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The Guardian: "The cold war, Catholicism and modern capitalism"

"The financial crisis and its aftermath have revealed the dark side of the post-cold war model, but Catholic social teaching proposes correcting the way market forces work so that they serve the public interest"

Link to web site

"...There is something a bit odd about the pope leading the charge against fundamentalism of any sort. But the insistence by the Vatican that markets must be underpinned by morality is not a new one.

"What has changed is the scope of the market economy. Modern capitalism can be dated back to the Reformation of the early 16th century, and for five centuries it was organised within the confines of increasingly powerful nation states. Politicians did not need priests to tell them how to put constraints on capitalism; they were capable of doing so themselves.

"The rules of the game have changed since markets went global at the end of the cold war. What the world needed more was a vigorous opposition to neoliberalism and the misguided notion of the end of history. What it got was the collapse not just of communism but also of social democracy, which is why there has been so little fundamental change since the global financial crisis. An ideological vacuum was created when the Berlin Wall came down and it is slowly being filled. But it is being filled by nationalism, environmentalism and religion."

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