The worship of profit in a deified market

The first Jesuit and first non-European Pope in the modern era produced a 50000 word Apostolic Exhortation in Nov 2013.  

[An apostolic exhortation is a type of communication from the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. It encourages a community of people to undertake a particular activity but does not define Church doctrine. It is considered lower in formal authority than a papal encyclical, but higher than other ecclesiastical letters, Apostolic Letters and Other Papal Writings – Wikipedia]

In Chapter 2, paragraphs 52-58, Pope Francis’  theme is that “money must serve, not rule!” He develops a critique of the way money depersonalises peoples’ relationships with reality and each other and becomes an end in itself, referring to:

“the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings. …”

“The thirst for power and possessions know no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.”

“When a society—whether local, national, or global—is willing to leave a part of itself on the fringes, no political programs or resources spent on law enforcement or surveillance systems can indefinitely guarantee tranquillity.”

A longer extract from the Apostolic Exhortation is here.

Money and debt oil the wheels of ever-accelerating economic growth that concentrates wealth and power and underlies so many threats to a sustainable future for Spaceship Earth. One imaginative simile is that money is like the ‘holy spirit’ of the deified market!

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