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Forum Post: Forgiveness as First Step

Posted 12 years ago on Nov. 30, 2011, 4:02 p.m. EST by sherekhan (3)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

“But whoever has been forgiven little loves little” (Luke 7:47).

Today it was announced that the Central Banks of Canada, U.S., Europe, Japan and Switzerland have agreed to distribute each others' currency at home “during crises”; an indication of just how severe the ongoing crisis is.

The Occupy Movement has been targeted around the world, though the debt crisis spreads (often hidden below the surface) like mold around a greasy kitchen. The first step towards a real solution is a simple one, though I have not yet heard the idea put forward.

It goes something like this: Make 2012 the year of the First International “Jubilee”: a world wide forgiveness/erasure of all debts. In other words, hit the reset button.

Imagine erasing all debt, international, sovereign, and personal, and then bringing in radically overhauled and much fairer monetary systems, which aren’t structured – and therefore dependent on – the creation of debt. These systems would be answerable to the interests of the people and their environment, not private banks and private corporations. They could offer interest free banking, micro-loans, savings based credit, etc.

Of course there would be firm opposition to this idea, but it would not be from the citizens of most countries, who are currently mired in monetary systems that have long drained their work (energy) into a mathematical black hole of debt in exchange for a constantly devalued savings (return value on applied energy).

Indeed it would be very revealing about the true nature of our current systems to see where the opposition would emerge from; only the largest leaches would be losing out. The major creditor nations should have little to complain about such a plan; there is no way for the debts they are owed to be repaid anyway; unless perhaps, banks intend to start seizing large portions of land, and placing the residents there into labour camps. Plus, because finances are so globally interdependent there are no “secure” nations.

“The blessing of the year of jubilee releases the obligation of punishments. After sinners have been purged, the cause against them ends. All the guilty go free by the mercy of God's kingdom, as set forth in the law of Levi” (From a 13th century Latin hymn).

Though many will scoff at the proposal of a “jubilee”, it is not without historical precedent (albeit on smaller scales); a form of it practiced within both the Judaic and Catholic traditions. Maybe we should ask: did our ancestors have an awareness that we have carelessly forgotten?

In the “Symbol” We Trust

“One must not imagine that the rulers of modern times are anything but the understrappers of the economists. And all that has resulted by way of law and justice — one should only study it carefully — is simply a consequence of what economically oriented men have thought. In the nineteenth century the “economical” man is replaced for the first time by the man thinking in terms of banking, and in the nineteenth century there is created for the first time the organization of finance, which swamps every other relationship. …the rights-state and the organism of the Spirit must be set against the economic order called up through the economists and the banks…” (Rudolf Steiner, Oct. 27, 1919).

Though it is not popular today to speak of “religious superstitions”, and certainly not considered serious within academic (let alone economic) circles, our ancestors had wisdom about the “force” or “God” of wealth that we would do well to consider. Our ancestors knew that the generation of profit feeds off of the energy (work) of humanity and is more powerful than any person. They knew that this resulted in the energy (work) of humanity being enslaved to this force, leaving people increasingly unable to work for the common good – and the upholding of the law – through the creation of communal value (work completed that serves the communities in which we live), instead becoming trapped in the daily “worshipping” of this “god” of wealth.

Many academics and other “serious” people might not like it being said, but we are in bondage to the god of profit. The worlds’ biggest institutions, the corporations, are legally bound to strive for the generation of profit each quarter, no matter what the long term and “external” costs to the people and planet. As a result, we work to destroy immeasurably valuable facets of our own (and other) communities in a massive transfer of wealth (value of completed work) into the hands of an elite few who live lavishly.

Meanwhile, the average worker sees the value of his or her work completed (savings/wealth) diminish each year due to inflationary pressures caused by the creation of debt. “Just invest” is the advice we receive, convinced to gamble on the market that is rigged in the favour of the wealthy, in turn becoming (minor) shareholders for whom the corporations must strive to earn quarterly profits. Thus we are encouraged to further invest our applied energy (completed work, savings) in the system that drains our energy (work) into the black hole of debt (and consequently devalues our savings; the value of our work) in the first place.

