Catholic Economics: Strangled Once Again

by E. Michael Jones

Kerry Noonan is 50 years old and the father of eight children. He grew up in and around New York City, and then after living in various other places, including Steubenville, where he met his wife, he moved to Grand Haven, a resort town on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. His wife grew up there, the daughter of three generations of pharmacists, and Kerry started working for his father-in-law, and then for the firm that bought out his father-in-law’s institutional pharmacy. The job involved a lot of driving, and the driving began to take a toll on Kerry’s hip. The long drives and low pay allowed Kerry to meditate on economic matters.

As a classic ethnic Catholic, Kerry understood the importance of wages in America. As someone who came on the scene on the East Coast during the high noon of decent wages in America, he could remember how people like his father could raise a family in a place like New York on the salary paid by an ordinary job. He could also see that America slipping away day by day, as his children neared college age, under the hammer blows of the pro-Capitalist propaganda that began in earnest in 1979, when the Fed under Paul Volcker, England under Margaret Thatcher and the U.S. presidency of Ronald Reagan, created the perfect Capitalist storm. Usury reared its ugly head; the Fed raised interest rates to 20 percent, killing any incentive for legitimate investment, and Wall Street descended into an orgy of leveraged buy-outs that gutted the manufacturing infra-structure of once great industrial powers like England and the United States, and the legacy of all that was low wage jobs for blue collar Catholics like Kerry Noonan.

To make matters worse, as Kerry drove from town to town in Michigan and Indiana, he could take morbid delectation from the fact that Catholics were not only the main victims of the drive to destroy manufacturing jobs and drive down wages, they were the chief propagandists for this campaign as well. Michael Novak began the trend when he went to work for the Jews who ran the American Enterprise Institute. The fruit of that wicked collaboration was The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, a pro-Capitalist screed that makes Ayn Rand’s rants seem judicious and measured by comparison.

In his classic Catholicism, Protestantism and Capitalism, a book which he wrote around the time of Pope Pius’s XI’s celebration of Catholic economics, Quadragesimo Anno, Amintore Fanfani claimed that “there is an unbridgeable gulf between the Catholic and the capitalistic conception of life.” If that claim falls on deaf ears these days, especially among Catholics, the main reason is Michael Novak, “the man,” according to the I H S editors of Fanfani’s book, “who has come to represent all that Catholic thought has to say on economic subjects.”  If there is one man responsible for ignorance of and hostility toward Catholic social teaching, especially among Catholics, it is Michael Novak. If most Catholics think that Quadragesimo Anno is a hunchback who lives in the bell tower of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the main reason for that misunderstanding is Michael Novak.

Novak’s book appeared when Kerry was still in college. He was in no position to critique it then because he was too young, too involved in sports and other pursuits, and, most importantly, intellectually disarmed by his father’s involvement in New York conservatism. Kerry’s father was a charter subscriber to National Review, and Kerry was raised to believe that “in politics and the Church the Buckley family represented the good and the Kennedy family represented the evil.”

By the time he reached his adult years, Kerry realized that this was a grotesque distortion of the situation confronting American Catholics. The conservatives were dissenters before the liberals were. Or, as he put it:

Organized and notorious public dissent to the Magisterium not only predated the council but was initiated by William F. Buckley and National Review. In 1961, Pope John XXIII issued the encyclical Mater et Magistra. The National Review response, “Mater, si; Magistra, no” was a mocking and sarcastic denial of the Church’s authority to teach on matters of faith and morals if that teaching contradicted the libertarian ideas of the National Review editors. Dissenters of this sort were often proud of their religious orthodoxy but blind to their disloyalty to the fullness of the Church’s social teaching.

As he drove around southwestern Michigan and northwestern Indiana trying to ignore the pain in his hip and wondering how he was going to come up with college tuition for his oldest child, Kerry could try to deaden the pain by listening to the radio, in particular Catholic talk radio of the sort broadcast by EWTN. But Kerry was to get no consolation from fellow Catholics, certainly not on economic issues, because the go-to guy for explaining the Church’s teaching on economics was none other than Father Robert Sirico, head of the Acton Institute of Grand Rapids, and a member of Kerry’s own diocese.

