This is duplicated in the comment thread on "WHY CAN'T EVERYONE AFFORD A HOME? THE GOLDEN RULE IS MISSING." It was too important not to also use as a full post.
Okay, I see you subscribed to the comment on this post. So, you received email with my reply asking whether you've read the Bible and especially the Gospels and also suggesting that you identify yourself. You haven't responded. Perhaps you haven't had time or you don't intend to answer those questions or to give your name. Perhaps you're waiting for more from me. I'll respond now even though it would be easier were I to have had the answers.
First, let me deal with a formatting issue. I don't know whether or not you composed your reply from within the comment box. It has a button so you may offset quotes via a blockquote surrounded by a border. Simply highlight the text and click the button. I can deal with quotation marks and parenthesis, but I thought I'd offer that to you.
"No one should not be able to afford a home."
(Under a completely free market system, everyone has the opportunity to better himself to the point where he could afford a home. Not everyone does so.)
Within the construct in your mind, you've built up a vocabulary that you believe you understand to some degree. Do we agree on the meaning of the term "free"? No, we don't.
Using the laissez-faire, liberal, literature as a starting point for your sake, since you might believe that laissez-faire has never been practiced on a large scale anywhere, upon what do you base your statement that "Under a completely free market system, everyone has the opportunity to better himself to the point where he could afford a home"? I'm not saying here that I necessarily believe that it is required for one to base his or her beliefs upon ground acknowledge by other human beings. I'm asking the question the way I am, because it fits within your construct.
I don't know how quick you are in following trains of thought. You may or may not have to reflect a while to make connections with any of my perspective. I don't intend this in a condescending sense. I'm stating that it isn't as easy as rolling off a log to grasp everything others mean or don't mean without having done the groundwork. There's nothing wrong with that.
You said, "better himself." What's better? What's best? Those are the questions that must be answered. What measuring rod are you applying? Are people with a home or houses or property or possessions better or is it irrelevant or even the opposite of better? Jesus had the clothes on his back. He didn't have a foxhole. Was he inferior? Have you bettered yourself above his level? Is this lost on you?
He could have had a job where he traded his labor for mammon. He could have afforded a house on your terms. He didn't do that. However, I would share all with him and do. What is it that he and I have in common that you don't share with us? Why are you the odd man out here?
Perhaps this is all lost on you. Perhaps we can't even begin to make any connections that will lead to seeing eye-to-eye on what is truly best.
"What is it to be able to afford a home? What does it say when anyone can't afford a home?"
(What does it mean-"anyone can't afford"?)
I mean when there is even one person who is homeless through no fault of his or her own or even if it is his or her fault. Such faults occur within the larger society. Each fault is a part. What does it say about humanity that any of our fellow humans is homeless? It reflects upon society. It reflects hardheartedness.
"What is the term "afford"? What system has created this concept? Is it good or evil?
Who owns the land upon which to build or have a home? Who controls the system such that others must do as they are told"
(this is very vague)
One person's vague is another's clarity. They are questions. You want specificity? Be specific concerning where you are lost — where you stop following.
"(right or wrong things to do) if they are to be allowed a place to live without others gaining at their negative expense? Who decides what work is worthy enough to merit a home?
(To merit a home, one must work and save money. Therefore to accomplish this, one must have a job. Who is to ask what work?)
Your formatting became confusing there.
So, in your opinion, Jesus didn't merit a home. However, he was doing a great job and great work. The problem was with those who were controlling. The problem was with that upon which those who forced their way into position placed value. They didn't value his job. Do you hold that that was simply the free marketplace in action? If you do, you're ignoring that the powers that be were in power via militant coercion or you agree with that kind of "might makes right."
Well, I know the libertarian capitalist position here. It's hypocritical. Your philosophy is to be the one violently protected by the state; otherwise, aside for some courts for the litigious, there isn't to be a state. If you're an anarcho-capitalist, then there isn't to be a state regardless. Of course, the concept of state hasn't been agreed upon between us. We don't agree as to its true meaning.
The real is the perfect. Do you believe that? Is there a context for you in which that's the truth?
"There are people saying that the homeless don't deserve a home"
(by "home", do you mean a place to live or a "house" owned free and clear?)
There are homes and then there are homes. I'm home right now, but I'm not home. Is that a riddle? It's not intended to be a riddle. Besides, I'm about to explain.
My home is Heaven. My home is where I am also. My home is also a rented apartment. Those things are not mutually exclusive in the relative sense. My only real home is Heaven in the absolute, divine sense.
You've introduced yourself or been introduced to the language of Ludwig von Mises. Have you introduced yourself or been introduced to the language of the revelation of Jesus Christ?
", because they aren't earning enough or aren't working hard enough, etc. What about those who are working very hard?"
("Working hard" must be accompanied by "working smart." If one is offered a chance to go to school, yet decides to drop out, then can only get a job as a dishwasher for $2.50/hr, and though he "works hard", 80 hours/week, and still can't afford a home, whose fault is it, his own or everyone else's?)
Let me speak very mundanely here. So what if he made a mistake? What were his circumstances at the time? Was he being beaten daily by his father? Was he beaten down and down and down?
That's not your problem though. You're not your brother's keeper. Besides, this kid wasn't your brother anyway. It's his tough luck. He shouldn't have been born into such a family.
Now, that's not meant as smart aleck sarcasm. I'm stating what many cold-hearted people don't think about and also what many of them feel about the plight of others. I'm not assigning all of this to you, as I don't know the depth of your heart yet (if I ever will).
Why is it a matter of either his fault alone or everyone else's? If we aren't to forgive the faults of youth, then are you prepared to relive your life without having been forgiven?
In addition, I live between two dishwashers. They are both renters. They both have homes. They could go on that way until the end of their fleshly lives if nothing happens to change their circumstances. They are not homeless.
Is your work more valuable? If so, why is it more valuable? Who is assigning that value and why? Is it better than what my neighbors are doing or is it actually more harmful in the end or for the whole?
"Why can't they "afford" a home?"
(Statist government is to blame for wrecking the economy to the point where even many relatively "rich" people cannot afford to keep their homes. And Statist governments are those that do not respect private property, eg. Collectivists, such as socialists, communists, fascists)
We do not agree on the terms. I understand how you are using them. Is Goldman Sachs "statist government"? Is Henry Paulson just working smarter? He's gotten his way to a huge degree. He was more persuasive then your position. Why is that? Who's confused about what and why?
Jesus holds everything in common with his (God and friends and spiritual family, etc). Has he no respect for private property? I'm not saying he does. I'm saying he doesn't agree with your premises and for all the reasons he's given in the Gospels.
He chased the money-changers out harming none. He loved them. He tried to get it through their thick heads. He warned them about the error of their ways.
Now, let me say that I don't hold with coercion and frankly, neither does Jesus. You might say that cleansing the Temple was coercive. This is paradoxical. Some people can reconcile it. It's all a matter of where one's heart is. To understand it, one must understand the meaning of one's home within the language of the revelation.
The problem is with taking things in isolation. The Temple was symbolic. What did it stand for? (You don't mind if I end sentences with prepositions do you?) What is stood for and stands for depends upon the semantically understanding of the individual. However, it is also some absolute.
Considering what it was within the full context of the revelation, Jesus was not being inconsistent. He was not running contrary to turning the other cheek. He was not running contrary to not resisting. He was loving his enemies. He was reaching them. He did reach many, as you are aware. There were and are many converts. Many fall away again of course. Will that continue forever?
He did not force anyone to abide by his law. All came and come voluntarily. None may stay, none even actually arrive on a certain level, who fall away. The Temple is the destination. It isn't the symbol that's the destination though anymore than the manna was the real bread.
"The answer is the greed and selfishness of those who live higher by holding others down"
(this is not possible in a free market system, only in its evil twin: Statist government-sponsored mercantilism)
I agree in a way but not for the same reason. In a real free market, everyone will know real freedom. Laissez-faire capitalism is not that. Mammon is not freedom giving or producing. It is an arbitrary invention of those who were not of the giving-and-sharing-all mentality. It is a lesser state or condition. It is lower. It is darker. It is actually dark relative to the light that is God.
Those are terms used in context, just as you consider the term you've used as being within the context promoted by von Mises, et al.
Do you have a brother? Do you have family? Do you charge them for everything? If not, why not? If you don't charge them for things, anything, why charge anyone for anything? Who started that idea and why?
