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Gods and Popes

category international | religion | opinion / analysis author Thursday December 08, 2005 11:20author by Jack Grancharoff Report this post to the editors

From the pamphlet “What We Take For Granted”

“What we take for granted” is written by Jack Grancharoff. For orders by donation and more details write to: P.O. BOX 6012, Quaama, NSW 2550, Australia.

A long time ago the Gods of Olympus evaporated from the mountains into eternity, or they have become museums’ relics. Those of the Heavens were dethroned by science but their counterparts on earth are alive and flourishing as rulers and popes. Gods have no interest in the earth but the earth needs them to perpetuate exploitation, misery and the State, the latter as the story of hierarchies.

For anarchists the State is an enemy of freedom as well as a hindrance to human emancipation. Its function is to create, support and defend privileges. Therefore it is not an impartial arbiter in social struggles but an active participant in keeping people in subordination. It is not and cannot be an instrument of revolutionary change, as some leftists try to convince us, because it is a cause and effect of class differentiation. Realising that the emancipation of the workers and humanity cannot be an act of an oppressive institution, the anarchists vehemently opposed the State as an institution. Their warnings of the State’s pernicious consequences were ignored. Today it is coming back with a vengeance. The State is omnipotent. Armed to the teeth with the most powerful weapon of terrorism, the WMD, it is a threat not only to any revolution, emancipation and freedom but to all humanity: politically, socially and physically.

With the advent of feminism the patriarchy was singled out for attack as an institution of the oppression of women. Instead of directly attacking the patriarchy and becoming a rallying point to all forces which opposed it, feminists looked to the State for help.. Like the socialists before them, they underestimated the role of the State, and the role of the hierarchy itself.

It is a historical parody that the State is considered to be an independent, neutral institution above social tensions, struggles and upheavals. All struggles, upheavals, rebellions and revolutions have taken place within the State but rarely against the State, within hierarchies but never against the hierarchy. If there is a deviation from this pattern and the struggle centres between power and anarchy, between order and chaos, the forces of order will descend upon it and pitilessly crush it. This task is facilitated by the fact that many revolutionaries accept the order embodied in the State and, therefore, their main aim is to capture power rather than destroy it. Socialism and feminism are two glaring examples. Socialists preserve the State in order to crush capitalism, instead they crush socialism. Feminists joined the government to strengthen their muscle in the fight against the patriarchy and instead they participated in its repressive policy. In both cases neither socialism nor women’s liberation ever eventuated. What eventuated was their radical incorporation into the established order.

Since slavery and exploitation are the basic sources of wealth, it is no wonder that masters, rulers and hierarchs are extremely anxious to preserve, to glorify and mystify it.

It was the first Patriarch-God who to assert his power over the universe suppressed chaos and in its place put order and hierarchy. But chaos - spontaneity and creativity - taunted his dreams and security. To prevent any eventual rebellion of the repressed forces, he created an army of archangels, seraphim and angels. Nevertheless, in fear that chaos could strike at him sometime in the future, he invested power in churches, kings and states to guarantee the security of his universal order. It is chaos - not some disorder, some quibble over power - that is anathema to his power.

Chaos challenges authority, churches, and the State since their functions are to coerce, to oppress, dominate and to eliminate any sign of spontaneity. They are sources of fear and terror, real and psychological, in order to prevent any spontaneous outburst; to curb deviationism and prevent the masses .from organizing their own destinies and choosing their own life in contrast to one imposed on them. They are the locusts devouring the flesh of their brothers and sisters and draining the blood of the slaves within the historical paradox that they are «servants». Some are Servants of God, preparing \’ne peop’ie ior Ylie here-arter while robbing them of life here and now. Others are «servants of the people» whom they oppress, conscript and send to the abattoir. It is a paradox that «the Servants» swim in opulence while «the Masters» are dying of starvation. Who are the servants is obvious. Nonetheless, most people are docile and faithfully follow these demagogues.

This was the case of millions who went on their knees to pay respect to the Pharaoh’s corpse, the Pope, which was a display of idolatry bungled together with images of a Pope close to the heart of the people, friend of the workers and the poor. Yet the reality was quite different.

He intended to centralize the power of the Church in the hands of The Curia, or in the hands of the General Secretary, Ratzinger. To the down trodden he had offered plenty of homilies urging them to be humble, patient and obedient. To the rulers he bestowed honours and reminded the rich of the Christian virtue of charity. To General Pinochet on the occasion of his golden anniversary of marriage he sent him his blessing: «To General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte and his distinguished wife Mrs Lucia Hiriarde Pinochet on the occasion of their golden wedding and as a token of abundant divine grace I, with great pleasure, bestow to them and their grand children a special apostolic benediction» -John Paul .n. To the General he granted absolution for the crime of massacring innocent people. But the Pope of humility refused to humble himself and meet the mothers of the desaparecidos, as if they were made of different flesh. Thus the butchers are virtuous when they belong to the ruling class, while their victims are evil because they ask for bread, butter and better conditions. Thus the Church is on the side of rulers since Church and State are the pivotal point of social control.

