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'Sowers of Change': The Pope Arrives At a Critical MomentGrassroots Democracy Building in Iowa


'Sowers of Change': The Pope Arrives At a Critical MomentGrassroots Democracy Building in Iowa

Richard Eskow

Pope Francis’ first visit to the United States began with his arrival in Washington D.C. on Tuesday afternoon. From the nation’s capital he goes to its economic capital, New York City, before concluding his trip with a visit to the nation’s birthplace in Philadelphia.

That itinerary seems to suit the Pope’s message: that political institutions must respond to the needs of the people, that the economy is a tool for human betterment rather than an end in itself, and that it is just as possible to remake society today as it was when this country was founded.


"WASHINGTON (AP) — The pope of the poor arrived for his first-ever visit to the world's wealthiest superpower Tuesday denying he is a leftist and riding in a frugal little family car, windows rolled down."

"He said some may have misinterpreted his writings in a way that makes him sound "a little bit more left-leaning," but he said that's wrong."


If the pope is not a leftist, or left-leaning, then neither was Karl Marx.

His statements above, no doubt made to ingratiate himself with the US PTB, do him no credit. Anyone who is as critical of capitalism as he is, is at least left-leaning.


Having repeatedly traveled throughout Bolivia for weeks at a time over the past several years I can attest that things are significantly improving for the indigenous poor under Evo Morales' watch. The villages in which I assist with development projects are very democratic in nature. I'm sure if it's mentioned in the M$M it's with a mocking tone, but Bolivia is on a good trajectory thanks largely to the holistic approach of Evo.


The indigenous peoples in the americas are still subjected to a deadly 'sea anchor', one that most notably fails to make contact with with the 'sea bed' of Mother Earth, serving a ship of state built by land usurpation by conquest. This in turn built on exclusionary ideologies of the Doctrine of Discovery, which still informs land rights.
The term "reservation" is repeatedly revealed to be part of the 'look to the future' trope, an admonition to not inform or recognize the actual historical elements. That is in practice, serving as in the case of Keystone XL, indigenous lands to be held 'in reserve' until corporations want something of the land. It is a velvet gloved fist of inverted totalitarianism, dehumanization, slow motion genocide and ultimately a decimation of the very spiritual core of all of us who do not recognize, speak out and resist the rot at its conceptual core. One need only look at the convenience with which the notion of human foible is applied to power while the same is condemned in any not of dominant power and the results being compounded all around us.

The argument 'for the common good' has become a nefarious veil in the case of the corporate greed model of 'development'. This model demands both corporate and individual impunity for 'foibles' in financially powerful entities that in their exclusionary and wasteful practices poison, pollute, criminalize, destroy and set in motion exponentially aggregate consequences. So deplorable and dysfunctional are current model elements that we now face domination by negation. It is a virtually institutionalized death wish. That is, an institutional internalization of so predominant a mass of non-life premises that the view in aggregate can be seen as prophetic. Missing from this is healthy life cycle stewardship for sustainability.

Emblematic of this is fractional reserve banking and its runaway speculation (include EU austerity models) where creating debt (non-existence) drives a demonic decimation by a mad dash for hyper-growth in CAFO, fracking, armaments, secrecy and breaking from actual living dynamics, hell bent (an appropriate turn of phrase) to stave off its inevitable implosion, just to name a few examples - non-life writ large.


I'll bet that all the rightwing nuts who converted to Catholicism because they thought it was all about beating up on women and gay people are sorry now. That list includes Brownback, Gingrich and Clarence Thomas. And their pals who were already Catholics like Santorum, Scalia and Alito must be thinking of converting to that crazy church Sarah Palin belongs to.

However, before lefties flock to join the R.C. Church, they need to remember that it is an autocratic institution and the fact that pope is pretty decent doesn't mean that the next one won't be another reactionary.


What an amazing, eloquent, and enlightened Pope!

These 2 lines bear repeating:

“A true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

“Working for a just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labor is not mere philanthropy,” Francis has said. “It is a moral obligation.”

The following inclusive statement defines the WE in far broader terms that the usual generic, one size fits all. It shows how different elements CAN work together. That's very different from the homogenization of all sectors and varying perspectives into a singular uniform "we" camp:

"Pope Francis has called for “change enriched by the collaboration of governments, popular movements and other social forces,” a “true, worldwide ethical mobilization which … will spread and put into practice a shared ideal of fraternity and solidarity, especially with regard to the poorest and most excluded.”


Suppose there is a context that is higher than left and right since those become, by their nature, oppositional frames? The context is that of JUSTICE--for the poor of the world, the laborers, and the greatest laborer of all: Mother Nature (a/k/a Gaia, Pacha Mamam, and Earth Mother). This Pope speaks in an all-inclusive language of Justice... and while I certainly am not a fan of the Catholic Church's history; I have to say that this Pope is a very High Soul and one who can do enormous good at a time when Goddess knows... that very thing is profoundly needed.


All those trips to Bolivia and not a word from the forum's "Ecology watchers" who love to chasten anyone who is flying places or driving too much. So what entity, pray tell, picks up the tab for all these trips? A church group? Jack Perkin's style affiliate? Or a private (or other) branch of the MIC?


I've been a reader for many years. I may have had an account but I lost it, years ago.

I think that most of the stuff happening now is "in the cards", in a way. As a believer in Astrology and other metaphysical and often non-Abrahamic thoughts, I feel that we are slowly moving out of the Age of Pisces and into the Age of Aquarius. Pisces tends to rule institutions and also the power-plays that occur in them. It talks about limitations and things that limit us. So, to me, this era of limiting corporate / institutional type entities is starting to crumble. The Pope, The Bern, etc. all show that the era of the Galilean is starting to pass. Most astrologers do not believe the change happens all at once, but takes place over years, decades even. So there is an overlap, and the proponents who best epitomize the essence of an era are often quite disturbed to see these changes (Republicans, other Conservative types), but the analogy is often seen as a fish out of water, flopping around in its death throes. I am not saying this to mock or disparage true Christians. Your religion doesn't go away because we reached some 'date'. But peoples' hearts and minds will change or if they have already, will more embrace the nature of what is to come. "Imagine" as someone once said.


An NGO (Engineers without Borders) that college students populate and solicit funds from a wide variety of charitable causes. These young people rock. They are starting their service careers early and strong. There is no religion behind the group. They plan all year long and travel during their summer break. I estimate that the students who travel spend approximately one-and-a-half to two months of their year on the effort. They are unsung heroes and it's a privilege to work with them.


I'm not sure that he's a leftist, but I'm pretty sure he is a liberal.



You've captured literally and penetratingly what's so special about Pope Francis ... a vibrant, open spirit who resonates an innate goodness and conversational engagement that breaks barriers and brings people together to do good things.