Letter: Aspen vs. altruism | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Aspen vs. altruism

Pope Francis delivered several important messages to the U.S. Congress and American people. His words, like his actions, ought to be troubling for many Aspenites, especially many of the power elite who have a base in Aspen. Why is that?

To begin, Francis preaches humility and non-materialism and is highly critical of runaway capitalism where crooks have rigged the U.S. economic, political and social system to create excessive, unwarranted wealth for themselves and great socioeconomic disparities among the general population. Sadly, Aspen appears to be a town struggling hard with its humility, it is without question highly materialistic and exclusively high-dollar, and many of its population are deeply embedded in the operations of a corrupted, immoral, unjust capitalist system that is rooted in exploitation of the many for the luxuries of the few.

In contrast to the Aspen cohort of warmongers pushing for conflict with Iran, the pontiff stands for peace and embraces the deal with Iran. When comparing Francis’ address to Congress with that of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, one witnesses the vast moral-intellectual differences between the pope’s rhetoric of positivity, enlightened logic and calling for love and Netanyahu’s rhetoric of negativity, dark logic and stirrings of hate. People of the United States should embrace Francis’ message of peace and reject Netanyahu’s and others’ calls for war.

Opposed to those who ruthlessly destroy the environment for profit, such as Charles and David Koch, the pope preaches love for our planet, a concern for the environment that is our life source.

Forcefully against war, violence and societal dysfunctionality, Francis might have been speaking directly to the Crown family, owners of General Dynamics, the largest defense contractor in the world, when he argued that is time to “stop the arms trade.”

Francis’ message was antithetical to the beliefs and values of many Aspenites, as are his unselfish, noble and elegant practices that seek to improve the larger society, not just one’s self and immediate clan.

Sean Elias

Glenwood Springs