Class Warfare Blog

April 11, 2021

The Justifications of Preaching

Filed under: Culture,History,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 12:26 pm
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In the early days of Christianity it seems that Christians met in houses as there were no church buildings (a congregation is the people coming together, and this was the first meaning of the word church, which had nothing to do with the building in which the congregating took place). To hold even a small congregation took a house of some size, so the houses used for this purpose were usually owned by the more well-to-do members of the community.

The primary activity at such meetings was the reading of important documents. Since the owner of the house was well-to-do, he was also probably better educated and was, presumably, often the “reader” of these documents to the congregation. Since most of the congregation were poor people, it was quite unlikely that they could read themselves, so they paid rapt attention to the readings because it wasn’t as if they could just “look things up” if they were confused later. These documents were precious to these people and were in the form of copied documents. A letter would be sent by some prelate with instructions to copy the letter (for the congregation) and then pass along the original. Of course this soon devolved into a game of “Telephone” and the documents became more and more corrupted. There were complaints as early as the second century that many of their primary documents were corrupted almost to the point of incomprehension.

The task of copying probably fell to the same house owner, he being one of the only members of the congregation who could write. And, as well, the house owner was not an expert at reading, copying, or any of these other tasks that required professionals to do elsewhere, e.g. temple-trained scribes, for example.

So, the first “office” of a congregation was that of “reader, copyist, host.” No one got up in church to “teach” or “preach.” If anyone spoke it was to share testimony, that is share experiences they had in which they felt Jesus influenced their lives.

It wasn’t until the Romans adopted Christianity as the state religion in the late 300’s that they impressed many of their cultic practices on Christians. It was at this time that the office of preacher began to evolve.

If you are a member of the atheist community, you are probably aware of how woefully ignorant many Christians are of their own scripture. Yet, in many of the churches attended by these Christians, a preacher spends much of the assembled time leading songs (a Roman “innovation”) or delivering a sermon. This is how we got speeches decrying the evils of secular music, short skirts on women, and Democrats worship the devil. Most recently we were treated to one “preacher” who claimed that the “Blood of Christ” would protect us from the ravages of COVID-19. (He died from COVID-19, an example of divine displeasure if there ever was one.)

There has been a substantial brain drain acting upon the clergy. It was not that long ago that intellectuals had three choices of profession: medicine, the law, or the clergy. But many a practice has muscled up in the brain department and now scientists, engineers, education, finance, business types, etc. all have drawn people away from the historic professions. In general there has been a brain drain away from all of the Big Three Professions and one consequence is that we now have preachers who are as smart as a sack of rocks.

These people go to “divinity schools” to take courses in how to preach, and achieve credentials that facilitate them seeking jobs in churches. They all pride themselves in being able to write rip-snorting sermons.

So, they stand in front of congregations ignorant as to what their scriptures actually say and deliver lessons on the evils of atheism, abortion, and Democratic politics. In other words, they consider the wisdom they have to “share” is more profound than the scriptures from which they get the backing for their “opinions.”

Consider what would happen if a church leader were to announce that they would be getting rid of their musical program, skip the preaching and group praying, and engage in a studied reading of the New Testament to deepen the understanding of all of the members of the church of their particular variant of Christianity. I will tell you what would happen—attendance would drop like a rock.

From this we can see what sermons really are. They are entertainment, preferably supporting the biases and positions of those assembled. So, people come to church, they get a little entertainment, their position in their community and their thoughts and prayers are reinforced as being righteous, rinse and repeat.

I do not think “sermons” can be defended on the basis of being a form of teaching, supplementing what people can now read for themselves, because it is clear that most apparently do not read scriptures themselves, otherwise they wouldn’t be so ignorant of what they contain. (Yes, I am painting with a broad brush and yes, I have known Christians who diligently read scripture, but I argue that these folks are nowhere near being a majority of most congregations.)

In addition, these “sermons” have no quality controls over them. A pastor writes up a sermon, delivers it on Sunday and his only fact checkers are his audience. There is no peer review, no organizational review of these sermons and many are just woeful, lacking almost any value to the recipients.

Most attenders of Christian services find them comforting in their reconcilability, their mundaneness, and think that they had to have been this way from the beginning. Actually, most of the structure of our “church meetings” are gifts of pagan Romans. Clerical garb is very close in design to the clothes worn by Roman administrators. The elevated pulpits, the choirs and music, all gifts of the Romans and having no counterpart in early Christianity. (If you are interested in learning more, consider the book “Pagan Christianity: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices” by Frank Viola and George Barna, two practicing Christians.

