October 11, 2008
The Capitalist Family
I am musing about the family, and tonight I think how a family might function as a capitalist family. There would be no arguments about homework. The mother would make clear that the price of eating at the family establishment would be two hours a day of homework. The children would learn to haggle her down and say the food is not that good. It would be more fair to say an hour a day, tops. And so they would agree about things. And the parents would be acting for the good of their children, e.g., getting them to do homework, but in a way that would prepare them for the wide and wild net of the market. In case of a severe need, say one child needs lots of help, then the price would still be set as that which would provide that, but then all sorts of situations arise now which are like Newton dealing with three objects rather than merely two (it became so complicated for him he figured a god would have had to keep it all straight). The other child will be deprived, and its price for things will go up such that he or she becomes willing to forgo a meal. And that child would realize that the other child was the problem, and without that child life would become bearable again. And so even if the child was helpless with regard to killing the other, at least he would develop a good sense of hate and injustice. Thus, as I think in my musing, the capitalist family would result in a hateful world, a market world of people who hate each other. Iâ€™m not sure all that follows here, but the whole thing is suggestive of the mindset that we would be imposing upon the family and the world alike, namely an identity of market, everyone is a commodity. Everyone is for sale.
The Communalist Family.
How then does the family work when a commune. In a commune all give in accordance with their ability, and so Daddy or Momma or both work to earn money, and then it is utilized first in accordance with needs, e.g., the sick child.
Now in a godless communalism, as has been practiced on a large scale in our own time, it may be expedient to let the sick child die without costly intervention if otherwise the family would fall apart. But actually, I think, the same thing could be the action of a godly communalism under certain dire circumstances, where the existence of the family were at stake. A Christian family, perhaps (as I continue to muse), might refuse to give up the sick child and rather vanish as a family rather than giving up â€œthe least of theseâ€, the members of the family. That would be extreme. If the sick child lives still the sick child dies by entering the realm of no-family, i.e., no nothing, i.e., the market.
A Christian consideration of economic and social system. The Christian model for a society is the family just spoken of, where all count and are all precious and where it is one for all and all for one. It is in this milieu (alone, perhaps) that true fearlessness can arise. This is a realm of universal dignity and where there is solidarity and belonging and meaning.
The American Christians must be awakened to call out to the whole land that our true goal is communalism and that we should embark more diligently in government control of the economy and aim at least for socialism. There must be preached a change of heart, a transformation into people who are organized to do the best they can and to help shame those who donâ€™t (thus removing the single true objection, i.e., that some people will do no more than they have to, unless they are paid to), and treat all members as a family where we look out for each other. The capitalist model is self defeating and can result finally in a single product: fear. There is always a reason for fear in the capitalist family, that is not the case in the godly communalist family.
The Chinese Communist are to be urged to an accommodation with the Christians and to make sure they are â€œgentile thinkingâ€ Christians and set them loose in converting the entire population and promoting the Commune of China without need of fear and secret police. You can either convert people where they then police themselves, or your can force them where they are then reluctant and rebellious and in need of police. Itâ€™s either God or it is the police. (Sagan said that well in his disavowal of Kantâ€™s moral proof for the existence of God.)
It is noteworthy that the capitalist leaning Americans practice communism in their marriages and families. And as Jesus did with â€œneighborâ€ the Americans ought to be doing with â€œfamily memberâ€, stretching it to include everyone. I think of the French carol declaration, â€œthe thief is my brotherâ€.
I think there might be hope if the Christians of the world started using their influence for the promotion of Christian communalism, and inviting all to become a Christian and to join in, or perhaps just to join in with kindred spirit to that of the Nazarene.
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