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February 15, 2010

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david beasley

Doug, zero answered. She is there except she gives no existing country or peoples as worthy models. For instance is the African Dogan society a worthy socio economic political model?

Doug,
do you consider any nations worthy of being called exemplary as being a "good" model socio-political state.

Doug

With respect to society and cooperation, that is an "economy," even if we don't define it in terms of finances and such. Economics is in reality the study of human action and interaction, so it is sociological in many ways. I think zero assumes too much about those societies and too little about our society that it is based upon a "get ahead at others' expense" mentality.

As far as any nations being exemplary, as a Christian it is not my concern whether or not a particular group of people defined politically or geographically are "exemplary." My concern is that the people of God—followers of Jesus—are exemplary in the way that cooperate, interact, and serve one another and those around them. It ought to be irrelevant to the Christian whether or not America is a "Christian nation" or that we can point to an "exemplary nation" as a "role model." By definition, governments are a monopoly on the use of legal force, and are inherently violent agencies. That doesn't necessarily negate the place of governance, but it goes to show the fallen nature of man-made solutions. It is incumbent upon the Christian to form groups and associations/fellowships/gatherings that demonstrate the kingdom Jesus came to establish. It is not our duty to recreate, redesign, or otherwise "tweak" the systems of this world to suit our tastes.

Most of you reading my comments must think I don't believe all the things Jesus said, or that the practices in Acts are worth following, or that "social justice" is not truly the task of the believer. I agree with almost all of your comments and desires for society; there is probably very little that I disagree with in principle. But my basic assumption is that people are not here to be told how to live, but are free to live as they please without harming others. Jesus never asked his followers to drag others behind us, but to ask them to follow him as we are. Paul never advocated getting involved in politics so that society runs in our preferred manner. Respect for individual choices is implicit in Jesus' call to "follow me," else it wouldn't be an invitation but a demand.

There are several books that I know of (and others that I don't know of, I'm sure) that are essays on a non-coercive society that thrives on cooperation rather than "step on others." I've already noted those, and another, if you google it, is "Society Without Coercion."

zero

if cooperation and helping one another over getting ahead and having more than someone else and stepping over others to get that, then that's an "economy" i can support.

david beasley

The Amish, The Mennonites and the Bruderhof Communities are other candidates for study. They are Christian. Even though they exist within USA America they have a defined economic within there socio-political system which governs their everyday life and their relationships within and without their communities. The Buddhist communities such as the Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dali Lama in exile communities are also candidates for study as to "how their particular economics work so that they exist as a coherent cohesive community different from the mainstream". OR maybe I am off target and only in yet incoherent another pipedream about folk who are not idealists in romantic notions of escapism BUT in a reality of socio-political economic based on something other than wealth of the individual and competition as a basis for economics.

david beasley

Of course Christians such as I communicated with... or tried to communicate with.. at Asbury Theological Seminary brought much negativity towards "other Christian communities such as I listed above and certainly Buddhists" as fallible in many ways and not worth looking into as folk on a just and right journey towards living as good and right folk would desire to live for themselves and others.

david beasley

For instance when I suggested considering communities with pacifist doctrine of no violence as a core motivation for socio-politcal and necessarily economic values for living as community I was immediately slandered, a buddhist (for one instance) which I am not a buddhist. I am a follower of Christ Jesus. Interesting reaction for Christians "living and teaching and preaching in a love paradigm with Jesus".

david beasley

Here's pretty horrible outlook for the future.

Op-Ed Columnist: The Fat Lady Has Sung (Queued). New York Times by Thomas L. Friedman | Feb. 21, 2010 (Opinion) .... Recommendation. 3.6. Credibility. 3.9. # Reviews ...
newstrust.net/sources/new_york_times

zero

unfortunately, people are fallible. there's always someone(s), even in cooperative societies, who want to be above the rest. genes? who knows. it's the role of all to maintain helping the cooperative society to exist. leaders have to chosen (or removed) based on how well they marshall everyone toward the cooperative tenants. this is easier to accomplish within smaller groups as opposed to large nations, obviously. it could still happen if people had the right perspective and the right hearts. even though most say they follow christ, they don't really mean it when it comes to what they want and how they get it. this is where compartmentalism comes in handy. and that's in full force here in this country.

david beasley

An African once told me leadership in his tribe back home was pretty easy: "The chief's head belongs to the people." Gulp! Well even at that it does not hold water if the chief and not the people controls the warriors. Impeachment should be a mo'real word in Washington and with the populace.

Doug

Zero, your last two comments are probably very aligned with my thinking about concentration of power and the importance of thwarting corruption. I'm surprised you're not for more free market protections so that people are inherently required to cooperate rather than take advantage of each other through government force and collusion.

david beasley

Well,
my economy is off to the back yard to build another bee hive for my new queen in April with showers awaiting may flowers' pollen and nectur, repaint the chicken coop, repot the bonsai as they are now showing signs of flower buds (a deleriously beautiful Chinese quince is the first to bloom in my collection) and leaf buds. The vegitable garden needs much work and the deep swath of a winding trench path I carved through the retaining wall (shaped out the portal with a 8 pound sledge hammer)then 4 foot deep trench maddock and shovel... needs stones to keep it from washing out more with all this rain we are now having due to climate change. The bees of 2009 produced less honey all over America because of abundant rain which keeps them inside. If things go well maybe I can rent a stall to sell pecans, sweet potato pies, fig preserves, herbs, Iris bulbs, loaves of home baked bread, eggs, little wooden biblical figures in oak, walnut and poplar and beeswax product and honey at the Greenwood Farmers Market in late Spring or 2010 Fall. Well if I am able, God is willing and the lower back 40 yards don't flood again. Guess I am hogging to much this Chuck's space. Bye.

zeri

hog away, david. your personal economy sounds lovely with the garden and the bees. it's very satisfying work.

"Zero, your last two comments are probably very aligned with my thinking about concentration of power and the importance of thwarting corruption. I'm surprised you're not for more free market protections so that people are inherently required to cooperate rather than take advantage of each other through government force and collusion."

i am distrustful of the free market because those whose goal is profit don't restrain themselves to behave ethically, morally or responsibility toward others. as the current crisis has demonstrated, without regulation and oversight all is not well. a "free" market would be "free" of regulation and that would not be good. look what we got with a "regulated" market.

Doug

Zero, the "current crisis" has not demonstrated that whatsoever. If anything, it has demonstrated that more government command over the economy is harmful. And even the most rabid libertarian would never agree that a free market means free from regulation. that is an imposition you insist upon that is neither defended nor supported by those who desire and defend the a free market. "Free" does not imply no regulation, nor does it imply no rules. It implies nobody is above another, and everybody's own freedom limits that of others to aggress or harm them.

Since you are distrustful of those who "seek profit," does that mean that you shop at places who don't profit from their sales? Do you always pay the highest price for everything, or do you seek to save money (and thus profiting yourself) by purchasing things at a sale price? You said you don't buy a ton of "new stuff" (and I likewise), but why? Aren't you seeking personal gain by not purchasing new items from people who have produced them? If we all by used, wouldn't we lose many jobs because nobody would be producing any "new things"? Is that not harmful to others? (I am playing devil's advocate here, as I don't buy into Keynesian economic theory.)

zero

doug, you make a person feel as though they have fallen through the looking glass when reading your stuff.

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