Karl Barth on Capitalism

In the second edition of Karl Barth and Radical Politics (2017), Dr. George Hunsinger provided a helpful summary of Barth's severe criticisms of capitalism, and in one quote, Barth calls capitalism "almost unequivocally demonic." In CD III/2, Karl Barth said true humanity is "Jesus, a man for other men" (CD III/2), and in the following quotations, Barth explains that the capitalistic person, is one who lusts for themselves, and a capitalistic system establishes a small group of capitalistic people (i.e. the 1%) in a position of oppressive self-seeking power, that debases culture, and removes the dignity of the other 99%.
George Hunsinger summarizes Karl Barth as follows, "Capitalism, Barth argued, exacerbated some of the worst propensities of human nature. It fostered a revolution of empty and inordinate desires. It promoted 'lust for a superabundance,' 'lust for possessions,' and 'lust for an artificially extended area of power over [human beings] and things.' It generated enormous disparities in wealth and power, thus concentrating on life-and-death decisions 'in the hands of relatively few, who pull all the strings . . . in a way wholly outside the control of the vast majority.' A system that heightened self-seeking, debased culture, and, not least, obscured its own injustices, it was 'almost unequivocally demonic.' In these and other ways, it violated the dignity of human work. Work that possessed human dignity, Barth observed, would look very different." [1]
Read more at https://postbarthian.com/2017/11/07/karl-barth-capitalism-demonic-self-deception/


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