by Santiago Roque Alonso
In Part I (see the last issue of "Michael"), we talked about the defects and excesses of capitalism as explained in the Encyclical Letter "Quadragesimo Anno" by Pope Pius XI. (It was also mentioned in other encyclicals by John XXIII and Paul VI). It spoke about the main problem of the "imperialism of money, which means money issued by private banks instead of being issued by society for the benefit of all citizens. Here is the second and last part:
Pius XI expresses in a few paragraphs the remedies for the evils mentioned below which constitute a synthesis in the second part of the encyclical. These are:
1. Capital and labor are the two pillars of modern economy.
2. Capital or property and labor have a double character: individual and social.
3. The laws that regulate capital and labor must be regulated by commutative justice aided by Christian charity.
4. Free competition must be contained within just and secure limits.
5. Economic power must be subjected to the public authority in an effective manner.
6. Public institutions must act in such a manner that society is in harmony with the common good. Therefore the economy must act within a wholesome and right order.
The grave errors resulting from the ignorance about the "international imperialism of money."
1. The incapacity to understand
In spite of the time elapsed since 1931 and the very clear characterization that Pius XI made about the "international imperialism of money" as a political entity distinct from the "state or national imperialism," one can observe a manifest incapacity to understand the difference between the two categories. That does not mean that the first does not operate through the states or political power of a national state. Precisely, the Encyclical warns us about the existence of the Nation States which are subordinated, dominated, servile or simply usurped by the "international imperialism of money."
These are two distinct things. Not to understand, or what is worse, not to want to understand the above mentioned differences, has been one of the characteristics of the Twentieth Century – either because of the lack of perception, ignorance, or ingenuity – and constitute a grave error, because it annuls all intentions and efforts for independence and liberation from "the money power." It attacks a mistaken enemy (deceitfully nationalizing hostility), and efforts are spent fruitlessly on useless enterprises, the people are distracted, and time is wasted in enmities and oppositions falsely dialectical. It is because it has been the same power that promoted and promotes the ignorance and confusion about this subject for its own benefit.
2. The criticism of Liberal Catholics
Liberal Catholic sectors have criticized this encyclical (Quadragesimo Anno) because it does not explain clearly what "international imperialism of money" is, who is part of it, how it can be recognized and what is the way to fight against it. They believe that all these questions are answered in the semi-darkness of some generic sentences that can be understood with a variety of interpretations.
This criticism has some value, because it would seem that this work was not made with the depth, extension and preoccupation that it merited. But what in reality the liberals hide with their lack of consideration of this particular point of the encyclical is their ideological adherence to economic and financial principles and instruments incompatible with the teachings of the Church and with their condition as Catholics.
The object of the encyclical is not to give the details demanded. It only gives the general critical analysis to the large problems and the solutions from the point of view of Christian morality and tradition. The specialists, clergy and lay people, must esplain and unravel the fundamental concepts and details, both theoretical and practical, which shape these large problems in accordance with the historical circumstances in which they are living.
Nevertheless, it is surprising that the content of this same encyclical, in the part that deals with the "international imperialism of money," is practically unknown to the majority of clergy and lay people. That ignorance may have contributed to an inadequate development of explanations and amplifications of the encyclical as I mentioned earlier. Precisely, it is that great task that we have ahead of us, all who have a conscience; to make known the importance of the depth of perception and clairvoyance that Pius XI possessed in showing to us the main feature of the face of this beast who is the greatest, most efficient and cruel enslaver of people of all time, and especially of these modern times.
3. The great deceit of Liberation Theology and the pseudo-revolutionaries
Parallel to this, beginning in the sixties and in the decade that followed, the so-called Latin American Liberation Theology imported European Marxism as a conceptual instrument for the theoretical explanation of the existing dominant structures and as an introduction with the purpose to changing existing society. This was probably viewed favorably because of the fact that, at that moment Marxism in Europe was experiencing a renaissance and other critics of capitalism were at that time almost unknown. Without going into an exhaustive criticism of it, we only affirm that Liberation Theology assumed the vices of Marxism, assimilating its serious errors and omissions about money. It did not see or recognize – or simply, by ideological reasons, refused to see or recognize – the "international imperialism of money" that had been already defined by Pius XI, in 1931, and which he condemned as deadly and appalling.
