A dear man who I love and respect very much recently made a comment to me. He said "capitalism is slavery". This really intrigued me because this is a very intelligent man. So, I asked him what he meant. And because he is a wonderful person, he did not get mad at me but went on to share his heart.
His concerns were about the materialism and superficiality of our culture today. And frankly, I could not agree more. But I explained that I did not believe that "capitalism" was the cause. I shared the following"
I think I understand your sentiments when you say that you “don't feel fully free to simply be.” But frankly, my perspective is that this has little to do with a particular economic system. You see, I live in the same system you do and I feel completely and totally free. That, to me, is an issue of coming to grips with our Creator and falling head-over-heals in love with Him and the reason why He created us.
But beyond that, I am always fascinated with what appears to be almost a hatred today for what many call Capitalism. That’s why when you posted it caught my attention. As you know, everyone seems to define that word differently. I see it as simply a free market system. As I study history, it seems to me that ‘this system’ has brought about more prosperity for the common man than any other system the world has ever known. Furthermore, it has generated more “freedom" and “liberty” than any other. And, it has produced more charitable giving than any other. This is why I have a hard time understanding the hatred for it.
Now, any system of economics or government is only as good as the people. Our forefathers knew that our system (as we originally designed it) was “wholly inadequate for anything other than a righteous or moral people.” In other words when you give people freedom, the condition of culture is dependent upon the goodness of the people. It is when goodness dissipates that history has needed tyrants to step in. This then is where I believe we are today. The Judeo/Christian morays which used to be the foundation for even our secular culture has all but disappeared.
You are right about the “very powerful media/consumerism hypnosis that's being projected into the world.” And, you are right about how “many” people (or most of culture) responds to that. But again, this goes to the heart of man not the economic system we face. Choose any system you will and it is all subject to our hearts. A dictatorship could produce good results IF we had a good, reasonable, caring dictator. Right? The problem is that no one can guarantee that and we must loose our freedom to get it.
You see, I live in a world where families are not controlled by those powers. I live in a world where even little children see through all the mess and see the wickedness of material obsession. I live in a world where many children who get one simple gift on Christmas are completely satisfied. I live in a world where toddlers sit still in an adult church service that goes over two hours in length. Most of America not only does not believe my world exists but would call me a liar.
You see, even the marketing experts who get paid healthy sums to make us dissatisfied with anything less than all they want to sell us, used to have a sense of propriety, morality, and ethics. The Scriptures say that “in the last days we will be lovers of our own selves.” We are seeing this explode before our very eyes!
You are also right about those gurus who demand debt but again, there was a time when our “capitalistic system” was frankly more practically “capitalistic” and that was NOT the view. We live in a day when frankly most people do not even think about life. We are no longer a thoughtful people. Most are like little mice running the maze every day and have no idea where they are going or why. But, should this surprise you? People used to believe they were created by a Holy God for a Holy purpose and had a wonderful destiny. Today, we teach our children that they are the result of a cosmic accident and frankly have not higher purpose then themselves.
So, I agree! We HAVE “lost our way”. You blame Capitalism but I do not. Today, China is illegally robbing many African countries of their diamonds on an enormous scale. Is that because of capitalism? Rome, Egypt and Nazi (Socialistic) Germany tried to take over the world and crush anything and anyone who got in their path, was that because of Capitalism? The truth is that most people today do not want to look inside for their answers. They are more comfortable blaming some THING or some ONE. Everybody loves a protest and feel good about themselves when they are “fighting against” the evil they have identified when all along … it is inside us. That has to be dealt with.
You asked me about my life in Pharma. Frankly, my life then is like it is now. You may not know it but I currently work for a Chemical Company. I work that job to help with finances but my life IS SERVICE to God. Even when I worked in Pharma, I had a higher calling and purpose. That was just how I paid the bills. Even within the company, and while in the Army, I constantly bucked the system. I refused to bow to the corruption and told ALL my bosses that if they did not want me, I’d go somewhere else. That kind of principled approach does not come from Bob Barton. It comes from a gracious God who has changed my life and my heart and SET ME FREE.
I told him that I loved him and that I appreciated his heart and respected his mind.