Thursday, March 29, 2012

United Order: Free Market Inspired Neighborhood Insurance Program

Most people recognize the problems with Socialism and Communism. Socialism makes the false promise of equality. However, in reality, socialism can never be equal because a socialist society requires rule makers and rule enforcers.

On the other side of things, capitalism is no less problematic. Instead of an economic system controlled by an appointed ruling class, we have a ruling class set up by inherited generational wealth and insider loan approval. Capitalism is a system ruled by the "golden rule:". He who has the gold makes the rules.

That said, anyone who confuses the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints concept of the United Order with Communism is very misled. Similarly, anyone who believes the United Order is not "free market" is also mistaken. The differences between The United Order and Communism are many that they do not resemble one another in the least aspect.

# 1 The United Order respects property rights.
#2 In the LDS United Order there is not an absolute equality. Claim on property varies depending on family size, talents and abilities, wants, and needs (D&C 82:17-19). While Communism chokes our creativity by limiting people to a specific labor in the system, the United Order embraces and supports individuals who seek to develop and magnify multiple talents, skills and abilities.
#3 Think of the "all things in common" system as an insurance system. Money and resources in excess of wants and needs put into an immediate neighborhood/ward insurance fund to only be applied for the assistance of: A. family first, B. Second, widows and fatherless, sick and afflicted that live next to you, C. Third, the whole church.
#4. There is no "retirement" in the United Order. There are no pentions. Men eat their bread by thr sweat of their brow all the day of their lives and not until retirement (Gen 3:19). In our "retirement and pension" system, men without any real productive skills idol off the system in their later years and feel fully justified. During life planned retirees hoard away excess money for a hoped future retirement instead of using those resources now for the benefit of family and neighbors.
#5. The United Order believes in a separation of Church and State (no theocracy)
#6. There is no slave and ruling class.
#7. The United Order is Free Market.
#8. Jesus Christ will reign personally on the Earth but will administer government via his priesthood.

“That Jesus will be a resident on the earth a thousand [years] with the Saints is not the case, but will reign over the Saints and come down and instruct, as he did the five hundred brethren [see 1 Corinthians 15:6], and those of the first resurrection will also reign with him over the Saints.” TOPJS

Imagine a system where excess money is not hoarded away into investments for a future retirement and instead put into a common insurance pool to assist immediate family and neighbors. Because they are neighbors that are potential beneficiaries, the donors see that the funds are used appropriately for your family and your neighbors (D&C 82:19).

Because, potential beneficiaries are your immediate neighbors, you have continual interaction with them. This makes it less likely that there will be those who free-load off the system. However, seeing how the Early Christians, Puritans, and Early LDS Saints failed at maintaining the Order, successful implementation may not be possible. Yet, I think we may yet see its implementation with divine assistance before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Reading D&C82, I am surprised how "free market" the united order really is. In Communism, subjects are arbitrarily assigned as a potato peeler unless they have money or influence. In capitalism, an inventor cannot get investment funding unless his invention can maintain or expand the power of the current establishment.

On the contrary, the United Order states that all members "have equal claims on the properties, for the benefit of managing the concerns of your stewardships, every man according to his wants and his needs, inasmuch as his wants are just—And all this for the benefit of the church of the living God, that every man may improve upon his talent, that every man may gain other talents, yea, even an hundred fold, to be cast into the Lord’s storehouse, to become the common property of the whole church"

In other words, members are given stewardships in the economy (doctor, electrician, dentist, plumber, builder, retailer etc) and all have equal claim for for assets and credit. Furthermore, members are free to expand and develop other talents, abilities for the benefit of the community.

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