For the mystery of Iniquity doth already work...(2 Thessalonians 2:7; Malachi, chapter 4...KJV).
Enter not in the path of the wicked; and go not in the way of evil men.
Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.
For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.
For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.
BUT THE PATH OF THE JUST IS AS A SHINING LIGHT, THAT SHINETH MORE AND MORE UNTO THE PERFECT DAY...(Proverbs 4:14-19).
THE GOSPEL OF THE MARKETPLACE
By Kenneth L. Woodward
Eleven years ago, Michael Novak set out in "The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism" to prove that capitalism "rightly understood" is compatible with Roman Catholic social doctrine. This was no small achievement, given the modern papacy's century-old suspicion of capitalism as the invention of Protestant individualism...Never mind that by the 1980's Catholics were as likely as Protestants to be heads of major corporations, or to vote for Republicans. Mr. Novak's sin, if sin it be, was to bring a converts enthusiasm to capitalism's entrepreneurial spirit, and to confer a lay theologian's blessings on it. Worse, in his critic's eyes, he did all this from the sheltered confines of the American Enterprise Institute, a not-for-profit Washington think tank financed by captains of industry.
In essence, Mr. Novak argued that democratic capitalism is morally superior to socialism: that the triangular nexus of a market economy, a democratic polity and a pluralistic culture not only produces a higher standard of living but is also more consonant with Christian values than the command economies and socialistic policies of Eastern Europe. What he wouldn't do was square his conclusions with the received wisdom of his own religious tradition. Paul VI...was no friend of American capitalism or of multinational corporations, and John Paul II, at that point was advocating (with his Polish homeland very much in mind) a modified form of socialism: workers sharing in the ownership of productive means while state planners insure a just distribution of goods and services. Rome, Mr. Novak concluded, still had much to learn from the American experience in political economy.
Socialism is now history in Eastern Europe, and John Paul II himself has embraced market economics with an ardor that signals a new departure in papal thought...
In Mr. Novak's view, Catholic ethics brings two dowries to its betrothal of capitalism: an appreciation for the "social dimensions of the free economy" and rich understanding of human inventiveness and creativity, which he celebrates as "the spirit of capitalism."
By the first, he means business and other voluntary associations that capitalism necessarily brings into existence in order to produce goods, services, and profits. In calling attention to these associations, Mr. Novak hopes to show that capitalism is inherently social, not individualistic: that by nourishing the developments of institutions and the personal virtues (of thrift, honesty and practical wisdom) necessary to sustain them,capitalism enriches the social and moral life of its constituents.
By the second, Mr. Novak means that capitalism is fundamentally as much an exercise in human creativity as are literature, science and the arts. Imagination, it should be said, has long been a central concern in Mr. Novak's writings on theology, philosophy, education, literature and sports. But now that John Paul II has declared that all workers are called to be "co-creators" with God, Mr. Novak is moved to declare that "in fact, the true moral strength of capitalism lies in its promotion of human creativity," and that a democratic capitalist society, however imperfect, is "perhaps the most responsive to the social implications of the Gospels yet developed by the human race. (continued)...
Think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy but to fulfill.
For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven...(Matthew 5:17-19; 2 Corinthians 11:1-4, 13-15).
...To be sure, Mr. Novak insists that the capitalist spirit must be chastened by a culture informed by higher values. AND NOW THAT CAPITALISM IS THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN, that might be his most important message. Certainly he is right in declaring that the church has a special obligation to help insure private enterprise in the emerging economies of Eastern Europe and in the submerged economies of Latin America. But as he himself argues, capitalism is mother of its own inventions; IN BIBLICAL LANGUAGE, ITS SPIRIT BLOWETH WHERE IT WILL. In the past, the popes may indeed have been blind to capitalism's considerable merits. But they did well to insist that this modern genie be tethered once it is outside its bottle.
The Root of All Evil...Malachi, chapter 4.
"Meanwhile Belial will be rampant in Israel, even as it is said through the prophet Isaiah...Terror and the Pit and the Trap shall be upon thee, O inhabitant of the land, (Isaiah 24:17). The reference is to these three snares, viz. (a) whoredom, (b) lucre, and (c) desecration, concerning which Levi the son of Jacob said that by making them look like three kinds of righteousness Belial ensnares Israel in them. He who escapes the one gets caught in the other, and he who escapes the other gets caught in the third." The Zadokite Document, The Dead Sea Scriptures, by Theodor H. Gaster, p.71.
Therefore, my children, I have learned that at the end of the ages ye will transgress against the Lord, stretching out hands of wickedness against Him; and to all the Gentiles shall ye become a scorn.
For our father Israel is pure from the transgression of the chief priests (the self-appointed leaders of the Christian world), who shall lay hands on the savior of the world.
For as heaven is purer in the Lord's sight than the earth so also be ye, the lights of Israel, purer than all the Gentiles.
But if ye be darkened through transgression, what therefore will all the Gentiles do, living in darkness?
Yes, ye shall bring a curse upon our race, because the light of the law which was given to lighten every man this ye desire to destroy by teaching commandments contrary to the ordinances of God...
And ye shall make void the law, and set at naught the words of the prophets by evil perverseness.
And ye shall persecute righteous men, and hate the godly; and the words of the faithful shall ye abhor.
And a man who shall renew the law in the power of the Most High, ye shall call a deceiver; and at last ye shall rush upon him to destroy him (and them), not knowing (their) dignity, taking innocent blood through wickedness upon your heads...(The Testament of Levi, chapter IV).
But if the servant say in his heart my Lord delayeth his coming, and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidservants, and to eat and drink and be drunken. (See 1 Thessalonians 5).
The Lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him asunder (see Hebrews 4:12), and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers...(Luke 12:37-48).
And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much. And he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
If ye therefore have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
And if you have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?
No servant can serve two masters (the capitalist order of men, and the true social order of Christ): for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. YE CANNOT SERVE GOD AND MAMMON. (How much simpler must it be put)?..(Luke 16:9-15).
Why do you call me Lord, and do not the things that I say?
Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth...(1 Corinthians 10:24).
Thou shalt love thy neighbor AS THYSELF...(Matthew 22:36-40). Not in word but in deed and truth...(1 John 3:17,18).
OWE NO MAN ANYTHING BUT TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, THOU SHALT LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THYSELF. (See Levticus 19:15-18).
Love worketh NO ill to his neighbor: therefore Love is the fulfilling of the law...(Romans 13:8-10).
"Why dost thou senselessly feign thyself good by the wound of another? Whence thou bestowest, another is daily weeping. Dost thou not believe that the Lord sees these things from heaven? The Highest says that He does not approve of the gifts of the wicked; (for) thou shalt (also) break forth upon the wretched when thou hast a chance.
One gives gifts that he may make another of no account; or if thou hast lent on usury, taking (perhaps) 24 percent, thou wishest to bestow charity that may purge thyself as being evil, with that which is evil. The Almighty absolutely rejects such deeds as these.
Thou hast given that which has been wrung from tears; that one, oppressed with ungrateful usuries, and become needy, deplores it...Thou also wishest to atone for thyself by the gain of wages (other people's wages). O wicked one, thou deceivest thyself and none else...Commodianus, Church Fathers, LXV.
USURY-INTERESTS ON LOANS
(One of the Pillars of the Capitalist Order).
I have neither lent on usury, nor have men lent to me on usury, yet everyone of them curse me...(Jeremiah 15:10).
If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as a usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.
If thou at all take thy neighbor's raiment to pledge (against a loan), thou shalt deliver it to him by that THE SUN GOETH DOWN.
For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious...(Exodus 25-27).
"And all those who with crafty and shameless dissembling as presbyters and reverend deacons looked to the person and wealth of the suppliant and judged unjustly...Doing injustice to others, relying on false reports...more deadly than leopards and wolves...and all inordinately proud, and usurers, who heaping up usury out of usury in their houses wrought sore harm to orphans and widows...and gave to them of ill-gotten gains...The Sibylline Books, 260-65; 315-25.
Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother; usury of money, usury of victuals, usury of ANYTHING that is lent upon usury:
UNTO A STRANGER THOU MAYEST lend upon usury: BUT UNTO THY BROTHER THOU SHALT NOT lend upon usury: that the Lord thy God may bless you in all that thou settest thine hand to in the land whither thou goest to possess it...(Deuteronomy 23:19,20).
Just as men seek loopholes in the law, to facilitate the continuation of their own unlawful and wicked ways, so God has built traps into the structure of the Law to catch them. Michael Novak, for instance, might say that we (the Capitalists), do not lend upon interest to the poor (and just what constitutes poverty?), but upon these do we bestow charity and provide welfare. (Indeed)? Only those who qualify may participate in the economic order of things these might reason to themselves. And another might reason that he only lends upon interest to strangers, never to those who are his own kith and kin, or to those of his own church or synagogue, or ethnic group, therefore satisfying the requirements of the Law. The condemnation of this form of reasoning proceeds from an understanding of another divine precept...
And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest.
And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard: thou shalt leave them for the poor and the stranger. I am the Lord...(Leviticus 19:9,10).
The question follows: Where are the corners of the field? That is, where are their limits? Where does what is mine end and what should be left to others begin? What criterion is used to decide? It is plain to see that the closer one decides toward the center of the field, the closer one is to the kingdom of God.
The Field is the World (and the true Social Order is hidden in the center)...(Matthew 13:38).
For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye be burdened:
But by an equality, that now at this time (until the kingdom of God shall dawn upon men) your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there might be equality.
As it is written: He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack...(2 Corinthians 8:13-15; Exodus 16:15-20).
And all that believed were together, and had all things common...(Acts 2:44).
So likewise we ask, Who is my brother? If one determines that a particular person is their brother, but that another person is not, that person proves to very far from the kingdom of the Father. By their own admission they declare themselves to be not a child of the One God who has given birth to all; and by their own deeds declare themselves to be not subject to God's precepts. They prove themselves to be who they wish to continue to be, the oppressors of God's children as it is written: The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7).
But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
Do they not blaspheme that worthy name by which ye are called?
If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well:
But if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all...(James 2:6-10).
Why is usury strictly prohibited by God? Why is it in its essence, evil? It is quite easy to understand in our time, under the structure of the present world economy. All the money in use today (money as we generally understand it), is lent into existence (at interest) by the central banks of the major corporate and industrial nations--the Federal Reserve Bank in the United States, The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. We are speaking here of money, as money has come to be defined for us over time, for in reality the money we use--whether it be cowrey shells or dollars--is, firstly, a way of keeping an impersonal account of all of our transactions, but more importantly a substitution, not for the things we buy and sell but for the labor and the time it actually took to make a product or provide a service--a point well worth noting, for those who actually perform work with their hands, or render services to others, possess all the true wealth in the world. (When the crises come, and they will come, we will not be able to eat money...think about that...Zephaniah 1:14-18). So how did they, who do no actual work with their own hands, get to be in charge of all the money in the world? Think about that) The overall supply of money is regulated into the economy (according to the shifting concerns of the central bankers) through the large commercial as well as neighborhood banks with which we in turn do business. The banks in turn support themselves through further investments in the economy (investments in the labors of other human beings) and the charging of interest. When a borrower goes to the bank for a loan, whether it be a government, a large corporation or a private individual, it promises to pay back a sum of money greater than the sum they borrowed. The wickedness begins at this point. Where will the borrower get the money to pay the interest on the loan? This money does not exist anywhere in the economy. It is not there. Only the total amount of the principle on all loans exists in the economy, because that is all that was borrowed or lent into existence. The amount of the interest-due is not to be found, anywhere. It was never lent into the total supply of money upon which everybody in the economy draws. So where does the borrower go to get this added money that they owe on their loans if it doesn't exist--so that they may remain as members in good standing in the economic system, so that they may continue to borrow in the future? They must figure out how to shift more of the existing supply of money in the economy in their own direction. They must, right along with the rich and powerful who have made a cunning art of such manipulations (they like to think it is a science), steal it from the existing supply of money. Between them they must either inflate the cost of their products and services, or what they believe is their own labors, which in either case favors the processes operating from the top of the economy down, at the ongoing expense, however, of those who dwell at the bottom of the economy and who actually do all the work...
The structure of Pharaoh's empire. The worldlings sit on the top, as gods, while everyone else labors from below.
Those at the top, and those striving to be at the top, must employ whatever means at their disposal, whether it be through legal measures or coercive force, to take out of the general supply of money an amount greater than what they put in, and greater than the amount which they earned through their own labors alone. One way or another they must siphon off from those at the bottom of the economy an amount that otherwise would be providing fuller employment, and a fuller general welfare for all, in order to provide for their own higher standards of living.
The vision of the world composed of free nations may finally fade out because of the mishandling of their monetary systems. Among the principle culprits responsible for this are those in power in the Wall Streets and Washingtons of each free nation--the bankers and the politicians who have issued and managed their currencies. It is they who should be held responsible for the sorry record to date and they who should be pilloried for what they are continuing to do at present.
The United States Treasury Department produces detriments and not goods by issuing money and inflating the quantity of it with the assistance of the Federal Reserve Board and all its member banks throughout the country. It alternately expands and contracts the supply of money, not in accordance with the needs of the economy but in accordance with the needs of Washington at best, and the needs of Wall Street at worst.
(Please see C-Span transcript of February 2, 2004; Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.) speaking on the Bush Administration's $2.4 trillion budget for the fiscal year 2005. They called George W. Bush the most reckless and dangerous man ever to sit in the White House).
So intimate is the tie between Washington and Wall Street that it is difficult to decide to whom to assign major responsibility for the debasement and murdering of the dollar, but that these two centers do bear major responsibility is incontestable: Wall Street by printing insecurities and the Treasury Department in Washington by printing dollars. Wall Street issues pseudo-securities and the Treasury Department pseudo-money. Similar centers exist in the large industrial nations of the world. England, with the appearance of the Industrial Revolution, pioneered in pseudo-production. Japan is the latest present-day industrial nation to join in the game of pseudo-production. No doubt others will arise until the last of the free economies disappear, and the verdict of the Inquest of History upon what Lincoln called "the last great hope of mankind" will be death by monetary suicide...
To make clear what I mean when I speak of Wall Street and Washington, it is necessary to distinguish what they in theory are supposed to be and what in fact they are.
Wall Street, in theory, is the center of the financial system which provides...for the capital needs of the nation. But Wall Street is in fact a speculation (gambling) center organized and operated for the purpose of enabling a self-selected minority of men and of boundless greed to become millionaires and billionaires. Whatever Wall Street does to provide for the capital needs of the nation is incidental to, and misshaped and distorted by, what in fact is.
Washington, in theory, is the establishment which governs the nation for the purpose of providing for the protection and for the welfare of the people it governs. Washington in fact is an establishment misshaped and distorted for the purpose of enabling men of boundless ambition to gratify their desire to exercise power and to exploit it as long as they can. In theory the functions which the two perform are entirely different. In practice, however, both the men of greed and the men of power, have found that they can gratify their desires far more effectively if they work together...Inflation, And the Coming Keynesian Catastrophe (with a chapter on the alternate dangers of Deflation), by Ralph Borsodi, 1989.
To participate in a capitalist economy, where the accumulation of private wealth is the driving force, one must either wittingly or unwittingly participate in the real (not theoretical), institutional oppression of other human beings. In a capitalist economy in order for there to be wealth there must be poverty. In a capitalist economy there must be massive environmental destruction, for economic GROWTH is the force that sustains the great Giant. Non-self-sustainable growth is what keeps those who are employed employed and the whole house of cards from falling down. There must also be a massive allocation of the general fund for military purposes, and quite necessarily so for (finally, after six thousand years of human history, since the time of Adam), the Lord of heaven and earth is preparing to rise up now against the entire order of things. And great was the fall of it...(Matthew 7:21-27; Revelation, chapter 18).
For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him at safety from him that puffeth at him...(Psalm 12:5).
If thou see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter; for He that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they.
Moreover the profit of the earth is for all (equally); the king himself is served by the field.
He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied...nor he that loveth abundance with with increase; this is vanity...
There is a sore evil which I have seen under the Sun, namely riches kept for the owners thereof to their own hurt...(Ecclesiastes 5:8-13).
For among my people are found wicked men. They are waxen fat, they are become rich, and what will ye do in the end thereof?...(Jeremiah 5:26).
In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood, thou hast taken USURY and INCREASE (Increase is the profit one accrues on the labors of employees and other individuals), and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord.
The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and the needy; they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully...
The time is come, the day draweth nigh. Let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn; for the wrath is upon the multitude thereof.
For the seller shall not return to that which is sold...for the vision is touching the whole multitude...neither shall any strengthen himself in the iniquity of his life...
Their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord. They shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels, because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity...(Ezekiel 22).
By Mumia Abu Jamal
His distrust of the mayor is visceral, intense. "I don't like him. I don't like his ways. I don't like the way he speaks about poor people. I don't like his eyes. I watch his eyes. There's too much coldness there." David, New York City high schooler, to Jonathan Kozol, author of Amazing Grace.
To those who read this who live in an American ghetto, "el barrio," nothing in Amazing Grace will surprise. To those who do not, and who still think America is a just, fair society, it is possible that Amazing Grace will strip one's soul.
In New York City, the economic, cultural and media capital of the American Empire, the pressing,perpetual oppression of the poor continues unabated...In Amazing Grace, Jonathan Kozol listens to the tortured voices of those at the economic bottom in the South Bronx, the grandmoms, the moms, those with AIDS, and the children.
The children...They are beautiful, and wonderfully bright, children who know in their hearts that the rich and politically powerful would rather they were never born. They think, before they are in their tenth year of life, of death, of God, of justice, and of an ever present, gnawing hunger.