For those of you who still don’t know, Robert Sirico, another ethnic Catholic from New York, began his public career as a flaming homosexual activist.  The late Thomas J. Herron brought out Sirico’s career as a homosexual crusader, social revolutionary and performer of gay “marriage” ceremonies in two articles, one of which appeared in Culture Wars in 2005 and another which appeared in 2007.

Shortly after becoming Executive Director of the Los Angeles Gay Community Center, in whose parking lot he shared a joint with Jane Fonda, Sirico made “gay” history when, on 12 April 1975, he performed the first same sex “marriage” in the United States of two male homosexuals with a civil marriage license at the First Unitarian Church of Denver, Colorado.

One year later Rev. Sirico dressed in a black clerical suit with a Roman collar, made the pages of the Seattle Post Intelligencer under the headline “Male Slave Mart Raid in LA called a Mistake.” On April 10, 1976 Los Angeles policemen dressed in riot gear arrested 40 persons participating in a homosexual “slave market” held at the Mark IV Health Club in Hollywood. The bathhouse was operated by a sadomasochist cult called the Leather Fraternity. Nude “male slaves” were led on stage by an auctioneer and inspected by potential buyers. “Slaves” went for $10 to $75. The undercover policeman at the auction told the press that he picked up a man for $16 following assurances from the auctioneer that the “volunteer for charity” would perform specific sex acts on him. The event was sponsored by the Los Angeles Gay Community headed by Rev. Sirico, who told the PI reporter that the Los Angeles Police Department was “out to get” the gay community. Rev. Sirico called the event a “harmless fund-raising event” staged to raise money for the Center’s venereal disease clinic.[1]

Shortly after defending the Male Slave Mart in Los Angeles, Sirico moved to San Francisco, where he converted to Libertarianism and became a spokesman for Libertarians for Gay Rights. Herron claims that by 1976 Sirico:

felt that a new philosophy was needed to enhance homosexual liberation rather than the, by now, stale left-wing ranting about “police brutality.” The more thoughtful gay leaders would come to realize that there is a philosophy known as libertarianism that stated that the state had no authority in private exchanges between individuals, and so gay activists would be drawn to the libertarianism that serendipitously was developing an intellectual base in another California city, San Francisco, during the late ‘70s. Like many homosexuals in San Francisco in the mid- to late ‘70s, Sirico converted to Libertarianism because it was compatible with homosexuality, not because it was compatible with “the Christian faith,” much less Catholicism, which it is not.

On one of the already mentioned Catholic radio shows, Kerry heard Father Sirico condescendingly dismiss Pope Francis as “confused” on economic matters. Sirico’s attack on Pope Francis was only the most recent of a long list of pronouncements whose goal was undermining the Catholic Church’s teachings on economics. The modern rebirth of that teaching began in 1891 when Pope Leo XIII issued Rerum Novarum. During his long drives delivering drugs, Kerry could listen to Father Sirico promoting his new book Defending the Free Market, during which he could hear the tenets of Catholic Social Teaching trashed by the Roman-collar-wearing homosexual, libertarian, devotee of Austrian School economics who ran the Acton Institute. Kerry learned from listening to Father Sirico flog his new book that private property is “sacred,” but when it comes to labor, the regnant principle is “creative destruction,” which Sirico defines as

the phenomenon whereby old skills, companies, and sometimes entire industries are eclipsed as new methods and businesses take their place.  Creative destruction is seen in layoffs, downsizing, the obsolescence of firms, and sometimes the serious injury to the communities that depend on them.  It looks horrible. . . .[2]

In fact, it is horrible, but only if you’re the one who lost his job. Sirico is in favor of a “a truly free labor market” because “a truly free labor market”[3] means one where the workers cannot organize into unions or engage in collective bargaining. Or as Sirico puts it: “Barring interventions by regulators and union officials, workers negotiate their own terms of employment to their advantage.”

