“A religion that does not permeate and purify and uplift and sanctify business and business relations is not the religion of Jesus Christ.” (Clovis G. Chappell, 1882-1972, Methodist minister, whose ministerial career spanned sixty-two years, beginning during the presidency of William H. Taft and concluding during the presidency of Richard M. Nixon.)
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
God’s work was creating the world. God delegated us to work on His behalf, which means our work has purpose, meaning, and fulfillment. Working for God means working alongside others in harmony according to His ways. Therefore, as we go about our “busyness” (the archaic form of the word “business”), we are to interact harmoniously with others according to God’s ways, guided by His character and morality, as we are busy with our business.
That’s God’s paradigm for the Business Domain under the Subdue and Rule Mandate.
But first, my caveat. I’m not a business owner. Nor do I play one on TV. However, having been employed by numerous businesses throughout my life and being responsible for leadership and management in some of those businesses and ministries (churches and nonprofits), I bring my experience to the table. While I offer what I hope are some valuable insights, I defer to those much more experienced than me to continue the conversation and expand on my thoughts.
What is business? Generally speaking, business refers to “a role or function” (per good ol’ Merriam-webster.com). More specifically, “a commercial or mercantile activity engaged in as a means of livelihood.”
There you have it. When Adam and Eve were first dispatched by their King to subdue and rule the earth and its creatures, they went about the family business with their role and functions of doing so as their means of livelihood. We were created to work, and our business was to improve God’s world to His glory.
Adam and Eve lived off their business of transforming the world, and their business supported them. “God also said, ‘Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed. This will be food for you, for all the wildlife of the earth, for every bird of the sky, and for every creature that crawls on the earth—everything having the breath of life in it—I have given every green plant for food.’ And it was so” (Genesis 1:29-30).
That’s right. In the beginning, we were all vegetarians. But that’s not the point.
After the Fall, life became more challenging and tenuous because the earth didn’t produce as well as it had in Eden. Furthermore, humanity’s occupations diversified and specialized within the “oversee the whole world” thing. “Now Abel became a shepherd of flocks, but Cain worked the ground” (Genesis 4:2), and later, “Cain became the builder of a city” (Genesis 4:17). By the 7th generation down Cain’s family line, we read, “Jabal; he was the first of the nomadic herdsmen. His brother was named Jubal; he was the first of all who play the lyre and the flute. Zillah bore Tubal-Cain, who made all kinds of bronze and iron tools” (Genesis 4:20-22).
What started as general oversight of the world in Genesis 1-2 soon specialized in Genesis 4 into farming, city planning and construction (Cain), herding (Jabal), music performance (Jubal), and the beginning of the military-industrial complex (Tubal-Cain). While Genesis says Tubal-Cain’s business was metal-working, some rabbis deduce that it logically included weapons of war as his father, Lamech, with extreme prejudice, killed a man who insulted him (Genesis 4:23-24).
As humanity expanded in numbers and occupations further diversified, individual business domains naturally intersected, but the Subdue and Rule Mandate remained along with God’s “do it My way” command. Therefore, strictly focusing on the business world domain, according to God’s original paradigm, businesspeople are to run their business, working side-by-side, producing goods and services needed to sustain life and assist humanity in our work to improve God’s world. Wouldn’t that be great if we lived in such a perfect world?
But we don’t.
The clash of domains is inevitable because we live in a Fallen world that has cast off God’s ways and where individuals pursue their goals with selfish ambition. When domains clash, the drive toward domination erupts. When businesses clash within the business domain, it can get ugly fast.
The business world is a vast network of personal dominions that intersect and interact with the domains of other businesses, employees, and the public.
In this part, I want to apply the Subdue and Rule Mandate lens to the business world. As with all the other domains – Family, Government, Education, Business, Media/Technology, Arts & Entertainment, and Religion, plus the domain of the physical environment in which we live – the twisted form of Subdue and Rule, Conquer and Dominate, deeply affects every person involved with business either as an owner, employee, or consumer.
