*Language warning* I don’t usually swear but I use a swear word to quote Dave Chappelle, if you don’t like it, don’t read it. Also Dave Chappelle’s comedy is very offensive, again if you can’t handle it don’t watch! You’ve been warned!
Dave Chappelle has another new Netflix special out and they are pretty dark. Now Dave Chappelle has a tendency to talk about some pretty heavy subject matter. Race being his main component of his performance. I love Dave Chappelle because he barely does comedy… most of his material isn’t funny because it’s too real to be comedy. In “The Bird Revelation” he tells a story about a pimp who uses fear and devastating deception to trick one of the prostitutes into sticking around instead of leaving. He suggests that this is an analogy for how Comedy Central treated him while doing “Chappelle Show”. I’m guessing he legally is not allowed to say that this is what happened, so this is a clever way for him to get the truth out there. It’s scary if he is legally bounded not to say what happened, it shows how much power an organization like Comedy Central has.
However, the real kicker is when he calls this analogy the “Capitalist Manifesto”. He’s not just talking about a pimp or Comedy Central but the entire system we live under. First, what does he mean when he calls this analogy the Capitalist manifesto? I would suggest that he is trying to say that we are all prostitutes. We sell our bodies out to corporations who use fear and deception to keep us coming back even after we have reached our mental limit. He compares the pimp to McDonald’s and even says this explicitly, “Why do you think most of us work 9 – 5? Because 9 – 6 might kill a bitch.”
In the book “Pimp” by Iceberg Slim, The more experienced pimp says to Iceberg, beat the prostitute and then draw her a bath and give her some pills. He says she will be so grateful that you fixed her, that she’ll forget you’re the one who beat her. Earlier in the show, Dave talks about how every time someone stands up for something good we as a society beat them down. Colin Kaepernick stands up for justice and gets crucified, Chappelle even makes a suggestion towards what happened to Jesus. You don’t have to agree with everything someone says, but we should admire people willing to stand up even if we disagree. Chappelle also says, and repeats with emphasis, that the best prostitute (or “bottom bitch”) keeps the other ones in line. This means that in a Capitalist society, the people who make it to the top are the ones who keep the rest in line. AKA the more money you make, the more you work for the system. There is even a sense of Stockholm Syndrome going on here.
Isn’t this the story of our society today? Donald Trump has to come to mind, doesn’t he? He is a rich, “successful” businessman that the average person looks up to and even idolizes. Who doesn’t want tall buildings with their name in gold on it? People admire him and his ability to make money so much that they elect him as president. This makes it official that he is in charge of keeping everyone else in line. In the analogy, the Capitalist system is the pimp, Donald Trump is “bottom bitch” and we are all the other bitches. That is a hard pill to swallow, but it’s true.
The pimp in Iceberg’s story is trying to control a woman that he has no control over. He uses fear and deception to get her to work for him just a little bit longer and just a little bit harder. This is Capitalism. We work for society, get paid as little as possible to work as long and hard as possible to make money in order to buy things because that stimulates the economy which is good for society. Great! Now we can work harder and buy more stuff and it just keeps going in a vicious cycle for no reason with no one ever wining.
The crazy thing is, we blame the government or we blame individual people, but it’s no one person or one group of people’s fault. We can blame society or Capitalism, but these aren’t actual things, these are concepts. They are concepts that we invented as an experiment to try to make the world work. The experiment has failed. No one is winning. Even the bottom bitch is still a bitch to this system which is pimping us out, even though it’s nothing! It is as if we created our own slavery to live under with no ruler, no pimp, no one to blame but our lack of courage to try something new!
The good thing is that we can change this. If we created it, we can break it and try something new. We hand our sovereignty over because we are afraid of what real freedom looks like. This is what Christ really came to offer, true freedom. True detachment from the system. Jesus said something significant about money and Capitalism, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar” (Matt. 12:17). We need to break this vicious cycle, let’s find a new way.
“‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’
She has become a dwelling for demons
and a haunt for every impure spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
For all the nations have drunk
the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” Rev. 18:2-3
There is a very old philosophical dilemma known as the Euthyphro Dilemma that goes back to Socretes. It is really a theological question and it goes like this…
“Is what is morally good commanded by God because it is morally good, or is it morally good because it is commanded by God?”
The problem is that either whatever God says is good, happens to be what God wills and therefore goodness is arbitrary because it just happens to be God’s “preference” so to speak. Or goodness already exists in the universe and God chooses goodness, except that would mean that there is something above God. This is a major problem when considering the Christian God! However the only answer that makes sense to me is from John where he says “God is good” not that God does good things but that God and goodness are one. This mean that what God’s will is and what goodness is are always the same because they are the exact same thing, they can never be separated.
Now let’s apply the same question to justice.
Is what is just commanded by God because it is just, or is it just because it is commanded by God?
So basically what we are asking is, “is justice one in the same as God’s will?” The answer must be “yes” or else we would have the same problem as above, that there is an objective Justice above God that He must follow. Now I think we all know that God desires everyone to go to Heaven, but if you need proof…
1 Timothy 2:3-4
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
So if Gods will is that all men would be saved and Gods Justice is the same as his will, then Hell cannot be necessary for the sake of divine Justice. That is not to say that Hell does not exist and I’m not sure that this argument alone proves conclusively that no one goes to Hell, however it gives good reason to hope all are saved. What it does prove though is that we cannot say that eternal punishment is a necessary for Gods Justice. Gods Justice is different from our fairness, and we should not confuse the two. It means that divine mercy and divine justice are much closer than we can comprehend.
There does seem to be a need for punishment still, however I would argue our only punishment is clinging to things that are not God. So purgatory is necessary but the punishment of purgatory is simply the pain we feel being ripped away from something you love but that is destructive to your soul. For example we are ripped away from our attachment to power and the amount to which we cling to power is equal to the pain we feel. Hell would be if we continued to cling to that power but we would have to cling to it for all eternity. Is it possible for us to cling to something that is not God for an infinitely long time? We certainly cannot say yes because we have no concept of an infinite amount of time. Also, I say we are ripped away because our free will is torn between what we want and what we want to want. We want power, though we know what we really need is God, so we desire to want God even when we want power still. In eternity that leaves us torn but over a long enough time span we always eventually come to God. Therefore our free will and Gods Justice (in other words his mercy) do coexist.
Quotes from Brilliant Minds
Here are some quotes to back me up…
When you punish the wicked, it is just since it agrees with their merits; however when you spare the wicked it is just…. because it is befitting your goodness. – St. Anslem, Proslogium ch. 10
Balthasar says that justice is “subordinate to divine mercy, indeed, must be virtually a mode of this mercy.” – Dare We Hope ch. 11
Only hope is able to comprehend the reality of God that surpasses all antithesis, to know that His mercy is identical with his Justice and his Justice with his mercy. – Josef Pieper On Hope