us; we are thrilled if the market offers us some-
thing new to purchase. In the meantime all those
lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere
spectacle; they fail to move us.
No to the new idolatry of money
55. One cause of this situation is found in our
relationship with money, since we calmly accept
its dominion over ourselves and our societies.
The current financial crisis can make us overlook
the fact that it originated in a profound human
crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human
person! We have created new idols. The worship
of the ancient golden calf (cf.
32:1-35) has
returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idol-
atry of money and the dictatorship of an imper-
sonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.
The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the
economy lays bare their imbalances and, above
all, their lack of real concern for human beings;
man is reduced to one of his needs alone: con-
56. While the earnings of a minority are grow-
ing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the
majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those
happy few. This imbalance is the result of ide-
ologies which defend the absolute autonomy of
the marketplace and financial speculation. Con-
sequently, they reject the right of states, charged
with vigilance for the common good, to exercise
any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born,
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