Participatory Spirituality for the 21st Century
For an introduction to this expanding meta-thread see Integral Anti-Capitalism pt I. We continue here because we have, hilariously, exceeded this website's capacity...
I agree that holacracy should be singled out for special investigation. The provocative notion that we are dramatically over-emphasizing the need for "conscious leadership" pertains very pertinently to this discussion. Robertson, like ourselves, is pointing to the fact that business (organizations) which integrally improve the interiors and cultural
spirit of their participants are still predisposed to certain outcomes as a result of their actual structural habits of communication and their specific decision-making protocols.
His notion of a constantly self-correcting dynamic organization drawing upon the capacity of individuals to act as tension-sensors relative to the "evolutionary purpose" of the organization is compelling and admirable.
More important is simply that he is making a stand and making an attempt to construct a protocol (constitution). I am not fully versed in the 4.0 version of the holacracy constitution but we should get deeper into some of these proposals.
Given the level of your current knowledge of their protocols, what would you want to change or add in order to ethically and functionally empower this approach even more?
First some housekeeping in providing links in part I to comments on holacracy: their website, comment 1, comment 2, comment 3 (and 3 more on p. 7), and the first 7 comments on p. 8.
I’m not yet familiar enough with holacracy to know it might need. So for now I’ll ask questions. From p. 8 there was a blog post on ownership and the model might (but not necessarily) include outside capital investors. I asked:
“One question immediately pops up on outside investors. Are there limits on the amount of outside capital investment? What if their investment is such that without it the company could not financially survive? And/or depends on it for start-up? Then such investment would control the company, like it or not. If you don't do what I say I'm taking my ball and going home. No ball, no ballgame. Not the same as a mortgage or loan company.”
Granted why such investors are included on the Board there are other stake-holders to balance their input. But are there rules about which outside individuals or companies can invest? Do they have to have similar values like triple bottom lines instead of just profit for their investors? Can a Goldman Sachs provide start-up capital? Or Romeny’s ex-firm, Bain? Just wondering, so perhaps it’s time for those out there more familiar with the system to engage us?
I appreciate your inquiry about the potential influence of outside investors in holacratic systems. Perhaps they have a good protocol for that. Or perhaps not. In general, all "smart groups" need to comprehend and anticipate the distortion influence that donors and enablers wield. The psychology of human nature shows that we may believe ourselves to be quite sturdy and impartial while we are really bending in the breeze.
One of the concerns I had while perusing the holacracy constitution was about the voting procedure for filling roles. There are many parts of their approach which impress. In particular I would like to make not of the necessity to place constraints upon discussion. When the mention of a concern is met with the mention of counter-concerns then the intelligence and practical efficacy of discussions drops dramatically. A highly suspicious mind might even supposed that the human hive is encouraged to engage in the constant casual usage of dysfunctional conversation. So their use of controlled phases in both operational and hiring decisions is admirable. However, their actual voting protocol seems (to my naive glance) to be based on a model of transparent majority. A sophisticated "show of hands".
So this may be an area in which holacratic principles can be expanded to include a more thorough use of "secret ballot" and "averaged ranking".
The former often seems like a show of bad faith and an invitation to covert dangers... but these are considerably outweighed by the liberation of individual intelligence from any conscious or unconscious concerns about the social consequences of their input.
The latter evades a primitive "first past the post" approach in which our intelligence is functionally limited to a yes/no determination about each candidate relative to other candidates.
Another thing I admire about holacracy is that it represents a functional procedure and culture in which participants would appear to become better participants by participating. Their capacity and ethical commitment to the good of the organization through its evolving protocols should be an increasing trend. Any smart group needs to be arranged so that even people who try to distort the results will find their capacity and will to do this reducing over time. Replaced by the inspirational efficacy of the group.
