January 5, 2015, one day later, late at night postlude/preface: I probably in writing this post let my duty to socialism take too much of a backseat to my religious idiosyncrasies and natural tendency to be flippant and cynical. But I hope that I have at least been honest in my imperfections. The comments to this post at DailyKos have caused me to think a lot. As I more or less mentioned in an update to the post early this morning, I have been concerned about the immature and strident nature of the post, and especially at the possibility that it would be divisive to Catholic brothers and sisters on the left. I want to be an instrument of peace with respect to my world and do deeply appreciate all those on the left, including Catholic leftists, some of whom are dear friends or otherwise directly or indirectly have had a profoundly positive personal influence on me. And I do have hope for the first time in a long time that, because of Pope Francis, this amazing and highly imperfect institution of the Catholic Church, with its 1.2 billion members, might be made to be less of an instrument of oppression and reaction and more of an instrument of human solidarity, equality, and justice in the service of love for all of “God’s” humans and other creatures. Bottom line, though, is that I am, for now at least, going to leave this post just the way I originally published it, and trust that my brothers and sisters, be they Catholic or otherwise, will forgive me for where I have strayed (or, if you think it fits, sinned). Please do not hesitate to send me a pointed message, email, or comment. I think that our personal dialectics sometimes have to be played out publicly to get the best result, so I am leaving it all hanging out there and feel that I am by doing so testifying the best I can. Peace and justice dammit, Francisco aka Galtisalie
There can be no immaculate conception of socialism …
[Aneurin Bevan, 1945]
or of our posts about socialism.
I had hoped this post would be the fabulous coming out ceremony for a pamphlet I have been working on in my spare time for over a year on the need for a global social compact. I view Pope Francis as being a potential key Gramscian player in this prospect. I was going to highlight how Cuba may present a unique opportunity for the global social compact paradigm. But, as they sometimes do, real world events in my little world have taken precedence over the Holidays, and the pamphlet is not complete. Nonetheless, I feel I can still take an abbreviated stab at the post I mentioned week before last in a comment on MrJayTee’s excellent Cuba post:
a look at the Cuban constitution, Cuba’s survival of the fittest/meanest capitalist island neighbor immediately to its east, and the potential helpful role of Pope Francis
(My patient, kind but busy tovarishch MrJayTee prefers I keep my posts short anyway, so perhaps this is divine providence.)
Before I get into the meat of this post, I need to get some slights, and caveats, out of the way. Let me begin by “apologizing” to socialists who happen to be Catholic for the Immaculate Conception invocation, but it seemed to fit my situation, and, 55 years into both experiments, it seems to fit Cuba’s as well. That cultural reference got Aneurin Bevan, the founder of Britain’s National Health Service, in trouble with this important left subgroup seventy years ago. But what the hell, Bevan, and after him the Castro brothers, did more to help the working class have earth as it is in heaven than any pope or archbishop of Canterbury in my estimation. So, please accept my laurel and hardy handshake and nonpology.
As for caveats, for stinging critique by me of the Catholic Church’s anti-women, anti-GLBT, and in general anti-human policies, and its tendency to produce smarmy moralizing with little or no praxis to produce change, please see here and here, respectively, including ditty about:
the unelected Constantinian conservative RC majority of the SCOTUS, the Republican Party’s politburo, the vanguard in robes of U.S. political corruption and global neoliberalism, his humble flock, who put capital unction into the grotesque shunning of humanity that is institutionalized social repression
In a nutshell, while I have taken the gloves off with Pope Francis’s street cred, I believe in working with him too.
I do need to add one last preliminary sting:
No, Pope Francis, I do not buy that you did all you could to protect your own priests from right wing killers/torturers in Argentina’s Dirty War. I will not battle that history out in this post, but suffice it to say that you could have placed your prestige, and your body, on the line to protect them, but failed to do so.
To see how a real moral leader leads by example, please read Gramsci’s 1925 speech directly to the face of Mussolini and the Italian parliament.
Moving right along … Continue reading