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Commerce Has Been Polluted

I am a long-time advocate of free markets. Voluntary commerce is more or less the only moral way for humans to cooperate on a large scale; everything else involves coercion. And as a bonus, free markets work better than anything else.

That does not, however, mean that free markets deliver perfection, or that private businesses can’t be criminal. Private businesses can be abominable, and sometimes are. Understand this, please:

Markets are neutral structures. The only morality they have is the morality we bring to them.

What I want to talk about today are the three ways commerce has been polluted over the past century or so. Commerce has never been perfect, of course, simply because we aren’t perfect. (See that passage above once more.) But we’ve had three major pollutants over the past century, and I think they should be specified.

Pollutant #1: Mega-Government

Bureaucrats offering favors for money goes back to the very first bureaucrats, of course, but under the mega-governments of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, this trick has reached astonishing proportions.

Consider Obamacare: The legislation was written by fronts for the biggest companies in the medical and insurance businesses, who have made huge profits while most Americans are paying far more for worse coverage.

Consider also the innumerable “free trade agreements.” Actual free trade involves governments getting out of the way. Modern “free trade” means government consortia writing deals that favor their friends and donors.

The public goes along with the charade, of course, but it’s pollution all the same.

And for today I’ll overlook the immense corruption of the war industries. Eisenhower warned everyone about that back in 1961 but still pretty much no one wants to hear it.

Pollutant #2: Mega-Corps

Back in World War I, as I’ve been told by businessmen older than myself, American companies made a killing in war production. Once that wound down, however, things got painful for them, and the biggest of them decided that they had to increase demand artificially. And so the bright lights of the era decided that they needed to turn the American people into a flock of suckers, perpetually buying things they didn’t need.

Here’s the signature quote, from Paul Mazur of Lehman Brothers, writing in the Harvard Business Review of 1927:

We must shift America, from a needs to a desires culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old had been entirely consumed. We must shape a new mentality in America; man’s desires must overshadow his needs.

To put it succinctly, these corporate chieftains started using the weaknesses of their fellow men and women to extract money from them. And bear in mind that Sigmund Freud’s son-in-law, Edward Bernays, was the leading strategist for them. Here’s one of his thoughts:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society…

Understand what Mazur, Bernays et al, did: They waged a purposeful campaign to take advantage of human weaknesses. That, obviously, is also a pollution of commerce.

It would be illuminating to know what percentage of American spending is more or less needless. I’ve yet to see a good study, but I’d guess that it’s in the range of 20 or 30 percent. That’s an abomination. Commerce should bless the world, not drain it dry with status symbols, excess for the sake of excess, and empty trinkets.

Pollutant #3: Surveillance Capitalism

A lot of people don’t want to hear this, but it’s true all the same: Facebook, Google and the rest have used the oldest scam in the book – “Look little boy, I have free candy in the car” – to suck them dry.

These companies are malicious, vampire parasites. And if I had stronger words to use that didn’t involve profanity, I’d use them. They are stealing the essence of people’s lives (I could almost say stealing their souls) and are now bringing in hundreds of billions of dollars per year from it.

Many people still don’t want to see it – they’d have to admit their past errors, and they haven’t the guts for that – and so they’ll be manipulated all their lives. They’ll buy whatever beer the pretty, televised people are drinking, vote for candidate A or B, soak in the stories their manipulators give them, and walk toward the grave with “all of their thoughts mis-given,” as Led Zeppelin used to sing.

What To Do?

We all know what has to be done, but I’ll specify it anyway:

  • Stop accepting anything that’s “free.” Just don’t.

  • Treat status markers as signs of weakness and desperation, because that’s what they are.

  • Stop treating government as necessary until it proves itself so, empirically.

  • Aggressively do not buy anything thrust at you.

Commerce is essential to us. It’s time to clean it up.

And if you don’t think anything you do will matter, start building afresh in the crypto economy. Most everything matters there.


