Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Rants: Picture-Booked by Whom?

I am unable to understand how any Christian—conservative or liberal--can look at the world today (or at any time in the past) and decide that “free market capitalism” is pretty much the best way for a morally-sound society to conduct business .

Even the giddiest of optimists can--at best--only say, “Things could be worse.”

Capitalism is a game of winners and losers; that’s how it works. The “trickle-down” inevitably dries up before it reaches the bottom. And then the “winners” bitch and moan about being asked to fund emergency waterboys out of their surplus, in order to keep the losers alive at subsistence level.

Can any of you show me one verse in which Jesus Christ says anything that would support capitalism as a way of life? Can any of you deny that the very first Christians–the men and women who actually walked with Christ and presumably lived as He taught them to live–set up a communal system?

I have to ask, along with Dylan, “You’ve been picture-booked, by whom?”


Anonymous said...

"Can any of you deny that the very first Christians–the men and women who actually walked with Christ and presumably lived as He taught them to live–set up a communal system?"

No, this is more or less undeniable.

(It is also undeniable that the Jerusalem church eventually became desperately impoverished--though persecution was undoubtedly a significant factor--thus necessitating the contributions from foreign churches referenced in Paul's letters and Acts. But that's a topic for another discussion...)

On the other hand, can it be denied that the Soviet Union was a place where there was an absolute redistribution of wealth in the direction of the working class--and that it was an utter failure that _necessarily_ ushered in an oligarchy?

I agree with you, that from a Christian perspective, capitalism is deplorable--not only because it results in obscene amounts of wealth being given over to individual men (Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, et al.); but because it absolutely corrupts good morals, largely for the purpose of atomizing a people so that they can become interchangeable, ever redeployable workers.

So I agree with you that capitalism is unchristian. But as we see the welfare state under such strain throughout the developed world--perhaps terminally so--and as we see the examples of the Soviet Union and communist China--dictatorships of the proletariat that imploded and ushered in the worst forms of robber-baron capitalism--what is the realistic and viable alternative?

By the way, Rodak--I love your blog, I've been faithfully reading you for years. I especially like the accounts of your adventures in reading...

Rodak said...

First, I thank you for reading.

In response to your well-reasoned comments, I ask first, why anything you say should matter to a dedicated disciple of Christ? If "the world" wins, Christ loses.

Historically, suppose that the Soviet Union and other communist republics had not been shunned, isolated, and otherwise attacked from every possible angle by the capitalist world. Might the story not have gone better for them?
Today we have the example of China.

But those considerations are somewhat beside the main point of my post.

Again, thank you for reading. Your comments are most appreciated.

Anonymous said...

"In response to your well-reasoned comments, I ask first, why anything you say should matter to a dedicated disciple of Christ? If "the world" wins, Christ loses."

A: "Christ said, 'If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Be thou removed, etc.'"

B: "A mountain has never come tumbling down through prayer." [right, Rodak?]

A: "Why should that matter to a dedicated disciple of Christ, etc.?"

Can we acknowledge that, while it may be reasonable to suppose that Christ taught something like a communalization of resources, he did not spell out in any detail (at least not that _we_ know) precisely what that entailed? Thus, modern attempts to implement just such schemes are guesses, however educated they may be--and in my opinion, Marxism is an extremely well-educated guess and a glorious, shambolic failure--on the part of modern men. These guesses have either utterly failed on the one hand (Marxian communism) or appear to be potentially failing on the other (Euro-American welfare statism).

Perhaps I'm wrong about the viability of the welfare state and it's just going through a rough patch, but current projections forecast something like a forty-six trillion dollar unfunded liability for Medicare. Ergo, Medicare as we know it will one day be no more--and no degree of faith in Christ will change that.

Dedicated disciples of Christ must accord with reality like all men, no? (Or else become Pentecostals...)

Perhaps you construed my comments as being a sort of sidelong defense of capitalism. I didn't intend it to be so. I'd wager that I execrate capitalism every bit as much as you and--like you, I suppose--I'm even willing to entertain the notion that there were modestly positive currents in the "Second World" of the communist states. But, regardless of any other consideration, they just didn't work and they ushered in their wake the very worst form of oligarchic, robber baron capitalism. I just want to know, in all sincerity, what is the truly viable alternative?

