Monday, October 01, 2007


That is, they talk about the environment, 'the politics of hope' and social responsibility these days, have a new warm logo and a telegenic leader who exudes unspecific niceness. But what really gets them excited is giving 3.5 billion pound tax advantages to the wealthy to ensure that deep-seated disparities of wealth based on inheritance and off-shore domiciles remain, with a little cosmetic dressing (token sums from the extremely rich to the slightly-less-but-still-pretty-rich). They also refuse to regulate the financial services industry while bleating about personal debt and trying to blame the treasury for a smaller chunk of borrowing. Not that Mammon gets much of a challenge from the other main parties, of course. But at least they don't believe in the "economic necessity of inequity" as a moral principle (a key element in Conservative economic thought, even in its non-Thatcherite guises). Well, Blair came close. By contrast, Douglas E. Oakman suggests reasons for resisting such ideologies, for some of us anyway. Based on philological considerations and contextualization of the very earliest Jesus traditions, especially Luke 16:13, this article argues that at the core of the concern of Jesus of Nazareth was a critique of Mammon (a domination system that idolizes wealth), developed in terms of an alternative practice of power in relation to a vision of the unlimited givingness of God.

No comments: