In this segment we will explore the authors ideas describing what he sees as wrong with capitalism as he outlines in his book The Fallen Eagle. The author uses the description of Babylonian spirit to describe the ideology which he sees as coming out of modern day capitalism. In order to make for a better understanding of the terminology and descriptions taken from the Bible Scripture perhaps a look at Babylon and who or what Babylon is would be in order. The authors quotes are highlighted as in previous article post.
Babylon is described throughout the Scripture both in natural terms and supernatural terminology. We know from history that Babylon was a city sitting on a main trade route in what we know as Iraq. It was indeed a prosperous city but it also was an evil city containing every perverseness known to man.
John the Revelator saw Babylon as a lavishly dressed Harlot riding on the back of a seven headed beast and described her as such:
I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, haviing seven heads and then horns.
And this woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthness of her fornicatin”
And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABONMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (Revelation 13:3-5)
Babylon’s association with the seven-headed, ten horned beast makes her a prominent historical and end time figure, for the beast upon which the Harlot rides represents earthly kingdoms. The ten horns symbolizes ten end time kings who: ...shall give their power and strenght unto the beast” (Revelation 17:13).
Babylon's influence is worldwide--”...all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her...” (Revelation 18:3)
Some equate the Babylon influence to a false religion which perhaps impacts peoples and governments however the Scriptures seem to lean more toward referring to Babylon and other cities like her as great trade cities or centers and liken their business transactions to adulterous behavior. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah spoke of another large trade city, Tyre, in this manner: “...she shall turn to her hire and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world ...”(Isaiah 23:17). John, in his Revelation also emphasizes Babylon’s commercial activity rather than religious affairs: ...”thy merchants were the great men of the earth...” Revelation 18:23) We know that today, business leaders fro the free world hold unprecedented power and command respect worldwide. No political system, not even Communism, hinders their movement around the world. Hardly a nation escapes their. warlike quest for larger markets, cheaper labor and scarcer natural resources. John again alludes to Babylon as an economically based process in which “...the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies” (Revelation 18:3). The merchants grew rich because they had the freedom to employ their skills and possessions to accumulate more wealth “...that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships at sea...” (Revelation 18:19)
That description of Babylon is a very good description of the freedom , flexibility and opportunity allowed under modern capitalism. And now, what is wrong with capitalism?
Marx was wrong since not all privately-owned enterprises are capitalistic in nature , not do all corporations harbor the Babylon sprit. Neither is the concept of private enterprise inherently evil, for God has always advocated man[‘s economic freedom and individual responsibility. This must certainly include his rights to own property, to enter into voluntary exchange with whomever he chooses, to select the vocation of his choice, to provide goods and services in order to make enough money to provide for his family, to help the needy , and to put enough aside for a rainy day. The writer (and this writer) is a firm believer in free enterprise and the concept behind pure capitalism but something with in the capitalist system—the misuse of its freedoms—must defy God’s laws relative to making money. These abuses of privileges distinguish mere private ownership from capitalism. The introduction of these abuses into an individually owned business signals the departure of God’s sanction and the entrance of the Babylon spirit to administer its economic affairs.
So from this point forward, when we use the word” capitalism” we do not mean the free enterprise system per se but the willful perversion of those freedoms into a competitive, ever expanding monster, incapable of expressing even the slightest measure of human compassion. By capitalism we mean the merger of equipment and human labor into a profit producing machine incapable of looking beyond its own voracious appetite for larger markets, cheaper labor, and scarcer natural resources. By capitalism, we mean an attitude or spirit, with an economic system that lends itself to the old man’s natural desire for fun, fame and fortune, that focuses on selfish desires as they seek gratification through the things of the world , that forsakes the right of others and perverts the love of God into a Laodicean** craze for pleasure, possessions and prestige.
Any business , regardless of size can, according to the author be possessed by the Babylon spirit. Void of feelings other than greed especially a lack of feeling toward people it simply operates to make more and more money.
Capitalism gives birth to our latent impulses to covet “things” and exalt ourselves because the foundational principles upon which it operates are geared toward accumulation and self emulation. the use of it’s freedoms to reap gain, often at another expense , makes capitalism just as obnoxious to God as atheistic Communisms.
At the heart of capitalism, dominating its every precept and principle is a competitive drive for higher profits. A business filled with the Babylon spirit is not content to merely cover cost and make a reasonable profit. It exist solely for making more money.
When bottom line looms as the driving force behind nearly every management decision , those decision eventually and inevitably lead to expansion. Marx right concluded that capitalism had no stopping place but was relentless driven by greed to innovate and increase output.
This dangerous concentration takes a deadly toll on small businessmen, but the loss of human compassion and understanding is far more devastating.
Central to capitalism , equality is nothing more than equal opportunity of all to compete freely for economic advantage. With advantage must come disadvantage; invariably weak suffer most in a fully competitive environment... In such a system there is little compassion for losers but boast proudly of their affluent winners.
However innocently, capitalism does create a noticeable poverty, and an increasing price structure perpetuates the economic distinction between the upper (and middle )classes and the poor. Capitalism did not necessarily produce poverty by taking the poor man’s money (although this is true to an extent in the price he must pay for necessities), but it did create a chasm which few will cross.
To solve the poverty problem advocates of capitalism feel that rather than subdivide the pie into smaller and smaller parts, there ought to be a bigger pie. Of course we know that the socialist in our government would not only subdivide the pie into smaller pieces but also create a larger pie by extracting profits from the very entity that created it, be it right or wrongly created.
As long as the competitive system survives, and in spite of social programs, government handouts, and foreign aid, the poor will remain, and the rich will get richer.
Capitalism will fail, but not because everyone in America suddenly adopts Christian values and applies them to their business life. Sadly , most Americans, including Christians, are determined to preserve or improve their current lifestyles and the economic system that ensures its preservation. Accordingly , the Babylon spirit will continue to spell bind and enslave all who abuse their economic freedoms and do so with little regard for the rights or feelings of others.That is, until the end.
Next the final segment: The Death of Capitalism
** Laodiciean spirit is described as this in Revalation 3:17-18 "Because you say, 'I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing;' and don't know that you are the wretched one, miserable, poor, blind, and naked; I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich; and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see" .The words attributed to the Laodiceans obviously mark an ironic over-confidence in regard to spiritual wealth. They are unable to recognize their bankruptcy. However the image may also be drawing on the perceived worldly wealth of the city and in the content of the article on Capitalism this is the authors intent.