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23 May 2014 Thought
for the Week:
“Regarded purely as an element of Descriptive Economics the phenomenon of the localisation of industry may not seem particularly relevant to Social Credit. However, regarded as a manifestation of the binding forces of society our understanding of it is of importance – “Society is primarily metaphysical” (C.H. Douglas) and it must be relegated by its traditions and mores to its roots if it is to survive in any recognisable form. Localisation therefore has a social as well as an economic significance and embodies much of the traditions and culture of a people.”
HOW THE FINANCIERS DESTROYED THE KING
by James Reed
The New Times 11 December 1936, Vol.2 No50, has the front page article by C.H. Douglas
The Australian government, according to an article by N.R. Worrall, had made representations to Britain against the King. The King had outraged the financial elite by condemning the poverty that he had seen in the south of Wales and elsewhere. This was totally unacceptable and the Establishment felt that he had to go. Further, the financiers were itching for another war to make more “Mother Courage” profits and the King could prevent this. Even worse, the King, as Prince of Wales, had said in 1932 that the problem of production had been solved and the problem of distribution should not cause too much problem, perhaps having Social Credit in mind.
An article on page five of The New Times is just as relevant if written today: “Finance, the impersonal power, with no body to be kicked and no soul to be damned, has, and has had, no other inspiration than to become all-powerful and to be above the King, above the State, and, above all, God. It recognises no responsibility, and where possible, skulks back stage, and has its dirty work performed by hirelings.”
Continue reading the Friday, December 11, 1936 New Times article on our website. – go to https://alor.org/New%20Times/index.html and navigate.
UNCIVIL SOCIETY AND THE CONSERVATIVES
by Chris Knight
IS A LEFT-WING INTELLECTUAL SHOWING HIS “COLOURS”?
One of our jobs at this site is to expose internal inconsistencies in our opponents, especially Left-wing intellectuals. As we all know the reigning religion of the Left is anti-racism, multiculturalism and ethno-racial diversity. Immigration for them is fantastic because it brings in the diversity - which is useful for the captains of capitalism because in the short-term it brings in money (making the white natives rent payers with no homes). In the longer-term, immigration chews up societies and spits them out.
SO MUCH FOR “DEMOCRACY”
by James Reed
Reform will allegedly give “full power back” to the voter. Be the judge of that – The WE Australian 10-11 May 2014 p.4 is right to observe “Vote Reform to ‘Finish’ Minor Parties”. Power to the two major parties will be tightly secured.
Editor’s comment: Of course, its okay for the main parties to make preference deals – and have done so for many a year - they just don’t like minor parties gaining an advantage by such a move.
HOCKEY’S RETIREMENT PITCH OVERLOOKS A WORLD OF ABUNDANCE
Is it finally dawning on some of ‘them’? Better late than never! The following article, written from a philosophical basis we may not agree with, is important because it shows some of the people are catching on.
From The Conversation by Michael Rafferty, ARC Future Fellow 2012-2016, School of Business at University of Sydney and Dick Bryan, Professor, Department of Political Economy at University of Sydney, 12 May 2014.
“In recent weeks, Joe Hockey has been floating the idea that in an “age of personal responsibility”, and in the context of a budget “crisis”, people will have to work longer before they receive the age pension. And to do so, they may also need to have used up all their superannuation and housing assets.
Naming a “crisis” is always a good way to introduce a hostile and unwelcome policy, for it engenders a taste for the unpalatable. But crises – real rather than contrived ones – are often also the times when real visions of a better future arise. 1930 wasn’t a great year to be looking optimistically forward and to be speculating about a bright future ahead. Indeed, it was in the middle of a major economic crisis, the Great Depression. Output for both investment and consumption was, by any criterion, “scarce”. But in 1930 John Maynard Keynes wrote one of his most famous and perhaps his most audacious essays: “The Economic Possibilities of our Grandchildren”.
To envision a world of high social productivity, Keynes directly challenged the way economists had conceived of “scarcity”: the idea that there are unlimited wants and needs, but only limited resources. Having marvelled at the growth in the productive powers of society up to the Depression, Keynes contended that in the next hundred years, if society’s productive powers continued to expand, we would see the early-1930s as “…only a temporary phase of maladjustment”.
His central point was that the long-run of human history was of growing capacity to produce wealth. In Keynes’ future, the problem would not be scarcity in the sense of insufficient funding for a basic standard of living for all. As he puts it the challenge in such a society would be that: …for the first time since his creation man will be faced with his real, his permanent problem - how to use his freedom from pressing economic cares, how to occupy the leisure, which science and compound interest will have won for him, to live wisely and agreeably and well. Much shorter working hours and working lives would not just be possible but probably socially necessary to share around the work. Wider transformations would follow, in terms of social priorities.
Eighty years on, we have enjoyed the productivity growth, but not the outcomes Keynes imagined. Perhaps that wasn’t the case until the mid 1970s or even the mid 1980s, for standards of living were growing significantly, albeit not evenly. But from around the mid 1980s, that changed. Nowhere perhaps is this more evident than in the area of retirement. A key international turning point was the publication in 1994 of the World Bank’s Averting the Old Age Crisis. It argued that as societies were ageing, and ageing rapidly, governments were facing an impending fiscal crisis if they didn’t radically change their retirement policies – and it advocated forms of retirement privatisation. This meant self-funded retirement: compulsory savings out of wages.
Hockey’s apparent crisis is that these compulsory savings are not sufficient to fund retirement, and people will stay, on his reckoning, too state pension dependent. Hence, the need to increase the period of life over which they save, and reduce the period of life over which they live off savings (private and public). The supposed answer is to increase the retirement age. The Productivity Commission recommends it to go to 70.
Saul Eslake, Bank of America economist and former Director of the Grattan Institute recommends a more complex calculation of “longevity risk”, so as to give an average of 10 years between ending work and expected death. Significantly, leading economists such Nicholas Barr at the London School of Economics, and Nobel Prize winners Peter Diamond and Joseph Stiglitz have criticised the supposed looming fiscal crisis of an ageing population as one of the great myths of the pension reform agenda.
Like Keynes, they focus on the centrality of future output as a means of funding retirement obligations. There are many ways of increasing future output, of which delaying retirement age or the privatisation of pension financing are just a couple – and perhaps not the best options we have.
But in framing the current debate Joe Hockey wants to shape a cultural change – ending what he calls a “culture of entitlement” and replacing it with an era of “individual responsibility” or financial self-management. In building a similar agenda before the global financial crisis, then-President George W. Bush talked about financial self-responsibility as if it were the key to the good life and building the social good. But as we can now see quite starkly after several million US citizens lost their homes during the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, and billions in retirement savings were lost in the subsequent stock market collapse, financial responsibility isn’t so much about the social good but about personal risk management – it’s about individuals and households managing a growing range of costs and risks that are being shifted from governments and employers. The idea here is that we must manage these risks and of course if we don’t it is our fault that we didn’t work hard enough, save enough, spent too much or weren’t “savvy” enough. Social and economic risks and responsibilities are being individualised. This is the modern agenda of re-imposing scarcity, amidst possible abundance. Extending the retirement age is a corollary of that agenda…
One of the most important battle lines in this contest will be what sort of life including retirement we dare to imagine. Joe Hockey and the Grattan Institute want you to think we live in a world of permanent scarcity so that selling yourself for the means of life for as long as possible is all you can expect. They want you to think about the future in terms of the economic and financial responsibilities of our grandparents.
It will be up to others to identify the possible conditions of abundance already in our midst and still emerging, and to encourage us to dare to imagine what Keynes referred to as the art of life. To do this we will once again have to re-imagine what the economic possibilities are for us – Keynes’ grandchildren.” The authors wish to thank Scott MacWilliam for discussions and comments on an earlier version of the paper
LEISURED LIFE BASED ON CORRECT PRINCIPLES? OR BECOME A CYBORG?
Andrew Smart warns:
The much-hyped Singularity, in which machine intelligence becomes superintelligence and surpasses human intelligence, and then merges with it (or something), is not about some deep philosophical and technological barrier - it’s about becoming a superworker: a cyborg of extreme productivity.
Since the dawn of the robotic age we have dreamed of a utopian future where benevolent yet super powerful and intelligent robots do all of our menial jobs, handle our daily affairs and allow us to generally take it easy and explore the higher pleasures of leisure. Long before the digital revolution in 1891, Oscar Wilde wrote, “All unintellectual labour, all monotonous, dull labour, all labour that deals with dreadful things, and involves unpleasant conditions, must be done by machinery.” Isn’t this why we invented robots in the first place?
Wilde thought that the purpose of life was amusement, enjoying cultivated leisure, making beautiful things, or simply contemplating the world. He naively thought that the spread sufficiently advanced machinery would allow everyone, including and especially the poor, to be liberated from street sweeping and other degrading types of manual labor (like working at Starbucks today). Wilde continues, “On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends.”
Ever since the Czech playwright Karl Capek gave us the word “robot,” which means worker in Czech, humans have been tantalized by the idea that an intelligent machine could indefatigably and perfectly perform monotonous and dull labour. Indeed, robots now form a critical part of almost all forms of industrial production.
There is a cruel irony in the fact that as machine intelligence increases, as robots become more human-like, one of the only growing job sectors even for university educated people is menial labour. What’s more we are busier than ever, and our working hours have been increasing. Which forces the question, what the hell are all the robots doing? Despite this we are warned that robots will replace 70% of occupations by 2020. This is often presented as a threat, but wasn’t this the intention all along? To build machines capable of doing our bullshit jobs for us?
Apparently fearing the robot takeover and the potential for a society of “cultivated leisure” we are now desperately trying to become robots ourselves in order to boost our productivity. While Silicon Valley pumps billions of dollars into realizing the Singularity, app developers, the military and many others are busy trying to decode our brains in order to hijack them into efficient robotic productivity.
Tricked into making ourselves better slaves?
Not only is this questionable from a scientific perspective, but just because we can does not mean we should.
Further reading: C.H. Douglas’ “The Delusion of Super-production” which appeared in an English Weekly during December of 1918.
THIS BUDGET SAYS SOMETHING TERRIFYING ABOUT AUSTRALIA…
So writes Andrew Bolt on his Blog, 14 May 2014.
Sorry Andrew, I don’t accept what you have written
The League’s website has a wealth of historical material, stretching back in time over the last eighty to ninety years, which has dealt with the fundamental philosophical, political and even religious issues involved in this matter. Gentle reader do yourself a favour and spend time reading and/or listening to some of the following documents – you will learn the truth – and be set free in your thinking, in your understanding!
“How Can the Whole World Be in Debt?” by Jeremy Lee MAYO MP3 Library- https://alor.org/MAYO.html
“Debt and World Control” https://alor.org/Volume23/Vol23No30.htm -7 August, 1987
“The Struggle for Money” Chapter 8 https://alor.org/blog/entry/chapter-eight-the-remedy “… a few people, like Mr. John Leard, did attempt to warn before the Federal Elections that Australia's external debt has soared… Because the Opposition parties are also mesmerised - or frightened? - by the black magic of debt finance, they have failed to warn Australians that the "restructuring" of Australian industry, both primary and secondary, and a lowering of real living standards, is designed primarily to meet the requirements of the International Debt Merchants…”
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Quite possibly it will have a greater effect than the “sneering” articles because it not only lacks their usual venom, but has an air of authority as coming from a historian and his labours. However, as a retired minister of Christ, I cannot let Professor Sands assertions pass without comment to the contrary. My opposition to his claims are based on two points. The first takes the form of a question; Is the Jewish nationalism that we observe today inherent in the “foundational myth” (the OT), or is it a result of misinterpreting that “myth”? I believe that Sands is pushing the point that the present day Jewish nationalism and its effects are deleterious to human affairs, and that such nationalism is groundless and should cease because their foundation narrative is essentially fiction. i.e. A false foundation equals an unjustifiable nationalism. Here I must point out that I have not read Sand’s book, but only Peter’s article.
I submit that it is not necessary for the foundational narrative to be false for the nationalism to be invalid, or even to arise. Only a mis-perception of a true narrative is necessary. This wrong conception about Israel can be seen in Christ’s disciples even after the resurrection of Jesus; “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” Acts 1:6. Jesus did not answer the question, but countered it with a new vision and mission for them. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” v. 8. Christ was to be the focus in their future, not their restoration to and sovereignty over the land. This new focus was exemplified in Peter, Paul, and John and many others.