This brings me to another issue relative to voting, both in political and economic groups. That is the relative absence of specific instructions about how to translated ones feelings into a vote-mark. This is almost completely unaddressed in terms of popular elections. To discuss it even seems insidious to some people who fear coercion (and/or wish to maintain the current material power structures).
Protocols should have at least a clear suggestion about how to locate both "gut" and "intellectual" data within ourselves and convert that into a numerical value which can be contributed to a group decision. A lack of clarification at this critical junction may act as an invisible source of drag upon an otherwise very functional group organism.
It might even be possible to define an "integral-level organizational set up" for business or politics by simply compiling a list of areas in which intelligence and capacity are distorted. We might recall that most of Wilber's philosophy has emerged in levels correlated to his discovery of "fallacies" or "basic errors". Integral proposals about business and society could be all over the map unless there is a reasonable set of constraints that make sure they fall in the most lucrative zone.
So other than the potential influence of outside "helpers" and "donors" what other sources of distortion or inhibition do you see going mostly unaddressed in otherwise progressive groups?
My next question of holacracy is who came up with it? It seems to be the pet project of Brian Robertson, his own brainchild. I'm wondering if that is so of if it was a community or P2P project? I mean, the structure of holacracy itself calls for distributed decision-making but was the creation of holacracy itself derived from this process or mostly dictated by Robertson? I've yet to find an answer at the site so I posed this question to them via contact info. I'll provide the response if/when received. I think the answer is pivotal in determining if this thing called holacracy arose from its own medicine.
I look forward that answer if it is forthcoming. The notion of self-arising systems is something which haunts the periphery of these discussions. My fantasy is that we can devise a group protocol which so reliably and simply exceeds the cognitive capacity of the individual participants that it would be foolish to predetermine the purpose and nature of the group. Collectively we could a better job of determining what kind of a collective we should be. "Smartgroups" of this kind could then spread through the world in a very radical social uprising. How possible that is remains uncertain...
As I understand holacracy, the different companies making use of it are assumed to engage in their own mutational modifications of the "constitution". So even if Brian wrote the whole thing out in his bathtub it still retains an open source quality. The answer to whether its current forms are or are not the result of distributed decision-making is almost certainly: sort of.
One of the reasons the holacracy approach is so amenable to business organization is that it seems to depend upon the functional axis of a specified purpose. The aim is somewhat pregiven -- our job is to sell widgets or maximize share-holder profit, etc. His use of the metaphor of the sensors on an airplane derives from a mechanism that is assumed to be designed for a well-known purpose.
My question would be whether or not this "aim" is a necessarily functional element in generating enhanced organizational capacity? Or whether it is simply an artifact of the need to make these systems serve a relatively conventional marketplace task?
Your suggestion of a smart group that arises creatively from a continually evolving set of parameters seems to be the intent and practice of holacracy. As to the organizational purpose of Holacracy One, it seems to have multiple bottom lines including but not limited to profit. For example, see this post in the comments where I noted that the top to bottom pay ratio is 3 to 1, and quoted some of those multiple purposes:
"With Holacracy at play, the game is entirely different: with the decentralization of authority, the separation of people and role, and the dynamic evolution of those roles, we end up with a situation that looks more like free agents going about their work with no central planning. There might not even be a single person who knows about everything you do."
This sounds much more like the sort of emerging P2P organizational structure discussed throughout this thread. And also of significance in the post following this article where The Integral Center of Boulder has "voluntarily relinquished their rights to control their company as owners. Instead, they have ceded authority to a purpose-centered governance process called Holacracy, a model that distributes authority across the organization and gives primary power to the organization itself."
These are indeed advances over the kind of conscious capitalism promoted and AQALly packaged for sale at I-I.
This is an interesting moment. Apparently Amazon.com is experimenting with a version of holacracy as well. It clearly represents a theoretical advance over the typical kind of conscious capitalism which combines advanced sentiments with a potentially dangerous and uninspected ideological allegiance to more primitive routines of social organization and wealth production. Yet we cannot know the results of the experiment in advance.
