According to the pope, quoted in the Times, the world financial system is built on sand.
Pope Benedict XVI today said that the global credit crisis shows that the world’s financial systems are “built on sand” and that only the works of God have “solid reality
Well, yes, to the first bit. The “house built on sand” story seems metaphorically appropriate. (About which I can remember little more, from the time when my religious education teacher tried to explain – to a room full of architecturally ignorant 12 year-old girls – why building on sand wasn’t a good idea.)
Granted, the world financial system is pretty much a con trick, with imaginary gains and losses that have only an accidental relationship to the production and distribution of goods. And the whole system can collapse as easily as a building with no foundations.
But, talk about a non sequitor. The world financial system is built on myths, so this other myth must be true….What? Nonsense.
He added: ”We are now seeing, in the collapse of major banks, that money vanishes, it is nothing. All these things that appear to be real are in fact secondary. Only God’s words are a solid reality”.
Let’s ignore for one minute that the Catholic Church itself isn’t exactly destitute, and assume that the Pope maintains a state of religious poverty.
I abhor the worship of money as much as I abhor the worship of gods. However, there is a big difference between greed and need. And many things that “appear to be real” about access to money are “primary”.
Access to food, housing, healthcare, water, clothing.
Try doing without these for a while. A few days is all you’ll manage without water, but you’d barely survive a few weeks without the others, either. (Although large swathes of the world’s population seem to have to pull off this trick every day.)
Try doing without the “word of god”. Hmm. Not too difficult, that one. You can probably keep going like that for, oh, I don’t know, a human lifespan, say.