Tag Archives: Capitalism

It’ s not me. It’s the monster

Globalization and neoliberalism. They’ve become the explanations du jour for the decimation of industries and the devastation of lives, for falling wages and slashed public spending. And there is, of course, truth to the claim. But capitalism was chewing up and spitting out its victims long before the market was globalised or liberalism became neo’d.

One of the great novels of the Great Depression, of the wretchedness of poverty in 1930s America, was written half a century before those words were invented. John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.  It tells the story of one family, the Joads, tenant farmers from Oklahoma, who are forced off their land by the banks, pushed into migrating to the promised land of California, and the even greater wretchedness they find in their Utopia. It is a story of the pitilessness of capitalism, the dignity of work, the horrors of migration, the disintegration of a family. It is in turns angry and tender, polemical and poetic, allegorical and melodramatic. Steinbeck does not ignore the history of the land and how it was acquired (‘Grampa took up the land, and he had to kill the Indians and drive them away’), but he unquestioningly stands with the farmers in their bewilderments and in their battles. There are times, especially in the second half of the book, where the anger seems to overwhelm the writing. But, given the subject, and given what Steinbeck set out to do – to ‘rip a reader’s nerves to rags ‘, as he himself put it – that is, perhaps, both inevitable and necessary.

– Kenan Malik

This is an extract from Chapter 5, that tells of how those responsible for evicting the farmers justified their actions. ‘We have to do it. We don’t like to do it. But the monster’s sick. Something’s happened to the monster’. A passage and a book that feels as meaningful and vital today as it did when first published almost a century ago.


From The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck,
Chapter 5

John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath

The owners of the land came onto the land, or more often a spokesman for the owners came. They came in closed cars, and they felt the dry earth with their fingers, and sometimes they drove big earth augers into the ground for soil tests. The tenants, from their sun-beaten dooryards, watched uneasily when the closed cars drove along the fields. And at last the owner men drove into the dooryards and sat in their cars to talk out of the windows. The tenant men stood beside the cars for a while, and then squatted on their hams and found sticks with which to mark the dust.

In the open doors the women stood looking out, and behind them the children – corn-headed children, with wide eyes, one bare foot on top of the other bare foot, and the toes working. The women and the children watched their men talking to the owner men. They were silent.

Some of the owner men were kind because they hated what they had to do, and some of them were angry because they hated to be cruel, and some of them were cold because they had long ago found that one could not be an owner unless one were cold. And all of them were caught in something larger than themselves. Some of them hated the mathematics that drove them, and some were afraid, and some worshiped the mathematics because it provided a refuge from thought and from feeling. If a bank or a finance company owned the land, the owner man said, The Bank – or the Company – needs – wants – insists – must have – as though the Bank or the Company were a monster, with thought and feeling, which had ensnared them. These last would take no responsibility for the banks or the companies because they were men and slaves, while the banks were machines and masters all at the same time. Some of the owner men were a little proud to be slaves to such cold and powerful masters. The owner men sat in the cars and explained. You know the land is poor. You’ve scrabbled at it long enough, God knows.

The squatting tenant men nodded and wondered and drew figures in the dust, and yes, they knew, God knows. If the dust only wouldn’t fly. If the top would only stay on the soil, it might not be so bad.

The owner men went on leading to their point: You know the land’s getting poorer. You know what cotton does to the land; robs it, sucks all the blood out of it.

The squatters nodded – they knew, God knew. If they could only rotate the crops they might pump blood back into the land.

Well, it’s too late. And the owner men explained the workings and the thinkings of the monster that was stronger than they were. A man can hold land if he can just eat and pay taxes; he can do that.

Yes, he can do that until his crops fail one day and he has to borrow money from the bank.

But – you see, a bank or a company can’t do that, because those creatures don’t breathe air, don’t eat side-meat. They breathe profits; they eat the interest on money. If they don’t get it, they die the way you die without air, without side-meat. It is a sad thing, but it is so. It is just so.

Alexandre Hogue The Crucified Land

The squatting men raised their eyes to understand. Can’t we just hang on? Maybe the next year will be a good year. God knows how much cotton next year. And with all the wars – God knows what price cotton will bring. Don’t they make explosives out of cotton? And uniforms? Get enough wars and cotton’ll hit the ceiling. Next year, maybe. They looked up questioningly.

We can’t depend on it. The bank – the monster has to have profits all the time. It can’t wait. It’ll die. No, taxes go on. When the monster stops growing, it dies. It can’t stay one size.

Soft fingers began to tap the sill of the car window, and hard fingers tightened on the restless drawing sticks. In the doorways of the sun-beaten tenant houses, women sighed and then shifted feet so that the one that had been down was now on top, and the toes working. Dogs came sniffing near the owner cars and wetted on all four tires one after another. And chickens lay in the sunny dust and fluffed their feathers to get the cleansing dust down to the skin. In the little sties the pigs grunted inquiringly over the muddy remnants of the slops.

The squatting men looked down again. What do you want us to do? We can’t take less share of the crop – we’re half starved now. The kids are hungry all the time. We got no clothes, torn an’ ragged. If all the neighbors weren’t the same, we’d be ashamed to go to meeting.

And at last the owner men came to the point. The tenant system won’t work any more. One man on a tractor can take the place of twelve or fourteen families. Pay him a wage and take all the crop. We have to do it. We don’t like to do it. But the monster’s sick. Something’s happened to the monster.

But you’ll kill the land with cotton.

We know. We’ve got to take cotton quick before the land dies. Then we’ll sell the land. Lots of families in the East would like to own a piece of land.

The tenant men looked up alarmed. But what’ll happen to us? How’ll we eat?

You’ll have to get off the land. The plows’ll go through the dooryard.

Clyfford Styll Gleaners

And now the squatting men stood up angrily. Grampa took up the land, and he had to kill the Indians and drive them away. And Pa was born here, and he killed weeds and snakes. Then a bad year came and he had to borrow a little money. An’ we was born here. There in the door – our children born here. And Pa had to borrow money. The bank owned the land then, but we stayed and we got a little bit of what we raised.

We know that – all that. It’s not us, it’s the bank. A bank isn’t like a man. Or an owner with fifty thousand acres, he isn’t like a man either. That’s the monster.

Sure, cried the tenant men, but it’s our land. We measured it and broke it up. We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died on it. Even if it’s no good, it’s still ours. That’s what makes it ours – being born on it, working it, dying on it. That makes ownership, not a paper with numbers on it.

We’re sorry. It’s not us. It’s the monster. The bank isn’t like a man.

Yes, but the bank is only made of men.

No, you’re wrong there – quite wrong there. The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It’s the monster. Men made it, but they can’t control it.

The tenants cried, Grampa killed Indians, Pa killed snakes for the land. Maybe we can kill banks – they’re worse than Indians and snakes. Maybe we got to fight to keep our land, like Pa and Grampa did.

And now the owner men grew angry. You’ll have to go.

But it’s ours, the tenant men cried. We –

No. The bank, the monster owns it. You’ll have to go.

We’ll get our guns, like Grampa when the Indians came. What then?

Well – first the sheriff, and then the troops. You’ll be stealing if you try to stay, you’ll be murderers if you kill to stay. The monster isn’t men, but it can make men do what it wants.

But if we go, where’ll we go? How’ll we go? We got no money.

We’re sorry, said the owner men. The bank, the fifty-thousand-acre owner can’t be responsible. You’re on land that isn’t yours. Once over the line maybe you can pick cotton in the fall. Maybe you can go on relief. Why don’t you go on west to California? There’s work there, and it never gets cold. Why, you can reach out anywhere and pick an orange. Why, there’s always some kind of crop to work in. Why don’t you go there? And the owner men started their cars and rolled away.

James Edward Allen Praying for Rain

The tenant men squatted down on their hams again to mark the dust with a stick, to figure, to wonder. Their sunburned faces were dark, and their sun-whipped eyes were light. The women moved cautiously out of the doorways toward their men, and the children crept behind the women, cautiously, ready to run. The bigger boys squatted beside their fathers, because that made them men. After a time the women asked, What did he want?

And the men looked up for a second, and the smolder of pain was in their eyes. We got to get off. A tractor and a superintendent. Like factories.

Where’ll we go? the women asked.

We don’t know. We don’t know.

And the women went quickly, quietly back into the houses and herded the children ahead of them. They knew that a man so hurt and so perplexed may turn in anger, even on people he loves. They left the men alone to figure and to wonder in the dust.

