Notes on the Usury Paradigm
Tom White is a distinguished (and
Perpetual Growth Is Impossible:
by Tom White
The world has had a long love affair
with the idea of growthgrowth of everything from
population to wealth. And most of the world still
believes that growth is a good thing.
Unfortunately, it isnt a good thing, at least not
over the long haul.
Over short periods of time and for
special purposes growth can be borne; in fact without
some growth, we should have no food and no people. All of
us start as an ovum and a spermatozoon and go on from
there. We had better bear with that fact cheerfully, or
we shall really be in trouble. The growth of that initial
fertilized human ovum is the very model of sane and
acceptable growth, since after nine months a baby results,
and after 90 years, more or less, barring wars, disease,
or famine that shorten life span, that baby dies and
makes room for another human being. Sanity.
I believe the world needs to drop its
fascination with perpetual growth, which is an
insanity. The formula for it is the formula for
compound interest, which Einstein is alleged
to have said is the greatest invention of the human race.
I should say rather the greatest lunacy of
the human race. And I go so far as to say that
compound interest on money is THE paradigm
of modern global society, of finance-capitalist
The whole world is entranced by the
possibility of living like the rich, which means, first,
getting hold of a fortune. As some Wall Street operator
has famously said, this is something you need to do just
once. Then you can live on the interest from said fortune,
invested wisely in sound stocks and bounds.
This simple program really worked for a
time and some people, notably for the British in their
heyday as rentiers to virtually the whole world. That
world is now gone, as surely as Jane Austens world
is gone of known fortunes and predictable returns on them.
But not its central ideology. That still rules us as the
dominant social paradigm of our entire age and over all
the world. Our current U.S. president seems to be
convinced that with the right jiggering the system can be
made to work again. I do not think so. Only a huge
disaster can result from what is now going forward in
Washington, DC, and New York City (Wall Street)and
as far as I can see, in the rest of the worlds
Which Is It?
Depending on ones angle of view,
the current world situation and the current American
situation can be seen as either ridiculously simple or
The complex view is the daily staple of
the newspapers and the Internet. It has produced the
present national (and world) mood: a semi-stunned, vast
world of plebs (6-plus billion people) sits around
wondering whats going to happen next (and watching
TV if they have it); a very small elite cooks up
happenings, wars included, and delivers them
to governments. The pleb watches and comments and, while
money lasts, buys food (including dinners-out) and
pursues daily interests, entertainments, and duties. Does
disaster lie ahead? Will all go forward swimmingly? Who
knows? And as long as my thing keeps going,
The simple view, however, is on display,
more or less stridently, only on certain web sites on the
Internet, in certain new books and many old ones. It has
no large clientèle, because it is hated with an intense
passion by the current Establishment (see below), which
has done and will do everything it can to kill it off. At
present the Establishments modus operandi is to
stifle and ignore it, to treat it as the ravings of
By the simple view I mean
the call for a complete overhaul of our money-and-credit
system, an overhaul that would return the issuance of all
money from private bankers to the government, the
people. The primary website for those who are
interested in the current state of this immensely
rational argument is that of the American Monetary
Institute at http://www.monetary
AMI has a developed program, including
a draft of a monetary reform act that has been presented
to Congress, but it gets no mainstream media publicity
because the bankers presently own Congress
and rule it, as they do the media.
A few more words on the overhaul AMI
seeks: it involves, first, some combination of a
repudiation or write-down of our national debt and a
jubilee of debt forgiveness such as the world has not
seen for several millennia (not since Biblical days).
Professor Michael Hudson of the University of Kansas (website:
The proposed overhaul or reform of the
money system also means (or should mean) the end of
interest-taking as a function of the issuance of money.
Most of our present bankers money represents an
interest-bearing loan to somebody. For there to be more
money under the present system there has to be more debt.
