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    Plough Quarterly No. 21: Beyond Capitalism

    Summer 2019


    Featured Articles

    All Articles

    From the Editor

    The Economics of Love There is a common life that overcomes economic exploitation, a life that is both thoroughly practical and independent of the state.


    The McDonald's Test Don’t fetishize poverty. But be a little bit more willing to go into the neighborhood people told you not to go into. What Lies Beyond Capitalism? Capitalism can’t be reconciled with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. The Interim God Forget religion versus secularism. The battle is mammon versus humanity. Robin Hood Economics I must admit that Robin Hood would probably disapprove of me. Is Christian Business an Oxymoron? One of the challenges of running a community business is that it may do too well. Not So Simple Would unplugging from the industrial world mean I’d lose touch with reality, or finally discover it? Comrade Ruskin If only the proletariat had followed Ruskin instead of Marx. Is it too late to revisit a path not taken? Who Owns a River? The land is no longer linked by pathways; it is divided into parcels. Was Martin Luther King a Socialist? The iconic public philosopher has much to teach today’s radicals and visionaries, whatever their politics.

    Personal History

    Exposed How does the city change if we pass through it in a blackened bubble?


    An Excerpt from The Heart’s Necessities The patterned heart is stubborn to reform; / the soul desires forever its first food… I Begin with a Little Girl’s Hair With the red hair of one she-urchin in the gutter I will set fire to all modern civilization. Anabaptist Readings on Community of Goods Property has no part in the Christian church.

    Featured Authors

    the front cover of Plough Quarterly No. 21: Beyond Capitalism

    About This Issue

    A much-cited recent poll found that more young Americans have a positive view of socialism than of capitalism. There’s a sense of newly opened possibilities: Might this be the moment for a mass movement of solidarity to overthrow the tyranny of concentrated power and wealth? But what exactly is this cause? Socialism’s champions know how to take effective whacks at capitalism, but diagnosis is not yet the cure.

    This issue of Plough springs from a conviction that there is a better answer beyond capitalism and socialism, a freely chosen life of sharing and caring that overcomes economic exploitation, a way of life that is both thoroughly practical and independent of the state. This vision is much older than Adam Smith and Karl Marx; it lies at the heart of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and throughout the New Testament, as well as in the writings of the Old Testament prophets. It is exemplified by the communal life of the first church in Jerusalem, in which “all who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need” (Acts 2:44–45).