They visit the city's glittering downtown, where fortunes are traded every day, where they are treated as trash, and bristle. They pray to God with an intensity only the very young could muster, and wonder why it seems God doesn't hear.
They hear the public, barely disguised expressions of official government and class contempt, and wonder why they are so deeply and completely hated.
The voices of these young are at once, as beautiful as they are haunting. They remind us that the young are perceptive, and acutely sensitive to their environments. They see their mothers slandered and disrespected, their neighborhoods made into corporate dumping grounds, their schools impoverished, and their hopes diminished. They are the children of acute despair...
Amazing Grace will reap rivers of tears, sell untold copies, but in the end will change nothing, for politicians are deaf to the cries of the poor, and ignore the powerless.
Babylon is fallen. The Streetnews.
At the same time came the disciples unto Jonathan and Mumia, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
And they called the children unto them, and sat in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as these little children, ye shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as these children, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoso shall receive them in the name of the Lord receiveth the blessings of the Lord.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he was drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe to the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!...(Matthew 18:1-7).
The same spiritual precepts hold true with regard to the present orgy of investing going on in the stock markets of the world at this time. It is as if the mind of Western man (and America in particular), has finally reached critical mass--the point of total corruption if you will. And if the words, For the love of money is the root of all evil, has lost its meaning, how could anyone be concerned with the other moral details of the investment industry--with the fact that the stock market (the capital investment in industries, corporations, and other business ventures), is another way the capitalist system of things steals from the common man and the wage-laborer. It is a direct violation of the words: My son defraud not the poor of his living...(Ecclesiasticus 4:1-9), and of the commandment against taking increase. (See Ezekiel 18:8).
Taking increase is a sin against humanity. It is, simply put, the accumulation of private wealth (including dividends on investments and profits from the sale of corporate stocks), on the labors of other individuals. It is the act of enhancing one's own personal welfare at the expense of others. It is the act of siphoning from the top--off of the ever-fluctuating cost of all products and services--an agreed upon amount that neither the investor, or the employer, earned with their own hands, or through their own direct labors, thereby forcing and holding the wages of the laborer (those who actually perform the work) down while increasing the wages and profit margins of those who sit in offices above, or idly at home. It is theft. Dispense with the notion that the employer had the "idea," and the investor had the capital to finance the idea, and are therefore entitled to their share. All ideas come from God, and are channeled through the human mind for the common wealth of all--in accordance with the Universal Laws of God. Those to whom much is given, much (more) is required. Those with "ideas" are required by God to become servants to the common good--not servants of self. They must, in the very interest of their own souls, see that these ideas are used to serve everyone they touch, equally and without prejudice. (Not me $15 and you $5, because I have a mansion to pay for, and 3 cars, and a country home, and higher expectations...you know, a greater stake in the American dream. But rather, after all expenses are considered, me $10 and you $10, regardless of position or intellectual capacity). (Actually, if there is to be a currency in the coming order it will be based on "time," (someone suggested Sunlight), the only commodity in the universe that is equally proportioned to every being. Work an hour, earn an hour. But this is another chapter)...
"Intellectual Property" has become the concept. There are none more guilty of stealing it (from God) than the capitalist class, and now they are caught. As for those who had the initial capital to invest in these ideas (giving rise in time to the investment industry and the stock markets that literally rule over us today)...Where did they acquire it? And how? All of these fortune-holders started out as gun-slingers and henchmen for the original strong man--Nimrod. And the subsequent means and methods of acquiring power and wealth have been passed on ever since. Actually it goes back to the time before Nimrod, to Cain, the archetypal child of Darkness:
And Job opened his mouth, and cursed his day...(What day? Not his day, because Job is a fictional character, but Cain's day. He lamented the day the spirit of Cain was born):
And Job spoke, and said,
Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived (see Genesis 4:1)...(Job, chapter 3).
"And when Cain had traveled over many countries he, with his wife, built a city named Nod (ZZZZZZZ), where he also had children...However he did not accept of his punishment in order to amend, but to increase his wickedness. For he only aimed to procure everything that was for his own bodily pleasure, though it obliged him to be injurious to his neighbors.
He augmented his household substance with much wealth By rapine and violence he excited his acquaintances to procure pleasure and spoils by robbery, and became a great leader of men into wicked courses. He also introduced change in that way of simplicity wherein men lived before; and was the author of measures and weights; and whereas they lived innocently and generously while they knew nothing of such arts, he changed the world into cunning craftiness.
He first of all set boundaries about lands, he built a city and fortified it with walls, and he compelled the family to come into it, and called the city Enoch after the name of his oldest son Enoch." (See how crafty this spirit is. He has already stolen words and names from the children of Light and from the treasures of Light...Gen.4:15 to 5:23). Josephus's Antiquities I.II.2.
For the evil is sown, but the destruction thereof is not yet come.
If therefore that which is sown be not turned upside down, and if the place where the evil was sown pass not away, then it cannot come which is sown with the good.
For the grain of evil seed has been sown in the heart of Adam from the beginning, and how much more ungodliness hath it brought forth up to this time.? And how much shall it yet bring forth until the time of the threshing come...(2 Esdras 4:28-32).
And be ye not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God...(Romans 12:2).
THE DARWIN MAN
"But man has almost constant occasion for the help of his brethren, and it is in vain for him to expect it from their benevolence only. He will be more likely to prevail if he can interest their self-love in his favour, and show them that it is for their own advantage to do for him what he requires of them. Whoever offers a bargain to another of any kind, proposes to do this...
Give me what I want, and you shall have this which you want, is the meaning of every such offer; and it is in this manner that we obtain from one another the far greater part of those goods and offices we stand in need of. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, or the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages." The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith, p.16.
THE ORIGINS OF CAPITALISM:
MARKETS, LOGIC, AND DESIRE
"The theorists of emerging capitalist society, from Thomas Hobbes to Adam Smith, imagined that selfishness, competition, bargaining, and private ownership were eternal traits of human nature, characteristic of all of human history...But it was probably the experience of the industrial revolution in the nineteenth century that made European thinkers generally aware of the importance of human change--especially economic change. The nineteenth century was the golden age of historical study, the age of the study of evolution and origins, and the first age to suggest that human nature might have changed from one age to the next. The world of Darwin and Marx and anthropology could no longer imagine that the inclinations or institutions of capitalist society had existed for all time.
Defenders of the new economy--groups like the English Manchester liberals and utilitarians who spoke for the middle class of merchants and manufacturers--developed a new assumption of the naturalness of capitalist ideas and behavior which was more consistent with the historical consciousness of their age. They reasoned in effect that although capitalism had not always existed, the instinctual need and logic of capitalism had always existed, and that history was the development of that desire and logic. Their ideas were so influential that they have become almost the "common sense" of twentieth-century Americans. They imagined that primitive trading had merely become more complex over the years, that people gradually found it easier to attach price tags (or money values) to the things they bartered, and that local trade led to national and finally to international trade as the new knowledge of marketing techniques grew. In effect, these defenders of the new system were arguing that if capitalism had not always existed at least a natural inclination to barter had become more sophisticated. In many ways this was yet another version of human nature (continued)...
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught...
(For) the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ...(1 Corinthians 2:6, 14-16).
...Many of us still today assume that capitalism developed logically from the inside out, from the simple to the complex, from the local to the foreign, and from the small scale to the world scale. We assume for instance that barter exchanges among friends led gradually to more efficient exchanges of money, that local trade became more monetized as it became more complex, that such capitalist institutions as money, markets, prices, profits, and private property expanded from village to city to state to world as they proved their superiority over simpler ways...
Actually, however, nothing is further from the truth. One of the most amazing things about the history of capitalism is that most people fought every step of its expansion. The clergyman, the artisan, the farmer, the villager, the worker, the landlord, the tenant, and even many of the slowly emerging middle class fought the expansion of capitalism, because it seemed to come from outside to threaten the local and traditional ways. The West and the World, by Kevin Reilly, pp.335-36.
LABOR'S UNTOLD STORY
"'We struck because we were without hope. We joined the union because it gave us a glimmer of hope.'...'We will make you proud of us, brothers, if you will give us a hand. Help us make our country better and more wholesome... (and) to teach arrogant grinders of the faces of the poor that there is still a God of Israel, and if need be, a Jehovah--a God of battles.'" Eugene B.Debs, Labors Untold Stories, p.125....
Nevertheless, it is also written: Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God be not blasphemed
And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren: but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things reach and exhort.
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness.
He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions, and strife of words, whereof comrth envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw yourself.
But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many hurtful and foolish lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness...(1 Timothy 6:1-11).
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and the latter rain.
Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh...(James 5:7,8).
"The overwhelming tendency of white, prosperous, protestant America, was to admire big business and all its ways." p.69.
"He (John D. Rockefeller) took what he wanted of his rival's properties and buried the rest as thoroughly as if it had been struck by an avalanche. He never doubted himself for an instant, for he said God put him on earth to make money. Those who got in his way were obstructing God's will." p.74.
"The capitalist class, like a devilfish, has grasped the workingman with its tenticles and is dragging them down to fathomless depths of degradation." p.121.
"One employee declared: 'We are born in a Pullman house, fed from a Pullman shop, taught in a Pullman school, catechized in a Pullman church, and when we die we shall be buried in a Pullman cemetary and go to a Pullman hell.'" Labor's Untold Story, by R.O. Boyer and H.M. Morais, p.124.
THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO
"The history of all, hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles...Freeman and slave, patrician and plebian, lord and serf, guildmaster and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstruction of society at large, or in the common ruin of contending classes.
Our epoch, the epoch of (Capitalism), possesses however, this distinctive feature: it has simplified the class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into Two great hostile camps, into Two great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoise and Proletariat. Owners and wage laborers who have no means of production themselves and who are, thus, forced, or reduced, to selling their labor in order to live."
"The (capitalist-industrial class) whenever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relationships. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his 'natural superiors,' (This is not necessarily bad...the Communists didn't understand the dialectic process either), and has left no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, and callous cash payment." (This was bad).
"They have stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked upon with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, and the man of science into its paid wage-laborers." (As far as it happened this was bad. It was also necessary). (p.82).
"It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the capitalistic mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilization into their midst (remember the scene in Pocahontas)? i.e., to become capitalist--or bourgeois--themselves. In one word, It creates a world after its own image." (P.84).
"Capitalist society...has conjured up such a gigantic means of production and exchange that it is like the sorcerer, who is no longer able to control the powers of the nether world whom he has called up by his spells." (p.85).
"It is enough to mention the commercial crises that by their periodical return put on trial, each time more threateningly, the existence of the entire bourgeois society...
And how does the bourgeoise get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other by the conquest of new markets; and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented...(until, at last, the means are exhausted and dictatorship ensues)...
The weapons with which the bourgeoise felled feudalism to the ground are now turned against the bourgeoise themselves...Not only have they forged the weapons that bring death to themselves, they have also called into existence those who will wield those weapons--the modern working class--the proletarians." The Communist Manifesto, p. 86, 87.
What is it that separates the materialistic world view from the spiritual, the view of the Marxist/Leninist Order from the teachings of Christ? The weapons of our warfare, ideas not guns, and the timing of events:
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (through the history of the entire industrial age), I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy Rod and thy Staff, they comfort me...(Psalm 23:4).
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds);
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
And (for those who understand how to rightly divide the Word of God) having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience when (our own) obedience is fulfilled...(2 Corinthians 10:3-6).
GORBACHEV LINKS "TRUE SOCIALISM"
WITH THE CAUSE OF CHRIST
MILAN ITALY__As the first anniversary of the attempted coup by reform Marxists against his government approached former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said true socialism promotes the values Christ preached.
In an August 18 interview with Italian and Spanish newspapers, Mr. Gorbachev said that the 1991 coup marked the end of "Stalinist socialism" but not of true socialism. True socialism, he said, is "tied to the concepts of social justice, freedom, equality, the general framework of human values. In short: we promote the cause of Christ. The search for truth, humanity, justice and spirituality are eternal values," he said...
(He was asked if he thought) that John Paul II had influenced his thinking and that if he thought the pope played a role in the crumbling of Communist regimes in Eastern Europe.
"I can only add that which I concluded after having read the Pope's encyclicals, after coming to know his sense of priestly mission, his appeals for peace and harmony in defense of freedom." Mr. Gorbachev said. "I think all of that made it possible for us to start the changing of mentalities, the new way of thinking," he said.
"Twenty six years ago, I was arrested for selling a pair of jeans to a plainclothes Soviet policeman...It was a setup, designed to scare a 16-year old and his 20 teenage fellow travelers into behaving for the remainder of their summer behind the Iron Curtain. And scare me it did, although the authorities allowed me to rejoin my group after a few hours of interrogation.
Despite my arrest, and to the horror of my parents, I returned to New York something of a convert. I was only joking when I flashed my Communist Party card--it was actually my Lenin Library card--but communism in theory was appealing: everybody works for the common good, no one is allowed to go hungry or homeless or jobless. No one gets rich at another's expense. Contrast that with, in today's terms, millions of homeless in America and television producer Aaron Spelling's building a $50 million house for himself in Los Angeles. (continued)...
REAGAN SAYS HOMELESS HAVE A CHOICE
WASHINGTON__President Reagan is heading off for Christmas in his lush new California home after saying in a television interview that homeless people sleep on the grates near the White House of "their own choice."
The president and first lady Nancy Reagan were flying West today to begin a two-week vacation at the Bel Air home and at the palatial estate of multimillionaire publisher Walter Annenberg in Rancho Mirage, near Palm Springs.
In an interview...veteran ABC television journalist David Brinkley noted that some homeless sleep on grates or on the grass in Lafayette Park, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. Reagan replied, "Yes, but David, doesn't that go back--that there are always going to be people-- (Reagan was trying to allude to a biblical verse here but couldn't recall it)--they make it their own choice for staying out there. The Associated Press.
(Some of those people sleeping on the street across from the White House are saints and prophets...log onto www.prop1.org; and www.prop1.org/conchita/ ).
(continued)...Yet the thing about Communism is that it doesn't work. It tries to change human nature. This is its fundamental flaw. People are selfish. Give them an incentive to work and they will. Give them a low-risk way to cheat on their taxes, and they will. We do, most of the time, what is in our own selfish best interest.
In a true Communist society (not that there has ever been one, but this is what the Soviets were aiming for), there is little incentive to produce. The well-known goal is "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." That is a noble concept, but because it separates what people get from how they perform--they get what they need regardless of how they perform--it ultimately fails.
Because people are not saints they often do as little as possible to get by. Not all of them, but enough to cripple the system...PEOPLE RESPOND TO INCENTIVES...
For the law shall go forth from Zion...Isaiah 2:1-4.
...What's so good about the free market is that when subject to reasonable government scrutiny to ensure fair play, it tends to harness people's selfishness for the common good, so that in pursuing their own greedy little ends they also tend toward satisfying the needs of others. Why? because you satisfy other people's wishes, the more richly you are rewarded...None of this is new. But it seems to have finally been accepted in large measure throughout the world. Twenty-six years ago, selling your jeans could have landed you in a Soviet prison. In May of this year, the Soviets put on a trade show in San Francisco to try to attract trading partners and investors like Levi Strauss.
What all this means to capitalists is the prospect of a more prosperous world. Andrew Tobias, Time, July, 1989.
THE NATIONAL PSYCHE IN POST-REAGAN AMERICA
A Letter to the Editor
Archibald L. Gillies ("Start Planning for Post-Reagan America," Op-Ed, March 5) talks about the work to be done in post-Reagan America. It will indeed be hard work, particularly in one area that Mr. Gillies didn't emphasize: our national psyche.
President Reagan and his administration have fostered an unbridled free-enterprise system and a might-makes-right foreign policy that is no more or less than social Darwinism, a basic survival-of-the-fittest mentality. Domestically, those who are poor or disabled must work or perish (be damned as the Puritans of the 1500s believed), this although many, even before Franklin D. Roosevelt, knew that capitalism in its purest form would leave as a byproduct a predictable number of unemployed. In world relations, righteousness and leadership come first from the demonstrable ability to destroy anyone and everyone who doesn't capitulate to our dogmatic view of life on earth.
Freud discussed the innate struggle in humans between instinctual aggressive drives and the higher social need to be civilized in a book early in this century called Civilization and Its Discontents. Ronald Reagan is a very popular President because he inspires us not to suppress our greed or our wish to dominate others, and indeed glorifies these instincts as the road to security and prosperity...Perhaps post-Reagan America will look back at these years as a last reactionary effort to resist being truly civilized. Peter V. Loffredo, New York City, March 6, 1986
The Reagan, now Bush economy.
Mikhail Gorbachev was correct in his assessment of the impact of these events on the unfolding events of our time. He was also fully aware that the true socialist revolution could not take place in a closed society as the Soviet Union, and tried to open up Russia to Western influences (without sacrificing the Socialist ideal...Read his Perestroika, New Thinking for Our Country and the World). He was also correct in implying that those who brought the modern Communist state into existence were not aware of the true meaning, or the true goals of socialism, for neither they, nor even Engels and Marx themselves, nor Ronald Reagan to be sure, fully understood the historical dialectic process. In the struggle between the two great materialistic world-systems of our times--between the thesis of one and the antithesis of the other---the cause of Zion (the true Zion) was being advanced. The final synthesis was emerging. It was three thousand years aborning. It's about timing, being patient, waiting on Creation. Such an order could only come to its Feet in such an open and highly technological society as America--yes, Reagan's America--but more importantly, only after all of man's attempts to work out his own natural theories, to establish his own world view (his own righteousness), had been tried and failed (and the last one standing, destroyed). The true order's weapons are not those of an armed proletariat, nor are they those of the mighty Capitalist Order of the West...But mighty through God, to the pulling down of strongholds...and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God...(2 Corinthians10:3-6).
