AFL-CIO & Catholic University Co-Sponsored Anti-Libertarianism /Anti-Free Market Conference
It is a noble cause when one calls for people of the world to come together in fellowship and brotherhood. But if a person has to shake hands with the devil in order to accomplish it, the “cause” quickly loses its righteousness.
In the wake of Pope Francis calling for the creation of a new Global Authority in order to fight Climate Change and wealth inequality, the fact that a Catholic organization, and a group known to support Communists, would team up to hold a conference to bash Libertarianism and the Free Market under the guise of “Solidarity”, and that Cardinal Wuerl would keynote the event, should be disturbing, but yet somehow, not surprising.
The event titled Erroneous Autonomy: A Conversation on Solidarity & Faith was held on June 15th at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C. The event was co-sponsored by the Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research and Studies and the AFL-CIO and was, as the title suggests, meant to concentrate on solidarity and faith. But as the host, a Professor Maria Mazzaenga from Catholic University admits in her opening remarks, the Conference is really an extension of one from last year which examined how Libertarianism is not compatible with Catholicism:
“Welcome. Welcome to the Erroneous Autonomy: A Conversation on Solidarity and Faith Conference. And this conference is an outgrowth of the conference we held last year; Erroneous Autonomy: The Catholic Case Against Libertarianism. This was a truly stimulating set of discussions centered on the question of what Catholic teaching had to say about Libertarianism; That brand of thought that combines a faith in a free market economy with a radical emphasis on individual autonomy.
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga spoke memorably to us last year reminding us that the economy is made for the human being. The human being is not made for the economy. And he noted the Church’s preferential option for the poor was fundamentally incompatible with Libertarian thought.
We also heard from the now Arch Bishop of Chicago, Blase Cupich, who noted that according to Church teaching the human dignity which belongs to every person implies solidarity. Humans are united by their shared dignity, he pointed out. And that uncoupling human dignity from solidarity, as Libertarian thought does, puts its champions on a path fundamentally different from that guided by Catholic social teaching.”
Naturally even the AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka jumped on board and cited a quote stating that Libertarianism is just a cover for cruelty.
Cardinal Wuerl’s spoke next and during his keynote speech he described the long history between the Catholic Church and unions. And he happily took up the theme of solidarity and mentioned several times the phrase Social Justice. He even referred to Trumka as “our President”. But ironically, considering the AFL-CIO’s open association with the Communist Party USA, the Cardinal stated that the key to solidarity of all man-kind was insuring that people don’t lose their rights and freedoms. You can watch the Cardinal’s entire speech Here.
But staying in the theme of Libertarian and Free Market bashing, Reverend Clite Kiely of the Archdiocese of Chicago expounded on the effect of “exaggerated individualism” and how it was a driving principle to economic Libertarianism. He then pointed out how solidarity is the major counterpoint to that exaggerated individualism. He then criticized the idea of Right-To-Work laws and, after condemning proponents of Ayn Rand and Free Markets, he even went so far as to say that Catholic Libertarians were “Cafeteria Catholics” and that the Cafeteria is now “Closed”.
Others went on to bash the concept of Free Markets and Libertarianism for over 5 hours utilizing religious doctrine and theology, even Bible quotes to support their collectivist point of view. Excerpts of some of those comments can be seen in this video.
So what is the point to all of this Free Market and Libertarian bashing? Why would the Communist affiliated AFL-CIO, a Cardinal, and a Catholic University team up to destroy the idea of individual Freedom and the Free Market?
Well according to AFL-CIO official Cathy Feingold, it’s so that the unions and the Church can join together to transform the “corporate globalization” model and to push for a “Global New Deal”:
“Good afternoon everyone. My name is Kathy Feingold and I’m the International Director here at the AFL-CIO, and I guess my job is really to take on those titanic forces that you were just talking about. My job is to build strategic partnerships for the global labor movement. And so I really want to focus my remarks today starting with what we heard about this morning.
I think the challenge we are all facing is what we heard: The globalization of indifference and a global economy that is literally killing thousands of workers. That is what we are all challenged by. And the meeting today really represents this awakening that we heard about this morning about the church and the labor movement coming together to transform the current model of corporate driven globalization. So it’s not just any kind of globalization, there is a model here we are trying to transform. Which is a corporate driven globalization which is based on a model of exclusion; exclusion of immigrants, of women, people of color, the young, LGBT and others.
…So what does that look like for all us here at the AFL-CIO? We often refer to it as the fact that we need a Global New Deal. We need a new deal for workers which means we are challenging policies of austerity, we’re focusing on policies that invest in people, that invest in jobs, infrastructure, public education, and healthcare. So together we need to shift that policy and why I think this conference is so important. How can we together better support a Global New Deal for workers. How do we as the Cardinal said this morning, go out, engage, and accompany which I think is a great challenge for all of us.”
Based upon the recent controversial comments of Pope Francis, and the fact that Cardinal Wuerl, Bishops and Priests, along with a Catholic University, have no problem with working with those who support the evils of Communism, it would seem that the Catholic Church is either suffering from a strong case of naivete, or they have shifted from the belief that salvation is the choice of an individual based upon their acceptance of Jesus Christ, to one where governing bodies can now bestow collective salvation by subduing the individual and redistributing wealth.
Sadly, this is beginning to give the appearance that the Catholic Church now embraces the belief that the ends justify the means. Even if those means come bearing the devil’s flag of …the Hammer and Sickle.