Capitalism And the Soul


A reader writes:

This post struck a chord.  You say the point of money is freedom, not money itself (agreed) -- and that believing "only" in capitalism is soul-killing.  Last night I had trouble sleeping and happened to pick up and reread most of The Abolition of Man.  Lewis argues:

There has never been, and never will be, a radically new judgement of value in the history of the world.  What purport to be new systems or (as they now call them) 'ideologies,'  all consist of fragments from the Tao itself, arbitrarily wrenched from their context in the whole, and then swollen to madness, yet still owing to the Tao and to it alone such validity as they possess.

Meanwhile the cave-dwelling moneyless blogger writes:

If you think you can't survive without corporations and banks, you have no faith, and all your talk of God is utter nonsense.  You are using the name of God in vain.  Then you wonder why the word "God" is so loathsome to people.

Capitalism - "swollen to madness."

Don't get me wrong. I love capitalism and the free market. I believe in capitalism in as much as history has yet to show a more efficient or democratic way of allocating resources and rewarding effort. But to believe only in capitalism, to see this money-making machine as an end-in-itself, is spiritual death. And if capitalism is to survive, a citizenry capable of retaining spiritual perspective is critical. Note this isn't an endorsement of fundamentalist politics. It's an endorsement of the role private faith plays in keeping the West coherent and alive. I fear fundamentalism is actually discrediting that, killing it slowly with neurotic fear masked as religion. And that leaves us vulnerable to hardest of the fundamentalists - the Jihadists.

Yes, this is a religious war.