There was the sack of Rome by Alaric and his Visigoths
in 410 A.D. There was the sack of Rome by Charles I, Holy Roman Emperor, in
1527. That pillage only ended when, after eight months, the food ran out, there
was no one important left to hold hostage for ransom, and then a plague
appeared caused by all the rotting corpses in Rome’s streets. When the
destruction, rape, and looting stopped, only 10,000 residents were left in
Rome.
Attila the Hun never sacked Rome, but did loot and
destroy a great portion of northern Italy. It wasn’t for lack of trying to
invest Rome. But his hordes contracted “camp disease” and fell too ill to
pillage and loot. He had to withdraw his “freedom fighters” to try another day,
but died about a year later before making another attempt, in 453 A.D.
It’s a scenario being acted out in the Middle East
by ISIS. Until he was reportedly killed by U.S. Special Forces, ISIS commander Abu Sayyaf was aiming
for the Pol Pot Mass Murder award that was to have been conferred on him by the
Swedish Academy of Peace and Harmony. He was also going to be presented with a
check for $10 million, an interest-bearing, untaxable bank account with Nordea
Bank,  and a certificate of indulgence
and indemnity to rape every blonde, blue-eyed Swedish woman he set eyes on in
Stockholm, and take one back to the Islamic State as a prize to add to his
collection of sex slaves.
It would take
a village
– or, at least, the “global” one – to subjugate and sack America.
That is what is being proposed by Jeffrey Sachs. And who is Jeffrey Sachs?
Jeffrey
D. Sachs
is a world-renowned professor of
economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling
author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more
than 100 countries. He has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most
influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the
most important economist in the world,” and by Time Magazine “the world’s best
known economist.” A recent survey by The Economist Magazine ranked Professor Sachs
as among the world’s three most influential living economists of the past
decade.
Professor
Sachs serves as the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of
Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at
Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon on the Millennium Development Goals, having held the same position
under former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He is Director of the UN
Sustainable Development Solutions Network. He is co-founder and Chief
Strategist of Millennium Promise Alliance, and is director of the Millennium
Villages Project. Sachs is also one of the Secretary-General’s MDG Advocates,
and a Commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Development. He
has authored three New York Times bestsellers in the past seven years: The
End of Poverty
(2005), Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet
(2008), and The Price of Civilization (2011). His most recent books are To
Move the World: JFK’s Quest for Peace
(2013) and The Age of Sustainable
Development
(2015).
That, in a nutshell, is who Jeffrey Sachs is. A
career elitist and people director, whose middle name seems to be “sustainable.”
A starry-eyed busybody who’d love to manage your body and habits so that the
earth survives your carbon footprint. Time Magazine said (twice) he was one of
the world’s most influential leaders. The New York Times said he was “probably
the most important economist in the world.” I wonder what Times columnist and
“economist” Thomas Friedman thinks about that accolade. Sachs has the usual
chestful of politically correct medals and ribbons that identify him as a
“world leader,” probably many more than were pinned to Al Gore’s tuxedo.
But, until Cliff Kincaid wrote about Jeffrey Sachs
in a May 18th column in Accuracy in Media (AIM), “Liberal
Academic Says America’s Founding Document Outmoded
,” I’d never heard of
this “world leader” and “eminent person.”
Kincaid wrote:
Top
Vatican adviser Jeffrey Sachs says that when Pope Francis visits the United
States in September, he will directly challenge the “American idea” of
God-given rights embodied in the Declaration of Independence.
Sachs,
a special advisor to the United Nations and director of the Earth Institute at
Columbia University, is a media superstar who can always be counted on to
pontificate endlessly on such topics as income inequality and global health.
This time, writing in a Catholic publication, he may have gone off his rocker,
revealing the real global game plan.
Which Catholic publication? It was a Jesuit one,
“America.”
The
United States, Sachs writes
in the Jesuit publication, America, is “a society in thrall” to the idea
of unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But the
“urgent core of Francis’ message” will be to challenge this “American idea” by
“proclaiming that the path to happiness lies not solely or mainly through the
defense of rights but through the exercise of virtues, most notably justice and
charity.”
In
these extraordinary comments, which constitute a frontal assault on the
American idea of freedom and national sovereignty, Sachs has made it clear that
he hopes to enlist the Vatican in a global campaign to increase the power of
global or foreign-dominated organizations and movements.
