Who Said It: Keynes, Hayek, Nietzsche, or the Pope?

By Christopher Witrak  JAN 08, 2014 1:25 PM

Can you tell the difference between the Vicar of Christ and the author of "The Antichrist"?

 


Pope Francis’s recent criticisms of capitalism and the wealthy have invoked the ire of conservative commentators in the US. Rush Limbaugh, for example, described the pontiff’s writings as “pure Marxism.” In response to these accusations generated by his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, released late last fall on the Vatican's website, Pope Francis publicly stated, “The Marxist ideology is wrong.

The pope also may be angering wealthy individuals important to the US Catholic Church. Last week, a potential “seven-figure donor,” who remained anonymous, said that he has become hesitant to donate to the Church because of the pope’s polemic against the rich, which includes the following quote from an important fourth-century Christian: “Not to share one’s wealth with the poor is to steal from them and to take away their livelihood.”

However, the US Catholic Church relies on the charity of wealthy entrepreneurs for important projects. For example, the Archdiocese of New York needs $180 million for a restoration project of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Ken Langone, the leader of the project and the billionaire founder of Home Depot (NYSE:HD), worries that the pope’s words will alienate other benefactors.

So, do you think Pope Francis espouses economic radicalism? We've designed this quiz to see if you can distinguish his views from those who held opposing beliefs about economics and religion. The test has 10 quotes, and you must identify the author of each from among these four options: economist and philosopher Friedrich August Hayek (click here for a bio), economist John Maynard Keynes (see bio here), philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (brush up on your Nietzsche facts here), or Pope Francis, who was profiled by James Carroll in the New Yorker. (If you would like to better understand the ideas of and the rivarly between Keynes and Hayek, check out this funny and popular video from 2011.)

The third page has the answers. Good luck!



Pope Francis, Nietzsche, Hayek, and Keynes Walk Into a Church...

1. “I have arrived at the conviction that the neglect by economists to discuss seriously what is really the crucial problem of our time is due to a certain timidity about soiling their hands by going from purely scientific questions into value questions.”

2. “Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power.”

3. “Welfare projects, which meet certain urgent needs, should be considered merely temporary responses.”

4. “True, we love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving.” 

5.  “That there is little hope of international order or lasting peace so long as every country is free to employ whatever measures it thinks desirable in its own immediate interest, however damaging they may be to others, needs little emphasis now.”

6. “The sciences, pursued without any restraint and in a spirit of the blindest laissez-faire, are shattering and dissolving all firmly held belief; the educated classes and states are being swept along by a hugely contemptible money economy. The world has never been more worldly, never poorer in love and goodness. The educated classes are no longer lighthouses or refuges in the midst of this turmoil of secularization; they themselves grow daily more restless, thoughtless, and loveless.”

7. “The day is not far off when the economic problem will take the back seat where it belongs, and the arena of the heart and the head will be occupied or reoccupied, by our real problems -- the problems of life and of human relations, of creation and behavior and religion.”

8. “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

9. “Nowadays the crudest and most evil forces, the egoism of the money-makers and the military despots, hold sway over almost everything on earth.”

10. “We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market.”



And Here's Who Said What...

1. “I have arrived at the conviction that the neglect by economists to discuss seriously what is really the crucial problem of our time is due to a certain timidity about soiling their hands by going from purely scientific questions into value questions.”

Hayek stated these words in 1978 during a Conversation at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, which can be found in A Conversation With Friedrich A. Von Hayek: Science and Socialism. While it may have sounded like Pope Francis criticizing economists for ignoring morality, Hayek did not shy away from critiquing his peers.

2. “Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power.”

Does this sound like the mantra of a free-market type like Hayek or Ron Paul? Maybe, but it's not. Pope Francis wrote these words in his apostolic exhortation.

3. “Welfare projects, which meet certain urgent needs, should be considered merely temporary responses.”

We wouldn't quote Pope Francis back-to-back, right? Actually, we would. Francis also wrote this in his exhortation.

4. “True, we love life, not because we are used to living but because we are used to loving.”

If you’re thinking Nietzsche as a counterintuitive answer, you would be correct. He wrote this in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.

5.  “That there is little hope of international order or lasting peace so long as every country is free to employ whatever measures it thinks desirable in its own immediate interest, however damaging they may be to others, needs little emphasis now.”

This is Hayek again.

6. “The sciences, pur­sued without any restraint and in a spirit of the blindest laissez faire, are shattering and dissolving all firmly held belief; the educated classes and states are being swept along by a hugely contemptible money economy. The world has never been more worldly, never poorer in love and goodness. The educated classes are no longer lighthouses or refuges in the midst of this turmoil of secularization; they themselves grow daily more restless, thoughtless, and loveless.”

Words like “restraint,” “secularization,” and “loveless” may make this quote sound like moralizing by the pope, but Nietzsche wrote this in Untimely Meditations, page 148.

7. “The day is not far off when the economic problem will take the back seat where it belongs, and the arena of the heart and the head will be occupied or reoccupied, by our real problems -- the problems of life and of human relations, of creation and behavior and religion.”

Scared to guess Pope Francis after the last quote? Don’t let “heart,” “human relations,” and “religion” fool you. Keynes wrote these words in his "First Annual Report of the Arts Council."

8. “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”

This is Hayek again, this time from his 1988 book The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, page 76.  

9. “Nowadays the crudest and most evil forces, the egoism of the money-makers and the military despots, hold sway over almost everything on earth.”

Nietzsche, the supposed philosopher of the Nazis, here criticizes reckless, modern state governments in Untimely Meditations, page 150.

10. “We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market.”

While this quote may seem like the words of Keynes following the Great Depression, Pope Francis wrote this in his exhortation in response the economic crisis starting in 2008.
No positions in stocks mentioned.