Do Capitalism and Christianity Cross Paths?

This is the question Matthew Lamb asks over at The College Conservative. Here are some snippets:

Most of the opposition I face often comes from the “social justice” crowd, who equate social justice with wealth redistribution and anti-capitalism. There are some reasonable critiques of free markets from Catholic intellectuals, but free markets and capitalism are nevertheless still compatible with Christianity. The Catholic Church teaches that the morality of a human act relies on three parts; “the object chosen, the end in view or the intention and the circumstances of the action.”

[ . . . ] We are also told “you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16). Capitalism relies on truth (an inherently good and moral thing) to function, in particular truth in contracts and truth about the product. If you agree to sell a product to someone at a certain price and then refuse to do so, or instead offer a different product, you have broken a contract and lied in your dealings. Capitalism relies on honesty amongst parties to function.

Capitalism is a moral system that involves moral objects, moral means, and moral circumstances. It relies on voluntary associations and truth in the workings of the free market itself. Capitalism has a moral end of improving the lives of other people, while improving the provider’s life as well. It also conforms with many principles enshrined in Christian teaching, such as honesty, the right to one’s property, working in community, and serving the needs of others. Capitalism, in many aspects, is indeed a Christian system.

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