‘To begin with the real ground of the military crown, I think we must first inquire whether warfare is proper at all for Christians…
Shall it be held lawful to make an occupation of the sword, when the Lord proclaims that he who uses the sword shall perish by the sword?
And shall the son of peace take part in the battle when it does not become him even to sue at law?
And shall he apply the chain, and the prison, and the torture, and the punishment, who is not the avenger even of his own wrongs?
Shall he, forsooth, either keep watch-service for others more than for Christ, or shall he do it on the Lord’s day, when he does not even do it for Christ Himself?
And shall he keep guard before the temples which he has renounced?
And shall he take a meal where the apostle has forbidden him?
And shall he diligently protect by night those whom in the day-time he has put to flight by his exorcisms, leaning and resting on the spear the while with which Christ’s side was pierced?
Shall he carry a flag, too, hostile to Christ?
And shall he ask a watchword from the emperor who has already received one from God?
Shall he be disturbed in death by the trumpet of the trumpeter, who expects to be aroused by the angel’s trump?
And shall the Christian be burned according to camp rule, when he was not permitted to burn incense to an idol, when to him Christ remitted the punishment of fire? ‘
That was early church leader Tertullian writing in De Corona and just about the only bit I could just about understand. I was thinking about it as the word ‘competition’ crops up so much with regards to the economy. Often you hear it in phrases like ‘We need more trained graduates to be competitive on the world market’ or how a factory might have to close its doors as it was no longer competitive on the world market.
People should seek re training if they are finding it hard to find employment. The reason is that it will give them a competitive edge over those other people seeking work. So you might have two equally capable people applying for a job but because one has spent money and applied themselves to doing a course they are deemed the more worthy and get the job.
Which is just another way of rewarding someone for being ‘stronger’ than another as he wasn’t lazy and applied himself more thoroughly that someone lazier.
Those who aren’t as a strong will up their game and compete against their neighbour and suddenly everyone is a potential competitor and society will rise up and up like some type of super tower of Babel.
I used to read an essay called ‘Economy and Pleasure’ by Wendell Berry when I worked in my favourite DIY warehouse.
‘It is a fact that the destruction of life is a part of the daily business of economic competition as now practiced. If one person is willing to take another’s property or to accept another’s ruin as a normal result of economic enterprise, then he is willing to destroy that other person’s life as it is and as it desire’s to be. ‘
This was the way of things. Basically at one level I was earning money but at the larger picture I was helping the large DIY warehouse try and destroy Woodies across the road or the other DIY shop’s in the area. The aim of game ultimately was to take market share from those other businesses and grow our market share. Or in other words to aim of the game was to win.
Perhaps it is a stretch but I always felt like a soldier in some type of warfare without guns or traditional weapons, but using a scanning gun instead. But the ultimate aim was the same, to grow and preserve the empire I was serving at the cost of the our enemies and to make more and more economic profit for the owners.
Maybe that’s a mad view of the world, and I know that it’s not simple. I know that many good people run fine businesses and make good decisions in difficult situations. I admire people who have the balls to step out and take risks and wish I was more like that. Perhaps it’s a sign of my sinfulness that I’m lazy or something.
But it’s also my personal conscience I guess or something like that.