Important Publication on Debt

Monday 21st October 2019:
Dear Associates of CCMJ,
The Bible in The Bible Society’s journal ‘The Bible in transmission’has an important current edition on ’WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT DEBT’. All its seven entries are highly valuable from different angles. [I wish the title of the journal had used ‘Transformation’ with the hint of education rather than of institutionalised teaching]. These [and earlier] articles are on: www.biblesociety.org.ukhttps://www.biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible/bible-in-transmission/

I am sending this note to Prof. Michael Hudson in the hope that he will critique this bold publication. [In my first quick skim reading  I didn’t spot any reference to Michael’s in-depth historic studies in the origin of debt forgiveness] I hope Michael might indicate any strengths and weaknesses in this courageous, deeply searching publication.

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On Tue., Oct. 22, 2019, 2:15 a.m. Paul Nicolson wrote:
Dear Richard,
I read your letter to Peter Challen with interest ” seeking a new and transformational relationship of our “built environment” with Nature”. We are working on Housing Policy. I hope this take on two parables is as relevant to your work as it is to ours.  With best wishes, Paul

LAND OWNERS IN POWER
UK housing policy has failed for the many years to provide homes at truly affordable rents that can be paid by low income tenants.  The balance of power is with those who control the land and take for private gain the untaxed and unearned increase in land value. Renters have been put at a further disadvantage by the cuts in housing benefit. That requires some rent to be paid out of minimum incomes needed for food, fuel, clothes transport and other necessities. There are record highs in the numbers of homeless families in temporary accommodation, rough sleeping and deaths among the street homeless.  Compassion in politics would set statutory minimum incomes at a level which can meet all human needs including the rent.   

TWO RELEVANT PARABLES ABOUT THE USE AND ABUSE OF POWER. 
There are two parables that contrast a compassionate use of power by a landlord with the abuse of power by a group of tenants in control of his land. Jesus saw how power can be used to share the produce of land, but also how power can be abused. It’s the same now as it was 2,000 years ago.

In the parable of the workers in the vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16), the landowner goes out early in the morning, hires all available workers and agrees to pay them one denarius. He goes out again at nine, noon, three and five, and hiring anyone at the gate. They are all told, “Go and work in my vineyard.” At the end of the day, he pays them all one denarius, regardless of how long each has worked. When some complain, he says, “I’m not being unfair. Are you envious because I’m generous?” 

That parable is about land. If we start with the proposition that land is the gift of a generous and loving God, intended for the provision of shelter, food, water, fuel and clothes, and so, health and wellbeing for everyone, then the message become clear: the landowner uses his power compassionately to ensure that everyone benefits from the land he owns.

In the parable of the wicked tenants (Matthew 21:33-46), the landowner rents out his vineyard and moves to another place. In his absence, his tenants want it all for themselves. At harvest time, he sends a servant to collect some of the produce of the vineyard, but they seize him, beat him and send him away empty-handed. The landowner sends another servant. They strike this man on the head and treat him shamefully. He sends yet another and that one they kill. He sends many others – some of them they beat and others they kill. He has one left to send: a son whom he loves. He sends him last of all, saying, “They will respect my son.” He, too, is killed.

From the Reverend Paul Nicolson
The good health and wellbeing of all UK citizens in or out of work must now become a national priority. Taxpayers Against Poverty – A VOICE FOR THE COMPASSIONATE MAJORITY – No citizen without an affordable home and an adequate income in work or unemployment.
Supported by TAP RESOURCES INDEX on our website

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On Wed, 23 Oct 2019 at 15:37, Richard Nelson wrote:
Dear Paul,
Your feedback is greatly appreciated. I do see the importance of the “root problem” of land ownership and “rent”. I think the second parable, especially describes the corruption of all values when the common condition is the absent Overlord owner as compared to the engaged, local owner in the first parable. But what is Rent and how is it the foundation of poverty? 

It is established in economics that the burden of rent is the mechanism for the impoverishment of “the people”. As people rise economically the Landlord raises the rent and the people can’t get “ahead”. But do we accept that Rent is inherent in human relationships? Why was Rent invented and do we assume that it is an inevitable burden of human life? Do we answer these questions before we ask who will pay it? That is, if the poor cannot pay, then is it the case that “the public” (we the people) must pay and add it to our tax burden?