Subdue and Rule in Business
In the Western world, we tend to categorize and isolate the various parts of our lives. Generally speaking, we have our private and public lives. We have a home life, work life, social life, and for some, a church life. As Westerners, we often compartmentalize and isolate those lives from each other as if one doesn’t affect the other. We separate our private and public lives “because it’s nobody’s darn business,” right? We try to leave our work at our place of employment so that it doesn’t intrude on family time or social events. We try not to drag our home lives into our jobs. And God forbid we should bring our “private” faith into our public lives! After all, “Separation of Church and State!” screams the uninformed and secularly indoctrinated person. (Sarcasm intended.)
But that’s not the context in which the Bible was written. The Hebraic mindset takes all those separate categories, mashes them into one mess, and calls it “life.” There is no difference between sacred and secular. All parts of life are sacred. There are no such things as secular work (our occupation) and sacred work (Christian service). Therefore, for Jesus’ followers, everything we do is sacred and dedicated to God. That’s why Paul writes, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
That includes the business world—every part of it.
What does it mean to Subdue and Rule a business? “God made us with a desire to be productive, to make or do something useful for other people. Therefore, human desires to increase the production of goods and services are not in themselves greedy or materialistic or evil. Rather, such desires to be more productive represent God-given desires to accomplish and achieve and solve problems. They represent God-given desires to exercise dominion over the earth and exercise faithful stewardship to that we and others may enjoy the resources of the earth that God made for our use and for our enjoyment.” (The Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics, tifwe.org/seven-quotes-from-business-for-the-glory-of-god. Wayne Grudem, Business for the Glory of God: The Bible’s Teaching on the Moral Goodness of Business)
As I’ve mentioned, many functions (e.g., education, technology, business) are merely tools to accomplish our desires. What makes a tool morally good or evil is the morality of the person wielding that tool. Just as the educational domain can be used for God or self, good or evil, the same is true for the business domain.
Christians should take the lead in showing the world how to conduct business “God’s way only” according to the standard of His character and will as reflected by His commands and directed by His Spirit.
Since the Subdue and Rule Mandate infuses every part of life, the business domain naturally concerns our walk with God and conducting business “only His way.” After all, wasn’t subduing and ruling the world technically Adam and Eve’s business? So, what would business look like if conducted God’s way?
As we always should do, let’s take our cue from God. Ethical business dealings include:
· Using accurate weights and measures (Leviticus 19:35-36; Deuteronomy 25:13, 15; Proverbs 11:1).
· Truth in packaging and labeling is essential because not doing so would be like “‘placing a stumbling block before a blind person’ by playing to a consumer’s weaknesses (Leviticus 19:14). There’s also God’s prohibition against lying” (Leviticus 19:11).
· Refusing to use monetary deception. According to the 12th c. rabbi Moses ben Maimonides, “excessively high or low price relative to its fair market price is considered ona’ah (literally, ‘oppression’)” (myjewishlearning.com). This ruling states, “When you sell anything to your neighbor or buy anything from your neighbor, you shall not deceive one another” (Leviticus 25:14).
· Refusing to use verbal deception. “It is thus forbidden to make the deliberate impression on a salesperson that one is interested in purchasing an item, when in fact all one wants to do is gather information with no intent to purchase. The seller may have incurred no measurable financial loss, but his or her time went to waste and the anticipation of gain was a cruel illusion. This alone is sufficient reason to forbid that practice” (myjewishlearning.com) and is linked to ‘Do not deceive one another, but fear your God, for I the Lord am your God.’” (Leviticus 25:17).
· Paying taxes and not evading them. Based on “Do not steal” (Exodus 20:15).
· Paying employees promptly. “Do not oppress a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether one of your Israelite brothers or one of the resident aliens in a town in your land. You are to pay him his wages each day before the sun sets, because he is poor and depends on them. Otherwise he will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will be held guilty” (Deuteronomy 24:14-15).
· Charging a fair rent. Not taking advantage of the poor (Amos 5:11).
A study of Jewish literature about business ethics shows that whatever general ethical principles we would expect from one of God’s people would most certainly apply to that person’s business because, in God’s word, there’s no separation between business and any other aspect of a person’s life. “One is expected to take precautions not only to avoid taking unfair advantage of those with whom one does business, but even to guard against creating the impression of impropriety” (myjewishlearning.com). This guidance affirms Paul’s command to the Thessalonians to “Abstain from every form [actual and external appearance – author] of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22, ESV).
