|James 1: 9 over Proverbs 16: 18|
The Marriage of Politics and Economics; a constant and sometimes illicit affair throughout history.
Last night I was reading about the Russian American Company, an effort of the Russian empire from the 1800s to build trading monopolies of natural resource trading.
The reading included the use of forced labor, unfair government trading alliances (producing monopolies avoiding an open market) and occasional fighting over territory and resources on some Pacific Ocean islands and the coast of what is currently Canada and the United States.
On a historical timeline, the U.S. is a recent addition to the narrative of nation-building and wealth production.
Yet the use of inexpensive or cheap labor (indentured servitude and slavery) is a typical default considering the aim of wealth production and the methods of deriving wealth from resources, labor and products.
Looking further back on history's timeline and from the western point of view, ancient Greece had its pecking order of class based on the economic scale.
In today's 'modern society', we see a semblance of these walls of class distinction based on economic and political appearances being broken down in some places, being brought lower in other places, and still standing in yet other places on earth.
These walls primarily exist in our minds, being projected out onto the physical landscape of our lives.
These walls do not have to actually exist, yet their construction is almost a default reality according to what has preceded us historically... the next (or current generation) having to deal with what prior generations have built upon.
What are some longstanding realities that, no matter how much of an effort is made to correct what seems unbalanced, continue to persist?
The rich rule over the poor,
and the borrower is slave to the lender.
- Proverbs 22: 7Isn't politics simply the direct application of what the rich desire?
Don't we see the use of political office of certain 'representatives' to [re]present the interests of those who either have the responsibility and / or ability to direct the market place?
Politics is the management of people and resources... only the 'manner' and 'method' of how this effort is applied varies in very slight degrees as time and culture evolve (or devolve).
What seems appalling to some who have been following the 2016 presidential race in the U.S. has actually been a constant throughout time and culture.
Should we be surprised when we find out that one thing is said in secret / private, and something else is spoken in public by political representatives?
Can we not also be the same way considering who are listening audience is?
Yet for some of us, financial gain does not sway our public and / or private sentiments.
Do we not also desire to have more than enough of an income to satisfy our needs, desires and dreams?
And do we not also desire to have no more of a burden placed upon us than what we personally accept as a cost of earning our living?
For the amount if ills in today's American society that may be pointed out by critics and detractors, isn't it something quite unique that the employee can choose their employer?
The relationship of the servant and master has been broadened, bettered and built taller than some of the walls currently in place.
The employee can one day become the employer, perhaps not of the same business, but their very own business!
This is a phenomenon that was not a common occurrence in times past, yet has become more and more of a reality Today.
This brings us to a play on words.
Let us take a look at the word “minestrone”.
The journey the current lexicon (body of words currently in use) of words we use today is quite an interesting path to ponder when reading etymologies (where words come from and how their spelling and meanings sometimes change).
How words and terms originate, or conflate with other words and notions, or can completely change in meaning, is quite interesting and surprising.
'Minestrone' began as a soup with only vegetables.
As a state grew into an empire, and trade increased, the ingredients found in a minestrone [soup] also evolved.
Specifically, what preceded the term 'minestrone' was a 'minestra' (“soup” and “that which is served”), which came from 'minestrare' (which means to serve).
What term is very similar to 'minestrare'?
I'd like to encourage everyone to be more like an ever evolving minestrone in their economic and political dealings with others.
We each have our position in life's pecking order of economics and politics, whether we'd like to admit it or not.
Yet, if we would consider our perceived high or low position in this order, and if we were to be like a bowl of minestrone (to serve one another), considering the logic that we would desire to be served by others (with kindness, respect, consideration and equality), perhaps navigating the landscape projected by past ideas can be easier done Today and in the future.
I suspect our human interactions can supersede the sometimes distasteful and offensive political rhetoric and mannerisms that some people project onto others in gaining (and sustaining) their means.
Perhaps the following lessons's reality can be realized, and the walls can be brought down, as some have truly experienced for themselves:
Yeshua called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
- Matthew 20: 25-28