They did not realize the above, or that inexplicably Marx omitted the power that money possesses in spite of his extensive work. In fact, for Marx the money was only the equivalent of merchandise. In its place he attributed to private property of the means of production to constitute the exclusive reason for exploitation and oppression. He considered the interest that the money produces as a subordinate part of the added value of industry which the capitalists would share among themselves. (In "Das Kapital," Karl Marx defines money in an artificial manner, saying: "For sake of simplicity, I suppose that gold is the merchandise called money," omitting the existence of convertible paper money or bank money or money in numbers created by the banks out of nothing as credit or loan resulting in the application of the so called "financial reserve of the banks.")
That is to say neither Marx nor Marxism ever discovered the added value of interest and usury, fueled by the exponential increase of compound interests, which the bankers put into their pockets. For Marx and the Marxists the paradigm of the "exploiter capitalist" is exclusively the owner of the means of production (industrial, agrarian, etc.) or of the services of any kind. It is enough that he contracts wage-earners.
Nevertheless, what is paradoxical is that Liberation Theology contributed with its ideological schemes to the death of thousands of people – supporters and opponents – in what was a large process of the revolutionary or subversive wars in South and Central America. Besides, it was in large part responsible for the indebtedness of the Latin American nations. It was a phenomenon that became an excuse to answer with political-military action. Additionally the governments needed lots of credits in dollars to accelerate the development of the material well-being, in an effort to prevent the people from falling into the hands of the Communist subversion. Precisely, while their rhetorical theoretical objective pretended to liberate the people from the claws of capitalism or imperialism, in practice it produced the conditions to consolidate their permanent enslavement. For that reason the error of Marx about money – that Liberation Theology did not know or did not want to know, nor to overcome – became a tragic consequence at the end of the revolutionary wars inspired by it.
In this manner, Liberation Theology proponents and revolutionaries, besides being defeated militarily, collaborated in what became the dominant reality of those peoples, in the future and forever – by means of "the external debt" – and who remain at the mercy of the bankers and international money lenders, subject to the unconcealed exploitation of their riches and the ever-deepening process of enslavement of which such magnitude and extension, universal history has no previous record. But what becomes more paradoxical is that those peoples were not brought into this situation by the actions of the proprietors of the means of production, but by the international money usurers.
Some sectors of the Catholic Church from the beginning ignored the existence of the "international imperialism of money" (first mentioned by Pope Pius XI in 1931), maybe because they considered it to be just a theoretical formulation. Nevertheless, seventy-seven years later it constitutes an undeniable fact and a concrete reality, since the excesses and defects of Liberal Capitalism have reached paradoxical and intolerable dimensions. From that comes the anticipatory or quasi-prophetic quality that we give to the above mentioned encyclical, since it seems that it was written for our own times because everything that was anticipated has occurred, and even more than originally predicted. The result is that the "international imperialism of money" is nothing else but a political entity of world-wide or universal domination.
The origin of this calamity is found in the concentration of wealth in a very few hands, due to the creation of the monopolistic use of the "money power" as a power independent from the common good of society. And this has become a de facto "political power"(without assuming any formal public responsibility), in the measure that it has subjected and subordinated to its will and its particular ends public powers or governments. It has been called a tyrannical, despotic and arbitrary dictatorship by the Pope.
Now then, the accumulation of wealth is not socially neutral. Wealth in the hands of a few necessarily causes the poverty of others, to the extreme that the latter will lack the most elementary things for their subsistence. The outcome of this inequality finally is expressed in practical terms, in a relationship essentially unjust and inexorable between two groups – a minuscule number of creditors or money-lenders and an immense majority of debtors.
Consequently, the large multinational or transnational conglomerates – mainly banking, but also industrial and of services – that form part of the above mentioned imperialism, do not strive for political and strategic national objectives, but of "world-wide politics," that they impose on themselves, without any intervention of the people where they operate. Consequently their objectives, both political and strategic, are absolutely private in nature and only for the benefit of a particular group. In that way "these private organisms can lead to a form of economic dictatorship in the social, cultural and political spheres."