Why was Jesus so extremely intelligent yet he didn't apply that to being an acquisitor in the way others did and still do — amassing excessively material goods and obtaining service for hire?
Whose way is right? Was Jesus right or wrong? Was he a mixed bag of rights and wrongs? Was he a muddleheaded idiot?
They murdered him very publicly, very conspicuously, to shut him up and to make an example of him. It didn't work, but they tried it foolishly.
You do believe that his crucifixion was murder don't you? You do believe that he was tried in a kangaroo court don't you?
"so those others will be forced, coerced, into servitude to those higher up (higher up by the twisted ethic of the selfish and greedy only)."
(This is very vague. Who are "those who live higher by holding others down", and how are they "holding others down"?)
It isn't vague to the softhearted. Look, the difference (one of them) between what you're advocating and what I'm advocating is huge. You have this vision that if everyone will live in accordance with your political-economic philosophy, all would be the best it can be. I'm offering a different vision where the best is better than your best vision.
There are certain things you thing people ought not to be doing and things they aren't doing that you think they ought to be doing. Same here, as I used to say as a kid. Your system is based upon trading while holding out for recompense. Mine is not for that. Mine is as the Apostles lived, which concept Marx appropriated and twisted with the thing that the capitalists love to hate (in others) and love wrongfully to assign to all communists and that's militancy.
I'm for voluntary communism, not Marxism. I'm not for capitalism, although I won't be violent against capitalists. Capitalists though can't say the same toward me. If voluntary communism were to spread worldwide leaving two stubborn capitalists, they'd draw up a militant-attack contract and do their damnedest to undermine a good thing for selfish reasons where the self is far apart from God as Jesus defines God.
We don't need a currency other than love. We don't need mammon. We don't need a medium of exchange. We don't need to trade. We need to give. We don't need a selfish motive where the self is the fractured soul. (Humanity has a soul.) We don't need to profit in mammon. We need to profit in love — not selfish lust as the world understands it today.
This is idealistic. So is laissez-faire capitalism in its own mind. We disagree on what is the ideal and whether or not it can be attained. Both are a mindset. Yours is limited.
"This is no way to treat fellow human beings.
There are those who complain that those who want the giving and sharing economy simply want to depend upon others"
(a "giving and sharing" system truly is a system of "dependency", yet so is every other system. Free-market economics teaches an inter-dependency among willing buyers and sellers of goods and services).
Well, congratulations to you for that. You aren't anti-interdependency. That said, there is a point at which God will provide all without human beings depending upon each other for food for the flesh.
" Well, what human being is born into this world independent such that he or she needs nothing?"
(This is the basic thought of free market economics)
" No one is born that way.
Everyone is born unable to sit up or even to rollover"
(yet eventually, most people learn and become self-reliant).
You are not self-reliant. You must qualify your term. You just said above that you depend upon others. If you are willing to use the various connotations of the concept of "self-reliant," then you should open the door to the whole language of the revelation of Jesus Christ. Why be selective and closed before attempting to comprehend?
"Everyone is born at the mercy of those who are older and have the means and ability to give that upon which each depends. When does this ever stop? It doesn't. "
(It stops when the individual learns to take care of himself. Should all humans remain dependent on others to roll them over, burp them, feed them and change their diapers forever?)
You do not grow all that you eat. You're being inconsistent. You just admitted to being dependent. Now you're making a false analogy as if what I've suggested is that everyone remain in diapers.
We are to approach God as little children though. Do you understand that?
This is one of those points in conversations with capitalists that would typically be ignored, as if not addressing it will keep others from noticing the lack of a direct response. Therefore, I'm specifically asking you to address this and to either state that you are holding with your point on this matter or accede to the point I've made.
There are in fact people who do need those things, even diapers, until their flesh expires. Yes, humanity should change then for them for free.
Look, those with gifts can hoard them, using them for self and those they selfishly choose, or they can join in my idea that we all use them to everyone's advantage.
If all the energies used to gain in mammon were applied to raising up those with the least, the whole would rise higher than others. You either see this or you don't. That's tautological, but so what? Are you given to see it, or do you think that trickledown is best? I propose to make the waters flow, not trickledown or stop and reverse as they have and do.
"Everyone, even those who are older and have been given, or have taken, the said means is still dependent upon the system and upon God's nature (natural system) God provides.
The idea that anyone stands alone on his or her own is asinine."
