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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,
and,
potentially,
the economy of the world.

Below the squiggly:

The enemy of humanity
is human nature,
the natural tendency
of some of us
to rape,
rob,
torture,
and kill
others of us.

In order to reduce
the occurrences
of rape,
torture,
and killing,
many people,
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
wisdom,
personified.

"Jesus said,"
means
"Wisdom says.")

So,
Hammurabi said,
make the punishment fit the crime,
an eye for and eye,
a tooth for a tooth,
no less,
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,
but rather,
if someone takes from you,
freely give more,
and wish them well,
to boot.

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,
I surmise,
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.)

Now,
to move on to the topic
of armed robbery.

Here is a link to a short article on mercantilism:

http://www.landandfreedom.org/...

I call mercantilism armed robbery,
because it's robbery,
taking things by force,
and the mother country in each case
had military people,
with weapons,
to enforce the robbery:
armed robbery.

Here is a link to an article on Adam Smith,
and his book,
and his invisible hand:

http://www.fairfightfilm.org/...

Adam Smith is the Hammurabi of economics.

He suggested that everyone should give each other
exactly what is fair,
no more,
no less,
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
that now,
in modern times,
mercantilism is in full swing,
armed robbery still dominates our economy.

Once again,
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:
Walmart.

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.)

Notice,
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,
special agreements,
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.

Once again,
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,
cheating,
and,
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.

With time,
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,
so,
the capitalist,
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
armed robbery.

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.

We must,
somehow,
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,
or anarchism.

I simply suggest
that we look clearly at human nature,
the natural desire of some
to rob,
rape,
torture,
and kill.

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.

And,
remember,
it's armed robbery
because the police are on the side of the capitalists,
and the police are armed.

Thanks for reading.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A beautiful diary bigjacbigjacbigjac (6+ / 0-)

    our resident poet (whom I will now call bigjac cubed here as I call him that in private messages here; as much as I like typing, and I do, the probability of typos rises and he deserves better than that!).

    This is such a beautiful diary, I've added morality and ethics to the tags as you make a lovely moral argument. I also want to wish you a happy birthday and tell you how thrilled I am that you have shared your day with us!

    I think you make a good argument. Honestly, we do need an Economic Jesus in the way you describe it in your piece, we also need those that subscribe to those principles to maintain them and constantly remember what it is that they are trying to do. I was reminded of Gandhi comment of an eye for an eye makes us all blind. We need to learn to care for others rather than always think of and do only for ourselves. An essential point that we must remember every day.

    I do not know if we are essentially individualistic and nasty by nature; I hope against hope that we are socially conditioned to be that way and that we are either by nature neutral or benign, but societies make us believe that rape and robbery is normal on a societal level (we know it is wrong on an individual level, but on the level of society, this is always justified by those that rule us and we learn to believe them).

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:20:24 PM PDT

  •  Anti-capitalist Meetup diary Schedule (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, bigjacbigjacbigjac

    August 26th: Geminijen
    September 2nd: Le Gauchiste
    September 9th: Le Gauchiste
    September 16th:
    September 23th:
    September 30th:

    Hello fellow travellers! Wondering if we can get any volunteers for the dates in September or perhaps October or November. We really need people to contribute to the group both in terms of posts as well as comments. If you feel inclined to write something or have an idea for a piece, please write to ny brit expat, justina, tpau, or geminijen or leave a message here. Thanks! Remember that our little series is put together across left-wing political lines from social democrats, marxists of various positions and anarchists of various positions.

    We are also cross-posting: this diary can be found at Voices on the Square

    "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

    by NY brit expat on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:43:36 PM PDT

  •  Thank You For Writing, Bigjac "Cubed" (3+ / 0-)

    But I think that rather praying for an "economic Jesus" to save us, we have to do the hard work of establishing a new economic system ourselves.  By ourselves, I mean the 99%.

    Working at Walmart has obviously given you an intimate understanding of how capitalism works and how it exploits everyone who comes in contact with it, its workers, its suppliers and its community.  

