The Wolf and The Pope

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 "I exhort you to a generous solidarity and to the return of economics and finance to an ethical approach which favors human beings." –Pope Francis

I finally saw "The Wolf of Wall Street" on the weekend. While I liked the filmmaking and performances, the film's message was depressing.

Martin Scorcese's black (bleak) comedy depicts the corruption of Wall Street. Sex, drugs and securities fraud are  the dystopian American Dream.  You're either a con or a mark.

A satire?

Not if you lived through the period depicted, the 1990's.  Perhaps too little has changed. The world is still climbing out of the Great Recession,  caused by similar excesses.

Juxtapose that with Pope Francis' recent criticism of the evils of extreme capitalism.

His concerns that the poor are marginalized by a "survival of the fittest" brand of capitalism has riled a lot of people. He has been denounced as a Marxist by Rush Limbaugh, and criticized Paul Ryan, among other conservatives.

Our economy is dependant on the ethics of inclusion for its survival. Do we need to experience another financial collapse to understand this? Or more terrorism? 

The price of the great disparity between rich and poor nations, rich and poor people, is more violence. 

Surely we're smarter and far more creative than that.

We should take the message of Francis to heart. 

 

Posted on January 16, 2014 .