Merry Christmas everyone, see you all in 2010, the year of the FUTURE! VIRTUAL!
In the meantime, here is a little overview I’ve made for you of the opinions on whether A Christmas Carol is pro-capitalist or pro-socialist (sadly, the best arguments seem to be on the pro-capitalist side).
A.C.C. IS PRO-CAPITALIST/ANTI-SOCIALIST:
A Christmas Carol Revisited, by Richard Harter (socialist):
Scrooge was no gentleman. We may be sure of that. He kept no mistress. He lived modestly. He worked hard. And he helped the poor, helped them as a class, helped them in a way that was meaningful rather than by worthless “feel good” gestures. He was, in short, a good socialist.
People with such sentiments were dangerous to the Victorian Capitalists; they had to be dealt with. That is the covert objective of A Christmas Carol. Scrooge is depicted, of course, in the most unflattering of terms as a miserable human being – it was a necessary part of the real message: Socialists are miserable human beings.
The Freeman (capitalist):
The point of the story is that Ebenezer Scrooge, the archetypal “greedy capitalist,” becomes immeasurably happier when and because he gives up his selfishness and becomes generously involved with those around him. There is no suggestion that he gives up his capitalism; in fact, Dickens tells us that he is at his desk early the day after Christmas. He just broadens his other activities and ends.
Scrooge- Before and After? by Roderick T. Beaman (capitalist)
Scrooge is guilty of greed, one of the Seven Cardinal Sins or vices. Along with wrath, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony, it leads to man’s destruction. Scrooge pursues money and wealth for their own sake, not for any benefit or the enjoyment of other important things for himself or anyone else. That is his failure. He measures the world in shillings, pounds and crowns, just as today’s liberals, Democrats, socialist and communists do. Their’s is the materialist philosophy. Karl Marx even called his philosophy, dialectic materialism. There is no room in his life for anything else including simple pleasures, just as there is none in theirs.
A.C.C. IS PRO-SOCIALIST/ANTI-CAPITALIST:
Capitalism Magazine (capitalist):
You eye enviously the wealth of others when the eye of suspicion must focus only upon yourself. It is not Mr. Scrooge you must blame; if you desire more wealth you must prove yourself of more value to him. Or offer your talents to another employer more in need of your services. Use your mind to improve your condition. This Sir is the state of reality; this Sir is what you must comprehend and act upon! Make haste to correct the suffering you have created. Inflame your sense of self interest and prosper before life passes you and yours!
Financial Post (capitalist):
Dickens’ portrait was in fact a caricature in his own time, when industrialists and businessmen were emerging as the greatest benefactors in history, but he wrote during an economic downturn that provided fertile ground for another much scarier horror story, The Communist Manifesto. Marx and Engels were concerned with the grime of Manchester rather than “The palpable brown air” of London, but their “plot” provided a blueprint for mass murder. And yet we still prefer to bash Scrooge, no matter how great the success of capitalism in lifting billions out of poverty and providing them with an increasingly stunning array of options. Indeed, does nobody notice the irony that capitalism has unleashed the consumerist cornucopia and charitable sentiments that were A Christmas Carol’s ideal?
Lew Rockwell (capitalist):
As part of a settlement offer, my client would consider adopting Tiny Tim – should his parents agree – and cut loose the rest of the Cratchett family to continue their mindless, unfocused, dispirited, and passive bottom-feeding in the shallow and stagnant end of the human gene pool. But let us have no more of these “drive-by” specters from the netherworld, who feign their concern for crippled children. Like other opportunistic parasites who tell us that they “feel our pain” even as they are causing us more pain, let us have no more of the self-serving guilt-peddling that keeps men and women subservient to those who threaten to cut off their dependencies.