Title says it all. What are your thoughts?
Would Jesus support free market capitalism?
No, but I also don't go with the 'he was a socialist' angle either. He'd support strategised Kleptocracy that isn't run by Jews but instead by a Christian elite. This is based both on how Christianity is practised and also on how the actual character Jesus acts in the storyline (despite what he preaches).
You notice how his disciples were an elitist cult? They first had to swear away loyalties to anyone and anything other than Jesus and then had to go along with the nonsense and only be rewarded if they blindly believed in it to begin with (otherwise they were a 'fake fan' so to speak). Extend that to economics and how the 'disciple elite' who serve the agenda he stands by would act. There is then no wonder that Christianity inspired colonialism, slavery and much else. Don't come back at me with 'but Muslims did it too! So did the Romans! Even the Ancient Egyptians!!!', I know they did. I don't support their religions, maybe Roman religion I support more than the rest because Romans never claimed they were the good guys, just the unfairly 'chosen winners' by fate so to speak... there to entertain the Gods.
Jesus' philosophy was 'quietism' (in the political sense). To him political and economic system were irrelevant because it was all going to end soon anyway. "Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar's" was his instruction to 'keep calm and carry on' until the new order arrived.
Politics and economics are very much 'of this world', about which Jesus expressed little interest.
I take it we can look at Jesus through the lens of both the OT and the NT including his people of old and his 1st century disciples with Paul. In other words, I take it that we need to see continuity between the Old and the New - not just discontinuity.
The OT with its 10 commandments - and in particular its "you shall not steal" command - implicitly provide for private property. Hence it is quite plausible to say Jesus is opposed to communism - where private property is abolished.
The NT famine in Jerusalem circa Pentecost noted in Acts gives us the view that the Church provided for the weak, particularly within the community of the church. Acts tells us the church family, meaning private individuals, sold their possessions and gave to those who needed it. This was clearly voluntary and the distributers were the Church, not the State, hence a movement away from socialism where socialism is defined as centralised state control / organisations.
Paul tells us in Romans 13 - to owe man nothing, except love. He also said out of your abundance give, while Jesus clearly was ok with giving the crumbs to the dogs. There is a sense of a trickle down effect happening here from a supply side - view of the market which is also a trend away from Keynesian and indeed modern market individualism both which rely heavily on a demand side basis.
The NT clearly tells the disciples to value heavenly things more than earthly things. And to give when it is possible to help the poor and vulnerable. Yet there is also a clear focus on Christians practising and preserving the environment and being good stewards of the planet. Hence don't be greedy. Don't over-exploit. Don't steal. Respect the government. Respect the family. Respect the church.
Free Market Capitalism, like socialism is notoriously difficult to define. Which version is correct? Does the Classical position take the cake? Or does Keynes method take the cake? Does the modern emphasis on individualism take the honours?
Free Market capitalism relies upon the notion that people are self-interested. Socialism, the notion that people are intrinsically good. Free market thereby reflects more accurately the world the idea that people are sinful - thereby self-interested. Yet socialism - when defined not by government control but by a focus on justice and equity which is powered by voluntarism probably more describes the redeemed Christian's worldview.
Hence, the question is going to be in many ways determined by what kind of world do we currently live in? Is it more worldly or it is more Christian? Are people more self-interested or is there a sense in which people are other focused or even God focused?
Forgive me, but can you define the different theories of free market capitalism? I understood it as simply anything goes as long as its making profit.
Which form of communism/socialism do you think is the intended form? (Government vs community based)?
Jesus was not a materialist.
Both capitalism and communism are intrinsically materialistic.