A New Economic Policy
Anyone knows that material wealth is measured in goods: apples, cars, shoes, sheep, etc. When the number and the quality of these things increases, wealth increases.
But economists disagree. They say they can make wealth by destroying goods or by producing fewer goods of poorer quality.
If we would use the technology, labour, and resources that are now available to us, the entire planet could enjoy an amazingly high standard of living. But the experts say it wouldn’t be good for the economy. Why?
Because the economists work for the rich and not for the poor. They are only interested in higher profits for the sellers… even if it means fewer sales at a higher price.
Businessmen may make more money by destroying half their crop and tripling their prices. Half the population may go hungry, but economists will say they have increased the wealth of the country. Do you see a flaw in their thinking?
The flaw is that they have confused money with wealth. And hardly anyone in the world dares to correct that error. But think about it: You can’t eat money. It will not keep you warm. It is only useful if you can trade it for something else.
But if we continue with our present economic policies, there will be less and less to trade it for.
WHAT IS MONEY?
Before money existed, people were still greedy. But there were limits to their greed. When you traded chickens for sacks of wheat, there were limits to how many chickens you could carry home, house, and maintain.
True, some had more than others, but it was unthinkable that any one person could have a million (much less, a billion) chickens in their back yard. And, if others in your village were starving while you had even a thousand chickens, it was hard to convince the others that you were entitled to a thousand times more than they had.
Then someone invented money. It was easier to carry, store, maintain, and especially easier to hide. With enough money, you could own the world, without actually putting it in your back yard.
Poor people could work in your factories, shop in your supermarkets, do business in your skyscrapers, even drive on your roads in cars financed by your banks, and never feel angry about how unfair this is.
Now the rich control the media, education, religion, even the government. They have brainwashed us into believing that they have a right to destroy the world in order to increase their wealth. We now think that whatever is good for BHP is good for all of us.
Worse still, we have all been tricked into playing their game. We now believe that money is the key to happiness. The entire human race has lost touch with reality in our obsession with money as an end in itself. This is madness!
WORK VS. PLAY
The struggle for more money does not only hurt the losers – the poor. It also hurts the winners, by making their work life a miserable existence… a rat race!
Musicians, actors, athletes, and kids play. Others work. But what is the difference? The general rule is that “players” do not receive wages for what they freely choose to do, and “workers” do. And with increased leisure, people are learning to make “play” out of many activities.
Prisoners study law; grandmothers take up flying; uni students enter campus politics; businessmen start hobby farms. And they do this with no promise of pay for their efforts. Are they working or are they playing?
They are “plorking” (pronounced plurking). Plorking is a combination of playing and working. It means being creative, productive, or useful without being concerned about receiving money for it.
Some people enjoy their jobs and would not trade them for anything. These lucky plorkers (who just happen to be paid for it) are more reliable, more dedicated, and more contented than their workmates.
If everyone did the things they wanted to do, everyone would be more productive, and society would be richer for it.
But the money myth has convinced people that they must spend their lives making money rather than being happy and productive.
People who cannot find a way to make money (or who aren’t interested in making money) are made to feel they are useless. Worse than that, they are told that they have sinned against the world that feeds them until they begin to make money again. No thought at all is given to how creative, useful, or productive the non-wage earners may be.
If players are the best workers, then more effort should be made to encourage people to play, instead of condemning the few who do.
WHERE DO WARS COME FROM?
To most people, we fight wars because people in another country are evil and we (the good people) must stop them. But it isn’t really that simple.
Remember that people in the other country are being told the same things about us!
Greed is the great weakness of capitalism; but it is also the great weakness of socialism. Both sides are trying to destroy the other for the same reason… greed. Wars are just an extension of the greed that operates within every strata of society. But it is easier to see the utter foolishness of such motivation when we look at the devastation of war.
Tragically, the rich on both sides do not fight their own wars. Instead, they sacrifice the lives of the poor in their quest for more power.
The same conflicts go on within our country, in the form of running battles between employers and employees. And it even operates on the family and individual level in the form of almost constant arguing and malice.
Hatred between the sexes, racism, generation gaps, are all self-destructive. And they all come from a desire to explain the emptiness greed has left in our own spirits, by blaming someone else.
For our own sanity, for unity in our families, for prosperity in our countries, and for the survival of the human race, someone must begin to declare war on greed… before we all destroy ourselves!
A NEW MOTIVATION
Although there was a lot of criticism of the space race during the 1960’s and the 1970’s, it was fulfilling a human need in a much more positive way than Vietnam. Kennedy’s Peace Corps offered hopes of being an even better alternative to war. (Of course, these programs were only as successful as the zeal of the masses allowed. Personal inventiveness, adventure, and love do not depend on support from the government.)
The human spirit enjoys a challenge. If we are not actively building, we are actively destroying. Too often we think the way to build ourselves up is to tear someone else down.
What is needed is a vision and a commitment that are both positive and complete. We believe the goal must be total love… for all mankind. Our aggression must be directed against the lies and deceptions that are destroying the world (but not against the people who tell and believe the lies).
We are talking about more than nice words for a political platform or a new religion. We are talking about a community of people who refuse to let money be a motivation for their daily living… people who actively seek every day to use all of their skills, energy, and resources to express love for others.
In time we hope to see this spirit of love spread and affect others. Real love is much more than emotional thrills; it is capable of ushering in a whole new world order. In fact, we’ve found it is more powerful than life itself.
A few of us have begun to work for love rather than for money. We have given up everything we own and we are prepared to die for love.
We have already found that such commitment pays dividends in terms of inner fulfilment, increased awareness, and a zest for life. We believe we’ve hit on the answer to the world’s problems.
This is always the hardest part to get across: The things in this booklet really came from the teachings of Jesus Christ. That’s right; we’re Christians.
Please don’t confuse us with all that passes for Christianity today. Jesus said some amazing things, if people would just take him seriously. He called this new economic police the “good news of the kingdom of God.”
It’s important to bring God into it for a couple of reasons.
For one thing, if we’re not careful, we can end up letting go of money and then fighting over the things it can buy. Just as goods are more important than money, so God is more important than the goods. He’s the source of all true wealth.
The obvious argument, “If we don’t look after ourselves, who will?” has an answer when you bring God into it. If you’re working for love, you’re working for God. It becomes his responsibility to look after your material needs. And we’ve found that he does!
Also, God comes into it when you try to decide the best way to go about loving others. Only he knows the future, and he explains a lot about the overall plan in the Bible.
Some good places to start if you want to study the source of our theory and the source of real wealth, are the 6th chapter of Matthew (2nd half mostly) and the 4th and 5th chapters of James (first couple verses of each especially). We have a lot of other study material too if you are interested.
It’s not realistic to expect that the rest of the world will quickly accept our new economic policy. People have been conditioned against it for too long.
To really change the world, you have to change the hearts of people, and that’s a very tall order. But never underestimate the power of one life. People like Gandhi, Socrates, and Jesus Christ have had a mighty influence on history because they believed some things were more important than even life itself.
Just one such individual in the world today could make a big difference; and two or three… or even a dozen might be enough to start a spiritual revolution that could change the entire world.
There have been armies of people who were willing to kill for what they believed in. Why not an army of people who are willing to die for what they believe in?
We can give our lives by dying quickly for this new world order, or we can give our lives a day at a time by labouring patiently and faithfully to bring a little light to a dark world.
Remember that if you change even one small part of the world, you have still changed the world. Much change is very slow and gradual.
We have learned that the message we preach often causes people to act in irrational anger. Sometimes they themselves do not know why they are reacting in the way they are. But if we are sure that our motives have only been to show love, then even a hateful response should be encouraging; it proves that we are getting through.
When they have done all they can to stop us, and we still continue to love, they will know then that love is stronger than hate.