Is this socialism or capitalism?

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View Poll Results: Socialism or Capitalism

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  • Socialism

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  • Capitalism

    2 50.00%
  1. #16
    Randy Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurplePride92 View Post
    I do find it interesting that republicans will rebuke socialism even though there are some elements of socialism in the works of Jesus.
    Examples?
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  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgrappler View Post
    socialism and generosity are not the same, by a long shot. Jesus did not advocate for socialism.

    I don't think being a Republican means one knows Jesus better than an atheist but I would generalize that a Christian "knows Jesus better than any atheist liberal" by definition.

    The issue here is that a sacred text is being used to do a "gotcha" on Christians to try to say they don't follow their own sacred book because if they did they would all be socialists. In the process, the text is twisted to say something that is consistent with this agenda. Although it has been said that the Bible can be made to say almost anything, I do not hold to that idea. I do think that the Bible has been used illegitimately to say "almost anything." But this is an abuse of the text and does not follow simple rules of interpretation, including such things that are used in reading and understanding any text.

    Many places in the Bible also seem to assume some elements of capitalism are legitimate and to be adhered to. That doesn't mean a particular form of capitalism or all motives and practices of capitalists are consistent with Biblical ethics any more so than the motives and practices of socialists. The problem arises as we try to read our own agenda back into the text. This is what is being done in this thread. I am merely pointing this out. No, the texts in the OP do not teach socialism.

    I don't think this sort of thing, the attempted "gotcha", is a commendable way to go about a dialogue on political or economic issues.

    BTW, who equates "Republicans" with "Christians"? That is a mistake!
    I said elements of socialism. Not advocates. Two entirely different things.

  3. #18
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    A leftist viewpoint, for sure.

    Jesus was a SOCIALIST!

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Parker View Post
    Examples?
    I'll be back.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIPTON BASH View Post
    Socialism is forced and anti freedom.
    Exactly.

    Which is why there are no elements of socialism with Jesus. To my knowledge, he never forced anyone to give anything unless they chose to give it.

  6. #21

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    What Mayfield Fan highlighted in verses 44 and 45 in the initial post is communism -- a classless society among the faithful and common ownership. Randy, Bash and others confuse enforcement of this economic system with the economics. Common ownership is economics. How this is achieved (authoritarianism) is a topic unto itself.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurplePride92 View Post
    I said elements of socialism. Not advocates. Two entirely different things.
    True, but usually when these isolated elements are looked at they may not be unique to socialism.

    The larger point of the thread (and your comment leaned in the direction of supporting it) is whether the example of the early New Testament Church prescribes socialism on Christians, hence the forced dichotomy between socialism and capitalism in the poll question. Several of us said neither. This is correct.

    "Elements of socialism" can be found in Jesus' teaching. Elements of socialism can be found in capitalism too, I suppose. But the clear purpose of this thread is to say that Christians should be socialists because of this example in the Book of Acts. That's a mouthful and it ignores the essential elements that make socialism what it is.

    To go in a different direction for a moment, up until recently, the American public did not want anything to do with socialism. But now it seems that a good percentage of Democrats are willing to support an open Socialist. Republicans have pointed out over the last several decades that some of the ideas espoused by some Democrats are socialist ideas. This was vehemently denied. Now, it is being embraced by many in the Democrat party.

    It is an interesting turn of events.

    Perhaps a better thread would be to ask why do people (Republicans, Conservatives, Libertarians, some Democrats, Independents, etc. ) find socialism to be objectionable? I don't really want to participate in that because of the time it would take to be precise in defining terms and challenging misconceptions. There are some general things that I could say, but I tend to think this would be a discussion with long tentacles.
    @mcpapa, to be sure, there are leftist "Christians." Really popular in 60's and 70's especially, and among some segments of Latin Americans (championed by a Catholic priest), and now among some in Liberal mainline denominational schools . BUt I think if their writings are closely examined, the manner in which they read their agenda back into the Biblical text is apparent--not to say that I am unsympathetic to many of their concerns. In the end, they are really much more Marxist than Christian, though they might howl at my description. This is known, in broad terms, as Liberation Theology. This even has become segmented, i.e. Black Liberation Theology, Feminist Liberation Theology, Latin American, etc.

    As I said, this discussion could go far and wide, and as it does so, it probably won't also go very deep. It becomes hard to hold all the rabbit trails together and it becomes a contest to pick off one small detail of someone's post while ignoring the majority of what was written and is essential to the idea expressed.

