9 Oct

To be clear, capitalism as a concept, or even the word itself, does not appear anywhere in the Bible. It doesn’t appear anywhere in the Declaration of Independence and it doesn’t appear anywhere in the Constitution. So why, in this country, is it promoted and accepted unequivocally as sacrosanct? We lay claim to it yet we certainly didn’t invent it. Capitalism has been around since the first cave woman picked more berries than she and her family could eat. She traded the excess to some other woman for fire wood and capitalism was born. Openly or covertly capitalism is practiced everywhere in the world 24/7. That, however, doesn’t make it holy. It is the way of the world. At the ground level it’s the marriage between human beings and natural resources but for Christ sakes it’s not a religious experience. Like all things, capitalism is as capitalism does. In an evolved society capitalism is capitalized on, not prayed to. Like all things, if it’s not working for the common good then adapt it, we are a people who invented versions; we stand in lines at midnight to purchase them. The so called experts on capitalism propagandize that it can’t flourish in a harness. These are people with an agenda; their actual expertise is in amassing and protecting personal wealth. Not the same thing. For better or worse capitalism is like the common weed, extremely hardy and engineered to massively reproduce. The exercise is not to eradicate it nor glorify it; it’s a tool to be used creatively to improve the lives of the citizenry.

Power to the People.

One Response to “Capitalism”

  1. ccassinerio October 19, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    You wouldn’t find the word “capitalism” in the Bible, the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, because the word didn’t come into existence until sometime around the Industrial Revolution. But, I think your point was was more of a question: On what basis do the religious or capitalistic conservatives link their political thrust with the Bible? And, if not the Bible itself, how is it that the early documents written to declare religious and political freedom for ALL in America, are suddenly read as rigid examples of morality that only a few can grasp?

    I certainly don’t know the answer of why, as you put it, capitalism has become “sacrosanct,” but my guess is that it goes back to who can work the capitalistic system to his or her benefit; the more your system works, then the more it becomes the “right way.” (I think finding the “right way” is pretty entrenched into American thought…Americans don’t seem to be comfy with mistakes). Romney addressed it in the first debate in regard to taxation of the wealthy. He said something like: Let them alone, they’re (the wealthy) doing fine. There is going to be a progression of thought and experience within the closed doors of the comfortable and wealthy, and it is naturally going to lead to a sense of “knowing best” how to run the country. It helps, too, to have God or Thomas Jefferson on your side, although I feel the conservatives do Thomas Jefferson a great disservice in their interpretations of his work. (No one group is ever going to agree on the Bible.)

    The Old Testament is jam-packed with stories of vast human inequities and enslavement by the rulers, which indicates a great imbalance of wealth. I believe the Pharaohs and others of inherited wealth were in charge, but maybe the merchants had some power, too. When Jesus arrives on the scene, we know for certain that there are capitalists operating, because he throws them out of the temple for doing business in a sacred place. So, at least in the time of Jesus, capitalism did not have a very good reputation amongst those who were not able to, or not interested in, the business of making money work for them. In fact, it seems there was a very big distinction made between making money and spiritual life in the New Testament, and perhaps in the Old Testament, too. There are those sayings about the rich not getting into heaven and the meek inheriting the earth. This tells me that there was a big problem with people who controlled the economy in Biblical times, and that the multitudes were suffering enough to call on God to support their plight. Their story was written down in history in probably the most famous book of all times. However, how does this support the current political agenda of the conservatives? It seems to be a reversal of positions; those in power are now calling for the support of God.

    The only thing I can think of is that the conservatives are evoking the spirit of the first Puritan settlers in America. I don’t know the technical differences between their thought and the thought of the Church of England, but I seem to recall that the gist of God’s guidance was that God had given the earth and its abundance to Man to use as he saw fit. Man was to oversee all of God’s nature, which from a strict, fundamentalist point of view, included overseeing the women,too. In the Presidential race today, the uneducated have been added to the list.

    I tend to remember most the stories about the Puritans cutting off the hands, or even putting to death, the boys caught masturbating. However, I also seem to recall that the Puritans introduced the beginnings of what we call capitalism today and that the results were mostly positive. So, as you said, Foo, complete eradication of capitalism may not be the answer. How would you adapt the system as it stands now? How about the job

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