[Marxism] Fwd: Pope Francis: Speech at World Meeting of Popular Movements

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Jul 12 05:53:52 MDT 2015

I would like, all the same, to propose three great tasks which demand a 
decisive and shared contribution from popular movements:

3.1       The first task is to put the economy at the service of 
peoples. Human beings and nature must not be at the service of money. 
Let us say NO to an economy of exclusion and inequality, where money 
rules, rather than service. That economy kills. That economy excludes. 
That economy destroys Mother Earth.

The economy should not be a mechanism for accumulating goods, but rather 
the proper administration of our common home. This entails a commitment 
to care for that home and to the fitting distribution of its goods among 
all. It is not only about ensuring a supply of food or “decent 
sustenance”. Nor, although this is already a great step forward, is it 
to guarantee the three “L’s” of land, lodging and labor for which you 
are working. A truly communitarian economy, one might say an economy of 
Christian inspiration, must ensure peoples’ dignity and their “general, 
temporal welfare and prosperity”.[1] This includes the three “L’s”, but 
also access to education, health care, new technologies, artistic and 
cultural manifestations, communications, sports and recreation. A just 
economy must create the conditions for everyone to be able to enjoy a 
childhood without want, to develop their talents when young, to work 
with full rights during their active years and to enjoy a dignified 
retirement as they grow older. It is an economy where human beings, in 
harmony with nature, structure the entire system of production and 
distribution in such a way that the abilities and needs of each 
individual find suitable expression in social life. You, and other 
peoples as well, sum up this desire in a simple and beautiful 
expression: “to live well”.

Such an economy is not only desirable and necessary, but also possible. 
It is no utopia or chimera. It is an extremely realistic prospect. We 
can achieve it. The available resources in our world, the fruit of the 
intergenerational labors of peoples and the gifts of creation, more than 
suffice for the integral development of “each man and the whole man”.[2] 
The problem is of another kind. There exists a system with different 
aims. A system which, while irresponsibly accelerating the pace of 
production, while using industrial and agricultural methods which damage 
Mother Earth in the name of “productivity”, continues to deny many 
millions of our brothers and sisters their most elementary economic, 
social and cultural rights. This system runs counter to the plan of Jesus.

Working for a just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human 
labor is not mere philanthropy. It is a moral obligation. For 
Christians, the responsibility is even greater: it is a commandment. It 
is about giving to the poor and to peoples what is theirs by right. The 
universal destination of goods is not a figure of speech found in the 
Church’s social teaching. It is a reality prior to private property. 
Property, especially when it affects natural resources, must always 
serve the needs of peoples. And those needs are not restricted to 
consumption. It is not enough to let a few drops fall whenever the poor 
shake a cup which never runs over by itself. Welfare programs geared to 
certain emergencies can only be considered temporary responses. They 
will never be able to replace true inclusion, an inclusion which 
provides worthy, free, creative, participatory and solidary work.


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