Wednesday, June 1, 2016

4/20 ww

Do you want to do something about the family, or do you want to talk about it?

If you want to do something about the family, there is no other more important or more urgent policy than establishing the 4-hour work day and the 20-hour work week (4/20 ww).

Of course, people who want to work longer hours ought to be free to do so.

The essential condition is that those who opt for the 4/20 ww earn enough to live a dignified life.

Not today, perhaps. But, is there any reason why we should not take, today, the first in this one thousand steps journey?

Step One

Do not tell me that the gentlemen who are taking home a yearly salary of a few billion—billion—dollars per year cannot spare a couple of zeros to add to the 1 dollar to the lowest paying jobs.

That will be an easy way to transform monetary wealth into real wealth; financial accounts into food on the table. And the need to work long hours to “earn a living” will be subdued.

No reliance on food stamps, please. That is a subtle way through which neoliberals favor the privatization of profits and socialization of losses (public sharing losses). And, while compelling the government to intervene to literally save lives, they rail against the “expansion” of government activities.

Step Two

The new economy. There is a great variety of experimentation going on in the “new economy.” Perhaps, such experiments are already going on, and either I am too deaf or misinformed, or “they” are too timid.

Step Three

Wherever the machines run 24/7, sharing jobs is the solution. So, instead of 3 shifts of 8 hours each, we are going to have 6 shifts of 4 hours each. Easy math…

Step Four

Get control of the two-hour discussion in the morning and two-hour discussion in the afternoon around the water cooler—sorry, I meant the conference room.

Step Five

I work alone. I declare the 4/20 ww right now.

Yes, This Is the Trend

Yes, this is the trend—toward sanity. Mainstream media seem to shy away from this trend. But the Internet, thank God for the Internet, is full of it. Please, google ”20-hour work week.”

Where Are the Tools?

The legal, practical, financial tools to obtain the 4/20 ww in the relatively near future are readily available.

Cooperatives and Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are the tools of choice.

Consumer Stock Ownership Plans (CSOPs) have to become more widespread. Can you imagine the day in which McDonald’s and Target and Macy’s start rewarding the customers who keep them alive day after day by sharing “corporate” profits with them at the end of the year?

In short

In short, to make the 4/20 ww a reality, we need to operate the transformation of mainstream economics, whether of the right (neoliberalism) or the left (Keynesianism) into Concordian economics; then, we need to transform both individualism and collectivism (socialism/communism) into Somism, the theory and practice of social men and women in the social context; finally, we need to transform Rationalism into Relationalism.

Only women can put these points across; only women can sustain these transformations. Why? First, because women are eminently practical. You know the story: While men are interested in achieving peace in the world, women are concerned with such issues as to where to send the kids to school; or what to have for dinner tonight.

And then, and then there is the most important reason of all: Women are not irrational; they are relational.

It is thus women who will take a hold of Concordian economics, Somism, and Relationalism and never let these things go until they are translated into practice.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


When I fired up my computer this morning, this piece jumped off the screen. How interesting. It is as timely today as when I wrote it on 3/18/2009.

The Author Says about

The impending economic conditions
will not be so dire


Mutual Assurance Funds among close circles of friends

Local Interdependence Funds in each one of our communities


passes a Concord Resolution

uses the Functional Integration of Management Tasks (the FIMT model)        to organize its economic base

gradually shifts its taxes from buildings onto land


the Right of access to land and natural resources in correspondence with the Responsibility to pay taxes on such land and natural resources

the Right of access to national credit in correspondence with the Responsibility to repay the loans received on the basis of national credit

the Right to the fruits of one's labor in correspondence with the Responsibility to perform tasks commensurate with the compensation received

the Right to the full enjoyment of one's property in correspondence with the Responsibility to respect the wealth of others.

These nine steps (+Plus One)* are explained in some detail in this collection of essays published by and about the writer in a variety of sources over nearly thirty years of work. The collection is also available at

* For Gloucester, MA, also included is a rather comprehensive plan of urban restoration (PUR).


The book can also be read from the top down, so to speak. Thus, in addition to these practical suggestions that are ready to be put into action, the book contains the seeds of a new political science theory (beyond individualism and collectivism -- aren't you tired of both ideologies!?!), a new economic theory (away from the abstractions of "The Market" and into the actual production, distribution, and consumption of wealth -- aren't you tired of being shut off from a discourse that deeply affects our life???), and a new economic policy (that creates economic freedom and justice for all  --  not only for the few).

Yes, the wealthy need economic justice and economic freedom just as much as the poor!