In the middle of the publicity campaign promoting his book, Father Sirico got involved in union busting at Duquesne University, claiming in the New York Times that “the importance of unions in Catholic teaching is historically contingent.”

“It matters,” Father Sirico continued, “that Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum was written in 1891, not today. In the industrial revolution, the church was concerned about communism, and not just capitalism but savage capitalism.” Father Sirico went on to say that, “People were being brutalized. That’s just not the case in Pittsburgh today.” Given his track record as a subverter of the moral law, it should come as no surprise that Father Sirico’s views on labor and unions are the opposite of what the Catholic Church teaches. The views Sirico expressed in his book and in the New York Times contradicted the Compendium of Social Doctrine of the Church, which claims in section 305 that: “The Magisterium recognizes the fundamental role played by labour unions, whose existence is connected with the right to form associations or unions to defend the vital interests of workers employed in the various professions (italics in original).”

“A truly free labor market” is a non-negotiable demand with the Acton Institute because is it a non-negotiable demand for the Calvinists who fund it—people like Betsy DeVos, who famously claimed in an April 2004 press release, “Many, if not most, of the economic problems in Michigan are a result of high wages and a tax and regulatory structure that makes this state un-competitive.” Unlike Betsy DeVos, Adam Smith felt that high wages were an incentive to productive labor. Unlike Adam Smith, Sirico favors “low-paying factory jobs,” because they “may represent the best and brightest opportunity the poor have. . . .”[4] Which would be the case if Betsy DeVos were allowed to run the economy.

Again those who are looking for coherence and consistency in Sirico’s book Defending the Free Market will continue to look in vain because the same man who is in favor of “low paying factory jobs” favors unlimited salaries for CEOs.[5] “Caps on income are counterproductive,” Sirico tells us, “if what we want is more for the poor” without reminding us that he is in favor of caps on income when it comes to the poor.

When it comes to the economy (except of course when it comes to the property of the rich, which is “sacred”), Sirico wants to let “creative destruction” reign. That means that GM should be free to terminate manufacturing jobs in Flint, Michigan and free to re-locate their plants to Mexico, where they can pay their workers $1 an hour, but that workers should not organize because that would interfere with “a truly free labor market.”

After listening to Father Sirico promoting laissez-faire Austrian School economics ad nauseam on one radio show after another, Kerry Noonan couldn’t take it any more. On January 14, 2014, he wrote to Bishop David Walkowiak, Ordinary of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, to complain about Father Sirico’s deliberate subversion of the Church’s teaching on economics. “The willfulness and deviations of [this] dissident priest,” Kerry wrote, “are a source of much danger to the faithful. The Acton Institute has become a powerful influence but an abusive one. Something must be done. . .  .”

Seven months later, Bishop Walkowiak responded to Kerry’s letter by claiming that the Church had no teaching on economics. “The pope,” Walkowiak wrote, “is not an economist. The Church is authoritative in faith and morals, not economics. There are ethical dimensions to economics and every sector of society. The pope acts as a pastor and guide in these areas.”

Did anyone ever say that the pope was an economist? Kerry Noonan certainly did not when he wrote his respectful letter to Bishop Walkowiak, nor did he merit a sneering, condescending response of this sort. Pope Pius XI never claimed that his predecessor Pope Leo XIII was “an economist,” when he launched modern Catholic social teaching with Rerum Novarum, but lacking a degree in economics did not prevent Leo XIII from “passing judgment on the modern economic regime.”[6]

Bishop Walkowiak then went on to defend capitalism by claiming that the Church has never condemned it, forgetting again (if he ever knew) that Pope Pius XI commended Rerum Novarum precisely because “it boldly attacked and overthrew the idols of liberalism.”[7]

And what was this liberalism? Was Pius XI referring to the political agenda of Teddy Kennedy? No, he was referring to the philosophical justification of laissez faire capitalism that had become dogma in the English-speaking world and most of Europe by the end of the 19th century. By the time of the Irish Potato Famine of 1847, laissez faire Capitalism had become so abusive, that a reaction was inevitable. Pope Pius XI recognized this when he wrote, “the parent of this cultural socialism was liberalism, and that its offspring will be bolshevism.” Rerum Novarum, according to Pope Pius XI “completely overthrew those tottering tenets of liberalism which had long hampered effective interference by the government.”[8] When Leo XIII wrote Rerum Novarum, “rulers of not a few nations were deeply infected with liberalism and regarded such unions of working men with disfavor, indeed with open hostility.”

