C.S. Lewis on Socialism

Recently, upon sharing that I had lost my faith in God, and even the belief in God, several people suggested that I read Mere Christianity by CS Lewis. Although I do not find his rhetorical argument for the existence of God sound, I found his arguments about free will intriguing and definitely his critique of the modern Christian.  I know when I was a Christian, this is how I interpreted the ideas of social behavior in the New Testament. It is very curious, then, as CS Lewis is admired by many modern Christians, and this very book recommended by them, that they choose to ignore this part of his argument as well as this part of the New Testament.  Socialism is the great evil according to many Christians. Capitalism and financial success are literally worshipped in this society, and by none more so than Christians. From CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity:  

“The New Testament, without going into details, gives us a pretty clear hint of what a fully Christian society would be like . . .a Christian society would be what we now call Leftist . . .If there were such a society in existence and you or I visited it, I think we should come away with a curious impression.  We should feel that its economic life was very socialistic and, in that sense, ‘advanced,’ but that its family life and its code of manners were rather old fashioned. . .That is just what one would expect if Christianity is the total plan for the human machine.  We have all departed from that total plan in different ways, and each of us wants to make out those bits and pieces and leave the rest.  That is why we do not get much further; and that is why people who are fighting for quite opposite things can both say they are fighting for Christianity.

Now another point.  There is one bit of advice given to us by the ancient heathen Greeks, and by the Jews in the Old Testament, and by the great Christian teachers of the Middle Ages, which the modern economic system has completely disobeyed.  All these people told us not to lend money at interest: and lending money at interest—what we call investment—is the basis of our whole system” (Lewis, pp. 65-66).

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