Furthermore, “Jewish ethics encourages the individual to go beyond the letter of the law in determining one’s obligations to others in the economic realm, as in others” (myjewishlearning.com).
The New Covenant scriptures also have their say about ethical business dealings:
· The overarching principles are love, the Golden Rule, and doing what one knows is right (John 13:34-35; Luke 6:31; James 4:17).
· Employers are to treat their employees ethically by respectfully, justly, and fairly, paying them well and promptly, and not treating them harshly or threateningly (1 Peter 2:18-20; Colossians 4:1; 1 Timothy 5:18; James 5:4; Ephesians 6:5-9). On the other hand, employees should treat their employers ethically because they both serve the Lord.
· Honoring the Lord with how you conduct business, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” and “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men” (Colossians 3:17, 23).
· Faithfulness as a good steward of one’s business, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much” (Luke 16:10)
In other words, just as we’re to conduct all other aspects of our lives in a manner “worthy of the gospel of Christ,” “worthy of the calling to which you have been called,” and “worthy of the Lord, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory” (Philippians 1:27; Ephesians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:12), that is precisely how a Christian should run their business no matter if they’re the only ones doing so in a particular market.
While not every company will overtly align themselves with Jesus as a Christian company and not every business owner follows Jesus, scriptural principles are a business’s reliable guide into a proper Subdue and Rule mindset and function instead of the Conquer and Dominate oppressive mode.
A business aligned with the Subdue and Rule Mandate and God’s standards will reflect so outwardly. When the Congregationalist minister and abolitionist Henry Ward Beecher (1813–1887) said, “Every young man would do well to remember that all successful business stands on the foundation of morality,” he captured the essence of running a business the way the Lord would. It’s not about the product’s nature but the producer’s nature that makes the difference.
Does running a business in a God-honoring way prohibit competition? Certainly not. Doesn’t Subdue and Rule mean improving the world around us? Doesn’t the idea of “building the better mousetrap” invite competition? A businessperson can still work for their interests, and they should, but not purposefully to the detriment of another businessperson, employee, or customer. There’s a difference between legitimate, godly competition and under-handed tactics to unfairly gain an advantage over one’s competitor, which is Conquer and Dominate mode.
Conquer and Dominate in Business
What does a Conquer and Dominate business look like? How does it operate relative to other companies? How does it treat its employees and customers?
By now, it should be clear that a business with the proper Subdue and Rule motivation aligns with God’s righteous guidelines, and a business functioning under the Conquer and Dominate motivation doesn’t. Once again, this alignment with God’s ways of carrying out one’s task is the original paradigm in Genesis 1-2.
Using alignment with God’s guidelines as the starting point, a Conquer and Dominate business can be further determined by whether its dealings are unethical or illegal, violating God’s standards.
Unethical means “not conforming to a high moral standard : morally wrong.” Illegal means “not according to or authorized by law.” In this case, law refers to civil law “established by a nation or state for its own jurisdiction (Merriam-webster.com).
So, what’s the rubber-meets-the-road difference between unethical and illegal? “Unethical business practices aren’t the same as illegal practices. Unethical practices are those that are morally wrong. They may or may not be illegal. Illegal business practices are ones against the law. Such practices are always unethical. Discrimination or harassment in the workplace, low payments to employees, and theft of money are examples of illegal practices. Unethical practices are governed by the code of ethics and someone’s own principles. Illegal practices are determined and regulated by the law. A clear line between unethical and illegal business practices, however, doesn’t exist. The areas overlap” (quickscream.com/unethical-business-practices).
What makes this a bit tricky is that we live in a fallen world where determining ethical/unethical and legal/illegal is based on human standards, not God’s. Therefore, what would be ethical and legal to a state or our federal government could be appallingly unethical and should be illegal according to God’s word. For example, abortion and prostitution. On the other hand, a state can rule that something is unethical but not illegal, or as the previous quote points out, a state may rule something illegal, which would undoubtedly make it unethical per society’s standards.