After a time perhaps the tenant man looked about – at the pump put in ten years ago, with a goose-neck handle and iron flowers on the spout, at the chopping block where a thousand chickens had been killed, at the hand plow lying in the shed, and the patent crib hanging in the rafters over it.

The children crowded about the women in the houses. What we going to do, Ma? Where we going to go?

The women said, We don’t know, yet. Go out and play. But don’t go near your father. He might whale you if you go near him. And the women went on with the work, but all the time they watched the men squatting in the dust – perplexed and figuring.

Georgia O'Keeffe Bones and Red Hills

The tractors came over the roads and into the fields, great crawlers moving like insects, having the incredible strength of insects. They crawled over the ground, laying the track and rolling on it and picking it up. Diesel tractors, puttering while they stood idle; they thundered when they moved, and then settled down to a droning roar.

Snubnosed monsters, raising the dust and sticking their snouts into it, straight down the country, across the country, through fences, through dooryards, in and out of gullies in straight lines. They did not run on the ground, but on their own roadbeds. They ignored hills and gulches, water courses, fences, houses.

The man sitting in the iron seat did not look like a man; gloved, goggled, rubber dust mask over nose and mouth, he was a part of the monster, a robot in the seat. The thunder of the cylinders sounded through the country, became one with the air and the earth, so that earth and air muttered in sympathetic vibration. The driver could not control it – straight across country it went, cutting through a dozen farms and straight back. A twitch at the controls could swerve the cat’, but the driver’s hands could not twitch because the monster that built the tractors, the monster that sent the tractor out, had somehow got into the driver’s hands, into his brain and muscle, had goggled him and muzzled him – goggled his mind, muzzled his speech, goggled his perception, muzzled his protest. He could not see the land as it was, he could not smell the land as it smelled; his feet did not stamp the clods or feel the warmth and power of the earth. He sat in an iron seat and stepped on iron pedals. He could not cheer or beat or curse or encourage the extension of his power, and because of this he could not cheer or whip or curse or encourage himself. He did not know or own or trust or beseech the land. If a seed dropped did not germinate, it was nothing. If the young thrusting plant withered in drought or drowned in a flood of rain, it was no more to the driver than to the tractor.

He loved the land no more than the bank loved the land. He could admire the tractor – its machined surfaces, its surge of power, the roar of its detonating cylinders; but it was not his tractor. Behind the tractor rolled the shining disks, cutting the earth with blades – not plowing but surgery, pushing the cut earth to the right where the second row of disks cut it and pushed it to the left; slicing blades shining, polished by the cut earth. And pulled behind the disks, the harrows combing with iron teeth so that the little clods broke up and the earth lay smooth. Behind the harrows, the long seeders – twelve curved iron penes erected in the foundry, orgasms set by gears, raping methodically, raping without passion. The driver sat in his iron seat and he was proud of the straight lines he did not will, proud of the tractor he did not own or love, proud of the power he could not control. And when that crop grew, and was harvested, no man had crumbled a hot clod in his fingers and let the earth sift past his fingertips. No man had touched the seed, or lusted for the growth. Men ate what they had not raised, had no connection with the bread. The land bore under iron, and under iron gradually died; for it was not loved or hated, it had no prayers or curses.

At noon the tractor driver stopped sometimes near a tenant house and opened his lunch: sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper, white bread, pickle, cheese, Spam, a piece of pie branded like an engine part. He ate without relish. And tenants not yet moved away came out to see him, looked curiously while the goggles were taken off, and the rubber dust mask, leaving white circles around the eyes and a large white circle around nose and mouth. The exhaust of the tractor puttered on, for fuel is so cheap it is more efficient to leave the engine running than to heat the Diesel nose for a new start. Curious children crowded close, ragged children who ate their fried dough as they watched. They watched hungrily the unwrapping of the sandwiches, and their hunger- sharpened noses smelled the pickle, cheese, and Spam. They didn’t speak to the driver. They watched his hand as it carried food to his mouth. They did not watch him chewing; their eyes followed the hand that held the sandwich. After a while the tenant who could not leave the place came out and squatted in the shade beside the tractor.

Mervin Jules Dispossessed

‘Why, you’re Joe Davis’s boy!’

‘Sure’, the driver said.

‘Well, what you doing this kind of work for – against your own people?’

‘Three dollars a day. I got damn sick of creeping for my dinner – and not getting it. I got a wife and kids. We got to eat. Three dollars a day, and it comes every day.’

‘That’s right,’ the tenant said. ‘But for your three dollars a day fifteen or twenty families can’t eat at all. Nearly a hundred people have to go out and wander on the roads for your three dollars a day. Is that right?’

And the driver said, ‘Can’t think of that. Got to think of my own kids. Three dollars a day, and it comes every day. Times are changing, mister, don’t you know? Can’t make a living on the land unless you’ve got two, five, ten thousand acres and a tractor. Crop land isn’t for little guys like us any more. You don’t kick up a howl because you can’t make Fords, or because you’re not the telephone company. Well, crops are like that now. Nothing to do about it. You try to get three dollars a day someplace. That’s the only way.’

The tenant pondered. ‘Funny thing how it is. If a man owns a little property, that property is him, it’s part of him, and it’s like him. If he owns property only so he can walk on it and handle it and be sad when it isn’t doing well, and feel fine when the rain falls on it, that property is him, and some way he’s bigger because he owns it. Even if he isn’t successful he’s big with his property. That is so.’

And the tenant pondered more. ‘But let a man get property he doesn’t see, or can’t take time to get his fingers in, or can’t be there to walk on it – why, then the property is the man. He can’t do what he wants, he can’t think what he wants. The property is the man, stronger than he is. And he is small, not big. Only his possessions are big—and he’s the servant of his property. That is so, too.’

The driver munched the branded pie and threw the crust away. ‘Times are changed, don’t you know? Thinking about stuff like that don’t feed the kids. Get your three dollars a day, feed your kids. You got no call to worry about anybody’s kids but your own. You get a reputation for talking like that, and you’ll never get three dollars a day. Big shots won’t give you three dollars a day if you worry about anything but your three dollars a day.’

‘Nearly a hundred people on the road for your three dollars. Where will we go?’

‘And that reminds me’, the driver said, ‘you better get out soon. I’m going through the dooryard after dinner.’

‘You filled in the well this morning.’

‘I know. Had to keep the line straight. But I’m going through the dooryard after dinner. Got to keep the lines straight. And – well, you know Joe Davis, my old man, so I’ll tell you this. I got orders wherever there’s a family not moved out – if I have an accident – you know, get too close and cave the house in a little – well, I might get a couple of dollars. And my youngest kid never had no shoes yet.’

Clare Leighton Bread Line

‘I built it with my hands. Straightened old nails to put the sheathing on. Rafters are wired to the stringers with baling wire. It’s mine. I built it. You bump it down—I’ll be in the window with a rifle. You even come too close and I’ll pot you like a rabbit.’

‘It’s not me. There’s nothing I can do. I’ll lose my job if I don’t do it. And look – suppose you kill me? They’ll just hang you, but long before you’re hung there’ll be another guy on the tractor, and he’ll bump the house down. You’re not killing the right guy.’

‘That’s so’, the tenant said. ‘Who gave you orders? I’ll go after him. He’s the one to kill.’

‘You’re wrong. He got his orders from the bank. The bank told him, ‘Clear those people out or it’s your job.’

‘Well, there’s a president of the bank. There’s a board of directors. I’ll fill up the magazine of the rifle and go into the bank.’

The driver said, ‘Fellow was telling me the bank gets orders from the East. The orders were, ‘Make the land show profit or we’ll close you up.’‘

‘But where does it stop? Who can we shoot? I don’t aim to starve to death before I kill the man that’s starving me.’

‘I don’t know. Maybe there’s nobody to shoot. Maybe the thing isn’t men at all. Maybe like you said, the property’s doing it. Anyway I told you my orders.’

