Pope Francis had harsh words to describe libertarians Friday, saying they deny the value of the common good in favor of radical selfishness where only the individual matters.
“I cannot fail to speak of the grave risks associated with the invasion of the positions of libertarian individualism at high strata of culture and in school and university education,” the Pope said in [a] message sent to members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences meeting in the Vatican and subsequently shared with Breitbart News.
“A common characteristic of this fallacious paradigm is that it minimizes the common good, that is the idea of ‘living well’ or the ‘good life’ in the communitarian framework,” Francis said, while at the same time exalting a “selfish ideal.”
Imagine the society Pope Francis projects for us. He wants a world where everyone is selfless and “the common good” consists of giving up your own wants and needs for everyone else. Practiced consistently, this would mean choosing your career, your spouse, the number of children you want (if any), the kind of car you want to drive or house you want to live in – all by the collective standard. We would all show up at the equivalent of the Department of Motor Vehicles, except instead of registering our cars, we’d be registering with the government for every small detail and large decision of our lives. That’s what the selflessness so cherished by Pope Francis—and his collectivist secular equivalents—means in practice.
Practically speaking, such an “ideal” is difficult to obtain, to say the least. How is the “common good” to be decided? One infamous system already attempted this: It’s called Communism. In places like Maoist China and Soviet Russia, government authorities and bureaucrats planned out every detail of everyone’s lives. Those systems collapsed in catastrophic failure. Remaining Communist societies like North Korea and Cuba still exist as starving, totalitarian nightmares to this day.
How do Pope Francis and his neo-Marxist equivalents plan to get it right next time? And why should we even try?
Here’s the basic point Pope Francis evades, the one he’s counting on you to evade: You’re either sovereign over your own life, or you’re not. Sovereignty over your life starts with sovereignty over your mind. Without the willing use of your own mind, you cannot (as a toddler) learn to walk, much less do anything else as an adult. If human beings are to be free, first and foremost they must be free over their own minds, because without their minds they cannot think – or survive.
Pope Francis leaves this part out. So did the Communists, and so do their Marxist counterparts in media, academia, culture and government today. They talk of human beings as if they’re disembodied automatons without minds at all. They uphold the ideal of “selflessness”, and yet without the selfish, self-responsible and self-interested exercise of one’s mind on a daily basis, absolutely nothing will ever get off the ground. This includes the considerable wealth, technology, security and other comforts of twenty-first century civilization with which Pope Francis, like other Marxists and haters of self-interest, happily surround themselves.
Libertarianism, he said, preaches that the idea of “self-causation” is necessary to ground freedom and individual responsibility.
First of all, libertarianism is not a philosophy. A philosophy must contain a set of concepts about what the nature of reality is, how we know what we know, and what the proper way to live is. Libertarianism is a political attitude, more or less in favor of liberty for its own sake. Because liberty cannot and does not exist in a vacuum, you’ll find many valid reasons to criticize libertarianism. But it’s the idea of liberty, freedom and individual rights that Pope Francis is really after here. He hates liberty because he hates humanity at its best, as functioning individuals. He has revealed his totalitarian soul, and it’s not a pretty sight.
Pope Francis does not want a concept of rationality out there. He only wants it to the extent that it serves the collective. Whose collective, or which collective? Presumably, the collective demands of the Catholic Church (remember the Middle Ages?), or perhaps some hybrid of Communism and Catholicism (without the free abortions or gay marriages, of course). Regardless of how you label it, it will always boil down to the same thing: dictatorship. Because wherever we denigrate the individual, we denigrate the freedom and liberty the individual requires to survive and flourish.
Look around at all the accomplishments human beings have made over the centuries, particularly in the last several where reason and liberty had a much stronger run than ever before. Keep in mind that this is what Pope Francis seeks to wipe out. If he had his way, we’d be back in the pre-industrial, pre-scientific era, the place where not only religionists but quite a number of leftists/environmentalists wish to take us.
If survival and happiness on earth are truly the standards of morality, then Pope Francis’ views represent the precise opposite of what morality requires. Without a self, there is no mind. Without functioning, capable and competent minds, nothing will ever happen anywhere. Maybe this descent into despair, starvation and collapse is what Pope Francis wants. If so, he’s a deeply sick and evil man. It’s certainly what his views will lead us to. It’s profoundly wrong and sick to elevate the attitudes and views of such a man to the pinnacle of morality.
We should not bow or genuflect before this Pope, nor show any reverence at all. We should run for our lives, and be prepared to stand up to his moral bullying and imposition of unearned guilt.
Populism, the Pope said, is “the fruit of an egotism that hems people in and prevents them from overcoming and ‘looking beyond’ their own narrow vision.” Christopher Columbus had a narrow vision. Thomas Edison had a narrow vision. All the achievers and inventors throughout history—the people who changed our lives—were guilty of the selfishness and narrow vision Pope Francis decries. What does this tell us about the kind of world he wants?
Pope Francis equates populism with capitalism, individual rights and economic liberty. Even he must know this isn’t true. Populism merely refers to the will of the majority. Throughout history, the majority demands some form of socialism again and again. Most people are suckers, sadly, and they fall prey to people like Pope Francis who promise them the moon at the cost of their minds, bodies and souls. In our own era, Barack Obama promised to move the oceans and transform American capitalism with the Pope’s very view of selflessness. Look at him now, cashing in on his fame so he can live the lifestyle of the rich and famous, with much of America poorer and less free than before his reign.
Pope Francis wants us all to be miserable. He won’t put it that way, but everything he advocates would mean the end of civilization and life as we know it. He’d have nothing left for us but pointless prayers and a totally faith-based afterlife.
It’s little wonder the Pope and the Communists have so much in common.
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