March 31, 2021

The Role of Tradition in Culture

Back when I was in college I got my hands on a set of “The Story of Civilization,” then about ten volumes I think, and read them. I then found and read “The Lessons of History” from the same duo. These are brilliant expositions on the “big picture” of human history and, I am sure, full of mistakes and flaws as are all works of history, but glorious nonetheless.

I ran across a quote or summary of a point made in The Lessons of History; here it is:

“It seems arrogant to doubt tradition too much, to think that your supposedly brilliant mind could develop a better solution in 30 or 40 years than humankind has developed over thousands of years of working together. For this reason, it’s quite possible that we discount how useful and powerful religion can be.” (Will and Ariel Durant)

It “seems” arrogant? Hmm. It might if there were tradition minders woven into the scheme of our culture, but traditions happen willy-nilly, especially religiously. (Yes, I am aware of massive convocations held to determine what dogmas and traditions will be in this or that church, but most of these meetings are stage shows for the spectators rather than real working sessions. Most of the decisions of such councils were already made before they convened.)

I often refer to traditions as “the ways we have always done things,” not as a disparagement but as a reminder that traditions are cultural memories. So, that crafts and arts and knowledge not get lost over time, they are made into “traditions,” that is something important to remember. A son learning a traditional craft from his father might be cheeky enough to ask “why” during a training session but was liable to receive a slap for his challenge. A good father reinforced the importance of this knowledge/skill being transmitted and made it “special” in the mind of the son.

So, traditional knowledge was passed from father to son, mother to daughter and from uncles and aunts, too. This was knowledge too important to be left to chance: what plants are poisonous to eat, the hunting grounds for certain animals and the techniques used to hunt them, the techniques used to knap rocks into tools, etc.

Now, these “learnings” were hard to come by and dangerous if lost, but as the pace of change has accelerated, are lost at an ever increasing rate. Why? Because the traditional knowledge became irrelevant. For example, when tools made of metal became commonplace, being able to make cruder versions out of stone became less valuable. The convenience of email and texting has made letter writing a less important skill.

Tradition yields to change over time and that is normal. So, in the phrase “It seems arrogant to doubt tradition too much” the key words are “too much.” So what constitutes “too much?” Discarding useful things has consequences, but sometimes it spurs rediscovery or even invention that betters the whole situation. I suggest that possibly what is being said is that tradition is not something to discard casually.

And that brings me to “it’s quite possible that we discount how useful and powerful religion can be.” I wish they would have said “religion is” because there is a large gap between “can be” and “is.” In any case, religion is the embodiment of tradition. Although these traditions seem to be far much less pragmatic than flintknapping, or basket weaving, or growing the Three Sisters. (Which is why religions horned in on other, more useful, traditions (Blessing the crops, blessing the harvest. marking the changes of season).The Durants (both dead now) were on the whole religious positivists, that is, all in all, religion has been a positive force in human society. I, on the other hand, see religion as a control mechanism to coerce the labor of the masses to serve the interests of the elites, both religious and secular.

In the context of religious tradition, therefore, do we ask: “Has this or that religion become a tradition passed over? Is it time to discard it?” This question is being acted out in American culture right now. The rise of the “Nones,” people who participate in no religion has been accelerating and now the Nones outnumber the most popular religious sect in the U.S. (We’re No. 1!; we’re No. 1!) What few people know is that a majority of the Nones still harbor some sort of belief in a “higher power.” They have not thrown off the shackles of supernatural nonsense, they have just thrown off the shackles of “houses of worship.”

I am one who thinks that superstitious nonsense is not at all helpful as it is all make believe. The comfort religion supplies is based upon being familiar, for example. To get to the place where we can discard the tradition of believing superstitious nonsense, we have to discard religion, a reinforcer of superstition nonsense first, so I guess progress is being made . . . cautiously, as the Durants would advocate. Instead of Shakespeare’s “First, kill all of the lawyers,” we are at the “First, defund all of the priests” stage.

Progress marches on!

