Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quote of the Day

. . . Many Christians have fallen for this oddly popular myth: that a system that recognises people won't willingly do the right thing by the poor and so finds structural means of redistributing wealth is somehow naïve. "It would be a great system if people were perfect," goes the sad-faced reply to a young idealist raising the question.

But it is Capitalism that would be great if people were perfect. Socialism (and let's include in that term other leftist philosophies of wealth-redistribution) doesn't need you to be a good person, to care about charity, to have a selfless heart. It taxes you if you have money to pay for those who don't. It takes public ownership of wealth-producing entities so that the profits benefit more than just a few shareholders. It assumes you won't do the right thing and takes the choice out of your hands.

What is odd about Christians who reject a system that forces you to do the right thing economically is that we are so often in favour of trying to force people to do the right thing morally. We are happy to take the choice as to whether you use pornography, hire a prostitute, marry someone of your own gender or build a Mosque. Regardless of whether you love or follow Christ. But on the issues in which intervention might save lives and prevent physical suffering, we have a hands-off approach.

– Jonty Langley
"Anarchism, Socialism, and Christianity"
The Huffington Post
August 8, 2011

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Obama a Socialist? Hardly
Quote of the Day – March 28, 2011
Capitalism on Trial
Playwright Tony Kushner on Being a Socialist
A Socialist Response to the Financial Crisis
A Socialist Perspective on the "Democratic Debacle" in Massachusetts
A Beautiful Novel
United 93 – A Socialist Perspective

Recommended Off-site Links:
From Jesus' Socialism to Capitalistic Christianity – Gregory Paul (The Washington Post via The Progressive Catholic Voice, August 12, 2011).
World Socialist Web Site

Image: Cover artwork of the book Why Not Socialism? by G. A. Cohen.

1 comment:

PrickliestPear said...

That's quite a brilliant way of putting it, actually.

No one can ever accuse right-wing Christians of being self-consistent.