If you want a deeper understanding of these issues, see:

FMP issue #59
FMP issue #80
The New Age of Intelligence

Paul Rosenberg


Men Are Idolaters

“Men,” wrote Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., “are idolaters, and want something to look at and kiss and hug, or throw themselves down before; they always did, they always will; and if you don’t make it of wood, you must make it of words.”

Idolatry is a frame of mind. We’ve all experienced it, though we haven’t been clear on what it was. But once you do recognize it, you’ll be at least half immunized against it, and probably for life.


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The Kingdom of God PART 4: The Teachings

Continuing from the Part 3.

As you’ll see, this new model is something Jesus came back to incessantly. I find 19 instances in the gospels (not counting duplicates), and the fact that I could assemble that many is highly significant. Set in a modern book format, the four gospels contain less than 40 pages of unique material, and most of that is narration.

So, to have 19 passages devoted to a single concept is really quite extraordinary. Here they are((Matt. 7:12, 12:37, 6:12, 6:14, Matt. 18, John 8, Matt. 5:7, Matt. 5:6, Mark 7:6, Matt. 5:20, Luke 11:52, Matt. 11:28, Mark 3, Matt. 25, Luke 12:57, Matt. 25.)):

  • Whatever you would have men do unto you, do so to them.

  • With whatever judgment you judge, you shall be judged.

  • By your words you will be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.

  • Forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.

  • If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

  • The servant who was forgiven but refused to forgive others.

  • He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.

  • The merciful receive mercy.

  • Those who value righteous receive righteousness.

  • Their heart is far from me. They worship in vain, teaching the commandments of men.

  • Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom.

  • Woe unto you, teachers of the law… you have taken away the key of knowledge.

  • Come to me, all of you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest… you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Memorization, obedience, fear and guilt are heavy burdens.)

  • In Mark chapter 3 we see Jesus, who was known for healing people, encountering a man with a withered hand. Since this happened on a sabbath, when the law forbade all work, the rule-minded people watched to see whether Jesus would heal him. Here’s what happened:

  • Jesus is asked to heal on the sabbath, and is “grieved at the hardness of heart,” of those who objected, preferring the old “memorize and obey” model.

  • In the story of the three men given talents, they were each judged according to their own judgments. The man who did not use his talent lost it.

  • Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? (Judgment from self-reference.)

  • For I was hungry, and you gave me food: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in. (Whatever you would have men do unto you, do so to them.)

  • What man of you, if he has one sheep and it falls into a pit on the sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out?… therefore it is not wrong to do good on the sabbath. (Compassion overrides the old model.)

The implications of this new model are immense and even frightening((I explain in my subscription letter, FMP #44.)), but the model is ever so clear. Aside from a few stray comments about “give an offering as a testimony to them,” Jesus never endorses the old model and very heavily outlines and endorses this new model.

We are free to pass this by, of course, but it sits there all the same.

If This Is Correct

If this model of the kingdom of God is correct or even significant, it is something that stands ready to empower elevated instincts and morals in us.

Under the rules model, we degrade ourselves every time we “do the right thing,” since obedience subdues our own will and processes. Under the new model, we set our will and processes as generators of righteousness, creating a virtuous cycle.

It may be understandable for us to feel this is a step too far, but that is a result of our unfortunate surroundings and nothing more. Sadly, it’s not terribly different from the ghetto child who thinks all the world is like his or her little slice of barbarity. But if we lift up our eyes and allow ourselves to step into the operations of the heavens, our lives fill with magic and wonder.

I’ll close with a few words from Thomas Jefferson. This is the closest statement I’ve ever seen to the material we covered here. This passage is from a letter he wrote to Benjamin Rush in April of 1803:

The precepts of philosophy, and of the Hebrew code, laid hold of actions only. Jesus pushed his into the heart of man; erected his tribunal in the region of his thoughts, and purified the waters at the fountain head.

Paul Rosenberg


Fear, Shame And Intimidation Are Chemical Weapons

Imagine that some combination of circumstances end with you walking into a so-so bar, then accidentally causing some gigantic brute to spill his drink. Imagine also that this brute just learned that his girlfriend moved out, taking his bank account with her.

