Capitalism

What's Wrong with Capitalism?

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These words of Marx and Engels (Communist Manifesto, 3:I:a) suggest that Christianity may be initially quite useful for the socialist cause:

Nothing is easier than to give Christian asceticism a socialist tinge. Has not Christianity declaimed against private property, against marriage, against the State? Has it not preached in place of these, charity and poverty, celibacy and mortification of the flesh, monastic life and Mother Church? Christian socialism is but the holy water with which the priest consecrates the heart-burnings of the aristocrat.

Even though the abolition of all religion is ultimately a necessity in their suggested system, Marx and Engels recognize the practicality of incremental progress toward their goals. Hence, they welcome a slight retasking of Christian ideas in order to facilitate societal drift toward socialism, and ultimately toward communism.

Marx and Engels perceive that all conflict is traceable to class struggle, and that class struggle is economic at its core. Redistribution of wealth is a key to neutralizing the conflict and liberating the oppressed from their oppressors. For Marx and Engels, class struggle is an economic issue that can only be resolved politically, hence their political efforts toward an economic final solution. Capitalism represents, for them, a system that enables continuing oppression of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie. Capitalism is a great enemy to be conquered, and one that will naturally fall—if and when the proletariat realizes their great strength, unites, and acts in accordance with Marx’s and Engels’ designs. Read more about What's Wrong with Capitalism?

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Reflections on Republocrat: The Trouble with Capitalism

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republocratThe series so far.

Capitalism—should Christians endorse it with enthusiasm? Accept it with reservations? Utterly reject it? Just ignore it? Questions like these are at the heart of the fourth chapter of Carl Trueman’s book Repuplocrat: Confessions of a Liberal Conservative.

Overview

This chapter (“Living Life to the Max”) is book’s weakest so far. Key terms shift in meaning, the problems under attack lack the kind of concrete examples found in other chapters, claims seem contradictory at times, and the thesis is less clear.

The thrust of the chapter seems to be that although capitalism is the best economic system the world has yet seen, and we have no idea what would be better, it’s attendant ills are such that we need to make sure we’re sufficiently critical of it. Read more about Reflections on Republocrat: The Trouble with Capitalism

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Right is Right

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Should Bible-believing Christians be politically conservative?

One of the surprises of my online interactions over the last few years has been the discovery that some who take the Bible very seriously are, nonetheless, leery of political conservatism, especially in its American form.

But I believe this antipathy toward conservatism is due to a combination of factors, none of which have to do with what the Bible teaches. Rather, it stems from confusion about what conservatism is, lack of awareness of relevant biblical principles and more than a little influence from popular liberal stereotyping.

To chip away a little at the definitional and biblical misunderstandings, I offer five reasons why Bible believing Christians ought to be politically conservative.

1. The Bible is an ancient book revealing timeless truths

Many have pointed out that conservatism is about conserving. More specifically, conservatism is about preserving old solutions to problems it sees as old problems. In the conservative way of thinking, human nature has not changed over the millennia nor have the problems that arise from human beings living together with limited resources.

Conservatism holds that we are not only dealing with the same old problems we’ve always had to deal with (though in new forms), but the best solutions are also ones discovered long ago. Since we are not wiser than our predecessors, it follows that the wisdom of the ages will not be improved upon much by us. Read more about Right is Right

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