Rent is the exploitation and indirect taxation of people by an elite ruling class who created the concept of property ownership, and private exploitation. If ordinary (landless, placeless) people in their life of subjugation succeed in their struggle to rise to the status of being a property owner, then the cost and debt (interest) includes payment of Tax. Both rent and tax are paid in money (of the Crown) and the definition of a currency is that it’s “legal tender” for payment of tax. The Landowner, collecting rent, will need it to pay the property tax. The money system is controlled by the ruler. That the governments of the world are not “by the people, for the people” is evidenced by the fact that no governments control their currency and that money is privately owned by the elite and rulers of this world. 
The very few in this elite Ruling Class (the Royals) that claimed all land and resources (of Nature) for their private ownership and exploitation under a “divine right”, which in modern times is called class (white) privilege. The Church blessed this system of exploitation in medieval times and in the Renaissance, with the discovery, by Christian Nations of the “new world” this worldly principle of exploitation was codified by the Pope as the “Doctrine of Domination”, which condoned the Colonial Era of voracious plunder of natural resources and enslavement of Indigenous Peoples of the world. The confiscation of all “overseas” land by the Colonial Powers made these peoples subjects and enslaved them to same system of Tax and Rent, in all lands where they would plant their Flags. 

The people of Colonial Powers home countries, who had centuries of generational conditioning to lives of enslavement under all powerful Kings and Tyrants, then found that their struggle for a better life had new potential, with new prospects for “financial freedom” to be won by payment for service in the ongoing warfare between the Colonial Powers. Also, they found that in the vast scaling up of wealth concentration (the birth of Capitalism) in the hands of Landlords in the Colonies, emerged the opportunity for the life of the “middle class” – the key to which is education. Commodity wealth flowed in vast streams to the Royals (in Taxation) who appoint the Overlords and assigned the trade licenses – these forms of rent created the modern money system. It also propagates the “divine right” system of property ownership and privilege in all Colonial lands.

Subjects of the Colonial Powers, who themselves have long been denied natural freedoms or personal rights, are further objectified as Human Resources to reap the rewards of the Plantation Economy of these times. White people now have value in this system of commodity wealth, but Indigenous Peoples are valueless and expendable in the new competition for monetary wealth. This gives birth to Privateers who compete with Royalty and become Capitalists in their own right – and these new “economic operators” free from Royal License adopt the “money system” for power over people and planet. Royal Corporations and private multinational corporations compete for domination of lands and peoples in a violent warfare economy. 

With clarity on the historic backdrop please read again my dense (what Robin Harvey called impenetrable) paper, which was my attempt not to be “wordy”, but which probably needs be expanded and unpacked. To zero in on the key gospel link to rent I would go to this paragraph, where I make the case that “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” means that we, like the Acts Church, should give up our “property” and hold all things in common. This is property debt forgiveness; that we neither pay it or receive it, because all is of God and for God. Reflecting that heavenly value we collectively seek a life of the People and for the People. To get to this life we dismantle the “Rule of Law” and live by God’s Law. I quote:

Property law, which governs all human relationships, worldwide, removes the natural right of the peoples’ place and true home in the world. It is an “original violence” that is now reflected in Property Law, enforced universally. Lords, who were granted land for loyalty to the King, created the system of Property Law, which became what we know as the Rule of Law. For the people, it means that we have the status of a “trespasser” on the land of the Lord, or the King. The trespassing gives rise to the forgiveness by payment of rent, which evolved into the token system of money that sets up our life as a “struggle for existence”

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Paul Nicolson wrote:
Dear Richard, very many thanks such a full and helpful reponse. I am currently working with and for families in Tottenham in temporary accommodation. According to the House of Commons Library there are 83,700 families with 124,000 children in temporary accommodation in England, up 77% since 2010, 56,880 of the families or 68% are in London. There are nearly 3000 in Haringey. There is nothing to stop it getting higher and worse. That and increasing street homelessness and street deaths illustrate what you say in the context of a chaotic London Housing market.  “…the burden of rent is the mechanism for the impoverishment of “the people” “. I have more to say about temporary accommodation in  Haringey here and in our submission to The Archbishop’s Commission on Housing, Church and Communities here.  
Again thank you for such a full and helpful response. 
Peace, Paul

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On Thu, 24 Oct 2019 at 09:54, Tom Butler wrote:
Richard, Paul,
I happened to follow your correspondence.  Perhaps it caught my attention because ownership is a central issue that needs a transformation of perspective if humanity is to manifest it’s potential consciousness enlightenment …I am grappling with the problem. 

