BP. Goldman Sachs. Lehman Brothers. AIG. Enron. Bear Stearns. Ameriquest. Tyco. Worldcom. Merrill Lynch. All of these companies and more profited greatly from lax regulation in industrialized nations and outright running riot in poor nations, or the poorer parts of industrialized nations. Yes, a lack of regulation is good for business. It’s even more amazing for criminal operations. Making a nation friendly for business often means leaving it wide open to criminal exploitation.
These huge corporations and their bretheren have huge piles of cash which they can use to influence politics. They invest funds in supporting campaigns. They provide contributions, legal and illegal, to congressmen in exchange for favors. They push legislation they want in order to make more profits than ever before. They ignore the crimes they commit by forcing others to pay their costs or bear the consequences of their evil, selfish decisions. The level of criminality in the boardrooms of major corporations is mirrored in the criminality in the Congress and the management of regulatory agencies. The levels of corruption in the USA have long been well-hidden, but are now obvious to me to be worse than anything I’ve heard of in Nigeria, Russia, or China.
The corruption is endemic in both government and boardrooms. Neither operates for the benefit of the nation, but only for the benefit of the ultra-wealthy. The same Congress that expressed concerns in public that the banking industry had gone too far secretly passed a bill that would give that same industry even more power, choosing to use a voice vote to mask which legislators supported such a measure. The same banking industry that promised to get the US economy back on its feet after receiving $1.5 trillion in bailouts has so far invested out of the country, bought up other banks, or parked their bailouts in treasury bonds. This is just recent news: past crimes would only make this post longer and more rambling than it needs to be.
The key to each scandal, to each looting of the poor to benefit the rich, is in the salient fact that the leaders of the USA have given themselves over to the worship of money. It is their God. Money is a God of War, a God of Hate, a God of Pride. We may try to justify the worship of money in the name of capitalism or free markets or as some form of self-centered Calvinistic entitlement that is our just due, but when we strip away the veneer of patriotic love of free markets, we see the worship of money at the heart of it all.
There is a way to survive without money. One must first reject the lure of money in order to be prepared to survive without it. One must first have faith that there is a better way to live before one can find that better way to live. Yes, this is getting mystical and obscure, but that’s what happens when one rejects money. One finds something better, something eternal that resonates in the heart and mind, that resonates in the soul.
The world of BP, Enron, Lehman, Ameriquest, AIG, Goldman Sachs, and every other megacorporation is not a world that cares about human life or dignity. It seeks to convert every possible thing into profit. Its servants, the worshippers of money, subvert the governments of men. If the government is strongest, they join it to gain by corruption, as they did in the former USSR. If the business world is strongest, they join that to gain by corruption, as they did in the current USA. They will mock and tear down anything not of their world, then buy and sell everything in their world for their own profit. They will leave behind the husks of men, women, and children they either used as raw materials or who they tricked into serving them with violence towards their fellow humans.
The greatest enemy of humanity is money. That’s what I get when I put it all together. Money is the physical representation of evil. All the frauds, pollutions, and crimes corporations have committed against humanity stem from a desire to get more money. If any crusading atheists want to make themselves useful, they should turn their activity to destroy belief upon those that worship money. We can’t prove or disprove the existence of God, but we can prove the existence of money and that it is an evil thing. We know that. We should deal with that first.
For any crusading Christians that want to make themselves useful, they should remember what Jesus taught and take no thought for the morrow but seek instead to do God’s work: aiding the sick, helping the poor, supporting the elderly. Same for anyone in any other religion: look to the origins of your belief, and there is a nonviolent heart, dedicated towards getting people to forget serving themselves and instead thinking about others first.
As for the USA, I don’t have good hope for it. The criminals that worship money have taken over. Look at any department of government, and you’ll see it run by people sympathetic to the ones they regulate. The elected officials are all beholden to those with money and not the people they serve. They all follow the false teachings of money and will shout down anyone that tells them the truth about the need for balance in their lives and equations. They truly believe they can have profit without end simply by making more and more money, but they are blind to the fact that their systems all have an end – and that the more debt a nation acquires as it heads toward that end, the more bitter and destructive that end will be.
When I add in global instabilities, I see even more potential for sadness born of greed and pride. I truly wonder if I will see the cities of my land burn in destruction during my lifetime.
I’m not going to end with some sad, “do something about it!” quip. The solution is not in getting mad and trying to change the system. The solution is in exiting the system and never coming back to it. Once enough of us refuse to participate in the system that demands we all buy and sell and never give of our own free will, then it will no longer have power over us.
Until such a time comes, I am working on the one thing I can control – myself. I refuse to turn to violence to solve the problem of evil. The wicked will destroy the wicked. The righteous and just will convert the wicked with their love – or move to a place where the wicked can not reach. The wicked will try to say that such a place does not exist, in order to further their control in the world. Such a place does exist, and one finds it with pure, unselfish love. Let go of hate, let go of anger, let go of pride. I used to want to be rich, but now I know it is a curse and desire it no more.