A Rabbinic Riff on Capitalism (sparked by the magnificent philanthropy of J.K. Rowling)
(c) Rabbi Menachem Creditor
That's a lot of good being done by one very good, talented, and successful person. You might, then say, that capitalism can be a redeeming force in the world. And while many do everything they can to change the world through the financial means they are blessed to achieve within a capitalist economy, this very meaningful good effort is inherently dependent upon the righteous conviction of the successful.
That means that capitalism must also be recognized as a "dependency system" in which the vulnerable need the powerful to give their wealth away. Yes, Capitalism can include powerful forces for good, but I'm not convinced it's an inherently good system. We should say about Capitalism what Winston Churchill once said about democracy: "It is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried."
A good system would eliminate vulnerability and destitution as a likely outcome, regardless of the goodwill of the few. Capitalism is not going away, and self-interest (the all-too-human basis for its global dominance, usually euphemized as "individual rights") is here to stay.
I'm just saying that we shouldn't be so proud of free will offerings.
A successful person of faith who lives in a capitalist society should use language like "obligation" and "responsibility" and "bearing the burden of the other" to describe their giving.
Dec 31, 2013
What is deeper than our skin? Pure light. This morning's learning aimed to connect our Jewish moment (Yom HaShoah, Yom HaZikaron, Yom Ha'atzma'ut) with the Torah portions (Tazria Metzora) the memories of George Floyd z"l and Daunte Wright z"l, and the assault on Second Lt. Caron Nazario last night. #SayTheirNames #PursueJustice #BuildOnLove
Rabbi David Wolpe in WashingtonPost.com: "Divorce is a death" Rabbi David Wolpe http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/...
A new Bigger on the Inside post: #Hook - "There You Are" "There you are, Peter!" Over time, our eyes can become dim. ...
I wrote this song for my daughter, born right after 9/11. This world will be built by love: ours and God's. In the best and worst of m...