So what makes the Pope a socialist? Let's look at His Holiness's own words (and imagine the response the right-wing blogosphere would give if such words came from a hippie like me [all emphasis mine]):
- His Holiness says the common good must guide our economic decisions. We are to love our neighbors not just in individual charity but also by "the institutional path — we might also call it the political path — of charity, no less excellent and effective than the kind of charity which encounters the neighbour directly, outside the institutional mediation of the pólis."
- Contrary to the very definition of corporations, the Pope says business cannot be guided by profit alone: "Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty." (Seems that's what I've been saying about health insurance.)
- Pope Benedict calls for world government! At least that's what I'd expect Bob and Sibby to say about his call for strengthening the United Nations: "To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority...."
- The Pope says rich nations are hoarding natural resources that should be shared to allow poor countries to develop.
- He declares there is a "covenant between human beings and the environment" (does that sound like pagan-Greenie Gaia-worship to you?)
- He essentially endorses cap-and-trade: "It is likewise incumbent upon the competent authorities to make every effort to ensure that the economic and social costs of using up shared environmental resources are recognized with transparency and fully borne by those who incur them, not by other peoples or future generations..." (in other words, tax those externalities!).
- The Pope makes a clearly hippie call for lifestyles "in which the quest for truth, beauty, goodness and communion with others for the sake of common growth are the factors which determine consumer choices, savings and investments."
- The Pope establishes the intersection of Catholic and Lakota beliefs with this blatant socialist declaration: "[The Church] must defend not only earth, water and air as gifts of creation that belong to everyone."
- He criticizes government restrictions on labor union activity based purely on economic utility. "...[T]he promotion of workers' associations that can defend their rights must therefore be honoured today even more than in the past...." (In other words, look for the union label on the mitre.)