“Socialism and Capitalism: A Proposed Explanation and Answer,” by Andrew J. Schatkin

“Socialism and Capitalism: A Proposed Explanation and Answer,” by Andrew J. Schatkin

The two main economic systems in the world today are socialism—to some extent Communism, and Marxism—and Capitalism. Capitalism has come to dominate the economic scene in the world today. At one time, China and Russia were communist countries but they have now switched to capitalist market systems. Western Europe, particularly Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Holland, Belgium and, to some extent, France and England, have socialist system or at least mixed socialist/capitalist systems. These systems have pluses and minuses.

Capitalism, the argument goes, although based on greed and competition, gives many people a fighting chance or rather a starting chance. The idea behind capitalism is that it provides opportunities for the creative, hard-working person to succeed economically or in whatever way he or she may wish to outdo his or her neighbor.

This little piece of literary work offers a solution as to why these systems, both in some sense, must inevitably fail and do fail on some level. For want of a better word, human nature is corrupt and wanting. Therefore, in any system the most selfish, if not limited, people in character seek for domination and are disinclined to truly share the wealth and opportunities. The fault in these systems and the reason why they fail is not in the systems themselves, since the systems to some extent contain elements of good, especially socialism. The problem is that sinful corrupt human nature engages in a power grab through the exclusion of others. Even in theoretically classless communism, a few individuals sought and obtained power. The problem in these systems, sad to say, is not in the systems but in ourselves, our weaknesses, our desire for power and wealth, and our disinclination to share. All systems must fail in some sense not because the systems are bad but unfortunately because most people are if not bad then selfish and self-driven.

One drop of Jesus’s love can change a continent. What is not needed is not better systems but better people, spiritually giving and developed people whose object is not self-aggrandizement but charity involvement with others; people seeking not personal benefit but benefits for all and a better world.

I conclude that if there is to be something approaching a Christian society, it would be based most on the model of socialism rather than greedy, market-based capitalism. The earliest Christian communities were modeled on sharing goods and wealth (see Acts 4, Acts11 and 2 Cor 8-9), where there was material support for Jewish Christians by Gentiles in Greece in Jerusalem. Jesus himself led a life of sharing and embracing poverty and the monastic movement in an attempt to establish socialist communities on the model of the life of Christ.

I do not endorse any particular political system but do say that socialism is a closer model for a Christian society and system than any other.