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“We are what we are willing to participate in.”
If the above quote is true, then what we give ourselves to largely defines us. If capitalism really is a kind of economic social disease, as many of its critics maintain, then all of Western civilization is fatally stained by this corrupt, abusive network of economic exchange. Those who castigate our current society and delight in tearing up its foolishly valued, historic falsehoods and the exploitative, racist, misogynist diseases at its very core, should be viewed as tools of God for justice and righteousness. Let’s face it, the social traitors who want to get back to work doing their capitalist thing really should be called out. The critics are right, Western civilization should be torn down and apologize for its very existence. There, I said it. And significant numbers of the progressive political movement and those they influence say, “Amen.” Let’s lay it on the table once and for all.
However begrudgingly, we must admit there is one small problem in unwinding this point of view so simply. It ignores mountains of historical facts and reduces to nothing capitalism’s positive contributions and the amazing adaptions it has made. Capitalism has had to change to maintain its grip on economic exchange which literally keeps society alive every day. Okay, let’s agree that capitalism is a moving, evolving target, easily labelled and diagnosed by large numbers of critics whose opinions are backed by simple-minded, stunning ignorance. I should know, having spent more than fifty years wrestling with all this. Capitalism has some large holes, but you must go pretty deep into economic history, theory, and current practice to see and analyze them effectively. Sadly, the “normal, public conversation” about all this is a nightmare of simple-minded, parroted phrases energized by borrowed emotional self-righteousness and jaw-dropping ignorance of the knowledge required to partake in a meaningful exchange of analytical value. Many of capitalism’s challengers are attempting brain surgery with a hammer and chisel for tools.
Capitalism—a term I don’t like because it is not the real energy behind economic market activity—is a system undergirding society based on democratic choice. Greed is not the foundation of this economic activity; personal choice is the foundation. (For more on this subject, please read Capitalism, Socialism, and the Case for Choice-Based Economics).
COVID-19 and the Sin of Going Back to Work
This current plague has hit us at a time when Western civilization is experiencing its greatest identity challenges to date. We are seriously pondering on many levels, “Do we have an ethical right to exist?” The never-ending stream of attacks by the so-called “intellectuals,” college professors, and worshipers of man’s demand for a secular-driven and God-free society has never been louder. Truth be told, the core energy behind all this is about spiritual reality more than a concern for human justice. God and accountability to a Creator are their consuming nemesis.
The mountain of changes upon us as we continue through this pandemic and associated issues will begin to elevate in June and will throw gas on the fires of our negative self-analysis. Social division will manifest at new levels, and the battle lines will move closer to physical disruption.
What must be addressed now is the stand-alone issue of staying “sheltered in place” versus going out to work (“killing other people”). If you go to work, the rhetoric is that you must be a capitalist driven by greed, materialism, and the need to oppress people which requires you to have the resources to do so. Many of the accusations being slung around right now are maddening, but this one is obscene. Obviously, there is an intelligent discussion to be had dealing with social responsibility, personal freedom, and the need to care for our families with earned provisions. But as can be expected from those full of progressive Kool-Aid (Jim Jones), it has been reduced to labeling people as selfish, capitalistic power-lovers. It is frustrating that there are those so ignorantly on their soap boxes, vilifying the very real challenges and tension families are facing between the obligations of basic human provision and the need for social safety. What we must endure! It has hardly started, and that is…
THE BOTTOM LINE.