Bishop Walkowiak’s gives lip service to Pope Francis’s attempts to revive Catholic Social Teaching when he writes:

Pope Francis’s view on economics remains a hot topic. In his post synodal exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, the Pope does not say that capitalism is an unacceptable economic system. We know from Saint John Paul II’s teaching in the social encyclical Centesimus Annus, that such an interpretation is far from the truth.

Bishop Walkowiak’s views on economics derive from Michael Novak’s attempt to revive the defunct ideology of liberalism in The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, not the Church’s social teaching. According to Novak’s reading of Centesimus Annus, the Church finally endorsed Capitalism after a century of viewing it with suspicion in encyclicals like Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno. According to this view, the Church repudiated Leo XIII’s condemnation of the “idols of liberalism,” But the actual text on capitalism in Centesimus Annus is far from a ringing endorsement of Capitalism. In fact, any approval is conditional.

Sensitive to the new situation which the fall of communism brought about in the early 1990s, Pope John Paul II tried to define the term Capitalism in Centesimus Annus, the encyclical celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of Rerum Novarum, the encyclical that launched modern Catholic social thought on economics. Sirico mentions Centesimus Annus repeatedly but he never cites the pope’s attempt to define the key term at the heart of the discussion. Taking note of the semantic issue surrounding the term “Capitalism,” the pope attempted to answer the question, Is Capitalism “the model which ought to be proposed to the countries of the Third World which are searching for the path to true economic and civil progress?” by defining his terms:

If by “capitalism” is meant an economic system which recognizes the fundamental and positive role of business, the market, private property and the resulting responsibility for the means of production, as well as free human creativity in the economic sector, then the answer is certainly in the affirmative, even though it would perhaps be more appropriate to speak of a “business economy,” “market economy” or simply “free economy.”

But if by “capitalism” is meant a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality, and which sees it as a particular aspect of that freedom, the core of which is ethical and religious, then the reply is certainly negative.

Nine years after Centesimus Annus and following the repeal of the Depression era Glass-Steagall Act in 1999, Capitalism as practiced at the casino known as Wall Street became, without any shadow of a doubt, “a system in which freedom in the economic sector is not circumscribed within a strong juridical framework which places it at the service of human freedom in its totality.” That is why the market collapsed in 2008.  Now in light of the crash of 2008 it’s time to define Capitalism in terms of what it has become when all restraints holding it back from its penchant for wretched excess were removed.

Capitalism, according to Heinrich Pesch, SJ, is state-sponsored usury. Is usury still a sin? Is usury even a problem? It is if you’re Kerry Noonan and faced with the prospect of higher education for your children and the life-long debt slavery that student loans now entail. Where is a Catholic wage earner supposed to turn for guidance in economic matters, if not to his bishop?

It’s time to admit that we are going to get no help in this project from intellectual prostitutes at places like the Acton Institute, who feed at the troughs of the capitalist foundations and think tanks and produce economic fairy tales for the goyim to keep them in ignorance of what is really going on. Recklessly ignoring caveats like those made by the pope, Robert Sirico has tried for years now to resurrect the failed package of zombie ideas known as Capitalism by a series of rhetorical flourishes with no logical framework supporting them.

Bishop Walkowiak’s letter has made it clear that Catholics like Kerry Noonan can’t turn to their bishops for guidance on economic matters either because the mind of the American bishops has been colonized by foundation-funded prostitutes.. The American bishops are like the “practical men” criticized by John Maynard Keynes. They “believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences” but “are usually slaves of some defunct economist,”[9] like, say, Michael Novak or Robert Sirico.

