My most amused thought on the non-relationship between
capitalism and the church:
Non profit churches?
Doesn't sound very capitalistic to me....
--- Technotranscendence <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> From: Judy Nagy email@example.com
> Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2000 2:11 AM
> Subject: Religion and Capitalism Are Antithetical /
> By Andrew Ber
> > Religion and Capitalism Are Antithetical
> > By Andrew Bernstein
> > January 2000
> > Conservatives regularly insist that religion is
> > basis of capitalism.
> > Theologian Michael Novak, for instance, claims
> > "the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages was the
> > locus for the first flowerings of capitalism."
> > Politicians who purport to endorse free enterprise
> > invoking the Bible for validation. The "religious
> > right" calls the United States a Christian
> country, and
> > declares that our basic political choice is
> > godless communism -- or godless liberalism -- and
> > religious capitalism.
> > But the truth is that religion and capitalism
> > incompatible -- in
> > practice and in theory. Consider the openly
> > views of some prominent members of the "religious
> > right." Pat Buchanan, for example, opposes
> > international free trade and wants to restrict
> > immigration drastically. Gary Bauer applauds
> > Washington's antitrust case against Microsoft --
> > calling the court's recent ruling against the
> company a
> > "victory for the small man" -- and vows to renew
> > Justice Dept.'s efforts to "prosecute adult
> > especially on the Internet."
> > Such positions should not come as a surprise,
> > religious teachings
> > contradict the requirements of capitalism. The
> > obvious conflict centers on the religious belief
> > the profit motive is immoral. If we are all
> > to sacrifice ourselves on behalf of the have-nots,
> > private property, the pursuit of wealth, and the
> > free enterprise system are evil.
> > The only virtuous system, according to religious
> > doctrine, would be one in
> > which the goods of this earth are common property,
> > be used selflessly, for the "public good" -- i.e.,
> > system of socialism. The U.S. Catholic Bishops
> > been particularly astute in recognizing this
> > connection, as they have consistently argued for
> > increasing government presence in our economic
> > so that wealth can be redistributed from the
> > to the non-productive.
> > Further, religion's belief in man's innate
> > leads to the same
> > collectivist conclusion. A National Review article
> > denounces some of the pro-capitalist policies of
> > Forbes, on the grounds that they ignore the "dark
> > of people. Economic freedom -- insists the leading
> > magazine of religious conservatism -- will lead
> > unregulated corporations to trample the "little
> > That is, it will lead to too much individualism.
> > are the exact sentiments expressed by Gary Bauer
> > regarding the Microsoft antitrust case. Indeed,
> > believes that the very purpose of government is
> > counter man's sin" by restricting his freedom. In
> > words, government controls are needed to ensure
> > each individual act as his brother's keeper.
> > But underlying all this is a deeper point.
> > cannot be the basis of
> > freedom and capitalism because of its inherently
> > authoritarian nature. Religion demands acceptance
> > faith. It demands obedient followers. It demands
> > subordination of the individual's mind and the
> > individual's interests to the dictates of some
> > authority. Under capitalism, by contrast, the
> > individual is supreme. Capitalism recognizes the
> > autonomy of the individual citizen and the
> > inalienability of his individual rights. This is
> > most fundamental reason why, where faith is
> > dominant -- in the Dark Ages dominated by the
> > church or in the theocracy run by the ayatollahs
> > contemporary Iran -- political/economic freedom is
> > stifled.
> > In this country, too, whenever faith is employed
> > politics, it leads to
> > more government controls.
> > This is true whether the employer is
> conservative or
> > liberal -- whether it
> > is George W. Bush, who wants to use tax dollars to
> > charity activities of various churches and whose
> > "compassionate conservatism" is simply a more
> > religious form of the welfare state -- or whether
> it is
> > Al Gore, whose advisors have declared that "the
> > Democratic Party is going to take back God," and
> > invokes the New Testament's concept of man's
> > "stewardship" of the earth to support
> > regulations.
> > America's Founding Fathers understood the threat
> > posed by the introduction
> > of religious dogma into politics. This is why they
> > advocated a legal separation of church and state.
> > grounded America's freedom in reason and
> > -- they upheld the individual's right to his own
> > his own liberty, and the pursuit of his own
> > They did not regard the citizen as an obedient
> > but as a sovereign person, who ought to be left
> free to
> > follow the conclusions of his own reasoning mind.
> > wanted a secular state. They established
> > the freedom to practice one's religion privately
> > the freedom to be politically free from religious
> > authority.
> > That is what made the United States the freest
> > country in history, enabling
> > the free enterprise system to develop. Those
> > politicians who try to root capitalism in the soil
> > religion would do well to remember that.
> > * Dr. Bernstein is a senior writer for the Ayn
> > Institute in Marina del
> > Rey, Calif. The Institute promotes the philosophy
> > Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and The
> > Fountainhead. www.aynrand.org
> > Judy Nagy
> > Casilla 5148 C.C.I. Quito, Ecuador
> > Phone (011-593-2) + 431-555 or 447-709
> > Fax: 431-556 firstname.lastname@example.org
> > THERE IS NO MORAL OBLIGATION TO COMPLY
> > WITH AN IMMORAL LAW - ONLY A LEGAL OBLIGATION !
> > ANYTHING YOU NEED PERMISSION TO DO IS NOT A RIGHT!
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