(This is a given, but how is it relevant to the topic?)
You don't see the relevancy? Are you under the impression that everyone is even as far along as you are concerning this basic understanding? When I wrote the post above, I wasn't writing to those who all agree on this point.
" It is the height of ego for anyone to imagine that he or she fits the idea of total independence and self-reliance."
(There are degrees of dependence: a baby is 100% dependent for he has learned nothing. An adult should be independent from such help and able to fend for himself, though he still depends on others for the necessities of life through trade).
"...through trade" you say as if that's the only way. It isn't the only way, and you know that.
"We are all family. We ought to see to it that each and every family member is cared for. We each ought to serve that cause"
(yet before one can help others, one must first help himself).
Where did you get that idea? You do not first need to help yourself before helping others. In addition, who is the self? I've said that the self is the whole with God. Jesus said that when you give a thirsty one of his a drink, you've given him a drink as well. Is that beyond your comprehension? You can drink afterwards. Someone else can bring you that drink out of the goodness in that one's heart.
Benjamin Franklin is credited with coming up with the expression that "God helps those who help themselves." Well, God helps those who help others to help yet others all as servants (the lowest, the last). Of course, you have to believe in eternity to get this right. Franklin was no Christian. He was a Deist. He wasn't a particularly admirable person. Do you know his history?
Do you think that this is a logical fallacy to be connecting Franklin's history with his statement and whether or not it's valid? Jesus said you will know people by looking at their deeds and the results of those works. It's no fallacy.
Franklin's philosophy allowed him in his mind to do the things he did, many of which were despicable but covered up for the sake of the budding empire.
I'm not judging him and condemning his soul to burn in torment forever. Some people who call themselves Christian believe in having such emotions towards others. It isn't supportable from Jesus's teachings. It's a misreading. It's why Jesus said few there be who find it (the way).
"If we all do that, not one human being will be without the whole family's best effort concerning him or her.
Is that humanism apart from God? Of course it is not. As I said, God provides the natural system in which we all exist no matter how technological we think we are."
(A system which God has given to man to do with as he sees fit).
Yes, and what is fit? Is it fitting to deprive others? Is it fitting to go into voluntary-communist communities and start surveying and handing out land titles to everyone other then the people living in the community that's already there?
No, it is not fitting. It's evil. That's how much of the mammon was generated. The system is evil. A good tree doesn't bring forth evil fruit. The system of money is inherently evil in that it comes out from spirits that are apart from God while God is the whole (health).
The system must be changed from mammon-based.
"Sure, technology can be disconnecting from the natural system. On balance, it has caused more problems than it has solved. "
(Prove it. There is overwhelming evidence that it has solved more problems than it has caused.)
What are you accepting as evidence? In coming up with the so-called evidence to which you are referring, what questions were asked? The hypotheses came out from biased and incorrect premises.
"Prove it," you say. Jesus fed the five thousand. How did it happen? He said it was on account of faith in God. Now, if you don't have that faith, you aren't going to be fed that way. Therefore, the whole thing is closed to you.
On the mundane level though, every bit of toxic pollution that technology has brought forth is a negative. The spirit that has developed technology for selfish gain is a shortsighted spirit. It's time is limited. It wants to get what it can while the getting is there. Consequently, long-term health of the planet and posterity (being selfish first and foremost) is not a high priority.
Capitalists are ripping off the tops of mountains and dumping the tailings into streams and then selling the coal for a personal profit. That coal is burned and also negatively impacts upon the environment. Now, what are you going to do? Are you going to pull out a balance sheet of a mining corporation and also tell me the wages that were paid and about the houses that had electricity, etc.? If you do, then hold that balance sheet up against the whole planet's condition before and after. Look at the trend line of the whole. Also, tell me how humanity could have handled things instead in a better way.
"Why is that? It is solely on account of the selfishness of some of those who bring forth technological innovations.
Down through the centuries, communities perfected technologies that were appropriate to the natural surroundings such that they did not result in any pollution."
(Not true. Individual entrepreneurs, not communities, have invented technologies, and through them they have been made functional for society's benefit.)
Is it your opinion that rice paddies were invented by a single entrepreneur? Rice paddies are a form of technology. Once upon a time, rice paddies were natural and organic and a community effort. Then along came capitalists. Now many rice paddies are polluted and the runoff from all the garbage sold by the "free-market traders" is suffocating the oceans. Take that example and multiply it over and over.
