Pope Benedict XVI delivered his message for peace day that included a call for a new economic model & “ethical regulations” of markets.
His competence as a biblical scholar & his expertise on Church doctrine may be unquestioned. But one has to wonder how he missed one of the greatest shifts in the history of mankind that took place in the late 20th Century & up to now … ?
Has he not heard of the failed social experiments in the Soviet Union or in Mao’s China. And what about the moribund economies of European welfare states that threaten to underwrite the same stagnation of the US economy … ?
His comments show that he accepts the canard that the global financial crisis offers evidence of the failure of capitalism. Equally troubling, he suggested that markets do not protect the weakest members of the community.
Whatever the rhetoric of Statists that support government regulations & interventions in the name of the poor, there has been no greater friend of the poor than the recent wave of globalization that lifted 1/2 billion people out of poverty. Capitalism, NOT the welfare state, performed this miracle.
While governments may not have interfered with the spread of globalization, few saw it as the greater force for the lessening of poverty in the history of man.
In his missive, Pope Benedict also issued a condemnation of something that the world has never actually known, “unregulated capitalism”:
” … the prevalence of a selfish & individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated capitalism, various forms of terrorism & criminality.”
Ignoring the extensive web of government regulations overseen by domestic & international functionaries that prohibit or control so many aspects of life requires an amazing, perhaps willful, blindness to reality.