Pope Francis blames “capitalism” as the source of “poverty” and “tyranny”

We on the left – and no, I don’t mean the liberal Democrats – have been pointing out that capitalism is the source of most, if not all, the ills in our society, including hunger and poverty among millions of people, lack of affordable healthcare and education, colonial wars and environmental ruin. We’ve been saying that capitalism is what causes the economic crashes, massive unemployment, people losing their homes, kids going hungry, the ever widening income and wealth inequality, eroding civil rights and what even the mainstream media now admits the “war on the poor”. But, now, we’re not alone. Pope Francis has joined those of us who point the finger at capitalism, rightly calling it the source of poverty and “tyranny”. This is not a claim made by a small minority on the left anymore.

But, let’s not let the criticism remain academic and abstract. Let’s be clear what it means. The problem is the PRIVATE OWNERSHIP of corporations, which are accountable not to the public as to what they do, how they do it and how their actions impact people’s lives and well being and the environment, which right there is undemocratic to the core, but a group of billionaire shareholders, whose only concern is to maximize profits and their already obscene wealth.

Let’s also be clear what the solution is – now that even the Pope is mentioning what the problem is: these corporations, which are gradually turning into “people” with human “rights”, especially privacy rights that are not afforded to real people, must be confiscated from these “private owners” and nationalized, sending their owners, large shareholders and CEO’s working for living like the rest of us. Only then these organizations will be accountable to the people and concerned about people’s needs, rather than a small minority of super wealthy individuals who keep pushing for wars and waging war on the poor. That’s what real democracy is, not what we have now.

What this all means – if we are to give real deference to the Pope’s words and turn them into action – is that we need a people’s movement to force the change on the rulers since they won’t allow it on their own. We must impose it on them and that will mean battling their police and military on the streets. It will mean dismantling all three branches of the current government in its present form and content, including all its intelligence, spy and military organizations and agencies. Otherwise, we can keep saying capitalism is the problem and it will remain as just empty words.

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