‘I got to figure’, the tenant said. ‘We all got to figure. There’s some way to stop this. It’s not like lightning or earthquakes. We’ve got a bad thing made by men, and by God that’s something we can change.’ The tenant sat in his doorway, and the driver thundered his engine and started off, tracks falling and curving, harrows combing, and the phalli of the seeder slipping into the ground. Across the dooryard the tractor cut, and the hard, foot-beaten ground was seeded field, and the tractor cut through again; the uncut space was ten feet wide. And back he came. The iron guard bit into the house-corner, crumbled the wall, and wrenched the little house from its foundation so that it fell sideways, crushed like a bug. And the driver was goggled and a rubber mask covered his nose and mouth. The tractor cut a straight line on, and the air and the ground vibrated with its thunder. The tenant man stared after it, his rifle in his hand. His wife was beside him, and the quiet children behind. And all of them stared after the tractor.

The images are all paintings and etchings from, and of, the Great Depression in America. They are from top down, Maynard Dixon, ‘Shapes of Fear’ (1930-32); Alexandre Hogue, ‘The Crucified Land’ (1939); Clyfford Still, ‘Gleaners’ (1936);  James Allen Lane, ‘Prayer for Rain’ (1938); Georgia O’Keefe, ‘Red Hills and Bones’ (1941); Mervin Jules, ‘Dispossessed’ (1938); Clare Leighton, ‘Bread Line’, (1932).

The image of The Grapes of Wrath is of the first edition in 1939.

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Francis Fukuyama and ‘The End of History?’

image from BloggingHeads.tv podcast

American political scientist, political economist, and author Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama in 2015

The American writer and political theorist Francis Fukuyama wrote

“Human beings never existed in a pre-­social state. The idea that human beings at one time existed as isolated individuals is not correct.”

In his seminal 1989 essay ‘The End of History?’ he also wrote

‘What we may be witnessing is the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.’

Fukuyama trying to convey silent messages through stories about the evolution of democratic societies he continued

‘With the fall of the Soviet Union the struggle for recognition, the willingness to risk one’s life for a purely abstract goal, the worldwide ideological struggle that called forth daring, courage, imagination, and idealism will be replaced by economic calculation, the endless solving of technical problems, environmental concerns, and the satisfaction of sophisticated consumer demands.’

The End of History and the Last Man.jpg

The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay “The End of History?”, published in the international affairs journal The National Interest.

Fukuyama did not suggest that the end of history meant the end of wars or conflicts, but rather that capitalism and Western-style liberal democracy were the culmination of human political development and would not, and could not, be transcended. He beliefs that the triumph of liberal democracy at the end of the Cold War marked the last ideological stage in the progression of human history. The initial political challenge having to escape beyond tribalism and the “tyranny of cousins”.

For Fukuyama, tribal organisation responds to structural imperatives in social evolution but also blocks the path to further development. The early account of the origins of state-like forms relies heavily on Lawrence Keeley’s military-focused argument in War Before Civilisation (1996) and does not consider the evidence assembled by Keith Otterbein in How War Began (2004): that warfare greatly declined in importance following the hunting to extinction of the larger mammals. Keeley himself grants that early settlement cultures, such as the Natufian,

“furnish no indication of warfare at all”. {Robin BlackburnThe Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama}

We can see that in the West the majority prefers a capitalist system and in several industrialised countries people are a lot afraid of what smells social or communist. Fukuyama thinks that all states are going to adopt a form of capitalist liberal democracy. It was an argument contested from almost the moment he finished writing his essay.
The rise of Islamism, the unleashing of ethnic conflicts, the challenge posed by China – a myriad developments, his critics suggested, questioned the presumption of an end of history.

Donald Trump’s Presidential victory was one of the signs how politicians would easily be able to lure people in false ideas, by their words. The last few years we have seen a seemingly unstoppable rise of populist forces throughout Europe.

Many will probably see how in the quarter of a century since Fukuyama wrote his essay, politics, particularly in the West, has indeed shifted away from ‘ideological struggle’ towards

‘the endless solving of technical problems’.

The broad ideological divides that characterized politics for much of the past two hundred years have been eroded. Politics has become less about competing visions of the kinds of society people want than a debate about how best to manage the existing political system, a question more of technocratic management rather than of social transformation.

What might more come to an end is the believe of people in political systems and in politicians. Lots of people are convinced that politicians are not listening to them and are mostly just working for themselves and trying to get the best paid job.
The majority of politicians have lost connection with the ordinary people who want to feel as if they are justly recognised and that their voice can be heard. The last few years they feel more they are mocked at, nobody taking their voice seriously. Politicians should come to know that this desire to experience both personal and collective recognition is inescapable to the modern human condition.

Liberal democratic states that Fukuyama so vigorously defended in “The End of History” have not responded well to the challenges of pluralism.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, few believed in an alternative to capitalism, not seeing that the Soviet Union was not really the best representative of communism, because it had more dictators than real communist leaders. Communist parties crumbled, while social democratic parties remade themselves, cutting ties to their traditional working class constituencies while reorienting themselves as technocratic parties. Trade unions weakened and social justice campaigns eroded.

It seemed that not only in Europe social movements and political organizations eroded,  and the far-right movements gained space. Local people wanted to become recognised and wanted to look upon social change through the lens of their own cultures, identities, goals and ideals.

Many sections of the working class have found themselves politically voiceless at the very time their lives have become more precarious, as jobs have declined, public services savaged, austerity imposed, and inequality risen. Many also came to see all those immigrants as a danger for their own position, their jobs and income as well as being afraid of loosing their culture.

Having their world coming to an end.

Lots of people in charge of the working of society did not see the discontent many their votes expressed.

Prominent alt-rightists were instrumental in organising the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017. Here, rally participants carry Confederate battle flags, Gadsden flags and a Nazi flag.

In Europe and America, people have become disaffected with the old order and felt more attraction for those who promised heaven on earth and for them “a great nation” again. Many of the opposition movements that give voice to that disaffection of the labourers, are shaped not by progressive ideals but by sectarian politics, and rooted in religious or ethnic identity. The Islamist AKP in Turkey or the Hindu nationalist BJP in India are the equivalents of the Front National in France or the alt right, far-right, white supremacist, white nationalist, white separatist, anti-immigration and antisemitic movement in America and Europe.

Those growing right-wing and far- or extreme-right-wing groups should make us aware of the severity of the present political situation. We are witnessing a globally disinformation movement which is creating more hatred and racism as well setting up people against others for wrong reasons.

The current tumult is the result of struggles for recognition that remain unshaped by progressive movements, of ideological struggles in a post-ideological world.

Demand for recognition of one’s identity is a master concept that unifies much of what is going on in world politics today. In his new book: Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment Francis Fukuyama looks at the new layers of meaning of the voters or citizen’s identity.

Fukuyama believes that the focus on self separates people from their communities. The demand for identity cannot be transcended and therefore people must begin to shape identity in a way that supports rather than undermines democracy.
When coming to know the self one can not ignore the connection with religious feelings. One aspect of wisdom is recognizing your need for The One Being outside man.

Christianity succeeds in diminishing family ties when the Church takes a strong stand against practices which enhanced the power of lineages such as cousin marriage, divorce, adoption and marriage to the widows of dead relatives. The looser family pattern favoured by the practices of Latin Christianity have the effect of channelling assets to the Church itself (eg through widows’ bequests). Fukuyama further urges that “contrary to Marx, capitalism was the consequence rather than the cause of a change in social relationships”. Yet he soon acknowledges that

“the most convincing argument for the shift has been given by the social anthropologist Jack Goody“,

an authority whose work could be seen as a distinctive fruit of Cambridge Marxism. {Robin BlackburnThe Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama}

Fukuyama has the idea that the individualistic sense of identity comes to the fore during periods of modernisation in which people fled from rural areas into the cities and were confronted with a mass of different dialects or languages, religions and cultures and were aware of a sense of the difference between where they were and where they are now. Today in some way many people seem to be lost or are so much afraid of such confrontation they do hope their politicians can solve that problem of difference between the inhabitants of their villages, cities and countries.

Fukuyama notes the ways in which questions of identity politics have come to be regarded as synonymous with the right. Donald Trump supporters are animated around the removal of Confederate statues and the president’s lack of defence to political correctness is a significant mobilising force on the right.

Intimidation and efforts to control people have become the present day norm for many politicians, who gain a lot of popularity because many fall for their lies. That virus threatening democracy has not only infected the United States but also the European Union. As such we may see that identity politics has become the political form of cultural fragmentation of these days, and is corrosive of some features of an effective democracy – social cohesion, talking with strangers and working across the aisle.

According to me the politicians do have to give an identity to the people again and have to show them that we all have more in common with each other than what divides us.

