Thursday, April 24, 2008

Islamic conference: ‘Capitalism has failed to address major issues’

A site by the name of AnglicanThought (which some might consider a little oxymoronic) observes that ‘the American economy is based on this so-called “capitalistic” framework, but much of the Christian ministry - especially within Evangelicalism - is built on this same framework.’ It then decries this economic model because of its ‘tendency and motive to capitalize on the overall desires and weaknesses of the people’, which it judges to be at odds with the Christian ethic of kenotic love. And after a thoroughly detailed academic enquiry with in-depth analysis and appeals to prominent scholars (not), it concludes that ‘Western economics and ministry is simply out of control’.

And the writer’s solution to ‘secular capitalism’ is… well, he does not have one, or at least, as he says, ‘not one that would be understood by most Christians’. It is encouraging indeed to hear that there are prophets in Phoenix Arizona to whom the Lord is imparting economic models which only a chosen few may comprehend. Though the author does concede: ‘The “biblical” model of Christian economy is not found in one particular frame of history, but likely, a combination of historical frames, coupled with a combination of historical theologies’.

Now isn’t that just so very helpful? Why do these people purport to write about things they so manifestly know nothing about? Has he read Weber? Has he considered the Protestant origins of ‘Western capitalism’? Has he ever studied such developments as corporatism, social doctrine, or interventionist statism? Has the Lord imparted to him the precise formula of co-operation between employers and workers, with the state overseeing wages, working conditions, production, prices and exchange?

AnglicanThought might as well link to its sister site Muslim News, for they have come to the same conclusion about capitalism. A three-day international conference on Islamic economics hosted by King Abdulaziz University has called for the ‘rebuilding of Islamic economics on the basis of moral values rooted in spirituality’, which is ‘essential for making sacrifices for noble goals, disregarding vested interests’.

The assertion is that capitalism has failed to address major international economic issues including poverty, inflation and unemployment, so it is now time to ‘present Islamic economics to the world as the best solution to its problems in a convincing manner’. It also called on Islamic banks and financial institutions to fund such research projects, especially on topics relating to boosting economic development and fighting poverty and unemployment. Dr Abdul Raheem Saati said: “We believe that Islamic teachings, if applied properly, can fight poverty and thus we can contribute to fighting world poverty.”

Abdul Wadood Khan from Pakistan called for ‘a concrete plan to replace interest-based banks with Islamic banks’.

This sounds wonderful, and will be of great comfort to AnglicanThought. Eliminate competition, fix prices, limit ownership, intervene in industry before breakfast, lunch and dinner, control the market, and create a new social order of justice and fairness with God’s Bank at the centre of it all.

Or has this already been attempted?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace, it wouldn't be called Communism, would it?

24 April 2008 at 08:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Islamic thoughts can solve world problems. That is wonderful joke more like return us to the middle ages !!

24 April 2008 at 09:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Doctor Rashid apply these ideas within the Muslim hellholes before pontificating to others? Since they are so efficacious surely Bangladesh and Egypt can go back to being breadbaskets instead of the basket cases they are now. These Muslim jokers have been talking of Islamic solutions for decades now. I say let them try it, just don't come begging to the infidels when things go wrong. There is only so much rubbish that we can take from people who can't grow enough to feed themselves or make anything worthwhile.


24 April 2008 at 12:37  
Anonymous Serf said...

Seeing as the purist of Islamic states was Taleban ruled Afghanistan, I am not sure they have their prognosis right.

Though remember that the Communists always claimed that their system needed the whole world to adopt it if it were to be successful.

As to another great example from the Islamic world, one of the worlds top producers of crude oil, Iran, is struggling to make ends meet, whilst the crude oil price is at an all time high.

Having had the opportunity to visit Dubai, I have to say that where Muslims have embraced capitalism, they have become obscenely rich. They don't seem to have needed to change their culture, dress code, religion in order to be able to do so.

24 April 2008 at 13:12  
Blogger The Heresiarch said...

His Grace might be misunderstanding "Anglican Thought". I took a look, and there's another article on the same site that sees a remarkable similarity between secularism and Islam. It notes:

Both Islam and secularism reject the harmony of divine and human reason with each allowed to stand on its own. They disagree on the result of this rejection but both have as a significant element of their movement those who would impose totalitarian edicts to raise either the will of Allah as given within Islam or the will of the secularized individual to the dominant role in culture and silence all competing voices. Within Christianity there is an abiding belief that the the man can through reason find natural truth and with divine revelation know supernatural truth and these two are complementary and can be integrated without compromise.