As to the question of the Cold War causing such harm to the communist states that it undermined what would have otherwise been a potentially successful economy, I must admit I'm skeptical. The communist states themselves pursued isolationist and/or revolutionary foreign policies that antagonized the West. The grotesque illiberalism of the Communist bloc as well greatly alienated them from the First World.

Now China is booming as it has come out of its own, largely self-imposed, isolation and internal tyranny--but it's no longer a model of proletarian/peasant-centered economic reformism. Instead, it's robber-baron capitalism to the max...

Thanks for your gracious reply to my comment, Rodak.

Rodak said...

All of what you say is true. As for the current failure of European socialism, however, we must admit that their current distress has been caused in great part by their capitalistic elements; particularly by their involvement with U.S. mega-banks.

Be that as it may, the ultimate answer is that any kind of "salvation" is the task of the individual. It would necessarily involve a turning away from collectives of all kinds. It would involve dedicating oneself to the pursuit of impossbile ideals; making of that pursuit an end in itself. A life should be an ongoing process of creative becoming. Once a man has become an organization man--be it church, party, union, corporation, etc. of which he becomes a member--his growth stops with his adherence to the by-laws of that institution. And he begins to die from the inside out. The best he can hope for is to do that with a modicum of dignity.
Everything complex is preordained to become simple by the gradual release of its constituent elements. We give that process such labels as "disintegration" and "decay." We fear death, and we think that by merging our destinies with systems we can somehow ward death off. This is an illusion; all systems have their demise built into their blueprints.

The moral difference between socialism and capitalism, is that socialism at least attempts to do the right thing; it is constructed on the concept of sharing the pain. Capitalism is constructed on an attempt to avoid the pain.
Socialism fails because the fear of death overcomes the impulse towards *agape* and *caritas*. Capitalism fails because those it inevitably leaves behind, dying by the roadside, eventually rot its foundation with their numbers.

Anonymous said...

"As for the current failure of European socialism, however, we must admit that their current distress has been caused in great part by their capitalistic elements..."

Yes, capitalism/welfare-statism/Euro-socialism may be failing just as Marx predicted it would. (Marxian communism has already failed, just as Hayek predicted it would.)

Your subsequent comments seem to suggest that any attempt to implement overarching, collective solutions are to be viewed with skepticism, at best. I'm inclined to agree wholeheartedly with the thrust of your remarks--but, at least as regards the relation of this sentiment to the prospect of socialism or meliorism or whatever, you would appear to have shifted the ground somewhat from the intention of the original post.

Your remarks imply that a thoroughgoing "apoliticism" is what's called for and I think that's a very intriguing and possibly compelling notion...

Anonymous said...

To follow up yet once more, if I may...

Doesn't the gist of your remarks imply that being a "dedicated disciple of Christ" is more or less to be eschewed?

Rodak said...

My initial remarks were meant to highlight cognitive dissonance of politically conservative Christians who seem to believe that one can serve both God and Mammon, even though, if asked, they will vehemently deny it (as they've been taught to.)
Being a dedicated disciple of Christ is definitely not to be eschewed. But, that said, almost nobody has the courage to do it, including, most certainly, me.

Anonymous said...

Point taken...

Anonymous said...

"Socialism fails because the fear of death overcomes the impulse towards *agape* and *caritas*."

By the way, Rodak, I recently read a good book about agape and caritas--perhaps you've already read it: *Agape and Eros* by Anders Nygren

Rodak said...

I haven't read it. But I'll put it on the list. Thank you!

Katley said...

What you say on here is true. In a truly "Christian" society people would be sharing and caring. After all, greed is one of the seven deadly sins, and capitalism is based on greed.

This is why God is pissed off at the world....I'm beginning to think all those natural disasters are expressions of his wrath. I lived through two this year, a tornado and a snowstorm that knocked out power for a week. I'm sure there will be more in store for 2012 :(

Rodak said...

Katley--On another level, I think that we--in the way we punish ourselves and each other--are the embodiment of God's wrath. We could flip and be the embodiment of God's love, but we don't remember how it's done.

