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The Pope Visits Ireland or the Zombie Catholic Meets the Zombie Capitalist 

Photo Source jojo nicdao | CC BY 2.0

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the key to Christianity. If you don’t get that, then you don’t get Christianity. For the Christian, it’s a pity then that life itself doesn’t get it. Life just doesn’t do resurrection. So the Christian is left hanging by a thread called ‘blind faith’ – the emphasis being on the word ‘blind’.

If Jesus really existed, then he didn’t rise from the dead. He died like every other living thing that lived in the past. Of course, this doesn’t stop people believing in the resurrection of Christ. But that says more about the human condition than it does about Jesus. People just can’t let go of metaphysical hope.

Or maybe it’s all physical politics. Maybe it’s the political condition of the day which can’t let go of the nonexistent ‘resurrection’. Maybe it’s the political powers, rather than the people, who depend on the perpetuation of superstition – especially the Christian sort.

The fact is that the ‘resurrection’ concept means more to the bosses, the politicians and to royalty than to the people. Because it’s always the bastions of reaction who – just when you thought they were all dead and buried – resurface with a more deadly arrogance than ever before – the emphasis being on the word ‘deadly’.

For example, the Vatican and Irish Capitalism. Arguably the greatest failures of the short 21st century – both are now back in our faces with a vengeance. Dead and buried just a few years ago – both are now alive and well. And preaching the gangrenous gospel and gangster capitalism, as if nothing happened.

It’s kind of a negative poetic then that the Pope visited Ireland recently. Seeing two utterly discredited systems embrace each other, was like watching an old zombie B movie. It was an attempt at a double ‘resurrection’. One involving fear rather than hope. Because that being ‘resurrected’ are two of the greatest horror stories ever told: God and the Free Market.

That being resurrected is the dead end called the West. It’s no coincidence that the repackaging of Catholicism and Capitalism are occurring at the same time. In the last few centuries they have been the pillars of the Western Empires that have pillaged the world. However, the last two decades has seen the credentials of both collapse spectacularly.

God and the Free Market were made for each other. God has been covering the back of elite political and economic power ever since God was invented. So it was only natural that God covered the back of the Free Market when it established itself in Modern Times. And since modern Capitalism was born in the city states of Renaissance Italy – it’s only natural that the first philosophical protector of ‘the market’ was Roman Catholicism.

In the class war and race war that has fueled the Free Market for centuries, the Vatican has always been on the side of the imperial capitalists. From the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), in which the Vatican divided up the New World between the Spanish and Portuguese crowns, to the Lateran Treaty (1929) and Reichskonkordat (1933), which brought the Vatican in line with Mussolini and Hitler – the papacy had been at one with the most backward forces in history. And so, it was only logical that the Vatican covertly linked up with Ronald Reagan in 1982.

The lesson? The Vatican was and is an enemy of the people. The sex scandals involving the Roman Catholic Church, that have surfaced in the last two or three decades, are just the tip of a fascist ice berg.

The Papacy has been living off the people’s blindness for centuries. However, it looks like the enlightenment has finally caught up with it. In a silent but undeniable way, human ingenuity has at last shed the need for papal guidance. The sex scandals may be the straw which broke the camel’s back. But underneath the surface – for a century or more now – the technological culture of modern life has been completely shifting the philosophical landscape of “Christian societies”. So much so, that there’s no longer a need for “Christian societies”.

The consequences are profound and positive. The Free Market has just lost its chief philosophical backer. The result is that Capitalism is alone now in an absurd universe. It is fair game. Human ingenuity is free to take it apart, without fearing God and his representative on earth.

The mega-bailout of capitalism, which started in 2008 and which is still ongoing (quantitative easing, etc.), is equivalent to the Roman Catholic sex scandals. It’s a game changer. Both the corrupt finance, and the corrupt sex, expose – for all to see -systems of thought and action which are not only lawless but evil. There’s no going back to the Catholic or Capitalist status quo. In the face of human ingenuity: the bishops and the bankers are now absurdities. They’re Zombies.

And contemporary Ireland is one of the best places to witness this. The only heaven the Irish believe in today is ‘tax haven’. After almost a century of independence, ‘Irish capitalism’ equals nothing more than ‘foreign corporate tax avoidance’. Whatever indigenous capitalism there was, vanished when Ireland’s entire banking system collapsed in 2008. In other words, from 2008 till today, a monumental tax scam, as well as a mountain of public debt, has kept “private enterprise” alive in Ireland.

One can only conclude that this kind of “capitalism” is a parasite living off “socialism”. At one end of the racket the capitalist steals from the public purse (tax dodging). And at the other end, the capitalist gets an endless handout from the public purse (bailouts). And in case this racket isn’t enough, the European Central Bank is pumping trillions of Euros into the European capitalist system – for free (quantitative easing). Really existing capitalism in Ireland, therefore, is socialism in action – albeit an upside down socialism.

If today there’s no need for Christian societies, the same can be said about capitalism. Society has outgrown it. As a result, capitalism now feels like a strangulation. In Dublin, that means the working class must suffer, on the one hand, low or stagnant wages. And on the other, high rents and more debt. This is a dead end social experience. One that complements the dead end religious experience that now saturates Dublin.

And yet, Ireland’s bishops and bankers are celebrating the resurrection of their respective ideologies. God and Greed are being sold again as if nothing has changed. The Pope and the profit pornographers, however, are dead men walking. Death is more real than resurrection. And the Christians and Capitalists will learn this the same way the Communists did. Time has already consumed them.

For sure, the reality of time is being denied by the faithful and the fanatics. Let’s ‘make the Pope great again’ and let’s ‘make capitalism great again’ are their current cries. They, of course, were never great. And their departure from the stage of history is a gift to the 21st century. Nonetheless, their zombie like states will continue to trouble us.

When the Pope came to Ireland, a week or so ago, the Irish turned their backs towards him. If this iconic “catholic” nation can discard its catholic identity just like that. Then it’s not inconceivable that they will next discard their capitalist system. Why not? In a godless universe, the Irish are free. And so is everyone else.

More articles by:

Aidan O’Brien lives in Dublin, Ireland.

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