Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Capitalism, Marxism and other ideal states...

(The following is a response to a comment made by Russ on "the benevolence of the butcher post...")

Dear Russ,

The website you suggested presents an alternative definition of Capitalism (and there are many such definitions). The website’s definition is as idealized as any theory put forward by Marx and Engels -- and equally unrealizable. The website, http://www.capitalism.org, conflates the religious doctrine of “Free Will”, with a personal ideology of “Free Will” and uses the term(s), in what I find to be a rather odd jump in logic, as a synonym for “laissez faire…” which, as I’m sure you know, means “to allow to do” and is an economic ideology that is in opposition to government intervention in business (in other words, it is an advocacy for business free of regulation). At the same time the site argues for “objective laws” and a system of Capitalism which doesn’t require force or exploitation. – This would seem to imply that some sort of regulation would be in order to ensure the proper functioning of such an economic system… (Additionally who determines what are to be these “objective laws” and how do we ensure that all citizens, within a political system that privileges those with the resources to hire superior legal counsel, have the equal benefit of these “objective laws…)

My most fundamental disagreement with the website, however, has to do with the idea that there is this “absolute truth.” This post would stretch into far too many lines if I were to actually address this statement… Suffice to say that the only absolute truth that I know is that there is no “absolute truth.”

Still… if this is the definition of Capitalism for which you or others prefer to advocate… I am glad to hear it… any ideology which opposes force and exploitation I can find overlap with…

Meanwhile, I would like to note that you never seem to engage the central themes of my critiques… notably the conflation of Christianity with political and economic agendas. That Bush, and many other politicians, continually proclaim their religious devotion… yet their actions and their policies seem out of line with what they say they believe.

Just a few of the questions that these inconsistencies in action raise… Why, if we are committed to freeing the people of Iraq and bringing them Democracy, are we not equally committed to the people of Darfur…? How do we alleviate the suffering of others, including our own people? Why are our own children sometimes allowed to go without proper education or medical care? Why does our president, who promotes a “Culture of Life,” also support the death penalty? And how, by the way, does the Culture of life and the war in Iraq make sense together???? As caretakers of the “Garden” just how are we doing?

I am extremely critical of many of the decisions made by this Administration and the current Congress… I see no leaders currently that are up to the task of truly leading us. And on the anniversary of the war in Iraq… I am fearful of the path we are on as a people…