Jesus Was Not A Capitalist


Sorry. He just wasn’t. I’m not a Christian, relapsed-never-going-back-Lutheran, but the Bible has always intrigued me. Especially Song of Solomon. That book perplexed my little 12 year old mind.

Ooops. That’s a topic for another day.

Let’s get back on track, shall we?

Quote 1# It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

Think about that. Just why is it easier for a camel than a rich man (made rich by capitalism, mayhap?) to go through something? Could it be that the rich tend to hoard their riches rather than help the poor? Or exploit the unfortunate?

Hmm. I wonder.

Then there was the time Jesus got mad at all those people selling sacrifices in the Temple. These people were making money off people’s desire to do right by God. (I guess our equivalent would be those televangelists who cry out for money even as they are obviously wearing expensive watches. Oi vey.) As I think about it, selling things in what is basically a place of worship is fairly ….nauseating.

No. He was for sharing, helping out the poor, hanging out with women of ill repute. He did not just hang out with the religious elite. He made friends with the sinners, the homeless, the desperate. He loved people as they were.

I’m not religious, but I do believe Jesus existed.

As always, I welcome all thoughts and differing opinions—said in a respectful way, that is.

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Posted on November 16, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I don’t think He as a socialist, either. If He were, his only message would be “Render Unto Caesar”.

  2. No, but render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and render unto God what is God. That seems to me to be a condemnation of imperialism, which is what we are seeing today under the guise of American capitalism. Jesus may not have been a Socialist, per se, but he was hell of a lot more socialist than capitalist. If it were the other way around he would have made people pay for all that bread and fish and wine.

  3. “imperialism, which is what we are seeing today under the guise of American capitalism”

    Free trade is not imperialism.

    Socialism is about the tyranny of government: the greed of rulers maximized. If Jesus had been like the great socialist leaders (Castro, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, etc), the “loaves and fishes” part of the Bible would have had everyone shot to death. And no loaves or fishes, because the planned economy stopped producing them years ago.

  4. the statement is flawed, at least a little bit.

    Sure Jesus wasn’t a capitalist, but only because the definition of such things wasn’t available at the time.

    The issue here is “greed” not money necessarily. I know very rich people who are “christians”. There’s nothing wrong with that, however the “love” of money is the root of all evil. Not money alone.

    I think there is way too much to argue with the statement, this could get very longwinded.

    In short, you’re right. At length, the statement is flawed.

    Weird how this has me thinking. Great post. I like it.

  5. Thanks for your comments! Your comments have made me think. I believe I may have oversimplified what I was trying to convey. 🙂

    I don’t think Jesus was an “ist” anything.

    And it all depends on how someone gets rich.

  6. “Socialism is about the tyranny of government: the greed of rulers maximized.”
    I think Canada might disagree with you there dmarks. There is nothing inherently evil about socialism, just as there is nothing inherently evil about capitalism. It is the leaders that make the systems what they are, not the other way around. And I find it interesting that you call out socialism, but then list Communist leaders. There is a difference, fine as it is, between socialism and communism. And I agree, that communism is the more tyrannical of the two.
    And true, the Free Market does not equate with imperialism, but the way we practice the free market today in America almost mandates that we must become imperialistic. No longer are we focused on production and fair markets, but rather out-sourcing jobs to other countries and invading them. Our free market is failing because it is running rampant and uncontrolled. The Fed, Congress, and the President have set up an imperialist free market in that it is impossible to get anywhere without money, and these agents have made it nearly impossible to get money.
    Bailout? Please. If that was the big plan, then why are they still giving money to companies and banks that aren’t lending it out? Because it’s risky, and those companies are breaking the deal they made with Congress, and by extension the American people, which was that they would start lending again once they got the money. They haven’t and we’re suffering.
    And these wars are all about profit for large “Free Market” companies like Haliburton who got tons of cash from no bid contracts (where’s the free market spirit in that? it’s not there because there was no competition allowed for these rebuilding contracts. They were essentially just given to Haliburton and a few other large companies), and the private security firm Blackwater. No the Free Market system is no more imperialist (in theory) than socialism is tyrannical (again, in theory), but the way we have conducted our free market society is a lot closer to an empire of the few and rich than an open competitive market where everyone has a REAL opportunity to make enough money to get by on. That is simply not happening in the US right now.

  7. “I think Canada might disagree with you there dmarks”

    Most of the economy in Canada is in private hands, which does not mean it is very socialist.

    “There is nothing inherently evil about socialism”

    I think there is indeed something inherently evil about trusting the rulers to run every aspect of our private lives. So did the so-called “Founding Fathers” in the United States. That is why there is a Bill of Rights, and also other specifications to limit the power of government.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely. So socialism, which means trusting the rulers with absolute economic power, is corrupting.

