A System of Greed

As a Christian Libertarian, a question that often gets asked is why I would prefer capitalism (the system of greed) over socialism (the system of giving nice things to everybody). At face value, that question makes sense. It sounds like a direct contradiction to my Christian principles.

Here’s the problem: The notion that capitalism is the system of greed and socialism isn’t, is simply untrue. They’re both based on greed. We’re talking about monetary systems here; the only reason we even have conversations about money is because everybody wants to have some, or at least have more control over someone else’s. The difference is that in capitalism, that greed translates to pursuing your own money, and then doing what you want with it. But in socialism, that greed translates to pursuing someone else’s money.

The reason Capitalism is somehow the economic system that gets a bad rap for being greedy is because it’s the system that doesn’t pretend to be something else. Capitalism correctly assumes the greed of individuals, whereas socialism incorrectly assumes the benevolence of an increasingly-powerful government. In other words, Capitalism is based on reality, personal responsibility, and the decentralization of power. Socialism is based on unrealistic ideology, shirked responsibility, and the centralization of power–away from individuals.

It’s not that capitalism is inherently Christian and Socialism isn’t. It’s that being good stewards of our finances and being generous on an individual level with what we DO have is a Christian principle, which capitalism accommodates. Contrarily, racking up huge debt and using wasteful processes in order to be generous with what we DON’T have is NOT a Christian principle, nor is it a reasonable one.