The brute, towering over you, clenches his fists and start spewing horrifying threats. Your knees go weak, you can barely think or move… you try to back up but do it so clumsily that you’re grasping the edge of the bar to prevent yourself from falling.

The brute hasn’t touched you, but you’ve already been seriously impacted. This happened because of well-known and well-studied chemicals. So, then, was fear not a type of chemical weapon? (It was, in fact, the bully’s first blow.)

Yes, the chemicals in question were generated by your own body, but they are chemicals just the same, and the actions of the brute were the cause of their release.

Fear, then, is clearly a chemical weapon. So are intimidation and shame. As are their cousins, guilt, blame, and probably a few others, depending upon how we write our definitions.

Robert Sapolsky studied the chemicals involved (he studied baboons, but their body chemistry and ours is nearly the same), finding that these “chemical weapons” resulted in more stress, higher blood pressure, a suppressed immune system, and reduced fertility. We must, then, consider these very potent weapons.

Consider these three cases, please:

  • Solomon Asch found that about 37% of people were willing to say something they knew to be untrue if they saw other people saying so first. (Fearing their shame.) 75% would go along at least some of the time.

  • Stanley Milgram found that 65% of people would obey an authority figure (an imposer of shame) and deliver electric shocks to another person, even to levels that would be fatal.

  • Philip Zimbardo found that placing people into polarized groups (ramping up their subjection to intimidation) voided their personal ethics.

Our Unfortunate Biology

For both better and worse, we have a biological history. On one hand, that biological history has kept our species present and thriving, and so our complaints, however legitimate, are mitigated. On the other hand, however, our hormones, after who knows how many generations, have been trained to respond to things like authority and group identity. As a result they can release some very unpleasant and harmful chemicals into our bodies at certain times… times that the manipulators of mankind have learned to use.

Our hormonal responses are not indelible, nor are they necessarily overwhelming, but they do have their effects… and poisonous effects. By triggering fear, shame or intimidation (and the boundaries between all these can be fuzzy), our hormones are triggered as well. And these hormones do more than just spur some of our thoughts and actions, they directly damage our health.

And, by the way, people display higher IQs and do far better in executive control tests when they are feeling less rather than more intimidated.

Western Guilt

We Westerners are especially susceptible to some of these influences because of our cultural traditions((Bear in mind, please, that this is not a slam on Western civilization. As I’ve noted before and will note again, Western civilization has been the most humane and forward-moving civilization in recorded history. That notwithstanding, it has its gaps and weaknesses, as have all human civilizations.)). The particular characteristics of this culture leave it vulnerable to guilt. As a result, we’ve developed political classes that are devoted to finding fault, assigning blame, and then offering paths to absolution that suit their selfish goals.

In other words, our civilization has been attacked with the chemical weapons of intimidation and shame, purposely and very effectively.

Blame, of course, is a method of assigning shame. Political types, especially – and very definitely authority types – thrive upon assigning shame. It has worked for them, time after time after time.

Nonetheless, our hormones, however long trained, can be managed. Prize fighters, football players and other repeated participants in violent activities learn how to manage those chemical attacks.

And so, we who are subjected to endless chemical attacks both large and small (even ads that make you feel insufficient qualify)… we are also able to manage our responses.

We must train ourselves to not respond to guilt.

We can consider facts, then repair and improve our actions if they are truly harmful, but merely feeling these weaponized chemicals is not to be taken as any sort of verdict. It may, in fact, be a hijacking of our internal chemistry, by and for professional abusers.

In point of fact, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent every year, precisely to take advantage of our biological history. And so I say again, we must train ourselves not to be moved by those chemical weapons… and particularly not to respond to guilt. 


If you want a deeper understanding of these issues, see:

          FMP issue #38

          FMP issue #100

          Parallel Society #2

          The Breaking Dawn

Paul Rosenberg


The Kingdom of God PART 3: The New Model

Continuing from the Part 2.

