I posted a column this morning at the Cypress Times explaining why I so often come down on the side of ‘capitalism.’
In this essay, I’d like discuss what I really believe the relationship between capitalism and Christianity is, and if anyone likes what I have to say, you can make up for my loss of friends on Facebook by becoming my new friends. 🙂
In truth, I am not interested at all in ‘capitalism.’ I am interested in freedom. I know that economists and dictionaries describe capitalism as an ‘economic system’ that can be set against socialism, communism, fascism, etc, but I don’t think of it in that way at all. In these latter examples, the common thread of the ‘isms’ is that the government itself is DOING something whereas in capitalism the basic notion is that the government is NOT DOING anything. In its purest, laissez-faire form, capitalism is just business without restrictions or interference of any kind from the government. (I doubt we’ve ever seen anything of the sort ever actually implemented, by the way).
To me, as a Christian, my first thought is simply this: on what basis do I have to restrict my fellow man in any way?
Now, I am quite certain that the Christian Scriptures do not hold up any economic or political ‘system’ as ideal. I’m equally certain that Christians are given no expectation that we could ever reach that ideal- or even that it is worth our time and effort to even try. Christians are called to serve each other and do good as they have opportunity no matter what situation that they find themselves in. There is no warrant in the Scriptures for Christians to try to erect or tinker with ‘systems.’ We are not on a quest for Utopia.