March 25, 2021

The Esteem of Teachers

Filed under: Education,History,Politics — Steve Ruis @ 12:12 pm
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I have been reading Milton Mayer’s book “They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-1945” and I ran across this:

In the years of the rise the movement little by little brought the communities attitude toward the teacher around from respect and envy to resentment, from trust and fear to suspicion. The development seems to have been inherent; it needed no planning and had none. As the Nazi emphasis on nonintellectual virtues (patriotism, loyalty, purity, labor, simplicity, “blood,” “folkishness”) seeped through Germany, elevating the self-esteem of the “little man,” the academic profession was pushed from the very center to the periphery of society. Germany was preparing to cut its own head off. By 1933 at least five of my ten friends (and I think six or seven) looked upon “intellectuals” as unreliable, and among these unreliables, upon the academics as the most insidiously situated.” (p. 112)

I am quite aware of Godwin’s law (Invoke the Nazis and you’ve lost the argument.) but I plow on fearlessly. The Nazi’s were a totalitarian authoritarian bunch. And if you are just going to rule by giving orders, you do not want a bunch of credible naysayers arguing the other way. Fascists just don’t like opposition, so they either eliminate it or marginalize it.

Fast forward to today and we see some startling parallels. When I was young, teachers were held in high esteem, but over the past twenty or so years, teachers have been criticized as being pigs at the public trough, earning way too much money. They have been criticized as being the reason for failing schools. They have had collective bargaining rights stripped from them. Their unions have been demonized. Their role in the classroom undermined by “systems” that insist on approved classroom scripts being read instead of anything the teacher might have thought would be helpful. And when testing results of their pupils do not show progress, they are blamed as the sole cause.

I must also point out that during the social unrests of the 1960’s and 1970’s college students and teachers were much to the forefront. The revision of the bankruptcy laws disallowing student loans from being discharged (with no evidence for the claim such loans were being abused) has effectively chained students with a ball of debt they drag around with them through much of their working lives. Such people do not jeopardize their careers by falling behind on their debt payments, so they keep their heads down and just keep doing what they are told.

So, now that teachers and students have been defanged, we see a veritable war on science and the pointy-headed intellectuals behind it. We have become suspicious of experts, you know the people who kind of know what they are talking about. Gosh, would any American political party find this acceptable? Apparently both do to some extent. Joe Biden was a major force behind the student loan bankruptcy legislation. And the Republicans have been full bore on a “Let’s Get Ready for Fascism” campaign.

March 20, 2021

The Massage Parlor Shootings

Filed under: Culture,History,Morality,Race,The Law — Steve Ruis @ 8:16 am
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It seems that everyone has some kind of opinion about why these killings were made. Waiting for the shooter to be interviewed and the investigation to be complete is apparently too much to ask. By the time we find out what his motivations were, we will have moved on to some new atrocity or other.

I am placing my bet right now, however. I am betting that that young man’s training occurred at the toxic intersection of white privilege and evangelical Christianity. Both “communities” prey on young men, distorting whatever values that might have had. One pushes hard on white supremacy, the other on male supremacy. Both blame others for any problems they experience. Both demonize “others” matter-of-factly.

Why do we keep doing this to ourselves and then protect the right to do so as something near sacred?

March 15, 2021

Christ Ain’t a Name

Filed under: Culture,Education,History,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 10:10 am
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I continue to read works written by Christians in which they refer to “Christ” as if it were someone’s name. It isn’t.

Imagine if one took, say, Mike Trout, who is the centerfielder for the Anaheim Angels professional baseball team, and addressed his as “Mr. Centerfielder.” This is clearly confusing one’s occupation or description for the person’s name, no?

Well, “Christ” means “anointed one” and has implications as well as connotations. To be an “anointed one” one must be anointed, typically with oil, in a religious ceremony. In Judaism, there have been many of these, King David was one, for example. The high priests were typically anointed. The connotation was that an anointed one was chosen as being selected by god to fulfill a certain role. The word Christ is of Greek origin, the Hebrew word for “one anointed with oil” is messiah (actually mashiach—this has various spellings in that it is translated from a language which has a different alphabet).

Therefore Jesus was claimed to be a christ, a messiah and not “the Messiah.” He wasn’t/isn’t The Messiah any more than Mike Trout is The Centerfielder of Major League Baseball. It is also funny that Christians insist on imbuing Jesus with the title of being a Christ. Remember that that office was “being one chosen by God for a particular purpose.” Christians came around to the belief that Jesus was God, so basically their insistence that Jesus was a Christ equates to Jesus being chosen by himself to do something really important. In other words, the office was self-appointed . . . wtf?