    “And I find it interesting that you call out socialism, but then list Communist leaders. There is a difference”

    Every one of those Communist leaders was a socialist. The communists tend to be the more extreme, more pure socialists.

    “And true, the Free Market does not equate with imperialism”

    The free market has nothing to do with imperialism at all, since the free market is a private-sector matter, and imperialism is a matter of the government.

    “No longer are we focused on production and fair markets, but rather out-sourcing jobs to other countries and invading them. ”

    Outsourcing is part of a fair and free market, and has nothing to do with imperialism. All out-sourcing means is hiring the person who is best at doing the job. even if they are in another state or country. Invasions are pretty much an unrelated topic, as we are not enjoying a big amount of free trade with Afghanistan and Iraq, and we are outsourcing to countries such as India and Indonesia and Mexico and Vietnam…. which either defeated us, or we never invaded them, or we invaded them so long ago that it does not count.

    “Our free market is failing because it is running rampant and uncontrolled”

    It is not failing, but we are having some major problems due to bad regulations and government interference in the economy. Both are examples of socialism. Consider the problems of Fannie-Mae and Freddie-Mac, which are the government agencies at the root of the current meltdown. And Congress encouraged them to loan to people who could not pay back the loans.

  8. Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were not government agencies before the bailout, and it was lack of government regulation, not because of, that we are in the situation we are in. Outsourcing is not about finding the “best people” to do the job, but rather the “cheapest” way to do the job because free market/capitalist societies (or at least the one we live in) are all about maximizing profits and minimizing expenses. So no, we don’t do much trade with Vietnam or India, but it is a lot cheaper for our companies to operate there than it is to operate on our home soil, just as it is cheaper for IBM, HP, Google, Chevy, and others to hire people from those countries to work in the factories there than it is for them to hire American workers in American based facilities.
    The India tech center is advanced sure, but that does not explain why customer service jobs are sent over there, especially when the majority of the people they will deal with speak english. And the war is an imperialist venture into the free market because the government has given companies that participate in the free market capitalist system we have in the US contracts in which they disallowed competition.
    Free Market does not just mean free trade, it means competition, but when the government awards contracts without competition that is not a Free Market mindset, but rather an imperialistic/oligarchical one. In theory the free market is a private matter, but as we can see members of our government are profiting and profiteering off the war. After all, they must sustain themselves after they leave office, and what better way to do that than to take measures that will secure their financial future, all under the guise of the “free market,” which really has just become a medium for a select few to practice economical imperialism on the rest of the US citizens and the world.

  9. “Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac were not government agencies before the bailout”

    They both were, and are. Their status as government agencies is as GSE’s (government-sponsored enterprises)

    “…and it was lack of government regulation, not because of”

    It was because of. This article details the dawn of the mess, with the Clinton Administration “increasing pressure ” to do this in 1999.

    “Outsourcing is not about finding the “best people” to do the job, but rather the “cheapest” way to do the job”

    It is about finding the best people, because the person or company who can do the exact same job for less is the better one to contract with or hire. Just like a 2008 Ford Focus for $15,400 is better than the same Ford Focus for $17,800.

    “because free market/capitalist societies (or at least the one we live in) are all about maximizing profits and minimizing expenses. ”

    Yes, so why deal with someone who overcharges when there’s someone better?

    “So no, we don’t do much trade with Vietnam….”

    Only $10 billion a year….

    “or India”

    According to fas.org, trade with India grew from $6 billion in 1990 to $33 billion now.

    “The India tech center is advanced sure, but that does not explain why customer service jobs are sent over there, especially when the majority of the people they will deal with speak english.”

    If they speak English just as well, but don’t demand as much money, then they are better people to hire. However, sometimes these people in India have accents that are way too thick, so the jobs come back.

    “And the war is an imperialist venture into the free market because the government has given companies that participate in the free market capitalist system we have in the US contracts in which they disallowed competition.”

    You may have a point here. However, one thing I have wondered about the Halliburton no-bid contract: what companies realistically compete with Halliburton that could have also bid?

    If so, I am sure President Obama will likely open the bidding, or contract with another company. But if Halliburton is really the only company that will do the job, Obama would keep them on.

    “In theory the free market is a private matter, but as we can see members of our government are profiting and profiteering off the war. After all, they must sustain themselves after they leave office”

    Yet, the US government is doing all it can to ensure a sovereign non-puppet government in Iraq which does and will tell us to go hang. If policy truly were Halliburton-driven, the Bush Administration would have quickly pushed to forgive Saddam Hussein of his cease-fire violations, and worked out very lucrative sweetheart deals with Saddam’s dictatotorial government.

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