Tracie Skarbo said...

Jesus definitely would have been a Socialist! Socialism always works on paper... unfortunately in the past dictators somehow get to the helm pretty quick in these situations... wait... that kinda sounds like capitalism too!

Rodak said...

So true, on both counts, Tracie. Thanks for dropping by!

Mad said...

Ahhh, mon frere, still fighting the good fight, I see.

Nonetheless, I will wade my big-ass brogans into thy teleological pond with these thoughts:

Socialism, Capitalism, Libertarianism, Thisism, Thatism; Isn't it the most? All these ideologies are nothing more than phantasms of the pedigreed metal masturbators of the world who consider their personal and avowed philosophies to be so pure and above the everyday decisions, actions and movements of real men, women and populations; none of which fit neatly into some "leader's" philosophical box.

For there is no magic in any marketplace, as I do not believe in anything metaphysical, even if the defense of its pecuniary paranormal powers comes out of the mouth of Friedman or freed man. Nor is socialism any more "scientific" than homeopathy. If socialism, like all true scientific phenomena, can't be proven to be replicable in all places at all times by all peoples than it does not deserve claim to empirical purity as does mechanical engineering.

That being said, dost thou now seek to lay claim to Jesus's political registration, considering that nowhere in your Good Book did he profess allegiance to any earthly philosophy of state and governance (Nay, didn't come with his OWN government on his shoulders, his alleged words)?

Have you now become an incarnation of the Year-2000-Joe-Lieberman of Christian Intellectuals? ("You're not a real believer in the religion unless your political beliefs match mine")

Thus, does it really matter how we politically classify any of the major religion's prophets? Those classifications don't seem to be feeding the poor (which I don't see too many "American Christians", red or blue state, doing these days); clothing the naked (which ain't working in Muslim "Arab Spring" countries any more than it did in Penn State athletic showers under Joe Paterno); and sheltering the homeless (Palestine, anyone?).

Assuming that Jesus is as real as the truths of his stated philosophy (the personage I doubt, the morals I don't) should a Christian be more considered with categorizing and pigeon-holing the teachings of his or her Personal Savior under some useless temporal philosophy, rather than using any "system" in which one finds oneself as a vehicle to furthering the aims of the Risen Christ?

All that aside...How YOU doing? lol

Mad said...

Well, at least you intellectually wrestle with the big issues. I have to wonder about this year's model, the Twitter Generation, and their concept of moral outrage. Let's see, death threats to a coach who reports felony crimes against minors and calls for riots in support of a mere fired football coach, but no protests or shows of support ANYWHERE for the victims...

The Future Romney America and College Football. Reminds me of one of my favorite Dead Kennedys songs


Christian Nation, indeed ...

Rodak said...

Well, my post only attempts to touch upon what one who professes to be a follower of Jesus CAN'T do, without being a rank hypocrite.
I don't think it's possible to be a true disciple of that teaching and also functional in "the world."
I do think that socialism, of the sort practiced in Sweden and Denmark, does a much better job of eliminating dire poverty than does capitalism.

Rodak said...

Btw, I had a brief exchange with RAG on Facebook yesterday. He said that the situation at Penn St. brought our old friend Moose to mind. I told him that cops pepper-spraying defenseless women at OWS rallies in NYC brought Moose to mind for me.

Mad said...

Well, through my jesting, my only point was that I don't think Jesus was a red or blue state figure, much as candidates from Obama to Gingrich try to lay claim to such. Those of the truest spirit walked the walk, and lived the life whether in Texas or Transylvania.

As for Facebook, nay it and its sister Twitter are the Devil. The cyber-Succubus and -Incubus of the grey matter of millions of morons. While I have no doubt that YOU make good use of it, I only see something that truly is THE vast wasteland and makes reruns of old 1950s shows like "Leave It To Beaver" come off as charming episodic community theater.

So, ol' RAG is still making the rounds, huh? I would have thought he was busy, along with Dr. Frankenstein, in trying to fashion the dead thoughts and rotting flesh of Reaganspeak into a walking, debating hulk seeking to resuscitate the electoral fortunes of his former political boss for next year's Republican Beauty Pageant. Gingrich, a man whom the Twitter and Facebook crowd have ALREADY forgotten had his ENTIRE STAFF quit on him out of disgust...yet now he is on polling par with Romney.

