Hilary White

‘Psychopathic’ global corporatism pushing the Culture of Death: interview with Christopher Ferrara

Hilary White
Hilary White
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GARDONE RIVIERA, Italy July 15, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Global corporatism has created the concept of contraception and abortion and the brutal limiting of family size as a “civic virtue” in order to reduce large sections of the human population to units of production, as workers and consumers, an American Catholic lawyer told LifeSiteNews.com last week. This has the result, he said, of separating work from the home and family members from each other and creates an economic requirement for smaller families.

The pro-life movement mainly focuses their efforts on the actions of courts and governments, but Christopher Ferrara, author and head of the American Catholic Lawyer’s Association, spoke last week of the enormous influence of corporations, whose priority has become the ever-increasing commodification and control of individuals and the family in service to the bottom line.

These immensely powerful transnational entities, he said, are major pushers of the “contraceptive culture” and indeed the whole Culture of Death that has “in a psychopathic manner, destroyed a large part of our civilization.”

Many corporations, or the charitable foundations built with the wealth derived from such corporations, such as the Ford, Gates, and Hewlett Packard Foundations, routinely donate billions of dollars to pro-contraception and pro-abortion initiatives and organizations. In the United States alone, hundreds of the leading corporations donate large sums to Planned Parenthood, the country's leading abortion provider. 

These corporations are more successful pushing the Culture of Death, said Ferrara, "through the consumer mentality, through the marketplace, than government, which is something that people don’t really understand.” 

Ferrara warned the pro-life movement that while they have correctly identified the anti-life ideologies driving certain streams in government, there has perhaps not yet been a serious critique of the influence of global corporatism in the push to control human population. Corporations, like Communist governments, have a direct interest “in controlling the family, limiting its size because the size of the family imposes obligations that would compete with and interfere with work,” he said. 

“And so, effectively contraception has become a civic virtue. People are frowned upon if they do not limit family size because this would limit the freedom of the family to go out in the marketplace and participate in economic transactions, especially the freedom of the woman, who has to liberate herself from the shackles of childbirth.

“It’s considered unseemly to have a large family today, because, unlike through the centuries of Christendom, today the woman’s role is in the marketplace, to have a job, to work in an office, to go to her duly appointed cubicle and insert herself into the corporate matrix. Then she can go home for a brief period of quality time, cook a meal, go to bed, get up and do it all over again the next day." 

Ferrara was a featured speaker at the annual Roman Forum conference in Gardone Riviera in northern Italy, where he sat down with LifeSiteNews.com to explain how the life issues have been affected by the growth of corporations with “state-like powers.” Such entities, he said, are not restricted by the legislation of individual countries, and indeed are often in a position to dictate legislative policy to governments. 

Corporations enjoy what Ferarra calls “infinite scalability;” in other words, “they can replicate their activities all over the world on a gigantic scale.” And as with any “person” with nearly limitless power, the corporate “personality” has become corrupt. He quoted the writing of University of British Columbia legal philosopher, Joel Bakan, who described the transnational corporate personality “in the terms of a psychopath.” 

Bakan “consulted a leading expert on psychopathy who went over the checklist for human psychopaths, and agreed with him that the corporate personality exhibits the traits of a psychopath. Namely, [it is] singularly self-interested, lacking in empathy, irresponsible, manipulative, grandiose, unable to feel remorse, unable to accept responsibility for its actions, superficial in its relations with others and afflicted by a tendency to asocial behaviour.” 

(Read the complete interview with Ferrara here)

The key to controlling both their workforce and their customers, to effectively reducing whole populations to units of production, has been the separation of families from the “locus of production” and from each other. The trend of removing the breadwinners from the family home, of separating family members for large portions of the day, started with the removal of the main part of the population from their work on the land and in skilled trades in small communities at the start of the Industrial Revolution. 

This system has a built-in interest in eradicating the differences between men and women, he said. “Radical libertarian thought,” the driving philosophy of global corporatism, “reduces labour to a production factor, and it doesn’t matter whether that production factor happens to have male or female characteristics.” 

Ferrara gave a list of recommendations on how individuals can extricate themselves from corporate entanglements. He called it “a blueprint for practical distributism,” and emphasized that it is possible to radically reduce one’s dependence on the global corporate system simply by making different choices: 

- Refuse to patronise the big box stores. Find another place to purchase your goods. Shop at flea markets, swap meets and garage sales. Teach yourself to think of consumer items for their practical, functional value, rather than the prestige of the label. 

- If you can, create your own job. Telecommuting is making it possible to at least create the functional equivalent of one’s own job. Even if you’re an outsource for a corporation, you’re at least working from home. Or join with others to create cooperative or worker-owned businesses. 

- Try to turn your part-time employment for wages, into a consultancy. This will create some independence from the company you’re working with. 