    This is the difficulty of taking on tough topics in a the format of a discussion forum.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twotoplace View Post
    What Mayfield Fan highlighted in verses 44 and 45 in the initial post is communism -- a classless society among the faithful and common ownership. Randy, Bash and others confuse enforcement of this economic system with the economics. Common ownership is economics. How this is achieved (authoritarianism) is a topic unto itself.
    Excellent point, @Twotoplace. While I don't agree that is what is described in the Acts passage or that you actually had that occurring in the early New Testament Church, it is what some people try to say is happening there. And you are dead-on about the question of the role of authoritarianism in establishing such a system. Randy, Bash, and others may be telescoping some things together, but it is a logical next question. They are pointing out the practical concern of how this sort of thing can be worked out in daily life.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twotoplace View Post
    What Mayfield Fan highlighted in verses 44 and 45 in the initial post is communism -- a classless society among the faithful and common ownership. Randy, Bash and others confuse enforcement of this economic system with the economics. Common ownership is economics. How this is achieved (authoritarianism) is a topic unto itself.
    Communism is political not economic. Socialism can be both economic and political. The problem with this comparison is you are incorrect to say force isn't apart of either whether it be political or economic. Voluntary doesn't come into play under any scenario with these.

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by LIPTON BASH View Post
    Communism is political not economic. Socialism can be both economic and political. The problem with this comparison is you are incorrect to say force isn't apart of either whether it be political or economic. Voluntary doesn't come into play under any scenario with these.
    We could argue the delineation all day. Reviewing the evidence based on scripture, Jesus told Peter and Andrew to quit fishing (a capitalist venture) and become "fishers of men" (a communist venture). The Catholic Church has no natural affinity to capitalism. The affinity came a century ago as a response to communism in Russia, or, more specifically, to the atheist authoritarianism that enforced the economic system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgrappler View Post
    Excellent point, @Twotoplace. While I don't agree that is what is described in the Acts passage or that you actually had that occurring in the early New Testament Church, it is what some people try to say is happening there. And you are dead-on about the question of the role of authoritarianism in establishing such a system. Randy, Bash, and others may be telescoping some things together, but it is a logical next question. They are pointing out the practical concern of how this sort of thing can be worked out in daily life.
    Good analysis. As an aside, the new pope certainly is trying to distance the church from the abuses of capitalism ... reuniting the billion-member flock with the church's communal roots.

  12. #27
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    The Bible calls us to help the poor, it is also clear that the poor must help themselves to the extent they are able.

    2 Thessalonians 3:

    7 You know how you should take us as your model: we were not undisciplined when we were with you,

    8 nor did we ever accept food from anyone without paying for it; no, we worked with unsparing energy, night and day, so as not to be a burden on any of you.

    9 This was not because we had no right to be, but in order to make ourselves a model for you to imitate.

    10 We urged you when we were with you not to let anyone eat who refused to work.

    11 Now we hear that there are some of you who are living lives without any discipline, doing no work themselves but interfering with other people's.

    12 In the Lord Jesus Christ, we urge and call on people of this kind to go on quietly working and earning the food that they eat.

    13 My brothers, never slacken in doing what is right.

  13. #28
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    @Twotoplace, Fishers of men, making disciples, evangelizing the world, being witnesses for Christ, a communist venture?! I REALLY don't see the connection there.

    We are using terms that were coined a millennium and a half+ after Christ so...

    But yes, the approved culture of 1st century Israel was much more a "capitalist" society than socialist. So what is essential in the example you gave? Jesus telling them to leave their father's business (fishing) to devote themselves to Him and the calling he was placing on their lives to be His Apostles or to leave a "capitalist venture" because you can't be a capitalist and serve Jesus?

    I would say this call had nothing to do with capitalism and is not a comment on capitalism. It is about the establishment of His church. Other disciples were not called to leave their livelihood. One man was told to return to his family and community and tell them what Jesus had done for him. Many early Christians continued in their station of life and followed Jesus too. There was no conflict there. And the office of Apostle has nothing to do with communism.

    Really, Twotoplace? I was with you in your first comment. Now you've lost me. I have to call it a day. I will be traveling soon.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twotoplace View Post
    We could argue the delineation all day. Reviewing the evidence based on scripture, Jesus told Peter and Andrew to quit fishing (a capitalist venture) and become "fishers of men" (a communist venture). The Catholic Church has no natural affinity to capitalism. The affinity came a century ago as a response to communism in Russia, or, more specifically, to the atheist authoritarianism that enforced the economic system.
    The Catholic Church still has no great love of capitalism, if the great church leaders, philosophers, and apologists of the last century are any indication. However it does have reverence for human dignity and the rights of individuals to make a way for themselves in the world, which is not necessarily the case in socialist structures.

    The social teaching of the Catholic Church finds great flaws in both capitalism and socialism.

  15. #30
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    ^ yes to this. Neither is the hope of humankind. That distinction belongs to Jesus alone.

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