Despite what the “experts” and the expert defenders of the “experts” say, this idea of debt erasure – really, a practice in forgiveness – is not outrageous. In fact, it follows common sense. Human beings should work for the sustainable betterment of their lives and the lives of those around them and those who come after them, in harmony with their environment. They should not be bound by mathematics – a tool that should be used to aide us, not enslave us – to expend their energy on projects, ideas, products and systems that give little to nothing back to the community in terms of real value (or else the short term value is outweighed by long term costs), are often entirely unsustainable, and are totally unresponsive to any input that doesn’t increase their profitability.

That said there will be no surprise from his observer when people immediately dismiss and slander the idea of forgiving/erasing all debt, no doubt with much scoffing and sneering. After all, most of us are no longer working for the interests of humanity; our thoughts are not our own; our vision is no longer clear; we are gripped firmly in the talons of Mammon the god of greed, the god of profit who consumes our energy and determines our values. From such a position all humane, common sense perspectives appear to be “insane”, “uneducated”, “impractical”, “imprudent”, “disadvantageous”, “communism,” “radicalism”, and so on and so on.

Despite these dismissals, the mold is taking root, and the black hole is pulling with enormous force, so we can either deny and scoff, scoff and deny, inevitably falling into the abyss, or else we can collectively break free, taking hold of our vision for the future by letting go of the tyrannical bonds of an illusory mathematical necessity, forgiving each other, forgiving ourselves, and forgiving those who are yet to come.




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[-] 1 points by sherekhan (3) 12 years ago

gnomunny, thank you, and yes, it would have to be all debt.

The Jubilee was celebrated in the Hebrew tradition every 49 years, the Sabbatical year every 7 years, as established in the laws handed down by Moses. The tradition was also carried on in a different form by the Catholic church.

The Hebrew jubilee or "year of favour" prescribed four provisions: letting the land lie fallow, the remittance (forgiveness) of debts, the liberation of slaves, and the redistribution of capital.

Though this was only law for Hebrews now it must be applied universally; particularly the remittance of all debts, and the redistribution of capital.

In addition, there needs to be an overhaul of the banking systems, for example, forbidding the charging of interest (we can look to Islamic banking).

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 12 years ago

Of course the only way this would work is ALL debt would have to be forgiven, from the very top all the way down to the very bottom of society. I'm sure that's what you are saying and I completely agree with this. It used to be done ages ago on a regular basis. I can't remember which ancient society used to do it but they used to forgive all debt either every seven or fourteen years, I think. And you're right, some of our present debt can NEVER be repaid. Frankly, I'm surprised you didn't have more people come to this thread to tell you what a crazy idea it is. Personally, I don't think so.

[-] 1 points by sherekhan (3) 12 years ago

the article doesn't suggest that nothing be done. However, killing the rich reclaiming our money, putting them in jail etc, doesn't solve the "economic" problems, nor is their money of any value considering the impending economic collapse. You have to change the system, in order to be in the position to do this, you start by erasing/forgiving debt. this article doesn't rule out trying those who have committed the most serious crimes etc... it represents step one towards creating a meaningful shift... once you've drawn a line in the sand, you then have to come up with strategies.

redistribution of wealth is also not a long term solution without plans to overhaul the economic system.

this article does not advocate looking the other way, or tolerating injustice.

And the website you post is about global human rights, which are explicitly listed as a basis for economic reform twice in the article, and indirectly several more times.

[-] 1 points by jartjart (6) 12 years ago

this is the most disgusting thing i have ever read.

he suggests that we do nothing, when we see a human being oppressed, tortured , thrown out of their home, hungry. we have looked the other way, while evil was done to others long enough. ows has drawn a line in the sand- we will no longer tolerate injustice, anywhere on earth.
training web page http://tinyurl.com/7rvpv43

[-] 1 points by sherekhan (3) 12 years ago

Of course this doesn't mean that certain people shouldn't be put on trial, that wealth redistribution should happen... but there's no point in redistributing a worthless currency.

[-] 1 points by ilovecars (36) 12 years ago

dear heavenly father- grant me the wisdom to forgive those who, have greedily taken over this planet and have enslaved us all in the name of the all mighty dollar. good now that i have forgiven those, greedy bastards- i am going to storm there mansion and take all the loot that they have stolen from the poor and return it to its rightful owners. heaven helps those who help themselves. training web page http://tinyurl.com/7rvpv43

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 12 years ago

You might also cite the Parable of the Three Talents which might not support your position so well.