- Keep your day job, but start developing multiple income streams with little things you can do. So when it comes time to leave that job, you’ll have enough income streams to keep you alive. 

- Bank with a credit union, not a ‘big-box bank’. 

- Don’t partake of corporation debt. Tear up your credit cards. If you don’t have one, don’t get one. You do not need them. I repeat, you do not need them. If you can’t afford something, do not buy it. 

- Patronize, any way you can, any locally owned business. Whether it’s a hardware store, a microenterprise of some kind, a cooperative, a worker-owned business. 

- Grow some of your own food, if you can’t grow all of it. Or else get together with neighbours and create a little neighbourhood garden, and all of you grow some of your food together. 

- Homeschool your children. 

- Start, in any way you can, moving towards alternative, non-centrally generated power. Look into solar panels or other innovative domestic power sources. 

- Get rid of your TV. Throw it out the window. Avoid commodotised entertainment. Make your own entertainment. Have your children learn to play musical instruments. Tell stories. Read books. Have plays in your home. 

- Learn to cook real, whole, fresh foods and wean yourself and your children away from processed, packaged or fast foods that contribute to obesity and other diseases. Make your own bread. 

- Breastfeed your children. “Breastfeeding in and of itself can bring down the corporate enterprise. Because if a woman has to breastfeed her child, either she can’t go to work, or the corporation will be forced to change to allow for breastfeeding mothers. And maybe from that will follow some flextime employment which is at least a chink in the corporate armour.” 

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“And here is possibly the most important way to detach yourself from the transnational, mega-corporate matrix: bring forth life abundantly, trusting in God.  Large families have a dynamic that takes them out of this whole mad operation,” he said. 

“The biggest suggestion of all: practise the theological virtues, faith, hope and charity; the cardinal virtues, prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance. And self-discipline, respect, cooperation, responsibility, honesty, motivation, friendship, courage, non-violence … live a good life and you will eventually acquire the practice of virtue, and God will reward you for it.   

“It all basically involves living a decent, Christian life, centred around having many children and looking for a way to support the family in the home.” 

Read the full transcript of the interview here

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Vatican’s doctrine chief: ‘Absolutely anti-Catholic’ to let bishops conferences decide doctrine or discipline

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By John-Henry Westen

VATICAN, March 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has rejected outright the idea floated by Germany’s Cardinal Reinhard Marx that various bishops’ conferences around the world would decide for themselves on points of discipline or doctrine. 

“This is an absolutely anti-Catholic idea that does not respect the catholicity of the Church,” Cardinal Müller told France’s Famille Chrétienne in an interview published today

The question was raised because Cardinal Marx, the head of the German Catholic bishops’ conference and a member of Pope Francis’ advisory Council of Nine, told reporters that the German bishops would chart their own course on the question of allowing Communion for those in “irregular” sexual unions.

“We are not a subsidiary of Rome,” he said in February. “The Synod cannot prescribe in detail what we should do in Germany.”

Vatican Cardinal Müller remarked that while episcopal conferences may have authority over certain issues they are not a parallel magisterium apart from the pope or outside communion with the bishops united to him.

Asked specifically about Cardinal Marx saying that the Church in Germany is “not a subsidiary of Rome,” the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said pointedly “the president of an Episcopal Conference is nothing more than a technical moderator, and as such has no special teaching authority.”  He added moreover, that the dioceses in a particular country “are not subsidiaries of the secretariat of an Episcopal conference or diocese whose Bishop presides over the Episcopal Conference.”

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The CDF head warned that “this attitude makes the risk of waking some polarization between the local churches and the universal Church.” He did not however believe that there was the will for Episcopal conferences to separate from Rome.

The important interview also saw Cardinal Müller contest the notion that the pastoral practice or discipline could change while retaining the same doctrine. “We can not affirm the doctrine and initiate a practice that is contrary to the doctrine,” he said.

He added that not even the papal Magisterium is free to change doctrine. “Every word of God is entrusted to the Church, but it is not superior to the Word,” he said. “The Magisterium is not superior to the word of God. The reverse is true.”

Cardinal Müller rejected the notion that we would have to modify Christ’s unflinching words totally forbidding divorce and remarriage.  We cannot “say that our ministry should be more cautious than Jesus Christ Himself!”  Nor could we, he added, say that Christ’s teaching is out of date or that “we need to correct or refine Jesus Christ because He lived in an idealistic world.” 

Rather, the cardinal said, bishops must be ready for martyrdom.  Quoting Jesus he said, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and if we speak all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

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‘Groundbreaking’: Kansas may become first state to ban dismemberment abortions

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By Ben Johnson

TOPEKA, KS, March 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Kansas will become the first state in the country to ban a procedure in which unborn children are dismembered in the womb, if Gov. Sam Brownback signs a bill that recently passed the state legislature.