    That knowledge gives you all you need to begin envisioning a new economic system which meets the needs and aspirations of the whole community, not just the 0.01% of wealthy CEO's and owners.  Why not start your own "re-design" of the economy, maybe involve others in your work place or neighborhood in the project.  See what type of society and economic system you come up with, it is almost guaranteed to be a whole lot better than the capitalist one!

    (And don't worry so much about bad human nature getting in the way of a new society.  Rape and robbery does happen, but it is pretty rare in communities which are working together for positive change, they tend to look out for each other.)

    Convict Bush, Cheney and their torture cabal. Support universal health care,unions, WikiLeaks and Occupy Wall Street! Time for a totally new, democratic economic system. Turn the corporations into worker cooperatives!

    by Justina on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:49:32 PM PDT

    •  Agreed Justina, we cannot wait for (2+ / 0-)

      a Jesus, we need to create a new world ourselves for the majority ... this is a world that not only is one with new economics, politics and social relations, but one that recognises the central importance of our planet to us, the people that live here!

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 04:10:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, having identified a need ... (3+ / 0-)

      ... the next step is to work to meet that need.

      Of course, the author or authors of the Wisdom Books that provided the parables, which were later surrounded by narrative by the later authors of the Gospels, they were likely also working to address a need, and not simply "praying" for someone to come along and fix things.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 05:54:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pretty writing (2+ / 0-)

    full of truths.

    Happy Birthday, too jac!

  •  There have been (5+ / 0-)

    a lot of economic Jesuses (Jesi?) in the US.  But since the ruling class could not figure out how to corrupt their followers into "pie in the sky and sweet bye and bye", they've been beaten, butchered, and pushed down the memory hole.  From the Haymarket martyrs to the womens garment workers and beyond, US economic history is filled with prophets and saviors. The problem is: they can't do it alone.  They need a movement backing them to turn the whole thing upside down.  So far, that hasn't happened.  

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 04:18:54 PM PDT

  •  Ayn Rand might be the economic Mary Magdalene /nt (0+ / 0-)

    Don't roof rack me bro', Now the brown's comin' down; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 04:28:00 PM PDT

    •  From my tiny understanding from reading the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bigjacbigjacbigjac

      Christian bible when on vacation with my parents (they snored, I didn't sleep much), Mary Magdalene was not someone who advocated the importance of the individual over the society and who would view people helping each other as weak. She was a prostitute saved by Jesus proving that victims of society were as important as the powerful. Ayn Rand advocates sociopathic behaviour. So, once again I don't get the joke. Admittedly, I was raised Jewish and my knowledge of Christian "history" is not strong, and clearly my sense of humour is simply awful, but this went right passed me. sigh ...

      "Hegel noticed somewhere that all great world history facts and people so to speak twice occur. He forgot to add: the one time as tragedy, the other time as farce" Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte .

      by NY brit expat on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 08:09:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  well, we need a savior (3+ / 0-)

    in the form of a political/economic/spiritual inventor

    but i absolutely do not think humans are naturally screwed up.

    i'm sure we have some flaws and aberations.   but the kind of cut throat system we have now would have forced us to die out long ago.

    i don't need to hope that is true: there is evidence and I see it.

    unfortunately I also see the very worse and it literally sends me in existential crisis.

    Donate to Occupy Wall Street here: http://nycga.cc/donate/

    by BlueDragon on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 09:31:43 PM PDT

  •  Beautifully written (3+ / 0-)

    birthday present from you to us.
    I didn't feel that you were asking for a financial saviour as much as for a universally held system of financial belief, a golden rule of finance as it were.
    Thanks for posting.

    "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

    by northsylvania on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 01:21:57 AM PDT

  •  cheers (2+ / 0-)

    it's heartening to us lefties to read your words, bigjac

    the most human humans are the ones who realize that our individual survival requires others, and concomitantly, that our survival is most assured when others are as well off as we are

    the presumptive nominee of the owners' party is not able to project any attribute that endears him to the masses

    he'll get the votes of racists, the insane, and the fools among the rich

    but if the 99% will vote this time and forever after, we'll have a velvet revolution as a result

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