Pope Francis hits out forcefully at the world economic system

Pope Francis hits out forcefully at the world economic system

By Florence Couret/ la-croix.com

In a speech on Saturday to a gathering of world popular movements, Pope Francis hit out forcefully at the world economic system.

What is the greatest threat to the world today? What is the greatest danger for people? The greatest source of uncertainty for individuals? Fear.

This “whip of fear", to borrow Pope Francis’ phrase in a speech on Saturday to the Third World Meeting of Popular Movements, reduces people to silence and sets them up in competition with each other. This whip, the pope repeated, is in the grasp of “deified money".

It is certainly not the first time that Pope Francis has lashed out at the world economic system. Never, however, has he spoken so forcefully on the issue, making reference to “dictatorship,” “tyranny,” and “terrorism".

Moreover, these words are beginning to find an echo, albeit still weak, in the political sphere, which is closely observing and indeed growing concerned at developments both in Europe and elsewhere. Evidenced by the rise of populism and hate demonstrations, such fear is the mother of all violence, a dangerous fuel.

In this context, people are beginning to sense that the time for re-balancing at various levels is drawing near. Thus, the world economic balance needs to ensure that development provides for the well-being of those people from the Global South, who continue to swell the flow of refugees. Simply put, what is needed is an economic rebalancing that will ensure that rational growth benefits all in the West as well.

Several weeks ago, IMF director general Christine Lagarde pleaded for a “different” form of globalization that would not be “limited to to the promotion of international trade", but that would ensure attention was paid “to those who risk being left by the wayside".

Hence, the central issue in the coming electoral battles – in the United States this week as well as in France and Germany next year – will be to choose leaders who are capable of restoring confidence and hope. And who will understand how to turn back fear.

Fri, 08/04/2017 - 11:21
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