09 October 2011

National scale

Implementation of sheviit laws must be national in scope because individuals can't really accomplish the task unless they're operating at the national scale. 
Asking individuals to accomplish the tasks of stewardship is an empty exercise because stewardship at anything lower than the national scale is doomed to fail. Stewardship is not only about good intentions; stewardship is about defining property rights properly and enabling a commercial system that works according the dictates of gift exchange alongside market exchange. 
The teaching of the Chumash is that stewardship must occur at the national level. That is the genius of the biblical teachings. That is the point of the laws of sheviit and shemitta
A better strategy would be to find a country whose citizens would be amenable to the ways of natural stewardship and then as a demonstration project to implement the ways of natural stewardship at the national level to show the world how it is done and what the national advantages to such an approach really would be. That would be the 'light unto the nations' part of the mandate. 
  • The advantage of such an approach would be that it is not anti-corporate, it is pro-stewardship. 
  • That it is pro- means it doesn't have to be angry. 
  • It also means it doesn't have to be negative. 
  • It means that it is planning for the inevitable collapse of the mechanical systems by describing what will take their place. 
Gandhi proposed such a approach when he taught non-violence. Non-violence presumed the containment and the eventual collapse of illegitimate power. 
The problem with Gandhi's teachings was poor timing. Had the Muslim world not descended into an epochal resource curse at almost exactly the moment his teachings were coming to the fore, his wisdom would have been far more clearly manifest in the world today. 

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