Davos, Switzerland. The super rich and elite powerful people are meeting there and of course the elite powerful religious people are there to tell them what to do and how to do it in economic terms. Who are we referring to? The Pope of course! Because, as you know very well, the Pope is an expert in economic affairs. He knows exactly how to grow an economy, how to provide for food shelter and basic necessities for so many people around the world. This is so, because the Pope has been doing this for so many years that… Oh, that's right… Sorry about that. Nevermind...
That's right dear reader, the Pope, possibly the cluelest person in its kingdom when it comes to economic affairs has spoken and has given his sage opinion. And what is this opinion you ask? Let's get to it.
Let's begin by saying that the Pope has an interesting view on money which he called "the drug of the devil". Of course, this is probably one of the stupidest sentences in the history of economics in all times.
Don't believe us? Let's spend a second or two thinking about it. Let's say that we get rid of money, and then what? Does the Pope has any clue whatsoever what would that to to a modern society? Does the Pope understands that money is simply the means of exchange that makes a modern society possible? Without money we would not have any sort of finances and no credit whatsoever. Considering that almost every modern business that provides goods and services to people operates on credit, this is simply dooming the entire world economy into oblivion. Does this seem like a good idea to you? Thought so.
With this little tidbit of information we begin our journey to Popeland, a mythical land where we have gone back to barter and covorking with trees. Why would this be so? Because in Popeland we would have no modern life, no schools, no information, and no means of transportation just to name a few benefits. Not to mention the inconvenient truth that, as an absolute monarch, the Pope can make money illegal in the Vatican overnight! Yes, he can. Yet, for some strange reason he does not... Hummmm... must have been an oversight...
Pope's wisdom continued with the following tidbit:
"Weeping for other people's pain does not only mean sharing in their sufferings, but also and above all realizing that our own actions are a cause of injustice and inequality,"
It is an interesting sentence considering that it is completely nonsensical, illlogic, and downright ridiculous. If we follow this train of thought we must absolutely conclude that the Pope in weeping for the suffering for other people's and their pain, he realizes that he is the cause of their injustice and inequality! Something that obviously we don't believe that the Pope meant. There's an old saying in Argentina which the Pope should remember and that it goes more or less like this:
Place your brain in action before placing your mouth in motion.
You must realize that in terms of arguments what the Pope just stated is called "non sequitur". What this means is that the conclusion of the argument does not originate (follow) from the original idea of the argument. What this means is that just because you recognize that people are suffering you must somehow believe that they are enduring injustice and inequality and furthermore that you are the cause of all that! How much more ridiculous can it get? The reality is that we can feel for the tragedy of other people and this tragedy may have absolutely nothing to do neither with inequality nor injustice. In addition, most of the time, people's problems have absolutely nothing to do with our actions. Strangely enough, if we bother following the money, yes, that devilish thing, we will come to realize that most injustices and inequalities are based on government action! So much for rationality and logic…
Moving on with the nonsensical dribble (why stop now, the Pope is on a roll) he said:
"Once we realize this, we become more fully human, since responsibility for our brothers and sisters is an essential part of our common humanity. Do not be afraid to open your minds and hearts to the poor. In this way, you will give free rein to your economic and technical talents, and discover the happiness of a full life, which consumerism of itself cannot provide,"
So now that we realize that people are suffering and realizing that we have absolutely nothing to do with it, we become fully human… Whatever that may mean. Because obviously, before we were only half human or, perhaps only three quarters human or 7.32584 percent human. We don't know how much because obviously the Pope didn't bother enlightening us.
The dribble then continue pointing out that somehow we have some sort of mysterious responsibility for our brothers and sisters (presumably humanity) and that this is part of some mysterious property that we have what is called "common humanity". Let's begin by saying that we, the people, have absolutely no responsibility whatsoever for anybody else. We, the people, make our own decisions based on our own principles and priorities. We the people, voluntarily contract with other people which are making their own free and voluntary agreements with us. The extent of our responsibility goes only so far as to our contractual obligations.
However, under the action of governments, people who do not represent us (that would be elected politicians), get to decide what our duties and obligations are. Furthermore, they rob us of the fruits of our labor on a regular basis, and waste that wealth on goods and services that we don't want and that do not benefit us. In other words, this so-called obligation is trusted upon as without our knowledge nor consent. So, let's be clear, just because somebody who has the brute force to enforce what ever dictums they wish upon us, that does not mean that we have any obligation nor responsibility. We do not. As usual, the Pope is mistaken. What a surprise. Not!
Then we have the issue of "common humanity". This is actually a difficult one simply because we don't have a clue what the Pope is meaning by this sort of "commonality". Of course, as usual, the Pope does not bother explaining this point. We can only speculate that the reason is some sort of common bond that somehow mysteriously binds all human beings together. Is the Pope referring to the theory of Gaia? Maybe, if he is becoming a pagan…But we digress...
