Saturday, June 24, 2017

Critique of Capitalism


Capitalism pits the worker against the fellow worker, and finally the worker against even herself and the world around her.

It breeds desires that can never be fulfilled, yet are constantly used as life-goals, and creates a dislike for those who work along side, as threats to one's own advancement, and then a dislike for the boss, as well, who, in turn, dislikes the worker, for fear that the worker will fail to achieve the goals set by the boss, and make the boss look bad, who in turn will look bad in the eyes of the owners, who, themselves, are striving against impossible goals of achievement and acquisition, in competition with other owners who always pose a threat with their desires for achievement and acquisition, desires that are out of bounds, unchecked, and never to be fulfilled, because they're artificial, shallow, and self-serving.

Capitalism is a system fundamentally opposed to God's order of creation ... wherein work is purposeful for the worker, and ends regularly with rest and reflection, with room for compassion and mercy and kindness, and a commitment to the notion that all work is work for others, as well as for myself, that whatever I owe to my family, I owe to the world.

What is happening now in America is truly King of the Hill madness, as the young shove aside the elderly, the healthy push away the sick, adults disregard children, the powerful abuse the weak ... families are fractured, the social contract is cancelled, kindness is termed weakness, compassion is perceived as a waste of time, and within this mix of tension and fear, all the usual suspects of sin appear: racism, homophobia, misogyny, xenophobia ... and various additions as the weary human seeks some form of solace, pleasure and escape.

And into this bizarre mix, the Prosperity Gospel, which is no gospel at all, but a tyrant shredding the soul of those who buy into it, because the tyrant of prosperity allows no rest, no reflection, no compassion for those who work alongside ... no compassion for the sick, the aged, the infirm, the poor, who are regarded only as drains upon the system, slugs in the way, disrupters of "my" desires to achieve and acquire.

That the Christian Community has failed to critique Capitalism is Christianity's greatest failure ... that primal failure that cripples the church and renders it incapable of truly proclaiming the Kingdom of God, the forgiveness of sin, the reconciliation of life, and the love that makes all things new.

The Christianity Community devolves into an evangelical "salvation machine," getting people to heaven, or a dispenser of psychological nostrums to ease the tension of a capitalism no one wants to confront, or a "charity machine," doing good things, promoting "social justice," patting itself on the back, and still failing to deal with the central issues that destroy life.

For me, there is always hope ... in that human beings ultimately tire of their sin, and seek something beyond themselves.

The quite voices of reason and hope are always there, and so are the materials of faith - the prophets, preachers and poets ... wanderers and writers, people of prayer and mindfulness ... those who seek the Kingdom of God above all else ... in every religion, in every mosque, temple and church ... in quiet corners and on the streets, with those who speak truth to power and confront the evils of the day, without flinching, with fear and trepidation, of course, but with a courage created in the fires of honesty, humility and hope, grounded in the great Mystery of the Spiritual Presence and its boundless hope.

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