One insight that helps is to reflect on what ownership is about: modern culture sees it as control: I own Google so I control all that wealth, all those resources, … all those people (re “wage slavery”).  That mindset is a legacy of the primitive command and control system that allowed collaboration on a global scale.  But to survive we must work within the laws of nature and this idea of ownership is minimally represented in nature.  It does not work at scale, as is being shown by the disintegration of nature today. 

Property ownership works at the smallholder level and below, but not when it separates responsibility from ownership. Kind regards, Tom
+ 353 (0)86 817 9238 +353(0)59 647 7033

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Paul Nicolson wrote:
Dear Tom, a thought is that we own nothing but are responsible for the administration of the resources that come our way in line within the golden rule – to love our neighbours as ourselves  – Paul

From the Reverend Paul Nicolson
The good health and wellbeing of all UK citizens in or out of work must now become a national priority. Taxpayers Against Poverty – A VOICE FOR THE COMPASSIONATE MAJORITYNo citizen without an affordable home and anadequate income in work or unemployment.
Supported by TAP RESOURCES INDEX on our website 
TAP DEPENDS ON SUPPORTERS – PLEASE CONSIDER a MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION – THANKS, 93 Campbell Road, Tottenham, London N17 0BF, 0208 3765455, 07961 177889,
https://www.facebook.com/Taxpayers-Against-Poverty-299911526728884/
https://twitter.com/taxpayers_a_pwww.taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk  • www.z2k.org

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On Thu., Oct. 24, 2019, 5:21 a.m. Tom Butler wrote:
Paul,
Yes.  I like it.  Guardian.  One must remember it’s a general relationship not a personal one.  We are guardians, not Guardians.  Otherwise the pyramid of power is nurtured as some become “guardians” of everything, which is what is crushing life…
Tom (+ 353 (0)86 817 9238 +353(0)59 647 7033)

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On Thursday, October 24, 2019, 03:06:40 PM GMT+1, Richard Nelson wrote:
Thank you all for the discussion!
Tom Butler said 
If ownership brings responsibility rather than control…
I’m considering the very concept of ownership to be the root of the problem. I’d like to restate as follows:
Ownership brings control… but Relationship brings responsibility…
If we open our eyes to the truth that ownership in the material world is an illusion, which becomes apparent when, through Christ, we are born in the Spirit and have a new perception of Creation and walk with God.
God bless, Richard

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On Thu, Oct 24, 2019 at 1:55 PM Andrew Phillips wrote:
Dear Tom & Co.
A very interesting and important dialogue indeed. Sadly I don’t have time at present to contribute as I would wish, but a few observations may be of interest. The Law (and I am an ancient lawyer!) makes an interesting, fundamental distinction between legal and equitable ownership. Thus Trustees generally have legal but not equitable ownership, exercising their legal rights for the benefit of those with the equitable rights – the ‘beneficiaries’. There should be some potentially helpful leakage of that concept into your/our deliberations.

Another useful word is ‘stewardship’. For me it captures well the right, Christian, view of where we should stand in relation to our worldly goods, though I, for one, have not been nearly rigorous enough in thinking all this through and acting on it. A last thought. As one who practised law in the City for around 50 years (though I set up my own firm in 1970 to escape some of the stewardless ideas which were even then uprooting right values) I have been evermore convinced that Limited Liability unrestrained by a strong ethical framework was of diabolical potential. And so it has proved, for the system  spawns huge scale hence impersonality and moral vacuity. That aids the unscrupulous, the ruthless, the rootless etc., etc..