Thus allied on the destruction of what remains of Christian civilaztion (those living there may not be Christians but still contain much of the influence of prior generations), both Islam and secular voices join forces to eradicate any hint that there was once a Christendom. The question remains open whether there are enough Christians with the will to oppose them.

Whether this constitutes wisdom or paranoia, it's unlikely to meet with much enthusiasm from either secularists or Islamists. Perhaps that's the point.

24 April 2008 at 15:29  
Blogger dizzyfatplonka said...

CAPITALISM excelent article on why its bad for Conservatives

24 April 2008 at 15:57  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace

the redistribution of what exactly ??

it seems as though archaic frameworks are being resurrected for the purposes of class war .

capitalism as far as i can see has been hugely succesful , in delivering uiniversal civilisation basics , how ever applying beurocracy over it has been a disaster indeed it seems "crapitalism" has been invented .

the call for socialism is a difficult one to resist , it all looks so rosey . doesnt it.

but materials and goods have to be made an exchanged , much better to do this on the foundational basis of christianity .

you should in theory have modest capitalism , but the USA is anything but modest when it comes to resource use .

it may be that it is unbalanced at times but better that , than having to bung an official to get a work permit , or getting the best school because you are in the polit beaureau, or worse getting locked up because you have found out where illigal money is going .

capitalism may be bad at times , but the hidden world of beaurocratic control is far worse , its eliteism with a proganda class war , nothing more

24 April 2008 at 16:58  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Your Grace

The article you cite seems to be a bit confused. For a start the author talks about capitalism in the sense of capitalising on people's desires, yet that is not what capitalism means at all.

Capitalism is I suppose the use of the wealth of a single person or a group of persons to finance a project with the hope of making a profit for the shareholders. There is also the opportunity for making a loss.

The author could have said that capitalism is so successful that it now satisfies peoples desires as well as their basic needs. But so what?

Christians recognise that mankind is fallen - and that any human enterprise is doomed to end in recrimination, bickering, venality and so on with people out for what they can get. That is why socialism / communism will always fail because it relies on everyone working honestly and selflessly for the common good without any checks or balances.

Our Christian society in the West has acted in the past to criticise the excesses of capitalism and successfully push for laws against exploitation of the weak.

Whether a post Christian society would continue to do this is another matter We are already seeing some of this with calls for saviour siblings - commoditising children, euthanasia etc.

24 April 2008 at 17:57  
Blogger Cranmer said...

The article you cite seems to be a bit confused.

Which is precisely why His Grace found 'AnglicanThought' more than a little amusing. It is almost exemplary of, err, Anglican thought.

24 April 2008 at 18:24  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Touché Your Grace!

24 April 2008 at 18:39  
Anonymous Adrian Peirson said...

Though remember that the Communists always claimed that their system needed the whole world to adopt it if it were to be successful.

Now it's funny you should mention that because that is exactly what they are finalising right now.

The coming Financial Tsunami and Famine is Deliberate and designed to Bring the Western World to it's Knees and force us to accept their 'New World Order'
Mass Immigration is of course Part of this agenda Do the Words divide and conqEUr ring any bells, eradication of National identity, and the Nation state.

24 April 2008 at 23:02  
Anonymous Dr John Hayward said...

While we may not agree with everything AnglicanThought have written, they are surely right to identify problems with Western economics. I am surprised how His Grace appears unaware that there *is* a "biblical model of Christian economy" that thankfully *can* be understood by most Christians (and non-Christians, for that matter) - a model that remains highly relevant to the challenges facing the West (and the wider world) in the twenty first century.

For instance, the case for a sustainable global capitalism has been made by Dr Peter Heslam at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity and Dr Paul Mills, co-author of "Islamic Finance: Theory and Practice" and economist at the Treasury, maintains that "Biblical law sets out an economic model that shares contemporary concerns for economic efficiency and fairness while avoiding the problems faced by the current Western model" - see, for example, The divine economy and The ban on interest: dead letter or radical solution? at the Jubilee Centre website.

25 April 2008 at 20:13  
Anonymous Mike said...

Mr. "Cranmer," I do indeed have a solution to the capitialistic framework that we embrace, but it does not involve the political fluff and hype that many desire to hear. It also requires one to understand a proper hermeneutic of the the Holy Writ. I intend to post on this matter of culture and economy in the near future.

27 April 2008 at 19:20  

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