What did Jesus mean?
Enter the Book of Mormon
Now we all know the story: after they escape Lamanite bondage, King Mosiah receives them with joy, but Limhi's willingness to become a voluntary slave to escape a "grievous" tax should tell us something. Any degree of taxation is indeed a form of slavery. The definition of a slave is someone whose labor and body has been hijacked by another. In the case of taxation, our labor is stolen from us; the average blue-collar worker in America labors for three to five months out of the year to pay the government. Welcome to modern slavery.
Economics in one lesson
"The art of economics consists of looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups." (p. 2)
God hates taxes because they are levied by coercion and "bring men on to unequal grounds." Every tax or economic policy legislated by government causes a ripple effect. The result of which is that one group or individual always benefits at the expense of another. Murray Rothbard, citing John C. Calhoun, explained that in society there are two groups of individuals: "the taxpayers and the tax consumers--those who are burdened by taxes and those who benefit" (Man, Economy, and State p. 1151). It is usually not hard to figure out who the tax consumers are: leaders of government who pay no taxes and those who are subsidized by them. The losers are everyone else in society.
Now that you're a master in economics, let's get back to Mosiah. Noah's programs were carefully designed to enrich him and his crony priests, but how did he get support for them? It is true that his people were paying a substantial tax but what did he offer them in return? I admit I'm reading between the lines here (isn't that the point of this blog?) but the spacious buildings, palace, tower, and winery did get built. A significant portion of the economy had to be involved to accomplish this: skilled labor, material suppliers and manufacturers, contractors, artists, architects, etc. What motivated them? Could it have been the lure of government contracts, not having to compete, above market labor rates, more profits for owners? Did Noah pick winners and losers; were there backroom deals made in the mist of cigar smoke and freshly fermented wine?
You'll never read Mosiah 11 the same now, but the point is to think about why that information is in there. And consider verse 7: not only were king Noah and his priests labeled as idolaters by Mormon, but his people were also. Why? Because they believed the "flattering" words that were spoken to them by these liars. In other words, they bought into their programs, they liked them, they voted for them, and consequently, they were "deceived" by them. The very people he was fleecing were idolizing him! Are you beginning to see the picture that God is painting for you?
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Ether Chapter Ten: A Compendium
And it came to pass that Morianton built up many cities, and the people became exceedingly rich under his reign, both in buildings, and in gold and silver, and in raising grains, and in flocks, and herds, and such things had been restored unto them. (Ether 10:12)
Can see you that one lesson in economics being taught here? The heavy burdens of taxation had either been eliminated or lowered substantially, and what happens? The people become rich. They were given economic freedom, because they had their property rights restored to them. As we read along in the chapter we find that kings were displaced and overthrown by small cadres of royals, but for the most part they left the people alone. When Lib comes along, he did "good in the sight of the Lord," and the economy grew into a highly complex system of specialized labor:
And they were exceedingly industrious, and they did buy and sell and traffic one with another, that they might get gain. (v. 22)
They specialized in mining, blacksmithing, foundry, textiles, agriculture, and weapons and tools production. This would have required manufacturers, wholesalers, distributers, retailers, and even street peddlers. They used "beasts" in their farming which would have required a harness industry, lumber industries, leather, steel blades for plowing, feed lots for animals, livestock auctions, grazing land. Are you getting the picture? It's incredible how the free market produces a host of both capital and retail goods, without any coercion, central planning, or government intervention. Consider the complexity that goes into the production of even a simple pencil in this classic article by Leonard E. Reed. The Jaredites "did all manner of... exceedingly curious workmanship," which is only possible in an atmosphere of Laissez-Faire.
Now we come to the final lesson of Ether 10: enter the Gadiantons.
Notice that throughout the Book of Mormon the Gadiantons always appear when the people are prosperous? Like cockroaches they come out of the woodwork when there are spoils to harvest. Also notice that they come at a time when there are great divisions among the people. Com had split the kingdom against Amgid, and eventually won out, but just at that moment, when we can assume his people were exhausted from battle, the robbers came:
And in the days of Com there began to be robbers in the land; and they adopted the old plans, and administered oaths after the manner of the ancients, and sought again to destroy the kingdom. Now Com did fight against them much; nevertheless, he did not prevail against them. (v. 33-34)
In my last post I showed that Gadiantons have been in America since before its founding, but I want to make a clarification. There were always Gadiantons in government but they did not have full control until the Wilson Administration. During the American industrial revolution of the 19th century, the plundering of Gadiantons was confined to certain industries where government intervened, like railroads. But in 1913 all that changed. With the passing of the federal reserve act, the income tax, and the seventeenth Amendment, a full-scale subversion of the America government and economy was possible. They had control of the money supply, they had unlimited access to inflation, they could engineer and finance massive world wars, they could tax your labor and make you a slave, and they could buy out and control Senators through bribery and corruption (the 17th Amendment allowed the popular election of Senators instead of them being appointed by the state legislators, which kept power more localized in congressional districts).
The Gadiantons use social division as a tool to propagandize and enslave humanity. This is a part of those "old plans" passed down since the devil first revealed to Cain how to murder for gain. These old plans are a hierarchical religion with Lucifer, the "Light Bearer," at the center of worship, whom they believe to be the real god of this world. These ancient oaths and teachings have been passed down through the Mystery Schools, what John calls Mystery Babylon, the Mother of Harlots, in the book of Revelation. In my next blog post I am going to get into the specifics of their "plans," which consist of a social blueprint to control the masses. Stay tuned...
Next: Mystery Babylon: Into the Abyss