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February 09 2014

06:53

December 03 2013

22:25

Eric Lyman: ‘I Don't Think There's Anything Boilerplate About Pope Francis’

At the end of our Dec. 3 hour on poverty wages in America, we turned to Rome for a quick check-in on Pope Francisradical new apostolic exhortation that criticized the capitalist system, among other things. Freelance reporter Eric Lyman let us know that this statement is drawing attention from many quarters of the international media — ourselves included — for its unique take on economic issues.

“It’s the kind of document that most of the time doesn’t get a lot of attention because it deals with fairly esoteric or canonical or spiritual issues and in the mainstream press most folks don’t talk about it. But because there was this aspect, this sort of biting critique of capitalism, this one sure turned a lot of heads.”

The apostolic exhortation was long — more than 84 pages — and is almost a road map for the next steps of Pope Francis’ young papacy. But it wasn’t necessarily meant to change the global economic system, Lyman cautions.

“I don’t think that it was meant to be a kind of an economic treatise. A lot of the criticism of the Pope’s point of view in the European press has been to make an equivalence between him and Karl Marx, and I don’t think it was sort of meant to be a sort policy initiative that a minister of finance or central bank governor would adopt but I think he did want to cast some light on the growing disparity between the rich and poor, and point out some of the hypocrisy that’s involved in some religious institutions and people who claim to be religious, fostering this widening gap.”

Still, the Pope has made a lot of headline-generating moves in his eight-month tenure. It’s all part of the pope’s larger view on his role in the world, Lyman says.

“Well this pope — it’s a short papacy so far, only eight and a half months — but he hasn’t shied away from stating his point of view on a wide variety of issues, and certainly not just on economics, but on homosexuality within in the church, on women’s rights, on social justice,  on politics, on inter-religious dialogue with other faiths, and so on. I think that that this statement that he’s made here is attracting attention from a new corner, bit this fits into a wider point of view that the pope has, which is that he needs to be a kind of moral guidance for the world and for Christians and that touches on a lot of areas, including on economics.”

Pope Francis’ way of going about things makes him unique, however, Lyman says. His almost populist resonance echoes some pope’s from earlier in the 20th Century.

I don’t think there’s anything boilerplate about Pope Francis. I think he’s very original in the way he’s doing things. I don’t think he’s  doing anything for effect. I think he’s stating the things he believes. It’s true that in the recent past we haven’t thing anything like this before. Pope Benedict XVI, who was pope from 2005 to 2008, said nothing like this and it would have been as hypocritical if he had, because he was seen as very much in the old mold of the papacy, with a lot of opulence and so on. And John Paul in his waning years also was  unlikely to delve into such an area. But I think for a lot of people he recalls the early years of John Paul II’s papacy and even more so the very brief 33 day papacy of John Paul I in 1978. These were both natural populists as well as John XXIII in the 1960s, and this kind of resonance that those men had, and speaking of John Paul II, only in the early years of his papacy when he was much healthier.  I think Francis is tapping into some of that. But of course with a Latin American accent and his own personality stamp on it as well.”

Some European newspapers have taken offense at the Pope’s message, Lyman says (some American news-makers, too, it would seem).

“There was a serious piece that came in one of the Italian newspapers, Il Sole 24 Ore, the Italian equivalent of The Wall Street Journal, that criticized him for weighing in on things he didn’t understand and drawing parallels to Marxism.”

And there’s been debate over the place of more conservative Catholics in the changing church. Where could they fit in Pope Francis’ new way? Lyman says those Catholics still can see their views represented.

“I don’t know exactly what’s gonna happen because in many ways Pope Francis is still a conservative Catholic. He’s a Jesuit, he’s not any kind of a theological liberal on issues related to the church, such as the role of women. He’s not budged an inch on whether women would ever be ordained. You know he did famously say about gay Christians, ‘Who am I to judge?’ But he gave no indication that the church was gonna change its rules on that kind of thing. So I think that they have something to hold on to.”

What do you make of Pope Francis’ latest statement, and the future fo the Catholic Church? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook, Tumblr and @OnPointRadio.

