I just finished the draft of another article which may one day end up in a small collection of theological writings – actually already my three volumes “Writings on Philosophy and Economy of Power”
New Princedoms; God, Rights, Law and a Good Society and Rights – Developing Ownership by Linking Control over Space and Time are reasonably full on this topic.
This time it is on Liberation Theology, a contribution written for an edited volume on Social Pedagogics in Latin America (Edited by Jacob Kornbeck and Xavier Úcar)
While writing, I came across this passage, from an article by Rachel Donadio in the New York Times (Francis’ Humility and Emphasis on the Poor Strike a New Tone at the Vatican; 25.5.2013:
“The economy has picked up again here,” said Marco Mesceni, 60, a third-generation vendor of papal memorabilia outside St. Peter’s Square. “It was so hard to sell anything under Benedict. This pope attracts huge crowds, and they all want to bring back home something with his smiling face on it.”
Much could be said – and is said already – on this pope, his charisma and his meaning for the development of catholicism; and much had been said about unintended consequences of action. In this case it is amazing in which way and to which extent we – even being pope – cannot escape commodification. of course, there is also a meaning for papal politics in it: the demand to take up responsibility in the world in which we live.
Indeed, we may then be grateful to read in the same article:
He has repeatedly returned to the euro crisis and the suffering it has caused in Greece and the Catholic countries of Southern Europe.
“If investments in the banks fail, ‘Oh, it’s a tragedy,’ ” he said, speaking extemporaneously for more than 40 minutes at a Pentecost vigil last weekend, after a private audience with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the architect of Europe’s austerity policies. “But if people die of hunger or don’t have food or health, nothing happens. This is our crisis today.”
Still, all this remains very limited: as important as moral statements are, it is important to work towards real redistribution, public responsibility and a new approach towards global economy, based in human rights:rights that have to go beyond protection and need to be enhanced by a fourth generation of Human Rights.
The following is the abstract of an article that is nearly completed, to be published in a book edited by Arno Tausch, and being concerned with the development of catholicism. A pre-version, i.e. an unedited version will soon be sent on request.
Both, discourses in and about economy on the one hand, in and about ethics are very much caught in mutual abstinence. This applies independent of the political orientation. If the one side is acknowledged by the other it is more in vein of a counter-spirit. The following, of which the focus is the question if there is, following the election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio as pope, a new spectre haunting the world – the spectre of a fundamentally new catholic orientation – tries to discuss this supposed awakening in a wider perspective. By taking a wider view it comes to the conclusion, that there is surely the need for a rebuke of individualism and economism from an ethical perspective, but that such reprimand remains questionable as long as it does not analyse and criticise the structural foundations of such ‘aberrations’. And it concludes that there is surely need and space for ‘renaissance of ethics’, but that can only be reached by collective intervention and legislative procedures and not by praising joy. If change aims on being sustainable, it has to be drastic instead of scratching at the surface; if change aims on being just, it has to be structural instead of moral.
And there is still an old Tale: The Christmas Carol as we know it from Charles Dickens – not so joyful, and even depressing …,
Perhaps both have something, though vaguely, in common: the potential for mobilising thoughts and people.
But we have to keep in mind: reality and realism are one thing – and though belief may move mountains, it hardly changes realities as long as these reflect a Tale of Two Cities. (Here the more legible version)
Be it as it is, I hope you will a nice holiday – and in which of these cities you live you should consider that the division is not just one established by walls to the sides. Crucially more important are the foundations on which the walls are erected, the soil on which the cities are established.