The self-appointed Apostle Paul was fond of referring to this character as Christ Jesus, which makes a bit more sense, but maybe because we now tend to put titles out in front, like Doctor Fauci and President Biden.

But this practice would probably just mean that Christians will think that Christ is Jesus’s first name. I fully understand that this may just be a manifestation of Christianity having been dumbed down to be suitable for its audience. (One famous comment by a Texas state legislator, who was arguing against a bilingual education bill in front of him, was that only English should be used in schools because “if it was good enough for Jesus, it was good enough for him.” Apparently he didn’t realize that his Bible had been translated into a language that didn’t exist in the first century of the Current Era.)

March 12, 2021

Holding Out for a Hero

Filed under: Culture,History,language — Steve Ruis @ 11:18 am
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<Imagine Bonnie Tyler singing in the background. Don’t leave out the drum track . . . one of my favorites.>

The label “hero” is not just for sandwiches any more.

Sarcasm aside we seem to be using the label “hero” for people who are doing quite ordinary things. Early on, people who did heroic things did heroic things but that didn’t make them heroes. In Greek mythology, heroes were semi-divine beings who did heroic things as their job description. When people got into tight situations, many prayed or wished for a hero to show up and bail them out. Heracles was one of these—half god, half man—all he ever did was heroic things.

I tend to think of Hebrew “messiahs” in the same light. When in a tight place, the Hebrews looked for a hero, sent by god (hence the anointed label) to bail them out. Christians tend to talk about “the Messiah” as if there were only one. But there were many messiahs. David was one such, at least in their literature. There were many more. (Also, can anyone explain to me why it is so important to Christians, that Jesus was a Hebrew messiah? It seems not to be in any way pertinent to the Christian message and if he were a Hebrew messiah, he would have to have been a failed messiah, because Rome still ran the place after Jesus exited stage up. By the way, Christ essentially means anointed on, so messiah. It also escapes me as to why a god needs to brag about being anointed.

Today, heroes are no longer even people who do heroic things, which the term had been degraded to. Today, heroes are those who do just special things, occasionally. (“And isn’t that special!” Shut up, Church Lady!) You do not have to run into a burning building to rescue a child and its pet bunny to be labeled a fire fighting hero. Now, it is enough that you are a fireman by occupation. (I wonder if they have a “Hero of the Week” plaque up in the firehouse.)

Are we going to have to make up superlative forms for hero, like we did for “stars. We used to say so-and-so was a “movie star” or a “sports star” but soon that label was so widely used that it didn’t mean much. Movies now list their quite ordinary casts beginning with “Starring . . .” so we invented first “superstar” as a category, and now “megastar” on top of that. We now have “supercars” and “hypercars” to compare our “cars” to, also.

I am holding out for a real hero . . . actually not. (I just wanted to tie back to Bonnie . . . she is still singing, no?) This is just a prehistoric impulse of people overwhelmed by the situations they found themselves in. No ordinary people could survive such an ordeal, so they could only imagine being bailed out by a supernatural hero. Think of “Waiting for Superman” as a concept.

Just as there is no god, there are no old-fashioned supernatural heroes to solve our problems for us. Maybe it was time we grew up and took on adult responsibilities.

If you somehow missed Footloose or Shrek 2, try https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gwPDpQGOQo.

March 9, 2021

Reparations

Filed under: History,Morality,Race — Steve Ruis @ 9:55 am
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It is called America’s original sin: slavery. People in this country created a market for human slaves. We paid others to steal people and ruin their lives. We bought people and then stripped them of their families, their family ties, their cultures, their history, and any chance of getting an education.

Recently I have seen a documentary or two lauding Black churches and I wondered if people knew that white people used Christianity as an excuse for slavery, that by giving Black people the Baby Jesus, it was a gift so great that they had to give back their lives in recompense. I am glad many people found some joy in those churches but at the same time, I view them as a manifestation of white oppression.

So, today, the question is “should we make reparations for all of the pain, misery, and stolen labor.” Some argue that the people who deserve the reparations are all dead and the people who created the problem are all dead, so we should just move on. This attitude neglects the repercussions of slavery in this country. Even when slavery was abolished, the misery continued. We had innumerable laws to prevent Black people from living as whites were living. These Jim Crow laws eventually became illegal and were replaced by the New Jim Crow in which we demonize Black people, especially young Black men so much that we filled prisons with them and frightened police officers still gun them down for holding a toy gun in a toy store while talking on a phone (Any real threat there . . . I don’t think so). Police officers are indemnified from killing Black people so they never have to suffer consequences from doing so. In other words, the effects of slavery and the attitudes of the people that created that system exist still.