In his Apostolic Letter Octogesima Adveniens written in 1971, Paul VI includes within the conception "international imperialism of money" the power exercised by "multinational enterprise, which by the concentration and flexibility of their means can conduct autonomous strategies which are largely independent of the national political powers and therefore not subject to control from the point of view of the common good. By extending their activities, these private organizations can lead to a new and abusive form of economic dictatorship on the social, cultural and even political level."
From that it follows that the "nations or nation states" have been surpassed as subjects of first order in the international politics. They are just a mask, legal fictions behind which operate the above mentioned private conglomerates, using the native or local politicians as mere puppets-managers of their desires or goals, to which they subordinate and place at their service by means of corruption and/or physical coercion.
At the same time, it results as equally false that there exist "democracies" as forms of government. What really exists is the more crude and cruel form of the "national plutocracies or oligarchies" (governments of the few and richer ones or of the ones who own more, according similar concepts defined by Plato and Aristotle) – disguised with the democratic formalities – completely subordinated to an "international oligarchy or plutocracy." The rivalries or confrontations present on a world-wide scale, if they are effectively real, do not constitute quarrels between states or nations, but of factions between the same international plutocracies, whose confrontation is operated by surrogates through the states or social groups of each country subordinated to their respective hegemonies.
The testimony offered by Professor Quigley (in his book Tragedy and Hope) demolishes the denunciations and disparagement of the detractors and is an outstanding confirmation that certifies the exactitude, in practical and objective terms, of the statements of Pius XI and his successors which in turn is nothing less than to recognize the fulfillment of the saying of the Old Testament that says: "The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender." (Proverbs 22:7).
Apparently, both Liberal Catholics and Liberation Theology proponents, when confronted with their politico-economic ideas, ignored the existence of the "international imperialism of money" and its fatal consequences. Both have placed themselves in the wrong direction opposite to the genuine response of those against the true imperialists – the lords of the money and the universe. Both, in spite of their apparently diverse ways, have arrived at the same result: the definitive enslavement of the people which were subjected – by the unpaid foreign or "external" debt – to the arbitrary and despotic will of the international usurers. That is to say, they have led the people into situations worse than the ones existing before the application of the liberal prescriptions of "globalization" or of the process of the "revolutionary Marxist progressive war" that was supposed to liberate them.
At the same time, it is worth noting that a shroud of silence and oblivion prevents the teaching about the "international imperialism of money" as well as any reference to it, either in the schools of the strictly religious, or in the vast conglomerate of the Catholic universities, institutes, or schools. The general public does not know anything of the pronouncements of the Magisterium of the Church on this subject in question. This silence or oblivion is not only the responsibility of the lay people, but fundamentally, of the shepherds themselves, and the different hierarchies of the Church.
With so many omissions, oblivion and ignorance of this Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno and the specific matter of the "international imperialism of money," one suspects the existence of some hidden will that obstinately ignores or does not want to know or to make known the importance or specific role that the aforementioned imperialism is playing out in the destiny of the world's people, in spite of the fact that daily we can see the devastating and fatal consequences that this tyrannical domination has imposed on all of humanity.
Nevertheless, such social and economical evils have a remedy according to the conception of Pius XI. It requires a basic element: the existence of public authority. This needs the constitution of a national power and the full exercise of the political sovereignty. Without these requirements it is impossible to obtain the common good of the human society anywhere in the world.
Man cannot escape the inexorable theological dilemma: God or Mammon (money) (Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13). Ridding God from society, money has robbed and conditioned the human liberty of man until making him a slave who is not conscious of his slavery because he has been given over to the idolatry of Mammon.
They are mistaken those who believe that the "Money power" is a natural entity and merely economic are mistaken in the matter. It also possesses a political dimension and includes a strong spiritual motivation, which is forming the kingdom of the Antichrist.
Maybe, that is the reason why the French writer Honore de Balzac, at the end of the Nineteenth Century, warned about the decisive and critical importance of this question: "The final battle for Christianity will be over the money problem, and until that is solved there can be no universal application of Christianity."
Santiago Roque Alonso