Thursday, September 25, 2014

Capitalism, Depersonalization And The Never-Ending Irresponsibility Of Structural Sin

Alan: The intractable difficulty with "unjust economic structures" is that there is no "personal responsibility" in them.

Rather, "unjust economic structures" are Capitalism's trump card, keeping people in perpetual oppression by depersonalizing them through systems with no personal component. 

Capitalist Sin is essentially depersonalized, programmatic, systematic and automatic.

As Woodrow Wilson observed: "The truth is we are all caught in an economic system which is heartless."

Capitalist Sin "just happens"... because it was designed to "just happen"... a gift of self-exculpation supplied by early generations of capitalists who established the theo-philosophical template that absolved all subsequent generations of any moral (or political) responsibility.

Structural Sin authorizes "the Pilate in each of us" to wash our hands, to turn our back on the crucifixion of the poor, and then sleep well at the end of each day's prolonged feasting.

Currently, Christian Theology -- based on the medieval template of each individual's "personal relationship" with God -- includes no heuristic, no epistemological method for grasping the pervasive nature of overarching and subtending structural sin for which "I am not responsible."

The automatic structures of sin enable each of us to proclaim -- quite plausibly and with clear conscience -- that "it is out of my hands."

In Spanish, a common legal rendition of "corporation" is "sociedad anonima" - an "anonymous society." Since "no one" dwells inside the anonymous"corporate shell," there is no one to blame, no one to hold responsible; indeed no personal conscience that might be panged into "changing."

The structures are what they are - over there, far away, beyond the reach of human responsibility.


Perhaps the Supreme Court's recent definition of "corporations as persons" lays the foundation for a new jurisprudence that holds formerly "impersonal" corporate structures personally responsible.

Where there are "persons," moral and legal responsibility can be assigned to those persons.

Where there is only clockwork mechanism and anonymous corporate fictions -- set in motion by systematic decisions made in the distant past -- there is no more moral responsibility than my car "experiences" when I leave it running at curbside to load groceries.

It would be sweet irony if Citizens United blew up in Capitalism's face.

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission 

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