*This is an edited version of my latest Counterpunch Magazine column.* We are living in a world gone through the looking glass when the most strident, unequivocal — even scatological! — denunciations of capitalism and its discontents are coming from … the Bishop of Rome. While Bernie Sanders pushes centrist notions as “radical” reforms and Britain’s so-called Labour Party tries to recover from the defeat of Michael Dukakis — sorry, Ed Milliband — by kowtowing even more abjectly to corporate power (and demonizing the only leadership candidate not bending the knee to Big Money), Pope Francis is out there literally likening the capitalist system to shit.
Speaking in Ecuador at the World Meeting of Popular Movements, a gathering of groups representing the poor, the dispossessed and others pushed to the wall — or off the cliff — by the Davos Dominionists who now hold sway over so much of the world, Francis said that behind the neoliberal economic order, “there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea called ‘the dung of the devil.'”
I don’t suppose we’ll be hearing anything like from Hillary at her next Wall Street fundraiser. Francis went on to give a perfect description of the system that our bipartisan transatlantic elites have done so much to impose on the world — by force or, as in Greece, by blackmail. Thus saith Mr Bergoglio: