Since the end of the Second World War, the United States has pursued a policy of world domination. In an article which appeared in Foreign Policy (a rather exclusive publication popular among "policy wonks" and in elite corporate circles) entitled, "American Hegemony Without an Enemy," Christopher Layne, a senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, and Benjamin Schwartz, an analyst in the International Policy Department at the Rand Corporation, very candidly explain:
"After World War II Washington sought an international order based upon preponderant (American) power. That objective had very little to do with any existing or projected Soviet actions; in fact, American statesmen knew that their wide-ranging objective (of world domination) would increase Soviet insecurity and thereby the risk of war.
Layne and Schwartz continue:
"If fear of Soviet expansion had been the ... (real) reason to bring Western Europe and East Asia under the America security umbrella ... why does Washington continue to insist that an American-led NATO and the U.S. defense commitments to East Asia are still indispensable to America's security (after the demise of the Soviet Union)? The answer is that the basic aspiration of U.S. security policy since the Second World War has not been to contain the Soviets ... The Cold War (merely) provided the ... (excuse) for the strategy of (American) preponderance ... (The reality is that) American foreign policy ... springs from the ... outlook ... that (America must link the world to itself economically) ... and it is not an exaggeration to suggest that ... (this) has ... inexorably resulted in a globe-girdling empire."
The empire which has resulted from all this is best envisioned as a pyramid with America at its apex as the indispensable "Hegemon." In the second rank are Western Europe and Japan which act as America's "associate partners." The genius of including these two areas as associates (maybe the better word is "accomplices") lies in the fact that by merging them into it's empire as partners (albeit, as "junior partners"), the United States has essentially co-opted them. Layne and Schwartz write:
"By integrating Germany and Japan (i.e., Western Europe and east Asia) into this network of U.S.-dominated security and economic arrangements (principally through the device of free trade), Washington achieved two important objectives: Germany and Japan were co-opted into the ... (empire) ... and, just as important, these erstwhile enemies were, themselves, contained (as junior partners within the American empire) ... For Washington, the pacification of (Western) Europe and East Asia (i.e., Japan) was the key to creating and sustaining an ... (American) global economic system."
After the second rank of nations (i.e., Western Europe and Japan) there is a third rank of nations considered vital to the American system, though not at the level of Western Europe and Japan; specifically, such countries as Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Turkey, Israel, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, etc.
Finally, at the bottom of the pyramid that makes up the American system are the rest of the earth's nations (i.e., the so-called "developing world") acting as the empire's "client states." But just because these nations (i.e., those nations that we today call the "developing world") are at the bottom of the pyramid does not make them unimportant to the system; indeed, in a perverted sort of way, they are the most important nations of all. Why? - because these are the "worker nations."
The glue that holds this empire together is a common AFFLUENCE based on access to the financial and economic perks the empire distributes through its web of multinational corporations to those who do its bidding - from the elites and their "hangers-on" in North America and Western Europe to the thugs and police forces who enforce its will on the indigenous populations of the developing world - an affluent, worldwide "super-elite" which reaches into every nook and cranny of the earth and binds the empire together as a whole.
The overarching importance of the "developing world" to the elites (i.e., what Wall Street euphemistically calls "investors") that control this empire lies in the fact that enormous profits can be had there - profits on "investment" which are not possible to achieve in the United States (or in Western Europe, etc.) with its restrictions on the use of labor. No worry in the developing world about overtime pay, sick leave, holidays, worker safety, and other labor issues. Indeed, it is the unofficial policy of the empire's multinational corporations to make sure that there is always available in its system of client states an enormous and impoverished "reserve army" of unorganized workers kept unorganized by force, uneducated by neglect, and constantly replenished by what amounts to as the purposeful destruction of all forms of small, peasant farming, the purpose of which is to make the local population totally dependent on the largesse - such as it is - of the multinationals.
It's a system designed to preserve labor as a cheap commodity. Still lower wages in the empire are obtainable through the use of prison labor. In Columbia, for example, Container Corporation of America, B.F. Goodrich, and dozens of other companies have employed thousands of prisoners at extremely low wages - a few cents a day - under programs advertised as "rehabilitation programs," although 75 per cent or more of the prisoners have never been tried. China also is heavily involved in prison labor connected to products regularly sold at some of America's most well-known retail outlets. Cheap labor (slavery?) at whatever expense to the human spirit and psyche - that's what the American Empire is all about.
People in the so-called "First World" should know this, despite the fact that the multinationals habitually lie about what they are doing - saying that labor conditions will change as these economies "develop" (while planning all the time that when they do, they will simply close up shop and move on). They do it all the time: IBM, General Electric, Nike, Ford, etc. Reports abound as to what's happening!
The fact of the matter is, the world's multinational corporations have become addicted to doing business in the developing world - and it's not just cheap labor that they are after! It's the fact that in developing countries they don't have to put up with "inconvenient" banking regulations, laws against usury, trade unions, and a plethora of other government regulations that make it such a "nuisance" to "produce products" and otherwise do business in the First World. No concern in the developing world about toxic dumping. No concern there about having to negotiate the "clumsy" political processes of democracy.
For example, take the way Nike does business in Indonesia. As we indicated in our second article on the American Empire, "The American Empire and the U.S. System of Client States" Nike trumpets itself as a successful player in Indonesia's economy; indeed, Nike is part of an effort that the elite press has claimed has succeeded in increasing per capita income in Indonesia ten-fold since 1970 while decreasing those living in poverty from 60% to 15% in the same period. Nike claims that by supporting light manufacturing, it is contributing to the increase of workers skills, wages and capabilities. Nike claims that:
"The overwhelming share of workers in our factories have had a positive experience, as evidenced by the fact that the turnover rate in those factories is the lowest in the business ... The workers, if you will, vote on their feet. (Kidd, 1993)
What Nike is not saying, however, is that it is using "cooked" Indonesian government statistics to reach these conclusions. The fact of the matter is, the statistics the World Bank and Indonesia trumpet to the world hold only for "simple averages" - that is when the combined income for all Indonesians is added up and divided by the population. What the World Bank doesn't want you to know is that most of the money flows into the hands of a relatively small elite, while the rest of the population starves. For example, a recent independent economic survey (1996) found that 82 percent of all Indonesians survive on 58,000Rp per month (US$24.00) which is well below the "minimum needs index" set by the Indonesian government itself. This, of course, severely contradicts the state data which proudly claims that those living below the poverty line in Indonesia have fallen from 70% in 1971 to 14% in 1997.
As in the other client states of the empire, a tight-knit elite of army officers, business people and "hangers on" - in cooperation with the CIA, the American Embassy [and its lackey, the World Bank (and, yes, you heard it right; it's not the United States that is the lackey of the World Bank, but the other way around)] as well as the multinationals - control the Indonesian economy. Corruption is rife in the government, and friends and family of Suharto control a significant portion of the economy - and this continues to be true despite the fact of Suharto's ouster as president. While there is no exact way of measuring the corruption of the small elite which dominates the Indonesian economy, there can be no doubt that it has effectively stopped the benefits of Indonesia's recent economic growth from filtering down to the masses (the people who are actually doing the work in the multinationals' sweatshops). "Trickle Down" has been blocked by the Indonesian elite - in conjunction, of course, with the multinationals, etc. - who have absolutely no concern for the welfare of the population in general and who seem totally oblivious to the danger of economically isolating nearly 200 million people through their massive accumulation of wealth and power.