As a bonus, the reader will acquire a new language in economics and politics. The logic of economics and the logic of politics become in tune with common logic and common sense. We can read economics again. Isn't that a relief!?

And all this is acquired, not through whim and personal ideological preferences, but through a relentless application of age-old principles of logic.

I studied economics under Professor Robert A. Mundell and was assisted in the development of my work for 27 years by Professor Franco Modigliani. Both are Nobel laureates in economics.

Tucked in as unobtrusively as possible throughout the book (a book that I did not "write" but found written by me over the years), and especially in the Acknowledgments, there is the filigree of a paean to the cultural life and history of Gloucester, an immensely rich tradition that is currently on the endangered list due to the unholy alliance of a troika of scared bureaucrats, extreme environmentalists, and privatizing economists—destroyers of the commons them all. 

The book is designed to help the reader BECOME


My polis, my community, is Gloucester. I have been blessed to be here for forty years now. You may wish to tailor these programs to your polis. 


The above are a few Silver Bullets to guard us against our next economic crisis.

My book suggests many things we can do at the local and national level. Anyone ready to discuss these suggestions? Anyone ready to add other suggestions?


During the last seven years I have been involved in publishing a host of theoretical papers—as well as much work concerning the defense of the fishing industry. From a practical point of view, I have focused my energy on the preparation of these four petitions that are currently circulating on the Internet:

Mend the Fed

Defuse the Bomb

Stop NOAA Now

Give NOAA Feasible Tasks

Please, study them; sign them; circulate them among friends and relatives. Thank you. Together we shall get rid of many intolerable situations. We do not need to earn a living; we need to live a life filled with dignity.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Creators of Poverty; Creators of Jobs

(Re) published at

The Creators of Poverty,
a Complementary Truth, and Sundry Consequences

Carmine Gorga 

November 2015

Key points:

  • The rich are not the creators of poverty; it is the wicked who create poverty, not the rich.
  • The rich are not the creators of jobs; it is the entrepreneur who creates jobs.
  • The rich do not have the numbers to consume the Gross National Product; it is the poor who by their numbers perform this essential function.
  • Giving tax deductions, grants, and subsidies to the rich in order to create jobs is a waste of money. Yet, the money is not really wasted; it compounds the weight of today's economic problems--it does great damage by being a significant source of inequality. Hence we increase the level of poverty in the nation.
  • Some solutions for unfair economic inequality: Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs); Consumer Stock Ownership Plans (CSOPs); give loans to entrepreneurs who produce real wealth, not to financial speculators; cancel unduly inflated debts.

Some time ago I published this piece [1] in which I recognized that the rich are not the creators of poverty. I found that to be a powerful discovery that freed me from many an error.

Ever since the publication of this piece I have discovered a complementary truth: the rich are not the creators of jobs.

This is also a liberating verity that has freed me from many an error. The generous offer by the editor of Mother Pelican to republish this piece gives me the opportunity to briefly highlight the complementary verity that the rich are not the creators of jobs.

I can hardly contain myself. After years of studying the issue at a not inconsiderable depth, I have found in an unsuspected source an insight that clears up the issue of the cause of poverty in a definitive and powerful way. The source of this insight is neither a treatise in economics, nor a work in sociology, nor a tome in the theory of justice. The source is a paper published in “Spiritual Life,” — a periodical of Carmelite spirituality — in the Fall of 1997. The author is Suzanne Mayer. The title is: “Songs of the City of God: Merton, Social Justice, And the Psalms.”

The author prefaces her essay with this quote from Thomas Merton’s “Bread in the Wilderness”: “The Psalms are the songs of (the) City of God.... Singing them, we become more fully incorporated into the mystery of God’s action in human history.” Recalling that the Psalms are the “ancient prayers of Israel” ascending “like incense before the altar of God,” she proposes to “explore ‘the mystery of God’s action in human history’ through the vision the Psalms give of divine justice and through the covenant call to all humanity to enter into this process.”

These are some of the Psalms she quotes. Ps. 10:2: “In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor...” Ps. 37:14: “The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows, to bring down the poor and the needy...” How do you read these Psalms? I read them in this way: Poverty is created, not by the rich, but by the wicked. What a liberating thesis.

So often repeated, most of us have assumed it to be true. We have assumed that poverty is caused by the rich. Even I who, as those who have worked with me, ever listened to my words, or read any of my writings can attest, has never used one word against the rich, even I had never penetrated the issue as through this reading. In fact, most of my efforts were unfocused and must have seemed quixotic to many just because I have always refused to point the finger at “the rich.”

Let us be honest. We have all assumed that poverty exists because of the rich. Indeed, have not many rich people themselves assumed that to be true? Certainly, society as a whole in its organized political effort has trained all its guns in that direction — and the reaction from the rich has, of course, been to resist that effort.

That most political discourse and action has for centuries been dominated by that assumption is not worth discussing at length. Much more interesting is another question. What is a fair assessment of the result of all that effort?

Do we not find that every now and then one faction wins a few painful battles, but that the war is constantly lost by all?

Are we not, generation after generation, faced with the same age-old problem of poverty? There are times when we become so exhausted by this burden that we refuse even to discuss it any more. But the problem remains stubbornly there. And it gnarls our soul. Not much joy, not much enjoyment of what we possess can be had, if we somehow keep in the back of our minds the suspicion that we have not done nearly enough to alleviate the pain and suffering of men and women who unwillingly live in poverty.

How can we tackle such an endemic condition? Is the situation hopeless? I believe that the first ray of light, and hope, can be grasped if we really try to learn about poverty, starting with splitting the problem into absolute and relative poverty. This is an important distinction. Relative poverty is the existential condition for which there will always be someone richer than others. The feast is a movable feast, indeed. That does not matter at all. Not one iota. What matters is that those who have less be not deprived of the conditions for a dignified and free life. When poverty of material conditions impinges on our freedom and our dignity, then we are suffering from absolute poverty. Then the quality of life of society as a whole is impoverished. Freedom and dignity are absolute qualities. No one can be deprived of them or we are all deprived of them — to say the least, we are all deprived of the joys of a guiltless life.

What changes when we distinguish between relative and absolute poverty? What changes when we make the wicked culpable for the existence of absolute poverty? Everything changes — and the problem becomes abruptly soluble. Let us look only at a few effects on us, through the lenses of some of the effects on the political stump and the religious pulpit.

Our political discourse changes. Our eyes are no longer focused on the behavior of the rich and the behavior of the poor. That polarization in our political life, with people taking sides between the two poles and making the other the enemy, vanishes. We all know the hatred generated by the “undeserving poor.” How many pieces of legislation are passed on the strength of that hatred! How many punitive agencies exist in the vain attempt at enforcing those laws!

Though less spoken about, how much hatred is directed against “the undeserving rich”? Is not most of our tax code written on the assumption that the rich have taken something away from others? The wicked rich are most certainly engaged in those practices. But are all the rich wicked? And are there not poor people who are wicked? Our political discourse is purged of many impurities, and our political action becomes much more pointed, if we keep those two basic distinctions in the back of our minds. Our finger is pointed in only one direction, the proper direction.

The religious pulpit and the political stump can finally become allies — on an equal footing. The split that has plagued society, it seems forever, is healed. Ultimate goals remain different. One is concerned more with the metaphysical life and the other more with the physical life, but the struggle, in this life, on this earth, becomes one and the same: resistance against wicked actions.

Is it easy to identify the wicked? No. Absolutely not. As distinguished from the rich and the poor who can be easily identified, the wicked cannot be easily identified by others. But the wicked themselves know who they are. (At moments of deepest insight, we know that we are all wicked, at least sporadically, at least in part. In those moments we also know that some people do not know they are wicked: hence the need for moral and technical instruction, because without knowledge of good and evil, there is no “sin.”)

The root to the solution of the problem of poverty is no longer found in punishment of the rich or punishment of the poor, or both. The solution can be found only in that eternal prescription for happiness: love your neighbor; love your God; and if you love them both, you will eventually cease to be wicked and you will even love yourself.

Thus the schism within the very soul of the religious people as well as the soul of the political people and, ultimately, the soul of each citizen is healed. The religious people can be concerned only with affairs of the moral life and the eternal life: they can eventually get out of “the social action.” The political people can be concerned only with providing a framework for the “good government,” namely the just government, within which we can take care of all our earthly needs. And we will all succeed. The political people will no longer be dealing with wicked people in sheep’s skin coming out of the synagogues, the churches, and the mosques. The few — always few — vastly wicked people will no longer intermingle with the good people. They will isolate themselves; they will ostracize themselves. Only when self purged, will they come back. Without insurmountable obstacles posed by the wicked, the majority of the people will satisfy all the needs that can and must be taken care of.

