The Pope, the international debt and the 1st. of May

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky gorojovsky at
Tue May 2 21:01:01 MDT 2000

En relación a Re: The Pope, the international debt and the 1st.,
el 2 May 00, a las 20:50, Julio Pino dijo:

>    Not only would I block with the Pope to stop capitalist
>    globalization
> but also the Antichrist(when he/she arrives).I'll accept, at face
> value, that the Catholic Church right now opposes neoliberalism, for
> "ethical reasons." But it's important to understand from which ethical
> standpoint the Church can critique  "savage capitalism".The Pope
> understands that capitalism is AMORAL, not immoral.


> Thus, John Paul II
> opposes modern capitalism from a traditionalist position; he wants
> to preserve a certain morality that had its origins in pre-
> capitalist and even pre-feudal times. Marx/Engels's discussion of
> "reactionary capitalism' in The Communist Manifesto comes to mind
> here, ie, those European thinkers who favored the overthrow (or at
> least reform)of existing society because they longed for "the good
> old days" before industrial capitalism wrecked havoc with morality.

This is a very important point that Julio P. is doing, because here
lies the borderline between "us" and "them".  The philosophical
reasons why the Pope opposes current capitalism are of the same kind
of Sir Walter Scott's opposition to British capitalism of his times,
and his glorification of Medieval England.

In concrete terms, the Pope's position may be understood as a
recognition that the defeat of the Communist government in Poland did
not end up with a High Catholic Polish Republic, but with the
dissolution of any "morality", even "Communist morality" in his So
Beloved Flock; I am thinking at how must he have received the
horrible news that the Poles did not accept anti-abortion laws
together with the overthrow of the Evil Communist Atheistic

At the same time, it is true that one of the basic traits of
capitalism (the one most related with commoditization of everyday
life and of human beings) is its denial of any transindividual
trascendence. In fact, there is no _inner, structural_ necessity for
any kind of "God" (as a ghostly idea of human community) within a
philosophy that, strictly speaking, is limited by individualism to
deny the existence of any value that is not linked with individual
existence. If society is a compound of human atoms, then there is no
"society" as a subject matter for thought and belief. Thus, there is
no need of any trascendence. And, thus, there is no need for God.

Probably this understanding by Julio comes from his own experience
with Latin America. The following lines are an extraordinarily
accurate description of the religiosity of most Latin American

 (The ruling classes of pre-Castro Cuba were
> never particularly religious, and neither are the Miami Cubans, The
> "Miracle Baby Elian" episode notwithstanding.)

This common rejection of the idiotic (in the original Greek sense of
"self-centered", or better still "navel-gazing") individualism that
rejects any form of transindividual trascendence does not put the
Pope and us on the same camp, however.

The central character of Huxley's "Eyeless in Gaza" puts it very
simply: while the Pope seeks trascendence in Heavens, we stick to
trascendence in human practice (much like the tale on the fool who is
walking with a friend along the seashore, and his friend tells him
"Hey, look, a dead seagull"; then the fool begins to look at the sky,
asking "Where, where?")

I fully agree with Julio P. in that

>    I think the proper attitude of Communists towards El Papa and all
> Christian critics of the New World Order was best xemplified by Fidel
> when he hosted John Paul:First, explain the reasons why the peoples of
> "Our America" have felt antipathy towards the Church; eg, Fidel
> mentioned the racism of the Jesuits in Cuba, and the Church's silence
> on the genocide of the Indians.

He said something more. He made a defense of Giordano Bruno, or
Gallilei. I remember Julio FB's savagely demoniac myrth at this
brilliant setting of accounts! Yes, Fidel was the speaker for half a
millenium of struggle against the Church (on BOTH sides of the
Atlantic), at the same time that he established a tactical agreement
with the Pope.

Second, highlight the way the teachings
> of the Church SEEMINGLY contradict everything capitalism stands for.

And force the Church to take their conclusions to the end...

> Third, while as atheists we can never reconcile our world views, that
> is no reason for lack of political collaboration.Let's not try to
> convert each other but fight against the common enemy.Fourth, a
> socialist state must promote secularism (The Cuban Constitution even
> condemns "obscurantism"), but not necesarily atheism.Any historical
> materialist knows religion will fade away.

What's more: every dialectical materialist knows that there is a
truth behind religious trascendence, which is the existence of a
human community that has been catapulted to the ghostly realm of
Godliness, and that this truth cannot be recognized by capitalism.

Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at

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