That is the deadly connection now in force nearly
I would cheerfully agree to
abolish interest-taking (usury properly so-called),
except that you cannot abolish such things. Its
like trying to abolish sexual wanderings or greed. But
one can withhold the use of the law to enforce
interest-taking, and that should effectively end the
worst of the usurers depredations. Even that, of
course, is a far-away eventuality in our banker-ruled
Now for a few elucidations
There is an immense more to be said
about money. I advance some thoughts in the remainder of
this piece. These thoughts are set down in no particular
order and are basically free-standing, except that they
are all connected to my principal topic.
A Viable Government
By the words nation,
state, or country we usually mean
essentially the same thing. Let's start with what defines
a State or an independent country. (This is quoted from
the geography section of About.com):
An independent State:
Has space or territory, which has
internationally recognized boundaries (boundary disputes
Has people who live there on an
Has economic activity and an
organized economy. A country regulates foreign and
domestic trade and issues money.
[This is where Matt Rosenberg, the
author of this definition, goes off track. If any
independent state issues money I am not aware
of which they are. Id like to know. I suspect this
is the reason for the strength of China, but I simply
dont know the facts. I remind you I am not a
finance professional; else I should almost certainly be
arguing for the divine right of bankers, which is the
default mode of most financial writers. The U.S. for
example presently has (no doubt temporarily) the most
powerful money in the world; oil, the black gold,
is marketed in dollars worldwide; and all our current
wars, in one view, are designed to obtain oil sources or
oil-pipeline routes The U.S. dollar is virtually a world
standard, but it is issued by the private bankers who own
the Federal Reserve, a condition I argue in this article
needs to be ended.]
Has the power of social
engineering, such as education.
Has a transportation system for
moving goods and people.
Has a government which provides
public services and police power.
Has sovereignty. No other State
should have power over the country's territory.
[Again, an objection to author
Rosenbergs point. Sovereignty is defined as the
supreme power. It rules the nation and issues
its money. I remind you of Meyer Anselm Rothschilds
classic remark to the effect that so long as he
controlled a nations money, he didnt care who
made its laws. He knew, of course, that he who issues a
nations money is its true sovereign.]
Has external recognition. A
country has been "voted into the club" by other
There are currently 195 independent countries or States around the world. Territories of countries or
individual parts of a country are not countries in their
End of quote.
Usury: A Definition
By usury I
mean the taking of any interest on a loan of
moneyany interest, any kind of money. There are
other definitions of usury, but this is the one that our
Western world began with, the one that undergirds the
Bibles prohibition of usury. I am sticking with it.
or pattern for the rise of the perpetual growth
paradigm or, as I also call it, the usury
paradigm, is, as I have said, compound interest.
with me for a bit of a somewhat technical set-out: the
formula for compound interest is D=P(1+r)n,
where D is the debt at the end of a designated
number of years; P is the principal loaned; r
is the rate of interest; n is the number of years
the principal was loaned for.
formula one can quickly derive the famous Law of 72,
the law of doubling. To determine (approximately) how
long it will take for a quantity of anything to double at
a certain rate of growth, divide 72 by that annual growth
probably are already aware of how quickly one reaches
astronomical numbers by repeatedly doubling any quantity:
1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096,
8192, 16,384. . . . Thus one can go from, for example, $1
million to $1,638.4 million (that figure equals $1.638
trillion or $1,638,000,000) in a mere 14 doublings.
doublingit is clear that any growth
persisted in long enough will lead to a doubling, and if
the growth continues, to still further doublings, and so
on, forever. Continued, everlasting growth of anything is
simply impossible in our finite world. The formula for
compound interest is the formula for perpetual growth.
Perpetual growth is impossible; compound interest is the
formula for the impossiblefor utter ruin. Nature
stops all growth. There are no 14-foot-tall human beings,
no 500-lb. mosquitoes, no 900-foot-tall Sequoias.
interest on money is possible for a while, but if
persisted in, it must produce disaster. We are just now
at the end of a 500-year growth binge produced by the
astonishing success of capitalism. It has
also produced a disaster, although not everyone is yet
convinced of that, chiefly because we have not yet seen
the final chapters of the story.