GAP BETWEEN RICH AND POOR WIDENS
WASHINGTON__The income gap between the rich and the rest of America grew so fast during the past decade that the wealthiest fifth of households will receive as much after-tax revenue as every one else combined this year, budget analysts reported.
The report by the private Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that while the poor grew poorer and the rich got richer during the 1980s the middle class struggled to stay about even.
"The most affluent Americans reaped exceptionally large income gains during that decade, while middle-income Americans gained little and low income Americans fell further behind," the report said...
The report said the widening income gap is a relatively recent trend...The gulf grew faster during the past decade...Greenstein said the income gulch would grow even wider if congress accepts President Bush's proposal to cut the tax on capital gains...Cox News Service.
(Is this the same congress that turned down, or fought against a hike in the minimum wage while voting itself a $41, 000 raise)?
THE RICH GET RICHER
What Happens to American Society When the Gap in Wealth and Income Grows Larger?
By James Lardner
It's Thursday and all of America, it seems, is getting ready to watch Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. The show is so popular that it receives about 240,000 phone calls a day from would-be contestants...
Open a newspaper just about any day, and you'll read about day traders moving into monster homes in gated communities and dot-com wizards becoming billionaires before their companies turn a penny profit.
The current prosperity has also been good to many Americans lower down on the ladder, especially in the near full-employment conditions of the past three years. (At how much an hour)? By many measures, the nation's material well-being is astonishing. Since 1970, average living space has nearly doubled in size to more than 800 square feet per person; the number of households with two or more vehicles has climbed from 29 percent to 62 percent; air travel has quadrupled.
Last week, the Council of Economic Advisors reported sharply rising incomes from 1993 to 1998 for those in the bottom 20 percent of the earnings scale. With the incomes of the poorest fifth of America rising slightly faster than than those of the richest fifth, the gap between rich and poor has actually narrowed slightly for the first time since the 1970s. (Let's see now: 20% of $5.15, or even $10 an hour, and, say, 15% of $100,000 is how much)?
Still, over the last two decades, by far the greatest gains have gone to those at or near the top. Outside of the "new economy," many Americans with plain old jobs--factory workers, fire fighters, telephone company managers, secretaries--feel, somehow, out of it...
The gap in wealth and income, some economists say, is a problem that will eventually take care of itself. Better, at any rate to trust the marketplace, they say, than risk hamfisted government attempts at redistribution...
To many people, however, the gap between the very rich and everyone else is very troubling. The country's social and political fabric could be damaged, they fear...if resentment builds, and if the have-nots increasingly shun the political system...U.S.News & World Report, Feb.21, 2000.
And they that occupy their merchandise with robbery, the more they deck their cities, their houses, their possessions, and their own persons:
The more I will be angry with them for their sin, saith the Lord...
And therefore be ye not like thereunto, nor to the works thereof...(2 Esdras 16:47-51).
Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than a heart could wish.
They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.
They set their mouth against the heavens (against things that lie beyond their comprehension), and their tongue walketh through the earth.
And they say, How doth God know? And is there knowledge in the Most High?
Behold, these are the ungodly who prosper in the world...they increase in riches...
Surely Thou didst set them in slippery places...(Psalm 73).
Go to now ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
Your riches are corrupted, and your garments (the doctrines and philosophies in which you are clothed), are motheaten.
Your gold and your silver is cankered, and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped up treasure together for the last days.
Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields (worked in your mills, trembled in your presence, filled out your forms, suffered your abuses, been made to lie, crawled in your ditches, built your cities, lost their health in your mines, cut down your forests, helped you poison your rivers and your sky, served your whims, stole across your borders, hid from your police, and who have become unemployed and unemployable when you were through with them), which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have laboured are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. (The Lord of the Strong Right Arm).
Ye have lived in pleasure upon the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
Ye have condemned the just; and he doth not resist you...(James 5:).
These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes...(Psalm 50:16-21).
COME OUT FROM AMONG THEM MY PEOPLE, that ye be not partakers of her sins, for great Babylon's sins have reached unto heaven...
And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning...
And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise anymore...(Revelation, chapter 18).
THE MERCHANTS (THE CAPITALISTS) OF THE EARTH
Beware of a man of God who is also a man of business...St. Anselm
Thou hast multiplied thy merchants above the stars of heaven...
Thy crowned are as the locusts, and thy captains as the great grasshoppers, which camp in the hedges in a cold day, but when the Sun ariseth they flee away, their place is not known where they are...(Nahum 3:16,17).
Business men and merchants will not (can not) enter the palaces of my father...(The Gospel of Thomas 64).
Her princes in the midst thereof are like ravening wolves after the prey...to shed blood (or to allow others to do it in their name), and to destroy souls...to get dishonest gain......seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them (It is one thing to be in bondage to a politcal and economic order of things. It is another to prophecy good things over its head), saying, thus saith the Lord God, when the Lord hath not spoken...(Ezekiel 22:25-28).
The FGBMA (Full Gospel Business Man's Association)
As a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband;
They give gifts to all whores: BUT THOU GIVEST THY GIFTS TO ALL THY LOVERS (1 Corinthians 12), and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom...(Ezekiel 16:32,33).
Now the sons of Eli were the sons of Belial, they knew not the Lord...(1 Samuel 2:12).
And the priest's custom with the people was, that when anyone offered sacrifices (tithes and other offerings), the priest's servant would come, while the flesh was seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand. (Why three? Because of the words: Today, Tomorrow, and on the Third day I shall be perfected).
And he stuck it into the pan or kettle (or account). All that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. (continued)...
And Abel brought the firstling of his flock AND THE FAT THEREOF...(Genesis 4:4).
And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savour: ALL THE FAT IS THE LORD'S.
It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood...(Leviticus 3:16,17).
And the fire upon the altar shall be burning upon it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood upon it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall BURN THEREON THE FAT of the peace offering.
The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar (see 1 Cor.3:16,17); it shall never go out...
It is a sweet savour unto the Lord...(Leviticus 6:12,13, 15).
Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, ye shall eat no manner of FAT...
For whosoever eateth THE FAT of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people...(Leviticus 7:23-25).
...Also before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw. (That is, he will not have his portion according to the general expectation, but he will prepare it according to his own desires).
And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat (so that the fires of this sacrifice--these offerings--might burn bright and high, so that all the poor of the land might see and be drawn to the service), and then (after that) take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay,but thou shalt give it to me now, and if not, I will take it by force.
Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for men abhorred the offering of the Lord...(1 Samuel 2:12-17).
And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, AT WHICH BOTH THE EARS OF EVERY ONE THAT HEARETH IT SHALL TINGLE.
In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin I will also make an end.
For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever...(1 Samuel 3:11-14; 1 Sam.2:35,36).
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; BUT AFTER THEIR OWN LUSTS SHALL THEY HEAP UNTO THEMSELVES TEACHERS, HAVING ITCHING EARS;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables...(2 Timothy 4:1-3).
Jesus said unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
And again, I say unto you, It is easier for (the mysteries of the East to arrive here at the Western ends of the earth...Isaiah 21), than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
When the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
But Jesus said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible...(Matthew 19:23-26).
They that give up their rods half green and half withered, these are they that are mixed up in business and cleave not to the saints, therefore one half of them liveth and one half of them is dead.
Many when they hear the commandments repent, but some of them altogether stand aloof, these then have no repentance...for by reason of their business affairs they blasphemed the Lord and denied Him...(The Shepherd of Hermas, 8th parable).
LAY UP NO TREASURES
Give us this day our Daily bread...Matthew 6:11.
Lay not up yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust do corrupt, and where thieves (the chief merchants and politicians, and economists of the earth), break through and steal.
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven...For where your treasure is there will your heart be also...(Matthew 6:19-34).
When thou comest into thy neighbor's vineyard, then thou mayest eat grapes at thy full at thine own pleasure; BUT THOU SHALT NOT PUT ANY IN THY VESSEL (in other words, no savings accounts).
When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbor, then thou mayest pluck ears with thine hand; BUT THOU MAYEST NOT MOVE A SICKLE INTO THY NEIGHBOR'S STANDING CORN...(Deuteronomy 23:24,25).
If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
And if you have not been faithful with that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own?...(Luke 6:9-155).
And the children of Israel gathered, some more, some less.
And when they gathered with an Omer (which means with their hearts and minds toward the last day, and the judgments of God), he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to their needs.
And Moses said, LET NO MAN LEAVE OF IT TILL THE MORNING.
Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left it to the morning and it bred worms and stank. (They had it laid up in savings and investment accounts when it suddenly became of no value). And Moses was wroth with them...(Exodus 16:15-20).
So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the Sun; andbehold, the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of the oppressors that there was power; but they had no comforter...(Ecclesiastes 4:1).
For I know your manifold transgressions, and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.
Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.
