So I got a few complaints that can be boiled down to (1) hasn’t it been a while since you’ve talked about the spiritual side which this blog is supposed to focus on and (2) isn’t capitalism in contradiction to that hippie-ish New Agey belief you have?
Point 1 is a valid complaint; Point 2 needs to be dispelled immediately.
Okay so lets go over some basic points of New Age belief.
Long Term Thinking
Quality over Quantity
The Infinite Potential of the Human Soul
(Just looking at that list tells me that Part 8 will not be the last in this series…sigh)
So lets determine how each of these plays into the New Age.
The first point is Reason. Saying that New Agers believe in Reason usually gathers one of two reactions (sometimes oddly from the same people). Either you get people who get very indignant as if you’re saying their religion doesn’t believe in reason (and while I’m not going to get involved in saying which religions and which denominations might not live up to encouraging reason, I will simply say if a religion says you must submit to the will of God and never use your brain you are insulting God’s greatest gift to us, intellect and free will..I’ll come back to this point later). No I’m not saying other religions don’t encourage reason, although certain people fall short of actually using it. It’s just that New Age beliefs want to encourage reason at all costs. This is found in such texts as A Course in Miracles and The Secret. The physical universe operates on very specific rules, as you learn these rules you begin to see their implicit contradictions, which means either God’s insane or we are. As we realize that our ego and the world it has created is insane, reason leads us further and further away from egos and closer and closer to God. Did you think the Buddha sat under the tree using illogic to reach Enlightenment? No, reason leads to God, because God is reason and love (the more you think about it those two things all lead to the other which is why I list them together, we just don’t usually think of them as being synonymous). Our unenlightened state here on this world isn’t due to reason, it’s due to a flaw in our reasoning, and this world will dissipate as soon as we rid all illogical thoughts from our being. Thus reason is the only way out of this state of existence and back to the bliss of enlightenment.
The second objection against saying New Agers belief in Reason is that this somehow means we reject Faith…which is an equally foolish statement. Reason and Faith are not opposed to one another. Reason dictates that there is just something that at our current level of knowledge we can’t know with absolute certitude, thus these things are beyond reason. For instance the proofs of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas prove conclusively that there must be an unmovable mover, a force that set the universe in motion, which we call God. However they’d be the first to tell you that they can’t prove that this God of their logical proof is the good God Plato’s vision of the Form of the Forms, Krisna’s description to Arjuna of Enlightenment, or Christ’s beautiful poetry of the Kingdom of Heaven…or something vindictive and wrathful as seen in Revelations and the early chapters of Genesis…or something just ungodly evil, hate, irrationality and chaos as one might find in the pages of H.P. Lovecraft novel that demands only worship, submission, and maybe mass genocide. The chaos and suffering in the world, otherwise known as the problem of evil, doesn’t exactly create a logical answer to the answer of what kind of God exists, and hence we turn to faith to fill in the void that reason cannot at present reveal to us. The interesting thing about faith is that is leads to reason. When we use faith to fill in the blanks we find the pieces fit perfectly together and this lets us move onto the next level of reasoning and when we look back we can see that no other choice than the one made on faith makes reasonable sense and the other options actually contradict other things that pure reason dictates…but we couldn’t see this if we didn’t take that leap of faith. (Ask yourself how many scientific advancements have been made because scientist believed in something, had little reasonable proof other than question and random ideas, took a leap of faith to prove it, and now their discoveries made via faith are accepted as absolute truth). Now I will fully admit there are those who use blind faith with strict interpretations of outdated texts where reason would just as easily give answers and New Age belief is in no way encourages this kind of blind faith because it is contradiction to reason (and blind faith usually leads to unspeakable evil).
Before I lose you, I’m sure you’re asking what this has to do with capitalism. Well if you’re following reason then there is always a certain amount of pragmatism. (Please note there is a difference between pragmatism, doing what works, and expediency, doing what will work right now. Expediency to avoid temporary pain or suffering, at the cost of later and better payoffs, isn’t pragmatic and it certainly isn’t reasonable). We may have principles and hold to them dearly, but a principle that doesn’t work is illogical. Thus any system that doesn’t work isn’t reasonable and must be discarded.
Socialism doesn’t work. It can’t work. Not in part or in whole. Yes the Communist Utopia is a very nice fairly tale, but as long as people are still motivated by selfishness mixed with the ego’s insanity, they won’t always perfectly balance needs of self and others and the only system that puts up safeguards against extremes is capitalism (again that’s real laissez-faire capitalism, not the mixed-economy bull we’re dealing with right now). Yes someday people will have progressed to a level of enlightenment where we are basically so consistently rational that we are living in the Communist Utopia, but never will there be the socialist government in the middle between perfect capitalism and that utopia. Government cannot force people to change, that is something that only the individual can do, and as such as human beings evolve spiritually the only possible way for true progression is from limited government in capitalism to less and less government as humans need that necessary evil less and less.
As I’ve made it clear over the last few blogs and as numerous authors before have made it even more clear than I could in the space of a week’s worth of short posts, socialism can’t work. It’s illogical and will always collapse under the weight of its own inefficiency and evil tyranny. Thus New Age beliefs can never be for socialism, and anyone who thinks otherwise hasn’t reasoned out how socialism and New Age beliefs are diametrically opposed.