Sunday, March 7, 2010

Readings: ECON 103, 102, 101...

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Property down the ages (and the Great Chain of Being):

The Egalitarian Economic Policy of the Great God Yahweh:

Exodus 16:15 As soon as the Israelites saw [the manna], they said to one another, 'What is that ?' not knowing what it was. 'That', Moses told them, 'is the food which Yahweh has given you to eat.
16 These are Yahweh's orders: Each of you must collect as much as he needs to eat -- a homer per head for each person in his tent.'
17 The Israelites did this. They collected it, some more, some less.
18 When they measured out what they had collected by the homer, no one who had collected more had too much, no one who had collected less had too little. Each had collected as much as he needed to eat.

The Communistic Economic Policy of the Apostolic Primitive Church:

Acts of the Apostles 4:32 The whole group of believers was united, heart and soul; no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, as everything they owned was held in common.
33 The apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus with great power, and they were all accorded great respect.
34 None of their members was ever in want, as all those who owned land or houses would sell them, and bring the money from the sale of them,
35 to present it to the apostles; it was then distributed to any who might be in need.

The Meritocratic Economic Policy of the American Christian Conservative:

In your heart you know it's mine! I earned it and I deserve it. It's mine, goddamn it! And you can't have any of it!
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4 comments:

Christopher Keesey AKA Tanbou Ogg in SL said...

Such egalitarian utopias are welcomed on a couple conditions: 1. I don't want my charity going to some moron 3000 miles away in California who borrowed too much money on a million dollar house, or some scumbag in NYC who refuses to get a job cause he's holding out for a management position. 2. I don't want my charity imposed and forced by a bunch of thieving bureaucrats who have already stolen untold taxpayer monies through their banking buddies.

I'm all for helping those in need in my community as well as those starving abroad who really need my help and legitimately have no outlet for survival.

Comparing our bloated system to egalitarian examples to ancient examples that were very locality-based is apples to oranges.

Rodak said...

Comparing our bloated system to egalitarian examples to ancient examples that were very locality-based is apples to oranges.

No argument that our system is "bloated." However, what is being compared is not the two (or three) time-separated cultures. What is being compared is our moral system to the ones in those sections of the Bible. If the teachings of the Bible are specific to era, geography, and culture, then you might as well nail your Bible to the outhouse wall and wipe your ass with the pages, because they're no good to us.

I don't want my charity going to some moron 3000 miles away in California who borrowed too much money on a million dollar house

This guy clearly has taken more than he needs. The story in Exodus goes on to say that when some of the Israelites took more than they needed, it went rancid on them and them were left with nada. So you're covered there.

The material from Acts clearly presents the goods as being owned communally and distributed by a central authority. If you don't like the rules, you leave the "church." Or you disobey. Of course we are told that Ananias was struck dead for bucking the system. I suppose there are analogies to be drawn there.

The point of my little thought-piece, though, was that if we insist on the right to take more than we need, while others have less than they need, how can we--at the same time--call ourselves "Christians" if those who were indisputably Christians did things so much differently?
I don't care if the rich hoard every nickle they earn and pinch it in their sleep. It just bugs me when they call themselves "Christians" while they're doing it.

Christopher Keesey AKA Tanbou Ogg in SL said...

Your clarification was very helpful and I am in total agreement. If Christ saw what passes for a Christian today...The real principles are lost in a sea of American entitlement.

Rodak said...

I'm glad that the clarification helped, but a little embarrassed that it was needed.