Marx over Pareto: why do so many Anglican bishops adopt a socialist economic and political outlook?

Jan 29, 2018 by

by Gavin Ashenden, from Archbishop Cranmer’s blog:

In the same spirit as Prof Nigel Biggar, the Oxford ethicist who has provoked hysterical opposition by claiming that the British Empire was a morally mixed phenomenon and was the cause of both good and evil, I want to suggest that Archbishop Sentamu’s economic advice in the Guardian was a mixture of competence and incompetence, but also raise the question of what kind of Christianity an archbishop is practising if he feels the need to give economic advice.

The competence, such as it was, flowed from his capacity for common sense and natural generosity of spirit; the incompetence from his commitment to the dogmas of socialism.

I don’t doubt that it is a worthwhile and creative idea to allow the very rich, or even the quite rich, a mechanism to contribute to the NHS to add further resources to it. In the same way, at a lower income level, all those who don’t need a heating allowance should be able to tick a box to return it automatically. All well and good, and not much damage done.

But the incompetence lies in his economic and political attachment to socialism. Tragically, it is one he shares with almost the whole house of Church of England bishops. They seem almost to have been cloned in this respect (with literally one or two honourable and notable exceptions). Archbishop Sentamu is convinced, despite the evidence, that putting up taxes produces more equality and a more prosperous society, which is a piece of socialist dogma.

This is of course Keynes v Hayek. I think I would mind an archbishop taking such a partisan economic position less if he could explain why he was economically qualified to prove his analysis. But Archbishop Sentamu doesn’t either explain or display the credentials for the economic expertise his opinion ought to depend upon.

It isn’t just him, however.

Read here


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