Seek the good, and not evil, that ye may live; and so the Lord, the God of hosts shall be with you, as ye have spoken...
Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light...(Amos 7:12-18).
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have we not cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me ye workers of iniquity.
Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
When the rain descended, and the floods came, and the wind blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell, AND GREAT WAS THE FALL OF IT...(Matthew 7:21-27).
WHY "IT" HASN'T HAPPENED YET
(an article off the Internet)
To listen to some bears (the real bears, not the Wall Street phonies that, in a bold move of bearishness, reduced their stock allocations from 75% to 70%) over the past few years, you would have thought we would all be in breadlines and soup kitchens by now. So far, all of the ranting about doom and gloom sounds more like the boy who cried wolf than accurate forecasting.
No, I don't think we have breadlines in our future, but when IT happens, things are going to get much worse than most can imagine. But IT hasn't happened yet. Even though the markets have lost $6 trillion of value according to the NYSE and the Nasdaq, IT still hasn't happened yet.
WHAT IS IT? Why hasn't IT happened and when will it happen?
IT is a "financial disruption." IT is an irreversible downward spiral that takes everything down with it. IT will be started by a catalyst, a spark that will get everybody's attention. But IT is already built into the economy prior to the spark, like a bunch of oil rags waiting for a match. Some of the candidates for the catalyst include:
Crash of the Dollar...Stock Market Crash...Credit Crunch...Derivitive Meltdown...Nuclear War...Major Terrorist Attack...Major Corporate Default...Major Municipal Default...Foreign Dumping of Bonds...Interest Rate Spike....
But it may not happen as many expect. Many investors are waiting for something sudden, a market crash or a geo-political event. They want to see the fire before they believe the danger. If you were to ask most people, they would tell you that things really haven't changed that much for them over the past 3 years. Yet their 401k is down "but it will come back up" is their attitude. Investor's attitudes are much too complacent. They see nothing to worry about...
And when IT does happen, it is likely to have a domino effect. Foreign dumping of U.S. debt could cause (interest) rates to skyrocket. This will likely cause the Dollar to crash. This will lead to market decline/crash. (In case you haven't noticed, the Dollar has been declining for more of the year...With the ECB announcement, it appears Foreigners are starting to dump U.S. debt...And the stock market seems to be topping out. The question is how far it will decline)?
Ezekiel, Chapter 18...(KJV)
The Protocols -- A NeoCon Manifesto
By Simon Jones
I have to confess. The outrageous in-your-face behavior of the neocons finally got to me - as Armageddon approaches, after seeing more and more references to it (albeit usually wacky), I recently downloaded the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Guiltily, mind you, as if it were Mein Kampf or porno. I bet you haven't dared (or bothered) to read it.
So, what is this best-selling political tract of the 20th century, the reading of which carried the death penalty in Stalinist Russia, lauded by the likes of Henry Ford and Winston Churchill, and then loudly condemned for the past 60 years since it was briefly declared an anti-Semitic forgery (in a Swiss court in 1935 overturned by the Appeals Court in 1937)?
The bile aside, it is in fact an series of 24 mostly articulate, well-argued lectures outlining a plan for world capitalist domination, with sharp political and social analysis, lots of Machiavelli and a Marxian sophistication in its understanding of capitalism and historical processes. Briefly, it outlines a plan of world conquest by first establishing world government by consent. As with any brilliant political analysis, it has been denounced, dismissed, misinterpreted and banned. And made very good use of by those lusting for world power.
What immediately struck me was that with a little dusting off, abridging and updating, it could easily be the handbook of the neocons. With the wonders of modern computers, you can download a free copy from the Internet, cleanse it of anti-Semitism by replacing "fellow Jews" with "neocons" and make sense of what's happening in the world today.
Mysterious origins? Not really
Though its origins are still unknown, it was clearly inspired by the French revolution and its aftermath, the then-popular Masonic order, and most of all the nascent 19th century Zionist movement. All that we know is that it was written in France and brought to Russia, supposedly in 1884. It first appeared in print in St Petersburg in 1903, but reached the West only after the Russian revolution. It caused an immediate sensation, originally crudely interpreted as foretelling the Bolshevik revolution as the crucial link in a Jewish conspiracy to rule the world. As such, it was admired by the likes of Churchill and Ford, both confirmed anti-communists and anti-Semites.
True, it has the prescience to allow for an anti-capitalist revolution on the way to its final goal, but there's nothing even vaguely socialist in it. It's firmly founded on a plan for capitalist domination through Jewish control of international finance and just happened to appear at the very moment of the founding of the Zionist movement, with its goal of establishing as soon as possible a Jewish state in Palestine, backed by powerful worldwide Ashkenazy Jewish economic interests.
It's as if an especially ruthless and well-read 19th c Zionist, inspired by the Rothschilds and other great Jewish financiers of the time, wrote it or most of it, as I am sure is the case. Really, it reads as if it were written by the Jungian shadow of the likes of Zionism's founder, Theodore Herzl, or any of Israel's notables from Ben Gurion to Ariel Sharon. Its anti-goyim callousness certainly indicate it was not written for public consumption, and after Hitler, it was relegated to the Forbidden Shelf in ALL libraries along with Mein Kampf and naked bottoms. But it is very hard to believe that it is a spoof or a mere provocation, as it is just too impressive in detail and understanding of the logic of late 19th c capitalism.
Did Hitler read it? I bet the Nazis read it carefully. They certainly followed much of its advice, from how to use the press, to how to manipulate both politicians and the masses in consolidating their political hold. It's also clear why destruction of the Jews became Hitler's tragic obsession. His New World Order (NWO) would have to exclude a group even remotely connected with such a scheme for world domination. As the neocons warn today: "You are either with us or against us."
Many paths - but they all lead to Rome (That would be America. Just as America is modern Egypt, as well as modern Assyria, so is it the culmination of all Seven World Empires that have risen up, one after another in the West. Understand Revelation 17).
The trouble with the Protocols is that it has been interpreted since it was published to suit the prejudices of the moment. In pre-revolutionary Russia, it provided fuel for the already widespread Russian anti-Semitism. In post-WWI Europe and America, it provided fuel against the Russian revolution. In the post-WWII world, it became the Bible of American isolationists and racists who see the poor UN as the dreaded "World Government," backed by the Soviet Union and 3rd world revolutions. Now it is read by Muslims as proof of the conspiracy by US imperialism to destroy them.
Another problem is that there have been many variations on the theme of the NWO ever since the collapse of the Roman Empire. The French revolution and Napoleonic conquests, the Masonic lodges, imperial Germany and England all have had their own NWO fantasy. The Russian revolution was the most radical attempt at a NWO, and even can be distinguished for the large number of Jews who took part, but despite the fact that the Protocols was first published in Russia and strictly banned during the Soviet period, the Soviet experiment was not even remotely the final World Government of the Protocols, as it was anti-capitalist in its essence.
The red herring in it is of course 'Jewish', which is supposed to refer to a race. The Jews referred to in the Protocols are the European Ashkenazy Jews, who had been traditionally usurers and who were in the 19th century becoming increasing wealthy and part of the mainstream European culture. From them sprang the Zionists, who transformed a religion where God is to bring them to the 'promised land' someday into an active plan to seize Palestine based on their growing international economic and financial might. So it is this group that is the real inspiration behind the Protocols and not some amorphous Jewish RACE. Think of the authors as the neocons of the day. For by the 19th century, usury was the norm, and the rapid spread of capitalism meant that the Western world effectively became Jewish, as Marx put it, and adopted the Jewish idea of success.
Yet another problem. It is loudly dismissed as a forgery. Hello? It was anonymous, so how can it be a forgery. Who forged what? No wonder the Swiss Appeals Court threw the case out. In that case we can dismiss the Bible as a forgery. And who cares who wrote the Psalms anyway? They stand on their own merits, as does the Protocols stripped of a few provocative phrases here and there, which could have been slipped in by anyone.
You may well protest: "The Protocols attributes the conscious machinations of Jews to be behind all historical developments. I don't believe the Zionists are either so powerful, or so far-sighted." In answer: It's not necessary for our actions to be premeditated. The logic of world capitalism sweeps us along, whether we like it or not. Some players are more conscious (and ruthless) than others. They become the Herzls, the Wolfowitzes, the Sharons. The rest of us get swept along, either yielding to, or fighting the current: the Bushes and the Schwartzeneggers or the goyim. The Protocols (or its original, if it is indeed a forgery) was inspired by the new economic system sweeping the world, and composed by the 19th century equivalent of the neocons. It hasn't played itself out yet, just as capitalism hasn't played itself out. We ignore it at our peril.
Arise, ye prisoners of starvation?
