Capitalism not equipped to promote those two qualities, it is almost structurally opposed to them since the fundamental driver of Capitalism in practice seems to be the pursuit of “more,” never of “enough.”

              • What you seem to be ignoring is that capitalism is not supposed to be a complete system. This differentiates it from communism which is very openly a complete system. Since the only thing it’s supposed to do is manage material needs, the fact that the only thing it actually does is manage material needs is not a defect. It’s actually truth in advertising. The problem of having nothing else but capitalism is not a fault of the system itself but a fault of anybody who neglects to have any other philosophical structure help run their lives in other areas.

                A man wears a shirt, no pants, and no shoes when he leaves his house in the morning. He ends his day with painful feet and in jail in a completely predictable disaster. A normal person does not blame this outcome on the shirt.

                • Guest

                  The purpose of Capitalism is to make a profit – to forego profit is to behave irrationally in the Capitalist framework. That’s according to Henry Hazlitt, anyway: “If there is no profit in making an article, it is a sign that the labor and capital devoted to its production are misdirected: the value of the resources that must be used up in making the article is greater than the value of the article itself.” Hazlitt’s explanation implies a self-contained value system with no other influences implied as being necessary. And why should they be? In the long run, we’re all dead, after all.
                  The purpose of Capitalism is to maximize profit for the owners of capital, nothing more – and the fruits of Capitalism have shown that rarely do Capitalists turn away profits except in the form of short-term losses meant to pay off in the long-run. Those who do do so out of a value system that they happened to have brought in from the outside, and their loyalty to those systems requires personal sacrifice of wealth that Capitalism says ought to be theirs. Small wonder we don’t see a lot of that.

                  • It is not irrational to forego profit in a capitalist system. People do it all the time. Go talk to a professional accountant. They actually have balance sheet categories to account for purposefully foregone profits. Giving out free shirts, sponsoring a local boy scout troop, opening up your warehouse for disaster recovery, these are common, everyday things in a capitalist system. They’re also accounted for.

                    When things are unprofitably done, they reduce the accumulated surplus available to do things in future. Do that too much and the entire system collapses. Hazlitt was talking about economics so it is natural that he talks economically. He’s not a totalitarian and he wants his economic ideas to have the widest possible following so he leaves blank spaces for other values to fill in, thus the muslim, the atheist, and the christian can all read the economics and not have non-economic considerations become a stumbling block.

                    When somebody daily bakes a thousand loaves of bread which cost a dollar each and gives them to the poor for free, this is not an economically rational decision but it could very well be the right thing to do (or not, see the history of aid in africa to see how this sort of thing can go bad). You take your profits from elsewhere and expend your resources on your pleasures and if it pleases God and your profits elsewhere are sufficient, you can undertake this transaction time and again sustainably.

                    You could take the same money and spend it on hiring living statues for your own fun and it would be exactly as economically irrational. Giving bread to the poor or buying bottle service at an expensive night club is a decision that is *outside the realm of economics*and rely on other values to decide which to do. The non-totalitarian capitalist does not bring capitalism into the question but argues the point based on other values.

                    • Guest

                      Like I said, those things are almost invariably done with an eye toward future profit that outweighs the present loss. Businesses fall over themselves to let us know about their charitable activities, and amen I say to you, they have received their rewards.
                      I think that Capitalism’s history is clear: it encourages its practitioners to adopt it as their sole framework for decision making. That is in fact a flaw of Capitalism – and the environment in which it was conceived leads me to believe it was by design, despite subsequent attempts to graft non-economic-based ethics onto as a means of rehabilitation.

                    • So you’re complaining that institutions created to fulfill economic ends are using economics to guide the fulfillment of those economic ends? I’m not seeing a problem there.

                    • Guest

                      You spoke the problem without even seeming to realize it. Money is not properly considered an end; people – both human and divine – are ends. When you seek “economic ends” you will invariably fail to behave ethically because you are aiming at the wrong target.
                      To put it another way, economics has been enthroned as the master rather than used as the servant it should be. I contend that Capitalism is so typically practiced in this upside-down way that this is either by design or an unintentional but fatal flaw.

                    • Very nice word games don’t cut it. People aren’t capable enough to handle reality without chopping it up into smaller bits. So you get smaller goals, smaller ends that put together focus on people but the sub processes do not. People habitually talk about the sub processes in isolation and then black box the complexity in order to be able to speak intelligibly at all. They talk that way in order not to lose the threads in a morass of complexity that they can’t handle. But if you’re being a jerk, you can nit pick and disallow common word usage. I’ve seen no evidence that you are capable in the least of talking intelligibly without using the exact short cut you are denouncing. Today, I’m not in the mood for that sort of willful blindness.

