“I think that if the beast who sleeps in man could be held down by threats – any kind of threat, whether of jail or of retribution after death – then the highest emblem of humanity would be the lion tamer in the circus with his whip, not the prophet who sacrificed himself. But don’t you see, this is just the point – what has for centuries raised man above the beast is not the cudgel but an inward music: the irresistible power of unarmed truth, the powerful attraction of its example. It has always been assumed that the most important things in the Gospels are the ethical maxims and commandments. But for me the most important thing is that Christ speaks in parables taken from life, that He explains the truth in terms of everyday reality. The idea that underlies this is that communion between mortals is immortal, and that the whole of life is symbolic because it is meaningful.” ― Boris Pasternak
Lately, in my attempt to come to grips with the root causes of many of our financial, social and ecological crises, I have been drawn over and over again to our dysfunctional neo-liberal economic system, and at its core was a grave misunderstanding of the role of money, debt and the banking system and how they play pivotal roles in the mis-allocation of goods and services in our economy. Two sources that have been very instrumental in my new-found worldview are: Where Does Money Come From? and Modernising Money: Why Our Monetary System is Broken and How it Can be Fixed.
Yesterday, I came across a video of a presentation by Herman Daly on “Ecological Economics for an Ecological Civilization,” which was a plenary address for a conference entitled “SEIZING AN ALTERNATIVE: Toward an Ecological Civilization.” What piqued my interest was that this conference was co-organised by Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr, who is “one of the most pre-eminent North American theologians of the twentieth century”. It was during this presentation, that I discovered the phrase “The Irresistible Power of Unarmed Truth” and my search for its origin led me to the above captioned quote.
This then led to an avalanche of questions in my mind that served to connect the dots in many different areas of enquiry which I would like to share in this blog article. In the spirit of Hegel, I have attempted to see how far I can go by using its anti-thesis, “The Resistible Weakness of Armed Falsehoods” in all of their manifestations, be it political, economical and social, to create a synthesis of the ideas, which will be my focus here.
Here are the questions in the order that they arose which I will present in the tradition of Socrates:
1) Given my acceptance that our economic theories and religions are basically human cultural constructs, is there any connection between the two?
2) If neo-liberal economics externalised the social and environmental costs in their models and analysis, and ecological economics endeavours to internalise them, can a compelling argument be made that neo-liberal economics is based on Old Testament theology which is buttressed by an exclusive ethnic philosophy, whereas ecological economics is based on New Testament theology which now rests on an all-inclusive universal philosophy?
3) Given that Hinduism, like Judaism, is an exclusive ethnic religion, could my attractions also to Buddhism be in any way related to the fact, that like Christianity, it is also an all-inclusive universal religion?
4) Given that Jesus’ provocative act of turning over the tables of the moneychangers in the temple during Passover was the singular act that resulted in his execution by the political and religious authorities of his time, does this in anyway give us some insights into the pivotal role played by the moneychangers in the society back then, and the role they play in ours now?
5) That many of the most influential economists and bankers of the recent past are of Jewish descent, does this fact have any bearing on the construction of our economic theories and models, and does this also determine why they could be biased towards exclusivity versus inclusivity?
6) Is the Zionist programme, of creating an ethnic state based on exclusivity in an interconnected world that was rich in history involving peoples of many different background, the root cause of most of the problems in the Middle East?
7) If the premise of my article on REPARATIONS is correct that it was the private banking system that is more responsible for slavery than the governments of Europe, can a similar argument be made about the Holocaust in Germany? This then begs the question – if we can follow the money, can we unravel who aided and abetted Hitler in his scheme?
8) If this is the case, was the Holocaust a false flag operation, and if not, was the inaction by the West and its complicity in the Zionist programme a form of guilt assuage, that is responsible for the plight and disenfranchisement of the Palestinians? Has this effected the creation of an apartheid state in their homeland, and can this act be justifiable on any grounds?
(Please play the clip below to hear Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s take on the settlement issues in Israel.)
9) If our misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the private banking system and its pivotal role in credit creation is the root cause of our modern failings, as it pertains to our financial, social and environmental crises, is the collusion between bankers, corporations, economists, and governments an “armed falsehood” which is a weakness that can and should be resisted?
10) Can the financial, social and environmental crises be reconciled as adaptive responses to maladaptive, dysfunctional and flawed banking theories, economic models and theological world views? If exclusivity has been built into our theories, models and world views, are we surprised that inequality, poverty, addiction, crime and war are rampant?
11) If that is the case, then why can’t the “irresistible power of the unarmed truth” of interconnectedness between us all, all sentient life, the bio-and litho-spheres, and the next generations, be able to pull us back from the brink of social, financial and ecological collapse and degradation so as to help us create a more just and sustainable world where we can all thrive, and not just survive?
This inconvenient truth for many should serve as the catalyst that would allow us to transition from neoliberal economics to ecological economics as the upgraded operating system of our Mother Earth and Father Sky, as we turn away from rule and divide in the name of exclusivity to one based on lead and unite now in the name of inclusivity. Jesus’ vision of a heaven here on earth where he encouraged us to turn the other cheek, forgive our enemies, forgive others of their debt as we forgive our debtors should be our guiding light to this “unarmed truth;” – this truth, guided by God’s Grace, which is LOVE personified in our interactions with ourselves, our neighbours, our environment, all sentient beings, and the generations to come.
We should no longer be kept back by the Old Testament ideologies and get bogged down on arguments on arguments of interpretations, and move forward with confidence in modelling and fashioning our education, cultural, banking, economic and geopolitical systems based on bringing harmony and balance back into the fore guided by an all-inclusive global truth and reconciliation exercise fermented and distilled out of an abundance of love and forgiveness.
Too many lives, communities and resources have been wasted in the vain attempt to prop-up and arm the prevailing falsehoods of separateness, with their entitlements and exclusivities! The “highest emblem of humanity should no longer be the lion tamer in the circus with his whip” but “the prophets who sacrificed themselves” to expose this “inward music.”
“Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” – 2 Corinthians 3:1-6 (NIV)