Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Whole System is Inherently Unjust

It’s obvious that ordinary people all over the world are now saying that the extreme system of capitalism we live under is not working for the many but actually the few.  I’m not being provocative here nor trying to stir up trouble or attack individuals either, just being honest and nothing more.  It is as if we are entering a new age, a Neo-Feudalism where a relative few own and control everything and everyone else has to put up and shut up; and it is not working and will cause problems now and in the near future and in the future to come. 


Let’s look at the problems of overt capitalism without any concern for other people and without some form of social justice or even just some common sense.  Firstly, it is solely about profit, large profit, and nothing else really matters other than that.  Secondly, it is often harshly exploitative of everyone involved, except a few at the top and a slightly bigger minority in the middle.  Thirdly, it encourages through the profit motive the practise of paying low wages at the bottom and trying to get as much for products as possible.  Fourthly, often the very wealthiest people and the global corporations, the one who could afford to pay the most, are actually paying the least in tax.  That alone should be enough for people to think about.  This is just on a simple human greed level.

We then come to the moral issue, the one that often seems to be ignored or brushed under the carpet.  When people are utterly selfish and completely obsessed by greed and being wealthy at all and any cost, it often almost always impacts on everyone else, in some way or other.  People see that justice and compassion, consideration and fairplay are for losers and nice people, and that being aggressive, selfish, arrogant, ruthlessly ambitious, cavalier about other people and overly greedy benefits a person far more in the end.  Being greedy means that wealth is concentrated more and more in fewer and fewer hands and gives less and less people a chance to benefit from that wealth.  It also creates more and more people who think that the only way to get on is to be as ruthless as those who are rich, so creating more inequity and more reasons to exploit other people.  We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it; but as long as we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that.  People who long to be rich are a prey to trial; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and harmful ambitions which plunge people into ruin and destruction.  The love of money is the root of all evils' and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds.  (1 Timothy 6:7-10 NJB)

Some people have abandoned any moral or decent behaviour, even Christians who put greed and selfish ruthless ambition, lose sight of anything that is real and get caught up in what is worldly and also get caught up in competition with other people to have the most money, the biggest business, the biggest and most expensive house, the most expensive car, the holiday home, all the most expensive things and the trappings that comes with having lots of money.  Then what?  Once you have millions, once money becomes in a sense immaterial, where do you go then, what do you do and what can actually add anything to your life when you have everything you want?  Then it just becomes a monopoly game where a person just has and wants more and more for no good reason, and all the double standards and unfairness meted out to poor people that there is no money for fair wages, no money in some wealthy countries for even basic health care, no decent chances for promotion and constant attempts to belittle anyone who in any way who tries to make things better for poorer people at the bottom, with words like ‘Communist’ or ‘Socialist’ or ‘not realistic’ or anything else which simply closes the debate and continues to justify greed and injustice in the very economic system that underpins the West and now most of the world.  Let’s all stop hiding behind political ideology, let’s stop using religion to justify somehow selfishness or the Prosperity Gospel or anything which is supposed to be about love for other people and twisting it into a false gospel that has no real value when examined and is lacking in any truth.


I know that anyone who reads this who is poor and struggling, or who is finding it hard to get a reasonable paying job or paying their mortgage or just finding that bills and the cost of living seem to keep rising whilst wages and any kind of income seems to get less and less will probably agree with all I’ve said, whereas those who are rich, especially those who make their money not to help other people or even partially for some altruistic reason, but merely to be as rich as can be regardless of how they get it, will probably dismiss all I’ve said.  However, if God has a calling on your life, or you have any ounce of conscience, especially the former, injustice has a way of coming back on you one way or the other.  And abandoning God for greed may have very serious, if unforeseen, consequences.

