Once again, as in every issue of MICHAEL, you'll find a wide range of articles on every topical issue, and especially on the economy, which is a daily concern for just about everyone. For example, the aim of economics is quite simple—to produce the goods and services that people need, and to ensure that these goods reach the people who need them (see page 4). Unfortunately, it often happens that what are considered to be economic dogmas do not correspond at all to reality, and even produce the opposite effect to what was intended. For example, one of these false dogmas is that inflation must be fought by raising interest rates, when more and more people are realizing that it is precisely the rise in interest rates that is driving up prices and the cost of living. Just think of the payments that have to be made on mortgages.
What MICHAEL is aiming for through Economic Democracy is a civilization of financially liberated people (see page 8). While a sufficiency of material goods does not necessarily make people virtuous, the absence of material goods makes the practice of any virtue impossible. The products exist; it's just the money, the means of obtaining them, that's lacking.
And when money is short, failing to correct the financial system, the only solution left for many young people, especially in Africa, is to go into exile in richer countries, hoping to find a better future there, even though many of them die on the way at sea before they get there. This is what the bishops of Central Africa are denouncing, and they realize that the cause of this emigration of young people is essentially economic (see page 10), which is why they have invited the Louis Even Institute to take part in their colloquium, to explain Economic Democracy (see page 12).
To bring about this change in the financial system, we need to educate people about money, as recalled by Bishop Benjamin Almoneda of the Philippines, who died recently (see page 18). Everyone needs to understand that all the money in existence comes from loans from commercial banks, and must necessarily return to the banks with interest. In other words, if nobody borrowed from the banks, there would be no money in circulation at all. This gives people the unacceptable choice between going into debt or starving.
For Economic Democracy to become a reality, we need real political democracy, i.e. for citizens to be able to obtain results from their elected representatives, so that the latter no longer give in to pressure from the financiers, but instead serve the interests of the people. This will be achieved by educating the people, to form a public opinion that is powerful enough to ensure that the population is listened to by its elected representatives.
Everyone is aware that the present times are worrying, not only from an economic point of view, but also from a moral one, and we can add to this the risks of a world war, but the Virgin Mary reminds us that to obtain peace, we must pray the Rosary to avoid great punishments (see page 15).
Today, many people who call themselves intelligent declare that belief in God is incompatible with science. Yet one of the greatest geniuses of all times, Blaise Pascal, thought exactly the opposite, as Pope Francis explains in his apostolic letter for the 400th anniversary of the birth of this great French scientist, philosopher and mathematician (see page 28).
When one reads the life of a saint, we know that God never abandons us. For example, by reading the life of St. Mary MacKillop (see page 24), we can discover the capacity we have with God's grace to follow in her footsteps, in total and generous dedication for the salvation of souls.
And finally, another testimony to the fact that God and His holy Mother, the Virgin Mary, do not abandon us, is the extraordinary story of the image of Our Lady of Good Counsel at the shrine of Genazzano, Italy (see page 19). We all need the advice of God and Mary, who tells us, as she told the servants at the wedding feast at Cana: "Do whatever He tells you" (John 2:5). Happy reading!v