But if this was the good news – if what Jesus did was to open up a way to live as they do in the higher realms – then we’d expect to see some teachings on this subject.

And we have just that, in that Jesus explained, many times, how this process would work((We covered this in other Discourses, so I won’t go repeat everything here.)):

The seed will be sown in many people, but will grow in those that correspond to “good ground.”

The seed will start as a very small thing, but will grow into a very large thing.

It will be a progressive, organic process.

More than this, Jesus was very clear that he was instituting something new and radically different. In the 9th chapter of Matthew, teachers of the law complain to him that his students weren’t behaving in approved ways. He responded by saying this:

No man sews a piece of new (unshrunken) cloth into an old garment, because that new cloth will pull away from the garment, and the tear will be made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old wine-skins, or else the skins will burst, the wine will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined. Men put new wine into new wine-skins, and both are preserved.

There’s not a lot of distance between that and, “I’m teaching an entirely new model.”

So, Jesus clearly laid a foundation for this new way to live by describing how those who did what he said would experience this in their lives. And that might have been enough. “Here’s what will happen to you, and it will get you to your goal” is all that was really needed. Still, if I were present at the time, I certainly would have wanted more detail. And, as it happens, Jesus did give them more.

The New Model

While it has gone almost entirely unnoticed, Jesus introduced a new model of judging right and wrong. It’s been sitting openly in the pages of the gospels for a long, long time.

The old method is something we all reflexively assume these days. It was also the model Jesus faced directly in the Law of Moses. As we know, it works like this:

  • A set of rules are defined and ascribed to some higher power: A god, a king, wise men, the will of the people, etc.

  • People are punished if they do not obey the rules.

  • To establish themselves as “good,” people show that they haven’t broken any of the rules.

The fundamental concept of this model is that we must measure ourselves against an external standard. This seems very normal to those of us who’ve been raised this way, but rules operate on a different model than the human mind.

The rule model requires us to memorize data that we didn’t produce and may not understand. And we’re not good at that. Humans are great at recognizing patterns but bad at memorizing data. For us to remember things, we have to consider them meaningful in some way.

To state it plainly, the old model demotes our minds. It places our consciousness beneath the rule, subservient to it. The fascinating thing about Jesus’ new model is that it makes the opposite structural assumption and places human consciousness in the top position, not in the subservient position.

Jesus placed human consciousness and its natural operations as the essential component, moving past the rules model.

The new model that Jesus taught works like this:

  • A person knows what they like and don’t like.

  • By doing things to others that they would not like themselves, they condemn their own actions.

  • By doing things to others what they would like themselves, they justify their actions.

This is the Golden Rule model, and we do see it in the world, but mostly in private or at the fringes. Jesus, however, placed it as the only and ultimate model and tossed the old model away.

(Available now on Kindle)


The Fallacy of The Diversified Portfolio

Given the current state of affairs in the investment markets – particularly that fundamentals have long ceased mattering and tweets move the markets instead – I think a frank discussion is called for.

It’s an article of faith amongst financial planners that one must diversify his or her portfolio; that their investments must be spread across several economic sectors: transportations, utilities, growth stocks, emerging markets, and so on. And, of course, there’s a certain reasonableness to it: Those market segments go up and down at differing times (or at least used to), and no one knows enough to pick precise winners and losers. And so, spreading the money out means that you’re less likely to be wiped out by a surprise move.

The problem is that this type of diversification, while fine so far as it goes, misses the proverbial elephant in the room. And that elephant is capable of rendering diversification moot… as in blowing through it like tissue paper.

And so I think this is important to point out. A lot of decent people are relying upon “diversification” to protect their retirement money. And maybe it will. Or, maybe it won’t.

The Core Issues

The deep problem is that people don’t question diversification because “everyone does it,” and “authority says so.” Those are just about the most dangerous phrases known to the human race. The emotional hook is that you’re insulated from blame by staying with the crowd. If you do something different, on the other hand, any error you make can be exploited against you forever. Needless to say, none of this makes for particularly good choices.

