Families that Discuss together, stay together

Families that Discuss together, stay together
Families that Discuss together, stay together

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Response to Approaching Zion, Hugh Nibley

What is the use of studying economics through the scholars of Adam Smith, Frederic Bastiat and F. A. Hayek when the Lord says the opposite? I just spent several weeks pouring over Wealth of Nations, Economic Harmonies and The Road to Serfdom mingled with selected works of Karl Marx and theories of John Maynard Keynes. What did it teach me? I learned that the free market works and that regulated economies lead to totalitarianism; that faith in the “invisible hand” leads to individual wealth as well as national wealth and that following one’s self-interest leads to a more abundant and wealthy people. Before reading Hugh Nibley’s Approaching Zion, I was convinced that the free-market is the ultimate way and that anything else means destruction to liberty. Confused am I now as I contemplate the Lord’s economy taught in Nibley’s book, which dictates that we must be completely equal with no poor among us. As much as I hated Marx’s philosophy I was tormented to think that the Lord wants us to live similar to Marx’s utopia. It could not be so. Relieved, I realized that Marx’s utopia is obtained by force in an immoral world called communism. Zion, the other utopia, is achieved by individual choice in a pure and moral world. The difference is morality and virtue as opposed to immoral behavior and vice.

Excuses and justifications for immoral actions are the desire of today. Darwinism and Marxism fulfill those desires and become the justification for much of our societal living. It is the lack of spiritual teachings that promote the moral decay leading to an environment where communism can be possible. With such a dark prospect, it is no wonder why many still fight for a free market economy—an economy that allows free choice and prosperity. But on a higher level, God wishes us to not be concerned with money and becoming wealthy—He commands that we be completely obedient and full of compassion to the point that there is “no poor among us.” He teaches us His economy and the proper way to work in His kingdom, which is to study the scriptures, preach the Gospel, and work the land. There is no “self-interest” in the way that Adam Smith teaches, but only the interest in God’s kingdom and the focused preparation that must take place for Zion to prosper.

So my question in the beginning was why study Smith, Bastiat and Hayek when God’s economy is so different? I can only guess that before we can begin living, as God desires we must take strides apart from the slavery-loving Marxists and the compulsory planned economies of Keynes. The free-market is only a step in the right direction. The next step must be a liberal education. And in our education will we studying the subject of how to earn a living and get rich or will we study those revered subjects that will make us better men? All the while a spiritual education must be pursued according to ancient scripture and modern revelation in order to understand and prepare us for God’s economy.
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