The Error of the Church in Defining ‘work’ and Denying Socialism

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The error in theology is this: whereas the monastics perform a selfless and voluntary labour (copying their saviour) within a serene setting where everything is provided free of charge for their existence (an ennobled poverty, if you like), the ordinary workers do not live like this, and yet the Church orders that they ‘submit’ willingly to their exploitation. Living in the squalor and poverty of capitalist exploitation, with its fifth, desperation and crime, is in no way similar to living within the walls of the (comfortable) private property owned by the Church. Christian monks submit to a strict ‘Rule’ which dictates what to do in every situation, with everything being selfless, stable and directed toward the unseen Christian god. On the other hand, the workers are ordered to ‘submit’ to their employers (as if they are god), and never complain about the injustices or inequalities in life. The ‘work’ of the monk is unproductive (in economic terms), whilst the ‘work’ of the labourer is productive (in economic terms). These two types of work cannot be compared and should not be conflated (the Church takes the wealth generated by the workers to fuel the ‘parasitic’ lifestyle of the monks). The Church should not assume that a voluntary and selfless work is in anyway the same as the exploitative labour demanded by the capitalist system. The Church must acknowledge the injustices of the capitalism and support in principle the strictures of Scientific Socialism. Living like a monk is in no way the same as living with the insecurity, pain and suffering of the real world. I am told that to save money on the medical care of the monks, the Catholic Church now demands that all recruits for the monastic life be aged between 18 – 35, physically fit and free from illness and disability upon signing on the dotted line – very similar to joining the military.

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