What happens when human standards for morality collide with God’s? God could regard a business as ethical, while the state disagrees. Furthermore, though a business is aligned with God’s standard of morality, a state can rule the company’s actions as both unethical and illegal. Case in point, “the 2018 Masterpiece Cakeshop case, in which a Christian baker named Jack Phillips declined for religious reasons to make a custom wedding cake for a gay couple” (deseret.com).
However, civil law is not always applied equally. While Colorado filed suit against Masterpiece Cakeshop in an attempt to Conquer and Dominate Jack Phillips into submission, rulings by the Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled a baker doesn’t have to make a cake counter to their beliefs (baptistpress.com/resource-library/news/colo-tells-bakers-ok-to-refuse-bible-cakes). Figure that contradiction out.
Ultimately, whether a business properly carries out its Subdue and Rule mandate rests on whether a business reflects God and His standards. Illegality must also be considered as Christians are subject to the state and its laws (Romans 13:1-2). Only when the state oversteps its boundaries into God’s domain by overruling His moral code does the Christian business owner (or any Christian) have God’s approval to respectfully break the state’s law (Romans 13:3-4, implying the state is aligned with what God says is good).
A business under the influence of Conquer and Dominate often runs afoul of either the unethical or illegal categories. Table 1 is a sample of business characteristics showing both camps.
Table 1: Business in General
To borrow a quip from the late comedian Robin Williams, the goal of the Conquer and Dominate business is not Carpe Diem, “Seize the Day!” but Carpe Per Diem, “Seize the Paycheck!”
Let’s parse this out a bit further. How do Subdue and Rule businesses function compared to their Conquer and Dominate evil twin? The following three tables offer some observations comparing the two. The list is incomplete; many businesspeople, employees, and customers can add more. Table 2 focuses on business-to-business relationships.
Table 2: Business-to-Business
As you can see, it’s pretty easy to determine which business is a blessing and which is a curse related to other companies.
Let’s hit closer to home by describing in Table 3 how a Subdue and Rule business treats its customers compared to a business with a Conquer and Dominate streak.
Table 3: Business to Customer
In the article, What are Unfair Trade Practices?, business law firm Winston & Strawn, LLP, explains what unfair trade practices are. “Unfair trade practices can be defined as any business practice or act that is deceptive, fraudulent, or causes injury to a consumer. These practices can include acts that are deemed unlawful, such as those that violate a consumer protection law. Some examples of unfair trade methods are: the false representation of a good or service; false free gift or prize offers; non-compliance with manufacturing standards; false advertising; or deceptive pricing” (winston.com/en/legal-glossary/unfair-trade-practices.html).
Unfair trade practices include unfair or false advertising, “A simple definition of unfair advertising is false advertising that misrepresents a product, service, or price. A broader description of the term will include unfair sales strategies, such as ‘bait and switch,’ a practice of advertising one item at a low price with the intent of actually selling other items. Unfair ads can be categorized as those with incorrect pricing, fake endorsements, false statements, or exaggerated performance descriptions. Deceptive guarantees are also considered a form of unfair advertising” (Ibid.).
Table 3 is only a small list of examples of how a Conquer and Dominate business exploits its customers and how a Subdue and Rule company is a blessing to its clientele and the world around them. No doubt, many other examples can be added.
A keyword for the godly Subdue and Rule business is “integrity.” If a company claims to follow Jesus, its actions must confirm its claim and the business must function according to God’s ways even though no one is looking. “The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them” (Proverbs 11:3), and “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7–8).
Sadly, the abuse of the Conquer and Dominate business doesn’t stop with how they interact with their competition or customers. How they treat their employees, the engine that powers the company, shows how that business will deal with everyone else. Table 4 gives some examples of the differences between how Subdue and Rule and Conquer and Dominate businesses treat their employees.
Table 4: Business Owner to Employee
What happens when Conquer and Dominate businesses abuse and exploit their employees? Unions. Generally, unionization has been a good and necessary thing throughout U.S. history, starting with the first trade union in 1794. Their efforts have produced better working conditions, increased wages, and strong advocacy for employees.
