(An edited repost from the other blog. A few words were replaced with more realistic terms, [in brackets].)
From Gary North in Christian Economics: Student’s Edition
The dominion covenant found in Genesis 1 sets forth the chain of command: God > mankind> creation.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
Mankind represents God to the creation, and also represents the creation to God. Put differently, mankind must serve the creation. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Mankind is in the middle.
“Mankind must serve creation.”
I wouldn’t be surprised, if Christians in the future insist on terraforming every rock out there as a service to creation, to expand life to every crevice in the cosmos.
It might even considered a radical expansion of the Garden of Eden. This time, under the management of Christ, the only begotten son, and His adopted younger brothers and sisters… rather than Adam and his self-adoring failures.
This original, pre-fall hierarchy serves as the model for a Christian society. Jesus made it clear that the means of success in His kingdom is service to others. The path to leadership is a servant’s path. He contrasted this with rulers among the gentiles. They sought authority as a way to command others. This is not the correct approach, Jesus said—not in the church, not in the family, and not in the state.
Somebody should tell the Ruling Nobility this, in all their forms:
- The Pure in Blood,
- The Red Star Party Men,
- The Accredited Experts,
- The Tycoons,
- The Violence Professionals,
- The Celebrity Kings,
- The God-Kings,
- even the Religious Priesthood.
But not the bureaucrats.1
What about in the economy? The economy is not covenantal. It is not established by a formal public oath before God, unlike church, family, and state. Market exchanges are contractual. They are promises. A contract is analogous to a covenant, but it does not have the same degree of authority. If Jesus’ words apply to binding covenants, then they surely apply to contracts. The means of success is service.
In the hierarchy of the free market social order, consumers possess final economic authority. This is because they possess money. Money is the most marketable commodity. When you walk into a store, you do not have to plead with a salesman to take your money. You do not have to offer him a discount to take your money. Far more likely is this scenario: the salesman pleads with you to part with your money. He may even offer a discount for cash. Why? Because what he is selling is not the most marketable commodity.
It is not the merchant, or the [corporation], or the trader that holds the baseball bat in a business/customer relationship.
It’s the customer who has the baseball bat. The man who is interested in making a purchase, and has a wallet able to make his interest real.
“Nothing good happens without a sale.”
And the buyer can always walk away, to buy from someone else, to buy something different, or to keep his money in his wallet.
Naturally, the sale must be voluntary, without force or fraud. Otherwise, bad things happen, with the legal authority or angry customers or simply a collapse of sales as word gets around.
The seller is not in authority. The buyer is. Let me clarify this. The seller of goods and services is not in authority. The seller of money is. We call the seller of goods a seller. We call the person who spends money a buyer. But both of them are sellers, and both of them are buyers. Both parties surrender ownership. Both parties take ownership. This is what every sale is: a transfer of ownership.
The seller must serve the buyer because the buyer owns the most marketable commodity: money. Nevertheless, the buyer must serve the seller by handing over his money. If there is not mutual service, there will be no sale. This is why Jesus’ words apply to the free market economy. The free market economy is a gigantic system of mutual service. The study of economics is the study of how this system operates.
If you aren’t serving the customer well, you deserve to go bankrupt.
And go bankrupt you will, slowly or quickly.
Sadly, if you have strong government backing – via a government-licensed cartel, including banking cartels, medical guilds, and licenses for lawyers, or a state monopoly like the legendary salt monopoly in India – this can be delayed for centuries. Unjust-but-state-backed violence can indeed break the will of many free men for a long time.
But not forever.
The first Central Bank, the Bank of England, has been getting away with its corrupt money games since 1694.2 A corrupt institution can indeed stand for three centuries… although, I trust, not for four.
1. Interesting, most Bureaucrats don’t want to be the Ruling Noble.
To be the Ruling Noble is to be the Face, the Big Name, the Man whose portrait is [in thousands of] offices and courts and military wardrooms and massive oak desks across [a nation or empire].
To be the Face is to take responsibility and accountability.
And Bureaucrats have been fleeing responsibility all their lives, turning to a rulebook to make the decisions… decisions made in the name of the [State].
2. From Murray Rothbard, in Bank Crisis!
Many free-market advocates wonder: why is it that I am a champion of free markets, privatization, and deregulation everywhere else, but not in the banking system? The answer should now be clear: Banking is not a legitimate industry, providing legitimate service, so long as it continues to be a system of fractional-reserve banking: that is, the fraudulent making of contracts that it is impossible to honor.
Private deposit insurance — the proposal of the “free-banking” advocates — is patently absurd. Private deposit insurance agencies are the first to collapse, since everyone knows they haven’t got the money. Besides, the “free bankers” don’t answer the question why, if banking is as legitimate as every other industry, it needs this sort of “insurance”? What other industry tries to insure itself?”
Central banks don’t serve the public. They lie to the public, and split the profits with the State.
Granted, though: this lie only works due to the public’s (and the governments!) thirst for something — a predictable increase in savings, or other forms of Free Money — without risk. The love of magic beyond law, “something for nothing”, has been the hook of all scammers since a certain reptile whispered in Eve’s ears.
(This post is properly extended in Service, Leadership II)