Anti-Capitalist Meetup: We Need an Economic Jesus by bigjacbigjacbigjac
First of all, I’m an adamant non-believer,
and I’m using the name of Jesus,
the concept of a savior,
as a metaphor,
a metaphor representing
the kind of idea we need,
the idea that could be the savior
of the economy,
the economy of the USA,
the economy of the world.
The enemy of humanity
is human nature,
the natural tendency
of some of us
others of us.
In order to reduce
for thousands of years,
have figured out,
and written down,
basic principles which,
if faithfully followed by most,
should reduce violence
a great deal.
Two such principles are
those of Hammurabi,
and those of the fictional Jesus.
(I’m convinced the person of Jesus
is a literary device,
used to present many points of philosophy,
with the fictional Jesus presented as simply
make the punishment fit the crime,
an eye for and eye,
a tooth for a tooth,
but no more,
exactly what is fair,
not letting either party have the upper hand.
The fictional Jesus/wisdom said,
do not demand an eye for an eye,
if someone takes from you,
freely give more,
and wish them well,
If we ask ourselves why
the gospel writers wrote such things,
maybe we can see
that if we demand exact justice,
it usually leads to escalation of the conflict,
because there may be harsh disagreement
on what is exactly fair,
what is equal to what,
in real world application,
in real world conflict.
The fictional Jesus,
is asking us to make certain
we don’t escalate the conflict.
The way the gospel writers suggested
for avoiding escalation of conflict
is to be certain to demand less,
make it a point to be the generous party,
in any conflict.
Many people do this,
and it feels good,
(which is the real reason to do it;
folks are always completely selfish;
it feels good to be the hero,
the generous one.)
to move on to the topic
of armed robbery.
Here is a link to a short article on mercantilism:
I call mercantilism armed robbery,
because it’s robbery,
taking things by force,
and the mother country in each case
had military people,
to enforce the robbery:
Here is a link to an article on Adam Smith,
and his book,
and his invisible hand:
Adam Smith is the Hammurabi of economics.
He suggested that everyone should give each other
exactly what is fair,
an eye for an eye,
a tooth for a tooth.
I don’t have extensive research,
just a general impression I get from bits and pieces,
picked up over the years.
My general impression is
in modern times,
mercantilism is in full swing,
armed robbery still dominates our economy.
I call it robbery,
because the rich get richer,
and I call it armed,
because the police,
who are armed,
side with the rich.
Let me explain the charge of robbery,
using the example of the biggest single company on Earth:
I work at a Walmart store,
and even though I have no inside knowledge of the details,
I have the impression that Walmart is cheating,
cheating in such a way that’s completely legal,
no laws broken,
but doing things that seem like cheating,
if you look at the big picture.
No inside information,
just a guess.
Think about the many suppliers,
those many companies Walmart buys goods from.
Many items in the store,
fairly good quality items,
are simply priced about 5% lower
than the same or similar item
at any other store.
Because of this,
the vast majority of working class folks
shop at Walmart.
(It also helps a lot
that most Walmart stores are open 24 hours,
while K-mart and Target
close at 10PM.)
Walmart is not robbing money from its customers,
it’s robbing customers from K-Mart and Target.
This is my guess,
and it’s only a guess,
as to how this works,
and why it’s cheating:
I’m guessing that Walmart has cut special deals,
with many of its suppliers.
They have found a way
to prevent those suppliers
from making a similar deal
with any other retailer.
There is simply no way
that any other retailer
can get the special wholesale price
that Walmart gets.
I don’t know this for a fact,
but I simply don’t understand any other way
they could have the prices
on nearly every item
so much lower than any other retailer.
Even if it’s not true,
there must be examples of someone in the system,
the capitalist system,
by way of their cheating,
practicing some kind of mercantilism,
some kind of armed robbery.
I’m certain of this because,
the only goal of capitalism is profit,
and we turn again to the words of the fictional Jesus/wisdom:
You cannot serve two masters.
you will gradually come to love one of them,
more and more,
and despise the other.
The two masters in the Bible verse are:
1. Your net worth.
2. Your family, friends, neighbors, customers, etc.
Think about it.
Capitalism demands profit,
the true capitalist,
will gradually come to love his or her net worth,
or the profits of the company,
more and more,
and all humans less and less,
eventually despising nearly everyone.
This human tendency
is the tendency to commit
We need an economic Jesus.
We need the idea,
the idea of not demanding fair trade,
to stop people from cheating,
to bring folks back from the brink of armed robbery.
embrace the idea
that we cannot serve the master of profit,
we cannot demand an eye for an eye,
we cannot demand too much work from the workers,
we cannot demand special deals from suppliers,
we cannot push for more and more money,
no matter what.
I don’t have a vision of how this would work.
I don’t naturally go from this to communism,
I simply suggest
that we look clearly at human nature,
the natural desire of some
Hammurabi took us one step away,
with fair exchange;
‘Jesus’ tells us,
to avoid escalation of conflicts,
do not demand and eye for an eye.
Adam Smith took us one step away
from armed robbery;
we need to turn to an idea,
the idea that will be our savior,
the idea that if capitalists
are allowed to act freely,
they will not conduct fair trade,
the will indulge in mercantilism,
they will indulge in armed robbery.
it’s armed robbery
because the police are on the side of the capitalists,
and the police are armed.
Thanks for reading.