Klaus Hart Brasilientexte

Aktuelle Berichte aus Brasilien – Politik, Kultur und Naturschutz

„I ask for forgiveness“ – Brasiliens wichtigster Befreiungstheologe Frei Betto über Finanzkrise und Markt.

I am seriously ill. I would like to ask forgiveness publicly to all who blindly believed in me. They believed in my presumed power to multiply fortunes. They placed in my hands the fruits of years of work, their family savings and the capital from their work.

I ask forgiveness to those who are watching their savings evaporate up the virtual smokestacks of stock exchanges and to those who find themselves strangled by debt, high interest rates, lack of credit or the proximity of a recession. I know that during the past decades I went beyond my own limits. I believed myself to be King Midas; I created a legion of devotees around me as though I had divine powers. My apostles “ neo liberal economists “ went around the world preaching that the financial health of countries would improve if they knelt at my feet.

I made governments and public opinion believe that my success was proportional to my freedom. I undid the anchor cable of production and of the State, of law and of morality. I reduced all values to the global casino of the stock exchanges, I transformed credit into a consumer product and I convinced a significant sector of humanity that I would be capable of operating the miracle of making money grow out of money itself without goods and services as ballast.

I embraced the belief that, confronted with the turbulence, I would be capable of self regulation as had occurred in nature before its balance was affected by the predatory action of so called civilization. I became omnipotent, I believed myself to be omniscient and I imposed myself on the planet as omnipresent. I globalized myself.

I got to the point where I never closed my eyes. When the Tokyo stock exchange closed for the night, there was I, ecstatic, in Sao Paulo; if the New York stock exchange dropped, I was rewarded by a rise in London. My daily opening on Wall Street became a televised liturgy for the whole terrestrial globe. I was transformed into the cornucopia from whose mouth many believed easy, immediate, abundant wealth would pour.

I am sorry that I deceived so many in such a short time, particularly the economists who tried very hard to immunise me from State influence. I know, now, that their theories melt like their shares and the state of depression in which they live is compared to that of the banks and of large corporations. I am sorry that I induced multitudes to heed, as if sanctified, the words of my high priest Alan Greenspan, who held the financial seat for 19 years. I admit that he incurred in the mortal sin of maintaining low interest rates, lower than inflation, for a long period. He thus stimulated millions of North Americans to seek to make their dream of house ownership come true. They obtained credit, bought property and, due to increased demand, I raised the prices and pressured inflation. In order to contain it, the government elevated interest rates¦ and debts multiplied like a plague, undermining the supposed solidity of the banking system.
I suffered collapse. The paradigms which sustained me were swallowed up by the unpredictability of the black hole of lack of credit. The source dried up. Wearing the sandals of humility on my feet, I pray to the State to protect me from a shameful death. I cannot bear to think that I, and not a leftist revolution, am the only one responsible for the progressive statism of the financial system. I cannot imagine myself being patronised by governments, as occurs in socialist countries. What do I see at this moment, when the Central Banks which are public institutions were gaining autonomy in relation to the governments which created them and took their places at the banquet of my cardinals? The collapsing of the ditty which says that there is no salvation except through me. I ask for forgiveness, beforehand, for the wreckage which will be wreaked in this globalized world.  Farewell to consigned credit! Interest rates with rise in proportion to generalised insecurity. Once the credit taps are closed shut consumers will arm themselves with caution and companies feeling thirsty for capital will be obliged to reduce production and do likewise with a number of their employees. Exporting countries like Brazil will find fewer customers on the other side of the counter therefore will have less money coming into their coffers and will have to re-think their economic policies.
I ask forgiveness from the taxpayers of rich countries who see their taxes being used as lifesavers for banks and finance companies – wealth which should be applied towards social rights, environmental preservation and culture.I, the market, beg forgiveness for having committed so many sins and now transfer to you the onus of the penance. I know that I am cynical, perverse and greedy. All that remains for me is to beg the State to have pity on me.

I do not dare ask God, whom I longed to replace, for forgiveness. I presume that, at this very moment, He is looking at me from above with the same ironic smile with which he watched the tower of Babel fall.

*Frei Betto is a writer, author of ”Cartas da Prisáo (Letters from Prison) (Agir).

He is a Brazilian Dominican with an international reputation as a liberation theologian. Within Brazil he is equally famous as a writer, with over 52 books to his name.  In 1985 he won Brazil™s most important literary prize, the Jabuti, and was elected Intellectual of the Year by the members of the Brazilian Writers™ Union. Frei Betto has always been active in Brazilian social movements, and has been an adviser to the Church™s ministry to workers in Sáo Paulo™s industrial belt, to the Church base communities, and to the Landless Rural Workers™ Movement (MST). In 2003-2004, he was Special Adviser to President Lula and Coordinator of Social Mobilisation for the Brazilian Government™s Zero Hunger programme.

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Donnerstag, 30. Oktober 2008 um 18:39 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter der Kategorie Politik abgelegt. Du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS-Feed verfolgen.

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