My wife and
I recently got a money pitch in the mail from Shell Oil,
with whom we have a gasoline account. If we accepted
their generous offer to advance us $1,200, they would be
delighted to do so. In the small print, however, they
made it plain that if we failed to meet their terms in
some way, they would be forced to charge us 28% annually
on the outstanding balance. By almost anyones
definition of usury thats usury. At that rate an
outstanding balance would double in less than three years.
The only people who would take such an offer have arrived
at a state of desperation awful to think about. You might
well ask why an oil company is in the usury racket. I
think the answer is, it is the best racket in town. In
our city of fewer than 100,000 people the number of banks
grows continually and paycheck lenders
proliferate in our strip-mall storefronts like dandelions
in an untended lawn.
paradigm in its present meaning came into
common use in the years since 1962, when Thomas Kuhn
employed it tellingly in his now famous book, The
Structure of Scientific Revolutions. To simplify,
Kuhn held that science meanders along according to one
paradigm until, after many contributions from
many scientists, the old paradigm comes to
seem inadequate to explain things; the scientists who
held stubbornly to the old paradigm have the
good grace to die off; and lo! a new paradigm comes into
thought the word examplar just as good as
paradigm to indicate what he was talking about, but
paradigm has carried the day and been much
expanded in its meaning and applications over the last 40
that the Usury Paradigm, which fosters the adoption of
governmental and financial policies to promote
growth, as applied to the human cultivation
of the earth, to the industrial production of nations,
and especially to the growth of money by
means of interest as the enabler of all plans
for the future, has led to our present quite grievous
dilemma. To summarize; it has resulted in an
unsustainable, rising level of world population, and
intensifying global crises in food, energy, pollution,
and lately and above all, in the financial world.
gives this on paradigm: The Merriam-Webster Online
dictionary defines paradigm as a
philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific
school or discipline within which theories, laws, and
generalizations and the experiments performed in support
of them are formulated; broadly : a philosophical
or theoretical framework of any kind.)
coming at essentially the same social dissension that
Marx called class war, pinned it down in a
brilliant paragraph that has only one flaw, a flaw of
omission; he did not name the people who had the power he
described. Even back then, in 1931, it was not possible,
evidently, for a Pope to get that close to the bone, to
name the class of bankers or hint at their Jewish flavor
or the usury paradigm they promulgated. This
was in his famous social encyclical, Quadragessimo
Anno of 1931, in Paragraphs 104-109.
Pius XI was
writing in the same period in which Father Charles
Coughlin was being disciplined by the Church for his
outspoken critiquequite a bit too pointedof
the same money masters whom Pius described. (See Thomas J.
Herrons article, When Is a Church Burning Not
a Hate Crime? Jewish Lightning Hits Father
Coughlins Shrine, in Culture Wars
Magazine, November 2002.)
the capitalist system had undergone many changes since
Leo XIIIs encyclical Rerum Novarum of 1891,
the first place, it is obvious that not only is wealth
concentrated in our times but an immense power and
despotic economic dictatorship is consolidated in the
hands of a few. . . . This dictatorship is being most
forcibly exercised by those who, since they hold the
money and completely control it, control credit also and
rule the lending of money. Hence they regulate the flow,
so to speak, of the life-blood whereby the entire
economic system lives, and have so firmly in their grasp
the soul, as it were, of economic life that no one can
breathe against their will.
Christs Either-Or Rule
In several verses of the New Testament
that have no parallels in the Old, Christ says a human
being has only two choices, he will worship God or Mammon.
