It amazes me how the disciples of Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and Murray Rothbard, etc., can actually write that laissez-faire capitalism is "the only fair and just economic system that has been discovered." (Michael Moore, Your Heart Is in the Right Place, by Todd Steinberg. LewRockwell.com. October 25, 2008.) They go on to say that the choices are between Communism (one-party dictatorship), socialism (usually termed democratic socialism), mercantilism, crony capitalism, and laissez-faire capitalism. At least those are the most often cited choices. I never see Christianity offered by them as an option.
It's not difficult to understand why they don't offer Christianity — don't even mention it except in some limited, twisted version.
Jesus Christ is not a Communist in the one-party dictatorship sense. He is not a coercive socialist, which includes democratic socialism. He is not a mercantilist. He is opposed to crony capitalism. He is also not a laissez-faire capitalist. Christianity is none of those things. Christianity is an alternative to them. It is something else.
What the laissez-faire capitalist Austrian-School and to a lesser degree Chicago-School advocates claim is that laissez-faire capitalism is the least coercive of the choices they mention. They claim that, that means laissez-faire capitalism is the freest condition possible. They do all of this based upon the terminology they've created and to which they hold all others, as if there are no competing definitions or connotations of the terms they use in constructing their philosophical position.
Their vision is in competition with the vision of Jesus Christ as Jesus states his position and not just as people have twisted and chopped it up down through the centuries.
Now, it is up to each individual to place the utopian vision of Murray Rothbard, et al., next to the message and example of Jesus for direct comparison. Which one is superior? Both claim the ideal. Todd Steinberg wrote an open letter to Michael Moore stating on behalf of the Austrian School, as I quoted above, that laissez-faire capitalism is "the only fair and just economic system that has been discovered." I dispute that.
Laissez-faire capitalism is not only not "the only fair and just economic system that has been discovered," it is not fair, just, nor free. Furthermore, the political-economic system that would result from humanity beginning to follow Jesus's teachings in earnest would be fairer and more just than any other system and with every passing year until absolute fairness and justice were reached. The freest one may be is free of evil. Laissez-faire capitalism does not free the soul from evil relative to Christianity.
If we are going to put all options on the table for consideration, let's not leave the completely voluntary (non-coercive) giving-and-sharing-all economic system off the table as if it doesn't exist. It exists
As I've written numerous times before, Heaven is not capitalistic. Christians are to bring forth in the here and now. We pray for Heaven to come to Earth.
Lastly, so as to not make a huge post, let me just say that laissez-faire capitalism has at its base a foundation of self-interest where the self is apart from the whole. In Christianity, that must be based on Jesus's teaching and nothing that conflicts with it, the whole is God. Think about it.
You can not be both a laissez-faire capitalist and a Christian.
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Luke 16:13)
Then come the Calvinists saying such things as Jesus's kingdom isn't of this world and that it isn't for us to bring forth but rather to sit or stand by never conflating and waiting for Jesus to return to do all the heavy lifting.
Jesus's kingdom isn't of this world not in the way those Calvinists view it or for the reasons they cite. Jesus's kingdom is within each heart. He made that very clear. We bring forth from what is within. If God and Jesus are indwelling as spirit, then the tree will bring forth good fruit only. It's that simple, and no amount of twisting the scripture in an attempt to get out of it will work.
Either you come together and bring forth or you are not doing what Jesus says. What we are to bring forth is very specific too. It cannot be done by those with evil intentions or who do not love God as Jesus defines God. It's not possible. Satan cannot do it. Only God can bring forth God.
All that the Calvinists teach based upon selective interpretations of a handful of verses from Paul isn't going to change this.
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)