This nationalistic bent can be seen in the crowds when Jesus feeds five thousand plus of them. “...when Jesus perceived that they were about to take Him by force and make Him King, He departed again to a mountain by Himself alone.” John 6:15. I have read that this area was a hotbed of nationalism, which explains their actions, but that was not what He wanted them to understand. This nationalistic concept and fervour can be seen in James and John vying for pre-eminence besides Christ in requesting those positions in His expected earthly Kingdom. Mark 10:35-45. Cleopas and friend on the Emmaus road were also expecting a physical, national deliverance, in that they “were hoping that it was He (Jesus) who was going to redeem Israel.” Luke 24:21. The roadside crowds at the triumphal entry cried out “Hosanna!” which means in the Hebrew, “save, we pray!” THEIR King was coming! John 12:12-16, Matt. 21:1-9, Mark 11:1-10, Luke 19:29-38.
While the above is to press the point of the Judeans mis-interpreting their foundational narrative in not seeing their Messiah Jesus as He wanted them to see Him (and thus they would have an alternative and inferior vision), it is Jesus’ response to the two dispirited disciples that acknowledges their misconceptions, and also begins to answer the second challenge to the trustworthiness of the Old Testament record.
Which leads me to my second point, which is; if the Old Testament is myth, as Sands asserts, then so is the New Testament. The New is founded on the veracity or truthfulness of the Old. The Scriptures are an integrated package, and cannot be used as salad bar where the reader takes whatever bits he or she likes, and rejects the rest. The New Testament is the post-resurrection account of God working for the salvation of His human creatures, just as He was doing in the pre-resurrection Old Testament record. If the Old Testament is false, then Christ the Son of God is found a liar. Why? Look back with me to Jesus’s response to Cleopas and friend.
25. ‘“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26. Ought not the Christ (Messiah) to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27. And beginning at Moses (the first five books) and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.’
Here Jesus acknowledges their misconceptions (“O foolish ones”), and then gives the reason for their folly, (“and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!”) Then He begins the process of correction. (“and beginning at...”) The disciples response? “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
Further on in v. 44ff, He reiterated His teaching in more detail, 44. “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms (this is the entire Old Testament) concerning Me. “
Nowhere does Christ doubt the Word He expounded, but He speaks of it as if every word was true. It can be seen in Christ’s words that His attitude and belief of the Old Testament is utterly different to Sand’s assertions. Even though the Hebrews figure greatly in the narrative, the Old Testament is not about them, it’s about Him. I Pet. 10-12. As sons and daughters of God, whose words are we to follow, God’s or Shlomo Sand’s?
Jesus charged those who opposed Him with these words, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. For if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” John 5:46, 47. Right here, Jesus affirms the reality and historicity of Moses, and the authenticity and reliability of his writings. He also affirms that the Judeans to whom He spoke had the wrong conception (apparently by choice) of the right Word.
A false “foundational narrative” is not necessary for an invalid nationalism, just human disobedience to Divine revelation. This is why Timothy (and us) are encouraged to “rightly divide (comprehend and preach) the word of truth.” 2 Tim. 2:15. If we don’t, we end up like Israel, in the wrong spiritual place, without God in Christ. Romans 10:1-4. Paul’s charge is still true of them today. We see in that world of yesteryear, a wrong nationalism that was built not on the word of God, but on their wrong conception of it.
My objection to the “myth” assertion is that one cannot dispense with the Old Testament as it is written without shattering the trustworthiness of the New, and then the trustworthiness of the only One who can save us from the guilt and power of sin, and into the kingdom of heaven. The Testaments stand together as a coherent whole, whether we have difficulty with certain parts or not. One only has to read the New Testament to see that it is peppered with Old Testament quotes that are explained, or used as the authority to give further light. Eg. Hebrews Ch s.1-3. If Jesus, as God in the flesh, and filled with the Spirit of Truth, accepts them as the authoritative word of God (as God), then so should we. Our starting point for truth should not be archaeology, but the Scriptures as they proclaim themselves to be. Perhaps I should more correctly say that we should start with the sinless Son of God, and His perception of the Old Testament narrative, and how He connects it with the New. We are to be like Him, dependent on Scripture for guidance, (Luke 4:1-13) and one day, we shall be fully like Him, when He completes our transformation. 1 John 3:2, 1 Cor. 15:51, 54. So how do I answer Shlomo Sands, and perhaps even Peter Ewer? I credit them with good intentions, but if Christ is true, then one or both are mistaken. Perhaps regarding the archaeological issue, it is not the lack of evidence, but that the evidence cannot be seen because of his (Sand’s) prior assumptions. Like many others, I am not qualified in that field and so have to respond from my field of knowledge when his assertions attack (unintentionally or not) what God sets forth to be believed for our saving and wholeness. John 20:31, Col. 2:10.
