Commentary

Are the Vatican and Business Leaders Working to Improve or Destroy Capitalism?

By John Horvat II | December 17, 2020 | 11:33am EST
Lynn Forester de Rothschild is the founder of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican. (Photo credit: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)
Lynn Forester de Rothschild is the founder of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican. (Photo credit: BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)

Socialism has failed worldwide because it uses the government’s brutal power to force people into its anti-natural program against private property. It also suppresses the social, economic and religious forces that are the natural defenses against its destruction.  

However, the ideological virus has the uncanny ability to mutate. When one plan shipwrecks, its ideologues merely repackage it into a new appeal to the masses with different class struggles coopting new proletariats. Socialists also enlist the suicidal help of those who stand to lose the most when a revolution happens.

One of socialism’s latest mutants is especially harmful. It consists of the “Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican,” a roundtable of 27 prominent business leaders ominously called the “Guardians.” They have recently teamed up with Church officials to promote “a more inclusive, sustainable and trusted economic system."

The project is marketed as a way to improve capitalism, not promote socialism. However, the telltale signs of socialism are everywhere to indicate that the new effort is merely the latest repackaging of the old, oft-rejected idea. It will use socialism’s most natural enemies, the Church and business, to push its agenda upon the world.

Four signs reveal this deceitful and masterful maneuver.  

The first sign of trouble is the appearance of buzzwords and terms like “the Great Reset” and “stakeholder capitalism” or “inclusive capitalism” in the project’s literature. These terms refer to the plan to “reimagine” capitalism to reflect the needs of all society, not just investors. The Great Reset is a project of the World Economic Forum that calls for the “evolution” of capitalism to make it more “sustainable” and “inclusive,” additional leftist buzzwords. Such language avoids any moral or religious terms that might oppose socialist thought’s naturalistic perspective.

The second sign that the new plan does not bode well is the makeup of the new council. The “Guardians of Inclusive Capitalism” are officials from mega-banks, big business, the United Nations, the State of California, the Rothschild banking dynasty, VISA, BP, Mastercard, the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, and others. 

The list reads like a who’s who of those found on the wrong side of all moral issues. Many of these giants of “woke” capitalism have long promoted agendas contrary to Catholic teaching on issues like abortion, contraception, homosexual vice, transgenderism, and gender studies. Moreover, these “Guardians” cannot be ignored since they represent the cream of the liberal establishment. They hold more than $10.5 trillion in assets under their management. Their companies have over $2.1 trillion of market capitalization and employ 200 million workers in over 163 countries.

A third indication that the project is wrong is its globalist approach. The “Guardians'” efforts are not just honorary titles granted as window dressing to make their work look more Christian. It is part of a top-down global effort to impose new standards on all nations and industries. The project takes most of its cues from the liberal wish list of causes that favor a more egalitarian, more socialist world. 

The “Guardians” will work with the Vatican to promote environmental, social, and governance (ESG) benchmarks to shape economies to be “inclusive,” “sustainable,” and “fair.” Council members have already committed to hundreds of measurable ESG actions. They will meet with Pope Francis and Cardinal Peter Turkson annually to evaluate progress toward these goals. 

The final sign of socialist content is the class struggle narrative found in the council’s discourse and literature. The socialist vision divides history into a struggle between so-called oppressors and oppressed, rich and poor, majority and minority peoples. The project’s demand for inclusion and diversity originates in this narrative. 

Typical of this rhetoric are the words of council founder Lynn Forester de Rothschild. She says that “this council will follow the warning from Pope Francis to listen to ‘the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor’ and answer society’s demands for a more equitable and sustainable model of growth.”

Absent from this discourse is any reference to grace and supernatural means, the harmony of all social classes, moral reform, and the role of Christian charity. This omission is especially afflictive since the Vatican’s function is to provide guidance considering the moral and supernatural means at the Church’s disposal. The Church has always opposed the socialist perspective since it employs unnatural means that violate Divine and natural law.  

The Council for Inclusive Capitalism with the Vatican looks for naturalistic solutions to problems based on an erroneous worldview. It is the wrong people, using the wrong criteria, at the wrong time. Only the help of God, the Blessed Mother, and grace can save the modern sinful world and provide real solutions. Like all such philosophies and socialist mutants, it will eventually fail because it mocks God, who is the Way, Truth, and Light.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book "Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society--Where We've Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need to Go." He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

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