Christianity and Marxism on Wealth
A friend of mine who identifies as Christian said to me something like this the other day:
You know, there’s a professor here that openly identifies as a Marxist, but she owns a lake cottage and has a maid. That seems weird to me. As a Christian, I tend to see lavish wealth as a bad thing. But then I realized that Marxists, unlike Christians, are not in principle opposed to wealth—just inequality or exploited labor.
This conversation reminded me of an anecdote I heard about Fredric Jameson, the famous Marxist at Duke, who apparently drives a really expensive European sports car. Apparently someone “called him out,” so to speak, at a party, and asked how he could drive such a car and still identify as a Marxist. According to the story, his reply was:
I’m a Marxist, not a Christian, dammit!
I’d have to agree with the spirit of this: it seems to me that there’s no need for Marxists to be opposed to wealth in principle. Wealth needs to be denounced only when it is acquired in an exploitative manner.