Let's be clear. Human beings are Thinking Machines. As such, we share biology but beyond that we make our own decisions. It is up to each person to decide what to do with the power that those choices give us. Some of us may decide to spend the rest of our lives in service to our fellow humans. On the other hand, some of us, may decide to do just the opposite. The point here is that there is no commonality so to speak. We chose what we consider to be common to us one person at the time.
The next paragraph is again a big disconnect. Somehow, it would seem that when we open our minds and hearts to the poor will accelerate? Improve? Boost? our economic and technical talents. Well, this has been tested at nauseum and has been proven to be ridiculously wrong. When and where was this done? This is precisely the point that communism and communists tried to make in the USSR, the glorious worker's paradise. The whole point of communism was that we would freely recognize that other people have less and we would work for free for them while maximizing your talents for their benefit.
And now we have a question for you, do you honestly believe that that USSR succeeded? Thought so.
Going on and according to the Pope, by extolling our technical and economic talents, we would experience the happiness of a full life, the happiness that "consumerism" cannot provide. This is of course plain idiotic. We, the people, seek happiness in any way we feel it is appropriate. Some will do so through consumerism and some will do so through voluntarism. This is a purely subjective choice. Each person must decide and choose the course of action which agrees with their goals. It is not possible to generalize what is good for everybody for the same reason that is not possible to legislate for everybody for the same reason that is not possible to forecast what markets will do. This is so because those decisions are personal. Usually we dislike quoting US documents, but in this case we will make an exception. The U.S. Constitution is famous because it placed happiness at front and center of our pursuits. It states that we must be free to pursue happiness in any way we choose to do so. However, the Pope, in it's infinite and absolute wisdom, he knows what's best for us. Okay. Whatever.
The Pope continued blabbering with the following sentence:
"We must never allow the culture of prosperity to deaden us, to make us incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people's pain, and sensing the need to help them, as though all this were someone else's responsibility and not our own,"
Again, showing his total lack of argumentative prowess the Pope continues with more disconnected sentences. The sentence begins by stating that somehow if we are rich we cannot feel compassion for poor people or for their pain. Furthermore, if we are rich, we somehow cannot sense the need to help them. Obviously, when we become rich, we get our sensitivities surgically excised and become robots. Silly us.
But the silliness doesn't end here. It would seem that once we are totally oblivious to other people's misery, then we fully acknowledge that their misery is not our responsibility. Well, we got news for the Pope. It is not our friggin responsibility. It may be the responsibility of politicians because they chose to act as dictators and impose their will upon us. But just because we operate under the ridiculous rules of a dictatorship, this does not mean that we have any responsibility under those rules. We do not. Free us first, and then we can debate whether or not we have any moral or ethical responsibility to other people. However, strangely enough, libertarianism has already answered this question; our responsibility ends where other people's property begins. Simple. Clear. And obvious… Except for those who rule absolutely in their own kingdom and hold in their hands all the formal as well as informal levers of power such as the Pope in the Vatican… Oh, that's right, never mind…
Once the Pope has graced us with his "wisdom", he continued by looking into the future and royally screwing up. Let's take a look at what he said next:
"In the face of profound and epochal changes, world leaders are challenged to ensure that the coming 'fourth industrial revolution', the result of robotics and scientific and technological innovations, does not lead to the destruction of the human person – to be replaced by a soulless machine,"
Again, following the same previous train of thought of disconnected ideas, the Pope links somehow, robotics and technological innovation with the destruction of the human person. This would apparently be so because somehow once people are replaced by soulless machines they will be destroyed. This is apparently correct because obviously if we get more intelligent machines to do more of the mundane tasks for us thus liberating us for more important things this will destroy us… Oh, no wait… Humans will be destroyed by intelligent machines by replacing them…… We believe we have seen this on in the movie "the Body Snatchers" which is not a particularly good movie but interesting nevertheless. However, we doubt very much that the Pope was referring to science fiction. Unfortunately, we have no idea what the Pope was referring to. Perhaps a solution to this mysterious issue is to create machines with souls! Oh, that's right, it would seem that according to the Pope we cannot create souls. However, on the same token, the Pope can't even provide a coherent and rational definition of what the soul is, how does it behave, and what its ultimate purpose is. The concept of "soul" is as foggy as Pope's statements.
We can, of course, speculate, what it is that the Pope meant by it. We speculate that the Pope's meaning is that increasingly more intelligent robots will take over all the jobs in the world and only rich people will remain rich while everybody else will be jobless. If this is indeed what the Pope meant, it is obvious that the Pope is out of his rocker. This argument has been made time and time again since the Industrial Revolution. Every time that there is a new generation of machines coming onto the market we have to put up with this nonsense. The original machines of the Industrial Revolution were supposed to have killed all the jobs of the workers because it's productivity was so much higher. What it really happened is an acceleration of our standards of living. What we could not afford in the past now we have in abundance. The same ridiculous argument was made when personal computers became prevalent in the marketplace. Personal computers were supposed to make all the white-collar jobs obsolete and irrelevant. But what happen in reality? The productivity of the world soared! Because of the industrial revolutions we have better goods and services, higher standards of living, better health, and a far better outlook for our future. This is something that's not going to change with the next robotics revolution. It would simply mean that we will have now at our disposal better machines that will serve as much more effectively, absolutely and cheaply. To think otherwise is to simply close our eyes to more than 200 years of history and ignore everything. In other words, we are asked to believe blindly just because one person, one dogmatic person, it's telling us to do so. Does this sound reasonable to you? Of course not! It is patently ridiculous! If science would follow this path, we would still be thinking that the sun revolves around the earth and the skies are glass spheres with pinholes in them. Or perhaps, we would still be believing that the earth is flat. We leave that wonderful choice to you.
