- Capitalism and Alternatives -

On the contrary

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( DSA, MA, USA ) on October 04, 1999 at 10:53:38:

In Reply to: Let's discuss something better posted by Quincunx on October 03, 1999 at 19:44:08:

: Please give it a shake. Since it's been a long time since we've debated I don't see much else to talk about with you concerning the subject. As you have lambasted Barry about behaviorism you should also note that not too many people really find the X-tian fundamentalist take on capitalism to be really that interesting.

On the contrary. i find the Christian (particularly Catholic, but the Quakers have lots of good ideas as well) "take" on capitalism to be compelling in a unique way. The progressive wing of the Catholic church in many latoin American countries, particularly Brazil and Nicaragua, was to be find on the same side of amny struggles as the more pure Marxists, and were certainly no less successful (the marxists's implemenattion of their progressive programs depend3d on their coming to power, and they only ever came to power in Cuba, Nicaragua and Chile, although progressive left governments did also rule for a time in Mexico and Uruguay.) The Catholic critique of capitalism in latin america, also called liberation theology, stated in frank terms that God was on the side of the poor in the class struggle. I know I will be criticized for saying this, but i believe this is a far more comeplling argument to move people spiritually and emotionally than the cool, bloodless Marxist view of "history is on our side" or even the alternate view, "human rights are on our side". Few people want to war with God, after all.

In practice, many Catholic priests in latin America were in teh forefront fo teh struggles for land reform, education, the socialisationof nicaragua, etcetera. Many also died or suffered for their actions, including Archbishop Helder Camara and Oscar Romero.

Outside Latin America, a Christian-socialist opposition also developed among the Quakers in North America, and in the African Socialist regimes of Tanzania and Zambia. I understand that your criticism was levelled at 'fundamentalist' Christians. But this term is somewhat meaningless, isn't it- correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't it only mean someone who derives their moral principles directly from the Bible- and the Catholic CHurch certainly claims to do this If we are going to critixcize a certain inetrpretation of Christaianity, lets' first amke it very clear what we are criticizing.

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