But, let’s get right to the point.

Diversified assets – the aforementioned asset classes – are not really diversified. Yes, you may own so much utility stock, so much in foreign bonds and so on, but all those assets are held in a single pot, controlled by others.

That is, 100% of the assets of the typical retiree are held on Wall Street. And they’re all in government registered accounts. Unless you specifically choose to jump through inconvenient hoops, you don’t precisely own the shares of stock you paid for; your broker owns them for you. That’s a complicated generalization, of course (these things are always complicated), but it’s also generally true.

So, your portfolio is diversified so fas as it goes, but it all sits in a single pot, controlled by the lords of Wall Street and their partners at government agencies.

The typical response to this is, “So what? They’ll never take our money!”

The purpose of that statement, however, is to drive away an unpleasant concept. Or, perhaps, to appeal to the gods. Of course governments seize assets, they do it all the time.

FDR seized nearly all the gold in America. He had to wait until everyone was really scared, of course, but he stole the gold, “compensated” its owners at a terrible exchange rate (which he raised once the payments were made), and did it all with impunity.

The bosses of Cyprus shut down all the banks in their country and seized a good portion of the money in all the country’s bank accounts, the government of Ireland swiped €6.5 billion from their National Pensions Reserve Fund, the French parliament took €36 billion from a reserve pension fund, Hungary took $13.5 billion from retirement accounts, Poland took one-third of future contributions to individual retirement accounts.

The IMF has produced papers proudly suggesting “financial repression” to fix economic problems. And back in August 2010, the US Departments of Labor and the Treasury held joint hearings, deciding how best they could take control of all assets in IRAs and 401(k) accounts.

So, yes, they can, and they do, and they keep blueprints for doing so in the future. That means that diversification is valid only until the next time the pot-holders to dig their hands into your assets. 

What Is To Be Done?

Understand, please, I don’t have any perfect solution to sell you. What I’d like is for people to understand that diversification, applied to the usual portfolio, can and will be rendered void when the lords of finance decide it should be. And at that time there will be very little you can do about it.

Those of you who are concerned about such thing can figure out what is best for you. And note, it will always be less convenient than walking the prescribed path. The smooth, easy and wide path is nearly always one that was built for your fleecing.

We all know the alternatives: Bitcoin, cash, gold, real property, investments in local businesses, and so on. These are alternative market segments, and using them creates an actual diversified portfolio.

So, do what you think is best, but be clear on the fact that all your “diversified” investments are held in the same pot, and that pot is under someone else’s control. When things get serious, the people who control that pot will use it as they see fit, not as you see fit.

Maybe that won’t happen for another decade or two. Maybe it will happen next year. Seeing the future is difficult. But seeing the fact that all your money rests in someone else’s hands isn’t too hard.


If you want a deeper understanding of these issues, see:

          FMP issue #7

          Parallel Society #4

          The Breaking Dawn


The Kingdom of God PART 2: The Good News

Continuing from the Part 1.

The very first thing Jesus says in our earliest gospel is that he has wonderful news, that “the kingdom of God” has arrived. Jesus chose these words with intent. Nowadays people hear them and think “Yeah, yeah, Bible stuff.” Even when they hear “good news” they still think of “Bible stuff.” But Jesus really wanted to communicate how awesome this news was.

I prefer to render the passage like this:

The time is has arrived and the kingdom of God has come to you. Shift your consciousness and take in this good news.

The kingdom of God, then – whether by my rendering, the King James Version or any literal translation –  is something good that was present while Jesus was speaking. That is, by 30 AD or so. “The time is at hand” has a specific meaning after all.

Bear in mind that Jesus may have created this phrase. It never appears in the Hebrew Bible and I’ve yet to find it used prior to Jesus. Now, before we examine what Jesus meant by this, let’s clear out some of the underbrush:

  • If Jesus had wanted this phrase to mean something like “the end of the world and a thousand year reign with Christ,” he could have used “the end of days.” People would have understood that, coming as it does from the apocalyptic book of Daniel… a book that pretty much every religious person of his place and time knew.

