From Wasteland To Promised Land: Liberation Theology For A Post-Marxist World.
Drawing on biblical values and images, the authors propose a democratic, practical combination of ethics and economics to address Latin America’s interrelated problems of poverty and oppression.
Liberation theology has been called the most significant theological development of the past generation, but, because of its Marxist leanings, it has lost some of its credibility in the light of the failure of Marxism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. However, the poverty and disparity in wealth which gave rise to liberation theology remain. The authors, while sympathizing with the concerns of liberation theologians, offer a different analysis of the major cause of poverty, based upon the work of the 19th-century American social reformer Henry George, who was at one time as well known as Marx. Advocates of his approach included Lloyd George, Winston Churchill, Leo Tolstoy and Sun Yat-sen in China. As the authors point out, his approach was not unique: the Physiocrats in France proposed something similar before the French Revolution, and the economic theory which underpins the proposal is in accord with the work of the classical economists, especially David Ricardo, but, because he championed the cause of the poor so vigorously, the proposals are very much associated with Henry George’s name. The authors explain how a major land reform can be achieved without confiscation of land, through a change in the tax system. This reform would also lay the foundation for more sustainable economic development while safeguarding the environment.