Economics Politics and Worldview

Instructor: Royce Allen Hunt, MDiv

Course Description:

This course will introduce students to some of the most important social, political, and economic ideas of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Course Objectives:

  1. The student will be able to define four versions of Marxism, two versions of Libertarianism, and two versions of Conservatism.
  2. The student will compare and contrast the various positions.
  3. The student will evaluate each position using Scripture.

Requirements:

Students must read at least one book from each of the eight positions.

Extra Credit:

The course is not graded. The course does not count towards any degree program. However, you will both make the professor happy and enrich yourself by reading extra books on each position. You may also use the comments section to voice what you are learning.

Reading Outline:

BASTIAT VS MARX - THE BATTLE FOR MORAL GROUNDBASTIAT VS MARX: THE BATTLE FOR MORAL GROUND

Marx and Engles promised salvation to the poor and oppressed through Communism.  Marxism promoted itself as being morally superior to Capitalism.  In contrast, Bastiat sought to clarify the moral superiority of economic liberty and justice over the economic and legal oppression of Socialism.

READING LIST

Marx, Karl and Engles, Frederick.  Manifesto of the Communist Party.  New York: Russel & Russel, 1963.

Bastiat, Claude Frédéric.  The Law.  London: Institute of Economic Affairs, 2001.

EXTRA CREDIT

__________. Economic Sophisms.  Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: Foundation For Economic Education, 1996.

MISES VS LENIN - REVOLUTION AND ECONOMIC CALCMISES VS LENIN:REVOLUTION AND THE PROBLEM OF ECONOMIC CALCULATION

Marxist Leninism justified violent revolution to usher in the salvation promised by Marx.  In contrast, Mises asserted that salvation could never come through Socialism, because it is a logically self-defeating economic system.

READING LIST

Lenin, Vladimir Il’ich.  State and Revolution .  NY: International Publishers, 1943.

Mises, Ludwig Heinrich Elder von.  “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth.”

MEYER VS MARCUSE - ALIENATION AND FUSIONISMMEYER VS MARCUSE: ALIENATION AND THE RISE OF FUSIONISM

In Communist countries, the promised salvation never came.  The poor and oppressed had became more poor and oppressed.  In contrast the poor in Capitalist countries could not only afford basic needs, but luxuries.  Therefore, Marcuse changed the message of Marxism from salvation from poverty and oppression to a message of salvation from various types of alienation caused by Capitalism.  Neo-Marxism was not the only change in this period.

Frank Meyer was a former recruiter for the Communist Party. After forsaking Communism, Meyer changed the message of Conservatism from statist moral social order to a fusion of individual liberty and social order.  This new Conservatism was in fact a recovery of the vision of the founding fathers of the United States of America.

READING LIST

Marcuse, Herbert.  One Dimensional Man.  London : Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968.

Meyers, Frank.  In Defense of Freedom.  Chicago, H. Regnery Co., 1962.

RON VS RON - EVANGELICALSRON VS RON: EVANGELICAL FUSIONISM VS EVANGELICAL NEO-MARXISM

Ron Sider, Tony Campolo, and others have been fusing the message of salvation through Christ with the message of social salvation through Marx.  Such Evangelicals seek to help the poor and oppressed through Humanitarian Statism. In contrast, Ronald Nash would rather the poor and oppressed be delivered through Humanitarian Antistatism.

READING LIST

Sider, Ronald James.  Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger.  Downers Grove, Ill: Intervarsity Press, 1977.

Nash, Ronald H.  Poverty and Wealth: Why Socialism Doesn’t Work.  Dallas: Probe Books, 1992.

EXTRA CREDIT

Campolo, Tony. We Have Met the Enemy, and They Are Partly Right. Waco, TX: Word, 1985.

Kirk, Andrew.  The Good News of the Kingdom Coming.  Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1985.

Nash, Ronald H.  Freedom, Justice and the State.  Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1980.

__________.  Social Justice and the Christian Church.  University Press of America, 1990.

FINAL EXAM QUESTION

Examine every usage of Scripture in the works of Campolo, Sider, and Nash.  Look up the passages, reading them in context.  Of the social economic systems you have read about, which system best fits with the Christian worldview?  Why?

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