  • If he had meant that he was now the agent of the great King of the universe and would be ruling on His behalf, he could also have used any number of royal or imperial terms. Those would have been immediately understood as well.

  • If Jesus had meant, “the great change or break in history,” he wouldn’t have taught (tirelessly) that this kingdom of God would be sown into the world, and that it would grow slowly, as do grains and herbs.

One serious problem with traditional interpretations of this phrase is that they require the passage to come as part of a complete system. Many people, and many ministers in particular, have an emotional need for everything to fit into some sort, any sort, of big picture. And that, as it used to be said, is to put the cart before the horse.

To interpret this as “related to the kingship of God,” or anything else is to shove this phrase into a pre-existing larger picture. And that’s just bad interpretation. This phrase does not have to fit into someone else’s doctrinal model. What matters is what Jesus meant by it, not what religions about Jesus have to say about it.

And so we return to Jesus and begin by considering what Jesus may have meant by the kingdom of God.

After a moment’s consideration it seems obvious that he would not have taken the kingdoms of either Judah or Israel as models for this phrase. Both, after all, are arrangements that God specifically warned against((1 Samuel, chapter 8.)). As they were proposed, he orders Samuel to warn the people that it will have dire consequences for them. And once the people demanded a king anyway, God tells Samuel “they have not rejected you, they have rejected me.” This, then, would not have been a set of images that Jesus would promote.

The early years in Canaan couldn’t really be a reference either, not having been a kingdom at all. It was, rather, a tribal anarchy.

If Jesus was referencing an Earthly arrangement of any type it would have to be the time of Eden, or at least no later than the time of Noah. And there are two passages that mention “the way” in the early portions of Genesis. One notes “the way of the tree of life” and the other “God’s way upon Earth.” Those, whether Jesus had them in mind or not, would at least fit.

It is of some interest that the word Kingdom (basileia in the Greek) doesn’t mean a physical kingdom, but rather “the right to rule.” And we could, without too much stretching, see it as “a model of living.” That, combined with the point above, would have Jesus meaning something like “the way of life in the Garden,” but I don’t think we can make that case terribly well. The possibility, however, remains.

Another important part of this discussion is that Matthew purposely changes “God” to “heaven.” The author of this gospel knew all too well that Mark used God exclusively (he copied the Mark gospel almost entirely, after all), but he chooses to change it to heaven for some reason.

The most common explanation is that since Matthew was writing to the Jews, he didn’t want to offend them by using the name of God in anything but the most solemn possible way. That idea, however, falls apart right away. The “name of God” that Jews refused to write is not the one translated as “God,” but the one translated as “Lord.((God is Elohim. Lord is YHWH, often rendered Yahweh or Jehovah.))” And Matthew seems to have felt no compunction about using Lord; he uses it more than 70 times.

To understand this, we must start by looking at the word itself. And the Hebrew word – the one used in the Old Testament((The presumption in the sacred name argument is that Matthew originally wrote his gospel in Hebrew. No one today knows whether or not this is true, but with that possibility in mind – also that Jesus would have known the Hebrew term – I’m beginning my examination of this word with the Hebrew.)) – was shâmayim, and it meant the sky. By implication in some uses it meant the heavens, the realm of the stars. The Greek word from the New Testament is ouranos, and it has almost precisely the same meaning.

These words did not mean “God’s paradise.” No matter how ubiquitous that usage may be in the modern world, it is simply not what the scriptures mean.

The only other possibility I can find for Matthew using this word in this way is that a few writings from the time of the Maccabees use heaven as a euphemism for God. But since Matthew uses “God” more than 50 other times, that goes out the window as well.

My conclusion is that the author of Matthew used heaven (more properly “the heavens,” though not all translators agree) because he thought “heaven” or “the heavens” was truer to the original meaning.

To understand this phrase, then, we must combine these things:

  • The combined meaning of God and heaven, which gives us something like “the higher realm,” “the highest realm,” or “the realm of God.”