                    • Guest

                      You talk a good game about how all these disparate approaches will come together in support of the correct goal. I don’t exclude that possibility, but “you will know them by their fruits.” Are the fruits of modern American Capitalism – or any other Capitalism practiced elsehwere or elsewhen – wholesome or rotten by the standard of Catholic social teaching?

                    • Overall, the fruits of capitalism are quite good. As any system that is implemented partially and imperfectly, the results vary. Unlike communism, when capitalism is implemented with greater fidelity, the results tend to be better than when it is only given lip service.

                      Let me be very clear, the good fruits I am speaking of are the escape of approximately 2 billion people out of grinding poverty and into the global middle class. Within those two billion is the usual mix of foolishness and wisdom in what they did with the extra money. The job of the Church is to aid in acquiring wisdom to use those goods in ways that please God. This is the big job. The job of economics is to provide the raw materials so that people are empowered and have the choices to make. This is a smaller task. It is, however, still an important one that figures heavily in eliminating exclusion and enabling human dignity.

                    • Guest

                      So here we are, after a few days and several paragraphs which I started by noting the clear material benefits of capitalism but expressing my concerns with the spiritual effects. Then finally, when I ask you to lay your cards on the table and name the fruits of this system, you completely omit any spiritual aspect of the question. Is that a concession, or an oversight?
                      I am aware you think that capitalism should not be held responsible for spiritual effects, good or bad. My point has continually been that capitalism, as practiced by most, coincides with a sort of spiritual rot. Based on Scripture and Tradition, it seems plausible to attribute this effect to the materialist positive feedback loop inherent in capitalism – the system encourages further gain for the actor regardless of any cost to others, and unsurprisingly the most prominent actors pursue this gain to the farthest extent of their external constraints.

                    • I find it interesting that you do not include human dignity as a spiritual matter. You are in error.

                      One thing I didn’t mention is that capitalism tends to ameliorate evil. Being amoral is a step up from outright evil. It’s the flip side of the ‘spiritual rot’ you’re concerned about. Capitalism, by itself, is morally neutral. Without any moral system, it’ll produce a sort of gray immorality and there is a sort of ‘reversion to mean’ tendency. Both good and evil have their moments of unprofitability.

                      But we don’t live in a manichean world where good and evil are equal and opposite forces. Instead we live in a world where good is a real force and evil is an absence of good or a defect. That tends to tilt capitalism to a positive force on balance as fixing defects efficiently and effectively is one of the things that capitalism enables.

                  • falstaff77

                    “The purpose of Capitalism is to make a profit – to forego profit is to behave irrationally in the Capitalist framework. ”

                    As TML pointed about above, and you’ve ignored again, Capitalism is not a complete system for human life, and I’d add, no more so than is Newtonian physics. I’m not irrational because I forego selling my children into slavery despite the rather hefty costs coming my way as they remain under my care. Christianity, I think, is complete.

                    We know this, instinctively. Yet there’s the constant drum beat to ignore what we know, to point to the abuses, the errors of the fallen and redefine the tool that is Capitalism into that which it is not. Its if scripture was rewritten from “cannot serve God and money” to “destroy all money”.

                    • Guest

                      I agree completely that Capitalism is not a complete system. What I question is the idea that it was not meant as a complete system originally. Further, based on an overview of the results it’s entirely obvious that it is the de facto ethical system for most people, provided you don’t push them to extreme questions too quickly (but look to the margins now for what will be acceptable later – see the body parts video elsewhere for an unfortunate example).
                      Just look at the average consumer. People pay lip service to intangibles and even to measurable qualities, but what drives the buying decision far more often than not is price. That’s why “conscience” products are a niche market – they cost more at the point of sale. Companies know this, and that’s why price is what they compete on when it comes to the mass market.
                      Sure, it’s theoretically possible to practice ethical Capitalism. Some even seem to do it more or less. But on the whole the system rewards the relentless pursuit of “more” and rewards the most prolific accumulators of wealth independently of their moral choices. It’s like the founders said about our republic – it can work only with an already moral people, otherwise it will be disastrous. Honestly now, can you say that our Capitalism is one dominated by – or even significantly influenced by – a moral people?

      • Joseph

        Because it’s *easy* to give up your life for your faith. Here’s a suggestion: gather up your wife and kids and head over to Iraq or Syria and announce that you’re a Christian. Then, when they strip your wife bear, give you an opportunity to renounce your faith, then rape her brutally and slit her throat, draining her blood into a bowl in front of you, then start selecting your children one by one for the same fate, each time offering you a chance to recant your faith, let me know how easy martyrdom is.
        Ah, Americans. They all think they’re William Wallace because they cry when they watch Braveheart.

        • Guest

          Funny thing about the combox is the ability to travel back in time and join a conversation. It makes your contribution seem relevant when in fact it was overcome by subsequent events.

  • Jamesthelast

    When the ideas of a society are materialist, it doesn’t matter which one we have, they are both going the wrong direction. At least communist societies give you a chance at martyrdom, while Western capitalism works on you your whole life to turn you into a slave to hedonism and pragmatism.

    I also think that we should make a distinction between communism and Marxism. For example, we have Acts and monasteries that show examples of non-materialist communism working well for their communities. Not that I’m saying we need the to do the same for society at large, but that we have to kill materialism.

    • Guest

      I have recently been struggling through the system shock that capitalism grew out of materialism, and thus cannot be expected to loyally serve anything other than a materialist interest. Sure, creature comforts are nice, and capitalism excels at delivering them. But they will never ultimately satisfy, and capitalism doesn’t offer anything else.

      • Jamesthelast

        I recommend reading GK Chesterton. He’s really good at pointing how modern society is basically about the state or big business being in control.

        It’s really crazy when you think about how our society is. Every second of every day is filled with clever ads and marketing techniques designed to get you to believe that you need that new gadget or clothes.
        It really stands out when I return from a retreat after getting away from the culture for a few days.

        It’s really shocking when you add climate change into the mix. Not only are we killing ourselves spiritually with our greed, but physically as well.

        • Guest

          Oh my yes. Love me some Chesterton. But I started reading the encyclical and then I picked up E F Schumacher’s “Small is Beautiful” in the middle of it and the two seem to go perfectly together from what I’ve seen so far.

          • Andy

            “Small is Beautiful” is a wonderful text that does help see a way forward. I agree that many encyclicals and Schumacer’s work in general seem to fit together.

            • Marthe Lépine

              If my memory is correct, Schumacher is a Catholic. And one thing I am sure to have seen in his books: He said somewhere that the Catholic Church had the most consistent teaching on social justice. He wrote another book, entitled, I think, “Good Work” (sorry if I don’t have the exact title, it was 25 years ago that I read it), that is also very informative.

              • Andy

                Thank you – I had not read “Goid work” or anything I can recall like it I will look on the schumacher’s website.

                • Marthe Lépine

                  I just looked up “Wikipedia” for a quick overview, and there is a Selected Bibliography; check: I had remembered the title correctly: Good Work (1979, ISBN 0-06-013857-2. This one that I did not know about also looks interesting:
                  A Guide for the Perplexed (1977, ISBN 0-224-01496-X; still in paperback, ISBN 0-06-090611-1)

          • Alma Peregrina

            I second Schumacher’s “Small is beautiful” as a work that every catholic should read.

    • Andy

      Making the distinction you suggest would make the 10 second power statement made by those who worship mammon explode. But you are so correct, they are different.

    • No, non-materialist communism does not work. So far as I’ve been able to document, nobody’s ever figured out how to do communist husbandry because all variants of communism are unable to calculate prices over time. The best that they can do is to ape the market. If you have a counter-example that is:
      1. actually communist
      2. does actually work

      I would appreciate hearing of this as I’ve been searching for it for a long time.

      • Jamesthelast

        What does this have to do with how morally bankrupt a materialist society is?

        • You stated something false. It is a pernicious error that leads people to keep trying to find this communist variant. A lot of people have died of this particular error and many more have been hurt and otherwise been made miserable.

          • Jamesthelast

            I in no way saying that we should have communism or that it’s a good idea. Stating that some take vows to not own anything and rely on the community is not stating that private property should be abolished.

            • A vow of poverty is not communist. You can be possessionless and be capitalist or communist in your economic dealings. The problem is that you’re lending the moral merits of a communal life to a system that’s up to it’s elbows in evil. The christian communal life long predated communism. Communism’s attempted hijacking of that tradition is something that Pope Francis has complained about. We can’t stop people from trying to appropriate that tradition but we can personally stop assisting them to do it.

      • Marthe Lépine

        I would suggest you look up the “so-called “Jesuit reductions,” the missions run by Jesuits in Paraguay and neighbouring countries from the early 1600s to 1767″, alluded to here:
        I only took a quick look at Wikipedia (where a number of references can be found) to find what that expression meant, and it did seem to be some kind of early form of such non-materialist communism, or at least some kind of model that would deserve to be studied to see if can be adapted in some way. Of course it was not perfect, but there should be a way to look at whatever is positive about it. But one thing was stated: Those mission villages were too successful for their own good, and eventually the Jesuits, wrongly accused of creating fortunes for themselves out of those, were eventually banned from Paraguay.