It is a “we” who are the same, and not a “we” who are strangers dwelling together despite our differences. {Jeff RichIdentity Crisis – some theses on identity politics}

The End of the End of History?

History shall continue and show how man tries to find different political solutions and ways to govern a country. Man shall have to find a way to make it that by the globalisation more and more people would be going to see the richness of a multicultural society, instead of fearing it.

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Read also

  1. Our political systems and juggling with human laws
  2. Declaration of war against Islam and Christianity
  3. Declining commitment to democracy : What’s going on around the world ?
  4. Collision course of socialist and capitalist worlds
  5. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  6. The Free Market (and all that) did not bring down the Berlin Wall
  7. Common Goods, people and the Market
  8. Pushing people in a corner danger for indoctrination and loss of democratic values
  9. Populism endangering democracy
  10. An European alliance or a populist alliance
  11. British Parliament hostage its citizens for even more months
  12. American social perception, classes and fear mongering
  13. United in an open society relying not on command and control but on freedom
  14. Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey

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Further related

  1. The Origins of Political Order: From Pre-Human Times to the French Revolution, By Francis Fukuyama
  2. What Do We Mean When We Say Something Is Political? — Recommended Readings
  3. The Sisyphean Task at the Core of Identity Politics
  4. Fukuyama has a new book on identity
  5. Little Theories
  6. The Decline of Liberalism
  7. Identity
  8. Identity Crisis – some theses on identity politics
  9. We’re in This Together Now 
  10. Two Books by Francis Fukuyama
  11. What Fukuyama got right.
  12. From ‘End Of History’ To ‘End Of Democracy’ – Why Fukuyama Now Likes China
  13. “Echoing Margaret Thatcher’s dictum that ‘there is no alternative’ …
  14. Social Psychology and Religious Behavior
  15. Francis Fukuyama and technology
  16. Eurasianism: The Struggle For The Multi-Polar World

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Filed under Being and Feeling, History, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Modern Slavery

Too many people close their eyes for products which are so cheap they could not be produced under normal conditions. But there are also companies which do not mind to sell their products at a very high price, but had them made in cheap labour countries.

In this capitalist system there is too much slavery going on and not enough people reacting against it.
The capitalist system has made many working people into slaves of a company, and more and more workers have to work for less income, whilst a a minor group of happy few can make themselves very rich by (mis)using all those ‘poor folks’.

Lots of multi-billion dollar companies which make money from our hard work even do not have to pay taxes whilst the workers have to pay a lot of taxes and can only dream of having a better world.

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To remember

Slavery =  practice or system of owning slaves” + evolved to be a part of social norms.

slavery to a job, slavery to society, female domestic slavery, child slavery, slavery to live, slavery to abide by law, slavery to family and many many more.

live in a society > merely puppets with strings

age of retirement in UK = 66 for women and men. By 2026 = 67 or more.

exploit > work to make others richer

YesRickyThings

So this is a series of blog post that I have been meaning to start for a while now. I will be uploading content about controversial topics from different ends of the spectrum. I am merely trying to express my thoughts on certain topics looking at things from all different angles. In this aspect I hope to create a discussion to see what people think. This goes along with my interest of psychology and trying to understand how different people think and what their cognitive processes are.

This post is about modern day slavery. I would like all readers to read this with an open mind and be open for discussion. First, we must define what is slavery. There are many definitions for it however I will be taking oxford dictionary as a base definition. Slavery is defined as “the practice or system of owning slaves”. Now, when you ask…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Economical affairs, Headlines - News, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

To the Freeworlders

With pleasure we want to let you know that we have been busy with building a place where people want to share with each other. For more than 27 years Marcus Ampe tried to bring the idea of sharing into our capitalist society. In 1995 he got a computer and started writing on the internet under different pen names, to spout his ideas and to ventilate his criticism on our squandering society. In the 1990ies, with some political activists it was tried to get some ideas in the Belgian political and economical system (further presented by Roland Duchâtelet his political movementVivant logo Vivant), like a standard income for every adult citizen and to bring more awareness about ecological matters. Logo Groen.svgOn that part he continued in the lines of the “Kabouters” (the Gnomes), the political green-party of the 1960ies of which he was an active member in the late 1960ies early 1970ies, and which promoted already the idea of sharing goods with each other to lessen the waste of consumption goods [long before Agalevfounded in 1979 and transformed into Groen (Green) in 2003].

A famous and controversial 1971 election poster, reading “Disarming”, giving a good impression for what the movements of which Marcus Ampe was involved with stood for and why their actions in the conservative Roman Catholic country got them and Marcus Ampe so much in trouble.

Because of his ideas of people having to share with each other and helping each other to build a peaceful multicultural society in an ecological respected environment, Mr. Ampe, as a flower-power person or hippie, was many times attacked and considered to be a communist, though he always claimed to promote the ways of Christ and considering his expressing disagreement with the principles and particular outcomes of capitalism plus considering himself more as utopist or by some called Utopian socialist. Because of his non-violence attitude, e.g. on animal rights, some considered him as pacifist,  a “politically homeless“, as progressive liberal (charismatic) Christian having contacts and friends with leftwing socialists, orthodox Marxists, anti-Stalinist Trotskyists, left communists, liberal pacifists and some anarchists, to be a weak and to naive stargazer to avoid. Mr. Ampe was clearly very much influenced by one of his favourite thinkers, Charles Fourier, and reformers as Robert Owen, going for utopian socialism, even when he got so much adverse wind of socialists, drawing from early communist and socialist ideas.

Today he is still convinced that our current systems of monetary, social, ideological and border divisions are not working and endangering our species. Having come aware that too many of his ideals are perhaps not for this world he still keeps to many of his old ideals and hopes once there may come a new generation again prepared to oppose our war-machine and consumer society. He is still looking at mankind as people allowed (by the Most High Power) to live on this planet as attenders who have to come to show their mutual respect for each other and our planetary home.

For him it must not be that every single one of us, rich or poor, born into life-long slavery and bondage from which there would be no escape under the current system. There is still to do a lot of work to have more people come to see that we can liberate ourselves. Most of us may know that the system we are born into does not serve humanity, but very few of us know what to do to change it or are even willing to look for some change which brings more peace in the hearts of the people.

We can no longer sit idly, watching the destruction of our people, our communities, our countries, and our human potential, by greedy corporations supported by governments with no remorse for their actions, or accountability to the people they are supposed to serve. It should not be allowed that certain people earn 300% more than those who do the dirty job.

Along all sites there are certain groups and movements trying to bring fear and restriction of liberty, freedom of speech and freedom of religion. If we are not careful a lot fro what so many fought in the previous centuries will be lost again soon.

We can no longer sit silently, hoping that someone will do something to stop the assault on our liberties and future prosperity. It has fallen on the shoulders of the common people, to unite and create a new way … a new system … a future filled with abundance and prosperity for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren. The individualist centralist ego has to be silenced.

We should go for creating a totally new system free from economic slavery … where we turn competition into collaboration …  a new social structure where we all benefit from our collective efforts and individual talents …  a new world where people are put before profits, and the resources & materials are used to enrich all our lives.

Every single one of us is born in the image of the Divine Creator with valuable and unique gifts and talents and should be happy that he or she can have such talents.  Tat what we received for nothing we also should share with others and should use it for those who do not have such talents. When each individual uses his own talents to improve the lives of everyone around them, these gifts would not be wasted in mundane week-long positions of servitude making profits for those wealthier than ourselves.

Everything you see around you are things which came into being by people who used their hands and brains, and should all be articles created by people for people. Therefore it can not be that there are many who have so little.

The people are the gifts, the people are the power, the genius, the brilliance, and the vision that has created everything we see around us. Without the workers no factory can produce. So why should the society receive most of the gains, the bricks do not need the money.

We are told all the problems facing us are inevitable, that war, hunger and poverty are symptoms of the human condition and we need governments to protect us from ourselves. As many of us now realize, this is simply a lie to disempower us! All the decay, hunger, fear, and lack surrounding us are the direct results of the parasites profiteering off of us, which includes the governments we are told are there to serve us, but just do not come to protect and help the citizens of their country.

Mr. Ampe says.

In the meantime all over the world we could find like-minded figures willing to promote the sharing of knowledge and materials.

In 2014 Robert Chatwin (robito) founded Wake Up World Education (WUWE) trying to collaborate with the world’s biggest global movements for change to help bring solutions into everyone’s life.  WUWE is contributing to this global movement for positive change by switching people on (or waking people up) to this solutions-focused reality so they feel energised, inspired and excited about the world we live in. They take Solutions Education into schools, workplaces, homes and communities, as well as providing a Free online course and offering the world’s biggest solutions to meet-up via their Weekly Circle.

The author of F-Day: The Second Dawn Of Man, a fictional account of humanity’s evolution into a society beyond money, and several video’s on YouTube, created a few years ago a Free World Charter, a social reform initiative that proposes 10 founding principles on which to grow an alternative moneyless society that is fair and sustainable, which Marcus Ampe also endorsed.

Colin Turner his work also includes the Freeworlder Free Sharing Network and HonorPay, a moneyless public awards system for expressing appreciation and gratitude. Many of the underlying concepts of his charter were originally inspired by Jacque Fresco’s Venus Project and Peter Joseph’s Zeitgeist film series – visionaries who, no doubt, would attribute their inspiration to many other historical influences too.

Freewolder Founder Colin Turner states:

“Imagine the power of billions of acts of unconditional free-sharing and the positive effect that could have both on our society and the environment. Imagine how much more peaceful and abundant our world could be without the limitations and injustices of trade.”

Freeworlder: the world’s first truly free sharing network! No exchange. No credits. No barter. Just everyone sharing their excess items and skills!

Can you imagine the power of free, unconditional sharing, mulitplied by millions and billions of people? What kind of world would that be?

Can you imagine the problems we could solve if we didn’t need to trade in order to survive?

Can you imagine if the only thing that governed people’s behaviour was not the money they had nor the laws they obeyed, but rather the knowledge, respect and appreciation they had for each other and their environment?

This is why we built Freeworlder.com – to facilitate online what we all do every day – except to bring that trust outside our immediate circles, friends and family and around the world.

We are changing the world in baby steps. Today, we can share our small excess items, skills and knowledge easily. Soon we will build enough trust and confidence in the idea of unconditional sharing, that we can begin to truly re-organise our society for the mutual benefit of all.

“The Freeworlder Network” will go online this coming May. (We’ll let you know when the site is ready)

Welcome to the world’s first free-sharing network!

Please join. Please support. Please share.

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Freeworlder Features

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Find also to read

  1. The Free World
  2. Freeworlder – Free Sharing Network
  3. The Free World Charter – A New Story
  4. Our World Is Free
  5. Ubuntu contrubitonism
  6. Pulling The Gum Out Of The Rug
  7. Free The Economy
  8. Universal Basic Serfdom – Freeworlder.com
  9. The Free World Charter: Let’s make everything free
  10. The Freeworlder Wall – see who’s here!
  11. Life In The Open Economy – Freeworlder.com
  12. The Flower of Life
  13. Access to a New Dream
  14. The mindful approach to animal connection
  15. Socialentrepreneurialism project. Collaborators wanted
  16. WUWE, can be contacted by email or signed up here to get involved and stay informed.
  17. Blogging In The Free World
  18. A Call to Calm, A Call to Reset

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Ecological affairs, Economical affairs, Headlines - News, History, Lifestyle, Social affairs, Video, Welfare matters, World affairs

Seeds to be planted soon

Last month was perhaps cold for many, but when we look at the calendar to plant things we can see that it is a great time to start planning what vegetable varieties will be grown in the garden. Having the flue now I am remembered of those who should have planted them end of January. Loving lots of green and colours in the garden I also know that now is a great time to get your spring flowers germinating and ready for spring! There are many different varieties of annuals and perennials with different grow times, which need your attention to grow times so that your flowers are ready to be planted after last frost. Below are some good varieties to start in January for a last frost in March and April!

For those who want to plant vegetables February is the month, though the cold does not seem to invite us to come outdoors.

Beans at the CIAT gene bank in Colombia, which...

Beans at the CIAT gene bank in Colombia, which has just sent its latest consignments of seeds for conservation at the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we choose our seeds or plants it is important that we look at them not being ‘festered’ with. Man has come to love to play for god and to create all new sorts of plants. Genetically manipulated plants are something we should avoid at all cost.

When people muddle with the plants we can see the disastrous consequences.  Last Summer the harvest did show her grim face in Dunklin County where conveyor belts teem with peaches inside the packing facility at Bader Farms, where fruit is prepared for shipment from its Bootheel source to stores across a nearly 500-mile radius were seriously worried.

Of the 900 acres of peach trees that fill Bill Bader his orchards, some have limbs that are almost entirely defoliated, while countless others have tufts of leaves that are crinkled and yellow, or remain green but are full of holes.

“That’s why you come out here and look at them early in the morning, ’cause you don’t wanna think about them at night,”

Bader said, surveying a field of peach trees.

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Preceding

Seeds of promise

A bird’s eye and reflecting from within

Commemorating the escape from slavery

You’re Lighter Than Air~

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Additional reading

  1. World Agenda for Sustainability
  2. Forbidden Fruit in the Midst of the Garden 4
  3. Necessity of a revelation of creation 5 Getting understanding by Word of God 3
  4. Engaging the culture without losing the gospel
  5. Picking Stones
  6. Testify of the things heard
  7. Chemical warsite and Pushing king of the South

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Further reading

  1. Missouri Peach Farmers Threatened by Pesticide Drift
  2. Dicamba may threaten Missouri peach farm
  3. When to Start Your Seeds
  4. Seed calendar – What to plant now
  5. Seeds… how do they grow?
  6. Vegetable Gardening Know-How : Germination Temperatures & Times
  7. How to grow heirloom tomatoes from seed
  8. The Secret of germination That No One is Talking
  9. AboutGermination shelf
  10. Germination table coming together
  11. Inventory of WIP seeds
  12. Efficient planting, or notEffects of plant growth regulators and NaCl on early developmental stages of Striga hermonthica -IJAAR
    Don’t bother washing the hatPerfect Partners: Oaks & SquirrelsTime to Bloom!
  13. Beautiful yellow daffodils
  14. Hoping against hope
  15. Lightness of being
  16. The perfect soil!
  17. Good Soil (by Gail Ramesh)
  18. Good Soil (by Table Field Farm)
  19. Good soil (by Tokyo Purple girl)
  20. Good Ground, Bad Ground
  21. The Forty-Second Letter: The Basil Metaphor
  22. Success
  23. The Little Things
  24. sometimes the seed falls into good soil…
  25. Ungrateful Me
  26. Organic Fruit: Sermon for June 26, 2016
  27. Produce a Huge Harvest
  28. Sowed on Good Soil—Parable of the Sower
  29. Thorny ground
  30. Die to sin and grow: Analogy between you and a seed
  31. Longing to Stay Thirsty
  32. Women are important to Jesus

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Filed under Ecological affairs, Headlines - News, Health affairs, Nature, Religious affairs

The Scensual World – Mission & Vision

Though humankind is daily confronted with people around each other, man often does not manage to communicate. In this world were everything has to go so fast and where every one expects to receive something for something, real communication does not always go so fluently and easy as it should be.
Our capitalist system made it that sharing ideas, knowledge and wisdom are not real goals of many. What is shared on social media is not really of consistent value and not many are really willing to show their own ideas.

To have people sharing ideas and helping each other to know more proves not so easy. On the lifestyle magazine From Guestwriters we promote a peaceful world where people will love to share with each other.

Since 2014, when we started the site we are looking for different writers in different fields to share their knowledge and to build up a positive thought lifestyle magazine.
I must confess this does not goes easily. Not many acted positively on our call. Most of the people contacted wanted to get paid, something we cannot afford. (In case many would contribute and make something successful of it it could become lucrative. But that demands energy and patience.)

We can only hope many pore people would come to see that not always money should be given in return to bring something positive to the world and to the benefit of future generations.

Hopefully there are enough positivists and world loving people who can see that with the advent of Capitalism, the human spirit of mutual sharing began its slow decline and erosion, but that when we fight against it there is still hope for a better world.

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Preceding article

People of different cultures, beliefs and political convictions fraternal together

 

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Related

  1. Communication, Technology and Existential Crises
  2. Love Those “Defining The Relationship” Convos
  3. Online Interaction and Collaboration
  4. Mlm Recruiting Secrets:How To Communicate Effectively – Dereco Cherry
  5. What a horse taught me today about conflict resolution, communication, and relationships
  6. Striving for Simplicity
  7. Teaching Children Across Cultures
  8. Racial Inequality: It is Real, and It Needs to be Stopped
  9. Engagement or just plain meddling?
  10. Chopra Center: How to Communicate Your Opinion Peacefully.