On the flip side, unions have also succumbed to Conquer and Dominate because human beings run them, and the drive for dominion has extended their work beyond benefiting workers to, sadly, forcing businesses into submission and lining the pockets of union officials. Like most human organizations, strong leaders rise to the top, with underlings working to support them. Conquer and Dominate-driven union activity pushes back on real or concocted slights and abuses, much like a mob with ringleaders attacking their target. If a union were motivated by Subdue and Rule, its strategies would also align with God and His word to work out mutually beneficial solutions for their members and the businesses that employ them.
Sadly, many business-union relationships are primarily adversarial with a mean streak of Conquer and Dominate in which the union strives to call the shots and bend the business owner to their will even if it destroys the company and kills jobs.
But it never has to be this way. The Old and New Testament scriptures have much to say about employer-employee relationships, even though the verses are presented in master-slave/servant terms. (Be honest now. Isn’t that how you and I have sometimes felt? Don’t lie.) Plus, there are many resources online to help a Christian businessperson run their company like Jesus would. It just takes a little time and effort to do prayerful research.
As you can see, there are numerous examples of how Conquer and Dominate have infused the Business Domain. The corrective is for every businessperson to honestly evaluate themselves and how their business operates relative to God and His guidelines in the Bible. But even if specific examples can’t be found for every instance, God’s Royal Law, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18), and Jesus’ reiteration of it, “Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another” (John 13:34), is our ultimate guide and what applies to us as individuals applies equally to every area of our lives.
Conquering and Dominating Businesses
Up to now, I’ve primarily focused on the business and the owner. But Conquer and Dominate is a two-way street. So now, let me step on the toes of those who try to Conquer and Dominate businesses or collude with the business domain for their ends.
This focus frustrates me intensely because my wife works in retail, as I have previously. We can’t begin to tell you how much abuse employers and employees must take from their customers. The sheer audacity and gall are shocking, even appalling, and we’re left with our jaws on the floor when we see Conquer and Dominate-driven people behave without a modicum of decency or courtesy.
Shoplifting. At the retail level, shoplifting has skyrocketed in recent years due to businesses not wanting to confront “low-level” crime due to the potential of harming employees. That’s understandable but not acceptable. Lack of enforcement is an invitation to criminality, never a deterrent.
Remarkably, customers taking the “five-finger” discount is second only to employee theft. According to The Effects Shoplifting Has on a Business by Neil Kokemuller, shoplifting has four significant impacts – reduced profits (hurting the business), price increases (hurting the business and customer), tighter security measures, and employee morale. The last one is personal, as I’ve often listened to my wife lament about the brazen theft where she works, and no employee is allowed to confront the perp. Employees become discouraged when they see their place of employment pillaged, knowing there will be no repercussions. The result? “Because the sentence against an evil act is not carried out quickly, the heart of people is filled with the desire to commit evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11).
Fraud. People are remarkably creative when it comes to sinning. Fraudsters buy clothing for an event, wear it once, and then lie about the item’s fit, color, or style so they can return it for a refund. (Hey, free rentals!) Fraudsters often dig through the trash behind a retail store for receipts that customers routinely throw away after a transaction. These thieves (yes, I’ll call them what they are) take the receipt, go into the store, select an item from the shelves on the receipt, then take the unpurchased item and receipt to the checkout line for a refund. Yes, retailers often face this Conquer and Dominate ploy and variations on the theme. I’d offer more, but I’m running out of space and don’t want to spread thieves’ trade secrets.
Destruction via flash mobs and riots. During the George Floyd riots in June 2020, I witnessed the devastation leveled against a Target store in Minneapolis near the infamous police third precinct that was burned and destroyed. I stood aghast as wave after wave of young and old thieves ran into the store and emerged with arms full of merchandise. Some used the store’s shopping and merchandise carts to wheel enormous televisions down the street. And that was only the beginning. Over the last three years, flash mobs of young people have organized to show up at a predetermined time and retailer or convenience store, wherein the crowd floods the store, taking whatever suits them. Sheer numbers of masked individuals plus Leftist crime policies refuse prosecutions, resulting in more crime.
