Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Sister Teresa Forcades sums up her anti-capitalist ideas in new book

ABC.es/EFE (English translation by Rebel Girl)
June 6, 2014

"És a les nostres mans" ("It's in our hands") is the title of the new book by Benedictine nun and medical doctor Teresa Forcades, which the woman religious launched this afternoon in Barcelona and in which she summarizes her anti-capitalist social, political and economic thought.

In this book, published by DAU in its 'Retrats" series, Forcades (Barcelona, 1966) lays out her arguments "to understand the crisis that's shaking up our society."

The first part is an ethical critique of capitalism "in its most predatory version," in which Teresa Forcades reanalyzes concepts such as "the free market, maximum profit, and the value of entrepreneurship."

After offering proposals in favor of social democracy, the nun, a promoter with economist Arcadi Oliveres of the political platform 'Procés Constituent', reflects about nationalism at the present, among other things.

In her work, Forcades, with the collaboration of Jordi Barra, also includes a section on the challenges of Christianity from her perspective as a nun at the monastery of Sant Benet de Montserrat, where she has lived since 1997.

"Can we talk about a free market when in reality capitalism, historically, has always gone hand in hand with political power?," wonders the nun who criticizes the "collusion between economic and political power" which she says "isn't transparent, isn't known or voted on by citizens."

"We've converted people's ability to work into a commodity subject to unrestricted speculation. No one is unworthy because they can't work, but it is unworthy to deprive someone of the free exercise of their ability to work," criticizes the nun in another section of her new book.

According to Forcades, "capitalism makes us rivals because the more I have, the less you'll have. We aren't rivals, but companions on the road and in the struggle."

The Benedictine also opines on Catalan nationalism: "I think nationalism can be based on a common language and history, but mainly on a future plan based on the internal recognition of the importance of diversity."

"I don't conceive of an independent Catalonia as a Catalonia lacking in solidarity. Nor do I imagine it as uniform. Internal diversity is the first challenge. My intuition is that from this freedom, a greater unity will emerge. I don't want disunity, or the violence of being united by force either," she says.

Forcades asserts that "what I've never wanted is a monolithic way of thinking. To be truly a communion of universal people, the best contribution we can make to the world is our culture. I don't want to belittle it; I want to honor and strengthen it. A language is a precious thing, a treasure."

The nun is very critical of the current system: "We are faced with a poorly functioning democracy because of the clear collusion between the political and economic classes," she says.

"Laws are approved that favor the interests of a minority, as opposed to the needs of the citizens, the majority," the nun emphasizes.

"One of the most shocking facts that demonstrates this is the so-called "revolving door", where public officials legislate in favor of certain sectors and then, when their term ends, go to work for the companies that profited while they were in power," concludes the nun and doctor, who proposes beginning a discussion period to open "an alternative to capitalism."


  1. I just want to say how much I appreciate your blog. Blessings and much obliged. Oh, and why "Rebel Girl?"

  2. I chose that blogger name for 3 reasons: 1. Personality, 2. Southern roots, but mainly 3. The old labor song by Joe Hill "Rebel Girl" about IWW organizer Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.