I have tremendous optimism about emergent p2p organizational structures. Experimentation is utterly necessary and should be strongly encouraged. I am also very hopeful that advances can be made in terms of quantification. This is very central in my thinking lately.
It seems that experimental protocols for advances social organization systems suffer from the lack of a quantifiable evaluation of their respective degrees of "collective intelligence". Most people are drawn to such possibilities by ethical and aesthetic criteria which do no necessarily persuade the world. So I would love to see experimentation supplemented by the attempt to devise a metric for estimating the intelligence of a social organization protocol.
Along similar lines, my "tetrabucks" type notions represent the possibility/necessity to structure our currency at a level that correlates to advanced P2P organizational structures and post-pluralistic consciousness.
The potential of an evil holacracy has hardly been broached. If it works -- it works. Other than simply the tendency of less complex people not to use more complex systems, and the tendency of more complex systems to complexify their participants, there needs to be some inter-organizational structures which incline all organizations int he direction of broad human well-being. It is my assertion that as long as primary areas of value remain outside monetization the actions of groups trying to utilize official social credits will constantly become unstable.
So I am imagining a line leading from pathological capitalism to standard capitalism to conscious capitalism to trans-capitalist network organizations to such organizations bound together by a integrated set of metrics for determining the intelligence of groups and splicing together (at least) four broad domains of human value.
Along these lines -- how will we decide whether holacratic integral business is working better?
As to how we determine whether alternative economic paradigms are 'working,' I'd suggest that even by the standards of typical business democratic workplaces like co-ops are successful. If by that we mean the organization runs smoothly, has low employee turnover, high employee satisfaction, makes a profit or surplus over operating costs, and other such typical measures. Plus they fulfill their stated purposes as expressed in theRochdale principles, like community education, cooperation, democratic control, etc.
I'd say the same applies to holacracy. They also have to accomplish the usual business parameters like above but also meet stated principles like in their constitution. Given Robertson's business acumen I'm sure at the site he has precise and measurable indices to track such progress, though I didn't try to find them as yet.
There's an interesting couple of articles over at Resilience.org. One says "The Commons is the Future," and the other gives only "One Cheer for the Commons."
In the second article, Chris Smaje argues:
"Undoubtedly there’s a need in contemporary politics to transcend some of the more problematic consequences of traditional economic systems, both private and state organised, and commons provide some interesting examples of self-organising collective institutions in this respect. But as Ostrom herself pointed out, institutions are seldom wholly private or public – “the market” or “the state” (indeed, markets require state manipulation to operate, and even the most totalitarian of regimes is incapable of eliminating private economic relations). Ostrom provides many examples of the ways that commons – whether pastures, fisheries, irrigation schemes or water catchment protection – draw strength from what she calls “rich mixtures of “private-like” and “public-like” institutions defying classification in a sterile dichotomy”2. So perhaps there’s a need to go beyond simplistic notions of markets or states being bad and commons being good, and to specify more richly what kind of private, public or common institutions can be effective in different circumstances. Ostrom’s work stands as an impressive rebuke to those who think that communities can never organise their own resource use effectively without the help of the state or the market, but she’s at pains to show that commons don’t always work and aren’t always an appropriate mode of organisation."
Both articles reference the important work of Elinor Ostrom. The mention of Ostrom reminds me of the recent paper by T. Collins Logan, The Goldilocks Zone of Integral Liberty. Logan also draws important ideas from Ostrom, which may help us find the "common" ground between the two articles named above. Logan lists 8 design principles offered by Ostrom, which he references as "self organizing resource management schemas" that do not rely exclusively either on private ownership or government institutions. He writes that "she frequently reiterated during her career that there are seldom a"one size fits all" solution to resource management challenges, and thus she frequently turned to polycentric governance approaches to any complex system."
Logan then proceeds to discuss polycentric governance as a multi-tiered effort and a "third way" approach to economics.