This is not really news. Pope Francis has
pontificated often enough on how capitalism and the pursuit of material wealth
are major failings of mankind and obstacles to man’s spiritual redemption. The
liberty to own property can result in an individual’s happiness, and Francis
has strenuously objected to that. But, it does come as a minor surprise that
Sachs would enlist the Vatican to shill for his dreams of “justice” (read
“social justice,” a Progressive end) and “charity” (read compulsory charity).
On second thought, it shouldn’t be a surprise. The
full title of Sachs’ America article is “A Call to Virtue: Living
the Gospel in the land of liberty.
Sachs and Francis are of the same species of
vulture. With, of course, the United Nations. Jeffrey Sachs, being such an
influential gadabout and gauleiter for the environmentalist cause, will always
find employment in the realm of global collectivism. Here is what the U.N. had
to say in August, 2014:
The
Sustainable Development Solutions Network will work with stakeholders including
business, civil society, UN agencies, and other international organizations to
identify and share the best pathways to achieve sustainable development…
Naturally, eager government wonks will determine what is and
isn’t “sustainable.”
…The
Solutions Network will be directed by Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs,…and will
operate in close coordination with the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on
the Post-2015 Development Agenda announced by the UN last week.
If
you, doubtlessly not an “eminent
person,” and can stomach it, you can read the whole U.N. plan here.
Kincaid’s
article links to Sachs’ article in America. One Sustainable Development
“solution” would be to tax fuel and other energy producing modes to pay for achieving
a “sustainable” planet in another generation. Of course, the U.S. would pay the
lion’s share of such a “global” impost.
Most
important, they [the American revolutionaries] believed that they would find
happiness as individuals, each endowed by the creator with individual rights.
There is, no doubt, grandeur in this idea. As children of God, individuals have
rights to be free of persecution, to be treated as ends and not means, as
Immanuel Kant put it. The dignity of man requires the rights of man, as Thomas
Paine declared.
Yet
from the point of view of the Gospels, such rights are only part of the story,
only one facet of our humanity. The Beatitudes, regarded by Pope Francis as key
to the Gospel truth, are actually not at all about individual rights but about
virtues, meaning the right path to the right kind of life. The Sermon on the
Mount is not a defense of the individual but a call to humility, love and
justice.
In
modern terms, we would say that rights must be balanced by responsibilities.
Kant said that the rights of individuals must be combined with duties, as
guided by the categorical imperative. According to Kant, we have the duty to
behave according to those maxims, and only those maxims, which can be made into
universal laws.
Wouldn’t you know it? The original Prussian
goose-stepper, Immanuel Kant, pops up into view from behind the curtain like
the Wizard of Oz. Sachs goes on in his article:
Pope
Francis is telling the world, and the world is listening, that the path from
indifference to the suffering of others can be found through the reinvigoration
of the Gospel virtues. This, I believe, is a compelling message, though one
that is very strange indeed to the modern, and especially American, psyche.
Americans might rather expect a call to legal responsibilities—“You must pay
your taxes”—than a call to virtues. Yes, they will tend to dismiss such claims
of social responsibility (“It’s my right to keep my money, since I earned it”),
but at least they are familiar with the language of rights and
responsibilities.
Yet
the call to virtues is deeper and ultimately more compelling. Pope Francis is
not coming as a scold but as a guide to help us find a solution to the paradox
of the poverty of the spirit in the rising sea of affluence. He is not speaking
the language of duties and responsibilities but of human meaning. He is not rejecting
the libertarian defense of human dignity but saying that dignity is found not
only through individual rights and free markets but from within, by each person
pursuing the virtues of charity, justice and compassion in solidarity with the
common good. This, after all, is the message of hope that brought the
multitudes to hear Jesus preach.
In short, Americans will be expected to declare
their Declaration of Independence “outmoded” and flawed, just as Barack
Obama said it was
in a 2001 radio interview:
“…[T]he
Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and
of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that
extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it
wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that
were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been
interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally
the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t
do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say
what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.

“And that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights
movement was because the civil rights movement became so court-focused I think
there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing
and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition
of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we
still suffer from that.”
We must – or our warders must, we lack their intellectual and moral wherewithal,
don’t we?  – amend the Constitution to
comply with UN rules and regulations, and to turn themselves into Kantian
automatons fulfilling their categorical imperative-dictated duties to save the
world and to feel everyone’s pain but their own UN-devised destitution. Thus
spoke Jeffrey Sachs and Pope Francis and Glen Greenwald and every other America
hater, who never miss an opportunity to scold the U.S. for being so selfish and
loot-worthy and recklessly leaving its carbon footprints all over the globe. What
were those lyrics from the Entrance and March of the Peers in Gilbert &
Sullivan’s Iolanthe?