        • I read the wikipedia article on the jesuit reductions. It’s not communism. What it actually was is unclear as there wasn’t much philosophical examination of the economic system but every failed communist system features the compromise of individual gardens which generally makes up for the collectivist agricultural shortcomings. The reductions seem to have had the familiar individual plots.

          The indians were considered minors and denied the right to contract. That’s a very economically distortive legal rule. The jesuits themselves could contract and kept all the account books. Keeping adult men and women under the bonds that are normally only applied to children is, and I’m saying this as kindly as I can, problematic.

          • Marthe Lépine

            I agree with your last paragraph. Of course that was a few centuries ago and opinions about Indians were quite paternalistic and negative then, and remnants of that attitude still linger nowadays. And I think that the Indians being considered as minors with no right to contract was decreed by the Spanish and/or Portuguese ‘invaders’ secular rules, which might have been difficult for the Jesuit to go against in a direct way. I do not really know enough with only Wikipedia as my source, but it is a possibility that the Jesuits were trying to improve the situation by working as intermediaries for the Indians, while the Indians themselves were ruling the reductions. That is the reason I said those “reductions” were not perfect. However they could be used as a starting point to reflect about different social arrangements. (Hippies’ communes come to mind!) Maybe some small towns or villages could eventually get to the point where each could get organized to become more or less self-sufficient, with self-employment, cooperatives and small businesses, at least for the basic daily needs of their populations.

            • Don’t get me wrong. I am not criticizing the Jesuits for trying to work within the system they walked into and agree that the no right to contract bit was not the Jesuit’s idea. What I’m concerned with is an economic idea that is a dead end but has become a sort of attractive nuisance that hurts people again and again. Breaking that cycle is part of the necessary cleanup we have left over from the 20th century.

  • Sue Korlan

    Personally, I’ve wondered for a long time whether limiting each business to one physical place of business and each stockholder to stock in only one company, requiring every person and company to get down to this level over a reasonable period so they could sell the excess to others would bring us back to plenty of capitalists and a functional capitalism.

  • For decades, people have been deploying the bad faith argument that moderated capitalism is not, in fact, moderated. There should be no surprise that redeploying that bad faith argument gets you push back. US corporations are not an example of unalloyed capitalism and have not been for as long as I’ve been on this planet.

    Cut the lying Mark. For someone who says they are so much against it, you resort to it at convenience and the above is an example.

    • ManyMoreSpices

      I see that the Holy Father has again spoken sharp words against “unbridled capitalism.”

      If anyone can find this mythical beast anywhere, I’d love to see it.

      • I would love to see Pope Francis’ opinions on Adam Smith’s The Theory of Moral Sentiments and whether a society such as described in that book would fit his definition of being one of unbridled capitalism.

      • Marthe Lépine

        Come on, this expression does not describe some “mythical beast”. Don’t you remember the correct use of adjectives? I clearly understood that Pope Francis was talking of capitalism in general, under its many forms, and used the adjective “unbridled” to say that various forms of “laissez faire” have allowed capitalism to be responsible for many types of abuse. Please stop to try to evade listening about some of the challenging things Pope Francis is saying by constantly asking for clearer and clearer and deeper definitions. In my opinion, and perhaps the opinion of a few other readers, this amounts to an avoidance or deflection tactic.

        • ManyMoreSpices

          Fine. Show me where this mythical beast called “Laissez-Faire Capitalism” resides.

          Because I don’t think you’re getting it at all. Call it whatever you like: “unbridled,” “laissez faire,” etc. The point is that Francis identified a type of – shall we say – problem capitalism that lacks government regulation or control.

          My primary objection is that if “unbridled capitalism” does exist anywhere, it’s only in the remotest outposts of civilization, if you can call places like Somalia “civilization” at all. It certainly does not exist in the developed world, in any western-hemisphere country that I can think of, and absolutely not in Europe.

          My concern is that when our Argentine-born and Europe-residing Holy Father comments on capitalism, his experience is with a combination of Peronism and European social democracy, not actual “unbridled” capitalism. If he looks around in Italy or Argentina and sees problems with the economic systems there, it is not “unbridled” capitalism that is the culprit. State capitalism, corporatism, and elaborate welfare systems are not “unbridled” in any meaningful sense of the word. They’re more bridle than they are horse.

