An outline of a Marxist reading of Cur deus homo

Anselm presents us with a God who is first of all a property developer, a kind of cosmic Donald Trump. He has staked his reputation on a major project: The Heavenly City. A highly exclusive development, it is hoped that it will house nothing but the finest and most spiritual angels — the real crème de la crème of the ontological hierarchy.

Sadly, a significant minority of the initial investors back out, led by a particularly troublesome sort by the name of Satan. This unfortunate event threatens to undermine the entire Heavenly City concept. God decides that it is better to reduce the exclusivity of the Heavenly City so as to fill all the plots, so he recruits human beings to be new investors — even expanding the initial development slightly to downplay the connection between the angels backing out and humans being let in.

It seems like the project is saved — perhaps a little less profitable, but it’s still clearly the kind of ambitious project that will really make God’s reputation. Unfortunately, Satan starts spreading rumors about God that the humans take seriously, causing them to fall behind on their heavenly mortgages. Due to various clauses in the contracts, their overdue balances become essentially infinite, and this is at a time when their ability to make their monthly payments is already severely impaired as well.

God could consider a cramdown or a foreclosure, but he’s already had to go back on his plans once when Satan’s group of angels pulled out of the project — further downgrading the development would be an intolerable loss of face. So he creates a clever bailout entity, a co-op that is able to act in the name of the delinquent human investors without being exposed to their bad debts. This entity is fronted by Jesus of Nazareth, who initially made a big splash in the carpentry industry, so that the transition into property development seems plausible.

God funnels his own cash into Christcorp, and Jesus sets things up so that in the event of his death, Christcorp will be liquidated and its assets divided up among the members of the co-op. Jesus does die as the result of an unfortunate legal mix-up, and all the funds flow back to God, who has a lein against the members of the Christcorp co-op. Subsequently, all a delinquent borrower needs to do is come to God’s office, fill out a form, and their Christcorp shares will be applied to their outstanding balance. The Heavenly City is saved! God goes down in history as one of the canniest investors of all time, and the human investors get a really nice house — everybody wins!

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6 Responses to “An outline of a Marxist reading of Cur deus homo

  1. Adam Kotsko Says:

    There is one catch: to qualify for your co-op shares, you have to demonstrate that you’ve been underwater.

  2. Marvin Says:

    I eagerly await the obvious sequel: A Marxist reading of the Proslogion.

  3. Willie Says:

    And the delinquent borrowers regularly meet together after their outstanding balances have been cleared to celebrate by giving a toast to the heavenly city.

  4. Rod of Alexandria Says:

    Brilliant.

  5. Adam Kotsko Says:

    And then a service arises to help make sure you’ve filled out the forms correctly, and they start charging more and more….


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