The state House passed a ban on dilation and evacuation (D&E) abortions, called dismemberment abortions in common parlance, by 98-26 on Wednesday.

The Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, which had already passed the state Senate in February 31-9, now heads to Gov. Brownback's desk.

Brownback, a staunch defender of life, is expected to sign the act into law.

"Because of the Kansas legislature's strong pro-life convictions, unborn children in the state will be protected from brutal dismemberment abortions," said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, which has made banning dismemberment abortions a national legislative focus.

The procedure, in which an abortionist separates the unborn child's limbs from his body one at a time, accounts for 600 abortions statewide every year.

Nationally, it is “the most prevalent method of second-trimester pregnancy termination in the USA, accounting for 96 percent of all second trimester abortions,” according to the National Abortion Federation Abortion Training Textbook.

“It’s just unconscionable that something happens to children that we wouldn’t tolerate being done to pets,” Katie Ostrowski, the legislative director of Kansans for Life, told The Wichita Eagle.

Leading pro-life advocacy groups have made shifting the debate to dismemberment a national priority, with similar legislation being considered in Missouri and Oklahoma. Mary Spaulding Balch, J.D., who is NRLC's director of state legislation, called the bill's passage in Topeka “groundbreaking.”

"When the national debate focuses only on the mother, it is forgetting someone," she said.

The abortion lobby has made clear that it is uncomfortable engaging in a public relations tussle on this ground.

Elizabeth Nash, the senior state issues associate of the Guttmacher Institute, said that dismemberment is “not medical language, so it’s a little bit difficult to figure out what the language would do.”

On the state Senate floor, Democrats tried to alter the bill's language on the floor by replacing the term “unborn child” with fetus. “I know some of you don’t believe in science. But it’s not an unborn child, it’s called a fetus,” said state Senator David Haley, D-Kansas City.

If the bill becomes law, the abortion industry has vowed to fight on.

Julie Burkhart, a former associate of late-term abortionist George Tiller, said the motion's only intention is “to intimidate, threaten and criminalize doctors.”

“Policymakers should be ashamed,” she said, adding, “if passed, we will challenge it in court.”

Gov. Brownback has previously signed conscience rights protections and sweeping pro-life protections into law.

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How NOT to move beyond the abortion wars

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By Anne Hendershott

March 26, 2015 (CrisisMagazine.com) -- A few years ago, when an undergraduate student research assistant of mine—a recent convert to Catholicism—told me that he was planning to meet with a well-known dissenting Catholic theology professor who was then ensconced in an endowed chair at a major metropolitan Catholic university, I told him: “Be careful, you might end up liking him too much.” I jokingly told my student not to make eye contact with the theologian because he might begin to find himself agreeing with him that Catholic teachings “really allow” for women’s ordination and full reproductive rights—including access to abortion.

I was reminded of that conversation this week when I began reading a new book by yet another engaging Catholic theology professor at a major metropolitan university who also claims (pg 6) that the argument he puts forward in his book, Beyond the Abortion Wars, is “consistent with defined Catholic doctrine.” Written by Charles Camosy, associate professor of theology at Fordham University, the new book purports to be in line with Catholic teachings and promises “a way forward for a new generation.” But, Camosy delivers yet another argument for a woman’s right to choose abortion when confronted with an unborn child that he has described—in the past—as an “innocent aggressor.”

Indeed, Camosy has spent much of his career trying to convince us that he knows Catholic teachings better than the bishops. Criticizing Bishop Olmsted for his intervention and excommunication of a hospital administrator for her role in the direct abortion at a Phoenix Catholic hospital, Camosy suggested in 2013 that “the infamous Phoenix abortion case set us back in this regard.” Implying that Bishop Olmsted was not smart enough to understand the moral theology involved in the case, Camosy claimed that “The moral theology in the case was complex—which makes the decision to declare publicly that Sr. McBride had excommunicated herself even more inexplicable. The Church can do better.” For Camosy, “Catholics must be ready to help shape our new discussion on abortion. And we must do so in a way that draws people into the conversation—not only with respectful listening, but speaking in a way that is both coherent and sensitive.”

This new book is likely Camosy’s attempt to “draw people into the conversation.” But, there is little in his book that is either coherent or sensitive. Claiming to want to move “beyond” the abortion wars, Camosy creates an argument that seems designed to offend the pro-life side, while giving great respect to those who want to make sure abortion remains legal.

