1. Read Ariah Fine’s blog.
2. Find some parallel thoughts to some disquieting thoughts you’ve had recently (that make friends shake their heads and tell you to shut it).
3. Share your own disquieting thoughts on your blog…
It is my contention that the American system of capitalism, while it is the most radically profitable system of economics this world carries at this present moment, it also is the most radically inequitable system of economics this world has ever seen, short of straight despotic tyranny. I’ll simplify it down to one thought, because any attempt to make a sweeping comment about this would drain too much brain energy from my sermon-writing right now and would probably ramble like…someone who rambles a lot.
Capitalism is driven primarily by the profit motive. Thus, companies are judged to be successful or unsuccessful ultimately by their ability to make lots of bucks. In the process of the pursuit of this profit, corporations act like greedy individuals in this profit maximization pursuit, not caring about the impact of their actions on the third-parties that aren’t directly involved in the company/client business.
As a result, we have situations like East St. Louis (drawn out most powerfully by Jonathan Kozol in his book Savage Inequalities…which I highly recommend despite some big-time biased investigation on Kozol’s part), and the mercury-infested waters of the South River in Waynesboro 15 minutes away from me thanks to DuPont, etc etc.
Basically, in a vacuum, companies don’t give a rip about the ripple-effect of their actions (called externalities) if their main pursuit is the profit motive. Even principled companies find themselves pushed into this rat race of pursuit of profit if they proceed uncritically. As a result, the people in the economic system apply the same thinking to their lifestyles (most food, staple items for the least money to maximize their money, etc etc). Hence, Wal-Mart.
And in all this process, we could assume that capitalism is the best we’ve got. I say the church is a model society that tells capitalism to take its pursuit of profit (and the earth it chews up and spits out when its done with it) and shove it where the sun don’t shine. I say the church is meant to be a socialist system where the lives of individuals are NOT forgotten for the sake of the affluence of the whole. But maybe I’m stupid. You read the first five chapters of Acts and tell me what YOU see. You know, I just don’t think it’s possible as a human in our limited vision to suggest we love the whole and act for the health of the whole by ignoring or sweeping under the rug those who the system leaves behind.
I’m tired of this thinking in my life, and I will fight it. And this is longer than a short statement, but oh well.
p.s. I just saw Ariah’s widget that suggests Savage Inequalities on his sidebar. Cool coincidence…he didn’t have that book up last I looked.