Saturday, January 14, 2012

Avoiding Social Darwinism

I think the main problem with unregulated capitalism is that it results in a survival of the fittest.  If you are not smart enough or physically strong enough, you can not keep up in the economic race. 

Should a government protect all its citizens from hunger?  Should the government be willing to render medical aid to anyone, weak or strong? 

It's easy to argue that this is the job of the Church.  I've seen the Church in action in the Roman Catholic diocese here.  They have medical and dental clinics for the uninsured, including prenatal care.  They are pro-life, and they have organized themselves to help the lives of any who come to them.  They provide food pantries that include various sundries, and I know of mothers whose husbands were laid off who were able to get the food and toiletries needed to get through the week.  Most churches aren't organized like this.

But what about families?  I've heard this argument, too.  It's Biblical to have families take care of their own:  The network of extended family is society's safety net.  Families do help one another out, whether or not they are spread out from sea to shining sea.  However given the cost of medical care, families can only do so much to help one another.  Also the brokenness of the modern family has left many people alone with only friends to depend on, and not all friends are dependable.

So this brings us to the institution that is meant to represent the People.

What is the balance between free wheeling capitalism and bankrupted socialism?  Where do we draw the line?  What is too much help that keeps people on welfare, but what is too little help that leaves people starving in the streets?  What is too cynical an approach that assumes the masses are all dumb and incompetent, but what is too optimistic assuming that everyone will be all right if they are just left alone? 

I've heard the argument that because God raises up one and brings down another, we really don't have to worry too much about injustice or the poor except to give our tithe.  I think this is false and blatantly ignores how our Lord lived His life on this earth.  Shouldn't this be reflected in the power of my vote?


  1. Amen! I like that last paragraph. Matthew 23:23! Years ago when homeschooling, we came across this book (now free online). While I don't agree with all of it, I think it's right on the money (pun intended) in most of its arguments. You can read it here:

    Love and blessings!

    1. Thank you so much Petra! I will be checking that out! :)