Especially offensive for pro-life readers will be Camosy’s description of the abortifacient, RU-486 as a form of “indirect abortion.” The reality is that RU-486, commonly known as the “abortion pill,” effectively ends an early pregnancy (up to 8 weeks) by turning off the pregnancy hormone (progesterone). Progesterone is necessary to maintain the pregnancy and when it is made inoperative, the fetus is aborted. For Camosy, who claims that his book is “consistent with settled Catholic doctrine,” this is not a “direct” abortion. To illustrate this, Camosy enlists philosopher Judith Jarvis Thompson’s 1971 “Defense of Abortion”—the hypothetical story of the young woman who is kidnapped and wakes up in a hospital bed to find that her healthy circulatory system has been hooked up to a famous unconscious violinist who has a fatal kidney ailment. The woman’s body is being used to keep the violinist alive until a “cure” for the violinist can be found. Camosy makes the case—as hundreds of thousands of pro-choice proponents have made in the past four decades—that one cannot be guilty of directly killing the violinist if one simply disconnects oneself from him. Likewise, for Camosy, simply taking the drug RU 486 is not “directly” killing the fetus. He writes:

The drugs present in RU 486 do not by their very nature appear to attack the fetus. Instead, the drug cuts off the pregnancy hormone and the fetus is detached from the woman’s body…. Using RU 486 is like removing yourself from [Judith Jarvis Thompson’s] violinist once you are attached. You don’t aim at his death, but instead remove yourself because you don’t think you have the duty to support his life with your body…. Some abortions are indirect and better understood as refusals to aid (pp 82-83).

Perhaps there are some readers who will find Camosy’s argument convincing, but I am not sure that many faithful Catholic readers will agree that it is consistent with settled Catholic doctrine.

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As one who is hardly a bystander in the abortion wars, I wanted to like this book. As an incrementalist who celebrates every small step in creating policy to protect the unborn, I had high hopes that this book would at last begin to bridge the divide. A decade ago, in my own book, The Politics of Abortion, I joined the argument begun by writers like Marvin Olasky in his Abortion Rites: A Social History of Abortion in America, that it is more effective to attempt to change the hearts and minds of people than to create divisive public policy at the federal level. I share Charles Camosy’s desire to end the abortion wars—but this war cannot end until the real war on the unborn ends. This does not mean that the two sides cannot work together—battling it out at the state level—where there is the opportunity for the greatest success. But, complex philosophical arguments on whether RU 486 is a direct or indirect form of abortion are not helpful to these conversations.

Camosy must know that we can never really “end” the abortion wars as long as unborn children are still viewed as “aggressors” or “invaders” and can still be legally aborted. Faithful Catholics know that there is no middle ground on this—the pro-life side has to prevail in any war on the unborn. It can be done incrementally but ground has to be gained—not ceded—for the pro-life side. Besides, Camosy seems a bit late to the battlefield to begin with. In many ways, he seems to have missed the fact that the pro-life side is already winning many of the battles through waiting periods, ultrasound and parental notification requirements, and restrictions on late term abortion at the state level. More than 300 policies to protect the unborn have been passed at the state level just in the past few years. The number of abortions each year has fallen to pre-Roe era levels—the lowest in more than four decade.   Much of these gains are due to the selfless efforts of the pro-life community and their religious leaders. Yet, just as victory appears possible in many more states, Camosy seems to want to surrender by resurrecting the tired rhetoric—and the unconscious violinists—of forty years ago.

While it is disappointing, it is not unexpected considering Camosy’s last book lauded the contributions of Princeton’s most notorious professor, Peter Singer—the proponent of abortion, euthanasia and infanticide. Claiming that Singer is “motivated by an admirable desire to respond to the suffering of human and non-human animals,” Camosy’s 2012 book, Peter Singer and Christian Ethics: Beyond Polarization, argues that, “Though Singer is pro-choice for infanticide, on all the numerous and complicated issues related to abortion but one, Singer sounds an awful lot like Pope John Paul II.”  In a post at New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, a progressive organization led by Rev. Richard Cizik (a former lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals who was removed from his position because of his public support for same sex unions, and his softening stance on abortion) Camosy wrote that he found Singer to be “friendly and compassionate.”  Camosy currently serves on the Advisory Board of Cizik’s New Evangelical Partnership—where he has posted Peter Singer-like articles including: “Why Christians Should Support Rationing Health Care.”

One cannot know the motivations of another—we can never know what is in another’s heart so it is difficult to know why Charles Camosy wrote this book. It must be difficult to be a pro-life professor at Fordham University—a school known for dissenting theologians like Elizabeth Johnson. But, if one truly wants to advance a culture of life in which all children are welcomed into the world, it would seem that inviting Peter Singer to be an honored speaker to students at Fordham in 2012 is not the way to do it, nor would claiming that RU-486 “may not aim at death by intention.” Perhaps it is unwise to continue to critically review Camosy’s work from a Catholic perspective because it gives such statements credibility—and notoriety. But, as long as Camosy continues to claim that his writings and policy suggestions—including his newly proposed “Mother and Prenatal Child Protection Act”—are “consistent with defined Catholic doctrine,” faithful Catholics will have to continue to denounce them.

Reprinted with permission from Crisis Magazine. 

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