Bow, bow, ye lower middle classes!
Bow, bow, ye tradesmen, bow, ye masses!
Blow the trumpets, bang the brasses….!
Sachs wrote in “America”:
As
a macroeconomist, I have tried to put the challenge of compassion into the hard
financial terms of the national income accounts. For 20 years I have tried to
work up the balance sheet of social justice, so to speak, in order to measure
the scale of investments that society needs to make in order to overcome
extreme poverty; control epidemic diseases likes [sic] AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and Ebola; and convert our energy
systems from climate-changing fossil fuels to safe, low-carbon energy sources
like solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric power. The paradox that I have
found time and again is that for a tiny investment of material goods—perhaps 2
percent to 3 percent per year of our global income—we could mobilize our
technological excellence to end the scourges of extreme poverty, disease and
environmental degradation that cause great global suffering and that in fact
threaten our very survival. Solutions to our global material problems, whether
climate change or epidemic control, are within our grasp, but only if we try.
So, Professor Sachs, which is it going to be? Do we
surrender to the ineffable forces of Marx’s dialectical materialism, or to the
Triumph of the Will? Or your Will?
Curious about the nature of Pope Francis’
forthcoming encyclical, Evangeli
Gaudium
: On the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World
, on which
Sachs places so much hope, I dipped into this mile-long screed and found some
interesting observations. From Chapter II, point 64:
The
process of secularization tends to
reduce the faith and the Church to the sphere of the private and personal.
Furthermore, by completely rejecting the
transcendent
, it has produced a growing deterioration of ethics, a
weakening of the sense of personal and collective
sin
, and a steady increase in relativism. These have led to a general sense
of disorientation, especially in the periods of adolescence and young adulthood
which are so vulnerable to change.
As
the bishops of the United States of America have rightly pointed out, while the
Church insists on the existence of objective moral norms which are valid for
everyone, “there are those in our culture who portray this teaching as unjust,
that is, as opposed to basic human rights. Such
claims usually follow from a form of moral relativism that is joined…to a
belief in the absolute rights of individuals.
In this view, the Church is
perceived as promoting a particular prejudice and as interfering with
individual freedom.” We are living in an information-driven society which
bombards us indiscriminately with data – all treated as being of equal importance
– and which leads to remarkable superficiality in the area of moral
discernment. In response, we need to provide an education which teaches
critical thinking and encourages the development of mature moral values. [All Italics mine]
“Mature” meaning altruistic values and an
“educated” sense of selflessness, something American public schools are busy
developing. We move on to point 93 of Chapter II:
Spiritual
worldliness, which hides behind the appearance of piety and even love for the
Church, consists in seeking not the Lord’s glory but human glory and personal
well-being. It is what the Lord reprimanded the Pharisees for: “How can you
believe, who receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that
comes from the only God?” (Jn 5:44). It is a subtle way of seeking one’s
“own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (Phil 2:21). It takes on many
forms, depending on the kinds of persons and groups into which it seeps. Since
it is based on carefully cultivated appearances, it is not always linked to outward
sin; from without, everything appears as it should be. But if it were to seep
into the Church, “it would be infinitely more disastrous than any other
worldliness which is simply moral.”
Kincaid ends his article with:
Rather
than emphasize the absolute need for safeguarding individual rights in the face
of government overreach and power, Sachs writes that the Gospel teachings of
humility, love and justice, “like the teachings of Aristotle, Buddha and
Confucius,” can take us on a “path to happiness through compassion” and “become
our guideposts back to safety.”
Writing
elsewhere in the new issue of America, Christiana Z. Peppard, an
assistant professor of theology, science and ethics at Fordham University, writes about the
“planetary pope,” saying, “What is really at stake in the collective response
to the pope’s encyclical is not, ultimately, whether our treasured notions of
theology, science, reality or development can accommodate moral imperatives.
The real question is whether we are brave enough and willing to try.”
The
plan is quite simple: world government through global taxes, with a religious
face to bring it about.
Or global jizya,
with a religious face to bring about “peace”?  In its essentials, Sachs’ plan for the future sacking
of America differs little from Islam’s. They are copasetic. As Ellsworth Toohey
put it so well at the end of The
Fountainhead
on the secret of acquiring power over men: “Fight the doctrine
that slaughters the individual with a doctrine that slaughters the individual.”
(p. 694)
Talk about clashing brasses!
The
Fountainhead,
by Ayn Rand. New York: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1943. 754 pp.