In fact it is within this frame of references that one can understand the intricacy of the king of the kings, the Pope. The Vatican staged the greatest Hollywood-style funeral play to emphasize its intention as a universal power broker in the new imperial order. It was attended by all secular and religious rulers of the world, united in a bid to share the loot and at the same time warn the populace of their place in society, respect for authority and the virtue of obedience.

Capitalism needs religious images to withstand the revolutionary waves of the people and uses them as rituals in support of the status quo. For the anarchists organized religion is a spiritual web and, like the State, it is a hindrance to the emancipation of humanity. Therefore State and Church have to disappear from society to open the road to freedom and liberation. The socialists, who upheld the necessity of the State as a revolutionary praxis, instead of serving the proletariat served the reaction. The feminists, seduced by masculinity, instead of fighting the patriarchy and emancipating women joined the government and participated in its macabre march of oppression. Both ended as auxiliary components of the State and strengthened the march of the New Global imperialism guided by Bush and his archangels of permanent war and enduring slavery.

In the «transparent» democracies and «un-transparent» tyrannies where news is mediated by the servile press, infantilism is becoming main stream behaviour and a factor in social relationships. Minimising the function of critical analysis, inducing a mass psychology of sycophancy and mass hysteria, rationality and life are forced into a cul de sac. Projecting idolatry of political and religious leaders, cults of Fuhrers and presidents is a frightening post modem manifestation of fascism. It is worthwhile to analyse the death of the Pope.

The dead souls of the living accompanying the coffin of a soulless body to an eternity of nothingness, celebrated the life in death. Why don’t those who preach and honestly believe in life after death, grab the first opportunity to immigrate to the valley of shadows? Why do they promise eternal bliss and heaven to the poor, exploited, humble and obedient and yet refuse to depart this valley of misery! If the believers are really authentic and are longing for the eternal blissfulness of their souls why do they not leave the wealth to those who produce it, to labourers and the poor? Why rob the people of their daily bread and life? Why build monuments of glory to compensate for their infamous souls empty of content and full of bones? Why glorify life after death, while gobbling the life of millions on this earth? In God we trust, but lock the extortion of surplus value in the banks. We are civilized but build concentration camps to incarcerate people who are searching for freedom and a better life. We prevent the circulation of people but allow the circulation of capital. We bomb to civilize. Occupy to democratize. And we are civilized!?

The spectacle is the game of the ruling classes to compensate for the poverty and servility of their subjects; to feed their hearts with forlorn hopes and their brains with phantoms. So the Pharaoh, spiritual or secular, is a mortal above other mortals. A dead Pope radiates more omnipotence because he is transformed into an ethereal being. To him are attributed virtues that mortals lack. Virtues concocted in the labyrinth of his advisers.

Thus Hitlers, Stalins, Pol Pots and Bushes are ideological puppets manufactured by the dominant political and economical interests. The media produce the images to suit the psychology of the crowd which, to a great extent, is produced and manipulated by the media and the government propaganda machinery. Some times the images of the puppets are humane or tough, ruthless or charitable. Other times they are pompous, big, direct and erect to appease women’s longing or satisfy macho cravings. They are often described as sympathetic to the oppressed, to the downtrodden because they offer them generous wellbeing at the end of history or here-after. Or they are represented as strong who with their military strength can guarantee the security of the people and, if necessary, sacrifice them for socialism, for socialist or capitalist heaven, for democracy or enduring freedom. Other times they evoke the spectrum of terrorism to instil fear, uncertainty and the paranoia of otherness and thus enable the government to unleash its oppressive machinery.

The media is well aware of the function of spiritual and political religions as opium to control the masses and make them pliable in the hands of rulers. Dependency on drugs encourages submissiveness to authority. After all religious and political leaders are servants of the highest authorities, god, the State or «the sovereignty of the people».

The latter is the greatest myth perpetrated by democratic demagogy to sedate the revolutionary urges of the masses and preserve religious and political hierarchies and patriarchy. It is in this context that the stage spectacle of the funeral of Pope John Paul n has to be evaluated.

