Definitions and Basic Questions

According to articles on Capitalism and Socialism:

Capitalism is an economic system that is based on private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods or services for profit.”   The term capitalism gradually spread throughout the Western world in the 19th and 20th centuries largely through the writings of Karl Marx. However, it is the default economic system and it has its roots tracing back to the beginning of recorded history.”  Paul R. Spickard and Kevin M. Cragg attribute the “invention of capitalism” to the middle-age emergence of urban mercantilism in Western Europe.  The new system replaced the feudal aristocratic dominance of wealth that preceded it.  (A Global History of Christians, Page 97).

“Socialism is an economic system characterised by social ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and a political philosophy advocating such a system.”  Modern socialism originated from an 18th-century intellectual and working class political movement that criticised the effects of industrialisation and private property on society.  In the early 19th-century, ‘socialism’ referred to any concern for the social problems of capitalism regardless of the solution. However, by the late 19th-century, ‘socialism’ had come to signify opposition to capitalism and advocacy of an alternative system based on some form of social ownership.”

Did either of these ‘isms originate from the Bible, and thus, is one of them the God-ordained economic system for humanity?  Has God specified an economic system for humanity?  Should the Church advocate either system as God-ordained?  To begin to understand, we will first consider the early story of humanity described in book of Genesis.  You can read of it in the next blog post.