Strongs Concordance gives the meaning of Mammon as
a Chaldean word for money. Thats how Msgr. Ronald
Knox translated it in his The New Testament in English
published in the 1940s. The critical verses are Matthew 6:24
(in the Sermon on the Mount) and Luke 16:13; they are
nearly identical and rendered this way by Msgr. Knox:
Mt: 6:24. A man cannot be the slave of
two masters at once; either he will hate the one and love
the other, or he will devote himself to the one and
despise the other. You must serve God or money; you
cannot serve both.
Lk: 16:13. No servant can be in the
employment of two masters at once; either he will hate
the one and love the other, or he will devote himself to
the one and despise the other. You must serve God or
money; you cannot serve both.
obvious to me that we live in the Age of Mammon, or in
Augustines terms, we live in the City of Man. The
City of God is remote from us. We may try to connect with
it, but the opposition is tremendous and the
encouragement to self-delusion equally so. In Hindu terms,
we live in the Kali Yuga, the end times of the end times.
The Classical Truth About Money
classical point about usury or interest-taking is
Aristotles: Usury is unnatural.
Aristotle understood that money is sterile. And he said
that "Money exists not by nature but by law,"
and, "The most hated sort (of wealth getting) and
with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain
out of money itself and not from the natural object of it.
For money was intended to be used in exchange but not
to increase at interest (my emphasis). And this term
interest (tokos), which means the birth of money
from money, is applied to the breeding of money because
the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all
modes of getting wealth, this is the most unnatural"
The Modern Understanding
As an illustration of the commonplace
assumption nowadays that growth is good, let
me now quote a 5-column headline in our local Sunday
newspaper only a few months ago: U.S. Economy is
growing despite doomsayers. The piece was written
by a local man, who is widely revered hereabouts because
he is apparently vastly well-to-do and is an economist,
but no mere academician, rather an effective player in
the markets of the state and nation. He owns a fine house
rumored to have cost many millions.
This pundit assures the local
investing public that they can count on
achieving compound annual growth rates (CAGR) that
exceed those of the U.S. And that means, he says, a
growth rate higher than 3.77 percent, which is what he
calculates for the nation for the long term (until
2030). (That rate of growth would produce a
doubling of Gross National Product in a mere 18 years!
And you thought that things were a bit dicey already!)
How the rate of inflation figures in this our author does
not say. There is not the tiniest note of skepticism
about the need for and the general excellence of
growth. Welcome to Nut-World thought as
presently prevailing (or as still prevailing about a year
I notice in all my recent surfings of
the Internet that growth is being called for
at virtually every hand: pundits look for signs of
green shoots, eagerly prospect for this or
that manifestation of renewed expansion, or
signs of growth in anything at all. They speak with one
voice as to the excellence of renewed growth.
Meanwhile the only thing growing is our total of national
and personal debt, and that is going off the charts for
effective element in the American
Establishment and in fact in the
Establishment of all the world is the Jewish
one. That is not really new in America or the world but
it has become quite obvious since World War II. By
Establishment I mean simply the people
who run things, whose word goes, who have the controlling
(not necessarily the only) voice in the councils of
politics, finance, war, and peace.
until WW II, the WASPs, white Anglo-Saxon Protestants,
were unquestionably our Establishment, although the Jews
were important from the beginning. It was Jewish
influence that got us into WW I under Wilson and,
actually a year before that war openedfour years
before we entered itthe Jews in their role as
international bankers (think Rothschild, Warburg),
achieved the legal creation by our Congress of the
privately owned Federal Reserve System, and Jews (or
their surrogates) have dominated it ever since, thus
controlling the issue of our money and the purposes to
which it is put, with the result Pius XI described in the
passage quoted above.
since 1946 have seen something now called the rise
of the Jews, the tremendous increase in America in
the wealth, power, and numbers of the Ashkenazim, the
Central European Jews, who have, incidentally, very
little but a literary connection with the Holy Land.