As for OWS, can't stand them, but not for the reason that Messrs. Moose, Bill, and EdMcGon do. I saw immediately OWS for what it was (must be that Aspergers Syndrome of mine helping me to look past what the crowd sees): an unorganized mess of visceral outpouring destined to be used and manipulated by more organized and evil minds than those of the madding crowd. A left version of the Tea Party. And I knew it would dissipate quickly as it is now doing, much like steam out of a sidewalk grate on a cool morning. I mean, who plans a revolt in NYC and Chicago on the cusp of winter? Proletarian Polar Bears?

Did they really believe they were going to pull off some sort of David and Goliath against Wall Street, a Wall Street that is as much supported by presumed OWS sponsor, the Democratic Party, as it is the Republicans?

Saw it all before with the Million Man March. A bunch of well-meaning jamokes gathered in one place for the supposed purpose of social change and uplift (but with absolutely no concrete plan of action or agenda) only to be used and manipulated by charismatic race hustlers for no end other than pocket-fleecing.

Two centuries later, the Walrus and Carpenter still enjoy buttered bread as the empty shells and shoes of the manipulated litter the shoreline.

Pretty much all you need to know about OWS


Like their fraternal twin, the Tea Party, they will sink into the cognitive sand until some new scandal or celebrity news bite come along to occupy the masses like a baby with a multimedia mobile dangling over its head...

Mad said...

"I like the Walrus best," said Alice, "because you see he was a little sorry for the poor oysters."

Pretty much how I see idiot voters who chose the Democrats over Republicans (a false choice, anyway).

Rodak said...

I pretty much share your opinion about the ultimate effectiveness of OWS. Nothing will change bid'ness as usual but a whole lot of directed violence, and that apparently isn't in the offing.
The bottom line is that there is no hope: the party's over. This civilization is on a water slide and the pool at the bottom of the ride is going to be fucking cold. Very fucking cold.

Mad said...

I second your motion, except that I don't think violence ever solves anything. Black folks believed in that once, so-called "Black Power" and James Baldwin's bullshit about Malcolm X's "muscular approach" compared to King.

All it begot us was a race of single-digit IQ troglodytes and morons that feed off the few productive and civilized among other African-Americans like hyenas, making a mockery of the legitimate grievances, struggles and aspirations of those who came before us. "Hungry Freaks" as Frank Zappa put it.

In America/OWS, we're not talking about a bunch of people who are truly suffering like in "Les Miserables" or developing nations. Having spent time in a developed-turn-back-into-developing-nation-by-Uncle-Sam, I find it hard to commiserate with young rabble who really aren't into real social change, i.e. ACTUAL WORK that would feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless whether among rural blacks in Mississippi, rural whites in West Virginia, or just plain down and out folk of ANY background in our national parts.

Too busy looking to be photographed and uploaded to YouTube with raised fist and a narcissistic "Look at me, Ma, I can protest!!!"

I remember back in the 80s at Ohio State all the black students who called themselves standing up against Apartheid (something that none of them could control other than buying a Little Steven charity 45 rpm in support). I suggested to the black fraternities and engineering students, "Hey, let's take a bus down to Tunica, Mississippi and put in some modern plumbing for the folk in shacks down there!" cricket cricket ....

It's way too easy in this Marshall McLuhan age to be a cyber-mouth and complain about what "THE MAN" (whoever that figment be in one's mind) is or is not doing, rather than just outright helping the poor. Hypocrites, as both your Bible and the Muslim world's Koran cite, give to charity to be seen of other men. Thus, the spirit of both OWS and Tea Baggers.

If I could find a church here that wasn't about the bullshit and just straight out helped people, I'd join even as a non-believer (every good crowd needs its Nicodemus wing).

Enough of all that, back to my earlier query: how YOU doing? Everything well with you and family, I hope? How's your dad holding up? I know it's been an adjustment (to say the least) for you all in light of your mom's passing, but I hope the spiritual sun still shines even in the rustbelt.

