In this moving video, Democratic presidential candidate and middle-class champion Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) discusses his recent trip to the Vatican and the Holy Father’s ideas of a moral economy, an alternative economic system that rejects the toxic alienation and inequality of neoliberalism, the rejection of the idea that there is a natural hierarchy of winners and losers and instead focuses on using wealth and the products of capitalism as resources to end suffering and improve the lives of people around the world.
“What the Pope is talking about, what I’m talking about, is that we have got to do our best and live our lives in a way that alleviates human suffering, that does not accelerate the disparities of income and wealth, and when he talks about wealth being used to serve people , not as an end in itself, I agree with that. In this country, and obviously the pope is a worldwide figure, the church is worldwide. We are the wealthiest country in the world, and if you go out on the street and ask people did you know we’re the wealthiest country in the world?” They’d say no, I’m working two or three jobs, I’m making $8 an hour, I don’t know that we’re the wealthiest. I can’t afford to take care of my kids.
What Pope Francis is saying is that our lives, our existence, should be about more than just the accumulation of more and more wealth. In America, I see people who are worth billions of dollars pushing for policies that make the rich richer and everyone else poorer. That’s not what human life should be about.”
Senator Sanders and Pope Francis are absolutely right. Human civilization is a beautiful thing, an improbable miracle of achievement – but we can do better. It’s far past time we rejected the primitive Darwinism that divides us into “winners” and “losers,” perpetuating false ideas of superiority and dividing us against each other while the rich plunder the world around us.
Watch it here:
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.