Just a few
years ago Americans became aware that fully half of the
great rich of our land, that is to say, its
billionaires, are Jewish, although Jews make up less than
3% of the population. In recent years something called
the Jewish (or Israeli) Lobby, AIPAC
and the hundreds of other Jewish organizations in the
landhas proved immensely powerful, capable of
seeing that billions of dollars of American support go to
Israel every year, despite Israels record of waging
relentless war on the Palestinians it shunted aside and
has brutally oppressed since 1948.
comments of the foregoing kind are routinely dismissed by
various Jewish spokespeople as predictable anti-Semitism
on the part of non-Jews, but the one thing one never
hears is a believable denial that there is, in
fact, no plan or intention on the part of Jews (the BIG
Jews who have the money for it and not the little Jews
who do not) to rule the world. All their
actions as bankers indicate they intend to. Israel Shamir,
a Christian, former Jew, and great writer, clearly thinks
the Jews intend to rule the goyim, and in certain ways do
now. He calls them the Masters of Discourse,
controllers of public speech. They appear to already rule
America. We await at this moment word that Obama can
defuse Natanyahus radical program for the Middle-East:
Jews Über Alles. The issue is in doubt, at
least. Shamir makes the curious observation that the Jews
are like locusts; with no manifest individual leader,
they still succeed in ravaging any country they choose to.
The Crime of the Ages
The use of usury to turn a nation of
free people into debt slaves is the basic idea; it is no exaggeration
to say that it is the crime of the ages and cries out for
Australian scholar Peter Myers has
lately provided an illustration of Jewish awareness of
what they are about in supporting debt for gentiles. (Myerss
website, where one may sign on for his frequent emails is
Myers quotes a Lubavitcher source
printed in an April 7, 2009 issue of Actualité Juive,
a respectable Jewish magazine in France. It
is a "Positive Mitsva N° 198: It's the
command we were instructed to demand interest from a non-Jew
to whom we lend money, so that not only we don't help him
and don't do him a service, but we *harm* him by lending
money with interest, something we are forbidden to do to
Myers comments: I already knew
this Mitsva, but it's the first time I read that its goal
is to harm gentiles. I translated the French verb "nuire"
("nuisions") by "to harm." A scan of
the page is at http://www.cijoint.
Myers quotes two verses from the O.T.
to the point:
will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow. The
LORD will make you the head, and not the tail; you shall
be only at the top, and not the bottom . . ." (Deuteronomy
shall not charge interest on loans to another Israelite,
interest on money, interest on provisions, interest on
anything that is lent. On loans to a foreigner you may
charge interest, but on loans to another Israelite you
may not charge interest . . ." (Deuteronomy 24:19-20).
This is the word for the biggest
problem of all. If moral sanity were somehow ascendant in
the world, all attention would be focused on feeding
everybody adequately. And on redesigning world systems,
not by fiat but by humane changes everywhere, so as to
continue to provide food for all. This should be the main
focus of every locality from this point forward:
arranging for successful growing of food within easy
travel range: virtual agricultural self-sufficiency. Of
course this is a Utopian program. The tragedy
is that a sane response to the most necessary challenges
is considered Utopian. Ill say no more, just
perhaps direct you to the website www.dieoff.com for some scary estimates of what lies ahead if
we just keep going as we are now.
Except to say that the overstretch of
world population up to and beyond the Earths
carrying capacity, especially in the teeth of the crash
in cheap energy supplies, that is, oil, may never be much
discussed by politicians, but at some point these folk
will be swept away. Then, at last, we shall see the
population problem writ large, with who knows
what kind of dire consequences or inventive solutions.
One of the more significant of opinion-makers
about money in America goes by the name of the
Austrian School of Economics. It is currently
headed by Lew Rockwell, a co-worker of Murray Rothbard in
his last years, who now heads the von Mises Institute in
Auburn, Alabama, a focus of libertarian opinion. His
school would liquidate or disestablish the Federal
Reserve System in favor of a return to the gold
standard. In other words, they hold entirely with
the commodity money principle: money should have
intrinsic worth and not be just a measure of other values.
Ron Paul was their candidate in the last election.
