Friday, May 17, 2013

Humane Economists Strike Back

A couple of lights glimmered forth this week in the realm of political economy.

First, Pope Francis lashed consumerism-industrialism, saying things like 'The worship of the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly human goal.'

Next, Dr Ovidiu Hurduzeu tries to help ground distributism in Trinitarian soil, to ground it in reality rather than abstract speculation.  Here are a few of the compelling passages from his essay 'Insights into a Distributist Trinitarian Worldview':

'It is not enough to say that persons mutually constitute each other through concrete relationality. Genuine human relations need to be “eventlike” because Jesus Christ is the Event, “on which all other events  are based, an event which took place in history, and an event which is produced in the life of people, an event which sums up and guarantees all other events, personal or historical, and renders history and life absolutely irreversible”. Only in Jesus Christ and His Church, the self  can  grow into a person, a body-event. We are not only witnesses to the Christ-event; in the Eucharist, we appropriate Him in our body, we are in the Event. For our whole life we are struggling to grow in our experience of the Holy Spirit so that we might shine forth like body-events.

'Any event is localized (rooted in a certain time and place), it originates in a point and unfolds into an event-like situation. An event is neither an accident nor an incident, it is transformative, an augmented reality – it is tension towards perfection. Only localness, all that is in situ, what is concretely localized can grow into an event. Localness should not be the rural desert of today, the sleepy, “interchangeable” little towns where nothing happens. If today the local is a desert, this is partly because Christianity has neglected its Trinitarian tradition; accordingly, everything personalized became gradually homogenized and, since the event of the Incarnation until the event of the Second Coming of Christ, nothing really happened—all history is homogeneous.

'How to live our daily life like an event? How to bring back an event-like existence to the local community?

'It is not enough to re-localize the market, to grow your own vegetables or to “buy local” and attend “local events”. First, we need to transform our lives and cultivate event-like relationships through an ethic of gift and reception. Rather than “local community events,” we need “community as an event,” a “pluripersonal symphony” (D. St─âniloae) following the model of a perichoretic personal unity of the Holy Trinity: “[…] in the Church, the human persons of the faithful are united with the person of Christ all the more in action and will and through a unity which includes them, without the persons being merged into a single person. Each of them moves around the others and within the others, in a perichoresis, in a reciprocal interiority, which preserves the existence of each and yet develops it… in this reciprocal interiority between us and Christ, he is the center of gravity for us, as the same unifying sun, since we all are in him."'

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