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Filed under Announcement, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Social affairs

The Truth About the Illuminati: Escaping Slavery

A Global Organic Mindset

Hi guys!

Unveiled has been a lot of the truths about how capitalism really happened, and what it’s guilty of in the past. That money head is really a harmful force to us, which gives me concern about other areas and even planets, and thinking of relationships and a better way to be! If you notice on the end of my last post, I unveiled who the folks are who were the master of money distraction:

  Those who don’t get out of money are not going to be all gung-ho illuminati, they going to be left footing a large bill of the illuminati oil barons, war machine financers, home mortgage lenders, federal reserve, and banks credit cards.

America at this time can be pretty upset with the large debt and probably looking to transition their area out. That Sun beat down every day, and meanwhile the moneyless option may…

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Solstice, Saturnalia and Christmas-stress

Today lots of people tend to treat things such as Christmas trees and holiday gift giving as if they’ve been with us forever. While these are old traditions, they were once far more localized. In this world of media everywhere, we tend to forget that customs were once far more specific to the area. Lots of people also have lost the connection of those festivals and have transposed it to their group of people, believers or non-believers in Jesus Christ or in God.

From the Saxon days there was Yule for mid-winter and in the regions of West Europe the autumn storm brought many ideas alive to think about gods who controlled everything in nature. The days becoming darker demanded for and still demand for some more light bringing into it. In the old times to honour the gods it was custom to put all sorts of things in the trees as an offering to the gods. On December the 25th it was the day of the goddess of light. Time was taken to celebrate her.

Traditional Christmas card with holly and mistletoe. Circa 1880s

Druids, Celts, and even the Romans used evergreen branches made into wreaths in winter solstice celebrations. Because so many things lost colour and seemed to have died people looked up for those elements in nature which could be so strong that they stayed green. Pagan symbols as holly and ivy remained green and were taken as a promise of life to return in dead of winter. Holly – prized for its ability to bear fruit in winter and its healing uses – were the blessings people hoped they could have in the house and share with each other. Healing elements were very important to get through Winter.

While the Romans were holding the feast for the god Saturn — which occurred about the time of the winter solstice — they decked the outsides of their houses with holly. At the same time the Christians were quietly celebrating the birth of Christ, and to avoid detection they outwardly followed the custom of their heathen neighbours and decked their houses with holly as well. In this way holly came to be connected with Christmas customs. The plant was also regarded as a symbol of the Resurrection.

The missionaries coming in these regions quickly understood how the pagan traditions were so strong and how people would not like to give them up. This we still see today happening. As Christians should come to know more about traditions and about usages all over the world, plus having the Holy Scriptures to find what they could or could not do, we see that those who call themselves Christian still do not like to give up those pagan traditions and pagan festivals.

The Roman Catholic Church had already given in to Constantine the Great allowing the false teaching of the trinity be part of the Catholic Faith, so it was a further small step to adapt the Western Celtic and Saxon traditions to the Roman Faith. In 336 CE, during the time of this so called  first Christian Roman Emperor for the first time on December 25th “Christmas” was being celebrated.

A very early Christian tradition said that March 25th was the day when Mary was told she’d give birth to Jesus (called the Annunciation). And nine months later, of course, would be December 25th. But the Bible doesn’t mention the exact days of that annunciation, nor of the birth of Jesus, though from all the secular writings we do know when the cencus took place, when the falling star appeared and that it was in October that Mary and Joseph went to fulfil their duties. We can take it was in 4BCE on October the 17th that rabbi Jeshua from the tribe of King David was born. For those who would love to celebrate his birthday it is strange that they than not do this around the period Jesus was rally born.

An image from the necropolis under the Vatican...

An image from the necropolis under the Vatican in which Jesus = Mithras (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is true that in many cultures we can find a festival of lights, also the Jews have such a festival of lights. Germans and Scandinavians had their yule festival. Celtic legends connected the solstice with Balder, the Scandinavian sun god or Norse god of light, son of the chief god Odin and his wife Frigg, who was struck down by a mistletoe arrow from the blind god Hödur (or Höd). At the pagan festival of Saturnalia, Romans feasted and gave gifts to the poor. Drinking was closely connected with these pagan feasts.

The Babylonian sun-god and god of agriculture and flocks, Tammuz, lover of Ishtar, born on the winter solstice according to legend was also celebrated on December the 25th and by the Roman Catholic Church his symbol was taken as the symbol for Jesus (the sign of Tammuz or the cross), placing Jesus as the bringer of light and god of light.

The leaders of the instituted organisation of clergy who accepted the trinity, agreed to adopted the saturnalia day of the ‘day of birth’ or ‘day of new life’ as a remembrance day of the new life Jesus has given to all mankind. For them it was easier to get more converts by keeping the folks from indulging in the old pagan festivals as part of the pagan culture, now transformed or redressed in a Roman Catholic dressing.

Branches that had thorns became to be the thorns Christ wore on the crucifix (sign of Tammuz) and the berries were stained red by his drops of blood. From the Norse and the Druids, the Mistletoe you may find growing here everywhere and at that time was considered special because of it found growing on the sacred oaks, was featured in several old myths and held to be sacred and associated with fertility, which led to kissing boughs.

Also today at the Christmas markets we can find the gangway where there is the kissing bough custom one holds that a woman who refuses the kiss shall have bad luck, and that those who kiss underneath it shall be having a blessed and fruitful year.

Not all the following years Christmas was part of Christian life. During Cromwell’s rule, Christmas was even banned. Charles II restored the holiday in England. However, the Parliament of Scotland officially abolished the observance of Christmas in 1640, to purge the church “of all superstitious observation of days”, and it was not restored as a public holiday in Scotland until 1958.

Julbocken, by John Bauer (1912)

From the 4th to the 19th century the tradition of the Northern people their celebration for their chief god and the father of Thor, (Thunor, or Thonar), Balder, and Tiw, Woden or Wotan became more and more also liked by the people from Holland and Belgium and the man with a long white beard who rode a horse through the heavens one evening each Autumn became their Sint Niklaas (Sinterklaas) or Sint Nicholas  (saint Nicholas) and in the Anglo Saxon countries Father Christmas or Santa Claus/Sancta Claus.

1881 illustration by Thomas Nast who, along with Clement Clarke Moore’s poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, helped to create the modern image of Santa Claus

From the 20th century onward that Father Christmas started gaining more popularity and the presents became more and more the focus of the people for that season were the darkness seemed to have darkened their Christian sight. Lots of Christians enjoyed decorating the ‘Christmas tree‘ and telling their children the Saint from Spain had brought presents for all those who had behaved well the previous year. Later in the month it was the Santa who once more brought presents in the house.

History illustrates the awesome outworking of initial events from when the Divine Creator has declared

Zephaniah 1:17-18 The Scriptures 1998+  (17)  “And I shall bring distress on men, and they shall walk like blind men – because they have sinned against יהוה  {Jehovah}, and their blood shall be poured out like dust and their flesh like dung.”  (18)  Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of יהוה  {Jehovah}. And by the fire of His jealousy all the earth shall be consumed, for He makes a sudden end of all those who dwell in the earth.

This comes from the Christadelphian bible reading for December 15 when we started reading this short and somewhat overlooked prophecy of Zephaniah. He would have been one of the prophets Peter referred to, as we read the final chapter of his second letter of the same day-reading, he told them they should remember

2 Peter 3:2 The Scriptures 1998+  (2)  the words previously spoken by the set-apart prophets, and of the command of the Master and Saviour, spoken by your emissaries,

Today we may find lots of people who have stress about the coming days when they have to present nice meals and many presents and have to fulfil many family visits and social obligations. Their eyes are closed for the real issue in life. Not a Santa shall bring salvation and he from the North has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus Christ. When we look at the many Christmas markets we even do not see much what reminds us of the Saviour who was sent by God to this earth.

Ages ago holy prophets told about the eyes of people which would become blinded. Today we

“should remember their predictions

Folk tale depiction of Father Christmas riding...