Poverty is a moral issue. As such it can be solved. But, then, just because poverty is a moral issue, do we not run against the hard fact that wickedness is an intrinsic part of human nature? I was myself under this  impression until recently when, in a discussion with Father John Hughes of Fitchburg, MA, the issue was clarified for me. I pushed him to admit the inevitability of wickedness. But the goodness that is in him, resisted my push. He still declared himself optimistic that the human race will eventually shunt wickedness aside. It was then that it occurred to me. Yes, the potential for being wicked will always be with us. That is inherent in our human nature; otherwise we would not be free — free to choose between good and evil. But do we have to choose evil? Do we have to destroy ourselves in the process? Not at all. Our struggle will be to resist wickedness. Our millennium has committed more wicked acts than all other millenniums combined, perhaps. We have had our fill. We can now gain control of ourselves and mold ancient aspirations into a Movement Toward Goodness (MTG). This is a challenging task indeed. We need all our wits to succeed.

It is the entrepreneur who creates jobs. Not the rich. Financial capital is wholly passive; indeed, physical capital is equally passive, unless it is invigorated by the entrepreneur. There are plenty of apples on the ground that gradually disintegrate. It is the entrepreneur, who may also be rich, but the entrepreneur—as entrepreneur—who gathers them, and by bringing them to market, transforms a natural product into a useful product.

Much might also be said in relation to the size of the enterprise. Small and medium-size enterprises create jobs. Not to put too fine a point on it, but large corporations tend to destroy jobs. With their penchant for consolidation of two or more enterprises into one, they are bound to reduce rather than enlarge the number of jobs available on the market. Another way large corporations tend to reduce jobs is by chasing the lowest wage markets, no matter where they are located, even if they are located abroad.

There are innumerable consequences that flow from these two verities. We can look only at the most important ones here.

Tax Abatements, Grants, and Subsidies
Just remember this simple verity, the rich do not create jobs, and you know how to react when charlatans tend to convince you to give tax abatements, grants, and subsidies to large corporations, especially large financial, agricultural and maritime corporations, on the specious promise of the creation of jobs.
Will someone calculate the amounts? These are not empty words. They are words laden-full with dollars. If in doubt, just contemplate our financial landscape.

Is there any reason for the bail-outs and the ongoing bail-ins, at taxpayers’ expense, for failing corporations other than the vain hope of the purported preservation and creation of jobs? Is there any other reason for paying interest on reserves, cash hoarded actually, held at the Federal Reserve System (the Fed)? Indeed, is there any other reason for the oil depletion allowance?

Jobs, (Living) Wages, and Technology
Jobs as a talisman? Why does the discussion of jobs carry such weight in a modern society? Why is it presented as the solution to most, if not all, our economic ills?

The topic of “jobs” is generally discussed separately from the topic of wages—especially living wages—and the topic of technology. Let us try to avoid this pitfall. Let us link these three topics together. A new world opens up to sight.
Let us put it starkly. Wage increases are eaten up by rising prices; jobs are eaten up by technology. Wage raises followed by price increases make the world that much harder for the poor, those who are outside even the margins of the economics process; and the concentration of ownership of new job cutting innovations increases only income and wealth inequality.

This is a story that repeats itself. Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity ("doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results") and ask yourself: Should the unions ever again demand higher wages and taxpayers demand jobs?

The answer is a resounding, no.

Is this a defeatist attitude? Far from it. Long story to be made short. Solutions are these: Taxpayers ought never to submit to the extortion of financial privileges on the promise of jobs; and unions should never push for higher wages. What are the real solutions?

Unions Should Push for Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)
Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) are growing by leaps and bounds. But more is to be done.

ESOPs will grow steadily when, as suggested in the petition to restructure the procedures of the Fed that is now circulating on the Internet, the creation of new money is pursued only if it benefits all citizens of a nation.

Once employees and workers become stockholders of the corporation in which they work, employees and workers can push for a fair distribution of profits: You see, wages are distributed before income is realized; profits, both as income streams and streams of capital appreciation are distributed after they are realized in the market.

And the Poor, What to Do with the Poor?
What is never realized is a third verity of the present train of thought: The poor are an essential component of the economic process. The rich get richer with the increase of production and consumption of the Gross National Product. The rich do not have the numbers to consume the Gross National Product; it is the poor who by their numbers perform this essential function.

Apart from compensating workers and employees fairly, what is there left to do? The best is perhaps left. This is the creation of Consumer Stock Ownership Plans (CSOPs).

Can you imagine the world in which McDonalds, Stop and Shop, and Macy’s at the end of the year distribute a fair portion of their income among the consumers who have been keeping them alive all year long?

