McCarraher on capitalism, consumerism and the declining American empire

Interesting interview with Villanova University prof Eugene McCarraher (via Eric) on consumerism, capitalism, and the decline of the “American empire.” McCarraher’s always a delight to read, even if you don’t agree with everything he says. He pulls no punches and isn’t shy about calling out trendy theological shibboleths.

For more from McCarraher, see here, here, and here.

2 thoughts on “McCarraher on capitalism, consumerism and the declining American empire

  1. The problem I have with McCarraher is that he deals in hand-waving abstractions — “Work to transform capitalism. . . into a political economy of genuine wealth, ‘the possession of the valuable by the valiant.'”

    Etc. What is that supposed to mean, in specific real-world terms? What empirical support is there for these unspecified actions?

  2. Well, yeah, good question. I’m not convinced, as McCarraher says for instance, that “some form of socialism remains the most inspiring and practical way of arranging our economic affairs in the light of the Gospel.” I’m not even sure what that would look like, assuming he doesn’t mean old-style state socialism. But he has hinted, here and elsewhere, that he has some kind of worker control in mind. Personally, I don’t think that would provide a straightforward antidote to the problems (real or perceived) with “capitalism,” but I do think such alternative economic arrangements are worth thinking about.

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