Rodak said...

I'm not advocating violence (perhaps needless to say), but it is true that while violence can't solve anything, it can dispute operations and thus cause its target(s) to incur major, and damaging costs. It can also, of course, punish individuals. But that won't happen, anyway.
Thanks for your personal inquiries. Things are going better than I could have hoped. My father is both strong and stoic, thank goodness.

Mad said...

In the sense of cosmic retribution and vengeance, if God exists no one is better than He at "disputing large operations." The Japanese Tsunami did more to the Nuclear Industry than a thousand Jackson Browne concerts could ever hope to accomplish!

Well, I'm off to that most neglected of public institutions in the Third Coast, the Library. With a mayor like "Tiny Dancer," who needs a proverbial Republican in these parts? He wants to destroy the Public Library system in a city where large numbers of poor and immigrants depend on its shared resources. Once again, the "Walrus and Carpenter" meme. Just because he had a "D" next to his name, the suckers put him in with no debate after Daley. Now he's soaking the poor like an inverted Robin Hood.

I'm sure when I get there, I'll find all the books on the sidewalk being sold by an outsourced corporate contractor. lol


Moose said...

***I told him that cops pepper-spraying defenseless women at OWS rallies in NYC brought Moose to mind for me.***

Hey, I thought my ears were burning on Thursday! And here I figured it was something going around the office. Well, it's nice to know you still hold me in such high regard. Also nice to know that you still doggedly hold onto to the idea that my defense of police in the past = police can do no wrong. Too many things change in life so it's nice to know that this is still valid after all these years.

In all seriousness, if some cop pepper-sprayed a defenseless woman who was not a threat to anyone, then he should be busted. Hopefully they have it on tape. That's one of the things I get into arguments about with my cop friends. I am all for people videotaping police. If you are not doing anything wrong, this will prove it. And when you put on the badge/uniform to represent the public in an enforcement role, I have issues with the claims of privacy. But of course I still feel they should be able to beat people with impunity. That goes without saying.

***As for OWS, can't stand them, but not for the reason that Messrs. Moose, Bill, and EdMcGon do.***

My biggest problem with the OWS (apart from the open defecation, rapes, assaults, shutting down ports, etc.) is that they are directing their angst against people who have benefitted from greasing congressional/presidential palms and not against the people with the greased palms. They want the same people whose palms are being greased to oversee and regulate these crooks....let that sink in. In my opinion they are barking up the wrong tree. I'm sure there are intelligent and well-meaning people who are protesting, but as with the Tea Party, they don't make the news. It's much more fun to show the crazies. Also, pay back your student loans. You signed a contract, live up to it.

***Two centuries later, the Walrus and Carpenter still enjoy buttered bread as the empty shells and shoes of the manipulated litter the shoreline.***

Great analogy.

***In America/OWS, we're not talking about a bunch of people who are truly suffering like in "Les Miserables" or developing nations.***

This reminds me of a site about "First world problems" that you have to check out.

Over the past few years, I've definitely become more nuanced as I've come to realize that not everything will fit into your view of how things should be and, in the end, none of us really knows jack shit.

Rob, glad to hear your father is holding up and hope you are too. I went through a period a couple years ago of watching my father wither away so I can understand how hard it is. Sorry I haven't had time to post but have been crazy busy...and let's face it, poetry is not my forte so it's best for me to just read through it and try to learn (see above "jack shit" comment).

Mad, glad you're still a witty curmudgeon. It is greatly reassuring that although I may not agree with your statement, there's still a good chance it will make me laugh.


Rodak said...

Hello, Moose-
Great to hear from you. I'm surprised you hadn't heard about the pepper-spray incident. Not only did they have it on tape, but it led the news broadcasts everywhere for about a week. The cop who did it was high-ranking NYC cop, not just a beat palooka.
OWS is after the crooks on Wall Street, but there is also a "money out of politics" affiliated movement going after the bought-off pols. These reforms are needed. And because the pols are bought-off, it ain't gonna happen through the ordinary legislative process.
Again, good to hear from you. Stay in touch. You don't do Facebook, do you?

Moose said...