An Analysis of Financial Wealth
This new world, the world of Concordian Economics, will not come about until we run a deeper analysis of financial wealth. The long story, again, must be cut short. Here is its gist.

You and Joe have one million dollar each. You are equally rich. Joe’s wealth eventually grows by leaps and bounds to 10 million dollars. Clearly, Joe is now ten times as rich as you are. But, by hook and by crook, you raise your financial wealth to 10 million dollars as well. You are now again as rich as Joe.

What has occurred—from a purely economic point of view—between the initial and the final position? Nothing has occurred. There has been only an accumulation of zeros. Hence my secondpetition on the Internet to avoid a cataclysmic reduction of financial wealth by financial crisis, rather than systematic reduction of zeros. This is nothing more than the application of the ancient Mosaic application of the Jubilee Solution.
Financial wealth is a pure accumulation of zeros. This is true for the global economy, not only the American economy.

[1] "The Creators of Poverty," Gloucester Daily Times, Symposium, December 18, 1998, p. A10.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

FIRST POST: An Easter Meditation

This first post for the construction of A Party of Concord has to try to dispel an ancient lie that, not always in the open, divides our political parties and divides the world.

The lie is that "the Jews" killed Jesus.

The historical truth is that the Jewish - and Roman - elites manipulated We the People of Israel and killed Jesus.

And on what basis?

Please, listen to this. Listen to the rest of the truth. Listen carefully, because it still influences our political actions. It still divides our political parties; it still divides countries; it still divides the world.

The sad truth is this: The Jewish and Roman elites were utterly mistaken.

The Jewish and Roman elites were convinced that Jesus was a threat to their power and wealth. Not so. Many friends of Jesus were rich and powerful people.

Jesus was concerned only about how power and money are used.

We still have to learn how to acquire and to use power and money properly.

This is what we are going to learn while - together - we create our Party of Concord.

An earlier version was published at

An Easter Meditation

In my heart of hearts I am a political scientist, so my Easter meditation is focused on this question: How can a man, acclaimed by throngs of people on Palm Sunday, be sentenced to die on a cross by those same people on Holy Fridayand if these were two different groups, another troublesome question arises that might be worthy of thorough investigation: "Where was, on Friday, the crowd that shouted 'hosanna' on Palm Sunday"? The stakes must have been extremely high for these complex acts to occur so fast. If you believe, as I do, that this man, Jesus, was also God, these events become even more astonishing.

The stakes were indeed so high that the consequences of that switch are still with us. First of all, it seems we are still confused as to whom to blame. A misguided hurtling about of shame has blinded us to the enormity of that event for the human race. Some people have blamed the Jews. Some people have held the Romans as complicit. This bouncing of the blame has been so steady and so ferocious as to be vicious in its consequences. The fact that no agreement on the ascertainment of a simple truth of this sort has yet developed is proof positive that something has gone terribly awry.

It is not “the Jews,” it is not “the Romans” who have to be held accountable for the fateful events of the Holy Week. By implicating a whole people, the blame is so diluted as to become impossible of clear and definitive assignment. This traditional line of historical investigation leads only to obfuscation of what occurred that sad week.

The facts are clear. On Palm Sunday, the people exulted in Jesus. On Holy Friday, they demanded His death. How was this turn of passions engineered? That is the question.

To answer it, we have to backtrack. We have to acquire a more comprehensive understanding of the events of Palm Sunday. Clearly, the Jewish people exulted on Palm Sunday. They laid palms in front of Jesus as He entered Jerusalem on a donkey. And yet, members of the Sanhedrin, the elite, were so stunned, they were taken over by so much fear as to plot the end of Jesus’ ministry on earth.

One can imagine them looking over the scene from dark chambers. Was it in the middle of that first night that they sent secret messages to relatives and friends among the Jewish and the Roman ruling groups?

The question is: What was their fear?

The political answer that is traditionally given covers the entire gamut of fear of forfeiting their power, prestige, and wealth: in a word, their authority. And, yet, that is not fully satisfactory to cover the enormity of that tragic event. It is the depth of the gap between their fear and the challenge posed by Jesus that needs to be explained.

The answer resonates loud and clear during an Easter meditation. The powers-to-be discovered that they were not going to lose power and prestige and wealth. Jesus did not appear on a horse, sword unsheathed, and followed by menacing hordes of armed marauders. They discovered a deeper reality: Jesus challenged their belief system. He challenged the base on which their authority stood; Jesus challenged the foundation of their intellectual and spiritual existence.

