In a brief and powerful private conversation, one of my dearest and wisest friends shared a thought on the evils of capitalism. He said, “I am a staunch capitalist, but I also know capitalism doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because humans are not capable of being at liberty without exploiting one another.”
He’s absolutely correct, of course. Every “-ism” is corrupt, abusive, and ultimately evil. Freedom includes the liberty to exploit our fellows. As free as we are even under the absolute liberty granted to us by God Himself, the tendency always falls to the wretched freedom to hurt people. Like me, my friend sees that among the concoctions of mankind, nothing can fairly or decently displace freedom, or “economic individualism . . . the obvious and simple system of natural liberty,” according to Adam Smith.
That, in turn, reminded me that “Capitalism” is a pejorative coined by Socialists in the late 19th Century. While still in diapers, Socialists already clamored to destroy liberty, religion, morality, and economy. Their ambition? Abject control! Again and always, the very clear and persistent damnation of man as individual and morally responsible. Socialism must hate God, personal responsibility, freedom, and every honest character trait of mankind. Again and always, the foolish desire is to make mankind “morally good, but dependent on the corrupt leadership of a human king or council.”
Even Bob Dylan recognized that, “You gotta serve someone — now, it may be the Devil or it may be the Lord, but you’ve got to serve someone.”
I most strongly encourage you to read the experience of the Prophet Samuel in the 8th chapter of the first book bearing his name. It is in the “Old Testament” and should be credible to all believing Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The foolishness of the rebellious people should be obvious to the rest of mankind, even if they think the alternative is individualism and reason rather than obedience to God.
Several years ago in a private conversation with Stuart Briscoe, he insisted that “all human government is Babylonian government!” At the time I insisted with equal vigor that liberty in place of Babylon would prevent that. Now I know that liberty becomes the root and branch of libertine evil, or Free Babylon.
Left to our own devices, we all form our own corrupt little autocracies. Without God, it must be a Devil and one form of Babylonian government or the other. Unless we tend to obey the authority of God, Nature’s God, and Natural Law, we tend to obey our evil human nature. We choose a king, suffer, impose our evil permanence, decide what’s best for everybody, and kill, conquer, and suppress to establish and maintain it.
That brings us full cycle: the only hope we have from generation to generation isn’t that somehow we’ll be good and do well. That simply is not possible. Our last desperate hope is that we can preserve enough liberty for good to survive. Man — us — We, the People, will always choose the wrong way and return perennially to the wretched little king of Babylon. Only the constant prayers of the momentary righteous and the rebellious spirit against wholesale authority will let us survive for another round. As my friend said, “I am a staunch capitalist, but I also know capitalism doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because humans are not capable of being at liberty without exploiting one another.”
God, and God alone, forgive us.