The United States of America was built upon a foundation of equality through freedom; individuals freed themselves from the tyranny of oppression by the church, king, landowner, and owners of capital. Under the dominator system, those who produced goods and services could not benefit from the fruits of their labor. Owners of capital owned the fruits and labor was not included in sharing of profits. Thus, a gap between rich and poor grew, slowly at first, then exponentially. 

The history of capitalism is a history of boom and bust that fluctuated on a regular basis, as defined by Kondratieff in the late 1800s when he proposed the theory that Western capitalist economies have a 50 to 60 year cycle of economic booms followed by depressions. These financial cycles now have the name “Kondratiev waves.” 

Most people forget the depressions before 1900s. See “The 13 Worst Recessions, Depressions, and Panics In American History.” 

It is a history of working people being sucked dry of their earnings for the benefit of the wealthy, with the sanctioning of religious dogma that endorsed the thought of wealthy being rich because of something they did right and poor being poor because they earned it … until the system corroded from the inside. 

My family was powerfully impacted by the depression of 1893 when they left the east coast of U.S. to settle in Washington state and Idaho. Many other families came west to be free to work hard and enjoy the fruits of his and her labor. 

The middle class grows, prospers, has discretionary money, and spends it on goods and services. Through banking machinations, money is sucked out of the working class into the wealthy class, and the system once again corrodes from the inside. An out-of-balance system cannot thrive. 

We experience the bust time now. Somehow we lost sight of freedom of opportunity; of access to excellent, affordable public education, health care and loans for homes. Then bubbles in industry and homes’ inflated prices, and now bubbles in education and health care, as well as access to legal council pull us into another class war. All this taking place as jobs go to cheaper markets, industry moves off-shore, and profits can be safely hidden in foreign banks. 

We should go beyond the terrible events of our times and reflect on the deeper meaning of government and governed and the forces that keep this boom and bust going. We must look objectively at the role religion plays in our national life and take a stand on separation of church and state. We, as a people, must free ourselves from religious doctrines that pull us back into the Dark Ages of blind obedience to some superstitious dogma. 

Expecting to sit idly in prayer and supplication to some ethereal spirit to bring about Armageddon with the hope of heaven, surely invites a hell on Earth. We cannot continue to abuse reality, but must face the facts of what human beings do to harm other human beings and in fact, endanger life on  Earth. To do so with the endorsement of religion is an error from which we may not recover. 

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