They believed they had authority by virtue of their institutional position on top of a belief system that granted them the right to command the use of force to their advantage. If it can be said that by the time of Moses the elites were exercising rights in the context of well-defined responsibilities, by the time of Jesus they preserved their rights but felt no sense of responsibility—either toward man or toward God. In the end, they believed that Might-makes-right.

Jesus challenged that notion. Even in the case of expulsion of the moneychangers from the Temple, Jesus did not challenge either power in itself nor the forms through which power manifests itself, namely money and armies; He challenged the lack of responsibility through which power is exercised and money is used.

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.” That is what terrified the elites on Palm Sunday. In Jesus they saw the falseness, the emptiness—and some might even have seen the viciousness—of their lives. And they could not stand the view.

With His actions and teachings, Jesus stripped them of the fig leaf of rationalizations that filled their heads and set their hearts into stones.  He asked them to put themselves in the presence of our Father in Heaven with only hope, faith, and love in their hearts and minds—with hope and faith, as the apostle Peter said, centered in God, and love for oneself, for one’s neighbor, and for God. In synthetic terms, Jesus requested of them a paradigm shift, from Might-makes-right to Love-makes-right.

I am not a theologian. I do not know of the remission of the sins and all other theological reasons for the existence of Jesus. For me the reason is this. No matter what God did for the human race and the Israelites in particular, it was never enough; so God sent Jesus to Earth to remind us of the existence of the Spirit.

At this remembrance, the elites trembled. And plotted for His death. A majority of Jewish and Roman elites tried to deny their nakedness by putting Jesus, the messenger of truth, to death. This chain of events has been repeated over and over again to this very day. What else do the variegated forms of Fascism and Communism re-enact? The struggle is eternal, very human and very divine: The struggle is between good and the unspeakable evil; the struggle is between God and the Devil. The mysterious and exhilarating aspect of this drama is that each one of us is part and parcel of this struggle.

The efforts of evil were in vain. Jesus was resurrected. The spiritual Jesus is still with us. He insists on His request for hope, faith, and love. Hence, He begs us to rely on the power of the Spirit.

We still cannot accept Jesus’ message. How else to explain the horrific events of our days? Do those with power and prestige and wealth behave differently today? If we yearn to avoid the stubborn repetition of the horrid events of the Holy Week, we need to start with a true understanding of Jesus. We need to understand that Jesus did not threaten anyone’s power and prestige and wealth. People with power and prestige and wealth were among His friends here on earth. He simply came to fulfill the Jewish law, the Jewish prophecy, the incredible Jewish insight of the prevalence of the spirit over blind energy and matter as repeated consistently through the ages: “Cast away from you all the crimes you have committed, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit” (Ezekiel); “Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you” (Zechariah); “Atone for your sins by good deeds, and for your misdeeds by kindness to the poor; then your prosperity will be long” (Daniel).

There is one more step to be taken to be ready to foster the reconstruction of the New Jerusalem. We have to comprehend the mechanics of the transformation of a loving mob into a hateful mob. Members of the Sanhedrin were able to switch people’s allegiances on the basis on a lie—a bold lie. They told the people that Jesus planned to become their King, to rule over them; hence, they were going to forfeit their freedom.

Was that not a lie? Jesus did not conceive of taking away from anyone the freedom that God gave to everyone. Jesus asked not even for a prayer for Himself; the prayer He taught us is to Our Father, your father and mine, the father of the Jews as the father of the Gentiles, the father of the Indians of America as the father of the Indians of India, the father of all the people on earth. Just as for the powers-to-be, Jesus came to give everyone hope, faith, and love.

And there is where the throngs of people are conjoined at the hip with the elites; that is why, in the end, the people became so gullible as to believe a bold lie. The majority of the people were not steadfast believers in Jesus’ message of hope, faith, and love. We still do not believe; and if we do, we do so fitfully and hesitantly.

This is the meaning of Easter. This is the meaning of the Resurrection. The Spirit sits in pained judgment. What we do is our test: We can either die or live in the Spirit. It is not power and prestige and wealth that matters; it is how we acquire, preserve, and use power and prestige and wealth that matters. We are free to either die or live in the Spirit.

The apostle Paul got it all—and expressed it tersely: "Acquire a fresh, spiritual way of thinking. You must put on that new man created in God's image, whose justice and holiness are born of truth." 

Truth is not easy to recognize; life is not easy to live. They are not supposed to. Joy is found in the separation of truth from falsehood and the life lived authentically; joy, enlightenment, reassurance, strength, and peace are found in the presence of the Spirit.