Pope Francis writes about global capitalism and how it is destroying our social interactions. “Opening up to the world” is an expression that has been co-opted by the economic and financial sectors; explains Pope Francis. The pandemic is divine providence in the face of Globalization. Global capitalism is now used exclusively for openness to foreign interests or to the freedom of economic powers to invest without obstacles or complications in any and all countries. The pandemic has laid waste to many an international supply chain thus exposing the under belly of greed at the root of most of capitalism. Local conflicts and disregard for the common good are exploited by the global economy in order to impose a single cultural model. Globalization unifies the world, but divides persons and nations. While society becomes ever more globalized, it makes the world a smaller place, but does not make more of us brothers. Globalization most often causes resentment by the have nots of the haves for taking advantage of them, their lands and even their country. We are more alone than ever in this increasingly globalized marketplace. Globalized capitalism promotes individual interests and weakens the communitarian dimension of life according to Pope Francis. Indeed, there are markets where individuals become mere consumers or even bystanders when they are economically unable to buy what they need let alone what they want. A lot of people reject global capitalism because they see the avarice at the heart of capitalism. It is this heart of greed that is the decentralized, bottom-up interactions between buyers and sellers that determine prices and quantities, and is fundamentally immoral; says Pope Francis.
Global capitalism unleashes the worst of our possible motivations, and it gets things done by appealing to greed and self-interest rather than to something nobler like caring for others or acting out of love or genuine concern for the planet earth. Adam Smith says; "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest." Global capitalism encourages grasping exploitation, and materialism. Global capitalism degrades our best selves by encouraging us to compete, to get ahead, to win in business, to have a nicer car and house than our neighbors, and to always look for higher profits and advantages. In the great rat race of the workplace, we all turn into rats. Is it any wonder so many want to kill off capitalism and replace it with something more just, more fair, more humane? But what type of a system would be more just, more fair, and more humane? The advance of global capitalism strengthens the identity of the more powerful, who can protect themselves, but it tends to diminish the identity of the weaker and poorer nations and individuals. Global capitalism makes these same weaker ones more vulnerable and dependent according to Pope Francis. In this way, political life becomes increasingly fragile in the face of transnational economic powers that operate with the principle of “divide and conquer”. Unlike some other religions, however, Catholicism does not stand aloof from "the world." On the contrary, the Catholic social tradition is one in which the faithful are obliged to be active in working for justice, freedom, respect for the dignity of the person, the common good, and peace. In terms of globalization bringing greater solidarity the Church teaches solidarity, not as a set of policies or programs, but as a virtue which relates to the perfection of both the individual by inclining us to overcome sources of division within ourselves from our personal sins and virtues within society that are structural sins. The virtue of solidarity is inseparable from personal reform and requires constant practice. It is that practice on an individual level that rises the society to a greater good in turn. The effects of globalization upon culture thus pose a special challenge to a Church that seeks to spread Christianity through "inculturation." Globalization, coming in the wake of industrialization and urbanization, tends to accelerate the decline of the mediating structures of civil society such as families, parishes, and neighborhoods where the virtues that might serve to humanize globalization are instilled, reinforced, and transmitted from one generation to the next. As the Holy Father strikingly put it in his recent address; “It is part of Christian realism to understand that great social changes are the result of small and courageous daily options. You often ask yourselves: When will our world be configured to the Gospel message? The answer is simple: When you, in the first place, act and think permanently like Christ, at least part of that world will be given to him in you."
"Social Change Hinges on 'Small Daily Options,'" ZENIT, April 9, 2001, No. 1040907.
See Ernest Fortin, "Church Activism in the 1980s," in Human Rights, Virtue, and the Common Good, Vol. 3, 273-74.
"Solicitudo Rei Socialis," No. 37, 38.