  • The meaning of kingdom. We can leave it as “kingdom,” of course, but since the Hebrew Bible rather rules out the typical meaning (1 Samuel 8 puts all earthly kingdoms in a bad light), we’re left with “the way of,” and we go back to the examples of Genesis 3 and 6.

  • We need to integrate this with the fact that Jesus described it as good news.

All told, we’re left with the kingdom of God meaning something like, “the way of the higher realm.” That matches the meanings of the words, and it would very definitely be good news. So then, we might render the Mark 1:15 passage this way:

The time is has arrived and the way of the higher realm has come to you. Shift your consciousness and absorb this good news.

This, of course, combines very nicely with the “advanced man” model of Jesus we’ve used in other discourses. It paints a complete picture, including the quality of the statement, that it was great news.

(Available now on Kindle)


Without Apology

It’s up to us to improve the world. If obediently waiting for someone or something else could work, the dominating structures of the world would have improved long, long ago. But they haven’t, leaving the job to us.

To do this, however, we must first change the way we look at ourselves and experience ourselves.


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The Kingdom of God PART 1: Introduction

I wasn’t planning on posting another of my discourses publicly, but the more I’ve considered it, the more I thought that at least one more was important.

Christianity and Western civilization have been together since their beginnings, almost as siblings, and no civilization in the history of our world has been better for mankind than this one, based on Judeo-Christian ethics. Nothing else has been remotely close. To simply let that civilization pass would border on the suicidal, and I will do what I can to prevent such a thing.

This, sadly enough, is where millions of people go irrationally bi-polar. They’ve been trained to find fault, reflexively and persistently. Huge swaths of the political class get and retain power by criticizing; without things to complain about, they would have no jobs. Others go in the opposite direction, reflexively defending the doctrinal Christianity they see as the only alternative to the culture of complaint.

As I explained in FMP #90, the obsession with deconstructing Western ways took form in the later Enlightenment and has damaged a great deal ever since. And it has very certainly deconstructed Christianity, to the point where the religion has lost adherents generation after generation.

Bear in mind, please, that Western civilization is not, and never was, perfect. It has always had flaws. The reasonable and honest thing to do, then, is to repair its flaws. What the political and academic classes have done, however, is to chop at the civilization, not to improve it((With exceptions, of course. I’m writing in generalities.)). A longish discussion would be required to explain this in more depth, but most of the parties doing this sought to wrest legitimacy from its previous holders, turning it into power for themselves.

As a result of this, the accumulated flaws of Christianity have been exposed and attacked. However uncharitably and even deceptively this has been done, the flaws were real. Centuries of perceived association with the divine corrupted Christian hierarchies, just as power corrupts all such structures.

And so Christianity has arrived at a crisis: The doctrines holding its hierarchies together are being pulled apart intellectually and Christian families are quietly walking away from them. Yes, there are exceptions and complications to all of this, but it’s also the way things are. And beneath it all, the doctrines that are being pulled apart have little or nothing to do with Jesus. They are based, in the main, on later ideas about Jesus; ideas so long taught that people assume they must have come from him.

Western civilization is also at something of a crisis point: The anti-Western teachings of the past few generations – taught by the ever-complaining classes – have beaten the better influences of Christianity out of the broader culture, replacing them with shallow psychology at best.

In the end, what has been extracted from the people of the West is cultural confidence.  Most westerners believe they are part of a monstrous civilization that has stomped on the rest of the world((Notably, they mistake the acts of states for the acts of the civilization. States, however, are not the civilization; they merely reap from it.)), while the converse is more true.

Western civilization is far from perfect simply because humanity is far from perfect. You can find fault with every culture and every civilization; that’s trivially easy. What’s far more important is to improve a civilization. Such work, of course, is among the least attractive to those seeking power.

And so I’m posting this discourse on the kingdom of God to help reset Christianity on Jesus himself, not on the surplus and power-serving structures that have been built in his name((Judaism, Christianity’s older cousin, needs mainly to be left alone.)).

(Available now on Kindle)