This section of his paper (pp. 56-59) is an especially fruitful discussion - check it out. I mentioned to Logan that it might be even more fruitful to examine Ostrom's multi-tiered ideas in conjunction with the multi-tiered economic ideas of Peter Pogany.
Thanks for the resources. I have some homework to do.
If you're fan of Wilber's conveyor belt notion, as am I, then the basic income guarantee creates the economic conditions to move people up Maslow's scale (in this article).
Received Kruse's book and am in process of reading.
from In God We Trust:
Decades before Eisenhower's inaugural prayers, corporate titans enlisted conservative clergymen in an effort to promote new political arguments embodied in the phrase "freedom under God." As the private correspondence and public claims of the men leading this charge make clear, this new ideology was designed to defeat the state power it architects feared most --not the Soviet regime in Moscow, but Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal administration in Washington. With ample funding from major corporations, prominent indurstrialists, and business lobbies such as the National Association of Manufacturers and th US Chamber of Commerce in the 1930s and 1940s, these new evangelists for free enterprise promoted a vision best characterizes as "Christian libertarianism."
By the late 1940s and early 1950s, this ideology had won converts including religious leaders such as Billy Graham and Abraham Vereide and conservative icons ranging from the former president Herbert Hoover to future president Ronald Reagan. The new conflation of faith, freedom, and free enterprise then moved to center stage in the 1950s under Eisenhower's watch. Though his administration gave religion an unprecedented role in the public sphere, it essential echoed and amplified the work of countless private organizations and ordinary citizens who had already been active in the same cause. Corporate leaders remained central. Leading industrialists and large business organizations bankrolled major effort to promote the role of religion in public life. The top advertising agency of the age, the J. Walter Thompson Company, encouraged Americans to attend churches and synagogues through an unprecedented "Religion in American Life" ad campaign. ...
It appears that one day Christianity went to take the dog, the world, for a walk, only to discover that the dog took Christianity for a walk! In a later passage Kruse does confirm the historical pattern I vaguely recalled from Social Spirituality (not Theology, I misquoted title earlier) by Werner Lange. Social Gospel movement at end of 19th century, then faded by 1920s, then resurgence of it during the Great Depression. Setting the stage then for the 1930s-1950s (and beyond) astroturf efforts described above, social engineering from plutocrats.
Yes, Rifkin's reporting on the Commons includes open-source everything. And thanks for your local church work with the downtrodden.
Thanks theurj, Liked that article. Rifkin's End of Work is all about the unplanned inevitable effects of automation and displaced human labor, so too are many open-source writers. Yes labor needs to be decoupled from pay and new, mostly intrinsic, incentives found to drive human labor. A guaranteed income would help us shift to focusing on those incentives and to eventually finding the joy of finding, employing, and sharing human "gifts." THAT'S the kind of resource-allocation system, or economy, that I long for. No longer the prostitution that labor for money is. I dream of a post-prostitution phase of human labor exchange. I'm even getting fairly fed up with owning things. Too much hastle. All I really want is to consistently meet my needs, especially including my need for growth or "transcendence," or "evolution," or "actualization of potential." I see no reason why we could not take care of the collective lower-end Maslow needs and support one another toward the upper end of health and being. Except for outdated systems and ideologies that blind us and block our collective potential. Time to seriously entertain by-passing the current money system enough to begin to develop the new systems which will eventually replace it.
If you're fan of Wilber's conveyor belt notion, as am I, then the basic income guarantee creates the economic conditions to move people up Maslow's scale (in this article).
See Taibbi's as usual fine reporting here on the latest big bank scheme. Some excerpts:
"But it would take half a generation – till now, basically – to understand the most explosive part of the bill [Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act], which additionally legalized new forms of monopoly, allowing banks to merge with heavy industry.[...] Today, banks like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs own oil tankers, run airports and control huge quantities of coal, natural gas, heating oil, electric power and precious metals. They likewise can now be found exerting direct control over the supply of a whole galaxy of raw materials crucial to world industry and to society in general, including everything from food products to metals like zinc, copper, tin, nickel and, most infamously thanks to a recent high-profile scandal, aluminum."
