Social Justice in America: Social Gospel Movement, Raushenbusch and Marx

Topics: Capitalism, Karl Marx, Social Gospel Pages: 2 (751 words) Published: March 25, 2013
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Social Justice in America:
Rauschenbusch’s Social Gospel Movement and Comparisons to Marx Capitalism is the only economic structure and way of life most Americans and even most people in developed countries around the world today know. But capitalism isn’t the only economic ideal out there and not everyone would agree with its foundations and principles. Capitalism is a system of economics in which individual private ownership is central and the quest for profit and accumulating capital is the ultimate goal. The competition spurned on capitalism can certainly be good for a nation or a state and encourages hard work in order to get to the “top”. But this competition leaves many people, some maybe very hard working and intelligent, at the bottom of the totem pole with nothing, or next to nothing. This is because in an economic system that is based on competing, there will always be winners, and there will always be losers. Early 20th century America and even Canada was the home to many outspoken religious figures that strove for social justice and looked to solve some of these problems brought on by capitalism and the class system that spurns from it. One of, if not the most outspoken person amongst this group of reformers was one Walter Rauschenbusch. Rauschenbusch, a Baptist pastor and theologian who lived from 1861 to 1918 felt that Christian principles needed to be applied to the social problems of America in order to create a more perfect world. He used Christianity to attempt to solve what he perceived as problems amongst Americans such as poverty, crime, child and other labor union problems, as well race issues, and people acquiring excess amounts of wealth. Another man with some similar viewpoints, at least in terms of their views on capitalism was Karl Marx. Marx was a German philosopher and economist who is famous for his publication of The Communist Manifesto(1848) and Das Kapital (1867). He is well known because many...
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