The Austrians particularly
deplore the idea of government as the issuer of money.
They want banks to run on a basis of 100%- reserves,
employing the gold standard; and they have adopted an
unremitting anti-government stance. Their contention is
that everything government does can be done better by
private entities. Many of their published writings are
extremely well done, those of Murray Rothbard especially,
but there is a radical blindness endemic to their work:
they cannot see that governmentof one sort or
anotherhas been with us since the dawn of history,
and is apt to be with us to the end of itand for
good reasons that have been shown up in the current
I repeat: the only power great enough
to stop the bankers in their drive for control of the
world is government-of-
already mentioned here and there some people whose work
is vital to the needed money reform. Here, briefly stated
are a few of the more significant opponents of the
bankers unfair monopoly of the power to issue money:
Pound, to whom I owe my own conviction that the money
question is the most important question before all
nations. I have written about him before in Culture Wars.
Mullins, a man who met Pound while he was in St.
Elizabeths Hospital in D.C. charged with treason. He has
written and published a number of vital books on the
Federal Reserve and other financial and cultural topics,
many of them unobtainable. I own a few of them and
propose soon try to get in touch with Mr. Mullen again,
not having heard from him in five or more years. Google
for Eustace Mullins and follow where that leads. An
impressive education will result.
Ederer, who writes for Culture Wars magazine. He agrees
that bankers should not issue our money, the government
should. I m not sure how he would propose that should be
done differently than the American Monetary
Institutes Stephen Zarlengas proposals.
feature of the present scene is that all the various
writers who have a common disdain for the present system,
do not seem to be united in a mass to drive for change.
They give the impression of being isolated individuals
rather than a strong movement. Apparently that is as it
must be after the sweeping takeover in the last century
of nothing less than the world by the bankers, who gave
globalized successfully way ahead of everybody else.
Brown, an attorney and brilliant writer, I am less
familiar with her work than I should be, but she is right-on.
Cook, an astonishingly brave writer and critic who has
retired from the U.S. Treasury and is now supporting the
money reform the American Monetary Institute proposes:
Government issue and control of money. Cook is especially
keen to see Major Douglass Social-Credit ideas put
into effect. Ezra Pound was a major promoter of Douglas
right after World War I. I believe Cooks scheme is
the right one, but of course highly unlikely to be
adopted unless there is a sharp turn in D.C. at some
Truth in Money people. Currently their
website says they are taking a leave of absence.
I own the book of that name and am entirely convinced by
it. Used copies of the paperback that I own, and paid
perhaps less than $10 to buy 20 years ago, are now
selling on Amazon for close to $200. Truth in Money
was written by two engineers who really figured out what
was going on.
Astles The Babylonian Woe. I have mentioned
this work before. I think it one of the most interesting
of all studies of banking practices and money. Astle
tells the story from earliest times in Mesopotamia to
Greece and Rome. Amazon has a used copy at $96; Barnes
and Noble, where I bought my copy years ago, no longer
offers it. It, like Truth in Money, offers a
wonderful chance, it seems to me, to make a good profit
on a reprint, but it doesnt happen.
I should be
offering more detail on important books. The above
citations are rather at random. A good list would go on
for pages. And when it comes to the InternetI stand
down. Incredible riches there. But this piece is already
too long. I leave it to the interested reader to do his
own research. The whole campaign of getting the usurers
off our backs will take many people and require their
doing much workwhich will not, unfortunately,
likely get done or achieve the result of driving off the
crooks who are siphoning money out of the U.S. in a kind
of high glee. Its too easy, and Americans are too
stupid and distracted to get it. What well get out
of all this is what well no doubt deserve.