Contrast the Zionist movement with the other great attempt at a NWO from the 19th century on -- the world socialist movement. It is far weaker, split by nationalism and hundreds of ideological splinters, and motivated by social justice, a far less competitive motivation that money, wealth and power-for-its-own-sake. The Protocols is quite clear about this: "Our triumph has been rendered easier by the fact that in our relations with the men whom we wanted we have always worked upon the most sensitive chords of the human mind, upon the cash account, upon the cupidity, upon the insatiability for material needs of man: and each one of these human weaknesses, taken alone, is sufficient to paralyze initiative, for it hands over the will of men to the disposition of him who has bought their activities." (I)
There is no fear of the dangerous effective of democracy: "The abstraction of freedom has enabled us to persuade the mob in all countries that their government is nothing but the steward of the people who are the owners of the country, and that the steward may be replaced like a worn-out glove. It is this possibility of replacing the representatives of the people which has placed them at our disposal, and, as it were, given us the power of appointment." (I)
Socialism never had a chance against this corrosive Machiavellianism, though, just in case, the Protocols had a plan: "The hour strikes when, not for the sake of attaining the good, not even to win wealth, but solely out of hatred towards the privileged, the lower classes of the goyim will follow our lead against our rivals for power, the intellectuals of the goyim." (IV) This is the only reference to the use of a revolt of the masses, which was seized upon to associate the Protocols with the Russian revolution. Rather slim pickings, and it reveals the strategy is to undermine the "intellectuals of the goyim", i.e., the socialist opposition to world capitalism.
On the contrary, the Russian revolution seemed to really shake the very foundations of the plan for world capitalist domination. Curiously in its first 30 years the SU had the Zionists split. Why? Well, no doubt partly because many rank-and-file Zionists were socialist by persuasion, truly wanted the SU to succeed and hoped for a socialist Israel as a bonus (Herzl's utopian novel depicts a socialist Israel). But for the Zionist fanatics of the Protocols, their fence-sitting was because achieving their own state was the main priority, and required the support of both the communist and capitalist camps.
And as for the softer versions of socialism which have surfaced occasionally in the West, their headway has always been kept well in check, and social democratic reforms were rolled back very easily after the collapse of the SU, via the tactics envisaged in the Protocols. So the plan of the Protocols should not be confused with the many variations on a socialist/ communist NWO.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em
The Protocols also lauds "the successes we arranged for Darwinism, Marxism, Nietzscheism." (II) Why promote such radicals? Because of the "disintegrating importance these directives have had upon the minds of the goyim." Just how central to Marx's success these Zionists were is debatable.
But it's become clear to me that Zionists have penetrated and tried to control all the NWO fantasies, from left to right, to further their own cause. It is not surprise then that they have been at the center of the present neocon insurgency from the start. And as for the EU-as-NWO, Sharon even suggested Israel should join the EU since 'we share common ideals'. In spite of Israel's loathing for the UN, it is at the very heart of THAT beleaguered, clumsy organization too (with a stake in hand just in case, it can be argued). It has recently been revealed that Zionists are even involved with extreme right anti-Semitic movements in Europe and with the creation of Hamas. After all, anti-Semitism is the Zionist's best defense. "The Jewish group has thrived on oppression and on the antagonism it has forever met in the world." (Albert Einstein, Collier's Magazine, November 26, 1938)
True, anti-Semitism got out of control under Hitler and it even looked like it was touch-and-go for a while for the Ashkenazy Jews of Europe, but fascism was in turn destroyed by a capitalist-communist alliance, with Zionists at its heart, as the Protocols so brilliantly foretold: "For a time perhaps we might be successfully dealt with by a coalition of the goyim of all the world: but from this danger we are secured by the discord existing among them whose roots are so deeply seated that they can never now be plucked up." (VI) Divide and rule!
The Holocaust gave the fanatical Zionists their long-sought state, which allowed them to discard any socialist pretensions and nurture the capitalist-Zionist alliance essential to the goal of world domination. The defining moment is perhaps the triumph of the neocons under Reagan in the 1980s. The Zionists had consolidated their hold on American foreign policy under Democrat Carter, and were ready to make the alliance official under Republican Reagan. It is at this point that the very term Zionist and even Jew can be discarded. As I have argued elsewhere, 'We are all Jews now.' (http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles4/Jones_Palestine.htm)
And with the Bush coup in 2000, we all (for the present at least) have become neocons (or goyim). As the opposition grows weaker, with the shield of the Holocaust at the ready, the neocon-Zionist alliance has begun to act more and more brazenly to consolidate its hold on the world and destroy the last meaningful resistance - the Islamic world.
The ultimate trump card
Not only was the Holocaust and the way to defeat it foreseen in the Protocols, but, like the anti-Semitism that gave rise to it, it has been turned into the ultimate defense of the Zionist cause. A kind of perverse win-win situation for the Zionists.
It transformed important anti-Semites into Judeophiles overnight. While Churchill was an enthusiastic reader of the Protocols before WWII, he became an enthusiastic supporter of the foundation of Israel after, and shifted his anti-Semitism onto the Arabs. Stalin, also a confirmed anti-Semite, provided the key vote at the UN to approve the foundation of Israel and supplied crucial arms via Czechoslovakia to the beleaguered state, foolishly thinking he could ultimately manipulate. Ha, ha! Finally it became the linchpin in consolidating today's neocon-Zionist alliance, and a brilliant defense for all manner of Zionist crimes: "We can do anything to defend ourselves after the Holocaust!"
The icing on the cake is the impressive Holocaust museum which blends in tastefully with the Lincoln and Washington memorials in the heart of Washington, D.C. (Note: There is no museum to the Holocaust against the native peoples or the blacks.)
A crack in the wall?
While 'Old Europe' has made some noises about this lethal NWO, the governments are nonetheless beholden to it, and can do little but try to carve a slightly bigger piece of the pie. No, the only meaningful remaining resistance to the neocon-Zionist NWO is the as yet unbrainwashed goyim of the world - the peace movement and the Islamic world, strange bedfellows at best.
However, there are some disturbing ripples in the NWO waters. Bush/ Sharon have chosen the warpath, while the Soros branch, which includes Europe, wants a more peaceful transition. The reckless policies of the erstwhile "servile administrator" in Washington are quite possibly endangering the very economic foundation of the NWO. The Protocols foresees such chaos, though it presumes to be in control of it: "We shall soon begin to establish huge monopolies, reservoirs of colossal riches, upon which even large fortunes of the GOYIM will depend to such an extent that they will go to the bottom together with the credit of the States on the day after the political smash...." (VI)
Such a collapse of the present world financial system is not at all beyond the realm of possibility. And if it comes, it could take down the US government and the neocons with it. It is here that the PROTOCOLS begins to unravel. The Protocols assumes the corporate financial cabal controlling the world economy will be invited to take over bankrupt governments with their World Government, as indeed has been happening under the guise of IMF restructuring programs and more recently by direct invasion. But the bankrupt and invaded countries, such as Argentina, most of Africa, Afghanistan, Iraq for starters are proving to be problematic, more than the cabal can digest.
Maybe, just maybe, the neocons' gamble will trip them up before they reach the finish line and they will end up along side the despised GOYIM at the bottom. A switch to a gold dinar in the Muslim world and oil-euros for the rest would seriously endanger the NWO, as would a massive ecological disaster, natural or man-made.
The mild neocons (Soros etal) see this clearly and are scurrying to minimize collateral damage. Theirs is a strategy closer to the spirit of the Protocols - no overt wars, a careful amassing of power through education and the control of the press, no dangerous splits in the capitalist-Zionist alliance, achieving victory through financial and trade blackmail. Have a look at the Protocols yourself. It's all there.
So, are these cowboy jackboot high jinks a momentary glitch in the triumphal march to the neocon-Zionist paradise? Will a Howard Dean, urged on by Soros, put the out-of-control steamroller back on its proper path? Or has the Protocols played itself out? Is our present apocalyptic scenario instead a crack that gives us hope of emerging from this nightmarish plot?
I don't know about the Elders, the Symbolic Snake, the actual killing off of the goyim, whether the line of King David will be re-established to rule the world, the importance of the Masons, or whether the French Revolution "was wholly the work of our hands". There's surprisingly little of such bile for a work of such notoriety, and it can be easily edited out so as not to distract from the sharp analysis. Perhaps it was added by an anti-Semite as a provocation. Who knows? As for the Masons, come to think of it, the popularity of them, the Yale Skull and Bones, and other such Monty-Pythonesque groups shows a stubborn inclination by would-be GOYIM leaders to voluntarily (i.e., consciously or unconsciously) make themselves part of a world conspiracy, however idiotic.
That's not so much the problem. The major flaw behind the logic of the Protocols is its basic premise - that there is a Jewish race. There is only one race - the human race. Just have a look at Israeli society if you think there is a racial basis to Judaism. But hey! Scientists are discovering that there are genes which are responsible for skin color, that define risk-takers or those susceptible to various diseases Maybe there's a gene for these would-be Elders of Zion. Perhaps the NY Times will post the following soon: The Zionist-neocons now welcome to their fold those who share their lust for capitalist world domination. All those with gene DN145, please sign up here. We are all equal before Mammon. MBA schools will go crazy.
