Wednesday, April 06, 2005

"Rapacious Capitalism", The Washington Post, and the Papacy

The Leftist punditocracy consistently uses a form of blithe intellectual laziness as a replacement for actual thinking--and as shorthand for their pronouncements of Leftist agenda. In the Liberal Style Book, to take one common example, the "right-wing" leader of a nation (i.e., a leader who is not a communo-fascist, or who is pro-USA) is routinely--and lazily--referred to by the soubriquet "strongman". Thus, in the MSM Augusto Pinochet is referred to as the former Chilean "strongman", yet the abominable Fidel Castro is his nation’s "leader" due to his superstar status in the Leftist pantheon. Now we can add another phrase to the mix, “Rapacious Capitalism”.

Masochistically perusing Richard Cohen's column in yesterday's WaPo ("The Whole Picture on John Paul II", in which Cohen excoriates the late Pontiff for (yawn!) his opposition to birth control and other such Liberal cultural touchstones, I came across the following sentence: "He (the late John Paul II) was that abstraction (sic-ed.) very close to my heart -- a political (not cultural) liberal -- who hated communism and disliked rapacious capitalism and confronted authoritarian regimes wherever he found them."
"Rapacious capitalism". What or who is he talking about? Is Cohen referring to, say, Halliburton (double-yawn!) as an example of this odious political philosophy? Or is he saying that while he basically approves of the capitalist economic system, he is against it in its “rapacious” guise? Typically, he’s unclear. It’s a Leftist manifestation of the Big Lie—say something—anything, no matter how preposterous--with enough authority, and it becomes enveloped in the aura of truth.

He seems to be saying that like the Pope, he, the virtuous Cohen, is against “rapacious capitalism”. But what makes Cohen think that the Pope would agree with him?

That John Paul II’s writings on the capitalist economic system, found in his encyclical, Centesimus Annus, are PRO-Capitalism, is just an inconvenient reality to the fellow travelers of the Left. Writes the Pope, “It would appear that, on the level of individual nations and of international relations, the free market is the most efficient instrument for utilizing resources and effectively responding to needs…” and “The Church acknowledges the legitimate role of profit as an indication that a business is functioning well. When a firm makes a profit, this means that productive factors have been properly employed and corresponding human needs have been duly satisfied.” See, Yes, the encyclical makes the case that the wealthy have a duty to help the poor—but that is a basic Christian virtue. But nowhere in the encyclical does the Pope use the phrase “rapacious Capitalism”. See,

So, then, what is the genesis of this phrase, endorsed, according to Cohen by the Holy See itself?

The phrase “rapacious Capitalism” is found in the writings of the extreme leftist sociologist Henry Giroux, a leading exponent of the trendy pseudo-philosophy called “Critical Pedagogy.” “Critical pedagogy can best be described as…the neo-Marxist examination of the relationship between power and culture, aimed at addressing issues of class, race, gender, and social justice through the remaking of societal institutions—to the realm of schools…In the Committee for Economic Development’s 1994 report, Putting Learning First,” Giroux states, bizarrely, that the Academy is a place where “anyone who does not believe that rapacious capitalism is the only road to freedom and the good life is dismissed as a crank”. That statement is sheer lunacy, and gives you an idea of the tenor of Giroux's writings, but a discussion of the generally Left-of-Mao political beliefs of Academe are outside the scope of the present blog posting. For an overview of "critical pedagogy”, see,

I don’t know if Cohen is familiar with the writings of Henry Giroux, or his colleagues Peter McLaren, and Michael Apple. A quick Google search of the phrase “rapacious capitalism” leads to numerous links, but the fact remains that the phrase has gained a certain status as (falsely) attributed to Pope John Paul II. Thus, through the filter of Leftist Doublespeak, the Papacy becomes allied with the causes championed by Liberal atheists everywhere.

So, here we are faced with the spectacle of columnist Richard Cohen taking the neo-Marxist epithet “rapacious capitalism” and linking it to the Vatican, as Cohen—standing as a surrogate for the Left—basks in the Pope's mojo and thinks that he is thereby lending moral authority to his case.

Through a chimera of intellectual vacuity and ingrained Leftist delusions, Cohen (and his cohorts) use the words “rapacious capitalism” as if the two components were inseparable. But then, the extreme Leftist intelligentsia is incapable of seeing the world through anything but the Red-Colored glasses of Marxist Economic Analysis.

Peanut Butter and Jelly. Love and Marriage—Horse and Carriage. And to the Leftist pundits, “Rapacious” and “Capitalism". It’s a natural.


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