Accountability and Capitalism

by Robert Arvay, Contributing Writer

Zager and Evans, 1969 hit song, In the Year 2525, included this line:

“Everything you think, do and say,

Is in the pill you took today.”

Are we accountable for what we think, do and say? Instead of a pill, are we controlled entirely by mindless forces of nature? Many people believe that we are helpless puppets. Those who believe that, are among the most influential persons in our society. The consequences of that belief are profound, and increasingly destructive. That belief is at the root of why so many people consider themselves unaccountable for their deeds.

You have probably seen the tee shirt which has on its front a photograph of an aging Albert Einstein, and underneath it, the slogan, “It’s all relative.” On college campuses, this often means that the wearer believes there is no absolute standard of right and wrong, but only shades of grey. According to liberals, infanticide may be wrong in our culture, but we should not criticize other cultures where this practice might be common.

Of course, this pretense of tolerance falls apart the instant you disagree with liberalism, even slightly, on even the smallest item on the radical liberal agenda. By radical liberal agenda, I mean what is called, equal rights— by which liberals mean, some are more equal than others. Disagreement with liberalism is the one “absolute wrong” that liberals recognize—killing unborn babies, however, is to be tolerated, even praised.

Albert Einstein, the man on the t-shirt, was a scientist who did not believe in God, at least, not in the sort of God to whom we can pray. When he said that science is an attempt to catch a glimpse into “the mind of God,” he was speaking metaphorically. If he believed in a God at all, it was in a creator who had walked away, leaving matters to unfold on their own.

While most of us pay little heed to science outside of a classroom or an entertaining television series, it has had a subtle but profound effect on our thinking, both personally and politically. Einstein probably never intended to declare that all moral decisions are relative, but his scientific Theory of Relativity revolutionized not only the world of science, but also in less calculated ways, the mindset of many people. This mindset now dominates much of our political culture.

Perhaps the most influential teaching error of modern science is also the most puzzling. It teaches that free will does not exist. It goes further. It teaches that free will cannot exist. According to physics, free will is impossible.

If this is true, then none of us is morally accountable for any decision we ever make. The criminal can say to the judge, “I was helpless to commit the crime.” The judge then replies that he himself has no free will, and therefore must impose punishment. Justice becomes a farce.

If there is no free will, then I cannot but write these words, and you cannot but read them (or not), and cannot choose whether to agree or disagree with them. Without free will, we become passive observers of our own lives, not active participants. We cannot be held morally accountable for anything except by hypocrites.

As bizarre as this doctrine sounds, it is the unavoidable result of modern physics, and it is promoted by numerous top tier scientists around the world. We are speaking here of educated men, geniuses, the men who scrawl strange symbols on an acre of blackboards and then, based on those mathematical formulas, send men to the moon and back. It is not as if we can call them stupid. Intellectually speaking, I am not worthy to shine their shoes.

Even so, the greatest of the great minds can make mistakes, and not just small mistakes, but profound ones. I think, therefore I dare to question my superiors.

It’s not science that is doing this to us. Science itself reflects our moral duty to investigate God’s creation. Rather, the fault lies with an underlying philosophy that has come to dominate in science and among scientists. That philosophy may be called by various names, but the one I find most useful is the term, natural-materialism. This philosophy dominates not only physical science, but also, it has embedded itself in many levels of society, including law.

Natural-materialism declares that there is no reality except physical reality, and that no evidence of the spiritual exists.

In this declaration, scientists are flatly wrong. There is plenty of scientific evidence that physical nature is underlay by the supernatural, but that evidence is swept away, sometimes in very unscientific terms.

Another radical teaching of natural-materialism is that humanity itself has no special place in the universe. Instead, it teaches that we are accidental byproducts of nature, mere chemical reactions, and that when humanity becomes extinct, nothing important will have happened—the universe will go on just as before.

If we accept that view of humanity, that we are merely momentary chemical reactions with no spiritual dimension, then what moral value forbids using humans as pawns of war, subjects of experimentation, and tools of social engineers? None.

It is not my intention here to focus on the science. For those who may be interested, I have done that in my self-published book, The God Paradigm which was written for nonscientists (I am not a certified scientist myself).

The purpose here is to contrast the two major groups into which our culture can be divided, those who believe in natural-materialism, and those who believe in the divine.

They are headed in opposite directions. They are on a collision course. They are at the center of what former presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan calls the spiritual and cultural war.

Capitalism is an economic system that does not preach personal accountability—instead, it takes it for granted. Under capitalism, no one needs to be told that they are personally accountable. It is assumed. Under capitalism, people quickly discover that their personal choices have consequences. Personal morals are embodied in the values of family, work and thrift. If you violate those morals, no one need jump out from behind a church pulpit and condemn you. Instead, the consequences themselves punish you with poverty and other forms of suffering.

Under liberalism, if you violate those morals, the government jumps out from behind a bureaucracy and rewards you, telling you that your failures are not your fault but someone else’s, and that you have a right to live as self-destructively as you wish at someone else’s expense. As a result, the disease spreads, and eventually, it undermines the entire fabric of society. Worse yet, it does all this under the rubric of compassion.

When you promote policies that demand personal accountability, you will find yourself accused of being cruel, hypocritical (in other words, you owe your success to government), and greedy.

These accusations make as much sense as does the denial that you have free will. They make no sense at all, but how can you persuade people of great intellect that they are making fundamental and tragic mistakes?

How can you persuade people that they are not robots?

* * * * *

For those interested in reading a more thorough (book length) treatment of topics in this commentary, please visit my website at


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