If Professor Sands would have us believe that the founding narrative is myth, being a '"conscious ideological composition made hundreds of years later.” (p.117)’, then this raises more problems than it solves. If true, one question is, how does such a composition of alleged ideologically driven lies lead men and women to the truth of Christ? Gal. 3:24, 2 Tim. 14-17.
It is remarkable that Paul treats the Old Testament as, “able to make you (Timothy) wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine (right teaching to be believed), for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” (this tells of where it comes from, and what its purpose is), 17. “That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work “(this is the result, which is personal transformation with a practical and blessed result in oneself and for others). 2 Tim. 3:15-17.
Peter also affirms the trustworthiness of the word that we have today. 2 Pet. 1:19-21. If those who conspired to write an “conscious ideological composition” apparently about their pre-eminence among men, then they didn’t do a very good job, for it dovetails so well into the New Testament, where Christ is central, and where every Jew is called to submit to their Messiah. If they had done so, how different their history and that of the Middle East would now be. So in summing up, I have not answered all the questions that arise from the article, but point out some of the logical effects and necessary conclusions that come from his perspective. The Christian revelation is essentially God revealing Himself in the flesh of the Man called Jesus, His Son. And God says of Him, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased ... Hear Him.” Matt. 3:17 with Mark 9:7 and Luke 3:22. It behoves us well to do just that. Theories change, facts suddenly emerge that alter the picture, ideological positions shift and change as maturity and new information impact, “but My word shall never pass away.” Matt.24:35.
I trust that this will add to the discussion the article may engender.
CHRISTIANITY AND JEWISH FOUNDATION MYTHS
by Peter Ewer
Mr. Greggery makes many important points in his article. But I must say that he is a little unfair to basically equate my review to the “mainstream media sneering” type of article which usually can be found at Easter. It is not “sneering” to point out that Sand’s critique “challenges many views of the historicity of the Old Testament”. This is what the book, and other literature in fact does, without “sneering”. Real problems need to be addressed rationally.
Mr. Greggery makes the argument that it is not necessary for the foundation narrative to be false for Jewish nationalism to be invalid. I agree, but of course Sands goes further, which is our core issue.
Then Mr. Greggery drops his bomb: if the Old Testament is a myth, then so is the New Testament. He says: “The New is founded on the veracity or truthfulness of the Old. The Scriptures are an integrated package, and cannot be used as a salad bar where the reader takes whatever bits he or she likes, and rejects the rest.” I must admit that I had certainly done this with the Old Testament, seeing Noah’s worldwide flood (and, contrary to Creationists) and the lack of scientific evidence for it, as establishing a mythic basis. Genesis also seemed to me conflicting with evolution (not necessarily Darwin), insofar as it is difficult to fit say the dinosaur into this scheme. Were they real? If men co-existed with them, how would they have survived? Why did God “create” using a process such as evolution involving suffering? And so on.
Mr. Greggery points out that Jesus affirms the reality and historicity of Old Testament figures such as Moses. What then if archaeological evidence conflicts with this: what do we do? I am afraid I am not really sure because before reading Mr. Greggery’s letter, I didn’t believe that the Old and New Testaments were mutually intertwined, seeing the New Testament as basically more of a “replacement” for the Old. But I now feel I have got my theology wrong. I have thought long and hard about this, but I don’t see a way of resolving the conflict. Maybe this suggests that there really is not a conflict, that the archaeological critique is somehow flawed. Perhaps other readers can aid me here and help me find my way.
Editor’s comment: I hesitated to publish Mr. Greggery’s response-letter to Peter Ewer’s article, followed by Peter Ewer’s response. Why? There are so many issues and viewpoints in such a discussion, I could be swamped with letters by readers wanting to have their say. I came across a BBC Youtube debate which included Atheists, Humanists, Anglicans, Academics, and a Rabbi, on the subject of “Is the Bible Still Relevant Today?” I thought the programme would serve the purpose of providing our readers with a good tool for further thought.
Go to BBC’s The Big Questions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hxR0lQzNSI
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