Bishop Walkowiak ended his letter by telling Kerry that Father Robert Sirico “is a priest in good standing in the Diocese of Grand Rapids, “where he serves as pastor.” “As for the Acton Institute,” the bishop concluded, “I am reading material which the Institute has sent me so that I can better understand their aims.”

That a bishop would go along with Sirico’s attempts to subvert Catholic Social Teaching is more than demoralizing; it is scandalous. Kerry was both disheartened and outraged by the bishop’s response which he defended the “arrogance, ignorance, and denials” of think tanks like the Acton Institute and the American Enterprise Institute and the Catholic prostitutes who write for them.

Kerry Noonan has a right to be angry. His son is now faced with the unenviable prospect of crushing debt or no higher education. Universities like Notre Dame were created to provide quality, low-cost, Catholic education to the children and grandchildren of Irish immigrants like Kerry’s grandparents. After allowing Catholic colleges and universities to become cesspools of sexual vice in the wake of Rev. Theodore Hesburgh’s Land o’ Lakes statement, the American bishops now sit by passively as a whole new generation of Catholics becomes enslaved to usury because of the massive debt that they must accrue in order to get a Catholic education.

It now costs $60,000 a year to attend Notre Dame University. Where is a Catholic wage earner like Kerry Noonan supposed to come up with that kind of money for an education? The answer is simple. The answer is usury. His children need to borrow the money.  Kerry could send his children to cut-rate local colleges, which would cut his children’s tuition in half, but $120,000 in debt is still a formidable burden, especially in today’s job market.

If Kerry’s son ended up $100,000 in debt, he would need an annual salary of $91,600.80 to be able to afford to repay this loan. This estimate assumes that 10 percent of his gross monthly income will be devoted to repaying his student loans. This corresponds to a debt-to-income ratio of 1.1. According to the web-based Loan Calculator, “If you use 15 percent of your gross monthly income to repay the loan, you will need an annual salary of only $61,067.20, but you may experience some financial difficulty.”[10]

This is especially bad news because the starting salary for graduates with bachelor’s degrees is nowhere near the $91,600.81 that Loan Calculator specifies as adequate to repay this relatively modest loan. The average starting salary for a teacher in the state of Indiana, the kind of job you can get with just a bachelor’s degree, is $33,574.[11] That means that your salary is roughly half of what it needs to be to repay your student loan debt even if you’re willing to suffer “some financial difficulty” in repaying it.

But let’s assume that Kerry’s son has decided to go to Notre Dame for both his undergraduate and law degrees. Given this career path, his education at Notre Dame at current prices would cost $452,440. If he were to borrow the money at 8 percent, which is the current rate for Federal PLUS loans and private loans, for 20 years, he would have a cumulative payment of $910,262.28, of which $456,822.28 would be interest on that loan. That’s assuming, of course, that he makes his monthly payment of $3,784.39 on time every month for 20 years. If he falls behind in his payment, our law student will end up paying off a floating loan, which, if amortized over his entire working career, i.e., 40 years, will come out to a cumulative payment of $1,513,358.26 of which $1,059,000 will be interest.

In order to pay off his student loan without financial distress, Kerry’s son would have to earn at least $454,126.80 per year from the moment he leaves school and keep earning that salary for the next 20 years in order to pay off his loan. That’s not good news because “the national median for 2010 law school grads working full time” was $63,000.[12] The bad news is compounded when we learn that the starting salary for lawyers has declined by 20 percent since 2009, largely because of the recession and the fact that most students feel that they have to get high paying jobs at law firms in order to justify the cost of college education. The bad news gets worse. Even if Kerry’s son dedicates 15 percent of his gross monthly income to repay the loan and is willing to “experience” the “financial difficulty” that that entails, he will still need an annual salary of $302,751.20 to juggle a loan payment of this size with other expenses, like food and rent.

