The woman that you gave me

In certain Christian circles there is a new buzz word, “intentional”, as in “intentional Christian community”, in which people live together and they hold things in common.  I once  lived in an intentional Christian community, before I got married.  Really, I’m a communist at heart, but my wife converted me to capitalism.  It’s all her fault.

The female of a given species is far more sinful in her orientation than the male.  I observe our two cats:  Both have had their sex organs permanently removed, but certain sexually specific characteristics remain.  Sam, our male cat is a good communist, owning nothing of his own, save the food he eats and the air he breathes.  Bailey, our female, is a rich capitalist pig-cat (no offense intended towards the animals called “pigs”).  The fact is I use the possessive pronoun in a very loose sense with our Bailey.  We don’t own her; she owns us would be closer to the truth; possessive is correct in the sense of our boss.  There is a saying, “Dogs have owners; cats have staff.”  With Bailey we are closer to the Greek douloi, “slaves”.  Bailey, the rich capitalist pig-cat, owns everything.  When we originally received Sam into the house we thought he would keep Bailey company — a kitten for her to play with and make her feel better about being kitten-less.  But she expressed her extreme displeasure at his presence; until one day she decided that she could use him as a punching bag.  I built a scratching post for her years ago. There is no question that that scratching post is Bailey’s.  She loves it and uses it daily.  So I built one for Sam, introduced him to it, but he seemed uninterested.  Then, he would use it always looking over his shoulder as though he were afraid of something–that something was Bailey.  Well it soon became clear that the second scratching post also belonged to our rich capitalist pig-cat, and she would whack Sam if she caught him using either of the scratching posts.  We notice also that Sam seems pretty nonchalant when it comes to kitty-cat visitors in our garden; he’s curious, he has a “I just want to get to know you” attitude.  Not Bailey–she gets her hackles up every time she detects a friendly visitor and will defend her capitalist empire with screeches, hisses and threats, with every ounce of her being.  “Give me liberty or give me death.”

When I was about to marry it soon became clear that we were not going to live out our days in our intentional Christian community because neither my fiancee nor any of the other fiancees, of the five of eight housemates who were engaged, wanted to live in intentional Christian community.  They all wanted a place of their own.  We tried to convince these women with every sort of persuasive argument that the intentional Christian community was more biblical and Christian, but the territorial instincts in the female of our own species are just too strong; it is comparable to the female of the cat species.  Our females don’t seem to like sharing:  the operative word is “my”, “mine”?  My house, my man, my car, my garden, my scratching post, mine!  That’s why they call it a “cat fight” when two females scuffle. The female has a strong nesting instinct and a need to carve out space, a place for raising babies, for which the man is a necessary evil.  So while we men would be happy to share everything we have, our food, our toys, our socks and underwear, women are utterly disgusted by such notions.  They want their own things.  The female doesn’t seem to want to share her space with anyone, especially with other females.  She wants a savings accounts too, from which she can draw unbiblical usury to provide security for her old age–I’m pretty sure that beer was invented by a man, and that the RRSP (registered retirement savings plan) was invented by a woman.   So it’s not my fault that I am a rich capitalist pig.  “The woman that you gave me” (Genesis 3.12), she made me do it.

Why communism doesn’t work

We know that communism doesn’t really  work on the macro level because we’ve seen countless occasions that it has led to mass extermination and poverty, USSR, China, Viet Nam, North Korea, and Cuba.  Or how about the collective cultures of sub-Saharan Africa, some of the poorest countries in the world?  But perhaps, if enough really committed and redeemed people get together, just maybe it will work.  In an unguarded moment, PoserorProphet reminds us why communism doesn’t work in a micro community either:

Following Jesus is a demanding task and it is one of the reasons that community is so essential to our life as Christians.  It is impossible to follow Jesus on our own.  It is impossible to move into relationships of mutually liberating solidarity with people who have been abandoned, if you do so on your on.  You will burn out or blow up.

Again, I know this because I have experienced this.  When things started going wrong in our community in Vancouver’s downtown eastside and people started dropping out of participating in the work required to run the community, I decided to just take on more and more of that work myself.  That was unsustainable and my marriage still suffers from the consequences of that decision.

Actually, this is exactly why a lot of people, myself included, believe that communism fails every time it is tried. If you reward the unproductive people and punish the productive people, eventually no one will want to do anything anymore.  But I do have a couple of questions:  (1) Poser, don’t you think you should get this communism thing to work in a micro community before imposing it on the rest of the world?

At City of God, Andrew cites  a Ludwig von Misis Institute article defending private property from an a priori standpoint:

One of the points Hans-Hermann Hoppe makes is that the right to some private property is assumed by virtue of having a right to survive as an embodied individual. For example, surviving requires breathing, which requires an exclusive right to use the air surrounding one’s body. Similarly, surviving requires eating, which requires the right to be the exclusive consumer of some piece of food.

This leads to my second question for PoserorProphet. (2) When all private property has been taken away from people and all that is left is communal property, will we have to share underwear?  Isn’t that just a little unhygienic?  Or it will be like, “Ok, I’ll use it today, you use it tomorrow, but I want it back the next day.”