The fact of the matter is, as in Indonesia, Guatemala, etc., governments in most of the developing world can be easily seized (i.e., co-opted), held at minimum expense and made to serve the economic interests of the American, Western European and Japanese multinational corporations. All it takes is the cooperation of the local military, the local police, the local business establishment - and a smattering of "hangers-on" (but no more than 20 percent of the population, lest there be two many "locals" involved with whom the multinationals must divvy up the profits).
This is what the Philippine Republic under Marcos was all about; this is what Chile under Pinochet was all about; this is what Iran under the shah was all about; this is what Argentina under the junta was all about; this is what Zaire (the Congo) under Mobutu was all about; this is what Indonesia under Suharto was all about; this is what Mexico under Salinas was all about; this is what Panama, Guatemala, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Malaysia, Columbia, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and on ad infinitum are all about. This is what the American Empire is all about - CORPORATE PROFITS!!
The naked truth of the matter is, since the end of World War II, the United States - essentially using the model United Fruit "pioneered" in Guatemala (please see our article on "The American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary Archipelago") - has organized under its sponsorship and protection a neo-colonial system of client states all over the world. The phenomenon of Guatemala has now been "globalized." It is, as we have suggested in other articles, a system ruled mainly by terror (i.e., through the use of "death squads" and state sponsored terror) which serves the interests of the empire's multinational companies and a relatively small group of indigenous local businessmen and military oligarchs.
The ugly proclivities of the governments the United States has installed in its system of client states - including the systematic use of torture - are functionally related to the needs of the multinational business community that has "set up shop" there, and are designed to help stifle unions and contain reformist threats that might interfere with the freedom of action considered necessary by the multinationals in order to enhance (maximize) profits. The proof of the pudding is that the multinational corporations have consistently welcomed the "stability" of dictatorships in the "client state system" whose governments are savage in their treatment of dissidents, labor leaders, peasant organizers or others who threaten "order" (i.e., corporate profits), and which are at best indifferent to the mass of the population - but states who otherwise have been accommodating to the large external interests of the multinationals which they serve; in other words, states who have bought their stability through the use of terrorism.
In an important sense, therefore, the torturers and the death squads in the client states are very much the functionaries of IBM, Citibank, Ailis Chalmers, Nike, Liz Claiborne, Ford, G.E., etc. This is what "Free Trade" and globalization are all about - the sustenance and maintenance of America's globe-girdling empire of client states - client states whose purpose is to serve the interests of the empire's system of multinationals, and - ipso facto - feather the nests of their shareholders with the exorbitant profits which are possible when doing business in the "developing world." [Please see our article on Chiapas.]
With the spread of the new American system of client states - complete with death squads, torture and repression - the gap between what the American people have been told about their country's activities in the developing world, and what it actually has been doing there, has become a yawning chasm. But woe to the person who tries to separate fact from fiction especially insofar as "Free Trade" - the adhesive which holds the Empire together - is concerned. He does so at the expense of becoming a very ugly target of those who are benefiting from "Free Trade," specifically, the empire's multinational corporate elites.
Even Ross Perot - as rich and powerful as he is - who tried so desperately to bring the truth about "Free Trade" (specifically, NAFTA) to average Americans during the Presidential election of 1996 - has now been "marginalized" by America's elite-controlled press (Please see our article on the Corporate Press). By the time the elite media finished with him, he had been savaged as few others in recent history have been, and made to look not only like an idiot, but an "unbalanced" one as well. This is what happens to people who "fool around" with the issue of "Free Trade" and globalization in today's world. "Free Trade" is the elite's ticket to extravagant wealth, and anyone who dares touch it is dealt with in the harshest possible terms.
The extravagance and lavish life-styles of the elites which govern this empire - from those who sit in the board rooms of Ford Motor Company, Siemens, Shell, etc., to the "tin horn dictators" and thugs who hold the empire together in the developing world - seem to know no boundaries of shame and modesty. It's an elite of American entrepreneurs, Chinese yuppies, two-career Mexican couples, German investment bankers, French bureaucrats, Italian clothiers, Russian Mafia chieftains, "Third World" police chiefs, etc. who feel that they have more in common with their counterparts in Hong Kong, Mexico City, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Brussels, Bogota and Buenos Aires than have with their own fellow countrymen.
National boundaries and national loyalties no longer have any hold on this elite. In describing this aristocracy of wealth, Robert Reich, in his book, The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism, writes:
"(These people have) ... slipped the bonds of national allegiances, and by so doing (have) disengage(d) themselves from their less favored fellows."
They no longer feel the need to promote what's good for the nations which gave them birth; their loyalty lies with what's best for the Empire and the multinational corporations that hold this empire together. There is little regard here for national constituencies and national workers.
Moreover, the wealth that this elite has managed to accumulate unto itself is breath-taking. These are people like Lawrence Coss of Green Tree Financial who earned in one year alone (1997) $102.4 million (that is 4,655 times greater than the average annual wage of an ordinary American worker - which is to say, if money is the measure of a man's worth, then a man of Coss's caliber is worth 4,655 times more than a normal, everyday, working American - hardly a vote of confidence for the precepts upon which democracy is based); then there is Andrew Grove of Intel who made $97.6 million in one year; Sanford Weill of the Travelers Group who earned $94.2 million; Theodore Waitt of Gateway 2000 who made $81.3 million; and Anthony O' Reilly of H.J. Heinz who earned $64.2 million. Others have made similar amounts: Sterling Williams of Sterling Software ($58.2 million); John Reed of Citicorp ($43.6 million); Stephen Hilbert of Conseco ($37.4 million); Casey Cowell of U.S. Robotics [now 3Com ($34 million)]; James Moffett of Freeport-McToRan Copper & Gold ($33.7 million). And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Citicorp has actually assembled a list of these "global worthies" - the creme de la creme of the world's new "investor class:" 5000 or so individuals and families around the world who have net worths greater than $100-million. It's offered them VIP Citicorp bank cards with $500,000 lines of credit combined with various other services which include the use of private planes, bodyguards, access to Fifth Avenue stores in the wee hours of the morning for "solo shopping," etc. Other banks and credit card companies do the same. For example, American Express courts the same group of "elite worthies" by offering them its "Black Card" (and you thought the gold and platinum cards were prestigious - how silly!) replete with the same "extras" that Citi offers.
It's precisely here, where the money is, that the gap between the elites on the one hand, and ordinary people on the other is most clearly seen. Moreover, that gap is growing! - not only in the "developing world," but in Western Europe and the United States as well. Take the United States, for example, where four percent of the American population (approximately 3.8 million individuals and families) has in the past few decades managed to capture for itself through "restructuring," "free trade," "union busting," and unfettered immigration (which forces wages down) $452 billion in wages and salaries on an annual basis - the same as the annual wages and salaries of the bottom fifty-one percent (49.2 million individuals and families). And even this isn't enough; with each passing year more and more of this nation's wealth pours into their hands by "hook and by crook," much of which used to be held in the hands of the American middle class in the 1950s and '60s - and their is no sign that this phenomenon is abating.
The new global economy which this elite has created is, naturally enough, one that has been geared towards the needs and extravagant desires of its own members; it has no real use for ordinary people - whether in America, Brazil, Germany, India or China. Instead, the multinational corporations which are at its "beck and call" have targeted their marketing, their advertising, and their production to the developed and developing elite classes of those nations who can afford to buy their products in a sort of "to hell with the starving masses" spirit. After all, what reason is there in such circumstances to expect that Ford or GM or General Electric or AT&T or Disney or any of the other major multinational corporations "gives a damn" about the "minor" problems of American or German or Mexican or Indian unemployment - or, more likely, "underemployment" - or the development of an underclass in their own countries? There are more potential consumers in India and China than the ones who are being displaced back home. Indeed, Peter F. Drucker, a guru of multinational expansion, once made this revealing comment in reference to India:
"... within the vast poverty that is India (there is) a sizable modern economy, comprising ten percent or more of the Indian population, or fifty million people - a nation within a nation with more 'middle-class' consumers than the nation of France."
These are the people (consumers) the new elite oriented multinational corporations have targeted - and "to hell with the other ninety percent of India's population."
And just how deeply American companies, even the older, more established ones - the ones usually thought of as "American" - have become involved in this new globalism becomes evident when one looks at where these companies derive their profits today in terms of sales divided between foreign and domestic markets. For example, a company as American as apple pie as the Disney Corporation gets almost 25% of its revenues from foreign operations; General Electric derives a similar amount from foreign sales; Dun & Bradstreet has 40 percent of its revenues coming from abroad; and General Motors, one-third.
Indeed, Prudential's Melissa Brown says that the largest 100 so-called "American" companies - companies like Exxon, Ford, IBM, Mobil, Philip Morris, DuPont, Texaco, Chevron, Chrysler, Boeing, Procter & Gamble, Amoco, United Technologies, Pepsico, Eastman Kodak, Xerox, RJR Nabisco, Sara Lee, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, etc. - get about 30% - and in some instances, even more - of their revenues from overseas. This is to say nothing about the new, futuristic companies like Apple, Hewlett-Packart, Unisys, Digital Equipment, Compaq, Sun Microsystems, Storage Technologies, Quantum, etc. And then there is the plethora of Japanese, French, Canadian, British, Dutch, etc. companies that are also transferring their operations abroad, companies like Honda, Sony, BMW, etc.
Jack Welch of General Electric and chairman of the National Business Council, reflecting the new globalism of American corporations, recently remarked,
"We're all globalists now, and we are staying that way."
All this, of course, goes a long way in explaining the seeming paranoia of most average, "every-day" citizens throughout the world that they no longer control the destinies of their own lives; that some kind of "hidden presence" inimical to their interests is driving them in an "internationalist" direction they do not want to go - a direction which seems to demean national identities, national traditions, national heritages and everything that "ordinary people" hold "dear and near." And this is true not only in the United States, but also in Western Europe, Russia, the Islamic World, Africa, Latin America, Asia, etc.
It explains the lack of interest on the part of today's ruling elites in almost every nation of the earth for the cultural and religious concerns of the native populations over which they rule - again, from the elites in the United States and Western Europe to those in Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand, etc. It explains why, for instance, the Bill Clintons, the Libbie Doles, the Al Gores, and the George W. Bushes of this world show such little regard (other than at election time) for "nationalism" (of the old fashion "patriotic variety"), cultural identity, religious identity, etc. It explains why there is - in reality - such a little difference between Helmut Kohl in Germany (a nominal conservative) and his successor, Gehardt Schroeder (a nominal socialist). And it's the same for all the other elites. The new global elite to which all these people belong has, in the words of Robert Reich:
"... slipped the bonds of national allegiances, and by so doing (have) disengage(d) themselves from their less favored fellows."
To such people, concepts such as nationalism, cultural identity, religious identity, etc. are seen as impediments to the "globalism" that they are now a part of. While to ordinary people in Western Europe and North America, issues like unrestricted immigration, the maintenance of national and cultural identities, bi-lingualism, affirmative action, etc. are important matters, to the elites such issues are seen as anathema to the main thrust of what they are all about - globalism. And it's important to note in this regard, that the elites are not globalists because they have "bought into" globalism on any kind of a principled basis; they are globalists because that's where the money is!
As a result, a great divide has emerged throughout the world between the "money interests" of the global elites, and the interests of average, ordinary people - and with each passing year it is becoming more and more difficult for the elites to hide this divide - not only from the native populations of such countries as Mexico (where the Chiapas revolt has broken out against the ravages of globalism), but also from the American public, where it is becoming extremely hard to hide what globalism has done to the paychecks, job security, and working conditions of average Americans - and all this in addition to what globalism has done to the cultural and religious values ordinary people all over the world believe are important.
For these reasons, it now seems self-evident to growing numbers of people throughout the earth that an uncaring and ruthless elite of power has developed which holds them, their welfare and their values in utter contempt; that - as Professor C. Wright Mills Columbia University says -
"... in this particular epoch a conjunction of historical circumstances has led to the rise of an elite of power ... (and that) the decisions they make and fail to make carry more consequences for more people than has ever been the case in the world history of mankind."
Indeed, despite the fact that just about all the ideological institutions of the country - all of which are in one way or another in the service of America's corporate elite - have been brought to bear in support of globalism, the effort insofar as growing numbers of ordinary Americans are concerned is beginning to fray at the margins, especially as they see their high-paying manufacturing jobs moved out of the country and into Third World sweat shops, with the pay differential being pocketed by Corporate America. And what's true of American workers is also true of workers in Western Europe and Japan. And it's also true with regard to the indigenous populations of the developing world as the First World agricultural juggernaut forces them off their land and into the "slave-labor" sweat shops the multinationals are building for them in places like Jakarta, Mexico City, Manila, Sao Paulo, etc.
And not only that, it is becoming ever more difficult for the elite to depict their Third World "henchmen" - thugs like Pinochet, Mobutu, Suharto, etc. - as respectable "leaders" worthy of America's subsidies and active support. Equally serious is the problem of portraying the United States as the "guardian of democracy" and "human rights" in the context of its sponsorship of an Empire controlled by what amounts to be an international Mafia of ruthless dictators and greedy multinational corporations whose only concern is the "bottom line" - companies like Nike, Ford, General Electric, etc.
As a result, there is growing unrest among the populations of the empire. It is an unrest that has set in as a reaction against the elite's globalism; nationalism and the resurgence of ethnic and religious identities are the "people's revenge" insofar as the elite's globalism is concerned. This is what's happening today in the Middle East; the fact is, Islamic Fundamentalism surfaced in Iran in the late 1970s as a counterweight to the influence of what ordinary Iranians perceived to be a foreign culture, but which was in fact the process of globalization. It was "the people's answer" to what they considered to be the increasing "westernization" of their society, especially in the upper middle classes.
It wasn't so much that the Iranian people were any more religious than their peers had been some twenty years earlier, a time when the mosques of Iran were rarely full, as it was that the "people" had returned to the foundation of their culture - their religion, their mosques - in defense of that culture. It wasn't a sudden impulse to "find God" that drove the people back to their religion, as it was that their culture, which was under siege by a ruthless globalism, gathered them back to her "ancient fountains" and "primeval groves" in her defense.
So long as the culture was not threatened, the mosques could remain relatively empty, the religious trappings left to decay; but once the "people" perceived that their culture was in danger of collapse because of the impress of globalism, than the people returned to the mosque, and Islam resurfaced with a vengeance. The revolution didn't happen over night. It was a process which took some twenty years; but the force of that process became inexorable as globalization pressed itself ever more onto the middle and upper middle class.
This phenomenon - what I call the "Iranian Phenomenon" - is now spreading and taking hold of large swaths of the empire's population; to a very large degree, this explains the development of Christian fundamentalism in the United States and other areas in the Christian world. Evangelicals, of course, would be offended by such an assertion; nonetheless, if the truth were known, there is very little difference between Islamic fundamentalism and Christian fundamentalism - at least insofar as the psychological and political forces that are driving them are concerned.
The fact is, from top to bottom, the empire is experiencing increasing tension between the elites on the one hand and the masses on the other, and this tension is being expressed in the rise of religious fundamentalism - a fundamentalism which has very little to do with God and everything to do with revenge. This is what is occurring in Indonesia; this is what is happening in Chiapas in Mexico; this is what's occurring in the Balkans; this is what's happening insofar as the militias are concerned in the United States.
But it's not as if the Bible did not anticipate all this - and it's judgment concerning this matter is summed up in one of the most enigmatic and unsettling poetic passages of Scripture. It relates to one of the horsemen of the Apocalypse: a mysterious rider concealed in black robes in whose hands are a pair of balances and on whose lips is the peculiar lyric cited at the beginning of this article:
"A measure of wheat for a penny [literally - denarius, a Greek coin which represented a WHOLE DAY'S wages in the Ancient World], and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine." (Rev. 6:6)
The "Four Horsemen" themselves correlate directly to the first four "seals" of the Apocalypse - hence the name commonly given to them: the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse."
The horsemen are connected to the conditions which surround and ultimately stimulate the appearance of the Antichrist in the "End of Days:" they are, (1) conquest [the White Horse of the Apocalypse (the First Seal)]; (2) war [the Red Horse of the Apocalypse (the Second Seal)]; (3) famine [the Black Horse of the Apocalypse (the Third Seal)]; (4) pestilence and death [the Pale Horse of the Apocalypse (the Fourth Horse)].
It is with the Black Horse of the Apocalypse, however, that we are here particularly concerned. The meaning of the first part of the lyric: ["A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny ..."] is this: that the condition of most men during this era will be reduced to such a state that they will be forced to labor a whole day simply to buy a loaf of bread or three measures of barley - barely enough to survive.
But the second part of the saying ["... and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine ..."] means that these conditions will not extend to everyone; that there is a certain portion of mankind which will prove exempt - a kind of "global elite of worthies" who have selfishly secured for themselves most of the world's wealth and who, as a result, now live sumptuously and extravagantly while the rest of mankind has been reduced to a condition of abject, grinding poverty (only the rich in the ancient world could afford oil and wine). That these conditions will result not necessarily because of natural phenomena, but because of greed and avarice is clear from the text: conquest, war, famine and pestilence have always been more the consummation of man's brutality and his misuse of the earth's abundance than it ever has been the consequence of natural phenomena.
This is the common interpretation; it is an interpretation with which most evangelicals agree. [Please see Things to Come by Dwight Pentecost of Dallas Theological Seminary.] It is exactly this elite - the one that Revelation 6:6 is referring to - that is responsible for much of the ethnic strife that the Bible says will occur in the "End of the Age" - and it is precisely the globalism that the elite has unleashed on the world that has stimulated the nationalism and ethnic strife of the masses. (Please see our series of articles on the "Culture Wars.")
As we indicated in our introduction to our 1997 Anthology [No longer available, has been broken up into various articles which is available here.] of articles which have appeared in our journal, Religion in Politics, over the last several years, the people who constitute this elite are mean-spirited, ruthless, and self-centered - and while on a business level they may be brilliant and dazzling, they are, nevertheless, very small-minded and amazingly petty individuals. Their only real concern centers around their greedy, self-absorbed life-styles, and they are quite prepared to go to any length to protect it - even to the use of "Death Squads." (Again, please see article this journal entitled, "Chiapas: The Effect of the New World Order on the Poor")
Covetousness (i.e., the psychological drive to accumulate wealth) has blinded them to the terrible spiritual disfigurement and psychological scaring that has affected them - and what a terrible scarring it is! Jesus somberly warned of its effect when He said,
"Take heed and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." (Luke 12:15)
And He continued by warning of the out-come it can lead to - the failure to recognize that the grave (and ultimately judgment) awaits all of us - even the richest of us (and then what will all that wealth mean?):
"... the ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
"And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
"he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
"And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
"But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Luke 12:16-20)
God calls those who have been blinded by wealth "fools" - and God doesn't use the word "fool" lightly. (Matt. 5:22)
"... they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
"For the love of money is the root of all evil ..." (I Tim. 6:9-10)
And Peter said of those who desire wealth (i.e., who are covetous),
"These are wells without water, clouds that are carried (about) with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever." (2 Pet. 2:17)
Of course, one of the great ironies in the emergence of this world elite of power has been that many people have come to believe that it's all part of a dark plot engineered by a sinister Jewish cabal hidden safely away in Jerusalem and New York - a malignant and foreboding world-presence, the behind-the-scene puppet masters of all that is going on - one which is manipulating ethnic minorities within Europe and the United States to accomplish its sinister "one-world" aims. This is what the Serbs believe. Indeed, on Friday, June 18th, three synagogues were bombed simultaneously in Sacramento, California: Congregation B'nai Israel, Congregation Beth Shalom, and Kenesset Israel Torah Center. National Jewish leaders called it one of the worst acts of anti-Semitism in recent American history. Fliers left at Beth Shalom and Kenesset Israel blamed the "Jewsmedia" for instigating the NATO bombing in Yugoslavia. "We are Slavs, we will never allow the International Jew World Order to take our land," said the fliers, which featured a cartoon of bombs raining down on President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
But who's really behind the Serb's misery? - the Jews? Hardly! As we indicated in "Kosovo and America: What's Really Going On?" - it's Big Oil (the core around which much of today's world-elite revolves); specifically, those oil companies invested in Middle Eastern oil -
"... and not just Middle Eastern oil, (where American and British multinationals (Exxon, Shell, Mobil, etc.) have billions and billions of dollars invested), but also Caspian Sea oil (where the same multinationals are preparing to spend billions more in pipelines which they plan to build across Turkey and / or in countries close to Turkey - and all this to say nothing of the additional billions these same multinationals are spending in drilling rights and pumping operations in Azerbaijan, a country contiguous to Turkey which is populated by 'Turkik Muslims.' The multinationals could very well see all these billions go up in smoke if Turkey were destabilized as a result of being drawn into the conflict in the Balkans; hence America's "tilt" towards the Muslims and Turkey."
Some people, of course, will argue that Big Oil's interests should be our interests as well - after all - as "regular Joes" and "average citizens" - we need that oil too. How would we function without it? This is the "rap" that Big Oil likes to lay on us all: "their interests are our interests." Yet that's not really true at all! So what if Shell, BP, Exxon, Standard Oil, Mobil, CalTex, ARAMCO, etc. are cut out of the equation? So what? The Arabs would still have to sell their oil somewhere - and Western Europe, the United States and Japan are just about the only places Middle Eastern oil can be sold.
But wouldn't the Arabs increase prices to exorbitant levels the way they did in 1973 and again during the Carter Administration? Well, they've tried in the past - that's for sure! But the fact of the matter is, those attempts failed, and they failed not because the United States threatened them militarily, but simply because those artificially high oil prices couldn't be sustained. High oil prices had been geared to OPEC production quotas, and those quotas couldn't be enforced. As a result, as time wore on, certain OPEC nations (specifically, Kuwait and Iran) embarked on a "beggar-thy-neighbor" policy of circumventing OPEC's production quotas by selling oil on the "spot" (or open) market in an effort at enlarging their individual "take" by increasing the amount of oil they sold.
Soon, all the OPEC nations were selling on the spot market. Greed had set in and the oil producing nations fell into fighting among themselves: Iran felt that Saudi Arabia's production quota was too high; Iraq felt that Iran's was too high. Quatar, Kuwait and Nigeria felt that they were being cheated - and as each took to selling more and more of its oil on the spot market, the world was flooded with oil - too much oil - which led in short order to the collapse of oil prices. And that's the problem with man: greed! The Bible says:
"... the treacherous are caught by their own greed." (Prov. 11:6)
All this to say, that No! - oil prices, over the long run, wouldn't rise appreciably (if at all) if Western oil companies in the Middle East were nationalized; it's not the oil companies that are keeping prices down; it's naked greed (what capitalists call "competition") that's responsible; whether or not the Western oil companies continue to control Middle Eastern oil has very little to do with the matter; the "nationalization" of the oil fields wouldn't make much difference here at all. Take Libya, for instance: Libya long ago "nationalized" its oil production - and the only people who were ever hurt by it were the oil companies. The oil itself has kept on flowing - and at cheaper prices than had been the case when the Western oil companies had controlled the Libyan fields. The consumer wasn't hurt - only Big Oil, and those who had invested in Big Oil. And that's the point! - the Western Oil companies don't really give a hoot about consumers in the West; their only real concern is the loss of income to their own shareholders.
Be clear here, it's not the consumers that are at the forefront of national (and Western) concern in the Middle East - it's the shareholders (i.e., the elites) who control those oil companies that are of concern. The 1991 Gulf War wasn't fought to protect Western consumers, it was fought to protect the pecuniary interests of the Western elites who control those oil companies. That's whose interests were at stake in the Gulf War, not your interests or mine. Whether Iraq seized control of Kuwait (or even Saudi Arabia) or not wouldn't have made any difference at all insofar as the flow of oil to the West was concerned. But it would have made a lot of difference to the elite shareholders of Standard Oil, Shell, BP, CalTex, Mobil, etc.
Someone might say, what about the Soviet Union? Wasn't the war fought to save the oil of the Middle East from falling into the hands of "Atheistic Communism?" But by the time the war was fought, there really wasn't a Soviet Union left (a very inconvenient fact for the Western elites who had been so used to utilizing the "War on Communism" as an opportune mask for pursuing their own selfish commercial interests the world over).
Others might say, what about Saddam Hussein? Well, what about him? Does one really think there's much of a difference between the way things are run in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as opposed to Iraq? The fact is, if there is any difference at all, that difference favors Iraq more than it does Kuwait or Saudi Arabia - especially insofar as Christians are concerned. The fact is, Iraq has easily tolerated the presence of Christians for years and years (in fact, Hussein's foreign minister, Tariq Assiz, is a Christian), but not so Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. There are countless numbers of independent Christian churches in Iraq, but it's a crime to be a Christian in both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia - and so much so that U.S. military authorities prevented the public exercise of Christianity even among their own troops during the Gulf War (although, in some units, this dictum was honored more in the breach than in the keeping).
Where is there any "Christian interest" in maintaining the royal families of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, then? There is none! - although one wouldn't have thought so as Tim LaHaye, Pat Robertson, James Kennedy, Lou Sheldon, etc. bent over backwards to support U.S. policy there. But whose interests were these "Establishment Christians" serving in doing so? - certainly not the Gospel's interests. Than whose? - well, it's not that hard to figure out - it was the interests of their elite allies in the Republican Party. The question that begs to be answered here is, What won't "Establishment Christianity's" leaders do for the sake of a buck? Not much, that's for sure!
But what about the way Saddam Hussein treats his own people? What about the way he gassed the Kurdish people living there? Well, what about it? If one is going to ask that question about Hussein, one should ask the same question about the reprehensible and even villainous way the Shah treated ordinary people in Iran up until he was finally (and justifiably) overthrown by the Islamic fundamentalists (the Shah was treated like some sort of international eminence by the elites in the West while all the while his secret police was killing average Iranians on a scale commensurate with that of Stalin in the old Soviet Union); and what about the way the Turks treat the Kurds in Turkey (Turkey is an important strategic ally of the United States); or the way the royal houses in both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia treat the Palestinians and other minorities in their countries (to say nothing of indigenous Christians)? There's no difference - except that in one case (in the case of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) the interests of the Western elites are at stake, while in the other case (Iraq), they are not.
Naturally, the State Department doesn't want its real reasons known - after all, it's pretty hard to justify sending American soldiers into battle for the sake of Mobil's, Exxon's, Shell's, BP's, and Standard Oil's "bottom line." Again, as we wrote in vol. 8, no. 4 ("Kosovo and America: What's Really Going On?"):
"Other reasons have to be given: hence America's sudden 'humanitarian concerns' for the Kosovar Muslims - a concern which, strangely enough, hasn't manifested itself insofar as Africa (Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Congo, Ethiopia, etc.) is concerned where many more human beings have been killed over the past few years than have ever been killed in the former Yugoslavia - and this is to say nothing about what's been occurring in East Timor, certain parts of Indonesia, the Philippines, etc. [And one shouldn't make the mistake that just because Africans are 'black' and Asians are 'yellow' that 'race' has had anything to do with the elites' unconcern with regard to the humanitarian debacles going on in Africa and Asia; if money were involved there, the elite would be very concerned. But there is no money involved: hence the lack of concern. To the elites, it's not race that matters, it's money!
"'Race' and 'religion' are of no concern to the elites; that may be what drives the masses, but not the elites, except when 'race' and 'religion' can be used to 'tame' the masses' folly. It's precisely because of this indifference towards 'race' and 'religion' that the elites seem on occasion to be embracing the liberal left's concept of 'multiculturalism'; when one harbors no real thoughts for 'race' and 'religion', one can easily adopt a 'neutral' attitude towards them which, to those who are ignorant of the elite's ways, seems to indicate 'tolerance', but which in reality is nothing more than indifference. And it's exactly here that minorities like the Albanian Kosovars and the Bosnian Muslims are making a big mistake, thinking that there is conviction behind America's 'tilt' towards them. But there is none, and should circumstances change, the elite will shrug them off without even so much as a fond 'goodby'."
But in all of this, where is there any "Jewish manipulation?" There is none! There is, however, plenty of manipulation by the American elites, that's for sure! It used to be so easy for the American elites when Communism was around! All one had to do then was raise the specter of "atheistic communism," wave the American flag and almost anything could be justified. That's what Adolf Berle and the Council on Foreign Relations did when the populist Guatemalan reformer Jacobo Arbenz tried to kick the United Fruit Company out of Guatemala. That's what the Reagan Administration did with Daniel Ortega and the Sandanistas in Nicaragua; that's what Nixon and Carter did with Allende in Chile; that's what Washington did with Goulart in Brazil - and time would fail us if we described what the U.S. did in the name of the "War on Communism" in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, the Congo, etc. But things aren't so easy anymore. It's much harder for the elites to justify these kinds of interventions - and, naturally, the truth can't be told: that American soldiers are being sent off to die for the sake of Mobil Oil's, Exxon's, Ford Motor Company's, General Electric's, DOW Chemicals', etc. "bottom line."
As a result, things are much tougher now. Other reasons have to be given, reasons much more difficult to sustain - such as the pretense of "humanitarian concern." Now this requires manipulation - MANIPULATION ON A MASSIVE SCALE (because the elites have no real concern for ordinary people, and to pretend that they do requires turning the truth on its head). And once more, it's not the Jews that are involved, but the American elites - the same elites that are in bed with today's Religious Right. Again, take what's going on in the Middle East and in the Balkans. The Jews aren't involved there, the protestations of the Serbs notwithstanding. They are not the "hidden puppet-masters" who are pulling all the strings - it's the American elites that are the "behind-the-scene" maestros who are calling all the shots, from manipulating the press, to involving NATO, to maneuvering the UN for their own purposes; specifically, those elites tied to Big Oil.
It's at this point that one needs to pause and ask himself why just about every Secretary of State since the end of World War II, every Secretary of the Treasury, every CIA Chief, etc. (both Democratic and Republican alike) have been connected directly or indirectly to the corporate nexus which revolves around Big Oil? - not all of them, to be sure; but, nonetheless, almost all of them: from James Forestall and John Foster Dulles in the 1940s and 1950s to George Schults and James Baker in the 1980s and 1990s! And while the present Secretary of State is a "career professional" in the Department of State, she, nonetheless, was nurtured carefully as a lackey of that system and has served it well. All this is no accident!
Yes, it's Big Oil that's doing all the maneuvering, not the Jews. And just how are they doing that? - by orchestrating the interventions in the Balkans and the Middle East in such a way as to make those interventions appear as humanitarian interventions and not what they really are: an effort by Big Oil to use the American military to pull its chestnuts out of the fire. As we said in our follow-on report on Rudder-Finn Global Communicators (May 27, 1999), it is precisely here that people like James Harff come into the picture. It is the job of people like Harff and the PR firms they represent to "manage" American public opinion in the interests of the elite. Harff is president of Rudder-Finn Global Communicators, a big PR firm with offices in Manhattan and Washington D.C. Rudder-Finn is closely linked to Big Oil (we are presently doing a report on this and hope to finish it in the next month or so). Jeannie Toschi Visconti says that the first time this kind of manipulation reared its ugly head was during the Gulf War when Big Oil hired a well-known public relations firm, Hill and Knowlton, to skillfully paint Bush's intervention in Kuwait and Iraq as a "humanitarian intervention" rather than what it really was, an effort by Big Oil to protect its investments in the Middle East.
But what Hill and Knowlton did in Kuwait and the Middle East pales in comparison with what Rudder-Finn did for Big Oil in Bosnia and Kosovo. Visconti relates that in an interview James Harff, director for Rudder-Finn (Big Oil's public relations firm in the former Yugoslavia), bragged about pulling the wool over the eyes of three of the largest Jewish organizations in the world insofar as what was going on there. In an interview Harff gave to French journalist Jacques Merlino, Harff gloated:
"Between August 2nd and 5th, 1992, the New York Newsday came out with a lead story on (Serbian death) camps. We jumped at the opportunity and immediately distributed it to three major Jewish organizations - the B'nai B'rith Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and the American Jewish Congress ... The engagement of Jewish organizations on the side of the Bosnians was a superb poker play. Immediately thereafter, we were able to associate the Serbs and the Nazis in the public's mind.... It is not our job to verify information.... Our job is to accelerate the circulation of news items which are favorable to us (i.e., our side) ... We are not paid to moralize ... This (i.e., getting the three Jewish groups on board insofar as the elite message concerning the Bosnian conflict was concerned) was a 'sensitive matter', as "the Croatian and Bosnian (Muslim) past was marked by real and cruel anti-Semitism. Tens of thousands of Jews perished in Croatian camps [during the Second World War and the Albanian Muslims had actually formed elite SS divisions in the service of Nazi Germany - all this while the Serbs had heroically fought alongside the Allies and protected the Jews] ... Our challenge was to reverse this attitude (i.e., this history) and we succeeded masterfully ... We outwitted three big Jewish organizations.... That was a tremendous coup. When the Jewish organizations entered the game on the side of the [Muslim] Bosnians we could promptly equate the Serbs with the Nazis in the public mind. Nobody understood what was happening in Yugoslavia ... By a single move, we were able to present a simple story of good guys and bad guys which would hereafter play itself. We won by targeting the Jewish audience. Almost immediately there was a clear change of language in the press, with the use of words with high emotional content such as ethnic cleansing, concentration camps, etc., which evoke images of Nazi Germany and the gas chambers of Auschwitz."
Now this is what manipulation is all about. And, again, where are the Jews in all this? - for example, B'nai B'rith, the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, etc.? Well, they're here, but not as the sinister, behind-the-scene manipulators, but rather as the dupes and the victims! It wasn't the Jews who were pulling the strings in the Gulf War and in the former Yugoslavia, it was Big Oil - the same people who have historically been in bed with the Religious Right. [We hope to delve more deeply into this matter in upcoming issues].
While Big Oil may be a friend of the Religious Right in this country, they are most certainly not the friend of the Jews; they are to a very large extent anti-Semitic by disposition, history and as a result of their business relationships - especially those relationships as they relate to the enormous multinational nexus which revolves around Big Oil (i.e., Ford, General Motors, DuPont, etc.). Indeed, it wasn't just "happenstance," or the result of a moment's indiscretion which led President George Bush's Secretary of State, James Baker, a "card-carrying" member of today's oil elite, to utter the words:
"Fu-k the Jews ..."
[Baker's family has extensive holdings in ARAMCO, Exxon, Texaco, and a half-dozen other petroleum trusts and partnerships - in fact Baker's oil investments are so extensive that when he was Secretary of State under President Bush, Bush had to ask his Attorney General for a secret waiver insofar as the federal conflict of interest statutes were concerned before Baker could involve himself in Middle Eastern policy.]
"Fu-k the Jews" - this is really how Big Oil and Big Business view the Jews and Israel.
The fact is, the anti-Semitism of this elite (i.e., Big Oil and those other industries which revolve around Big Oil) runs like a well-worn path from the blatant anti-Semitism of men like Alfred P. Sloan, who rose from president of General Motors to chairman in 1937; Graeme K. Howard, another "big-wig" at GM (a vice-president); James D. Mooney, head of GM's European division; Irenee DuPont, John Jacob Raskob, General Robert Wood, Chairman of Sears & Roebuck, Henry and Edsel Ford, Edwin S. Webster, Thomas Harrington McKittrick, Winthrop Aldrich, John Rockefeller, Walter C. Teagle, William S. Farish, the Dulles brothers (both John, Secretary of State under Eisenhower, and Allen, CIA Chief under Eisenhower) to the more subtle and circumscribed anti-Semitism of men like George Schultz, former president of the Bechtel Corporation and Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan (Schultz was president of the Bechtel Corp. before he became Secretary of State).
Most Christians should know all this; this information is not that difficult to obtain - it's not that hard to ferret out. Christians don't know it because they have chosen not to know it - though the reality of it all is staring them in the face. And the reason they don't wish to know this is because - as a community of faith - they are in bed with today's elite of power. To accuse these elites is to accuse one's self. For example, take the alliance between "Establishment Christianity" on the one hand, and "Big Business" / "Big Oil" on the other hand: it is a long-standing one, the history of which is very sordid and disgraceful. One has only to look a little beneath the surface of this alliance before one blanches in shame and embarrassment - for example, the history of the relationship between Rockefeller (Standard Oil) and the Wycliffe Bible Translators; and Union Oil and R.A. Torry's Church of the Open Door and the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA), etc. [As we indicated, we hope in upcoming issues to get into all this].
Nonetheless, there are very real reasons inherent in the "world-views" of both communities (i.e., "Establishment Christianity" and "Big Business" / "Big Oil") that have brought them together - a certain symmetry, a kind of proportion or equilibrium between the two communities in which the strength of the one compliments the weakness of the other, and visa versa, specifically: the churches provide the "foot soldiers" and voters the business community sorely lacks in its war for "Free Trade" (i.e., "globalism") and against trade-unionism and the other economic nostrums of the left; and Big Business provides the money that the churches often find in short supply.
Indeed, it's not too much to say that without the Christian Right, the Republican Party (the political bastion of "Big Business" and "Big Oil") wouldn't have any members at all other than the country club patricians of the so-called "eastern establishment." As a result, the business community is willing to go a long way in order to maintain this alliance - probably a lot further to the right than most people are willing to admit, as the recent revelations concerning Trent Lott and Bob Barr indicate (i.e., the recent revelations that both men have close ties with racist, right-wing groups in Georgia and Louisiana). So long as this alliance holds, the Jewish community will be in danger of a resurgence of anti-Semitism - especially in view of the continued rightward drift of the electorate. [We are preparing an article on this "drift" for future publication on this website.]
And it is not as if all this is a secret - that this is something only Antipas has observed. Almost thirty-five years ago Professor Daniel Bell, writing for the Columbia University Forum (Fall, 1962), noted that -
"... in no other ... (free enterprise system) but the American - not in England, not in Germany (since the end of the war), not in France - has the drive [to embrace right-wing ideologies (and ipso facto, anti-Semitism)] been so compulsive ... The efforts of a number of corporations, led by General Electric, to go directly' into politics by sending out vast amounts of propaganda to their employees and to the public ... (and) by encouraging right-to-work referendums in the states - indicate the mood ... (in these) corporations ..."
Bell also noted with some interest the business community's focus on and fascination with the Religious Right as an ally, and their disposition to enlist members of the Christian community as "foot soldiers" and "grunts" in their war against trade-unionism - an effort which he (just as we do) - believed essentially involved two strategies: (1) waving the "bloody shirt" of "atheistic socialism," and (2) contributing large sums of money to their churches and ministries.
"... a significant number of (these) corporations have been contributing financially to the seminars of ... (Religious) Right evangelists. The National Education Program at Harding College (a small, fundamentalist Christian school) in Arkansas, which prepares films on communism and materials on free enterprise, has been used extensively by General Electric, U.S. Steel, Olin Mathieson Chemical, Monsanto Chemical, Swift & Co., and others. Boeing Aviation and the Richfield Oil Co. have also sponsored many anticommunism seminars on the West Coast."
And always - as "part and parcel" of this strategy - there was (and is) an element of anti-Semitism. Take the relationship between Henry Ford and the Rev. Gerald L. K. Smith, a notorious anti-Semite and the darling of Alfred P. Sloan of General Motors as well as James Gray of the Moody Bible Institute and R.A. Torrey of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. Ford and Smith were close friends and allies, and according to Smith, Ford's anti-Semitism was no anomaly!
Given this condition of things -- i.e., the fact that the leadership of the church is "in bed" with the very "power elite" which has made the lives of so many ordinary people miserable [which fact makes it impossible for the Christian leadership to sanction an attack on the business elite if only because in accusing them, they will be accusing themselves)] -- the role of the villain falls to the Jews by default.
God help us all! - because if there is a new outbreak of anti-Semitism in this country, we will be as much to blame for it as the ones who are doing the killing. Silence in the face of such facts makes one complicent in the horror.
Now, we have NOT taken the time to explain all this to you without a purpose. We do, indeed, have one - and that is to goad you into action! Think about the consequences of what we have said in this article! - what are we to do if "these things be true?"
God help us if we do nothing!
God help us if all we do is gather information on what's happening, only to sit on it. God help us all if we have become nothing more than an effete and barren (unfruitful) bunch of "Salon Radicals" who can talk a good game from the safety of our living rooms, but nothing more.
And this brings us to the following matter: as most of you by now know, during the month of June, Antipas Ministries passed through a financial crisis which almost wrecked us. It seemed that the ministry had expanded beyond its financial limitations, and we needed help - FINANCIAL HELP. But when we asked for it, to a very large degree all we received was ridicule - at least at first.
It appeared that while there were many who had been very much drawn to what we had to say, there were very few who were willing to take that final step of committing themselves financially to the ministry. Christian ministry - all Christian ministry, whether of the local church or of the para-church variety - is a TEAM EFFORT. No Christian ministry - if it is really to be successful - can stand on the shoulders of just one or two brothers and / or sisters. And that's true of Antipas as well.
However, it seems today that while there are many "Salon Radicals," there are very few people who are real radicals - people who are willing to put their money where their convictions are. [And it should be noted in this connection that the term "radical" is not necessarily a pejorative term; being a "radical" for God is not necessarily a bad thing - isn't that what Peter, James, John, Paul, etc. were? - "radicals." Of course, in a world like ours - filled as it is by so many "lukewarm" Christians - the term "radical" is, no doubt, a strong word - but is that what you want to be? - a "lukewarm" Christian?] "Salon Radicals" are people who are given to sitting around in the safety of their living rooms talking endlessly about what we have had to say, but who are unwilling to move very far beyond that. Unfortunately, such people are useless! - and while we are still more than willing to carry them as "subscribers," they are - to put it somewhat harshly (but, nonetheless, honestly) - no longer of much concern to us. The Bible says:
Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him.
There is nothing more that can be done with regard to such people. They've heard the sound of the trumpet, but they are not willing to do much about it other than talk about it.
But while there was a lot of indifference and even ridicule, something else happened too. Slowly, some of you began helping - $10.00 here, $25.00 there, sometimes more (a hundred dollars, occasionally even more), began trickling in. It hasn't been much - but it's a start! It is to those persons who have put their money where their convictions are, to whom we now turn and direct the following remarks: as we said in the Antipas Papers -
"Today, Christians are facing a time of crisis, one which all evangelicals - if they really are evangelicals - have long expected, and one which shouldn't come as a surprise - CHURCH APOSTASY: the refusal of the church to see itself any longer as a "citizen" of a heavenly kingdom having nothing to do with this world ["My kingdom is not of this world ... my kingdom ... (comes) not from hence." (John 18:36)] to seeing itself, rather, as a "citizen" or "friend" of this present evil world and all that such a thing portends - from the church's involvement in the world's political affairs, to its rapprochement with the Roman Catholics, to its involvement in death squad activity in the name of God in South and Central America ["...Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" ( James 4:4)]. But, again, why should we as evangelicals be surprised by all this? - isn't this what the Bible said would happen? - "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (i.e., the day of the rapture and the resurrection) shall not come, except there come a falling away (i.e., apostasy) first ..." (2 Thess. 2:3) "What then should we do with regard to this crisis? Menachem Begin, the former Prime Minister of Israel, faced a similar crisis in his life and in the life of the Jewish People in the early 1940s. The crisis he faced had to do with whether or not he should wait for the end of World War II and the plodding negotiations of Jewish "mainline moderates" like Dr. Chaim Weizmann and the World Zionist Organization to press the British Mandate Authority to facilitate Jewish immigration to Palestine (all this in addition to having to rely on the maddening timidity of the mainline Jewish defense organization - the Haganah - to secure their safety in Palestine), or whether he should join up with the radicals, Vladimir Jabotinsky, and the Irgun Zvai Leumi - and hang the "niceties of diplomacy." He finally chose Jabotinsky and the Irgun! - and he never looked back. Years later, in remarking on the single-mindedness of the organization he finally joined - i.e., the Irgun - he said:
"In times like those, there is no greater force than people who -
- Have the ability to see beyond the concerns of daily life, despite the sometimes very pressing nature of those concerns,
- Who possess the capacity for self-sacrifice,
- Who are willing to get involved!
"Begin believed that the rest didn't matter! And so it is with us today, the rest doesn't matter! - one's natural talent, one's standing within the church, one's ability to speak, one's wealth, one's education, one's personality, the number of mistakes one has made in his or her life, one's age, one's sex, etc. - all of that is inconsequential in comparison."
Because you have committed yourselves to us, we want to commit ourselves more closely to you; because you thought enough of what we were saying to give sacrificially to the ministry, we think it only appropriate to involve you more closely in what we are doing. The first thing we want to do is get to know you more personally, and let you get to know us a little better - and to exchange ideas with you. To this end, we have set about establishing a "chat line" on the website where we can talk to one another in "real time" while avoiding the expense of long distance telephone calls. We are also taking steps to set up a ministry bulletin board where we can all post messages and where we can communicate with each other on a more intimate basis - even the deeper things of God - a place where you can meet others who feel as you do - not only in your local area, but throughout the world.
But all this will be for "members only" - i.e., the Radicals, not the "Salon (or "pretend") Radicals." As we said, while the "Salon Radicals" can continue to have unfettered access to our regular articles on both sites, they will not be given access to these new portions of our websites or the material that is contained therein. Why should they? - they don't want to do anything about it anyway. All they want to do is talk and argue.
Some people, no doubt, will be "miffed" by this policy, saying that all we are doing is "selling access" - but if people think that such is the case, all we can do is urge them to read our article on this matter.
Some people will protest saying that their tithe (money) should only go to their local churches - i.e., to the place where they are "being spiritually fed." This is, of course, what their pastors want them to think. But I would simply reply, then what are you doing subscribing to our website? If you are being adequately "fed" at your local church and by your local pastor, why do you need to be reading our articles? Obviously, you are not getting what we have to offer from your local church - and if that's the case, shouldn't at least a portion of your tithe come to us? I doubt very much that you can get what we are saying from anywhere else! - and that is just the plain truth of the matter!
Still others will protest, saying that they do not have the money to give to Antipas. But they have enough money to pay their internet bills, their electric and gas bills, the car payment, their visa and mastercard payments and so on. Does that mean that these things are more important than what you are receiving from us? If that's the case - if in fact we are that low on your list of priorities - than you shouldn't be surprised that we would find it somewhat difficult to believe that you feel that what we are saying is all that important in your life. Why then would you be surprised if we think that your radicalism is nothing more than talk? We want to associate ourselves with the "doers" of God's Word, not merely the "hearers" only. The Bible says"
"But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22)
I am sorry - truly sorry - if all this offends you; but better that we should offend you now, than that you should be ashamed later AT HIS APPEARING! With knowledge comes responsibility. You are responsible before God for what you have read on this website!
In the next couple of weeks, those of you who have felt that what we have had to say on this website is valuable enough to you personally that you have contributed financially to the ministry will be receiving an access code to the "members only" portion of the website.
And in this regard, we sincerely hope that those of you who are NOT members will consider becoming a member of our Antipas family by contributing to the ministry. You may do so by making out a check to "Antipas Ministries," and sending it to:
P.O. Box 160863
Sacramento, CA 95816-0863
Finally, for those of you who think that all this is unscriptural, we urge you to read our answer to your charges.
God bless you all
PS Have the courage of your convictions! Contribute to the ministry by making out a check to "Antipas Ministries" and sending it to -