"Then, just for kicks, they're also betting on the timing and efficiency of these same industrial processes in the financial markets – buying and selling oil stocks on the stock exchange, oil futures on the futures market, swaps on the swaps market, etc. Allowing one company to control the supply of crucial physical commodities, and also trade in the financial products that might be related to those markets, is an open invitation to commit mass manipulation. It's something akin to letting casino owners who take book on NFL games during the week also coach all the teams on Sundays. [...] In these new, even scarier kinds of manipulations, banks that own whole chains of physical business interests have been caught rigging prices in those industries."
"Basically, a bank or a trading company wants to buy commodities cheap in the present and sell them for a premium as futures. This trade, sometimes called 'arbitraging the contango,' works best if the cost of storing your oil or metals or whatever you're dealing with is negligible – you make more money off the futures trade if you don't have to pay rent while you wait to deliver. So when financial firms suddenly start buying oil tankers or warehouses, they could be doing so to make bets pay off, as part of a speculative strategy – which is why the banks' sudden acquisitions of metals-storage companies in 2010 is so noteworthy."
"We need to make prices. The head of Chase's commodities division actually said this, out loud, and it speaks to both the general unlikelihood of God's existence and the consistently low level of competence of America's regulators that she was not immediately zapped between the eyebrows with a thunderbolt upon doing so. Instead, the government sat by and watched as a curious phenomenon developed at all of these new bank-owned warehouses, in the aluminum markets in particular. [...] 'In layman's terms, they were artificially jacking up the shipping and handling costs.' [...] The result of all this was a bottlenecking of aluminum supplies. A crucial industrial material that was plentiful and even in oversupply was now stuck in the speculative merry-go-round of the bank finance trade."
Following up on this post, now see this article where the UK Labour Party is considering a guaranteed basic income with the same notion in different words:
"The major concern is ultimately people: the lives we are able to lead, our ability to have a sense of security so we can pursue our ambition, and our ability to contribute to supporting one another, innovating, and developing the creative potential of society.”
Is such an idea even possible in conscious capitalism?
As the beginning of an answer to the last question, see this book review of The New Prophets of Capital. A brief, edited excerpt:
"Ms. Aschoff writes individual essays on today’s leading philanthrocapitalists including [...] John Mackey. [...] The goals are laudable even if the thinking is seriously flawed. [...] The problem of course lies with the philanthrocapitalist’s errant framing of these issues as problems that must be solved by capitalism. [...] The profit motive makes capitalism inherently hostile to the planet; even when intense retail competition has forced some of Mackey's Whole Foods workers to subsist below a living wage.
"Ms. Aschoff’s impeccable research, analysis and reasoning suggest that we cannot surrender our democracy to the ideological whims of the one percent. Instead, the author encourages us to struggle for a system that might better serve the needs of everyday people; our demands might reasonably include free higher education, single-payer healthcare and a minimum basic income."