Cancel-culture and boycotts. Businesses risk being financially attacked through boycotts and cancel culture when they take a stand for various political or cultural agendas. Many companies on the Right and Left side of the political/cultural spectrum have become the recipients of online smear campaigns to destroy their reputations and market share.
Unpaid debts and bankruptcy. While declaring bankruptcy can be a tremendously merciful and helpful tool for those caught in dire financial straits, it can also be a Conquer and Dominate tool to escape one’s responsibility to pay what one owes to a business. The effects of unpaid debts on a business can be devastating, resulting in immense legal fees to recover some of what is owed, tighter credit, and increased prices and interest rates to cover the company’s losses.
Conquer and Dominate - Business in Cahoots with Others
Sadly, many businesses, particularly Big Business, have thrown their lot in with the government and activists to increase their bottom line through government favoritism and virtue signaling.
While activists use boycotts and cancel culture attacks to sway companies and extort funds (see Black Lives Matter, PETA, the Green Movement, et al.), these primarily Leftist groups have found a willing partner in corporate America.
Why should an activist group work so hard to get their message out and convince people of their just cause when they can use corporations to Conquer and Dominate society into accepting their agenda, willingly or not? The American multinational investment management corporation BlackRock has incorporated the ESG score (Environmental, Social, and corporate Governance) into its lending policies to push far Left radical agenda by requiring corporations to adopt and promote those policies before they can borrow capital. This strategy is simply Conquer and Dominate extortion. Fortunately, the public is beginning to realize their immense power by pushing back against socially aware “Woke” corporations pushing political and social agendas via a business platform. See disasters such as the historic Disney and Bud Light incidents.
One of the worst forms of Conquer and Dominate in the business domain is fascism. Sadly, the word “fascism” is bandied about today with little understanding of its meaning. For many, it’s used as a smear indicating some manifestation of harsh authoritarianism – “So-and so’s a fascist!” But the truth is fascism is government-business collusion.
“The classic definition of fascism is a situation in which Big Business and Big Government are formally united in their aims and in many aspects of their administration. Government directs business toward what and how much to produce, and business looks to the authority of government to establish and protect its interests. Unlike communism, where the state owns industry, with fascism the state is independent from industry, but becomes its biggest customer. The aims of the two coalesce… We certainly do not have de jure fascism in the United States, but when we have so much collusion between the public and private spheres at every level of government, and in many cases the same individuals running things in both spheres, with identical aims, can it not be legitimately argued that what we have in the United States is a quasi-fascist system, an arrangement which increasingly resembles fascism as both government and business get larger while subsidiarity is stamped out?” (Campbell, italics author)
Under a perfect Subdue and Rule system, there should be no problem with the government and corporations working together to improve the citizenry’s lives. However, when government and business realize their power, control, influence, and finances can be significantly leveraged to the advantage of both, it becomes a breeding ground for Conquer and Dominate fascism.
But don’t we have government to protect us from unethical and illegal business practices? According to The Foundation for Economic Education, “Regulation, which presumably works ‘against’ business, goes hand-in-hand with special privileges and artificial protections ‘for’ business… In short, I began to recognize that the concept of ‘the corporate welfare state’ goes a long way to describe some of the problems we observe in the complex nexus between the market sector and the government sector. All too often, businesses lobby government for special privileges they would not have in a true, free market.”
Why? Because some businesses are all to willing to sell their corporate souls to the government devil to gain a market advantage over their competition. After all, as a business owner, wouldn’t you like to be the one whose product the government mandates the entire citizenry consume? Tell me, how much money did Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, BioNTech, and Novavax make during the COVID pandemic? Billions, by government mandate. Oh, and protection from all liability. Not a bad gig if you can get it.
Sadly, the situation has only amped up since then, with significant Government-Business collusion, especially between the government and Big Tech, the Legacy Media, Big Pharma, Big Finance and Banking, and the Military-Industrial Complex that President Eisenhower warned us about in 1961.
Recently, we’ve seen that the larger the business, the deeper and more extensive the collusion is to strengthen both sides’ control. For example, our government and Big Tech working to silence government opposition, and the government rewarding cooperative corporations with no-bid contracts and guaranteed markets such as the COVID vaccines.
Why are Conquer and Dominate-driven businesses tempted to ally with the government? Often to gain marketplace advantages or protection against unethical or illegal practices.
Solutions to C&D Business
How can the Conquer and Dominate problem be Subdued and Ruled? Encourage (or forcibly push back, if need be) the business world to stay within the restraints of ethical and legal practices. Phillip Campbell (An End to Corporate-Government Collusion) recommends the following: “1) We restore justice in the handling of corporate crimes. 2) We legally revisit the concept of limited liability. 3) Abatement incentives should be available to every business owner regardless of business size. 4) Terminate the influence of lobbyists.”
Citizens should work toward a separation of Business and State with enforced legal safeguards to ensure fair and legal practices with quick prosecutions and stiff penalties for violations. For example, the Sherman Act (1890) “prohibits any agreement among competitors to fix prices, rig bids, or engage in other anti-competitive activity.” The penalty for corporations is a fine up to $100 million, and for individuals, a fine up to $1 million or ten years in prison or both.
We should vote with our money, feet, stock, or stockholder votes (see wallbuilderslive.com/business-government-collusion). The great news is we’re seeing a shift in market forces with people working shoulder-to-shoulder to Subdue and Rule businesses trying to use ESG to force a Leftist agenda.
If you’re a business owner, pledge to God to stand for truth and integrity. Truth is a powerful antidote to Conquer and Dominate. American Quaker poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier wrote, “As a small businessperson, you have no greater leverage than the truth.” Integrity is similar proverbial kryptonite to Conquer and Dominate, “If you believe in unlimited quality and act in all your business dealings with total integrity, the rest will take care of itself” (Frank Perdue, Founder and CEO of Perdue Farms).
Of course, the best guidance a businessperson can gain is from the Bible, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31, italics author).
Jewish Business Ethics in Practice, myjewishlearning.com/article/jewish-business-ethics-in-practice
Business Ethics & Jewish Law, myjewishlearning.com/article/business-ethics-jewish-law
HANDBOOK ON CONSUMER FRAUD AND UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES, ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-library/abstracts/handbook-consumer-fraud-and-unfair-business-practices (.pdf file for download, 230 pages)
The Bureau of Consumer Protection, ftc.gov/about-ftc/bureaus-offices/bureau-consumer-protection
Business–Government Collusion: Businesses Should End Their Dependence on Government Privilege, The Foundation for Economic Education, fee.org/articles/businessndashgovernment-collusion (February 1, 1995)
Price Fixing, ftc.gov/advice-guidance/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/dealings-competitors/price-fixing
Big Business Facilitating Violation of Liberties – with Michael Ross, wallbuilderslive.com/business-government-collusion (An excellent discussion about how to push back against “Woke” corporations.)
How Are Business Ethics and Relationships Addressed in the Bible? christianity.com/wiki/christian-life/how-are-business-ethics-and-relationships-addressed-in-the-bible.html
The Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics, tifwe.org/seven-quotes-from-business-for-the-glory-of-god
Perspective: What Montgomery County schools should have learned from the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision, deseret.com/2023/7/6/23784833/montgomery-county-schools-controversy-masterpiece-cakeshop (2023)
Colo. tells bakers OK to refuse Bible cakes, baptistpress.com/resource-library/news/colo-tells-bakers-ok-to-refuse-bible-cakes (2015)
Price Fixing, Bid Rigging, And Market Allocation, Schemes – What They Are and What To Look For: An Antitrust Primer, justice.gov/atr/file/810261/download (September 2005, revised February 2021)
The History of Unions in the United States: Milestones in the struggle to protect workers’ rights, investopedia.com/financial-edge/0113/the-history-of-unions-in-the-united-states.aspx
A Brief History of Unions, unionplus.org/page/brief-history-unions
An End to Corporate-Government Collusion, distributistreview.com/archive/end-corporate-government-collusion
The Effects Shoplifting Has on a Business, smallbusiness.chron.com/effects-shoplifting-business-59560.html
Campbell, Phillip, An End to Corporate-Government Collusion, distributistreview.com/archive/end-corporate-government-collusion
Pastor Jay Christianson
The Truth Barista, Frothy Thoughts