Jesus’ Indictment Against The Capitalist
In the book of Revelation chapter 13 John sees a second beast come up out of the earth. We learn that this second beast exercised all the power of the first beast, or empire, that proceeded it. This beast which came first is what the bible describes as the Roman empire. And truly in history another empire did rise up to eventually create an image of this first; and the second beast was to be called the United Sates of America. John seen that this beast had two horns like a lamb; representing a Messiah like, or righteous type of character (Jesus himself was depicted as a lamb). We learn that this second beast not only had these same characteristics of a lamb but it also spake as a dragon. A dragon is a serpent or snake and is described in the scripture as a liar or deceiver. This beast, then, only appears to be righteous but is a hypocrite.
We often hear recited and said in the United States, “In God we Trust” and “One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” We are told that this country has been built on hard, honest work. In truth, the foundations of the United Sates itself is built on exploitation, slavery, robbery, deceit, bloodshed, selfishness, self centeredness and has created an economic system that continues to exploit and rob the people of the world. This country was founded by the stealing of people throughout Africa, poor ‘white-trash’ in Europe, a violent theft of Indian egalitarian societies and from cheap Asian labor etc. The empire of America, in their measure of ‘justice’, considered dark skinned people to be 3/5th of a person and up to 100 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, in their execution of law, forbid landless whites to vote.
Yet this nation speaks of justice, equity and freedom. What kind of freedom they are really talking about?
They mean to free you of anything and everything you have to be able to support yourself and take care of yourself independent of their control. They want to own it all. The land, the raw materials. Your mind. They want to make you totally free so you can sell yourself to be peons, indebted people who have to work constantly to pay the debts, taxes, high rents and high costs of food. But yet in the same breath they talk of family, justice and liberty.
This does not sound like justice, equality and freedom. Though they do this in the name of the God of Abraham, it is truly down right deceitful. If you put the United States Constitution into context of the environment that existed at the time you will find that is does not level up to it’s claims that every man can find happiness, life and liberty. In reality, the Constitution of the United States of America only granted the ruling class these rights. The war for independence, the revolution, was fought between two ruling classes over the economic control of the new world. Excluded were the poor whites, all blacks and all women. Because this second beast is a liar, and comes deceitfully in the name of Christianity, many have been indoctrinated to become willing participants to pledge an allegiance to it’s values and ideologies.
The exploited feel the oppression and while they are looking for answers they go to the unjust government, to the vampire politicians who never will give an answer that will be to their benefit. People all over the world have been exploited by a few rich aristocrats of bloated plutocracy; who have now created an educational system that has convinced people in their own minds to be mere peons in a peonage system of wage slavery and indebtedness. This machine even has the nerve to claim it is a believer in the bible. As he himself was battling against the ruling class and elite in the Roman empire, the apostle Paul reminded us: marvel not that Satan himself and his ministers have transformed themselves into the ministers of righteousness. These criminals come to you like they are in your behalf but in all the meantime they are planning on how they can overtake and consume you.
Let’s for a moment identify with a man who himself sought out justice in his own country: one of the Bolsheviks in the early 1900s during the formation of a war time economy. When he began to question the state– the form of government that has uplifted itself among the rest of society; the form of government that favors the corporations and rich, who to themselves have their armies and police force to keep the poor in check because their harsh actions may elicit the wrong response (from a people who may just want a little more);the form of state that exacts its taxes and usury from the people to finance their system of oppression. This man said,
The imperialist war has immensely accelerated and intensified the process of transformation of monopoly capitalism into state monopoly capitalism. The monstrous oppression of the working people by the state which is merging more and more with an all powerful capitalist association. It is becoming increasingly monstrous, the advanced countries we mean, their hinterland, are becoming military convict prisons for the workers.
He is describing the system of the capitalist as a monstrous oppression. Some of us who try to make the argument that capitalism is just, that it is a system of free trade have lost touch with reality and are totally out of touch. Free trade is not all it is. If capitalism was indeed free trade then the question would be why can’t you go drill for oil in the Gulf of Mexico and then go transport that oil to world market? The barriers of entry won’t allow you to; the high prices of permits, fees, regulations, high prices of equipment and licensing will keep you out. Why can’t you go to Ghana and acquire some of their beautiful furniture and ship it back and forth yourself? Try it and see what kind of opposition you will run into. Go to Cuba and try to trade freely and see what kind of oppression meets you.
In Collier’s Encyclopedia we read that
Capitalism is a type of economic system which is characterized by private ownership of property, freedom of enterprise, and its accompanying profits and competition and freedom of choice by individual consumers.
There is a separation between the capitalist (to include the land grabbers and landlords) and the consumer. They are telling the consumers they are free to buy wherever they want. At the end of the day, what does it mean to have freedom to purchase wherever you want when you have no money? What difference does it make? You are not free to pick the garbage when you’re broke. It becomes a no loitering zone after you have fell victim to the capitalist stranglehold.
Forms of capitalism have been in evidence from very early times; ancient Egypt, Babylonian, Carthage, Greece and Rome. The course of economic history in general shows no sharp break anywhere but rather a slow and continuous transformation
Capitalism continues to transform and mutate itself with the development of technology and its advancement has been in motion from very early times, even in Rome.
Notice what the Encyclopedia Britannica says under Capitalism:
A society is called Capitalist if it entrusts its economic process to the guidance of the private businessman. This may be said to imply first private ownership of non personal means of production. Most of the features that define the capitalist order may be found in the ancient world, particularly in the Greco-Roman sector.
Notice the wording carefully: Private ownership. This is upon the poor who need things to survive. The capitalist have made something that is non personal, personal. Such as the land our food grows on. Coal, timber, metals, water, food etc. all come from the land. We have men who seized it all for themselves and they now become the few who own all that pertains to life. Consider that everything comes from the land; your computer, your car, your socks, your shelter and what you eat. These resources have been privatized. He owns the industrial plants and mines to extract these raw materials. He also owns privately all the equipment needed to then process and assemble. The whole process of turning the raw materials into finished product is all privately owned by the businessmen. In the beginning the land was non personal and available to everyone. Now the capitalist has his police forces and armies protect it from the poor who need these things. He also privately owns the animals on the land which are also prohibited to the poor.
We have read out of two encyclopedias that have brought Rome into the sector of Capitalism. Why do we want to do this? Because it was the historical setting of Jesus of Nazareth. In the time of the Roman empire, in the time of capitalism, we find Jesus. Capitalism is not new.
The upheavals and devastation that accompanied the fall of the Western Roman empire never destroyed this capitalist trade and manufacture entirely.
Even though Rome fell the second beast rose up out of the sea who was to exercise all the same power and authority (Revelation 13). This second beast was to spearhead the economic world today. The United States of America and its allies are still apart of the Roman empire but have expanded away and are no longer called such. Through expansion the United States and its founding fathers sought to create a second Rome minus the Papacy. They have created a likeness, an image with the base built upon economics and commerce. This is why the encyclopedia explained that even though Rome fell all the capitalist trade and manufacture was never destroyed completely.
What does this mean to us today? Why is it important? When you want to see the establishing of capitalism you will want to look into the Greco-Roman sector. This is what Daniel the prophet was warning the people about. One of the most dreadful things he saw coming was the invasion of imperialism by the Greeks. People look right past this as they eagerly throw all of Daniel’s prophesies into the future. They don’t understand how the world was turned upside down when the Greeks took power. When Alexander went on his conquests it has been said (in the book of Maccabees) that great evils were multiplied in he earth.
There is a need to understand political economy because theologians have preached many fictions doctrines and not much else to the people. John the Revelator, when he described that the first beast was to be given life and be healed by the second, introduces to us this important subject. The first beast was recreated by the second beast empire and this new image will cause all, rich or poor, free or slave, to receive a mark in the forehead in order to buy or sell. This takes us straight to the heart of the beast.
All us religious people must wake up. We read our bibles but fail to understand fully that Satan deceived the whole world. Everywhere you read in the bible where do we find Satan? You find him in the political economy. When you read about the king of Tarsus covered in gold and diamonds, you will find that Satan was in the traffic and trade of that nation. You find him with the great Leviathan of Egypt who built great treasure cities. Satan was also there in his seat in Tyre, a nation of wonderful trade and commerce.
Today people ignore this and focus only on superstition and vain cultus tradition.
In the book The Last Two Million Years of Man by Readers Digest,
The Romans dominated the ancient world for almost 500 years. In the heyday of their empire they controlled an area that extended from the Atlantic cost line of Spain in the West to the shores of the Caspian Sea in the East, from the misty forests of Britain to the North to the sun baked deserts of Egypt in the South…
…When they conquered the world of ancient Greece the Romans absorbed the best of Greek culture and passed on its legacy of art, architecture, science and philosophy to the Western world. They added to it a typically Roman sense of discipline and respect for the law which lies at the foundations of Western society to the present day.
Their law and discipline, their legacy, their science and philosophy is what shaped the Western world today. One can claim to believe the bible but it is a guarantee that many are still branded with the philosophy of the Roman empire. Many may have abandoned some superstitions of a few of their gods, but the gods of the political economy many still follow.
