FINANCIAL ADVICE: A LIFE WITHOUT MONEY
By Eberhard Arnold
[This article is translated from the German on the World Wide Web, http://www.derbruderhof.de/articles/de/ea/Vermogensberatung.htm?format=print&previe The Bruderhof Foundation makes available many of Eberhard Arnold's articles.]
No person can live without water. Can't a person live without money? The dream of the society that functions without money is not new. However concrete examples of a life without money are hard to find. With his financial advice, Arnold realized this dream - a life without money - in his life. He didn't only rant and rave about the power of money.
We have reached a moment of history when the blind can see that the development of the mammon spirit is the uninterrupted murder of hundreds and thousands. That this mammon spirit, big capitalism, can govern rests in the power of lies indwelling this spirit. In wars, we learned that lying is a twin-sister to murder. Waging war is impossible without inner hypocrisy. A capitalist society can only be maintained through lies and deception of the public.
If people recognized the injustice of big capital in a single moment, this fact would be tantamount to the inner rebellion of everyone against this greatest fraud of world history and humanity.
How is it that these facts are hidden to us? How is it possible that people are continuously deceived and blind regarding justice? The reason is that we ourselves stand under the rule of this god mammon.
Mammon is the rule of money over people. The power to revolt against the rule of this spirit is lacking to us because we ourselves stand under the rule of this money spirit. Dependence of life on outside incomes and financial relations is the essence of mammon. Because we are completely dependent on the earnings of our external existence and because our personal life is broken in our own mammonism, we have no possibility of unhinging the slave rule of mammon. Still we can know that money is God's real enemy.
Money is the objectification of all human relations. Money is the diversion of relations so only one value is left: money. Possessions and money are the means of satanic power in destroying the highest goals of life.
Money has its towering significance in that many people are only connected through the banking business. Money completely excludes all true community.
The earth is in private hands today. What is `private'? What does `private' mean, private task, private car, private property or private way? `Privare' is a Latin word that means "rob". This property is robbed property! Who is robbed? God and humanity are robbed. God's creation is taken away. The individual appropriates or inherits this creation. Everyone claims it. Private property is the root of murder. War, professional jealousy and mutual injury in business originate from the fact of property.
Jesus is the friend of people and therefore the enemy of property. Jesus wants true life for humanity. Therefore he is the enemy of the survival instinct as an egoistic instinct. One of Paul's letters says: Every person should have the same mind that Jesus had. Jesus didn't cling to his privilege. He abandoned everything. He took the lowest place among people. He was not only the poorest person. He was the most humiliated person classified in the class of criminals. He didn't claim anything for himself. He had no money. The itinerant commune had a community chest. He said very clearly: Whoever lives according to the survival instinct will lose his life. Whoever wants to save his life must lose it. Whoever doesn't leave everything has no part in him. No one conforms to Jesus who relies on property. Sell everything that you have and give it away. Whoever has more than a coat, give it away. Give away your second working hour. The second working hour is the source of ownership.
If goods like the sun and earth belong to the general public, namely to God and his reign, your second working hour should also belong to God and the general public. Don't gather any treasures! Free yourself from all claims and privileges!
The fire will come over this world, a net of holy torches, a net of holy mountain fires, a net of organic-living cells. Everyone should unite in a table community, a wedding feast.