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Indifference Towards Humanity is on the Rise
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Pope Francis has called capitalism the “new tyranny.” According to Salon.com, he is urging global leaders to ardently address the issues of poverty and the increase in equality among the people who have and those who do not have. He has written an eighty-four page document, or apostolic exhortation, as it is called. It is a completely direct attempt to fight institutional inequality. He argues that the poor shouldn’t only be dealt with through charity; the poor should be with us at every moment of our lives. He believes people are indifferent to everything these days and even his predecessors are guilty of the emotional crime.

He writes that he does not understand how the rise of the stock market is more important than an elderly homeless person dying in the streets. It is a simple case of “exclusion,” he says. Quoting Darwin, the pope declares we live in a society that clings on to “survival of the fittest” where “the powerful feed upon the powerless.” As a result “masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.”

  
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Human beings have become consumer goods, used and discarded. “We have created a ‘disposable’ culture which is now spreading . . . those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it.” There is no longer exploitation, only “leftovers.” Economic growth is not going to bring justice and inclusiveness to the world; it will only continue to leave out those unable to make themselves recognized as valuable human beings. The people who are included in our society naively trust those in power with the endless money supply to turn us into a better society, but people in power only want more power.

Francis writes, “To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us.” He continues that people today are only interested in buying new things while the people who can’t become a jaded illusion. If he needed any proof to his writings he could always use the coming Black Friday sales where the goal is to make as much money as possible even at the expense of traditional national holidays. As for the “consumers” or those not excluded from society, Black Friday is stone cold evidence of our desire to buy, buy, buy.

Image Credit: AP/Gregorio Borgia

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