Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Anti capitalists are the new reds!

It all looks so very familiar - banners and placards proclaiming 'tax the rich' and 'need not greed' and I am sure there are a few 'ban the bomb' ones as well in the midst of the mob.
I can just about remember the Aldermaston marches in the 1950s and the demonstrators look exactly the same. The same people rioted in France in the 1960s with the student protests and, I am sure that every decade since has seen them put in an appearance for some cause or another.
Private Eye dubbed them 'Rent a Mob' and this does have the ring of truth about it even if we are now seeing the grandchildren of the CND movement camping outside St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London.

Where next? The Piazza outside Westminster Cathedral? That thought must be clamping a few sphincter muscles in Archbishop's House.

Of course, the danger is that we all wish to subscribe to the sentiments, or at least the essence of them, as paraded on Wall Street and the City of London; we all want an end to war, we all want an end to poverty. The problem is, how do we achieve it?

Bankers are the new lepers and the constant cries are get rid, sack, legislate. But, in reality, we do need financiers with skill and flair and we do need to pay them handsomely.

Pre War Germany treated the Jews in a similar fashion; they were branded as capitalist leeches feeding off the backs of the poor. Are we in danger of falling into the same trap?
 And the French Revolution was aimed at the landowners and the wealthy - was it right to guillotine those people just because of their heritage?

Stalin and Mao made the grave error of attempting to iron out the social and economic troughs of the Russian and Chinese populations by introducing schemes making 'all men equal'.

The cabbage farmer who laboured industriously from dawn to dusk received the same rewards as his lazy neighbour who let the land run to weeds and ruin.
Then the industrious farmer threw in his hand seeing no advantage in working hard. And the people starved to death in their millions - the poor first and foremost.

The equal division of land, money, property, just does not work and it is also unfair. It is difficult to generalise here because we all know of genuine cases of poverty who are suffering through no fault of their own and who have worked hard to try to get out of their situation.

But a large proportion of the less wealthy (I regard the starving peoples of Ethiopia and The Sudan as being the real poor) make no attempt to 'improve their position' as Mr Pickwick might have put it.

The sticky end of the welfare state stick is the belief that one's country has a duty to clothe and feed you regardless of effort. There is an apathy regarding self improvement in Great Britain; Lord Tebbit was right when he said that the unemployed should get on their bike and look for work. And I can say that with conviction because I have had to do that several times during my career - it is hard and unpleasant but a damn sight better than taking handouts.

So, consider for one minute, what will happen in 48 hours time when the unhappy campers of St Paul's get moved on by the force of law?

Will Archbishop Nichols welcome them with open arms?

Will there, perhaps be a condemnation of such activities from a church spokesman? (Don't hold your breath)

This is how communism gets a grip; it happened in China, Russia, Italy, Cuba, and it almost happened in Portugal but, thanks to Our Lady of Fatima the plans of the reds crumbled to dust. We need her intercession now to help the poor and the starving as well to aid the bankers. After all, we all know how much they are going to have to reduce their weight by to get through the eye of the needle!

This woman holds a card that strikes a common chord with me

H/T to Small Dead Animals blog


  1. Very good points, Richard. Of course, capitalism (ie work, buying and selling, etc) is not only necessary for humanity, but is something to be grateful for.

    The Pope has often spoken out against extremist capitalism ("turbo-capitalism" as he calls it), though, as it often regards human beings as mere units, and therefore abandons God in its desire to worship Mammon. This sort of capitalism, which often leads to moral relativism (such as is found in modern libertarianism), is just as bad as communism - with its worship of the state.

    Fortunately for the Archbishop, the Piazza outside Westminster Cathedral is owned by Westminster City Council! LOL. It's already covered by a special byelaw that allows the police to move trouble-makers with no questions asked.

    I noticed that the Archbishop of Vancouver got the police in early to stop the Occupy Vancouver (who had an off-shoot called 'Occupy the Vatican') from disrupting Mass last Sunday morning! That's the kind of Christian leadership we need!

    God bless,


  2. Part of the problem here is that almost the only sort of answer people are looking for is an institutional one: alter regulations, break up banks etc. There may well be something to be done there (and the social teaching of the Church would be a good place for them to begin!) but there's very little sense of the fact that, however bad or good institutions are, the character of the people involved in them is also extremely important. A financier who believes he will be judged by God as well as by his bonus will act differently. An unemployed father who believes he has a God given responsibility to look after his family will act differently.

  3. Surely the whole thing is nothing more than a comical little sideshow in which the leading protagonists have taken leave of their senses! The most absurd thing was Richard Chartres describing his colleague's resignation as "a tragedy". Some people ought to get a life!
    The real "tragedy", the real "health and safety" issue is losing all those lucrative admission fees!
    As for the campers- I daresay they are the same aging trendies (and their kids) who go to pop festivals like Glastonbury and about as insightful.

  4. I think we need to be careful. Capitalism is the use of money for its own ends. Shops, businesses, farms etc. all pre-date Capitalism and are thoroughly Catholic. Charging interest on unproductive loans, going against the Common Good, defrauding the working man of a just wage - all have been condemned by the Catholic Church (e.g. leo XIII).

    We don't need lessons from aging Marxists, but we should not be seen to want to stage a love-in with those who seek to make [obscene] profits from others' misery.

    I'll go re-read some Fr. McNabb...