All invention and technology has not come out from the spirit of capitalism. Just because you say communities did not invent anything doesn't make it so. Community efforts are often the results of many different people contributing ideas to the whole. No one in such instances may lay claim to having been the sole inventor. How can you think otherwise?
"Think about that.
All human technology must be reevaluated in light of that truth. Many humans are moving in that intelligent direction. They are extremely concerned about posterity and the environment posterity will inherit and rightly so.
All the moves to consistent environmentalism are good. Anti-war is environmental. Anti-violence, greed, selfishness, and harm are all environmental. Consider it.
We need to create an environment, to bring forth, such that everyone has the highest quality existence possible "
(this can only be achieved through a free market process).
We haven't established that we agree yet on what freedom truly is. My free market is where there is no charge.
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1)
Don't you love that?
"That's the Golden Rule. Who can doubt it?"
(The Golden Rule states: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I would like others to help me, therefore I must also help others, but to do so, I must become a responsible and self-reliant person. Yet, Jesus never forced anyone to give away all they had to the poor and to follow Him. It is to be done willfully. It must be a choice. In a communist system, whether one likes to refer to it as a little "c" or a large "C" (some say tom-ah-to, some say tom-ay-to, same fruit), the system is forced, and that goes against God's Will. Private property must be respected in order to have a flourishing society. Don't confuse capitalism with mercantilism, also known as crony-capitalism. They are not the same thing. Capitalism does not involve government interference, cronyism, favoritism, etc., but mercantilism does. In a free market society (one we've never had in America), the only way to become successful is to serve the greatest amount of people. Only he who understands the needs of the consumers, and can provide the highest quality of it to the greatest number of them at the lowest price possible will be successful. This is the free market, and this is true capitalism. You seem like a well-meaning person, but you don't seem to have adequate understanding of economics. I would recommend a study in the type of economics that government frowns upon, Austrian Economics. This is true economics, which takes power away from the power-whores in government, and gives it to the people.)
You wrote that "the system is forced." You don't have the power or authority to come here and to dictate that. I have written that Jesus is a communist and that he doesn't force anyone into it. Apparently, you either can't grasp it, have never considered it, or want to prevent the word.
The Golden Rule is all the law and the prophets. It is the First and Second Great Commandments and the New Commandment all at once.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (Matthew 22:37)
This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:38)
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matthew 22:39)
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:40)
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. (John 13:34)
You wrote, "same fruit." That is wrong, as you should now see if you didn't before. Large-C Communism is the one-party dictatorship of the proletariat that ended up under the party boss/totalitarian dictator Joseph Stalin. Small-c communism is not that. Small-c communism, even in the mundane, encompasses Christianity, which is not forced. In the divine (the real), Christianity is small-c communism.
I do not confuse capitalism with mercantilism, also known as crony-capitalism. You have underestimated my knowledge of your system.
...the only way to become successful is to serve the greatest amount of people. Only he who understands the needs of the consumers, and can provide the highest quality of it to the greatest number of them at the lowest price possible will be successful. This is the free market, and this is true capitalism.
Oh, if you were to only use the terms in their fulfilled senses. Jesus spoke about buying and selling and consuming and needs and the highest and the least costly and of freedom and the market and mammon. You need to read Jesus in the light.
I've written a great on this site about the Austrian School. Ludwig von Mises was antichrist. Oh, I know the term is loaded. He was not a Christian though. He was against what Jesus calls for; otherwise, he would have called for it. He was anti Jesus (against Jesus). That's bad. That's really bad. There's no point in trying to sugarcoat it.
Mises was a disciple of mammon. He could not serve God, again, as I said, Jesus means "God."
As for the Austrian School representing the true economics, that's incorrect. Economics is about organizing the house. The Austrian School does not represent the best way or true or real way to organize the house, which is the colony of humanity mundanely inhabiting the Earth so far and under God's whole house if you can grasp that.
Jesus was a political-economist. He was better at it than was Mises.
Rather than my revisiting Mises, you should do some deep soul searching. You should turn, convert, repent, atone, and not revert. Jesus's way is the best and only way to that therefore. That's logic.
May God bless you with the truth.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)