sentiment (and it is hardly more than that since it is an
entirely emotional reading) is that there will be no very
successful solution found to the economic distress the
economy has encountered in the last year or more. A chief
reason for my great skepticism about the economy and its
recovery is that the same bankers who created
the present financial mess have been enlisted by
government to provide the solution. One might perhaps be
forgiven for calling this crazy, but thats what
probably entering a period of decline and reorientation
that will stretch out for many years. I accept the
premise of Peak Oil: the total amount in the world has
been half used up; we are on a declining slope and can no
longer count on cheap energy. We may hope to
avoid violence and starvation, but perhaps we cannot. The
great global networks of trade and capital transfer, of
international lending and investment, will shrink, as
global goods shipments have shrunk in the recent collapse
of economic credit-based activity.
point I expect the word to go out from the
capitals: save yourselves if you can. At that
point I think massive and expensive governments may go
unfunded and smaller and more efficient, more local ones
arise to take their place. If this can be accomplished
without chaos and gunfire well be lucky. My crystal
ball goeth not much beyond this point. Its
ridiculous to try to plot the future in detail; it will
always be something we cant foresee.
Some of the
understandings one might hope would go with this
reorientation are: small is better,
local is beautiful, government is by
people we know. I find myself disbelieving in
monster totalitarian systems where huge, dazed herds of
people are ruled by distant experts. That seems to me a
highly dystopian vision that I hope and pray never comes
to be. What I am reasonably sure of is that where we have
lately seemed to be heading is not where we are going to
end up. I hope my vision or opinion strikes
others as fairly positive.
Now we come
to the most complex and unlikely aspect of this whole
discussion. E. Michael Jones and writers published by him
have explored this topic extensively over recent years.
As have a number of other writers on money as noted above.
It is possible to talk and write about money and problems
with money without mentioning the connection of Jews to
the subject, but it is misleading to do so.
wrote in On the Jewish Question, "Money is
the zealous one God of Israel, beside which no other God
may stand. . . . The God of the Jews has become
secularised and is now a worldly God. The bill of
exchange is the Jew's real God. His God is the illusory
bill of exchange" (from On The Jewish Question,
tr. Dagobert Runes as A World Without Jews) and
quoted from Peter Myers at http://mailstar.
the melodramatic rhetoric. Is this statement of Marx not
plainly true, not just of Jews but Mammonites of all
lineages? It is astonishing how weak and dithery we
Christians have become in the face of contemporary
Mammonism. In fact is it at all accurate to claim that
not very many real Christians any longer exist, in or
outside the churches?
On Violence and War
Fr. Charlie insists that to use or defend the use of violence is to deny the Lord Christ. This view condemns the behavior of the churches and its leaders pretty generally. They have connived to misrepresent the teachings of Our Lord from the Constantinian conversion of Rome to the present. The Lord said we are to love our enemies and forgive those who wrong us. As we forgive them so shall we be forgiven our trespasses in life.
Of course Fr. Charlie is widely thought of, if thought of at all, as a typical clerical dreamer, unrealist, or what have you. Most of what I have said in this piece probably falls under the same dismissing rubric. No matter. Without vision the people perish.
I suggested to Israel Shamir that the Christian romance with violence (the Crusades, feudal chivalry, and their illegitimate heir in modern warfare) had been just the mistake Fr. McCarthy said it was. I included in this the much discussed and honoredexcept in practiceChristian Just War Theory. Shamir responded that he was not a pacifist. Nations, particularly weaker ones, he said, must be free to defend themselves against aggression.
I stand corrected by him: I choose non-violence for myself because I am a citizen of the most violent and aggressive rogue state in the world; however, prompted by Shamir, I acknowledge the right of, for example, the Iranians and N. Koreans to seek nuclear ability to defend themselves against the aggression of their enemies. In a dog-eat-dog world, it seems to me right to refuse to be just another dog, but others also have the right to see things differently.
I am done with warfare myself; but others are not. The idea of gunning up to defend oneself against U.S. armaments is ridiculous. Our government has moved with lethal force against anyone who muscles up against it; the sight of your gun(s) gives them the license to gun you down. The Branch Davidians in Waco were the classic victims of such government action.