The Masonic lodges, Skull and Bones fraternities, the Jewish 'race' itself are just foils in this march of world capitalism, gathering in like-minded wanabes as it makes its final push for total control. It is somehow fitting that the once reviled Jew should sit one day on the world's golden throne surrounded by his neocon minions. That is the Protocols' vision of the end of history. Eat your heart out Fukuyama!
Simon Jones is a Canadian freelance journalist living in Uzbekistan. He writes for Peace Magazine (Toronto) and has published pieces in Counterpunch and YellowTimes.org. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Zionist State and the Zionist State of Mind
Market Reforms in Russia
The Protocols of Zion
The Balances, Scales of Justice
Tyrus (Ancient Britain) and Tyrus (Modern Japan)
The Seventh Month
Toward a Sacred Economy
Alas, who shall live when God doeth this...Numbers 24:23.
Who shall live?...Ezekiel, chapter 18.
When the law came, I died...Elisha ben Abuyah
One hundred and fifty years ago, the corporation was a relatively insignificant entity. Today, it is a vivid, dramatic and pervasive presence in all our lives. Like the Church, the Monarchy and the Communist Party in other times and places, the corporation is todays dominant institution. But history humbles dominant institutions. All have been crushed, belittled or absorbed into some new order. The corporation is unlikely to be the first to defy history. In this complex and highly entertaining documentary, Mark Achbar, co-director of the influential and inventive MANUFACTURING CONSENT: NOAM CHOMSKY AND THE MEDIA, teams up with co-director Jennifer Abbott and writer Joel Bakan to examine the far-reaching repercussions of the corporations increasing preeminence. Based on Bakans book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power, the film is a timely, critical inquiry that invites CEOs, whistle-blowers, brokers, gurus, spies, players, pawns and pundits on a graphic and engaging quest to reveal the corporations inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures. Featuring illuminating interviews with Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Howard Zinn and many others, THE CORPORATION charts the spectacular rise of an institution aimed at achieving specific economic goals as it also recounts victories against this apparently invincible force.
THE CORPORATION: Among the 40 interview subjects are CEOs and top-level executives from a range of industries: oil, pharmaceutical, computer, tire, manufacturing, public relations, branding, advertising and undercover marketing; in addition, a Nobel-prize winning economist, the first management guru, a corporate spy, and a range of academics, critics, historians and thinkers are interviewed.
A LEGAL PERSON": In the mid-1800s the corporation emerged as a legal person. Imbued with a personality of pure self-interest, the next 100 years saw the corporations rise to dominance. The corporation created unprecedented wealth. But at what cost? The remorseless rationale of externalitiesas Milton Friedman explains: the unintended consequences of a transaction between two parties on a thirdis responsible for countless cases of illness, death, poverty, pollution, exploitation and lies.
THE PATHOLOGY OF COMMERCE: CASE HISTORIES: To more precisely assess the personality of the corporate person, a checklist is employed, using actual diagnostic criteria of the World Health Organization and the DSM-IV, the standard diagnostic tool of psychiatrists and psychologists. The operational principles of the corporation give it a highly anti-social personality: It is self-interested, inherently amoral, callous and deceitful; it breaches social and legal standards to get its way; it does not suffer from guilt, yet it can mimic the human qualities of empathy, caring and altruism. Four case studies, drawn from a universe of corporate activity, clearly demonstrate harm to workers, human health, animals and the biosphere. Concluding this point-by-point analysis, a disturbing diagnosis is delivered: the institutional embodiment of laissez-faire capitalism fully meets the diagnostic criteria of a psychopath.
MINDSET: But what is the ethical mindset of corporate players? Should the institution or the individuals within it be held responsible?
The people who work for corporations may be good people, upstanding citizens in their communitiesbut none of that matters when they enter the corporations world. As Sam Gibara, Chairman of Goodyear Tire, explains, If you really had a free hand, if you really did what you wanted to do that suited your personal thoughts and your personal priorities, youd act differently.
Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface, the worlds largest commercial carpet manufacturer, had an environmental epiphany and re-organized his $1.4 billion company on sustainable principles. His company may be a beacon of corporate hope, but is it an exception to the rule?
MONSTROUS OBLIGATIONS: A case in point: Sir Mark Moody-Stuart recounts an exchange between himself (at the time Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell), his wife and a motley crew of Earth First activists who arrived on the doorstep of their country home. The protesters chanted and stretched a banner over their roof that read, MURDERERS. The response of the surprised couple was not to call the police, but to engage their uninvited guests in a civil dialogue, share concerns about human rights and the environment and eventually serve them tea on their front lawn. Yet, as the Moody-Stuarts apologize for not being able to provide soy milk for their vegan critics tea, Shell Nigeria is flaring unrivaled amounts of gas, making it one of the world's single worst sources of pollution. And all the professed concerns about the environment do not spare Ken Saro Wiwa and eight other activists from being hanged for opposing Shell's environmental practices in the Niger Delta.
The Corporation exists to create wealth, and even world disasters can be profit centers. Carlton Brown, a commodities trader, recounts with unabashed honesty the mindset of gold traders while the twin towers crushed their occupants. The first thing that came to their minds, he tells us, was: How much is gold up?
PLANET INC.: Youd think that things like disasters, or the purity of childhood, or even milk, let alone water or air, would be sacred. But no. Corporations have no built-in limits on what, who or how much they can exploit for profit. In the fifteenth century, the enclosure movement began to put fences around public grazing lands so that they might be privately owned and exploited. Today, every molecule on the planet is up for grabs. In a bid to own it all, corporations are patenting animals, plants, even your DNA.
Around things too precious, vulnerable, sacred or important to the public interest, governments have, in the past, drawn protective boundaries against corporate exploitation. Today, governments are inviting corporations into domains from which they were previously barred.
PERCEPTION MANAGEMENT : The Initiative Corporation spends $22 billion worldwide placing its clients advertising in every imaginableand some unimaginablemedia. One new medium: very young children. Their Nag Factor study dropped jaws in the world of child psychiatry. It was designed not to help parents cope with their childrens nagging, but to help corporations design their ads and promotions so that children would nag for their products more effectively. Initiative Vice President Lucy Hughes elaborates: You can manipulate consumers into wanting, and therefore buying your products. Its a game.
Today people can become brands. And brands can build cities. And university students can pay for their educations by shilling on national television for a credit card company. And a corporation even owns the rights to the popular song Happy Birthday. Do you ever get the feeling its all a bit much? Corporations have invested billions to shape public and political opinion. When they own everything, who will stand for the public good?
THE PRICE OF WHISTLEBLOWING: It turns out that standing for the public good is an expensive proposition. Ask Jane Akre and Steve Wilson, two investigative reporters fired by Fox News after they refused to water down a story on rBGH, a synthetic hormone widely used in the United States (but banned in Europe and Canada) to rev up cows metabolism and boost their milk production. Because of the increased production, the cows suffer from mastitis, a painful infection of the udders. Antibiotics must then be injected, which find their way into the milk, and ultimately reduce peoples resistance to disease.
Fox demanded that they rewrite the story, and ultimately fired Akre and Wilson. Akre and Wilson subsequently sued Fox under Floridas whistle-blower statute. They proved to a jury that the version of the story Fox would have had them put on the air was false, distorted or slanted. Akre was awarded $425,000. Then Fox appealed, the verdict was overturned on a technicality, and Akre lost her award. [For more information on the case see www.foxbghsuit.com]
DEMOCRACY LTD.: Democracy is a value that the corporation just doesnt understand. In fact, corporations have often tried to undo democracy if it is an obstacle to their single-minded drive for profit. From a 1934 business-backed plot to install a military dictator in the White House (undone by the integrity of one U.S. Marine Corps General, Smedley Darlington Butler) to present-day law-drafting, corporations have bought military might, political muscle and public opinion.
And corporations do not hesitate to take advantage of democracys absence either. One of the most shocking stories of the twentieth century is Edwin Blacks recounting IBMs strategic alliance with Nazi Germanyone that began in 1933 in the first weeks that Hitler came to power and continued well into World War II.
FISSURES: The corporation may be trying to render governments impotent, but since the landmark WTO protest in Seattle, a rising wave of networked individuals and groups have decided to make their voices heard. Movements to challenge the very foundations of the corporation are afoot: The charter revocation movement tried to bring down oil giant Unocal; a groundbreaking ballot initiative in Arcata, California, put a corporate agenda in the public spotlight in a series of town hall meetings; in Bolivia, the population fought and won a battle against a huge transnational corporation brought in by their government to privatize the water system; in India nearly 99% of the basmati patent of RiceTek was overturned; and W. R. Grace and the U.S. governments patent on Neem was revoked.
As global individuals take back local power, a growing re-invigoration of the concept of citizenship is taking root. It has the power to not only strip the corporation of its seeming omnipotence, but to create a feeling and an ideology of democracy that is much more than its mere institutional version.
© Copyright 2003 - 2004, Big Picture Media Corporation MMIII
Book: "The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power"