moral questions?

George Snedeker snedeker at
Sun Dec 24 11:01:13 MST 2000

in the early 1980s, I taught sociology at St. John's University. each class
room had a cross hanging on the wall and a platform for the prof to stand on
so the students would not forget who was the authority.  one day around this
time of year, I  argued that capitalism had corrupted the birth of Jesus.
one   of my students answered me by telling the story of the three wise men
bringing gifts. I wonder, how did we get from the three wise men to shopping
malls and  on line shopping?

a couple of years ago, St. John's was faced with a moral dilemma. Nike
offered to give the University 3 million dollars  if all of the coaches
would ware the Nike logo. one  objected on moral grounds because of Nike's
use of child labor. the President of the University solved this moral
dilemma by getting a new coach. this was a moral victory for Nike.(get it,
"a victory for Nike")?  a friend of mine is writing a book on the
"financialization of everyday life." what he means by this is the way in
which workers in the core nations have been made to become accountants if
they like it or not. just watch TV and see all of those advertisements for
how to invest for your retirement or your child's education or how to invest
your time more efficiently. investment has become a new religion. but what
are the political implications of all of this?

I often wonder why people don't see that on line trading is the moral
equivalent of investing in the 18th century slave trade. they did not see it
then either. if capital came into the world dripping with blood from head to
foot then, it is still dripping with blood. we all have material interests
which limit our moral reflections.

if I had not been raised as a good Baptist, I am not sure I would fret about
it either. Baptists have a taboo against gambling, drinking, and
fucking -not to mention on line trading. Jerry Fartwell and Jessie Jackson
have people invest their  money for them. I am not sure God will see this as
appropriate behavior.

by the way, I had to quit my job at St. John's because I kept falling off
the platform.

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