Friday, November 29, 2013

Unbridled Capitalism, Part 2


The Song of the Vineyard 

Isaiah Chapter 5

1Now let me sing of my friend, my beloved’s song about his vineyard. My friend had a vineyard on a fertile hillside;

2He spaded it, cleared it of stones, and planted the choicest vines; Within it he built a watchtower, and hewed out a wine press. Then he waited for the crop of grapes, but it yielded rotten grapes.

3Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem, people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard:

4What more could be done for my vineyard that I did not do? Why, when I waited for the crop of grapes, did it yield rotten grapes?

5Now, I will let you know what I am going to do to my vineyard: Take away its hedge, give it to grazing, break through its wall, let it be trampled!

6Yes, I will make it a ruin: it shall not be pruned or hoed, but will be overgrown with thorns and briers;


Marxism employs a very narrow definition of Capitalism.  It is a logical slight-of-hand to defining a caricature of something, to describe your foe as a buffoon, to consruct a flimsy straw-man and then argue against it.  That is what Marxist do when dissing Capitalism.

From here:
First, capital is in the first place an accumulation of money and cannot make its appearance in history until the circulation of commodities has given rise to the money relation.

Second, capital is money which is used to buy something only in order to sell it again.

Third, money is only capital if it buys a good whose consumption brings about an increase in the value of the commodity, realised in selling it for a Profit 

 A Capitalist defines capital as

Capital goods:  Tools, machines, facilities and long term items used in the production of goods and services; goods and services primarily intended for consumption of others.  That clearly includes grape vines, walls, watchtowers and wine presses.

Working capital: Money used to buy raw materials, pay wages, carrying costs for work-in-processes. 

The Capitalist is a person who defers immediate consumption (that is, defers immediate gratification) to free up those resource.  They risk those resources in the hope that the capital goods will combine raw materials and labor and create a new, more valuable form.  They hope to recover their capital and a premium for risking their capital and for brokering the exchange.


Picture a Subway sandwich shop, one of the few manufacturing workplaces that is still accessible to the general public.  A customer has a green piece of paper in their pocket and is hungry.  The customer verbalizes what will best satisfy their needs.  A worker removes a loaf of bread from an oven (capital goods), manipulates it by cutting it and combining with other ingredients.  They may put it back into a toaster oven (another capital good) for a short time.  The customer trades her wrinkled green paper for a warm, satisfying sandwich.

Marxism in the  Bible:

Many of Jesus' parables were derivatives of stories from the Old Testament.  Jesus' audience was intimately familiar with those stories and it was an economical medium to use as a canvas for His new message.

Jesus used Isaiah 5 as a springboard for one of his parables.  I think it speaks to Marxism.  Jesus is clearly (to me) using Marxist ideas as the nexus of evil.  Marxism and redistribution dogma is not a new idea.

Green is capitalist.  Note that "the son", metaphor for Jesus, identifies with the Capitalist
Blue is labor
Pink, of course, are the Marxists.

The Parable of the Tenants. 

33 “Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey.  
34When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce.  
35But the tenants seized the servants and one they beat, another they killed, and a third they stoned. 36Again he sent other servants, more numerous than the first ones, but they treated them in the same way. 37Finally, he sent his son to them, thinking, ‘They will respect my son. 
38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to one another, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and acquire his inheritance.’  
39 They seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. 

Your mileage may vary.  Pray without ceasing.  Test everything.  Keep what is good.  It is your immortal soul that hangs in the balance.

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