Executive Intelligence Review
Executive Intelligence Review, May 11, 2001 Internet Issue

Pope vs. Globalization:
Judged By `Common Good'

by Our Special Correspondent

Pope John Paul II has taken the principle of the "General Welfare," as enunciated in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, and developed by Lyndon LaRouche in several recent statements, as the basis for his own renewed, strong attack on globalization, calling it a new form of "colonialism."

The Pope's statements clearly were timed to coincide with the recent meetings of the G-7 finance ministers, the IMF and World Bank, where genocidal diktats to the nations of Africa, Asia and Ibero-America were rubber-stamped. The Pope is also looking directly at the United States, and at the lunatic Bush Administration, to which he appealed, in late April. to stay the May 16 execution of Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh, which Bush and Attorney General John Ashcroft are turning into an unprecedented, Roman-arena-style public spectacle (see LaRouche statement, elsewhere on this website).

According to the Vatican Information Service, on April 27, in a speech delivered in English to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, and again on April 28, in a statement, also delivered in English, to the new Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See, the Pope identified the standard of the "common good," the "universal common good," and the "inalienable rights" of all human beings, as the standard by which the economic system, and social practice, and specifically "globalization," should be judged.

In his speech to the Pontifical Academy, the Pope attacked all forms of "ethics" based on utilitarianism, and denounced globalization which, he said, goes in the direction of "a new version of colonialism." Referring to his Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's famous 1891 encyclical, Rerum Novarum (On the Condition of the Working Classes), the Pope noted that "the market economy is a way of adequately responding to people's economic needs while respecting their free initiative, but that it had to be controlled by the community, the social body with its common good. Now that commerce and communications are no longer bound by borders, it is the universal common good which demands that control mechanisms should accompany the inherent logic of the market. This is essential in order to avoid reducing all social relations to economic factors, and in order to protect those caught in new forms of exclusion or marginalization."

People Reduced to Their Production

Just as Lyndon LaRouche has insisted that it is only the nation-state, as opposed to some "global" entity, that can defend the interests of human beings, Pope John Paul II said that, "globalization, like any other system, must be at the service of the human person; it must serve solidarity and the common good.... Social, legal and cultural safeguards--the result of people's efforts to defend the common good--are vitally necessary if individuals and intermediary groups are to maintain their centrality. But globalization often risks destroying these carefully built-up structures, by enforcing the adoption of new styles of working, living and organizing communities.... All societies recognize the need to control these occurrences and to make sure that new practices respect fundamental human values and the common good."

The Pope also warned of the "emergence of patterns of ethical thinking which are by-products of globalization itself and which bear the stamp of utilitarianism. Ethics cannot be the justification or legitimization of a system, but rather the safeguard of all that is human in any system. Ethics demands that systems be attuned to the needs of man, and not that man be sacrificed for the sake of the system."

The Pope used a meeting the next day, with Abdul-Amir Al-Anbari, the new ambassador of Iraq to the Holy See, to further this intervention. The Pope renewed his earlier appeal to the international community to end the embargo against Iraq, whose effects, he said, "are still being felt by those who are weakest and most vulnerable."

"Today's world," the Pope continued, "although sadly afflicted in many regions by tension, violence and armed conflict, is seeking greater equity and stability, so that the whole human family can live in true justice and everlasting peace. These are not abstract concepts or remote ideals, rather they are values which dwell in the heart of every individual and nation, to which all peoples have a right."

John Paul II affirmed that "it is precisely the pursuit of this justice and this peace which is the driving force behind every activity of the Holy See in the area of international diplomacy." Referring to the fundamental concept of the American Declaration of Independence, the inalienable rights of man, the Pope stated that, "the Holy See therefore sees as one of its principal duties that of reminding public opinion that no authority, no political program and no ideology is entitled to reduce human beings to what they can do or produce. The inalienable rights and personal dignity of every human being must be upheld, the transcendent dimension of the human person must be defended...."

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