In the Interim: The Power of the Enemy Against Itself

 

Right-reason tells all with conscience of the necessity of the Kingdom. ‘Thy Kingdom Come….’ is the prayer on the lips and at the inmost hearts of many; some of whom have never picked up a Bible, or else who pick up a Koran or a Talmud; and they wish it equally by means of other guidance.

So far the Kingdom is present in the world in patches; glimpses of it flash now here now there, like the lightenings from pole to pole, suddenly revealing to a captive world the possibilities for peace, concord, harmony and a holy rule.

What we have today is secularly known as a Triumph of Capitalism.  In the wake of evolutionary theory and of free market economics, first comprehensively formulated in the nineteenth century, the almost natural progression for human development has been along the path of competition in the marketplace and of the survival of the fittest in the worlds of trade and business.

As a consequence of our espousal of this natural progression – with all our secular hearts – the things of the spirit have been sidelined, pushed back into our lower consciousnesses, whereabouts they ‘linger in the chambers of the sea’ and there they agitate and beckon for greater expression of fulfilment.

The things of the world have come to us in abundance, perhaps in an over-abundance, and they cannot satisfy us wholly, nor even substantially.  We are in a place where we are able to buy anything we desire. So long as we have money there is scarcely a service or a product we cannot buy. This seems to be the case.

The world, ‘yea, the great globe itself’ is enraptured and encaptured with and in its Last Triumph of Capitalism.  We are encaptured because we are ‘stepp’d in so far that, should we wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er’.  We have committed so much effort and thought and life to getting thus far that for us now to change course would be extremely difficult and discomfiting to us.

Besides, the quintessence of Capitalism is Consumerism, which acts upon our physiologies like an addictive drug; one which ‘mocks the meat it feed on’ and which creates, increases, appetites which are experienced by us as never being fulfilled. I have written elsewhere about the means of wealth creation we use; and about how it cannot sustain itself without increasing its production and consumption of increasing ranges of goods and services.  Consumerism and its addictive psychology is the driver of demand for this ever-increasing supply of things.

And so, between the desire and the reality, between the beautiful hope for the Kingdom and the drag of addiction to accelerating production, the chasm is wide across a ‘vast abrupt’.   The chasm is so ‘vasty deep and wide’ that there appears to be no place whereabouts we might begin to attempt any work towards introducing and extending a presence of the Kingdom.  Secular life is a sealed bubble, apparently without entry points coming from outside it. In this way it divorces spirit from day to day living.

There are however two foundational aspects of Capitalism which appear to me to apply universally within its scope; and which are able to be taken up by an evangelist seeking to work through God to bring ways of change and improvement into our daily lives.  These two aspects are:

  1. Whatever is not unlawful to make or market, when such can be profitable in money terms, it will be done
  2. Whatever marginal or extraneous and alternative means of production and distribution begins to challenge Capitalism; then Capitalism envelopes such and brings it into its fold

For those of you who are not sure what this means I give you current examples taken from 1. Newly-seen goods and services: and 2. Historical instances of absorption

  1. Legal highs; Dog clothing; Domestic air refiners; GM foods; Euthanasia
  2. The Rock Festival; Commercial radio; Betting; Bitcoin

Now it is for us to ask what use can be made of these two intrinsic traits of Capitalism which might act to advance the coming of the Kingdom. But before this we might try to picture to ourselves what the Kingdom might look like on earth.  Everybody who cares about the Kingdom has her/his own version of it in their heads; with each head carrying a slightly personalised version.  I guess the Kingdom itself then might be the product of these individualised versions minus the parts of them which do not harmonise with one another.

What can we say might be the kerygma of our Kingdom? Clean water and sufficient nourishing tasty food for everyone? Safety, security, shelter, love and care for everyone? No crime, no exploitation of people, healthy environments, enough material goods for such vision to realise itself around the world? We might add also animal and plant and mineral conservation and protection; and a clean-up operation on the harms of industrialisation to the world.

Lastly and most crucially we’d ask for a sea-change in us all; from us being narrow and self-seeking; and careless of change for, because powerless for change for, so many unwieldy global issues and concerns. That the spirit of love and consideration for others might come into our lives and so to trump all else in our lives and so determine every action and thought we make and have.

This last is the tall order; and it is the one without which the whole program folds.  But how can we get there? If not by ‘one giant leap for mankind’ then let it be by us putting one stone on the building day after day until the Great Pyramid is erected complete. The only proviso is that we do so in goodwill and with honest intention; that is, that we do it daily prayerfully.

What might be the first stones to be laid?  Those of you who know what I mean when I say that the cornerstone is already laid and that it will never fail, will forgive me, I ask and I hope, for not coming to that place quite just now?

These are my suggestions for making a start of a great work.

  1. That a means be established by which money profits may be made by companies whose sole work and products are:
    1. Reducing the amounts of plastics and of industrial pollutants in the oceans
    2. Researching for technologies which capture and store, and which will reduce amounts of industrial pollutants in the planet across the board
    3. Researching for ways of reversing or else stabilising the effects of contributory processes to industrial pollution across the globe
    4. Deploying successful research into practical works worldwide
  2. By the means Capitalism is using right now let it bring into its fold the doubters who are sceptical about the worth and meaning of such a cleanup of the planet as proposed hereabove

Just as the wave of Consumerism as driven by Capitalism right now cannot be stopped dead just like that; and because it seems that a wave of at least equal power and size might best be created so as for us to be able to bring it to change its direction; then might not such a ‘feel good’ but genuine fairy story of success against our poisoning of ourselves and our home world; might not this be a beginning for the creation of such a wave of equal or better resistance to the resistless advance trampling currently over us called Capitalism?

From small beginnings grow great things – for good or for ill.  What is needful for good to grow is to develop an equal and opposite reaction powerful enough to enthuse and to motivate, and that shows true success and that true success is possible, even if we can only begin such work by us using against themselves the very tools which have brought us into straits.  John Milton has a grand ‘grandiloquent’ line of poetry in his epic ‘Paradise Lost’; one which sums this hope and suggestion laid out here: he suggests using:

‘Destruction with destruction to destroy’

Capitalism shall then have truly contained within itself ‘the seeds of its own destruction’.

‘Then thou shalt be no more; death thou shalt die’

 

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