Bankers were once brokers, used in the old top-down system to vet investment potential of lenders. The experts (bankers) loan out money to people most likely to make more money and return an interest/profit on the loaned money. It is an indirect way of the collective figuring out how to dole out resources (money to buy raw resources) so that more resources (things made from the raw resources, tools, etc.) can be made, instead of going to waste. The making of new things by the lendee depended on how innovative/intelligent he or she would likely be at making the new things/resources (tools, etc.) and how safe they were with money (previous patterns of credit, current levels of debt/risk. The broker was not supposed to be the investor too, since this could result in the monkey business you mentioned in those excerpts. The open source folks doubt that the expertise of the banker at placing bets for someone else (someone else's money, the collective's resources) is any better than, or even as good as, peers who work and create side-by-side with the potential borrower of money (which is actually processor of resources) and who can help support/nurture the potential of both the project and the producer. Peers support moderates risk of wasting the resources. Also transparency, since the locals have eyeballs on the project and its resources. Say, for instance, Joe wants a truckload of bananas in order to make and sell banana splits. A banker might loan money to Joe so that he could use it to buy the bananas (the resources) in order to make the banana splits. The banker might know Joe's track record with previous loans (He previously made money by successfully turning cherries into cherry pies which sold like hotcakes, or pies!). The banker has no way of knowing exactly how good Joe is at making banana splits. It is an assumption that he will probably manage resources in one perishable food category (bananas) about as well as he did in another category (cherries) and that he must be a decent cook and that he must somehow know what his potential customers are hungry for.
But Joes neighbors and friends have tasted and requested his banana splits repeatedly already. The bankers may, or may not, be privy to that exact information form "conditions on the ground." The peers would love to have the truckload of bananas converted into banana splits because the community thinks banana splits are to die for, or the way to go. This is not only known, but is a shared vision. The neighbors are shareholders of the dream of a big community banana split fest. They will do everything they can to help/support Joe in delivering the goods, the splits. The bankers themselves could not likely help in that way. They have a more general view of the risks and potentials, not as specific a view as Joe's community.
So, the peer-to-peer economy might actually predict which resources will be converted maximally into new preferred second-order resources than the bankers, despite all their (the bankers') expertise about financial risks in general.
Nonetheless, the bankers within the old top-down money lending system did a good enough job at distributing resources and growing the economy in the process.
That is, as long as they weren't in a position to rig the game, or put a fix in, so that they could take the money and run. The bankers' job was mainly to make predictions about who can grow the economy. They were supposed to be brokers, not investors.
Yes, conflict of interest is bound to occur sooner or later when the predictors, arrangers, the people doing the vetting, the brokers, turn into the investors.
Hilltop local refranchisement/empowerment plan (rough draft of):
Three main parts:
1. a community trust, pool of money
2. lakelords (initial investors in houses, but for land contract only)
3. Local labor pool as alternative means to pay the lakelords, should individual's lack sufficient income or money.
The trust (1) could have external investors of a bondholding variety. A sort of built-in fee for providing a pool of money that could insure consistent payments to the various lakelords. Basically, a rent payment insurance policy in case the tenants lose their regular job, etc. Both the rent-to-own renters and the lakelords could pay a percentage or fee for this insurance, which would supply the pool. The pool would act like a buffer or safety net for both the renters and the lakelords.
The lakelords (2) would invest knowing that ownership of the property would eventually be in the hands of a community member. If for some reason a community member can't make regular payments, a community labor exchange committee (3) could assign sweat equity tasks of value to other paying members or to the lakelords themselves. The lakelords are insured monthly payments one way or another.
If, say, Sam loses his regular job, but can do home repairs, then the labor exchange committee could find any one or more of the lakelords who need his repair services. Or even if Sam doesn't lose his regular job but would like a good home cooked meal, then he might trade his labor for another community members gift of cooking. Perhaps the cook lost his or her regular job (cooking or not) and couldn't pay rent with regular money. The ability to provide home cooked meals to Joe would be her indirect way of paying the rent. Basically, the community would be creating its own jobs. It could even form its own temp employment agency in order to place community members in outside jobs.
"3" would, of course, require a local labor or "gift" inventory. There would need to be an assessment process in order to provide this inventory, or "local labor list." The gift economy would rely on this inventory to identify labor that could be traded and translated into rent payments and eventual home ownership (because of land contract or rent-to-own contracts).
That was, I see now, a very rough draft of the lakelord local labor Exchange System. Or whatever is the best name for it.