We know that capitalism has never really broke from the ancient world. It made changes, it went under transformations. The industrial revolution helped make the change but it is all still raw, uncut capitalism.
In the book The Encyclopedia of World Religions under capitalism:
They system of production and exchange which has prevailed in great Britain since the industrial revolution. The term is evidently originated as an epithet with the socialist critics of the system.
The term capitalism came from the socialist revolutionaries. They understood the soul purpose of Capitalism is to accumulate money. But it’s not just money. It’s surplus in constant motion. This is why they call it currency. The blood of the beast system is capital, and just like the blood in the human system, if it ceases to circulate the developed world will collapse. After 9/11 the people stopped spending to the point the president had to appear on TV to instruct the people to start spending again. When the rich claim the economy recovers, when it is doing well, they are speaking in context of how things are going for them. They need the poor peons, the indebted wages slaves, toiling to keep the blood of the beast circulating. Know that if you have some money in the bank that it’s not capital– that money gets spent up in an instant. Capital is money that you don’t have to spend. It’s money that increases and circulates to continue to make profits and surplus. It is only used for this.
The motive behind business activities are admittedly self-centered but it is held by the defenders of the capitalist system that the public is nonetheless well served
—Encyclopedia of World Religions
They admit that capitalism is self-centered because the by product of something being self-centered is competition and free trade. Free trade can be done outside a capitalist system and it does not necessarily define it. You can trade in other forms of governments. They are being deceitful when they use this term. It’s the perception they give you of being free. When the defenders of capitalism say nonetheless the public is well served they mean that the public has things to buy from them. What about when they suck the people dry and take their money, or when they totally free you from your house and now you’re homeless? What about when they liberate you from food because you now have none to put on the table? You will be surprised what freedom means to the capitalist compared to what the peon population understands it to be. When the elite throw around the word freedom they know the masses will think something else. They keep the people too busy to read anything and to be educated otherwise. The capitalist class needs a dumb population–they need mules. In these ways the capitalist have only instruments of production, not people.
According to their own definitions there are mute instruments of labor, semi-mute instruments of labor and vocal instruments of labor. A mute instrument is a shovel, a wrench. They are just tools to work on machinery. It’s a regular dead tool. The semi-mute instrument of labor are cattle and live stock used to produce. The vocal instrument of labor are the poor, ignorant wage slaves. This is how the rich see the wage slaves. As instruments of production. They want the vocal instruments to create the mute instruments to use the semi-instruments of production. They want us to also procreate to supply them with more vocal instruments. Like they say, the public is nonetheless well served!
They are serving us all-right! How many people have the right to own these non personal means of production?
In an old dictionary (that told it how it was) we get raw definition of capitalism from a time when few could read or write,
Capitalism: A system that favors the concentration of capital into the hands of a few; The power and influence of concentrated capital; The possession of capital
— Funkin Wagnalls Dictionary
With the gathering or collection of wealth by the hands of competitiveness, a society is capitalist when it entrust it’s economics to the private businessman. This private businessman, who owns all the non personal means of production, creates an environment where millions have to compete to get what only a few can have. These features in the capitalist order can be found in the ancient world and, more particularly, in the Roman sector.
This all leads us to an important question. Did Jesus of Nazareth support such a system? Did he support Western culture and its self-centered principles? Was there an indictment he made against this order that the second beast has brought to its near zenith?
The revolutionary Yahshua Ben Joseph or Jesus of Nazareth, identified as the Christ, the redemptive leader who was to come and deliver the children of Israel out of the hands of their oppressors was not some fictitious fairy-tale guy running around in golden slippers in a white robe with a halo on his head promising to take you off somewhere to live above the clouds.
Western culture and the ruling classes have depoliticized the Messiah and other revolutionaries like him by stripping away all the substance of their messages and have left only idols and icons in their wake. When we read the Gospel accounts we are reading about a real revolutionary. It will do us very well to gather this substance that lies behind the message of Jesus and understand how and why he had made an indictment against the capitalist system.
We have to bring our focus to the historical Christ. For example, Martin Luther King would make no sense to future generations if the times in which he operated (the historical setting and context) were not understood. This is true with anything. We need to understand why the writer was writing and what was going on when the writer was writing.
The revolutionary Vladimir Lenin wrote,
During the life time of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their theories with the most savage malicious
Jesus and his arguments, teachings and message were received with the most savage malicious by the people associated with the oppressing classes of his time– many of the Pharisees, scribes and Sadducee’s. These were the aristocrats who hounded Jesus everywhere he went. They attacked his theories until they plotted his arrest and execution by the Roman state.
They had the,
most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander
This exist today. We have many foolish so-called Israelites and so-called Christians who don’t understand the biblical and historical Christ, and like the ruling class of his own day, have the most malicious hatred and rumors spread about him. The oppressive class in Jesus’ day called him a drunkard, full of a devil, a lair, said he was associated with the robbers.
So far Lenin is correct. After they finish railing on these revolutionaries and after their death,
attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to hallow their names to a certain extent for the “consolation” of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time robbing the revolutionary theory of its substance.
In order to dupe the oppressed classes they have turned Martin Luther King into an icon. They named a few streets after him, gave him a holiday but they don’t tell you that after his ‘dream’ he seen a nightmare. Like wise, the oppressive class sought to kill Jesus and all of his students who continued in his work. Paul was arrested, the apostles murdered, John wrote Revelation in and out of Jail, Peter beaten and all of a sudden all these, after death, were canonized and the revolutionary message they spread was robbed. In its place is safe fantasy to allow the beast to continue to devour. As long as the people don’t read and do research the duping continues.
Seeing that the Western world founded its principles upon Roman philosophy and law and that capitalism is rooted here we will look into Luke chapter 12 and examine the revolutionary teaching in one of Jesus’ parables.
We must bring the substance back.
We find his students arguing over material wealth. Since the people of the time had been so indoctrinated by Roman rule, even though they had the Law of Moses, they changed. Roman imperialism made it needful to do away with Moses’s socialist laws so capitalism can prevail. In order that the laity does not discover these contradictions, the capitalist with the theologian, teach the way of God is done away with. Capitalism is diametrically opposed to the Creator and it becomes clearer why there exist a strong separation of church and state.
3 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.
14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?
15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
Because the brother who wanted to keep all the possessions and not divide the inheritance the Messiah seized opportunity to teach his students:
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
This is significant in the Roman world, when the world was predominantly shaped by agriculture. The rich man accumulated much wealth, more specifically the concentration of wealth, to his own possession. Remember that capitalism favors the concentration of capital into the hands of the few, being surplus. How could this come about? Did this agricultural business man go and work hard like they tell us peons today to do? Did he go out and work himself to death, chasing the carrot on the string like we are instructed? And when we don’t achieve a fraction as much wealth, as we are taught to chase, did he simply try harder? They tell us to try a little harder, or that maybe our kids can ‘get that money’ one day; but still, how did he get this wealth concentrated to him in agrarian society?
In the book As The Romans Did by Joann Shelton,
The main sources of wealth for most aristocratic families in the early republican period were land ownership and the sale of products from agricultural land. These families seldom worked the land themselves. The farming was done by slaves, indentured servants, hired freeman or sharecroppers. The land owner lived in the city and visited his property occasionally.
Traditionally the men of Rome’s wealthiest families occupied their time with unpaid public service as legal advisors, magistrates, diplomats, military officers, priests and senators.
Since they themselves did not work, the rich aristocrats volunteered their time to oversee the government, to oversee the building of the state. It was in their best interest to do this because it was them who ruled over all the people working their privatized land. The main source of wealth was in the ground and in the parable the certain rich man’s ground was brought forth plentifully by a poor class who did not have possessions of their own. They were free to sell themselves to full his barns.
The Messiah in this parable is likely teaching to poor oppressed people who could identify with his message and we today can start to understand it as we find ourselves in very similar context.
Farm families who owned or rented small plots of land lived in modest dwellings [not rich]. Much of the agricultural land in Italy however was divided into large tracks owned by wealthy families. Frequently these land owners lived in the city and visited their estates only occasionally. The land was worked by farm workers who might be free persons or slaves and a manager or overseer managed the farming operations which brought considerable profit to the owner.
–pg. 71 As The Romans Did
The money did not go to the poor when the barns were filled, it went into the rich mans hand–it went into the hands of the great capitalist land owners. This is confirming what we have been learning about capitalism, how it favors of the concentration of wealth into the possession of a few. It was the wealthy who owned large plots of land according the book As The Romans Did. If you were already rich and owned land you were certainly gathering wealth (capital) at the expense of the workers, the plebeians, the indentured servants and slaves.
This is the substance of the message that the revolutionary, who the world understands to be Jesus, was bringing. Consider that we must go to his world, a world of oppression, to learn what his delivery meant to the people. People are scared to do this because the call to salvation radical and this is why the fearful and the unbelieving have no part in the kingdom. You and I, we, better learn what is going on around here.