Folk tale depiction of Father Christmas riding on a goat. Perhaps an evolved version of the Swedish Tomte. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We also should remember that they also warned for the time that scoffers were going to come and would lead people following their own sinful desires. About the promised one who was born, lived for a very short time here on earth, died, was resurrected from the dead and showed that he was not a spirit, but the one brought back alive by his heavenly Father, that master teacher is not remembered much these days and many do not think about his return or even do not believe in it.

Yes many laugh at us and say,

“Where is the promise of his coming?”

Many children have to promise their parents that they will be good next year. Then they also will get some present. But not many children learn about that man who died for our sins. Not many take time in this ‘Time of the year’ to read the Bible and to meditate on what God and his son Jesus had to say.

Today lots of people are concentrating on their self and do see all those refugees coming in our regions as a possible threat to what they can enjoy. Many are afraid they shall have to share with those poor people who travelled thousands of miles to find their luck in our Western world where money seems to flow like moulted butter.

Many people do not see what is really going on and how those set apart men of God had warned for certain situations we can see today. Also Jesus told about the signs of those days we have today. That time Jesus spoke about, may be much closer than many think. Many are blinded by the money this world is offering. Lots of people think everything can be said with presents and with the value of money. The real value for life they often do not see. Capitalism has put sand in their eyes.

The ways of godless thinking and living will be seen for all the foolishness they are; and we must never forget, there are only 2 ways: the broad way and the narrow way. Those on the narrow way are

2 Peter 3:12-15 The Scriptures 1998+  (12)  looking for and hastening the coming of the day of Elohim, through which the heavens shall be destroyed, being set on fire, and the elements melt with intense heat!  (13)  But according to His promise we wait for a renewed heavens and a renewed earth in which righteousness dwells.  (14)  So then, beloved ones, looking forward to this, do your utmost to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,  (15)  and reckon the patience of our Master as deliverance, as also our beloved brother Sha’ul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him,

“waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace” (verses 13,14).

Included in what they (we) are waiting for, is what Job perceived and that we read today. He declared,

I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!” (19:25-27).

He believed in resurrection!

That final comment is most thought provoking. Our hearts will be in danger of fainting within us for multiple reasons, when God “bring(s) distress” – the experience will be awesome for believers! But how imminent then will be the time when they will “see God” through seeing his Son, marvelling in anticipation of the ultimate time when

God himself will be with them as their God … for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3,4).

Let us anticipate in faith the things that “our eyes shall behold” to carry us through the coming time of “distress”.

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Additional reading

  1. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  2. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  3. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  4. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  5. Focus on outward appearances
  6. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  7. Christmas in Ancient Rome (AKA Saturnalia)
  8. Christmas trees
  9. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  10. With child and righteousness greater than the law
  11. Objects around the birth and death of Jesus
  12. Politics and power first priority #3 Elevation of Mary and the Holy Spirit
  13. The imaginational war against Christmas
  14. Autumn traditions for 2014 – 1: Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet
  15. Manna from Sint Nicholas
  16. Traditionalists Vow to Fight Charges of Racism in Netherlands
  17. Ignorance of Today’s Youth (and Adults)
  18. Sancta Claus is not God
  19. Brits believe Santa present at Jesus’ birth, new poll reveals
  20. Wishing lanterns and Christmas

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Further reading

  1. Winter Solstice and Yule
  2. Yule is upon us!
  3. Dickens’ Christmas Story as an Intertexteme in Leskov’s Yule Short Story
  4. Winter Solstice 2015: Shortest Day Of The Year Celebrated As Pagan Yule
  5. Commercialmas
  6. Yule 2015 #15 performing magic
  7. Yule 2015#16
  8. A radiant vision of splendour
  9. Yule prep
  10. Yule Wreath and Garland
  11. 13 Trolls
  12. War Against Christmas?
  13. Holiday King of the Hill
  14. SGC Admin: From our inbox to you from: Patti Wigington: Paganism/Wicca Expert
  15. Yule – Wicca subject of the week
  16. Happy Yule 2015
  17. How to bring some real Christmas spirits into your Yule-tide
  18. 10 Ways to Celebrate Yule
  19. Santa Claus, Krampus,The Wild Hunt and Me.
  20. Vigil
  21. Use Yule Bells For Positive Energy
  22. Irish Christmas
  23. Christmas, the Weridest Holiday of the Year; Part one
  24. Holly Tree
  25. Holly, Plant of Saturn and Mars
  26. Symbol of Yule: Holly Mistletoe and Bayberry Candles
  27. Memories of Yuletide
  28. A Little history on the holly tree
  29. Let It Be Done Unto Me
  30. Annunciation
  31. Annunciation: a reflection for Advent
  32. This Annunciation
  33. The Annunciation, according to Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich
  34. Tuesday 15th December
  35. Wednesday Writings – Annunciation
  36. Mary’s Heart
  37. Angels & Advent: In His Shadow – a sermon podcast
  38. And the virgin’s name was Mary
  39. Angels of Advent: Encountering the Annunciation
  40. Somersaults /Wednesday, December 9, 2015
  41. Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin
  42. Mary and a “Yes” to God’s Request
  43. Joseph’s Pregnant Advent
  44. The Overshadowing of Mary –Pentecost
  45. Christmas
  46. Saturnalia
  47. From Sukkot to Saturnalia: The Attack on Christmas in Sixteenth-Century..
  48. Togas, Laurels, Chariots and Some Roast Lambs’ Testicles
  49. Countdown to Christmas 17: Saturnalia
  50. Saturnalia Is a Fleadh by Another Name. Just Don’t Tell Jerry Buttimer
  51. By Jove! It’s Christmas: Did the First Christian Roman Emperor Appropriate..
  52. War On Christmas Memes: Saturnalia
  53. War On Christmas Memes: The Yule Tree
  54. Christmas: it’s all about money, not messiahs.
  55. Geranium Lake Properties, Saturn and Sol
  56. Advent Calendar Day 15: Christmas: The Perfect Excuse For A Fight? by Lucy Brazier
  57. Pig Washing 1, “Christmas”
  58. Christmas is Pagan!
  59. Christmas — Who gives a rip HOW we came up with the date we use?!?
  60. Christmas is Tammuz’s Birthday?

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Filed under Being and Feeling, History, Lifestyle, Religious affairs, Spiritual affairs

The Proper Place of Excess

The Word of God given to us in the Bible or Holy Scriptures tells us to know Who we should worship and what we should not worship. Idolatry of money has crept into the soul of mankind and has poisoned their hearts.

The wisdom teacher of Ecclesiastes says, there is a time for all things under the sun, no to agree with the excess man loves so much, but as a warning how to behave and how and to what to focus.

For those who want to celebrate Christmas for whatever reason they want to give, Christians should remember that it is originally a pagan festival and should better abstain from it. But we do agree in Wintertime it is ideal to socialise at the dark hours and it may be lovely to exchange presents around the turn of the year.

When we provide presents for others they should be given with joy and when it brings such a stress like we hear many tell on television, than there is certainly something wrong.

In so called Christian countries, we also see lots of Christmas markets, but at those ‘great events’ there is not much to see about what they call would be the “reason of the season”. At most Christmas markets there are not many stall about the nativity of the Nazarene Jew nor about that man’s ransom offering. Jesus Christ his birth they often call the reason for the season, but we can not see him much in that season or in people’s homes. Also the attitude of those people gathering at those markets does not speak of such an attitude that master teacher asked from his followers. Most people strolling around at those markets are more concerned about the food and drink opportunities and in buying (ridiculous) gadgets and not to expensive presents.

So many feel obliged just to find an other gadget or an other extra surprise and do hope they themselves also will receive many presents.

In this society where excess has become a way of life, for many it might well be also a way of understanding the world, a way of being and interacting in the world, but for sure many chapters in the bible warn for such an attitude and ask us to focus on the more important immaterial things.

Those who call themselves Christian should wonder where they fall in the consumer trap of the capitalist society and why they do not keep to the festivals ordained by the Most High? the festival for the goddess of light and a celebration for a Santa Claus for sure are no part of those.

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To remember

Thanksgiving here + gone > too much to eat + drink = Excess = regular part of natural order

Excess > consequences = plays important role in survival process

Survival of the fittest + the fertilized

Northern Hemisphere winter = season of rest + recuperation

ancestral winter seasons > forebears rejoiced in gathered harvest, savored freshly slaughtered meat, + delighted in new beer + wine.

Northern Hemisphere ancestors celebrated = winter solstice = December 21 = marking the rebirth of the sun = traditionally been associated with feasts + festivals replete with excesses => secular Christmastime holiday = direct descendant of these revelries.

