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Sometimes Capitalism does seem a bit troubling.

Posted by Chance on April 19, 2006

I admit sometimes that some of the philosophy behind capitalism is troubling. Adam Smith and Ayn Rand (who I’m hardly a disciple of, but a chief proponent of capitalism) both assert that we will all ultimately benefit if we each pursue our own self-interests, so capitalism, following from that, is the best economic system.

Now, Christianity in many cases teaches the opposite, in which we must all die to ourselves, and the Bible teaches selflessness, especially through the ultimate sacrifice of Christ. The idea that we must always pursue our own self-interests and only our self-interests is contradictory to the teachings of the Bible.

What does this mean concerning our economic systems? I do not think socialism is the answer. I think what many Christian proponents of socialism miss is that fact that it is virtuous to give to another person, but it is not virtuous to expect something from another person.

Now, not everyone who is a economic libertarian is a socialist, there are plenty of people in between, and everyone has their own ideal balance of government economic control against capitalism. Sometimes I may call all Democrats socialists, but I don’t think that is true. Many, at least here in the states, do believe in capitalism to some degree. I am not addressing anyone who is to the economic left of me, I am just addressing the foundations of capitalism and socialism themselves.

Greed can exist in this system, but I do not think many realize that greed exists in a socialist society, just in a different form, many times in the form of envy. You either covet and obtain through working more hours and neglecting your family, or you can covet and gain through government assistance. Capitalism can encourage too much self-reliance, but socialism encourages too much reliance on other people, and on a government (which is supposed to be separated from the church, by the way). Neither one, at least in theory, encourages reliance on God.

So it seems that both systems have their flaws. But for right now, I’ll go for more freedom. Capitalism, for the most part, is composed of mutual, free exchanges. Furthermore, I’ll go for what appears to work. America has been very prosperous, and this has been chiefly through God’s blessing, but I believe He has blessed us by helping us find a system that works. People risk their lives fleeing Cuba, or other countries to come here. We must be doing something right.

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7 Responses to “Sometimes Capitalism does seem a bit troubling.”

  1. The Prophet said

    Great Post. One thing disgusts me the most with politics. It’s the fact that most politicians seem to be saying what they do for a vote… not to fix the problem. After all, if there’s no problem, there’s no one to blame.

    It’s kind of like cell phones. It seems almost to me like many of them are made to break. They’re consumable products. When one breaks, where do we go? Back to the maker of the cell phone to pay for another one.

    So… in my mind, the logical (but in no way ethical) mindset for the Democrats would be to count on the system not working, while still convincing the poor to be dependant upon the system.

    What I’m saying is that a smart Dem should try to keep the poor people, who will always think that government assistance is the way to go, relying upon the Dems so that they can sell them a flawed system to get their vote.

    Hey, anyone want to buy a cell phone?

  2. The Prophet said

    Thinking about it, I was kind of one sided in my comment. Hopefully, later I’ll have more time to talk about things from the other side.

  3. Chance said

    I agree with what you said. I think there are many Democrats who actually care about helping people, but even though their intentions are good, I think an excessive welfare system keeps consecutive generations dependent on the government system. I think this is really evident when it comes to minorities, specifically African Americans. I think some Dems want to help, but I think many are exploiting the black vote. There is no surprise that initially, during the civil rights movement, there was many gaps between whites and blacks, just because when you don’t have equal rights, this is understandable. However, there are still some gaps today, but it has nothing to do with racial differences, I believe it has to do with keeping people on government assistance. One of the selling points of the Dems to the poor and minorities is that, you need our help in order to make it. That’s just my take.

  4. The Prophet said

    Okay, now I’m going to hop on the Repubs for a bit. So the blog world doesn’t think I’m speaking out of my own political biases.

    Here’s one thing that bothers me about the Repubs or politics in general (and sorry, Chance, it doesn’t have a whole lot to do with Capitalism, so forgive me).

    During the last election the media seemed to make everything almost a spiritual issue. And I don’t think that the media are solely the ones to blame.

    Disclaimer:
    Now when I say “Dems” and “Repubs” I’m talking about certain democrats and republicans. It would be ignorant to attack the entire party by just a few representatives, but in many cases the principles are prevalent throughout the party lines.

    Republicans: They seemed to make George W the Christian way to vote, in some instances going as far as to impose that if you are a Christian you will vote for George W. My question to them is, What about the black churches whose members voted 90% Democratic in the past 5 presidential elections? Is there something wrong with their faith? Are they of a “lesser faith”?

    Democrats: They seem to be so afraid of Christianity… unless it comes from a black leader. My question to them is Why are black people the only people who are allowed to talk about their faith without it being offensive? Isn’t this some kind of racial hypocrisy?

  5. Chance said

    Yeah, I don’t think you have to vote for GW to be a Christian. I have a hard time voting for someone who is not pro-life, because to me, personally, it is the most important issue, and I am very glad that Bush got to appoint 2 people to the Supreme Court.

    Democrats and religion are an uneasy relationship. Kerry says he supports abortion rights because he says he doesn’t want to enforce his beliefs on anyone (which I don’t believe in murder, is it wrong for me to enforce that?), yet he uses religion to support his views when it comes to Medicare and such.

    Its interesting that there are so many socially-conservative Democrats in the older generation. In fact, most of the Christians who are Democrats are so because of issues like unions, and other economic issues.

  6. The Prophet said

    Hey,
    I just tried to send you an email, and it came back to me. Just thought I’d let you know. Have you heard of Bloglet?

  7. The Prophet said

    Yeah, I was watching a marathon about the Presidents on the History Channel. I’m interested in finding out more about President Lyndon B. Johnson. From what they’ve said, he was a pretty good president.

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