An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Socialism is Practical Christianity
"The Kingdom of Heaven is not a kingdom or life in the clouds. Either it exists here or else it exists nowhere," - Hugo Chávez
The Christ child was born on earth, poor and human, to fight to make this planet the kingdom of heaven. He fought for equality and justice, had no reverence for metaphysical poverty, but strove to eliminate real poverty, poverty of soul and body.
"Christ was born to call on us to create, here on earth, the Kingdom of Love," Chávez explained, adding that this kingdom has no other name than socialism." - Chávez: Capitalists Have Manipulated the Message of Christ to Exploit the Poor
"Socialism is the doctrine, science, of development of what is social. Capitalism is the immoral art, science, and technology of development of capital or growth of capital -- (for capitalism) what matters is that even while people die of hunger capitalists accumulate capital."
"The president stressed that therein lies the key to understanding the confrontation that began again, in which Venezuela has become the center of the battle between socialists and capitalists, 'between people becoming more politically conscious every day and those who exploited them forever.' He said that that is why the issue of the constitutional amendment is of vital importance as it will allow Venezuela to go farther on the socialist path, the truly human and democratic path, for the happiness of the Venezuelan people." - Chávez: Capitalists Have Manipulated the Message of Christ to Exploit the Poor
Christianity and Marxism are brothers of the same Father - Yahweh, the true God. The Christian message is that a new earth is achievable - the Kingdom of Heaven has blossomed among us. We have only to seize it by our faith and it will live in our hearts and in our societies because the God who guarantees it is trustworthy. The resurrection shows us the path beyond death. Christian faith is the missing key to socialist praxis. We can only achieve socialism through faith in God, not through economic determinism, which is an expression of the very dehumanization which socialism seeks to overcome.
"The Marxist critique of anti-Utopian Christianity remains completely relevant and the image of God to which Marxist analysis now leads is no longer that of the supreme being but rather the God of the Christian message. This is a God within the human praxis of liberation, one who can provide Utopian praxis with a justification that goes beyond what is humanly achievable. From this perspective, something that is not humanly achievable can be declared achievable: the realm of freedom. This does not mean, however, that it is to be achieved by human effort, but rather that the coming of the kingdom can be hastened. The praxis of advancing and overcoming obstacles is Christian praxis insofar as hope in a kingdom to come is part of that praxis and its successes are related to that kingdom. From this viewpoint, such praxis is not hindered by being unachievable: God is committed to it. The success of this praxis is linked to the hastening of the coming of the kingdom." - Franz Hinkelammert, The Ideological Weapons of Death, p. 230.
The Christian God forms the missing link in socialist practice. If we deeply study the motivations and moral standards of the great Marxists, we find that the fire of justice burns within their theories and revolutionary practice. But Marxism in itself is not adequate to the justice toward which it points. Only by integrating the practice of Christian spirituality with revolutionary action can Marxism achieve the goal of human freedom.