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04:52

June 26 2013

10:51

Paula Kirby on East Germany

After the conclusion of Word War 2, Germany was partitioned along capitalist and communist lines, resulting in the emergence of West and East Germany. To find out what life was like in socialist East Germany we will be joined this week by Paula Kirby, who lived and worked there between 1985 and 1987. As always, listeners are invited to call in! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/skepticcanary/2013/05/08/ep06--paula-kirby

August 21 2012

01:47

Against the Grain: Nuclear Clouds and Facts

If climate change concerns you, consider nuclear power, which, according to many of its proponents, does not involve emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. But is this true? Kristin Shrader-Frechette contests those claims; she also discusses the financial costs of nuclear energy, the risks to human health it poses, the perils of industry-funded science, and the contours of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
01:46

Against the Grain: Lichtman on Alienation, Part One

01:32

Against the Grain: A Program about Politics, Society and Ideas

August 09 2012

19:56

Zingales on Capitalism and Crony Capitalism | EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty

Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago and author of A Capitalism for the People talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in his book. Zingales argues that the financial sector has used its political power to enhance the size of the sector and the compensations executives receive. This is symptomatic of a larger problem where special interests steer resources and favors based on their political influence. Zingales argues for a capitalism for the people rather than a capitalism for cronies or the politically powerful. The conversation concludes with a plea by Zingales to his fellow economists to speak out against behavior that is legal but immoral--lobbying Congress for special treatment that exploits others to benefit one's own industry, for example.

January 14 2012

10:02

Chinese Capitalism

Global Sociology Lecture

July 15 2011

08:05

RPR Interview - Robb Wolf

Robb Wolf talks about how the government food guidelines have ruined American's health. http://www.rationalpublicradio.com/rpr-interview-robb-wolf.html

February 06 2011

00:05

Joyce Appleby, “The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism

Today everybody wants to be a capitalist, even Chinese communists. It would be easy to think, then, that capitalism is “natural,

January 28 2011

18:03

TummelVision 50: Umair Haque on tummeling our way to a new kind of capitalism | Tummelvision

Umair Haque talks with Heather Gold, Kevin Marks, and Deborah Schultz about his book The New Capitalist Manifesto, the imbalanced state of the union, Silicon Valley's disruption deficit disorder, and much, much more.

September 12 2010

04:25

Living in the End Times: Slavoj Žižek at the LSE

There should no longer be any doubt: global capitalism is fast approaching its terminal crisis. In his latest book, Living in the End Times, Slavoj Žižek has identified the four horsemen of this coming apocalypse: the worldwide ecological crisis; imbalances within the economic system; the biogenetic revolution; and exploding social divisions and ruptures. But, he asks, if the end of capitalism seems to many like the end of the world, how is it possible for Western society to face up to the end times? In a major new analysis of our global situation, Slavok Žižek argues that our collective responses to economic Armageddon correspond to the stages of grief: ideological denial, explosions of anger and attempts at bargaining, followed by depression and withdrawal. After passing through this zero-point, we can begin to perceive the crisis as a chance for a new beginning. Or, as Mao Zedong put it, "There is great disorder under heaven, the situation is excellent."

August 27 2010

19:49

Third Paradigm: 3P-060 The Bipolar Bipartisan: Supporting Need and Greed

This episode looks at bipartisanship as a compromise between two confusions. We examine critical thinking and how it’s been bred out, generation by generation, defeating us through our own unexamined contradictions. We also look at that strange hybrid of capitalism and socialism, the consumer democracy. And we explore how Republicans and Democrats differ on a survey of happiness. Reads the poems “Begin” by Rumi, “Half-Life” by Stephen Levine, “Love Letters” by Ikkyu, and “Act Serious” by Tukaram. Discusses Obama’s first-strike nuclear option towards Iran as a “spare the nuclear rod and spoil the colony” policy, and quotes IPS and Diane Rehm on the topic. Puzzles over the assassination order of the US-born Muslim cleric in Yemen. Compares the capitalist creed cited by pilot Joseph Stack to the socialist creed, which is then critiqued by Ivan Illich. Ends with Bruce Gagnon on where both parties agree. Read the show transcript while listening, and view our images, videos, and links on the Third Paradigm website: http://thirdparadigm.org/3p_060.php
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