Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Spiritual Value and Meaning of Money

On Sunday, July 10, 2016, Fay Voshell had an article at the American Thinker entitled Brexit Reveals the Complete Bankruptcy of the European Union. While the article spends a lot of time talking about the spiritual bankruptcy of the EU, what it really is is a call to reawaken our Christian identities both in Europe and in America. Voshell:
We Americans should be grateful that Great Britain has recovered some of its memory as a nation and has indicated she does not wish her national identity to disappear down the memory hole. We can be glad she sees herself and her people in more than economic terms or as part of a faceless bureaucratic super state.
One can even hope that she and America as well may also recover the memory of her Christian past and put it to work in visualizing a Christian framework for the nation. That effort would be heroic, largely because the effort of recovery of memory and the actualization of a vision for the future is supremely heroic work.
Today’s concerned Christians find themselves in the situation of England’s Christian community during 1938, when their country was facing the prospect of totalitarian aggression and absorption into a secularist super state determined to rule all of Europe...
Between the misleading title, and the quote above, Voshell explains the the spiritual bankruptcy of the European Union and its insane regulatory regime. The EU has misplaced the notion of equality before the law, and equality before God, and turned it instead into equality of stuff.  But of course equal stuff just means less stuff for everyone.  For even though the capitalist notion of serving others by creating new things to satisfy the public's desires, serves those who create them, it nevertheless achieves God's goals precisely because it serves others.

While Bernie Sanders may rail at 23 different choices for under arm deodorant, those choices would not be available if people didn't think we needed them and chose to buy them.   Moreover, under arm deodorant choices aren't starving America's children. This is where Marxist theory that drives the EU, and increasingly the US breaks down. The Marxist looks at the total resources available to us as a sort of pie. If you get a bigger slice, somebody else must get a smaller slice. It seems very logical...except it doesn't work that way. When somebody brings something new to the market, the pie gets bigger. The more successful a product is, the bigger the pie gets. When somebody else brings another thing to the market, the pie gets bigger still. And along the way, as a byproduct of bringing things to market, people get jobs, pay taxes, and society is enriched.

I am typing on a devise that wasn't invented yet when I was 20. For those who don't remember, everything was done with paper, pencil and ink.  Even the electronic calculator had not been invented yet.  Calculations were accomplished by slide rules, or adding machines.  If you were working on the space program, you could have some of your work done on one of the room size computers using languages such as FORTRAN, with each programs step punched on Hollerith cards.  Information that we now take for granted was available only to the rich, or to those with access to a major library because the cost of having subscriptions to all the news papers, journals, etc. was very expensive. The thing that allowed the personal computer revolution, the internet, and a host of other technologies was something called Disk Operating System, or DOS.  DOS was a system languishing unused until Bill Gates recognized its value, bought it, and founded Microsoft.  Microsoft made Bill Gates billions of dollars, but it didn't make those billions by stealing them from others,  It made billions of dollars by creating something of value that wasn't there before, in essence increasing the size of the pie.  Henry Ford did the same thing a in developing the Ford Model T and the assembly line.  Indeed, all such inventions increase the size of the pie, and enrich not only the inventor, but the workers, the financiers, indeed, everybody.  Reagan's saying that a rising tide floats all boats was more true than he was given credit for.

So what about all this suits God's purposes?  God loves us.  God is also the creator of everything that is, and everything that is not.  In other words, everything ultimately belongs to God.  God gives us the things we need for survival, and expects us to give back out of our abundance.  The greater our abundance the greater our obligation to share.  To see the truth of these statements, all you need to do is look at the relative prosperity of the Western nations as opposed to the paucity of the staples of life in the old Soviet Union.  Russia had more physical resources than the United States, but wasn't able to turn them into useful products because of the economic and political system.  Or look today at the Sharia states, and see how poor they are and how wealth Israel is in the same region, with less resources.  Oh yes, the rulers have wealth, but the people do not.

Did I say that God loves us.  Yes, but God does not love us as for example he loves the animals.  We have a greater purpose than living to eat, and eating to live.  Our very souls demand a purpose greater than ourselves.  What is that purpose?  You can only find your individual purpose in prayer and meditation.  But you will find it somehow, in some way, as helping your fellow man.  Yes, it may enrich you as well, but your true purpose, your calling, will be helping others.  Sometimes, it may mean picking up a gun, as the Sons of Liberty International have done in Iraq to help defend the Chaldean Christians from annihilation at the hands of ISIS. Or it might be something as small as moving cars from place to place so that people can rent them and conduct their business efficiently. Often it is not What you do, as you Attitude about what you do.

I must also comment that what we are now seeing in the US is not true capitalism, as outlined by Adam Smith in the   Wealth of Nations, but rather an unholy alliance of rich financiers and government conspiring to keep innovation from coming to market. It would be as if the carriage makers got together with government to squash the automobile. This cronyism is the very opposite of capitalism, and more akin to the feudal system of the middle ages.

Back to Voshell:
It is 1938 in England, Europe and in America. Britain has made the giant step toward recovering her national identity and sovereignty. It remains to be seen if the Christians within her and her cousin America will take the next step and heed Mr. Oldham’s clarion call.
Will our nations once again seek to make the Christian understanding of the meaning and end of man’s existence ascendant in national life?
With God’s help, we can.

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