What is the answer?  For all of us to stop being greedy!  To stop buying into the culture that constantly bombards us with the newest phone, or the newest TV, or the newest trainers (sneakers) or the newest home entertainment system and so on.  To stop living on credit and beyond our means.  To accept that as you and I have a right to be ambitious for better lives, that also everybody else does too and so we should not endeavour to walk over other people or dismiss their rights to a better life while we get ours.  For people to pay their taxes like good citizens.  For Christians and good people everywhere to learn to be content with what they have and stop worrying about what they haven’t got, if basic needs are met.  I do not say this because I have lacked anything; I have learnt to manage with whatever I have.  I know how to live modestly, and I know how to live luxuriously too: in every way now I have mastered the secret of all conditions: full stomach and empty stomach, plenty and poverty.  (Philippians 4:11-12 NJB)


  1. Dear Tim,
    In Luke 12:13-21, Jesus told a parable of the rich man whose fields yield so much that he decided to demolish his barns to build bigger ones. But before he could set about on his business, God declared that this very night his soul wiil be required of him.

    A very important lesson against greed.
    It is much better to be rich towards God instead.
    An excellent post.

  2. Well put argument Tim and a sound conclusion. Greed and ungodliness focus on self. Business seems to thrive on people's discontent of not having "everything" they can. Those who abandon moral and decent behavior are not true Christians because Christ followers model the Lord, not the ways of the world. Secular humanism will always work towards "selfish ambition" and darkness. Their view is in existentialism for this life, not eternity. You say:" People see that justice and compassion, consideration and fair-play are for losers and nice people, and that being aggressive, selfish, arrogant, ruthlessly ambitious, cavalier about other people and overly greedy benefits a person far more in the end. But "the end" is not "The End", yet make this side of heaven a living hell for others. I'm glad that you bring up these issues, because awareness is the first step to remedy of any situation. Abuse must be rectified, imbalance and injustice corrected, God's Golden Rule lived out, so His world runs as designed ... by His design. Love your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and with all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself. Follow that command and live it out daily. No government, except the government of heaven with govern the people fairly.

  3. Hi Tim,
    when I read Frank's comment, I have to admit that it was exactly what I was thinking ( the scripture about the rich man and his barns ) as I was reading your post. Not one of us know what tomorrow brings. One of my favourite scriptures is what you ended your post with. Contentment in the Lord is total peace. As for greedy Christians, and the church is God's Spiritual Israel, Psalm 106 vs 13, 14 and 15 reads But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his plan to unfold. In the desert they gave in to their craving;
    in the wilderness they put God to the test. So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease among them. Some versions say 'He gave them leanness of soul' instead of 'but sent a wasting disease among them.' A very helpful post for Christians to read Tim.

  4. Awesome post Tim, as usual a great read. It's too bad only a few people really care to speak up about these issues, and the people who can make the most difference want to silence those who do speak up, like you say by calling them communist or whatever. That scripture at the end is great. We should all learn how to be content with what God supplies for us. Everyone wants to be either famous or rich, but many will never realize their is richness in contentment.

  5. Human nature being what it is, I don't think I'll hold my breath waiting for people to stop being greedy. I enjoyed this post, though, and am impressed by your writing ability. Our different religious backgrounds notwithstanding, I'm glad I found this place.

  6. Thanks for all the comments folks, always appreciated and I write with the specific of trying to initiate debate. Usually anyway!

  7. Hi T-Childs! I enjoyed reading this. I'm a libertarian and a capitalist, so it's good for me to come out of my little cave and interact with other view points for a change. haha In all seriousness, I think the thing about socialism that has such bite is that its proponents are pointing out a legitimate problem. Now, what I disagree with is the solution, but I think it's clear you and I disagree on the problem! Haha There is widespread materialism. If you have to choose between God and mammon, it seems that mammon is the overwhelming choice! What we should see is rather than the government stepping in, we need to see the church stepping up. What does James says is pure religion? Visiting the widows and the orphans. What are deacons for? To serve the needy in the Lord's church! Someday Jesus will come and right every wrong and wipe away every tear from our eyes, but for now, we are His people. We have His Spirit. We need to be not only a lighthouse that shows his love, but also torchbearers who light new bonfires everywhere we go. I would suggest reading "In the Shadow of Plenty: Biblical Principles of Welfare and Poverty" by George Grant. Fantastic look at how the church is falling down on the job so the government feels the need to step in.