The Effect of Socioeconomics on Religion

The following article is by author Reed Camacho Kinney.




Hello everyone!

I am very happy that I was invited by James and Ralph to open dialogue with all of you.

This first article is about the effect of socioeconomics on religion. But, in part, it is my best response to the thought provoking letter that our dear friend George sent me. I have included his letter to open this conversation.

George’s writing in response to an earlier letter of mine:

OK for individuals within a context, a shared source, but I’m talking about the “public” domain. I just can’t see Jesus as “better” than all the other “thinkers” following down through so many centuries and cultures; of course he would be included, but only as one among many; again I think of how you melded so many sources in DESO that were publicly significant–in other words, Jesus who, to remind us all, was not a single figure, but a composite brought together by various individuals–Paul as one of the most important who relied on hearsay and questionable “texts” to create what became known as “Christianity” on a global platform; yes he, the ambitious one, saw Christianity as a global philosophy/religion uniting (?), drawing from the “common” humanity, sort of ignoring separate cultures that “separated” us and calling for (shouting, one might say) the unity of us all.

A great visionary, yes! As later we see in works like Buber’s I and Thou. But the point is in the Tower of Babel, humans are not now ready for such “unity” which in our time degenerates into a conflicting mosaic of “controllers” over the people, rather than the other way around. So, for now, on the scale of evolution, we mislead ourselves with created grand masters like “Jesus.” DESO tells us the people should be in constant dialogue, like waves and rivers in the great oceans, constantly moving, always unpredictable while appearing totally predictable–think of the weather forecasters; when will a mild swirl on the surface of the Atlantic become nothing more? …Or, a massively destructive hurricane? …Finally, not a single Jesus, but all the Jesuses in dialogue. (I’d better stop, and try to understand what I’m trying to get–at more clearly?!)
Best, George.”

My responses to George:

Dear George,

Your writing is magnificent. What you say is very clear and pertinent.


Real societal unity includes phylogyny – the admiration of women. Misogyny is a symptom of centralized systems of control, either religious, or economic-civic. The vortex of human behaviors, and their world views, is in their socioeconomic organizations.


Each socioeconomic organization is managed by its particular political systems. The way people do “business” in tandem with their civic organization is that which determines their psychologies and their religions. The capitalist, industrialist families in Germany supported Hitler’s fascism in order to defeat communism. And prior to that, Italy’s Mussolini was initially supported by the same types for the same reason. (Communism was usurped by centralist systems of control.)


There are two main forms of organization, each grounded on its respective types of economic production and distribution, decentralized power and centralized power. To the degree that a society has decentralized power with local production for local use, real community, to that degree they are sane. And, to some degree, decentralization has occurred in conventional democracies that include local self-government with local production for local use.


The impersonal, corporate monopolies of mass production and distribution undermine local production for local use. Increased dependence on imported products, and services, is among the symptoms of centralized power – centralist systems of control. I’ll return to that subject in a moment.


What Max Freedom Long maintains is that Paul was not among the “initiates” of Jesus. George, you mention that “Paul …relied on hearsay and questionable “texts” to create what became known as “Christianity”…”And, personally, I know zero about that. But, I do know that Max Freedom Long said that Paul did not receive the “inner” teachings of Jesus. And according to Long, those inner teachings are about prayer techniques, and the conditions required for proper prayer techniques to be effective. Atheists may view that as poppycock, but Max Freedom Long’s approach to that subject is biological and physiological. He postulates that “soul” is biological, and that soul performs essential functions in the life of each person, and that, each person has three souls, the conscious mind, the body soul, and the High Soul, each having distinct compositions and capacities, and each serving distinct functions.


That is all well and good, and if you want to look into that, then a place to start is at: Max Freedom Long, The Original Teachings by the Founder of Huna.


Regardless, I don’t mention Long’s work in my book. Because, what I am conveying here is what my dad impressed upon my impressionable mind, that, as I mentioned above, the religions people adopt, or distort, are determined by the way they do business; more on that in a moment. And, that the way they do business determines the way their society is organized.


The United States has lost, what at one time was, its civil culture. Today, we are wholly dependent on, and live in, conglomerates of mass systems of control in mass centralist society, MCS, which is a bad situation for us in too many ways for me to elaborate here, so I refer you to my manuscript. Nonetheless, that we don’t have community has been killing us. The word, community, is bantered about, but its meaning is lost in mass centralist society, MCS. Real community, real civil culture is what we need to be sane and happy. But, few can even imagine what that means.


George mentions our need for unity. Few people understand that conformity to hierarchical, command systems does not unity create, but just the opposite. Rather than mutual interdependence, which is a structural challenge, and it would generate the independence people need …hierarchical, command systems make dependents of their members, not dependent on each other, but dependent on the systems of control that alienate them from themselves and from each other; fully explained in the manuscript.


Even so, I think that the time for our unity is at hand. We can not continue depending on the mechanized expansion of profit-based institutions in mass centralist society. Metaphorically speaking, that type of relationship with nature is parasitic.


People with money to spend enjoy shopping, and in our society that is among the ‘enrichment’s’ of life. It is the anemic substitute for meaningful interpersonal relations among people in community, community that does not yet exist. But, that consumer-based psychology pandered by the institutions of our society is exactly the primary contributor to the extinction of our environmental life support systems, which is among the various critical crises we face today. We humans are completely, irrevocably, dependent on nature for our existence, for us not to develop a culture that can go forward into a permanent, symbiotic relationship with nature is madness.


Maria and I, own a conventional motor vehicle, use refrigeration, and don’t question where our electricity comes from. And, dad said that we are all accomplices, simply by our use of, and our dependence on, conventional money. …I used to teach High School in the U. S. …I know that within the prevailing context, there isn’t much that we as individuals can do about it. …In spite of the obvious impositions of capitalistic socioeconomics on our lives, I regard myself as among non-conformists.


The statements from so many Christian sects make no distinctions between the stratified society they have fashioned and conform to, and the concepts from the alleged statements of Jesus. They believe that the malaise of society is rooted in each member, and by changing individuals into productive and generous people that all the ills of society will be left in the past. Such are the babblings of mad men who can not see that the structures of MCS cause the pathologies of its dependents. And there are even madder, secular men who believe that if all people were to prioritize the pursuit of materialism in an unregulated, profit-based economy that somehow everybody would fulfill their “dreams” of opulence.


I must qualify these observations with my firm recognition of the humanness of many people, and their capacity to live according to humane values, despite the despotisms inherent in mass centralized society.


And here is where I will briefly explain how, I think, the teachings of Jesus, and as George mentions, in unison with many sound thinkers, lead us to a solution. …If human beings organize, bring into life, a socioeconomic organization that is designed to meet the real needs of its members, then, their personal values, will reflect the values of that mutualistic, socioeconomic organization. First, what are the real needs of people?


(The real needs of people are not addressed in MCS, because their fulfillment would subvert centralized power.)


Children, not unlike the members of any species, are born to grow. And, for that to happen, throughout their lives, requires a culture that supports the growth needs of each of its members. And, that type of culture would be mutualistic, with a civic-economic, production-based economy that generates a guaranteed minimum standard of service, GMSS, for all of its members, which is more than I can elaborate here, so I refer you to my book.


In the society I’m referring to, Education is through art and it is participatory. The unique talents and the predilections of each child are developed with community support. The individuation of each child is cultivated by the community. Individuated members are needed, are indispensable, for participatory community to function. These are structural propositions that are met in Decentralized Economic Social Organization, DESO… The community’s educational service and the community’s public economy are interpenetrated and are interdependent, a structural proposition, which is a generative circle.


Each sovereign, permanent community is networked with like communities. Inter-community trade functions to secure the GMSS of each community, which includes subsistence needs, health care, education, and free financing. I will not continue this explanation, since I have more to provide at the links I include here, which I would like for you to open. However, what is essentially not only Christian, but includes the spiritual base of all good religions, is that all socioeconomic organizations are the primary determiners of the behaviors of, and the values that their members choose to live by. Knowing that, we can design the socioeconomic organization that best meets the real needs of its members. And, the way to actuate those plans will be through real dialogue, and the concerted action that genuine dialogue produces. We can make a better culture our reality!


What is needed is a society wherein power sharing is structured into civic-economic organization, all community components are participatory, structured, dialogical, consensus-based community decision making processes, are mutualistic; and that, public productive enterprises serve the greater good. And, yes, all members are productive and generous, but each person in that community has direct control over her productive life and each member is viewed as a values maker, and each member’s values are tested in community. She can see immediately how the manner of life she develops impacts her community, and all of her productive contributions are applauded. She is not alienated. That is sanity. That is love. That is home.

  • You can respond to what I wrote on my Word Press blog:


2 Replies to “The Effect of Socioeconomics on Religion”

  1. Reed,

    I found it interesting your mention of Max Freedom. I had a friend who was Hawaiian, born and raised there. Among all the people who have told me stories his stood out as to testimony of the brotherhood that they share.

    If you or I was to move into their culture we would never be accepted. They are for the most part closed to outsiders. Few will speak to you, fewer less will befriend you. Its a world all to itself.

    A lot of what you wrote reminded me of state rights. Your vision is not the centralized version we see today. People who disagree with the laws of their state sue in Federal court to force change onto the populous, and in the process negate the rights of their fellow citizens. A State is hardly a close knit community, but you can move, or could, if you disagreed as to their laws. Not so anymore. The more we here in America try to unify, the further we divide.

  2. “Jesus who, to remind us all, was not a single figure, but a composite brought together by various individuals–Paul as one of the most important who relied on hearsay and questionable “texts” to create what became known as “Christianity” on a global platform; yes he, the ambitious one, saw Christianity as a global philosophy/religion uniting (?), drawing from the “common” humanity, sort of ignoring separate cultures that “separated” us and calling for (shouting, one might say) the unity of us all.”

    The Jesus taught by mai nstream christianity does fit this mold. This is “old hat” to former members of the old WCG, a nd in fact was one of the selling points for me joining.

    Of course the “truth” offered by HWA was just another composite that soinded good and was also good for selling, but it led me to a deeper study on my own.

    George’s ideas regarding Paul, however, are mistaken. It woud have been impossible for him to imagine a world christianity such as we see today, simply due to Romans chapter 8 and 9. It would be very hard to logically reconcile the idea that our natural minds cannot be subject to God , and then declare that God already knows his childreen anyway, and has predestied them, and then, in Romas 9, to reiterate that there simple is no way we can demonstrate any closer relation to God than any other. Paul claimed to be a Pharisee, though many modern rabbis tend to deny it, but his thinking would be ti nged with pharisaical thought dealing with law, and his teachin gs would try to explain the relation of the christian to law, to ALL law.

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