El Pontificio Consejo de Justicia y Paz ofrece un análisis de los problemas subyacentes en la convulsionada economía mundial.
Equipo revista America

Nueva York / Religión – La publicación de la reciente declaración del Vaticano sobre la reforma al sistema financiero internacional, que se estaba preparando desde hace tiempo, ocurrió de manera simultánea con el creciente interés de los medios por el movimiento Occupy Wall Street. Naturalmente, los titulares encontraron una conexión. A pesar de que las enseñanzas sociales de la Iglesia a menudo han sido más efectivas cuando los movimientos sociales —sindicatos, movimientos pro derechos humanos, activistas por la paz y el medioambiente— las han enarbolado, el aún amorfo movimiento Occupy Wall Street y el informe del Vaticano no están directamente relacionados. Más bien son eventos paralelos que responden al sufrimiento y pérdida de esperanza que ha afectado a tantas personas a raíz de la actual crisis económica.

No obstante, al revés de muchos protestantes, el Pontificio Consejo de Justicia y Paz ofrece un análisis de los problemas subyacentes en la convulsionada economía mundial. Aun más, propone osadas soluciones, como un impuesto a los servicios financieros, la recapitalización condicionada de los bancos que reinvierten en la “economía real” y una autoridad global que regule las transacciones financieras internacionales. Estas propuestas están completamente en línea con el “bien común universal”, un principio que requiere la construcción de instituciones que se hagan cargo de las necesidades globales que los actuales acuerdos internacionales no son capaces de satisfacer.

El documento acusa a la economía liberal del siglo XX (es decir, el libre mercado) de ser una “ideología”, en el sentido de ser un conjunto de ideas fijas, inmunes a ser corregidas por los incómodos hechos del sufrimiento humano. “En los años ‘20” —señala— “algunos economistas ya habían advertido acerca de darle demasiada importancia, sin los debidos controles y regulaciones, a teorías que con el tiempo se han transformado en ideologías dominantes y en prácticas a nivel internacional”. Esta ideología ha adoptado diferentes denominaciones: “liberalización”, “ajuste estructural”, “el consenso de Washington”. Sus principios rectores eran la desregulación, el estado mínimo, bajos impuestos, libre comercio y la utilidad como motor. El Consejo admite que “el bienestar económico global… creció durante la segunda mitad del siglo XX, en un grado y a una velocidad jamás vista en la historia de la humanidad”. Sin embargo, puntualiza, este progreso a menudo se hizo a expensas de un enorme costo humano.

El informe hace el recuento de cómo más de 40 años de irrestricto libre mercado capitalista han causado repetidas crisis económicas, primero en los países en desarrollo de América Latina, Asia y Europa del Este y ahora en Europa Occidental y Estados Unidos. El resultado ha sido el desenfrenado crecimiento de la plutocracia y la desigualdad, lo que se refleja en el cántico del movimiento anti-Wall Street: “Somos el 99%”. Y como si quisiera subrayar el argumento del Consejo (y de los protestantes), un informe emitido por la Fundación Bertelsmann de Alemania, puso a los Estados Unidos en el lugar 27 entre 31 países miembros en su grado de justicia social, superando sólo a Grecia, Chile, México y Turquía.

Al señalar la desigualdad como un problema social, la Iglesia, que siempre se ha opuesto a la lucha de clases del marxismo, no puede ser acusada de azuzarla. La disminución de la desigualdad ha sido motivo de preocupación para la doctrina social moderna de la Iglesia desde la encíclica de Juan XXIII Mater et magistra (“Cristianismo y progreso social”, 1961). El Concilio Vaticano II declaró que “deben hacerse vigorosos esfuerzos… para terminar lo antes posible con las enormes desigualdades existentes”. La encíclica Populorum progressio (“El desarrollo de los pueblos”, 1967) del papa Paulo VI, describió “el escándalo de las disparidades hirientes, no solamente en el goce de los bienes, sino todavía más en el ejercicio del poder”, y afirmó que “la propiedad privada no constituye para nadie un derecho incondicional y absoluto”. Se podría sostener razonablemente que parte del paquete de la tradición católica del bien común es una alergia ante la desigualdad y el clamor por su superación.

La recomendación más controversial del informe es la propuesta para el manejo global de transacciones financieras a través de “una especie de ‘banco central global’ que regule los flujos y el sistema de intercambios monetarios”. Las propuestas se basan en la “lógica de las instituciones de Bretton Woods”, el Banco Mundial y el Fondo Monetario Internacional, y, al igual que la cumbre del G-20 de 2009, reconoce las deficiencias de dichas instituciones para hacer frente a las demandas de la economía globalizada. Lejos de imponer un gobierno único, la propuesta admite una amplia gama de implementaciones posibles. Sencillamente reconoce que el avance de la globalización requiere nuevas reglas y nuevas instituciones rectoras.

Mientras la crisis económica sigue su curso y las protestas se multiplican, los sacerdotes debieran aprovechar la ocasión para dar a conocer a las congregaciones el informe de Consejo Pontificio. Las universidades e instituciones de educación católicos debieran estudiarla y debatir sobre la desigualdad como un signo de nuestros tiempos.

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Equipo de la revista America. Publicado en revista America, www.americamagazine.org


 
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