I don’t get to listen to Al Kresta, the EWTN talk show host, much anymore. The local Catholic radio station goes off the air at sunset, and that occurs very early this time of year in this latitude. But tonight I got off work earlier than I have been lately and I heard a little bit of his show.
I had been curious about his take on Evangelii Gaudium. I tuned in as he was talking to someone whose name I did not catch. The guy was saying that while he granted that the free market is the best way to insure widespread prosperity, he had to admit that sometimes there were negative effects from the market on the poor, and surely we can find ways to mitigate them.
Mr Kresta agreed, and said “We always hear about the creative destruction that capitalism brings, but maybe we should strive to find ways to make it less, well, destructive.”
I guess we should be grateful that this sort of Catholic is at long last admitting that the market is something less than a magic transformer of everything it touches, uplifting all in its wake, that it in fact has negative effects.
But really, when Pope Francis says, starkly, that “the socioeconomic system is unjust at its root”, isn’t a more radical critique required?
It is insufficient to water and prune and trim the leaves, or even graft a limb onto a tree with rotten roots.
The damned thing needs to be torn out, and new seeds planted.