Capitalism Is Not A System of Government

To the Editor:
    Given the nature of human nature, history shows that the so-called “freedom” of unregulated, free-market capitalism simply does not work.  Further, “capitalism” is merely an economic system that allows wealth to be made from wealth.  It is not a system of government and is not, by its nature, automatically conducive to democracy and, in fact, seems increasingly a corrupting influence on our representative democracy. The joke about the Golden Rule, that those with the gold make the rules, demonstrates just how far from being democratically governed we are today in America.
    Important also to note here is that we are not dealing with absolutes.  Neither capitalism nor democracy is, of its own, intrinsically good or bad.  What seems lacking is a morality of discipline and self-government with a watchful eye toward a common good.  Edith Hamilton’s claim that Athenian Greece invented the freedom of self-government, rose to glory, then fell by succumbing to the lure of unlimited freedom and power should stand as a warning to all Americans that conscience is still an integral part of any social contract.
RP

Media Should Hold Government Accountable

To the Editor:
    The devil is in the details.  Insider trading for elected officials and their staffs, legislation written by lobbyists, campaign funding offered and solicited, kickbacks, perks, travel junkets, and who knows what other  shenanigans, all being conducted behind the scenes, accepted as normal behavior, and overlooked by mainstream media outlets; and yet it is precisely the details that are important and the devils in them need to be brought into the light.  Government can be seen as the problem, but it needs to be made clear the players and impetus for the legislative actions that helped precipitate the financial collapse,  Clearly Congress cannot be trusted to police itself.  It is up to the media, that fourth estate of government, to do the deed.
RP

Church and State

To the Editor:
    The current pressure on the Catholic Church to comply with federal law is not unprecedented.  In 1895, in order to attain statehood, the Territory of Utah abandoned the Mormon Church’s sanction of polygamy, although it is still practiced by break-away sects.  If  the Catholic ban on insurance coverage for contraception falls under the umbrella of religious freedom, shouldn’t also Mormon polygamy, Evangelical refusal of inoculation against communicable diseases or medical care for sick children, or, for that matter, Islamic Sharia Law?  This is not an intrusion into religious belief.  Catholic women may act as they see fit, but insurance policy must meet federal standards.
RP

Discourse

To the Editor:

On the surface, much of today’s divided political argument boils down to a disagreement over a preferred order of virtues. Should frugality and self-reliance or generosity and community be first in people’s hearts? All in all a sort of a silly question, but virtues carried to extremes do become vices and, with our penchant for projecting negativity onto “others”, the argument becomes pig-headed selfishness versus enabling airheadedness and everyone ends up yelling at one another. Perhaps better discourse would result if both sides were to admit both the positive and the negative we all have within ourselves and work then for the good of all, but isn’t it really about our confused and convoluted relationship with the concept of having power?

RP

From the cabin in Meredith, CO