Since the average starting salary for someone entering the legal profession is $63,000 (as of 2010), our young lawyer will be earning only one-fifth of what he needs to earn in order to make his loan payment every month, even at the “experience some financial difficulty” level. That means that he will probably fall behind on his payments. If that happens, his loan will become, in effect, a floating loan, one which he will never pay off, one which will stay with him until the day he dies, which brings us to Scenario #4, which is the same terms as Scenario #3 but calculated over 40 years, which is to say, the lawyer’s entire working career. It is impossible to calculate all of the variables involved in a loan that does not get paid back on time, so we will assume, somewhat unrealistically that our lawyer will struggle to repay the loan and finally succeed after 40 year of heroic effort.

The good news is that, as with all long-term loans, the monthly payments are lower. Kerry’s son will only have to come up with a monthly payment of $3145.87 as opposed to $3,784.39. As a result he can get by with earning only $377,504 a year or $251,669.60, if he is willing to experience financial difficulty. The bad news, of course, is that he will have to pay back $1,510,011.36 over the term of the loan or a whopping $1,057,571.35 in interest.

In other words, the amount Kerry’s son would have to pay back for a Notre Dame education is greater than the $1.4 million a college graduate can expect to earn during his lifetime. Lawyers, of course, probably earn more than the average college graduate, but even lawyers have to eat and have a place to sleep, something they will not be able to do if they have to dedicate practically every dollar they earn to repaying student loans.

Instead of dealing with the issue of debt slavery, Bishop Walkowiak endorses “the idols of liberalism,” as expounded by Father Sirico and the Acton Institute. When Bishop Walkowiak claims that “the Pope is not an economist,” does this mean that the Pope Benedict XIV was wrong when he condemned usury in Vix Pervenit? Is Vix Pervenit part of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church? Is Rerum Novarum part of that same Magisterium? If so, then Father Sirico cannot be a priest in good standing because his entire career as a priest has been based on the subversion of Church teaching.

Far from ending the discussion, Bishop Walkowiak’s letter raises more questions than it answers. It’s clear that a new wind is blowing from Rome. The pope and Cardinal Rodriguez of Tegucigalpa, his right hand man, are open in their criticism of capitalism, whose pernicious effects are exponentially worse in third-world countries like Honduras. In addition to condemning Capitalism, the pope has also shown himself willing to intervene when he feels that a bishop is not doing his job. The pope’s intervention into the management of the Vatican Bank is one example of what I’m talking about. The case of the Bling Bishop in Germany is another. On October 23, 2103 Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst was suspended from his post as bishop of Limburg for cost overruns on the renovation of diocesan facilities. Six months later, on March 26, 2014, the pope accepted Bishop Tebartz-van Elst’s resignation.[13] Is allowing the subversion of Catholic Social Teaching less of an offense than spending too much money on a bathtub? If that is not the case, then hasn’t Bishop Walkowiak forced the Vatican’s hand by refusing to act against Sirico and the Acton Institute, both of which are notorious in Rome? Why is a man who spent his earlier career as a promoter of sodomy and his current career as a promoter of usury a priest in good-standing in the Catholic Church? Aren’t sodomy and withholding the wages of the worker sins that cry to heaven for vengeance?  Even Wikipedia knows that much Catholic theology.[14] How can a priest who has made a career of promoting two of the four sins that cry to heaven for vengeance be a priest in good standing in the Catholic Church? Does the Church stand for anything anymore? Is Rome willing to act when the local bishop isn’t? Is paying too much for a bathtub worse than condoning sins that cry to heaven for vengeance?

The story of Kerry Noonan and his bishop shows how desperate the situation is. It didn’t happen overnight. It’s been building for over 30 years. Thanks to people like Michael Novak, Robert Sirico, and Robbie George, the entire American Church and large swathes of the Vatican have been conned into thinking that the Church has no mandate to pronounce on economic matters. The main problem, at least in Rome, is not lack of will. It is lack of intellectual support. Catholic academe has been totally corrupted on both the sexual and economic fronts. The professors who used to get bought off by sexual liberation have been replaced by a cadres of colleagues who have been, quite literally, bought off by money from the Acton Institute, The American Enterprise Institute, The Atlas Foundation, the Koch brothers, the Bradley Foundation, and a host of others too numerous to mention.