Well, sir. It so happens that I have been hoodwinked into joining the braying masses on Facebook. Speaking of Facebook, this is funny and true:


I'll send you an email.

Rodak said...

Cool. Do that!

Mad said...

Wow, it's like "Home Week." First me, then Moose. Sort of like one of those episodes of "Frasier" where all the "Cheers" characters guest star.

Where is EdMcGon and Bill? I'd figure with Obama in office, Bill just took out a HELOC on Ted Kazinski's old shack (lol).

Meanwhile RAG is eyeing the ascendance of his former boss in polls while still wondering if he should continue to support Obama out of race solidarity (cue: Mary Wells's "Two Lovers")

Mad said...

As for Facebook, I still subscribe to this line of thought


Rodak said...

Facebook has been great. I've found some old friends, and I've made some interesting new ones. I've also found several outlets for my creative efforts that have been rewarding. On Facebook, you can control who sees what you write and whose stuff you see to a large extent. It's not like you need to interact with every nutcase on the internet.

Mad said...

I'm glad it's working for you. I guess because of my profession, I'm aware of all the ethically shady crap that Facebook does behind the scenes, even more than Google. I'm glad you were able to hook up with old friends, however, always a good thing. On a side note, I'm amused as I write this how the occupy crowd reserve their anger for only one type of corporate structure yet they French kiss the ass of tech corporations like Apple et al. The veneration of Steve Jobs was one of the more disgusting news stories of the major media this year (another type the occupy crowd seemingly gives a pass). Jobs was a vile human being, but hey he made cool stuff man, even if some kid in Chima worked in a factory 18 hours a day to produce it and then committed suicide. And aren't those Apple stores unionized yet? Yet the occupy chanters in my ville will curse Walmart for such as they hang around the iCounter lustily eyeing iPads they can't afford.

Bow, yield, KNEEL before iCulture!

Rodak said...

I don't know that OWS is spending much time venerating Jobs. There is no doubt, however, that Facebook has played a huge role in the coordination of demonstrations--particularly those of the Arab Spring. The internet is "corporate" only in the same sense that electricity and natural gas utilities are corporate. It is ubiquitous, and has become necessary. We can live without it only in the same sense that we could live without gas and electric. That is, it would be a stunt; a stunt without an audience. Nobody would give a flying fuck.

Moose said...

Facebook has helped me to catch up with old friends and keep tabs on my current ones. The cartoon I posted is quite appropriate though and every time they make a change, it seems as though your privacy settings happen to change. But I keep on top of that and try not to put my entire life's story on there. What cracks me up is some friends who post that they are in the San Diego airport on their status....I'm sure that all 854 are completely trustworthy and wouldn't dream of taking advantage of that little bit of info to go discount shopping at your house. My wife and I didn't post that we were married or on our honeymoon until we came back.

Agree with the hypocrisy of the OWL and will one-up you to include, and reiterate, that they are pissed off at the corporations that take advantage of the gamed system but not the politicians who keep the system gamed.

This is like a Cheers spinoff. I stop by Bill's site every now and then to see what he's posting but I have been on the DL for a while. Marriage has mellowed me, I guess.

I need a little picture next to my name to be one of the cool guys.

Mad said...

Wow, the Moose is married! Are multiple Mooses called Meese? Hmm. Gotta look that up in "Elements of Style."

What cracks me up is some friends who post that they are in the San Diego airport on their status....I'm sure that all 854 are completely trustworthy and wouldn't dream of taking advantage of that little bit of info

Let me just put it this way: legal and financial investigators consider Facebook to be the greatest forensic tool since the invention of the portable video camera for catching idiots in all sorts of compromising situations, exaggerations, and falsehoods. Sort of like those misguided souls on "Cops" who, without benefit of counsel and forgetting their Miranda rights and 4th Amendment protections, start admitting to all kinds of shit just because a camera is in their face.

Then there is always the possibility that you inadvertently link yourself to other peoples reprobate behaviors:


Need I say more?

(Boy, this really IS like old times. I just realized we hijacked the original thread theme like in old days - lol. Luckily, Rodak isn't as thin-skinned as a certain ethnic headline writer.)

