"What is the Christian responsibility for the proper functioning of [capitalism], and to what extent can we steer the whole of capitalist production to serve genuinely human ends as they're articulated by the Christian faith?" -Miroslav Volf
When motivated by the ethics of God's kingdom, or the rule of God, spiritual socialism is a form of resistance to the fact that capitalism (and its sister phenomenon, industrialization) forces us to adapt to society-wide *centering* of efficiency, productivity, & methodology.
See Jacques Ellul's essay, "The Technological Order":
How & whether we can answer Volf's question has implications not just for the economy in terms of equity but for every dimension of human flourishing. I hate the fact that even the way we attempt to create community is so influenced by capitalist ways of thinking, being, & doing.
Then there's the sad reality that it requires so much energy for us to overcome the pernicious effects of capitalism, individualism, & self-determination on the structures we've built. We've built a world that has more anti-communal forces than communal forces.
In the suburbs, we live in neighborhoods designed to create privacy and that only work for people with cars. We've purposefully created distance, so we have to overcome distance (and traffic).
We've also fought for choices & more choices. So, kids on the same street all go to different schools, families go to different churches, etc. Now, there are a multitude of communities organized not around place but around choice, & we're spread thinner and thinner.
As I've gotten older, I've found this particular American way of life increasingly exhausting, unsustainable, and lonely. I spend so much time wondering, "Why do we live like this? What drives this decidedly anti-human way of life?"
I've decided I would do better in a community shaped by the values inherent in spiritual socialism than by one shaped by the shadow-side values of capitalism (hyper-individualism, consumerism, methodology), which is probably *most* church communities right now.
I felt this the most when I was trying to find communal support while taking care of a mentally ill family member. I undertook an exhaustive search, and I came to the despairing conclusion that we as a family were fundamentally ON OUR OWN.
During my search, I found out about the town of Geel, Belgium, which fosters mentally ill boarders. I was so moved and, for a minute, hopeful. https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/07/01/484083305/for-centuries-a-small-town-has-embraced-strangers-with-mental-illness
But then I found out that multiple researchers and practitioners who had tried to start a similar program in the U.S. had failed, concluding that it would never work here. https://www.npr.org/2016/07/01/483856025/read-the-transcript
I wanted to share that because when I talk about capitalism and socialism, I'm not primarily interested in economic theory or analyzing how wealth is created; I'm speaking as a human who's wrestling with what it means to be human.
& I nod my head a lot when I read Ellul's words re:the ambiguity of technical progress:
-All technical progress exacts a price
-Technique raises more problems than it solves
-Pernicious effects are inseparable from favorable ones
-Every technique implies unforeseeable effects
You can follow @judydominick.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: