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How Local Churches Can Still Revolutionize the World
Christians can build "utopia" without taxation, debt, corporate corruption, or secular government rule
The world desperately needs Jesus-followers right now.
We need to build more schools.
And care homes for the incoming silver tsunami of old people.
And highways, tunnels, bridges, seaports, airports, hyperloops, geothermal plants, hydroelectric dams, tidal turbines, eco-power plants, regenerative farms, and especially tens of millions of affordable eco-homes.
Essentially, America needs to spend about $100 trillion in the next decade, otherwise, it will slip into fascism at the hands of the corporatocracy, and then oblivion at the hands of climate collapse.
The question is:
How will we pay for it all?
The false dichotomy of secular politics
How do we pay for the $100 trillion in immediately-needed investment?
The answer from secular right-wingers: Privatize!
The answer from secular left-wingers: Nationalize!
But we, dear readers, are radical democratic Christians centrists. :-) We are not interested in the extremists who battle for imperium over the American experiment.
Righties think the rules-free-market can solve all our problems.
As if unregulated private-profit-seeking companies have ever done what is best for the commons. We can disregard this silly position for the simple reason that corporate profit is the ultimate inefficiency. If we’re going to spend $100 trillion, why privatize the profits? And since when do capitalists invest in direct human flourishing? Capitalism exists to invest in what is profitable, not what is necessary.
Lefties think a woke Big Brother government can solve all our problems.
As if giving an utterly corrupt and cancerously bloated bureaucracy another $100 trillion will suddenly make them hyper-efficient and accountable and effective, and not just resource them to push an experimental identity-politics agenda to total social dominance.
But you know Charles Spurgeon’s rule for false dichotomies:
When given two bad options, choose neither.
We need the best of the left and right to come up with the cash.
What stands in the way of coming up with $100 trillion?
There are at least four major challenges to coming up with the money necessary to fix this broken nation.
It is impossible to tax the rich.
As we have discussed before, hyper-elites are engaged in industrial-scale tax evasion, and trying to tax them to save civilization will prove impossible. They are anti-social sociopaths who, rather than trying to save civilization, are preparing to abandon it to a collapse of their own making.
The poor can’t afford to pay another dime in tax.
The poor, the working class, and even the middle class are utterly tapped. Since 1971, the bottom 80% have been crushed under rising rents and massive mortgages, decreasing purchasing power, and systemic wage suppression. They simply cannot afford to shoulder any more of the cost of building society. And Jesus always sides with the poor.
Conservative voters freak out at the idea of public debt.
It’s essentially impossible for politicians to get a right-of-center vote if they plan to finance infrastructure investments with public debt. And if sociopathic politicians care about one thing, it’s getting re-elected forever.
Money-printing more fiat currency robs the poor via inflation.
The ownership class and the far-left Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) cultists are all too happy to continue printing trillions of dollars out of thin air every month because inflation doesn’t matter if their portfolio keeps ticking upward. But for the 100+million who are too poor to fully participate in the real estate pyramid scheme and the stock market extraction scam, but basic math shows that such a move would push bankruptcies from tens of thousands each month into the millions per year.
And let’s say we used one or more of these methods to come up with the money and actually did build all this epic society-saving infrastructure.
The very next right-wing Thatcherite government will sell it all to their corporate buddies for pennies on the dollar anyhow.
So, if we cannot tax the rich, tax the poor, take on debt, or print our way to utopia, and even if we did it would be stolen and sold anyway, what can we do?
It’s time to introduce you to a friend of mine.
The Daman Model
Gordon Daman is a low-key progressive-conservative genius.
He also loves Jesus and the poor and the marginalized.
Accordingly, he’s the kind of guy who cares more about widest-spread longest-term wellbeing versus quarterly corporate profits.
One day, he realized his community needed major help ASAP:
Their town of 4,000 was aging, and pretty soon, all their old people would be shipped off to care homes more than thirty miles away.
This would cost young working families a huge amount of commuting time and fuel costs, to say nothing of the environmental impact. Worst of all, the lack of a local old folks home would break apart families that had been together for generations.
So Gordon ran for mayor.
After getting elected, he used the town’s credit to finance a much-needed old folk’s home.
Yes, he freaked out his right-leaning voters and took on government debt.
But he promised them it would only be temporary, and he laid out a reasonable plan that convinced his conservative community to give it a shot.
I’ve toured the old folk's homes. Friends, it is epic.
It’s heated and cooled by geothermal
It has its own in-house composting system
It has a medical clinic, dental unit, and hair salon
It has a pub so that teenage grandkids will spend more time around their elders.
It has a daycare so that adult children and toddler grandkids can spend more time with their elders. (It’s called Granfriends!)
Rather than plunking the center outside of time like most eldercare facilities, they plunked it right in the middle of town and made it a real hub of the community.
Once the center was fully built, Gordon spun it off the municipal books as an independent not-for-profit, tasked with running the center near cost and paying off the debt.
Do you see what he did there?
He gave his community a sustainable, culture-creating, income-producing, non-corporate, non-governmental asset for free.
No taxing the rich.
No taxing the poor.
No public debt.
And best of all, because it’s independently owned by a not-for-profit, the next mayor can’t sell it off to his corporate buddies. It’s a perpetually-protected community-enriching not-for-private-profit commons asset.
Tell me this isn’t the greatest utopia-building idea ever.
Left-wingers want to build a nation where the corrupt government owns and controls everything so they can boss you around and control your life.
Right-wingers want to build a nation where monopoly corporations own and control everything so they can boss you around and control your life.
We radical Christians centrists want freedom, democracy, sustainability, and zero economic exploitation.
That’s why the United States of America needs to build a fully-transparent not-for-profit infrastructure bank that loans money interest-free to community groups, cities, and states so that they can start to build tax-free debt-free inflation-free non-corporate non-government community assets.
Libertarians and corporatists will hate this idea, of course, but welcome to democracy, you selfish little fellows — the only true free market.
As Gordon Daman recently told me:
“To transform and sustain social infrastructure for the common good — balancing economic, social and ecological outcomes — is the only way forward at this challenging point in history.”
Now imagine an entire nation operating on the Daman Model:
States will generate free power by investing billions in commons assets like geothermal volcanism.
My village of 1,400, which already owns our local farmer’s market and our local pub, will put tidal power on our stretch of river and build a funky tourist zone to drive home-devouring predators like Airbnb out of business.
Every village, town, and city in America could use this model to acquire all sorts of community-enriching assets without taxing the rich, taxing the poor, going into debt, printing money, or having our hard-earned community gains stolen by private interests.
Imagine if 100,000+ cities each build even ten public projects like this. The amount of human flourishing it would create could spark a new renaissance.
But nevermind the world.
Governments were long ago captured by corporations.
They will never adopt the Daman Model on a broad scale.
Short-term corporate profit matters far more than long-term human flourishing.
It’s up to the church of Jesus to love and serve the poor.
What could Christians do with the Daman Model?
Churches could build sustainable neighborhoods and villages jam-packed with affordable eco-housing for real local working families.
Small groups and like-minded entrepreneurs could organize organic co-ops like Suma to ensure workers receive 100% of the value of their labor without the need for vampirical shareholders.
Christian-led companies could leverage their market cap to put solar panels on every church roof and parking lot in the nation.
Denominations could acquire huge amounts of land and build entirely new eco-powered cities, like modern day versions of the Desert Fathers and their cities of God. The modern church’s radical new cities and kingdom-centered economic structures would attract the world (especially the poor) and lead an untold number of people to Jesus.
Quite literally every church could leverage their church’s credit to create debt-free assets that bless the world in the name of Jesus.
There are ~350,000 churches in America alone. If half of these churches build even a $5.75 million community project using the Daman Model, they would create more than a trillion dollars worth of kingdom assets that could advance the gospel and bless the poor—schools, hospitals, daycares, old folks homes, co-ops, houses, condo towers, neighboorhoods, villages, towns, and entire cities.
This is how we save civilization from big governments and bigger corporations.
The myth of utopia
Will the Daman Model turn every city, county, state, and country into utopia?
Of course not.
The word utopia comes from two Greek words which mean “no place.”
Building heaven on earth is impossible because humans are hellish creatures.
And our corporations are even worse.
But if Christians and their churches decided to re-build our cities, nation, our world using the Daman Model, it would sure be a lot better than the corrupt parasitical mess we’ve currently got.
And the world might actually start to see some churches acting like Christians.
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