Another Critique of Capitalism

David Simon

Five days ago, Pope Francis was named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year,” just a few days after releasing the first major document of his papacy in which he criticized the economy of “exclusion and inequality.” Once again we say: “Pope, Yes!”

Relatedly, journalist and TV producer David Simon recently gave a speech at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. In his speech, Simon said that capitalism has “achieved its dominance without regard to a social compact, without being connected to any other metric for human progress.”

Both the pope and David Simon are simply pointing to the obvious chasm between the well-off and the poor, and asking: does this need to be?

Christianity has become a marginalized religion in North America. We might as well claim our spot on the margins, and join the pope (and David Simon, and others) in exposing the human cost of economic practices that separate people into winners and losers, and that increasingly make it difficult for those who have “lost” to have hope. As Paul Raushenbush has written, we who are part of the Jesus Movement would do this not because we are Marxists, but because we are followers of Jesus.

I recommend taking some time with Simon’s words. An excerpt and link follow below.

America is a country that is now utterly divided when it comes to its society, its economy, its politics. There are definitely two Americas. I live in one, on one block in Baltimore that is part of the viable America, the America that is connected to its own economy, where there is a plausible future for the people born into it. About 20 blocks away is another America entirely. It’s astonishing how little we have to do with each other, and yet we are living in such proximity….

via David Simon: ‘There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show’ | World news | The Observer.

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2 thoughts on “Another Critique of Capitalism

  1. This one stark image portrays the fundamental zeitgeist and/or origins of the American way.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~spanmod/mural/panel21
    Also
    Columbus and Other Cannibals by Jack Forbes
    American Holocaust by David Stannard
    God Is Red, and Custer Died For Your Sins by Vine deLoria Jnr.
    Never mind that some of the most ardent supporters of capitalism and the Orwellian open-ended “global war against terror” are right-wing Christians, particularly “catholics”. They congregate around the National Review.
    Never mind that right-wing Christians both “catholic” and Protestant were/are enthusiastic supporters of what used to be called the School of the America’s, the purpose of which was to train thugs and murderers who operated with impunity throughout both Central & South America, murdering tens of thousands of people who were trying to empower their communities to resist the depredations of USA corporations etc. Check out the school of the americas watch soaw.org

    Never mind that many/most Christian propaganda hacks still promote the idea that Christian America is THE most religious Western country on the planet, especially by comparison to what is dismissed as “secularized” Europe.
    Never mind that there now more Christians in America that ever before. More Christian propaganda of all kinds in both paper and electronic forms. More Christian schools and universities.
    Never mind that militant Christian evangelicals have all but taken over the Chaplaincy functions of the USA armed forces.
    Never mind that in some/many states and regions atheists are forbidden by law from holding public offices. Never mind that it would be impossible for an atheist, or even a Buddhist or Hindu to be elected as President or Governor in most states.

    Are you at all familar with the writings of Henry Giroux?
    He offers a very necessary anti-dote to the Washington consensus, or the toxic world-view promoted ny the neo-psychotics that congregate around the National Review, and promoted by the AEI and the Heritage (lies,lies and more lies) Foundation, and especially the ulra-toxic Cato Institute which was founded and funded by the Koch brothers.

  2. Should have been http://www.dartmouth.edu/~spanmod/mural/panel21.html

    By the way some of the panels from this mural were/are featured in the book The Pentagon of Power by Lewis Mumford. A book which describes the historical development of what Mumford calls the Invisible Megamachine. Of course the Pentagon military-industrial-“entertainment”(propaganda) complex is the pen-ultimate manifestation of this Megamachine. Its “culture” of death is now being dramatized all over the planet.
    Andrew Bacevich has much to say about this, as does the TomDispatch website.

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