Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The most communist commandment in the Bible is also a call for Basic Income

"Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD." —Leviticus 19:18

Jesus is recorded as saying in the three synoptic gospels that loving God is the greatest commandment and loving your neighbor is next—all the rest of the Bible hangs on those principles. His brother James wrote, "If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well."

In its most extreme form, loving your neighbor as yourself calls for living as Jesus and his first followers did, sharing everything equally. But even in its softest form, it calls for making sure no one has less than you would want to have. If your minimum is the opportunity to work, it calls for a job program in any society that has more workers than work. If your minimum is education and health care, it calls for free education and universal health care. If your minimum is enough money to live without desperation, it calls for universal basic income.

The first parts of Leviticus 19:18 are useful for thinking about making a new society: don't seek vengeance and don't bear grudges—just treat everyone with love.

—Brother Will