Activity of the senatorial class:
Members of the senatorial class possessed enormous wealth derived in great part from the income of their agricultural property.
—pg.45 As The Romans Did
Jesus in his time knew about politics and economy. In his parable in Luke we read that he did not have to say specifically what the rich mans volunteered occupation was, whether it were a senator or magistrate etc. He only had to give a description because he fit the identity of all by the measure of his increase off the land– his plentiful harvest entrusted by private ownership of the land and production. The rich man had so much wealth accumulated he did not have enough barns to store his profits, his surplus, that the peons provided him.
Does this sound familiar? Did Jesus have an indictment against this capitalist?
Most of our source material about the ancient Roman world comes from urban areas and urban writers. It is therefore easy to overlook the fact that the ancient economy was quite unlike our own– Agriculture based and that many people were employed in rural areas and that for a few people farm ownership was a major source of wealth and thus of the power that wealth could buy.
–pg. 148 As The Romans Did
Only a few people owned farms but many worked on them. Who are the few in this case? They are the landowners, the farm owners, the senators, the magistrates. The slaves, the proletariat, the plebeians, the indentured servants are the many who worked for the few. The wealth that the latter made went into the barns of the rich. These few made so much, Jesus taught, they did not have a place to store it all and sought not to distribute it to the many but rather to concentrate it to themselves.
The parable in Luke 12 is an indictment against the capitalist system.
Did Jesus justify this rich man who fit the identity of a Roman aristocrat? Or even if he was rather a Jew who followed the same pattern? What is the pronounced judgment against this rich class, this landowning class? We found through history who worked the ground and learned that the main source of wealth was land ownership and the sale of products from the land. We also discovered that the owners seldom did the work themselves; and that wealth bought power derived from their agricultural properties.
The life of both share croppers and tenant farmers was very harsh. Despite endless toil they lived at subsistence level, if illness or injury occurred or if the crops were damaged by bad weather the family faced starvation. Often the land owner was unaware of or unconcerned of their plight.
The life of the pheasant farmer and of his wife and children was filled with endless back breaking toil, clearing, plowing, planting, hoeing , pruning, weeding, irrigating and harvesting grains, grapes, almonds, vegetables, fruits, feeding, cleaning, breeding, raising, shearing, milking, slaughtering goats, cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry and dress animals, building barns, fences, and sheep folds, cutting fire wood, making and repairing tools…exhausting toil and grinding poverty were the lot of the farmer.
–pg. 156-157 As The Romans Did
Back to Luke 12
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
Now the science and society of this parable becomes clearer. It was the poor who were going to tear down the barns of this aristocrat and to build him greater.
What does the Creator think concerning this capitalist? Seeing that the capitalist do the same thing to the poor people today in their insatiable thirst to concentrate all the earth’s wealth into the hands of the few. They don’t share it among the poor who are filled with great chores; two, three different jobs and are sick from working in their monstrous system. Jesus’ indictment against the rich man is still present, still pending against all those who follow after the same pattern in the Western world and in all the developed nations.
In a Laborrights.org article printed in 2013, addressing sweat shops in the field, note the state of agribusiness in today’s environment
Today the ago-industrial complex behind the average American meal has achieved a degree of consolidation and a level of exploitation unprecedented in global history. A handful of multinational corporations, unfamiliar to most consumers, sit at top a complex global supply chain supported by child labor and debt bondage.
We thought the Roman aristocrat in Luke exploited the people? If we are not growing our food ourselves it is then from great exploitation by the big agricultural landowning businessmen. For example, how pineapples get to the grocery stores in America? None other than children working in the fields, being exposed to chemicals and pesticides that cause cancer and diseases to their families. Alas! Yielding to the capitalist more profits. The same way the great capitalists in the Roman world made their wealth is still the same method today. The greater barns built then now becomes a matter of creating new numbers. A million is too small, so more are invented: A billion, a trillion. Bigger barns, more digits, more wealth.
The rich man thinks to himself in Luke 12
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.
The Creator is calling the mode of capitalist production foolish. And these same capitalists mock the Creator by their very deeds. This rich man’s barn was filled by exploitation of the poor masses, his concentrated wealth in turn caused greater to be built, advancing the oppression cycle. Psalms teaches us that if you lend to the poor you lend to the Lord. The prophets also teach us that the great merchants of the developed world will fall when God comes to judge. Their wealth will be divided with equity to the saints of the most High who shall also possess it in the kingdom.
Thus, like a mustard seed the kingdom grows and the redemptive struggle of humanity goes on…
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