The Vatican needed the spectacle to imprint its superiority in relation to other denominations and religions and, as well, to assert itself as the only way of salvation. At the same time it tried to emphasize its role in the New Liberal Order and to ensure that Catholicism is really catholic in the universe of global capitalism. This scheme was carefully elaborated by Opus Dei waiting its propitious moment. It came with Vojtyla being elected as Pope John Paul n. This was the time to change the more liberal policy established by the Second Vatican Council and, at the same time, to put ecumenical issues in proper perspective. For that they had to go back to the First Vatican Council of 1868-70 in order to find a base to attack liberalism and, at the same time, establish a premise to justify the centralization of power in the hands of the Vatican’s Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. According to the new Curia, the time was ripe for the Church to begin forcing the army of priests, archbishops and cardinals to literally adhere to the dogma of the Church. Those who think that ‘obedience is not virtue’ are undermining the authority of the Church. The function of the priest is to spread the gospel not to change the conditions of the poor. Independence as well as liberation of the people is not an issue. The issue is to appeal to the hearts of the rich and remind them of Christian charity.

Vojtyla as Pope John Paul n put into practice the Opus Dei teaching. Any fight for some distribution of the wealth is a foul attempt of the left to destabilize social relationships and thus deny the Church the opportunity to recruit souls for its earthly missions. That is why the repressive actions carried out in Latin America, courtesy of the CIA and right wing generals, were lauded by the church hierarchy and the USA as saving the world from godless communism. For the CIA and the Church anyone who is critical of capitalism and its social abuses is either a communist or an atheist or a terrorist or a criminal. The invention of the global village, as a step towards the establishment of the American capitalist geo political imperialism, opened the door for the Church to assert its catholic role in the village. The Global Village is a class society. In it some people in the third world are commodities and statistics while in the first world they are human. The poor or oppressed in the third world are fodder for capitalist and military machines and a recruiting ground for religion and religious fanaticism.

A year after the coronation of Vojtyla as Pope John Paul n the well known theologian Hans Kung, who as an expert on theological issues participated in the Second Vatican Council, was dismissed. His heretical view was to challenge the central role of the Bishop of Rome in a democracy. But the new pope had no time for democracy. The clergy are to obey the will of the Vicar of Christ on the earth. Discussion within the Church ceased. Authority qua authority was not questioned. The ecumenicalism of Kung was transformed into one-way ecumenicity to serve the interests of the Opus Dei central committee.

Kung was correct to state that concentration of power in the hands of the Roman Curia strengthened the theocratical power of the Church and its capacity to interfere in society. The Pope and Ratzinger took over and the Church was transformed into a fortress of conservatism.

There were many dissensions within the Church. Some like theologian Bernard Haering, disagreed with the Church on the issue of abortion. This prompted German, Dutch, Austrian and Swiss theologians to publish the Cologne Declaration accusing the Pope of misuse of power by interfering in issues unrelated to his office. As a counter attack the Vatican asserted its authority by appointing, in Catholic Faculties, theologians sympathetic to the views of the Pope and his General Secretary, Ratzinger. Some French clergy went as far as to claim that, with the election of Vojtyla, freedom in the Church was killed. To silence the voice of liberalism and freedom the master mind behind Vojtyla, Cardinal Ratzinger, issued the document Donum Veritatis where the spiritual duties of theologians were put in perspective: never to contradict the teaching of the Church and the Holy Office. This was the first step to silence any dissent within the Church and was also an indication of the ascendancy of the power of Opus Dei.

Throwing millions of dollars to promote the dead Pope as a paradigm of virtue, justice and humility is a political stunt of the Vatican ministry of propaganda, if not a manifestation of pagan pageantry. The monarch of the invisible monarchy that permeates Western societies is not in favour of justice to alleviate the burden of the poor or of humility to throw the merchants out of the Temple of God, but justice for the traders and corporate sector. The class struggle was anathema for him because it was a tool of the workers movement for emancipation and improvement of their own conditions. As a Pope he was made infallible by the first Vatican Council and as such he intended to play a leading role in the New Liberal Order and, naturally, on the side of infallible Capitalism. It is in this light that one must see the close collaboration between the Vatican and the USA policy to suppress peoples’ rebellion for bread, butter, freedom and a dignified life. After all there are two classes: the dominant and subservient or the rulers and the ruled. The classes are ordained by God, the universal monarch, and accepted and upheld by his vicar on earth. As far as the Church and the State are concerned people are children to be socialized, indoctrinated and militarised. The Church and the State are instruments of domination and all the means they use are declared legitimate and permissible. They turn lies into truth, like water into wine. They use violence and terrorism, the gun, the stick and the carrot while the donkey, the people, continues to carry the burden of existence like it had carried Christ to Jerusalem. Therefore, emancipation, liberation and justice will only be realized if humanity throws into the garbage bin of history all Popes, Gods and Masters.

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