          • Guest

            I’m not going to attempt to parse the Pope’s speech on this topic through a language barrier, but I will disagree with what may be the strawman notion that lack of government oversight is to blame for the ills of Capitalism. Regulation is the necessary consequence of a failure of the regulated – it’s a matter of the small laws following failure to abide by the big Laws. Unfortunately, the small laws are insufficient to the task: any system has exploitable points, and any participant without the necessary morality will seek to exploit those points to the maximum extent possible.
            The problem is not that Capitalism is not regulated enough, the problem is that external regulation is insufficient to solve the problems that arise from corrupt hearts.

            • There’s no need to parse the Pope’s speech. There are a finite number of polities that get to pick economic systems. What are the top 20 unbridled capitalist ones? What makes them top the list? Why are these features worthy of criticism? If you can’t rank polities enough to get a top 20 list, I would suggest that perhaps you don’t really understand your own position very well.

              • Guest

                I’m not going to write you a master’s thesis in a comment box, I’m neglecting my actual one enough as it is. I believe what I wrote is self-evident, if you disagree please engage it.

                • ManyMoreSpices

                  I’m not seeing how it is that you two actually disagree, but apparently you do. Huh.

                  • Guest

                    He’s saying Capitalism can be done morally, and I’m saying that be that as it may, the failure to do so is so prevalent that it’s reasonable to look for some inherent flaw in the system that encourages immoral behavior. I think the amoral system of rewards, coupled with the power those rewards has on people, is that flaw.

                    • Marthe Lépine

                      Maybe one flaw, among many other, is that over time the use and maybe meaning of capital have evolved. At first, it seems that capital was meant to be the amount of money that needed to be invested into land, space, plants, equipment, etc. that are needed to start and grow a business, and the profits to be a remuneration for the people who were able to make their savings work for them. When corporations began to appear, they were a way to ensure that people supplying the capital would only be responsible up to the proportion of capital they contributed to the corporation if something went wrong, and those people’s share of ownership was expressed as securities or stock, that could be sold to other people, at prices that varied with the value of the corporations they related to. Since that meant that they went up and down depending on a number of circumstances, some people began to see the markets for these stocks as some kind of casinos where fortunes could be made or lost. Eventually, speculative transactions became a very important part of the trade in securities, to such an extent that the focus of capital on financing business ventures seems to have been lost, and the financial markets have become more important than the market in real goods and services, and everything became dependent on that financial market instead of on the sales and purchases made by real people and organizations. In the end, all of this grew out of control. Maybe that is one important area of capitalism that needs the attention of legislators, but the people having become exceedingly wealthy through such financial shenanigans have also accumulated enough power (because of their wealth) to influence the governments in their exclusive favour.

                • I’m done with the pretense that you’re arguing in good faith here. If 20 country names is a master’s thesis, how about 5?

                  What you have written is self-evident indeed, but not in the nice way that you intend it. Good luck on your thesis.

  • Ulysses S Grant

    The last sentence of the article was the most thought-provoking. “Perhaps this latest installment of the culture wars will prompt social conservatives to correct their myopic vision and find more suitable allies in defense of the traditional family.” Who can name these more suitable allies? The same could be said of liberal Catholics, whose myopic vision of capitalism overlooks the other side of the coin. Yet at the end of the day we all must choose a path. Since well-formed consciences include both liberal and conservative policies but are neither in entirety is it time for a Catholic political party in the U.S.?

    • Ulysses S Grant
    • I ran the numbers. They are daunting.

      • Guest

        As they were on Pentecost, no?

        • The Church is not a political party. The Church is a walking miracle. If you want to enumerate all the districts in the USA and sign up committeemen for each one of them, drop me a line. Depending on what your party advocates, I might sign up for my district. In all the times I’ve made that offer, nobody actually has dropped me a line and no evidence of a serious third party infrastructure building effort has ever independently surfaced.

          I’m Catholic. I believe in miracles. Good luck.

    • Marthe Lépine

      There are people trying to start one. Check this:

      Kirk Morrison is chairman of the National Committee of the American Solidarity Party. You will find more names if you follow the link. And at the same time you might want to read:
      The Fatal Errors of Capitalism: Laudato Si’ & the Economy June 22, 2015

      By: —Keith Michael Estrada
      Keith Michael Estrada is the founder of Students for a Fair Society at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he is finishing his MA in philosophy, and is a member of the International Observatory of Young Catholics (Rome). He writes from Seattle, Washington. This article previously appeared at Patheos.

      • keithmestrada

        Nice post!