Please add tweaks. The home values would likely go up since risk is reduced and since the demand by potential lakelords would soon exceed the supply of houses and lots. The LLLES would attract investors and raise property values. The increased home equity needs to be factored back into the overall system. Would it raise the value of the community trust? I'm not clear about all the potential economic flows. Would you or others here mind brainstorming and honing the rough plan?
I'll be the maintainer if you'll be the contributor to this open-source plan for community empowerment or refranchisement.
Following up on this recent post (and a few following) on Scharmer in the recent IR, see this from the Scharmer thread on shifting capitalism to a regenerative ecosystem economy:
"Create economic human rights (such as basic income, access to health, education, entrepreneurial opportunity) in order to enable all people to actualize their full creativity for shared wealth generation and social well-being."
More from One Nation Under God, by Kevin M. Kruse. This excerpt below impresses me as amplifying the smell test for Christian conservatism.
from One Nation Under God, by Kevin M. Kruse, page 21-22 (hardbound edition):
The success of Spiritual Mobilization brought increased funding, but also the scrutiny and scorn of progressives. In February 1948, journalist Carey McWilliams wrote an acidic cover story on it for The Nation. ...
In McWilliam's withering account, Fifield came off as a charlatan who prostrated himself before the "apostles of rugged individualism" to secure his own fame and fortune and, in return, prostituted himself for their needs.
In response, Spiritual Mobilization's sponsors redoubled their efforts. Charles White, president of the Republic Steel Corporation in Cleveland, sent out a mass mailing defending Fifield as "one of my personal friends." The relationship was not surprising. Republic Steel had long led corporate resistance to the New Deal's expansion of labor rights, most dramatically in the 1937 "Memorial Day Massacre," when ten striking workers were gunned down by policemen outside one of its factories in Chicago. "Our company has supported his Crusade, generously, for some years," White wrote, "and we believe in it deeply --the more so since I have read this irresponsible article and see how 'the opposition' feels about Spiritual Mobilization." ...
If, after reading that, you can't smell a conspiracy by plutocrats to wrap Christian religion around their little finger, then you must be "nose-blind!" And Fifield qualifies as a modern-era Judas who sold out the Body of Christ (the Church) for a bag of gold coins from the establishment powers of the time. And the Church has been hung up on the cross of Individual Salvation only, snatched from the loving arms of the Social Gospel, for many years now. Time for another Resurrection!
The Pope recently did his part, when denouncing non-compassionate wall-building as being non-Christian. Trump and his religious hero Peale (... Vincent) seem to come from the Calvinistic, prosperity theology branch of Christianity, one that perhaps was highly susceptible to the plutocrat's astroturf project from the get-go. And I suppose it harkens back to the Jewish "Chosen People" notion. Religious nationalism or ethnicism. In both cases a misstep from the otherwise okay idea that spiritual people have some sort of inner riches. To suggest an automatic outer inheritance based on these inner riches is to totally distort the intended "look deeper" and be deeper message. It is a conflation of deepest, spiritual, reality and surface reality. "Spiritual materialism" in the wrong sense of the phrase (Layman describes a positive meaning of "spiritual materialism" in about wholeness, which he co-authored with me).
What is capitalism anyway? This article explains it succinctly. See it for more detail than this brief excerpt:
"You can use 'capitalism' as the name either for an idealized free market system that has never existed in practice, or for the actually existing historical system that you’re an apologist for. You can’t do both. If you start with the corporate capitalism that Apple is part of, and then take away the historical legacy (and ongoing process!) of peasant land enclosure, colonialism and neo-colonialism, slavery, land and resource grabs, 'intellectual property' and other monopolies, and restrictions on the free movement and association of labor… well, you don’t have much left. If you want to argue that 'real capitalism has never existed,' and repeat 'That’s not capitalism, that’s corporatism!' like a broken record, fine. But you can’t turn around then and use the products of a transnational corporation like Apple as an example of capitalism. If you do, you’re either stupid or a liar. It’s that simple."