Ross Gittins says – What Jesus said about capitalism

In a piece, to coincide with the religious festival, is this piece by Ross Gittins, The Sydney Morning Herald’s Economics Editor What Jesus Said About Capitalism.

Gittins is giving his review of a book, The Biblical Vision of Sabbath Economics, by the Californian theologian and teacher Ched Myers.

This is a short extract from that article, but the whole piece is worth considering reading

…a much-quoted saying from which today’s prosperous Christians derive comfort: Jesus’s observation that the poor will always be with you.

This doesn’t mean Christ accepted poverty as an inevitable characteristic of the economy, or part of the divine plan. Rather, he says, the divine vision is that poverty be abolished, but as long as it persists, God and God’s people must always take the side of the poor – and be among them.

Privately controlled wealth is the backbone of capitalism, Myers says, and it is predicated upon the exploitation of natural resources and human labour. Profit maximisation renders socio-economic stratification, objectification and alienation inevitable.

According to the gospel, however, those who are privileged within this system cannot enter the kingdom. This is not good news for first-world Christians – because we are the ‘inheritors’ of the rich man’s legacy.

So the unequivocal gospel invitation to repentance is addressed to us. To deconstruct our ‘inheritance’ and redistribute the wealth as preparation to the poor – that is what it means for us to follow Jesus.

Read more…What Jesus said about capitalism (April 9, 2012)


text by @redglitterx
image of Jesus-Che in no way connected to Ross Gittins
additional text by Ross Gittins, and, is in no way intended to imply that Gittins would in anyway endorse the contents of this blog

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