This is why I wrote Barren Metal. It is not only the most definitive history of economics written from a Catholic perspective; it is the only history of Catholic economics written from a Catholic perspective. It is based on Heinrich Pesch’s Lehrbuch der Nationaloekonmie, which as its title indicates is a teaching guide—some have called it a Summa Economica—but not a history.

Barren Metal is, among other things, the story of the rise and fall of economics as the self-regulating mechanism. It is the story of the rise of capitalism as the regime of state-sponsored usury. It is the story of the awakening of the German mind in the face of this threat and the creation of the Germanic-Catholic alternative to the English Newtonian model of economics as pseudo-physics. It is the story of the theft of labor.

In addition to being a history of Capitalism, Barren Metal is the sequel to The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit.

On one of his walks through Paris, Honore de Balzac, the French novelist, encountered the richest man in France strolling arm in arm with Heinrich Heine, the revolutionary who did his best to overthrow Capitalism during the Revolution of 1848. Viewed from a political or an economic perspective the two men should have been on opposite sides of the revolutionary barricades, but Balzac was smart enough to see that ethnic blood ran thicker that political water, no matter how turbulent. Heine the Revolutionary and Rothschild the financier could walk arm in arm because both men were Jews and because together they embodied “tout l’esprit et tout l’argent des Juifs.”

In America, both the spirit and the money come together at think-tanks like the American Enterprise Institute. Rich Jews funding revolutionary Jews and their movements is nothing new. Jacob Schiff funded the Bolsheviks. Lloyd Blankfein supports gay marriage, the prime Jewish revolutionary movement in our day. Rich Jews, like David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, fund the American Enterprise Institute, which paid for Michael Novak’s book.  That book has corrupted the mind of every single American bishop, if not directly then through initiatives like the Manhattan Declaration, orchestrated by Robbie George, another mouth that feeds at the AEI trough.

I cannot change the moral fiber of American bishops, but, with your help, I can provide the men of good will in the hierarchy and ethnic Catholics like Kerry Noonan with the Catholic antidote to the lies of Robert Sirico.

The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit was a runaway best-seller. Because of the inexorable law of supply and demand, it ended up selling for $1,000 a copy on Amazon. That book, however, tells only half the story. It tells the story of Heinrich Heine but not the story of James Rothschild or his brothers. Barren Metal completes what The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit began.

Garrick Small is a professor of economics at Queensland University in Australia. After reading Barren Metal, he said:

The more I read of what you are doing the more it is apparent that all the time I spent reading the history of economic thought was an almost total waste of time. In that enterprise students grapple with the theories of this person or that without ever plumbing the political environment that motivated them or the philosophical context in which they worked. The result is a study of red herrings. The relations between the Jews and the German people in the century up to World War I is a topic that is conspicuously absent from contemporary western education. The importance of your project continues to impress me.

If a professor of economics feels this way about Barren Metal, just think what bishop might learn by reading it. Just think of what a whole nation of Kerry Noonans armed with Barren Metal might do.CW

E. Michael Jones is the editor of Culture Wars magazine.

This article appears in the September 2014 issue of Culture Wars.

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Barren Metal: A History of Capitalism as the Conflict between Labor and Usury, $69 + S&H. (When ordering for shipment outside the United States, the price will appear higher to offset increased shipping charges.)


[1] Thomas J. Herron, Robert Sirico and the Sins that Cry to Heaven for Vengeance, Culture Wars, May 2007, available online at:

[2] Sirico, Defending the Free Market, p. 66.

[3] Id. at 65.

[4] Id. at 94.

[5] Id. at 104.

[6] Quadragesimo Anno, para 15.

[7] Quadragesimo Anno, para. 14.

[8] Quadragesimo Anno, para, 27.



[11] The national average is slightly higher.




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