I am no Luddite, but I think the importance of Facebook is highly exaggerated. I see it as a Blogger rip-off with more going on behind the scenes that its users realized. As to the Arab Spring, I know Facebook likes to think its the center of the universe for corporate marketing purposes, but some of us aren't fooled.


I hope you realize that the first thing done by many of the Islamic extremists who have taken over former dictator-led Arab nations is to start moving towards China-like controls on communication.

In the end, it will not be Facebook and Twitter than delivers OWS but good old fashioned organizing, pavement-pounding, follow-up and program implementation.

Although, returning to the original topic, it would be interesting to see if Jesus would have had a Facebook account if it was around ("Jesus just sent you an invite to be an eternal friend"). Muhammad would have just been downloading porn on BitTorrent, and Buddha would be running the TMZ website.

Moose said...

Yes, I am now married and fully domesticated. And, you have to realize that Facebook "privacy" settings are not going to stop people who really want to do a background check on you from doing so. I am amazed at what some of my teacher friends post on there.

And since you came back to the original topic of this thread regarding Jesus, it reminded me of this for some reason.

When I first saw this:


I couldn't help but think of this:


For some reason that cracks me up.

Also, back to the original topic. The first Christians lived in a communal system, which has been proven can be done in a small community of like-minded people....but try doing that in a country of 300+ million. I don't believe that is going to work.

Rodak said...

It's not that living in small communal groups won't work in a country of 300+ million people. The first Christians pulled it off in the Roman Empire, which pretty much encompassed the known world at the time.
But I will readily grant you that a country of 300+ million people wouldn't work--in its present form--if Christian people all decided to live in small communal groups.
In other words, I think you've got the concept ass-backwards. And which is also why I think that "Christianity," at least as taught by Christ does not exist in this world on a macro- scale; and why what does exist as "Christianity" is largely a fraud.

Mad said...

Well, Moose, the man I consider to be the greatest philosopher of modern times, Eric Hoffer, was a longshoreman by trade. So, not all of them are trying to stop trade through tantrums. He also would have understood the whole OWS/Tea Party mobs for the Pity Parties of Powerlessness they are.

Socialism only works for small, mono-RACIAL and mono-CULTURAL, developed caucasian communities. Thus, Sweden and Norway generally get along well enough for the approval of their citizens, but America, the former Soviet Union, and China had to abandon such notions since competing ethnic groups will always fight for control of the big government mechanisms (thus, I refer you to the work of the late Harold Cruse, "Plural But Equal")

Socialism is ALWAYS a dismal failure among non-whites for reasons that are better left to Dr. Cruse to explain (and Cruse was a Marxist).


(read the Library Journal summation, which gets to the core of the work).

Moose said...

***The first Christians pulled it off in the Roman Empire, which pretty much encompassed the known world at the time.***

And of course this leads me to another Monty Python clip.


I think we are too intertwined of a society to have a bunch of little communities. Yes, you have the Amish and similar small societies but they are more of an exception to the rule.

And as Christians, aren't we supposed to go out and spread the word? Living in our own little communities doesn't lend itself to this call.

Also, Sweden and Norway are helped by being on top of oil reserves. They are generally small, homogeneous countries (and people who do immigrate there tend to assimilate well, at least politically if not socially). There again, in a smaller society, socialism can work.

I think one of the big pluses of the free market is that we have choices. Yeah, there are winners and losers but that typically takes place on a customer-by-customer basis. That doesn't mean the other company has to go out of business.

As far as capitalism/Christianity goes, a Christian is supposed to act with charity towards others no matter what economic model is in place. Whether they live in a capitalist society or a socialist society or a combination, it shouldn't matter.

Just my two cents. I am always open to hear another side of things (which is why I'm here in the first place).

Rodak said...

If Christianity were going to work--which it clearly doesn't in any meaningful sense today--we would have to break off into little communities, each with its own church. That how it was in the beginning. Even St. Paul made no attempt to consolidate the churches into one corporate entity with a hierarchical, professional priesthood under some kind of uber-bishop.
But that was my point: you can't have both a mega-state at the hub of an empire and a functional Christianity (or socialism?)