The Sins of Jeroboam

Jeroboam was king over Israel after the reign of Solomon. He set up two bulls as things to worship so that the people of Israel wouldn’t turn to the temple in Jerusalem, such that their loyalties would be split between two nations. After Solomon the kingdom split into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah. Jeroboam did not want his people to worship in Jerusalem, staying loyal to the established way that God had proscribed for his people to worship Him. He felt this would undermine his authority as king. Likewise, after the reformation there were two ‘kingdoms’ in Christianity. There have also been two things since then that have served to compel men to concentrate upon them and thus take their attention away from the question of their relationship with God; Colonialism and Corporate Identity.

Colonialism has wound its way through the psyche of man, expanding outward from the European center, since about the time of the reformation. It has influenced our way of thinking deeply, over numerous generations. It has backed up every empire. It backs up the world’s supercop status of the US today. We understand ourselves and our nations, even in this modern world, in juxtaposition to the ruling empire.

Corporate organization has likewise been intertwined in the expansion of the West. It has used the innate desire of man to belong, to find acceptance, in order to gain the effort of man. Always it has singled out a small group of people, giving them power over everything within the scope of the corporate entity. Like fiefdoms of old it has demanded loyalty and given out meaning in payment. It has worked hand in hand with Colonialism.

These are the two evils that the Church wrestles with. Just as the kings of Israel, even the good ones, could never address them the Church, even the best aspects of it, has not been able to address them. And what is the Church other than people? And how is it that people come and go as members of this body other than through the work of the Spirit, mysteriously. Which is to say that the Western expansion and domination of the globe has been part of that work, akin to the work of Moses as a metaphor for the Spirit, leading the Israelites through the wilderness after their refusal to enter into the promised land as originally instructed. The Israelites did not necessarily do what Moses instructed. They complained. They insisted upon things that only led to their alienation from the work of God.

And so today the Church balks at casting off both Colonialism, the impulse toward empire, and Corporatism, the governing power without which so much wealth would not be possible. I say the Church when I mean something more than the bodies that meet on Sundays all across the globe. I say the Church when I mean something spiritually led. I say the Church when I mean something much more at the fore of world events and governance than bodies governed by pastors, priests, bishops, cardinals or popes. I mean Israel in a sense, in its natural state of evolution, not as a state, but a spiritual nation.

Here we are in the Twenty-First Century and the two bulls dominate us. Their influence flows through everything that is wrong with the world. They are still there and our king, just like those kings of ancient Israel, will not remove them. When I say our king I mean Satan. I mean us. In the same manner that I have previously stated, Satan is our collective self. He carries the rod of God, the authority of kingship. We carry the rod, the keys to the kingdom if you like, in our collective self.

It is time that we overcame this impasse, but how? I don’t think we can just tear them down any more than you do, unless you are a radical. Anarchy is not the answer to the situation we find ourselves in. In order to overcome we must use the biblical example of the rod. We must grasp the serpent by the tail. We must deal with these two bulls and change them.

The first, Colonialism, permeates the structure of the world. Its basis is the exploitation of resource rich nations by those who are politically rich. The basis of that exploitation is the state ownership of resources, over individual or corporate ownership. State ownership makes it easy for the politically rich to deal for resources, a one stop shop. State ownership guarantees that there will be no competition for political power within the resource rich state. State ownership guarantees presidents for life and the establishment of ruling parties that stay in power for generations. Worse, state ownership places the position of natural resources in the mind of man as something to be sold off rather than internally exploited. Countries like the United States avoided the trap of state ownership of resources in favor of a model that allowed for individual or corporate ownership. Instead of selling its oil, coal and iron ore to the British Empire (they did sell their cotton, though) the US used them in order to become a wealthy nation. They didn’t deliberately do this. It was the natural outgrowth of private ownership.

So, if private ownership is so strong and the argument for it so compelling why am I bringing it up here as one of the bulls? It is not for its strength along those lines that I challenge it. It is for its propensity to bring power to a few, whilst utilizing the others that the few have power over to work toward goals. This propensity to bring power to a few has naturally led into Colonialism. It has naturally led into Empire.

Just as resource rich nations don’t need to have their governments removed, but to have them renewed in a different political environment, so too do corporations not need to be disbanded, but to have their structures changed. Previously I outlined the type of change needed. In my previous post I said that this change needs to come about because of the looming threats of artificial intelligence and the advent of peak oil. Artificial intelligence being something that will, and is bringing, change to the nature of the relationship between capital and labor. Peak oil being something that will force the world into a more collective stance, or see starvation on a scale we have never seen, nor imagined. Here, I call for it for a different reason, but not one incompatible with the others.

What I call for is a new class of ownership. A percentage of ownership whose interests are directly balanced against the interests of the few in power within corporations. By nature this new group’s actions act to hinder or promote the position of those in power, depending upon how much they can give based upon their own individual decisions averaged into a collective decision that decides what rewarding pay will be available for those in power. Should they decide to give none, then those in power will have not but their standard pay in payment for their leadership, a situation that may lead to them abandoning the corporation in the long-term and therefore to a crisis of leadership. Should they decide to give too much then their own interests will be undermined, their pay being less than what it could be, possibly creating a long-term situation of relative income inequality. By its nature the new class of stock would be cheap because it is not actually based upon growth or earnings, but upon power. The only return from it would be from the monies available to it, as monies that would under the current system go to provide incentive pay to those in power. Perhaps that amount plus any extra amount, from their percentage share of the whole number of shares existent, of dividends.

I know I am a voice crying out in the wilderness. What I say is only the start of it. I may be onto something, but the how and why may not be perfectly clear nor perfectly answered. People have a way of coming up with great answers when they get together. Sometimes it takes a single person to say something and then suddenly the whole world is there, where they might not have otherwise been, and also way out ahead as well.

 

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