Monday, February 8, 2016

As long as this continues to be true:

Bernie Sanders, or any radical revolutionary, will pick up steam.  You don't have to hate Capitalism or the Free Market to admit that those economic approaches in the hands of a godless, hedonistic and narcissistic society will end up no good.  Of course, Democratic Socialism in the same godless, hedonistic and narcissistic society won't work either.  That's the rub. 

Christians, including Catholics, have long lost our moxie when it comes to stating that we have the Truth, and the Truth alone can set us free.  Other cultures and societies can have parts of the Truth, or have decent enough attempts at goodness.  But in the end, they will fall far short of the mark.

In a fallen world, anything will fall short of the mark.  That must be admitted.  But the One, True Faith will do much better in that fallen world than other beliefs that are farther from the Truth.  And yet, we can't admit that simple fact.  Not today.  Not in the face of the triumphant Left and its heretical beliefs in multi-cultural revelation. As a result, many Christians, Catholics included, see the problems with our American society.  They see the stagnant wages, the inability to provide livings, the growing consolidation of wealth among radically non-religious, non-Christian advocates who take from the government everything they can get and then snap their fingers to God, country and Americans.  They see the problem.

Unfortunately, they then whitewash the issues because we long ago accepted that Christianity was just our meat, Islam is their meat, Buddhism their meat, Atheism their meat, and if we can all just get along and teach the right things in our classrooms, all will be right with the world.  So they imagine that it's the rascally Free Market or that vile Capitalism that has been the mischief.  As such, perhaps given the grave difficulties so many are experiencing in our country, it might be time to go radical and think Socialist!  What could possibly go wrong? I submit the same exact thing will go wrong, because in the end, I submit that the real problem isn't Capitalism or the Free Market, or even Socialism, but a godless and hedonistic and narcissistic society. 

In the television show The Middle, Patricia Heaton plays the ultimate post-modern mom and wife.  She's lazy.  She has big dreams, but never bothers to work for them, and spends most of her time running around trying to fix the resulting problems.  It's a very well written and funny show.

In one episode, they look at their old, dilapidated home.  They decide they will move to a new housing development; condominiums where others do the heavy lifting with repairs and yard work, and they can just relax.  Their kids are less than happy.  They don't want to leave their friends.  They don't want to relocate.  When the family goes to look at the model homes, Frankie (Patricia's character) is swept away.  It looks so wonderful.  So perfect.  But Axel, her smart mouthed, underachieving teenage son, hits the nail on the head.  He points out that the model home looks good because they don't live there.  Once they move their crappy furniture in and lay around and do nothing with their lives, it will end up being as crappy as their current home.

And that's the problem.  Taking any economic or political theory and applying it to the same godless, non-Christian (or anti-Christian) society isn't going to fix anything.  We Christians lost the stomach for pointing out that Christianity is the exclusive Truth revealed by God through Jesus Christ.  We can't bring ourselves to believe that even though we can never make a perfect world, there are better chances with Christ to make a good world with good ethics, sacrifice, hard work and responsibility than in other systems based on other beliefs.  Because of our inability to say this, we've convinced ourselves that any belief is as good as our own.  Any morals as good as ours.  So it must be those pesky political and economic theories. 

Sorry, our country long ago shed its Christian roots.  Did I mention we are a godless, hedonistic, narcissistic nation of grown up children who resent work and want everything handed to us on a silver platter without responsibility?  Do we really think that ditching Capitalism and the Free Market for a Democratic Socialist model will change that?  I don't think so.  Who knows, if we first embrace our Christian roots and declare our Faith's exclusive contribution to humanity, even Democratic Socialism might work.  But putting the cart before the horse, and pushing for the political theory over the Divine Revelation?  That will just take our crappy social furniture, and make the new economic home as crappy as it is now.

1 comment:

  1. Taking any economic or political theory and applying it to the same godless, non-Christian (or anti-Christian) society isn't going to fix anything.

    Ding ding ding! We have a winner!

    2 things.

    1) In an earlier post you mentioned something about "what capitalism has promised." Something I've noticed is that very often what people say capitalism has promised is about like what Shea says you have accused him of. Hypothetical example: Capitalism says, "It's going to be great!" -Things happen- Everybody shouts back, "You promised us it would be perfect!" While one could see the chain of logic from A to B, it nonetheless remains that B is not A.

    2) What is more frequently claimed is that Capitalism is "the best." At what? Distributing resources. If you want people to be fed, Capitalism is the system that will do it better than any other.

    WHICH MEANS, exactly what you said above. So a completely godless, heathen, pagan society? It's going to be wretched, but it running free markets is going to be better than those same godless, heathen, pagans running any kind of controlled market. A devote, saintly, perfectly orthodox society? Same deal.

    You hit the nail square on the head. What people do is often run the wrong argument. They compare the pagan, godless, capitalistic society to a devote, saintly, socialist one, point to the latter and say, "see? things would be better if we were socialist!" No, things wouldn't be better if we were socialist, things would be better if we were GODLY. And even if we were all saints, capitalism would still be the best system for us because of the Knowledge Problem.

    There's also a comment I was going to leave once about how socialism leads to less religion but this has gone on long enough. I'll save it for later.

    (the Middle does have a lot of charm to it doesn't it? I like that the Dad is actually a decent guy and hands out the stings & jokes almost as often as he is the butt of them)


Let me know your thoughts