What do anti-Christs and capitalism have in common?

The anti-Christ Korihor in the Book of Mormon is (in)famous in Mormon circles for a lot of things. Teaching that God doesn’t exist is one of them. Saying that a religious view on life is “the effect of a frenzied mind” and a “derangement of your minds” is probably a good second. But here’s one more thing Korihor should be very, very (in)famous for:

“And many such things did he say unto them, telling them that there could be no atonement made for the sins of men, but every man fared in this life according to the management of the creature; therefore every man prospored according to his genius, and that every man conquered according to his strength; and whatsoever a man did was no crime.”

– Alma 30:17, emphasis added

Wait! That’s basically the definition of capitalism! Are you saying capitalism is of the devil? That the Gospel of Prosperity is actually a false perversion?

Was Joseph Smith a closet socialist or something?

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “What do anti-Christs and capitalism have in common?

  1. Teeps

    That’s not Capitalism, that’s Nietzsche-ism. That’s exactly what Nietzsche wrote about when he wrote about his “uebermensch” or superman ideal. Read Crime and Punishment, or watch the movie Rope, which are both based off this idea that some men are able to do things and there is no crime. Very interesting!

    But what’s funny, is I was reading that verse on a train in Germany, looked up as we pulled into a station and saw grafittied on a wall “Kein mensch ist illegal” or No man is illegal! These same sentiments are still pervasive today.

  2. The Book of Mormon constantly preaches against prosperity gospel (you are right in that — that’s the very thing that gets the pride cycle going so frequently in the BofM). However, it’s not teaching against capitalism in these instances so much as it is against objectivism (see: Ayn Rand’s take on a kind of “capitalist” morality.)

    In fact, Ayn Rand’s objectivism (which includes a staunch atheism) is probably a better description of what the Book of Mormon cries against.

    Rand studied Nietzsche early on, so even Teeps has some truth to the matter, but oddly enough, Rand “rejected” Nietzsche as being “anti-reason” later on (even though some of Nietzsche’s philosophy oozes out of Rand’s stuff). However, on the big issues, Rand differed from Nietzsche (e.g., Rand’s very “objectivism” is a smack in the face to Nietzsche’s rather subjectivist or perspectivist philosophies.

  3. tylee85

    Good points, both. I greatly enjoyed reading both of them.

    I will concede that my knowledge on philosophy is rudimentary, at best. Thus, I will admit the post was tongue in cheek and probably off the mark.

    I related it to capitalism in my mind because of the health care debates currently raging in America. As one of the 50 million+ Americans currently uninsured, having people tell me I simply had to “work harder” to get my health insurance or that people in general do not deserve “freebies” because it’s rewarding lazy behavior and so forth hurts and wounds deeply and personally to me, and this hurt I dwelt upon as I read this passage that morning.

    Many members I’ve met in the course of my years tout this as a type of capitalist dogma, and some have the gall to say it is endorsed in the scriptures. But, like those members, apparently my philosophical vocabulary is grossly inaccurate. I will have to study up on it.

  4. Well, the scriptures, at best, promote a kind of charity system, rather than government support or welfare. The ill of the prosperity gospel is not that the people are rich, but rather that they won’t freely give to the poor. However, the scriptural answer is not for the government to tax and redistribute, but rather that the people should be humbled enough to give freely. This, along with the statements of many latter-day prophets, explains the rampant conservatism in many LDS members.

    I mean, going back to the pride cycle, the entire problem is that the scriptures repeatedly say that if you are “righteous,” you will be blessed (not just spiritually, but physically). With repeated instances of this happening in the Book of Mormon (despite the fact that in real life, good people can and do get screwed over), it’s especially easy to understand the insensitive statements people say.

  5. Pingback: The Book of Mormon and the Prosperity Gospel at Mormon Matters

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