We Need a Year of Jubilee

Bernie Sanders and a few others complain a lot about how only 1% of the American population own something like 90% of the wealth. One might say that the 1% own the country. It sure seems that way. But the imbalance of power and control that this reflects took years to achieve. I watched a documentary on TV not long ago that showed how it began with the industrial revolution in the late 19th and early 20th century with men like Rockerfeller, Ford, Carnegie, and Vanderbuilt. As each of these industrial leaders gained wealth, they began the process of trying to outdo one another and undermine one anothers industries. It required money, each using devious means to gain the power they wanted. To increase profits, they abused their workers paying just enough money to keep them on the edge of poverty. They also manipulated the banking system and to make sure legislation supported them they bought the legislators themselves.

This has happened before. In fact, it happened during the agricultural revolution, when  wealth was connected to land ownership and the ownership of the laborers who managed the land. The Jewish people came up with an ingenious way to set the world straight again when the imbalance of wealth got out of control. It is called the Year of Jubilee and its process is recorded in the Old Testament. Wm. Paul Young, in his book lies we believe about God, says this about the Year of Jubilee:

“The Jewish system had some wonderful practices. One of these was the internal reset button, the Year of Jubilee. Every fiftieth year, they would push this button and everything went back to zero: debts, liabilities, punishments, etc.; the whole system was supposed to start over after a year of celebrating our common humanity.”

He adds, “By the way, that reset button was God’s idea, for our benefit.”

There is no way in hell that the United States would follow such a rule. Even Fundamentalists, who preach following the Bible literally, would make this one exception. Once one experiences wealth and the power over others that wealth provides, it is difficult to let go of it. Thus begins the process of trying to manipulate the story to convince the underdogs that what they are experiencing is not injustice, but somehow the way things are supposed to be.

5 thoughts on “We Need a Year of Jubilee”

    1. It is explained in Leviticus 25 and Numbers 36. It also involved a sabbatical year during which the land was supposed to rest just like humans had a sabbath day of rest. God had a plan to make life on earth work…alas, humankind has resisted it all along the way. I am not a fundamentalist and there are many things in the Bible that I would not apply in real life, but I cannot dismiss the wisdom of some of these things. It takes humility and trust, to say the least…and community. But what a difference life on earth would be!

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