April 16, 2014

Memo to Jim Wallis: Christ is not a crypto-communist/ socialist

Anthony posted this in the comments but it is so good I am posting it here. Source: On Living Simply: The Golden Voice of John Chrysostom St. John Chrysostom: Should we look to kings and princes to put right the inequalities between rich and poor? Should we require soldiers to come and seize the rich person’s gold and distribute it among his destitute neighbors? Should we beg the emperor to impose a tax on the rich so great that it reduces them to the level of the poor and then to share the proceeds of that tax among everyone? Equality imposed by force would achieve nothing, and do much harm. Those who combined both cruel hearts and sharp minds would soon find ways of making themselves rich again. Worse still, the rich whose gold was taken away would feel bitter and resentful; while the poor who received the gold from the hands of soldiers would feel no gratitude, because no generosity would have prompted the gift. Far from bringing moral benefit to society, it would … [Read more...]

On the ‘edge of the abyss’

Acton Institute

By John Couretas on the Acton blog: From the Greek daily Kathimerini: Witnesses said that protestors marching past the building ignored the bank employees’ cries for help and that a handful even shouted anti-capitalist slogans. [ ... ] It took a statement from President Karolos Papoulias to best sum up Greece’s dire situation and the frustration that many people are feeling with the political system. “Our country has reached the edge of the abyss,” he said. “It is everybody’s responsibility that we do not take the step toward the drop. Responsibility is proved in action, not in words. History will judge us all.” From columnist Alexis Papachelas, in the same paper: Now we have an intelligentsia that is hooked on patron-client exchanges and mediocrity, and a political establishment whose biggest concern is keeping its piece of the pie safe. On the flipside of the same coin we have a culture of protest in which anything goes and which tries to justify every “accident,” like … [Read more...]

Socialism: Threat to Freedom

Socialist Flag

Samuel Gregg, Director of Research at the Acton Institute offers an excellent introduction to socialism on a recent interview on EWTN. He discusses the philosophical foundations of socialism including its implicit anthropology and cosmology, as well as its historical record. He draws the necessary distinctions between Gramscian vs Leninist socialism (the cultural means of production vs. the economic means of production) and the implications for the larger culture. He is interviewed by Johnnette S. Benkovic, the Founder and President of Living His Life Abundantly International, a Roman Catholic evangelization ministry. I have to put it on a separate page because the autostart-off does not work. Open it in a new tab, then post your comments below. You can see the interview here. … [Read more...]

Roepke was right

Wilhelm Roepke

In my Winter 2007 article on economic globalization for AGAIN Magazine, I quoted economist Wilhelm Roepke: Economically ignorant moralism is as objectionable as morally callous economism. Ethics and economics are two equally difficult subjects, and while the former needs discerning and expert reason, the latter cannot do without humane values. In light of all that has happened with the U.S. economic meltdown in the last few months, I continue to subscribe to the following statement from the same article: ... there is no real understanding of "social justice" without an understanding of basic economic principles. These principles explain how Orthodox Christians work, earn, invest, and give to philanthropic causes in a market-oriented economy. Economic questions are at the root of many of the problems that on their face seem to be more about something else -- poverty, immigration, the environment, technology, politics, humanitarian assistance. I remain a convinced … [Read more...]