godless consumer-capitalism, it’s everywhere…

… even inside of me…

After reading a very interesting article on Roger Olsons blog about a book that criticises what goes for capitalism these days from a Christian POV, stating that contemporary neo-liberal (some Americans would call it neo-conservative for some reasons, but American conservatism is built on the tradition of enlightenment liberalism anyway) capitalism is completely incompatible with Christianity. Something which makes a lot of sense to me.

I’m actually quite economytired of people who call the economy ‘reality’, as if the reality of people working for slave wages in sweatshops oversees or the mass extinction we cause are not more important realities than just ‘the economy’. The economy is there for the people (all of them!) and not vice versa, otherwise there is something completely wrong…

But what’s troubling :

Have you ever noticed how stores, especially “big box” stores, lure you into buying things you had no intention of buying when you entered them? I often go to a store, neglecting to pick up a cart as I enter because I am only there to buy a couple “necessaries” and then, halfway through the store, realize I need to find a push cart for all the stuff I’m carrying. As I exit the store with my bags full of things I didn’t plan to buy, I feel manipulated. Sure, I could resist, but it would be an enormous, almost super-human effort always to resist that.

So why does that matter? What has that to do with discipleship? Bell’s main point is the way in which contemporary capitalism distorts our desires—away from God toward money, power and possessions. Capitalism is an economic system of disordered desire. Even if it “works,” Bell argues, it is contrary to the spirit of Christ.

The thing that worries me here is that the next thing I did was ordering the book he’s talking about…


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