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Pope’s Right-Hand Man Joins Anti-Market Crusade

June 4, 2014 in Economics

By Ryan McMaken


The latest volley in war against free markets by clergymen continues with June 3rd’s speech by Cardinal Archbishop Maradiaga of Honduras.

I generally prefer to not get involved in disputes with clergy, but since the Pope and some of his Cardinals have decided to repeatedly declare war on the defenders of the Golden Rule and the exercise of free will known as libertarians, I have taken the time to fisk the Cardinal’s speech below.

Before we begin, let’s first define what libertarianism means. Historically known as classical liberalism, it is simply the position that it is immoral to employ violence to force one’s will on others. That is, it is immoral to steal and kill to obtain goods or services from other people. Libertarians also, to varying degrees, maintain that this same prohibition applies to states and that there is nothing magic that takes place when one becomes a government employee.  Therefore, a government job does not give one a right to use violence against others whether it be theft in the form of taxation or murder in the form of war.

Thus, when we see people like Maradiaga criticize “free markets” what they are really criticizing is freedom itself. Markets, after all, are nothing more than the phenomenon of persons freely exchanging goods and services. Markets are not an ideology or a sentient being or some sort of planned phenomenon. They are simply what naturally arise in any society in which persons exercise their free will. Markets can exist at any time in any place where freedom is allowed. Markets are not a new invention, and they are not the product of any particular ideology. Unfortunately, the history of humanity is mostly the history of potentates crushing the exercise of free will, and thus throughout history, we see the suppression of markets everywhere we look.

My comments appear [in bold with brackets.]

Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodríguez Maradiaga SDB,Archbishop of Tegucigalpa

The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism, Keynote. June 3rd. 2014

I would like to start quoting Michael Sean Winters’s recent article in NCR [i.e., the hard-core leftist publication The National Catholic Reporter]:

“Last week, the Holy Father addressed leaders of United Nations who called on him in Rome. He gave a short talk, which included these words calling for ‘the legitimate redistribution of economic benefits by the State.’ Then, America’s conservative chattering classes went ballistic. John Moody, executive vice president at Fox News and a former Vatican correspondent, might be expected from …read more


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