Roman Saturnalia + misrule, centered on feasting + gift-giving > societal role reversals where servants + peasants became lords + ladies for a day or short season => usually steady tables of fortune turned for a moment

misrule (common in European societies and colonial America) individuals of low socioeconomic status demanded wealthier neighbors + patrons treat them – the servants + peons of society – as if they were the wealthy + deserving

Puritans of Massachusetts infamously outlawing Christmas in late 1600s =/= legendary anniversary of the Savior’s birth > simultaneous misrule celebrations that exalted excesses, some acceptable + others decidedly distasteful.

1800s, misrule evolved > new type of social inversion > persisted to our own day => Christmas made for children

children = miniature adults = occupied bottom rung of social hierarchy along with peasants + servants

Modern secular Christmas – family celebration – created at this time with children becoming focus of charity + goodwill

starting with Black Friday Eve (used to be called Thanksgiving) + continuing through New Year’s Day celebrations = unmatched devotion to consumerism, materialism, consumption, waste, and over-indulgence.

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Preceding

The Culture of Excesses- Losing Humanity

Learning that stuff is just stuff

Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

Looking for the consummation of presents

One can buy a lot in the supermarket, but not hope

 

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Additional reading

  1. A time for everything
  2. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  3. Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia
  4. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  5. A new year with hopes and challenges
  6. Opportunity!
  7. A season of gifts
  8. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  9. Material wealth, Submission and Heaven on earth

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Further reading

  1. Presents, Presents, and more Presents.
  2. Christmas Stress
  3. Buying All the Gifts
  4. Christmas time!
  5. The spirit of Christmas
  6. Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts. ~J.L.W. Brooks
  7. It’s the Thought that Counts?
  8. 30 Ways to Have Yourself a Thrifty Little Christmas
  9. 17 Things Only Girls Who Hate Shopping Understand
  10. How The Garden Grinch Saved Your Christmas
  11. 2015 Holiday Gift Guide
  12. My Christmas Gift Guide 2015
  13. 15 ways to get into the Christmas Spirit
  14. A Special Package
  15. The Gift & the Giver
  16. Baby Jesus Brings the gifts
  17. Blogmas Day 14: Christmas Gift Guide 2015
  18. On the 14th day of Christmas…
  19. Dear Santa
  20. Secret Santa!
  21. Why we don’t do Santa
  22. Nativity?
  23. Christmas Blogging Challenge Day 2 – My Favourite Christmas Tradition
  24. The Gift That Keeps on Giving
  25. The Holiday Gifting Struggle
  26. Do you search? ✨BlogMas✨
  27. Finding God
  28. Why Not Do Something Different This Christmas

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The T. Carlos Blog

Thanksgiving, once again, is here and gone. I know I had too much to eat and drink. How about you?

Excess is a regular part of the natural order. Our bodies turn excess calories into fat cells – technically, stored energy for later use. Most excess weight, however, is simply lugged around serving unwittingly as a contributing factor to health problems. Alcohol, on the other hand, is eliminated by the body. But a morning-after dehydration headache, caused by excessive drinking, lets you know you overdid it. Long-term excessive drinking, of course, will kill you.

Excess has its consequences.

Excess, nevertheless, plays an important role in the survival process. You and I are here thanks to an excessive amount of spermatozoa, from which emerged one little victor to join forces with an ovum. Survival of the fittest and the fertilized! And not only that, some of the plants which provide food, oxygen, and beauty upon the earth produce seeds for their own reproduction numbering in excess of hundreds…

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Economical affairs, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, Social affairs

Are Christianity and Capitalism Compatible?

In regards to scale, the civil war in Syria is a tragedy that’s reminiscent of the earth-moving conflicts of the early 20th Century. So far, a quarter of a million people have been killed, with millions of others displaced.

After the turbulence of two world wars Europe has managed to create a zone were no battles are fought with weapons, but with words. But it might well be that we are on the bring of a turning point were radical groups of Christians and Muslims may like to throw spanner in the works.

National socialists, neo-nazis, but also several people who call themselves ‘Christian‘ want the rest of the population in their country to believe the refugees are a danger for their economic striving society and for their democratic and their ‘religious’ life.

So many Christians have forgotten the teachings of Christ Jesus and better should take up the Messianic writings again, and especially the gospels, to out again what Christianity is all about.

It is also not bad to look at different writings of people who called themselves Christian and see how they think we should cope with others around us, but also with our wealth we can enjoy. Because when you hear many talking today lots of people are more concerned with the financial consequences of those entering their community and with the minor radical lunatics who want to frighten our society and seem to succeed in their task, because so many give in to that unjustified fear.

*

To remember

In an age when Christianity is comfortably entwined with consumer capitalism, the early Christians’ passion for social and economic justice can come as a shock.

  • From 1st days of Christianity > duty to care for poor and marginalized = at center of gospel
  • Jesus preached way of life free of possessions
  • 1st church in Jerusalem abolished private property + early apostles > warned of privilege and wealth.
  • 3 centuries later Christendom becoming official religion of Roman Empire > economics remained communitarian
  • Church fathers such as Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, + Augustine of Hippo preached
  • give your wealth free passage everywhere
  • let your wealth run through many conduits to the homes of the poor
  • Money kept standing idle = worthless > moving + changing hands = benefitting community => brings increase…
  • money in your vaults belongs to the destitute
  • injustice to every man whom you could help but do not.
  • God grants you gifts.

 

  • alms, prayers, protection of the injured and the like = genuine work
  • what we possess is not personal property; it belongs to all.
  • God generously gives all things that are much more necessary than money > air, water, fire, sun … All these things to be distributed equally to all.
  • “Mine” and “thine” = chilling words > introduce innumerable wars into the world => should be eliminated from the church
  • All things = in common.
  • When you possess superfluity = you possess what belongs to others
  • God gives the world to the poor as well as to the rich.
  • abstain from the possessions of private property – or from the love of it, if we cannot abstain from possession – and let us make room for the Lord.

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Find also:

Responses to Radical Muslims and Radical Christians

Listening for the Language of Peace

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Read also and watch the video: Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear

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Further readings:

  1. Europe and the Joke of Reverse Colonialism
  2. Editorial: Against Authority, Against Terror
  3. Capitalism
  4. Capitalism – Access to capital = Slavery
  5. Capitalism: incentivising sensationalism, taking advantage of our biases and damaging our mental health | Plymouth Herald journalist in breach of ethics?
  6. Eleutherios or A Hatred of Capitalism: The ascetic philosophy of Mick
  7. Next Generation Favors Socialism over Capitalism
  8. Coalitions against Impunity: Why the UN fails to maintain peace.
  9. Anti-Christ Anti-Scientist
  10. Should We Be Scared?
  11. Who is the Consummate Capitalist?
  12. Coal lights the way
  13. Stop the whole system wrecking the planet: this means revolution!
  14. Offended by the Lord’s Prayer? You should be!
  15. What Prince Charles gets wrong – and right – about climate change and conflict in Syria
  16. Quote for the day – November 19
  17. Quote for the day – November 22
  18. American Christianity: I Can’t “Unsee”
  19. A Sense of Proportion
  20. Politicians Talk a Lot, do Nothing, and Simply don’t Care
  21. In The Blink of a Kalashnikov
  22. The Psychopathy of Greed
  23. The Post-Capitalist Society is Already Emerging in Denmark
  24. Capitalism and the Dalai Lama
  25. Preliminary Materials on Collective Liberation and the New Material Reality

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Related articles

LiveWithoutLovingMoney

What Did the Early Church Say About Economic Justice?

(Thanks to Plough publishing for sharing this).

St. Augustine, John Chrysostom, and Basil the Great

 

In an age when Christianity is comfortably entwined with consumer capitalism, the early Christians’ passion for social and economic justice can come as a shock. From the first days of Christianity, the duty to care for the poor and marginalized was at the center of the gospel. Jesus preached a way of life free of possessions, the first church in Jerusalem abolished private property, and the early apostles warned of privilege and wealth.

Remarkably, three centuries later – when Christianity was well on its way to becoming the official religion of the Roman Empire – the church’s version of economics remained as communitarian as ever. Church fathers such as Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, and Augustine of Hippo preached in a way that…

View original post 841 more words

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Crimes & Atrocities, Economical affairs, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs, World affairs