Thursday, June 23, 2011

Inherent Faults of Socialism and Capitalism

Did Christ support wealth redistribution? It sort of depends on which biblical passages you are speaking of. I think specifically about the parable of the talents in Luke where those who were given much were given more in the end for being good stewards. I also think of Paul who told the Thessalonians that they should not take care of those who do not pull their own weight and portrayed an attitude of laziness.

But the early church if you remember shared everything, they took care of each other.

Acts 4:32-35 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

Redistribution is Socialism. Any economist will tell you that as nice of an idea it seems, it just doesn't work. People become lazy, unmotivated and dependent on government. Capitalism on the other hand rewards hard work, which does not have the weakness of socialism, but its weakness is that many in need are often left behind in the dust. This however can be remedied if the general population is a moral society which willing to take care of those in need who are not able to care for themselves. These depend wholly on the charity of the moral people who live in it's society.

The problem arrives in the form that our society is no longer dominantly Christian and the Church in the present age has been far too lax in providing for those in need. The solution, government puts in place redistribution and socialism. It is a horribly sad day for capitalism because capitalism 'in and of itself' can be a good thing if run properly. By being uncaring Christians we need to blame only ourselves for this situation because we do not care enough for those in need as we should. James also tells us that perfect religion is to take care of orphans and widows in their distress.

While we have as Christians have learned a generous loving form of capitalism can be a better solution, we do not employ it correctly rendering it ineffective and we oppose socialism. Society then sees us as selfish Christians who don't show the love of Christ. Can we blame them? We do not give and we ignore the need. This is why the founders said our great experiment of liberty could only work in a moral society.

Good Capitalism is dead in a society that is not moral. Unfortunately many Christians think preserving a moral society means creating a church state, which violates the rights of others and turns people off even more to the Gospel. Remedying that problem is not so simple, there are no easy answers. I don't have a big picture solution, I'm just asking us to see that no matter what we do it's not perfect, because humans are not perfect. All I can suggest is that we try to help those in need the best we can on our level instead of buying a TV for every room or whatever else we might otherwise do with it

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