Reparations are not only warranted, but necessary.

The form of the reparations is debatable. A straight cash payout for anyone today who is a descendant of slaves is one possibility, but I suspect that is merely a symbolic “throwing of money at a problem.” It would probably only assuage the egos of white people.

A better solution is to attempt to undo the damage. We could start by repairing the damage done to primarily Black schools from underfunding and neglect. We could provide scholarships for descendants of slaves who wish to go to college, a la the GI Bill. We could invest in Black communities to repair their infrastructures, which have suffered from neglect and abuse, e.g. Flint, Michigan’s water system. We could provide Black communities with Wi-Fi service. We could create jobs in Black communities with the expectation that Black people would be majority hires, either through government service delivery or, better, incentives for private investment. We could eliminate food deserts in primarily Black communities. We could make small business loans more available to Black entrepreneurs who will invest in their communities.

It is payback time and how could we not do this in ways that benefit Black communities more than a single check might do.

I coach athletes and one of the wisest things I have ever been taught was from Lanny Bassham, a World and Olympic Champion rifle shooter. He said that to achieve such a level of performance there must be sacrifices made . . . by one’s family and loved ones. These are not small sacrifices as the athlete is spending so much time on training, they can’t be at family gatherings, meals, holidays, and even hold a job while training for a major event. Lanny said “There must be payback.” There must be payback for all that one’s “support team” does for them. Athletes who neglect this payback, end up with bad relationships, broken marriages, and bitter feelings.

If this is true for an athlete’s family, how much more true is it for people whose lives we stole and then ruined?

It is payback time now. We need to make it effective for the descendants of those we wronged. If you don’t think that you were a beneficiary of slavery, think again. Every white person in this country benefitted greatly from slavery. Our entire economy for the first almost 100 years of our existence as a country was a slavery economy.

February 8, 2021

Whatever Happened to the Founders’ Virtue

The Founding Fathers of our government spoke often of virtue and by this they were not talking about personal or individual virtues, how individuals live a virtuous life to impact their own well-being; they were speaking about public virtue. It may be an oversimplification but in a political context public virtue is the subordination of individual benefits to benefit the whole of society. The Founders seemed to have believed that if public virtue were not preeminently demonstrated and encouraged, the grand American Experiment in Democracy would fail.

We also occasionally laud healthcare workers and charity workers, etc. but mostly there are no calls for people to sacrifice for the “greater good.”

Currently, in the U.S., the only public virtue that is acknowledged is military service. Young men and women forgo “earning a living” to serve, often in dangerous situations, the greater good of the U.S. interests. (Would that U.S. politicians acknowledge those contributions with less venal declarations of what our interests are.)

We also occasionally laud healthcare workers and charity workers, etc. but mostly there are no calls for people to sacrifice for the “greater good.”

This especially applies to the very wealthy in the U.S. who seem to think that their great wealth is a sign of them being better than us and have decided that their ideas are best to run this country and have since taken over our political system by the simple expedient of buying it. That they have since used that system to expand their wealth shows that their public virtue is almost non existent. (Often the very wealthy use philanthropy to make overt statements of public virtue, but their other activities belie those gestures.)

This is where capitalism and the economic intellectuals who laud “market economies” come into play. Economics is larded with “principles” based upon “every man for himself” (they call it “enlightened self-interest,” really). Market economies are claimed to work best when people act in only their own self interest. Where in economics is the public good and the greater good and sacrifices that constitute displays of public virtue come into play? Well, they do not. They do not because the wealthy masters of that field want personal greed established as being worthy. “Greed is good,” they say.

People not only do not vote on candidates and issues that are contrary to their own interests “for the greater good” but vote against their self interests to inflict punishment on those they deem as being less worthy. (Yes, I am painting with a broad brush and not “all” do this but very many do.)

Is public virtue dead, and with it the American Experiment in Democracy?

