Christian Anarchism: Communitarian or Capitalist?
Libertarian Papers. 4 (1): 151-162, 2012
15 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2012
Date Written: April 17, 2012
I build on Christoyannopoulous’s (2011) compendium of Christian anarchist thought to shed light on the divergence between Christian anarcho-communitarians and Christian anarcho-capitalists. The anarcho-communitarians believe the institution of private property is contrary to the Word of Christ, while the anarcho-capitalists hold it is justifiable. I show that the anarcho-communitarians misunderstand the nature of property, rendering them unable to reconcile an apparent contradiction between Christ’s command to renounce violence and His violent cleansing of the temple. The Christian anarcho-capitalists, drawing upon the philosophy of natural law, face no such difficulty. Although their position is far from unassailable, the Christian anarcho-capitalist paradigm is currently the only theoretically consistent interpretation, and will remain so unless the Christian anarcho-communitarians can discover and advance a new theoretical framework.
Keywords: Christianity, capitalism, socialism, pacifism, Sermon on the Mount
JEL Classification: Z12, P14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation