- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The Future Social Gospel

Posted by: Quincunx on November 24, 1999 at 13:07:57:

In Reply to: Religious Socialism posted by St. Marx on November 23, 1999 at 14:18:30:

: One of Capitalism's strongest arguments against Socialism and Communism is that when it becomes impossible to become filthy rich ( i.e. when making money no longer is the main motivating factor for
working hard ) people become lazy.

Qx: Which is flawed as all beat hell. There's plenty of lazy CEOs in transnational companies as counter-evidence.

In high school I read the novel "Animal Farm", a colourful critique on Communism which, in storybook fashion, showed several reasons why communism ultimately failed. The two main reasons were corrupt leaders ( the theme of the novel being that "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutelt") and how workers grew lazy since all workers recieved the same amount of food in spite of how hard each member worked. As such, I feel that Capitalism's critique on Marxism and Socialism is somewhat correct.

Qx: Keep in mind that Orwell was no pro-capitalist and that his name has been used by pro-capitalists for their own ends. Animal Farm is not a capitalist critique of Marxism and socialism.

: However, it seems to me that both of the afforementioned weakenesses of Communism/Socialism could be rectified through the promotion of basic religious principles ( i.e. Veber's "Protestant Work Ethic" and a leader having the desire to be fair and just --- compare Biblical tyrants like The Pharoah and King Herod, to Moses and King Solomon ).
What I am saying is that Marxism would have faired wonderfully, if
Marx had not been so opposed to religious faith and institutions ( the
very things that could have motivated the workers to work harder, and
kept Communist/Socialist leaders from becoming corrupt).

Qx: I think Weber's critique of the fusion of Christianity and capitalism is pretty good but the religious leaders of Russia are not some noice guys either. They owned a lot of land in pre-Revolutionary Russia and the power they wielded was no illusion. It was real and backed up by by Czarist authority.

: I'm not saying that all Socialist should have to adopt a belief in God ( I, by the way, am a Christian ), but I am saying that any Socialist movement needs to incorporate basic religious/moral values and institutions into its framework in order to work.

Qx: The religious/moral values I can basically live with. After all, much of it is an appeal to common, human decency which I feel is in all of humanity but the institutions are pretty questionable.

Personally, I feel that "Religious Socialism" would be FAR superior than what we have now in most first-world nations; that being cold, hard "Secular Captialism".

Qx: The CCF had much the same ideas also.

I find Conrad Black's recent statement, "compassion is for wimps!" to be VERY revealing concerning the reasons why Capitalism is doomed to failure ( morally, if not financially). Any comments?

Qxz: That's to be expected out of the likes of Conrad Black.

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