"Capitalism" and Christianity

By:  Jack Kerwick, Ph.D.
08/08/2011
       
"Capitalism" and Christianity

What is “Capitalism”?  First, it is a term that was originally coined by its enemies.  Second, it suggests that the phenomenon—or, more precisely, the phenomena—that it denotes composes a system, and since the systems of which the human (as opposed to the “natural”) world is comprised are almost always the products of design, “capitalism” appears to refer to but one more such system among others. So, according to its critics, “capitalism” differs, say, from socialism and communism only in degree: While the latter “distribute” material goods “equally,” the former “distributes” them “unequally.”  Or maybe the difference between “capitalism” and its competitors can be summed up as thus: “the poor” and “the middle class” are the targeted beneficiaries of socialism and communism while “the rich” are intended to benefit most from “capitalism.”

What is “Capitalism”?

First, it is a term that was originally coined by its enemies.

Second, it suggests that the phenomenon—or, more precisely, the phenomena—that it denotes composes a system, and since the systems of which the human (as opposed to the “natural”) world is comprised are almost always the products of design, “capitalism” appears to refer to but one more such system among others. So, according to its critics, “capitalism” differs, say, from socialism and communism only in degree: While the latter “distribute” material goods “equally,” the former “distributes” them “unequally.”  Or maybe the difference between “capitalism” and its competitors can be summed up as thus: “the poor” and “the middle class” are the targeted beneficiaries of socialism and communism while “the rich” are intended to benefit most from “capitalism.”

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Jack Kerwick, Ph.D. (photo)

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