Continuing with this pathetic diatribe, the Pope next states that somehow the proper people have a duty to prevent:
"the transformation of our planet into an empty garden for the enjoyment of a chosen few."
Of course! Silly us. It is our personal responsibility to make sure that everybody gets their fair share of wealth. Of course! Because this theory worked soooooooooo well in the USSR where the government got to decide exactly how much wealth every citizen will have… Or to be precise what share of the overall poverty level should every citizen endure. Obviously! This is what we want to do! We want to empower a few ones with the capacity to make decisions for the rest of the population. Of course! How much more idiotic can this get?
Answer? A lot.
"I urge you, then, to take up anew your conversation on how to build the future of the planet, 'our common home', and I ask you to make a united effort to pursue a sustainable and integral development,"
The Pope then asks the richest people on earth to coordinate among themselves and make an effort to build a sustainable future and something that he calls and "integral development" which we confess not having a clue what it means. Nevertheless, the general idea is that the richest people on earth should join hands and create some sort of mega-brain trust of gigantic proportions that will make all the decisions for us. Of course! And damn the free will! Because, after all, it's not like according to the Roman catholic and apostolic creed God gave us free will right? Oh… Nevermind… Keep moving, keep moving, nothing to see here… There are no dogmatic plot holes here… Just believe blindly because it is good for you. The Pope says so.
Is the Pope for a "World Government"? Apparently...
In the past we have commented on other nonsensical ideas that the Pope has expressed since elected. Personally, we believe that the Pope is pathetically underqualified. But we must qualify this belief. We do not believe that the Pope is unqualified to express religious points of view. He clearly is. This is not to say that we would spend more or a few milliseconds listening to his religious ideas. We would not. However, if you choose to do so you're welcome to do so because this is your personal decision. On the other hand, we believe we have demonstrated time and time again however little of world affairs and particularly economic and financial affairs the Pope understands. Furthermore, as a religious leader, the Pope is not supposed to issue these kinds of opinions. How exactly does his religious standing qualify him to be an expert in the economy, the market, and the overall human behavior or human actions? Clearly, if we have scores of economists, sociologists, psychologists, and many other professionals who vehemently disagree in these subjects, it is utterly unbelievable that the Pope can actually make any meaningful contribution to the subject.
We must remind our readers that it is not the matter of belief, but it is a matter of market efficiency and standards of living. These are things we can actually measure and have some idea of what is going on and what works and what does not work without having to reach into untested and unprovable religious dogma.
Unfortunately these kinds of statements are very common these days. As such, the Pope is not exempt from socialistic thinking and biases because he's also a product of 200+ years of socialist education. It is therefore our duty to point out these levels of nonsense and the danger of such statements. Because if we don't do it who is going to?
The most pathetic thing of these statements is not what these statement say but it is what they don't say, what they leave unsaid. This is, that somehow being rich is bad as rich people are sitting on a pile of gold silver, diamonds and other richess while the rest of humanity is starving while freezing in the dark. This image which is unbelievably evoked by these statements is literally taken from a cartoon. We have to understand that when a world statesman such as the Pope evokes an idea that originates in cartoons and implies it as a serious affair this is when we must realize that something is very very wrong. What most people fail to realize because they have been thoroughly brainwashed is that capital, that is, richess, is what makes possible the rising of our standards of living . This is a lesson that even communists learned. They were unable to raise the standards of living of their people because they did not have the means to do so because their economy did not produce excess capital. The notion of capital is embedded in everything that we do. Capital exists independently of political theories from either the left or the right. Only somebody completely and utterly clueless as to reality can dismiss the existence of capital.
What rich people are actually doing with their money is investing it in companies that produce goods and services the people (just like you and us) want, while at the same time providing jobs! But apparently there is something "wrong" in so doing. We have to wonder...
And there you have it. You can choose to believe the Pope or you can choose to believe reality. What you cannot do is not to make a choice. Fortunately enough disbelieving the Pope in this area would not affect your religious beliefs. This is so because it is the Pope that has overstepped (grossly) history and knowledge and not you. You are of course, free to believe whatever you want. All that we are saying is that if you believe the Pope the only think you're going to get is more of the same, which is to say, less of everything. Enjoy your increasing poverty!
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.