Having seen the lives of so many ordinary, good people ruined by it, I have come to the conclusion that, after rape, the most harm you can do to another person is to make them redundant. If the churches of the world really want to do some something to strengthen the institution of marriage they should preach against this casual evil, now endemic throughout the world, as it screws up relationships and takes children away from parents more effectively than anything else other than, maybe, sexual unfaithfulness. Yet, although the churches, without any proof to back their claims, are prepared to condemn same sex love as being the cause of the weakening of heterosexual marriage, you rarely hear a preacher condemning the discarding of human livelihood, worth, health and happiness by the hatchet men of capitalism. This failure to condemn is rendered even more evil and downright blasphemous by the fact that the prophets and the lawmakers of the Old Testament made it patently obvious, over and over again, that the welfare of servant and worker was right up near the top of the list of stuff considered extremely important by God.



  1. In some instances, redundancy may be OK in the long run IF other good and suitable jobs are plentiful AND IF the individual has some rainy-day savings to tide them over a relatively short job search AND IF things like health care are not tied to employment, as they are in the US. Those are big IFs. Needless to say, redundancy is stressful in the short term even if the job market is good.

    The key thing is, people need to support themselves and feel that they are skilled and useful at some job.

    I don’t have so much problem with capitalism as with *non-functional* capitalism. The economy should be generating jobs, and isn’t doing so. We ought to be working on “green” technologies, repairing infrastructure, building mass transit systems for the future, and so on. We ought to be inventing things, not shoving pieces of paper around in an attempt to defraud people. We have failed to channel and control capitalism in this country – pure capitalism is a dead end, soft socialism plus regulated and taxed capitalism should be the way to go, to ensure that people can live decently and that there is room for inventors and entrepreneurs, without allowing a hereditary wealthy class to paralyze the country. The income spread in Japan during its boom years was reasonable. The chairman of Sony’s salary was approximately 10 times that of the least paid employee – and that boss created a great many good jobs, so the 10-fold pay was deserved in my opinion. Nowadays the ratio is between 100:1 and 1,000:1, and chairmen are paid more if they cut jobs. Insanity. No-one is worth millions per year. Not even the football stars. People who can’t develop new lines of work and shift their work force rather than fire them don’t deserve executive pay even at the 3:1 ratio.

  2. There was a time, MP, when some companies at least did care about their employees. There was, in some companies, a feeling that the worth of an employee depended on his satisfaction with the job and a well balanced life, and good managers were expected to be concerned with the work environment as part of an employee’s life. I have seen an old manager’s manual from Chance-Vought Aviation from the early 1960s, and this was stressed as being of the highest importance. Back then they understood that employees who were afraid of losing their jobs or were struggling to support a family could not devote their full energies to the job. Things have changed….and not for the better.

  3. Priest, catalon here, jaliyas hubby, wanted to tell you this is a wonderful post and I totally agree, also to thankyou for your very generous comment on my poetry, hope you continue to enjoy.
    Catalon 🙂

  4. Brilliant observation. In the States we have the added evil of politicians (Republicans) assailing the redundant for needing help.



  5. Very hard to argue with any of that. I say preach on, too. Would that the churches would make more of a point of condemning the evils of capitalism generally.

  6. “When we consider the rights of workers in relation to the “indirect employer”, that is to say, all the agents at the national and international level that are responsible for the whole orientation of labour policy, we must first direct our attention to a fundamental issue: the question of finding work, or, in other words, the issue of suitable employment for all who are capable of it. The opposite of a just and right situation in this field is unemployment, that is to say the lack of work for those who are capable of it. It can be a question of general unemployment or of unemployment in certain sectors of work. The role of the agents included under the title of indirect employer is to act against unemployment, which in all cases is an evil, and which, when it reaches a certain level, can become a real social disaster. It is particularly painful when it especially affects young people, who after appropriate cultural, technical and professional preparation fail to find work, and see their sincere wish to work and their readiness to take on their own responsibility for the economic and social development of the community sadly frustrated. The obligation to provide unemployment benefits, that is to say, the duty to make suitable grants indispensable for the subsistence of unemployed workers and their families, is a duty springing from the fundamental principle of the moral order in this sphere, namely the principle of the common use of goods or, to put it in another and still simpler way, the right to life and subsistence.

    “In order to meet the danger of unemployment and to ensure employment for all, the agents defined here as “indirect employer” must make provision for overall planning with regard to the different kinds of work by which not only the economic life but also the cultural life of a given society is shaped; they must also give attention to organizing that work in a correct and rational way.’

    –John Paul II, Laborem exercens

  7. I’m on the AFL-CIO mailing list, and one of the articles they posted on their blog describe this stupid reindeer game the Republicans seem to enjoy playing: telling the unemployed or underemployed (like Joe) that they can’t just collect unemployment any more, they have to go get a job, BUT they then do everything in their power to encourage and even reward businesses for moving jobs out of the country.

    Sense. This picture makes none.

  8. Absolutely right! And might I suggest, too, that workers are happier if they know they are creating a good or a service that is NEEDED or BENEFICIAL to individuals or society. I know I am.

  9. Right on, MP. And I like Nancy P’s point that “We have failed to channel and control capitalism in this country – pure capitalism is a dead end…”

    We have take-no-prisoners capitalism here, and things are so polarized and distorted that when one suggests any regulation, out come the reactionaries in full force, sowing lies and confusion with the wealth of the corporate multinationals behind them.

    And now we have The Corporation’s Two Bodies enshrined by the Supreme Court–the corporation is now a person (when it comes to controlling elections by giving money to parties serving its interests) and a corporate entity when it comes to entitlements, price supports, and protection from wrong-doing.

    I hope we’re hearing pure capitalism’s death knell in the crashing of our economy and that something better will emerge because it has to, but I’m not selling my beggar’s bell quite yet.


  10. “Churches? What good did they ever do? They’m just as bad. Same line o’business nearly. You can’t trust them to stamp out the evil one, cos if they did, they’d be out on that line o’business. If yer goin’ up against a tiger, ye don’t want fellow travellers whose idea of huntin’ is tae throw meat at it.”

    Shadwell, discussing the battle of Good v. Evil, in Good Omens, Neil Gaiman/terry Pratchett.

    The church knows well the hand that feeds it but bugger all about a theology of sacrifice.

  11. Thank you, Anonymous. It is certainly true that the Roman Catholic church is far more committed to the dignity of the human being in regards to this matter. Unfortunately they compound the problem by encouraging their laity to breed like rabbits.

  12. So true, Sheila. Most capitalists respect the fact that democracy needs rules to operate but fail to accept that capitalism also requires regulation.

  13. great post. It’s so true, redundancy when forced upon someone can be soul destroying. Particularly for the older generation who may have worked for the same employed for some time.
    And while we’re on the subject of capitalism, what about the ridiculous working hours? There are laws about how many hours one should work in a week and about taking a break. My husband is in banking (sorry all..) and the things I hear about people working for hours on end, working at weekends, not seeing their kids as they are always at work. and the thing is, its endemic, you are expected to do that. crazy.
    Its all about the money. If they need some cash – oh well, lets make a few redundancies, and and then everyone has to work longer to cover the workload!
    they just want every pound of flesh in whatever way they can get it. you can’t worship money and God…

  14. Thanks, Red.
    And the Church is more guilty than almost anybody else when it comes to hours worked. A Church of England Priest works an average of about 10 hours a day, six days a week. The wage is about $34000 a year. What is worse is that the average hourly rate works out at about $5.38. The legal minimum wage in England is $8.91 per hour.

  15. Yes, I agree with what everyone says here. And, Tracie, this is particularly revolting:

    “…telling the unemployed or underemployed (like Joe) that they can’t just collect unemployment any more, they have to go get a job, BUT they then do everything in their power to encourage and even reward businesses for moving jobs out of the country.”

  16. How well I know. I have been fighting the fight for the past five years. Even though I know it is a lie that suddenly at the age of 50 I became less competent, after a while you begin to wonder if they are right. That negative little tape playes over and over in your brain. With the job market like it is in this country, it is next to impossible for a 63 year old woman to find employment at the present.

  17. It’s sad! There are so many abuses that actually harm people, but they don’t mention and harp on those – Not the priest and minister abuse of children in much of the church; not the hunger and the great physical needs in our country or around the world; not the rapes that as you pointed out are on the rise, and certainly not in the people around the world who are losing their livelihoods and lives because of the greed of a few.

  18. Thanks, Ciss B. I actually rate sexual abuse and “downsizing” as greater sins than murder as the victim has to live with the evil done to them.