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Gold be Damned! Where is Aquinas?

Politics / US Politics Sep 06, 2009 - 02:10 PM GMT

By: Michael_T_Bucci


I don't suppose many in the U.S. know that Saturday, 05 September, saw an eruption of street fighting in Central Birmingham (UK) between "right wing protestors" and those calling themselves "anti-fascists". But what does this mean to the price of Gold? To the dismay of many, Gold yet remains to reach its potential despite years of prophetic anticipation and hard-sell. But to both sides of the political equation that reached gutter level proportions on Bennetts Street, Gold be damned! It is where their country is headed that matters. Unlike in America, in England and most of the EU, the word fascism is permitted in public discourse. Unlike in America, it is being identified and is being opposed.

The disconnect of Americans to the nature of the economic calamity befalling them (despite claims to the contrary) proves baffling to the European. Inasmuch as the Murdochs would like to close BBC and have for themselves total control of the media sans views opposing capitalism and right-wing politics, battles rage in England that have at their center the survival of democracy itself. Are these signs of things to come?

But what does it have to do with the price of Gold, you ask? Who cares anyhow? Where's the profit to be had?

In growing up, Communism was the catch-all for anyone or thing that opposed the supreme will of the American hegemonic dynasty built on the ashes of total war. In 1967, at the age of 19, I was called a Communist by a friend's father. The friend, a staunch conservative Republican, later thought better of me and less of his father. Just recently, I was called a socialist by a capitalist, and by a socialist I was called a member of the "petty bourgeoisie", though I hardly meet Marx's definition in any three categories having no means of production, no wealth and no influence in the Fourth International, The Times of London or The New York Times. Likewise, evangelical Christians label my books "New Age" to shun them, while members of the New Age shun them because they contain the word "God". So shunned, I claim two lessons from life: It is better not to be famous for you can always change your mind; and, it is best not to be a member of any group so you can speak your changing mind. In this respect, I dare ask myself not whether Obama is a socialist, but whether Ron Paul is a fascist. A Socialist will tell you the answer to the first question, but the second remains to be answered. But why bother with either if the price of Gold breaks $1100 tomorrow?

It is utterly true, that in my unheralded lifetime as a mature person, I have seen America go from "The Great Society" (LBJ) to "The John Birch Society" (today). I also claim that neither did produce nor can produce a Heaven on Earth. Neither can until some realization is reached that only a radical shift in values will make possible a reordering of human priorities across all socio-economic dimensions. One doesn't need a "God" or the "action of Karma" to invoke such a transformation, for in every heart lies the formula already, waiting to be seized. It is the human will that fails in the task.

A member of the Austrian school wrote a polemical essay, published on The Market Oracle, calling to task the idealistic notions of a socialist while upholding his defense of the free market. I wrote the writer the thoughts I write now, that no "system" will work until it addresses the needs of every individual comprising it. While some may believe in the "invisible hand of the market" operating outside but influencing the realm of collective human decisions, the Austrian should note the stress placed on the importance of the individual by Ludwig von Mises (e.g., the subjective nature of economic value, praxeology), and the foundation philosophy for it from Aquinas and the Late Scholastics of the 15th Century (natural laws).

I was taught by Dominicans in my first eight years of schooling, and intellectually reared in Scholasticism. Questions were invited, and for every question there was an answer. But when there wasn't an answer, there was an answer: "It is a Divine Mystery". This was sufficient for an eight year old. But Aquinas did not charge himself to limit inquiry to economics; he spoke of "totality" and at the hub of it, of course, was the Divine. He was a cosmologist of the first order in the first epoch of Rationalism. If Ludwig von Mises were to meet Ludwig van der Rohe and ask: Where is God now? Van der Rohe would reply: "In the details". Any student of architecture knows that in the work of van der Rohe there are no details. And any student of detailed economics should know that in their conception of markets there is no God.

In one sense, the current union between evangelical Christians and Ron Paul constitutionalists has recreated a centuries old coalition to challenge contemporary values that don't fit strict definitions of Christian morality or the U.S. Constitution. On the other hand, these challenges are not new to democracy, but rarely have they become so powerful as today. Gold is not a replacement for God, as Ron Paul surely knows, and religious overzealous bigotry is no replacement for humanism. Like Erasmus, Aquinas himself was a humanist. And a Scholastic would tell each free market capitalist, socialist, nationalist and statist, of the Seven Deadly Sins is the one of Greed.

So where is the profit to be made, you ask? What will be the price of Gold next week? Is Obama a Socialist? Is Ron Paul a Bircher? Are the BNP really fascists? Which economic system is ideal? And, as an afterthought: Just how "Deadly" ARE the Seven Sins?

Understand this:

Money has ruled the world for a very long time and there is no reason to believe that fact will change. No system of government yet has altered the pattern of "have's and have-nots". As my late wife often instructed me, it is not the political or economic system that determines equality, fairness and personal fulfillment; it is determined by the nature of the people comprising it. A corrupt people will pursue corruption regardless the system they inhabit. A thief will steal whether he or she is a capitalist stealing capital, a socialist stealing position and power, or a communist stealing a citizen's right to private ownership. A certain militarist will murder in the name of any country against any other. One who lives in a personal Hell will create Hell for others, and so too will one a Heaven from their own.

Economic, ideological and religious systems built on hopes to alleviate suffering and improve the lot of all find failure unless the fundamental nature of humans is admitted as the real underlying "system". It is preposterous to build arguments preferring one social and economic system to another that discount the quality and character of the individuals who shape those systems. Neither capitalism nor socialism has succeeded in weaning mankind from greed, hatred, murder or theft. Neither has delivered equality, equanimity or peace. Yet, inasmuch as these are human factors thought to belong outside the scope of economics, they are at the heart of economics.

And at the heart of the capitalist's counter-argument to the socialist's lies a common desire and hope to improve the human condition. This I believe to be so. Should this goal ever be lost, we are truly doomed.

I don't believe humans are ready to abandon it.

By Michael T Bucci

Michael T Bucci is a retired public relations executive from New Jersey presently residing in New England. His essays have appeared at Market Oracle and Global Research. He is the author of nine books on practical spirituality including White Book: Cerithous .

    © 2009 Copyright Michael T Bucci - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

    Michael T Bucci Archive

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


07 Sep 09, 00:46
Lofty And Not Very Difinitive

Do Not Confuse "American Government" And "American Citizens".

"Chicanery" Is Not As "Easy A Sell" As You Assume.

More Americans Have Animosity To The "Status Quo" Than You May Think By "News".

I have no idea why you would make such "Amazing Generalities" in your OpEd as to Accuse By "Association To Labels" ??? Ron Paul A "Fascist" ??? You Have A Lot Of Learning To Do. Do Not Be Easily Led.

Very Zen Approach; Not Much Structural Relevance.

Capitalism and Socialism Are A Result Of The Human Condition and Are Not "Mutually Exclusive". Laws That "Bind To Public Thievery" or "Mandatory Homage" are brought about by "Individuals For Personal Of Club Gain". America AND The United Kingdom Are Infested With Such Laws.

Largess in both "Government And Corporation" Must Be Reduced No Matter The "Overriding System" or "Subjugation" will stifle creativity and the human spirit.

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