It has thus become the international engine of e.g. tax schemes which personify just those characteristics. And don’t underestimate the ethical infection that it has given rise to, embracing hoards of otherwise decent Lawyers, Accountants and Bankers. Needless to say, the money largesse that that bestows on its practitioners is so immense that it has been and remains irresistible and, indeed, a precondition of survival for the firms concerned in the ‘markets’ they inhabit and rely on for their crazy earnings. Sorry, I only intended a brief contribution to the debate!  Keep bashing on…
Kind regards, Andrew Phillips (alias Lord Phillips of Sudbury OBE)

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On Mon, Nov 4, 2019 at 7:32 PM Richard Nelson wrote:

Andrew, thank you for your reply. What a blessing this discussion is! It’s a tremendous encouragement to me. I am happy, through Peter, to be a Canadian friend of this esteemed group in the UK. My goal is collaboration on action that delivers economic justice for the people. I seek to “walk the walk” of a Kingdom Builder, creating a new sacred space, a habitat that sustains all people in right relationship with each other and the whole of Creation. I lived in London for several years in the 00’s, then a few years in Oslo and now back “home” in Montreal. It’s my honour to be participating in this virtual gathering, affirming our best efforts to love each other as our neighbour, as Jesus called us to do. 

I bring at 68 years – the capability of an Inventor able to infuse into these important matters of homelessness, poverty and hunger – a new vision, by the Grace of the Holy Spirit, that we can put into practice today, fulfilling the promise that, when we seek first the kingdom of God, then all else will be shall be given unto us.

At my age, I feel as many of you probably also do, that we are in accord with the young people who are awakening the whole population to the Climate Emergency. The distress of the people and planet makes evident that (despite our “stewardship”) the earth as we know it (and our place in Creation) is on a path to extinction and death. But we are believers in Eternal Life. Now is our time to demonstrate that our Faith will prevail and we will overcome by the Spirit and not be overwhelmed by the world. We must now act with all speed to be Kingdom Builders and step out in Faith to show the disbelieving world that the promise of “on earth as it is in heaven” is human destiny. To show that God’s Creation is one of abundance and that it’s a Godless, man-made world that is being overwhelmed and will die as we, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, birth a new Creation.

With Grace we can demonstrate that when our renewed relationship with Nature comes into right relationship with the whole of Life, with Creation, then ends the “battle with Nature” and the “struggle to exist”. This communion with nature is experienced within the Closed Controlled Ecological Environment of the AgriPOD Vertical Farming platforms, from backyard to schoolyard to farmyard. As an inventor, I seek to bring a transformational revelation of the coming kingdom into our personal experience.

Therefore, beyond discussion and analysis of how we have arrived at this Life/Death crisis, it is the need to “walk the walk” that is now critical. The discussion of law, economics and social order for new understanding is our salvation only if it leads to action. Can we leave talk behind and step into a new world of experiencing everything as new and our knowledge is transformed by new experiences? I invite you to a path of action, the building of a small space to make the world better place. This requires a place where the work we do can be protected and nurtured. You would gather a small team of supporters and partner with those who have faith that, our capacity to manifest this transformational environment (sacred space) is not a problem for us because we come together in the name of Jesus and in the knowledge that, with Jesus all things are possible. (Luke 4:17-21 and Ephesians 3:20-21). 

I believe that Peter would like to consider this action plan, to participate with a few other teams around the world who are coming together to implement the Proof Of Concept phase of launching AgriPOD. Peter has considered possible locations. One that I have thought is a “natural” is Schumacher College. I once talked with Mr Watson, owner of Riverford Farms about sponsoring the creation of a small pilot AgriPOD project – because they could use solar greenhouse technology to continue organic growing through the winter, rather than importing from North Africa. Perhaps in this group there would be the capacity to fund such a project, that once seen would go viral. A viable project budget is as low as $50,000 USD, under which budget I could deliver an Octa3 AgriPOD (please see attachment for details). After years building a network in the UK it would be very satisfying to see a physical installation of our vital humanitarian innovation established with your support.

I stand ready to show how we can have zero carbon food, profitability and in abundance – just confirm that you would like to be sponsors of one of several Octa3 and Octa6 AgriPOD that will be operational in 2020 as we launch the Proof Of Concept phase of the PODnet Plan (See www.PODnet.is) for OpenSource collaboration and cooperative commercialization.
All things are possible as we gather in Jesus name in service to humanity,
Richard Nelson+1 514-692-9107

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