February 7, 2021

Capitalism is Civilization 2.0

Filed under: Culture,Economics,History,Politics — Steve Ruis @ 11:23 am
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Note This may be a bit repetitious but I keep reading about it and it keeps shocking me. Steve

If you have followed this blog for long, you have read my take on civilization, namely that I am not a fan of civilization per se (See my post “Not a Fan of Civilization?”). The history of the first civilizations is often portrayed as “humans discovered agriculture and grew so much food they could afford kings and priests and the like.” (These descriptions are starting to sound like whitewashed Bible stories generated to proselytize children.) Actually, in almost every case, agriculture—large scale agriculture—was driven by elites or elite wannabes. Agricultural work was far more strenuous than hunting and gathering and people didn’t flock to the fields begging to be agricultural workers. The archeological record shows that people got physically smaller (shorter, less heavy) and more disease ridden because of agriculture.

Since cajoling people rarely worked to get them to toil in the fields, force was employed, and a set of new elites was created, full-time guards/soldiers. (Imagine volunteer firefighters being offered full-time jobs, with benefits. Such would have been the case for those who would arm themselves to defend the village from predators and marauders.) These “guards” made sure the field workers didn’t run off and also participated in slave raids in nearby villages. Yes, civilization was built upon widespread slavery, much like the American South.

As I have mentioned before, when capitalism and industrialization came along, “workers” didn’t show up and get in cues to be hired. Most English “peasants” valued their freedom and didn’t bite on various offers to “get a job.”

So, capitalists did what they normally do, they used governmental power to force people into their factories. They used every dirty trick in the book to get people off of the land and onto factory floors: laws were passed, taxes were levied, etc. You know the routine.

These are the same people who, today, laud how self-regulating markets are, that markets can organize our economies to be “Yuge, really yuge.” Except then they don’t and the bayonets come out.

As I stated in that post mentioned above: “From foragers being forced off land they’ve lived on for centuries because they cannot produce deeds of ownership, to eighteenth-century Scottish Highlanders who preferred to tend their sheep, to today’s college graduates saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt before they’ve landed their first job, nonparticipation in the market economy has consistently and effectively been eliminated as a viable option. To those who suggest we should “Love it or leave it,” I’d suggest that neither option is—or has ever been—a realistic possibility. It’s as if people are being forced into casinos at gunpoint, where they lose everything, generation after generation, and then they’re told they’ve got a gambling problem.”

February 6, 2021

Capitalism is Civilization 2.0

If you have followed this blog for long, you have read my take on civilization, namely that I am not a fan of civilization per se (See my post “Not a Fan of Civilization?”). The history of the first civilizations is often portrayed as “humans discovered agriculture and grew so much food they could afford kings and priests and the like.” (These descriptions are starting to sound like whitewashed Bible stories generated to proselytize children.) Actually, in almost every case, agriculture—large scale agriculture—was driven by elites or elite wannabes. Agricultural work was far more strenuous than hunting and gathering and people didn’t flock to the fields begging to be agricultural workers. The archeological record shows that people got physically smaller (shorter, less heavy) and more disease ridden because of agriculture.

Since cajoling people didn’t always work to get them to toil in the fields, force was employed, and a set of new elites was created, full-time guards/soldiers. (Imagine volunteer firefighters being offered full-time jobs, with benefits. Such would have been the case for those few who would arm themselves to defend the village from predators and marauders.) These people made sure the field workers didn’t run off and also participated in slave raids in nearby villages. Yes, civilization was built upon widespread slavery, much like the American South.

As I have mentioned before, when capitalism and industrialization came along, “workers” didn’t show up and get in cues to be hired. Most English “peasants” valued their freedom and didn’t bite on various offers to “get a job.”

So, capitalists did what they normally do, use governmental power to force people into their factories. They used every dirty trick in the book to get people off of the land and onto factory floors: laws were passed, taxes were levied, etc. You know the routine.

These are the same people who, today, laud how self-regulating markets are, that markets can organize our economies to be “Yuge, really yuge.”

As I mentioned in that post above: “From foragers being forced off land they’ve lived on for centuries because they cannot produce deeds of ownership, to eighteenth-century Scottish Highlanders who preferred to tend their sheep, to today’s college graduates saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt before they’ve landed their first job, nonparticipation in the market economy has consistently and effectively been eliminated as a viable option. To those who suggest we should “Love it or leave it,” I’d suggest that neither option is—or has ever been—a realistic possibility. It’s as if people are being forced into casinos at gunpoint, where they lose everything, generation after generation, and then they’re told they’ve got a gambling problem.”

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