Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Archive for the tag “free market economics”

PamBG’s Blog: Christian Economic Life – Post 1: Foundation

Pam BC has just started an interesting series of posts on Christianity and economics. I’ve read the first two, and it looks very promising indeed. PamBG’s Blog: Christian Economic Life – Post 1: Foundation:

I’m going to try a thought-experiment here. I want to think about what an economy run on Christian principles might look like. And this is quite literally a ‘thought experiment’. At the moment, I have no idea of what I intend to write in the future, but I want simply to think out loud, building on ideas step by step.

So here are some initial thoughts for a foundation:

1) Christian thinking on economics should begin with Christian and biblical principles, not with economic principles.

2) That being said, it seems to me that a good principle for a Christian thought experiment on our economic life would be: honor God and love your neighbor. (There are actually a number of principles that the bible expresses on economic life that a lot of us might not like; forbidding the giving or receiving of debt is one of these.)

3) As I think and write, I will try to separate ‘What works’ from ‘What should be’. I will recognize that ‘What should be’ doesn’t always work well. In separating the two principles, I intend to avoid what seems to me to be a usual problem in Christian economic thinking: ‘That operational method doesn’t work, therefore it is unjust’.

That is a very good start, and I recommend that people who are interested in the topic read the whole series.

If one is really going to discuss such things properly, however, blog comments are rather inadequate. It is the kind of thing worth discussing in the Christianity and society forum.

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And you can see my take on it at Notes from underground: The Invisible Hand.

The Invisible Hand

One of the most persistent forms of idolatry in our time has been the worship of economic forces. There have been huge debates about the nature of these economic forces. For Marxists the name of the deity is “the dialectical forces of history” while for the Free Marketeers it has been “the free rein of the market mechanism”.

But these are simply two denominations of the same religion. Both believe in subjecting man to the power of economics and money.

Hat-tip to A Pinch of Salt: Invisble hands of all kinds, who comments:

What is more rational or realistic – believing in a Father in heaven or an All Encompassing Love, or in this invisible hand? Just this one time let us ask the question.

How deregulation destroyed African agriculture

And changed Africa into a food importer

while the diversion of corn from food to biofuel feedstock has been a factor in the meteoric rise in food prices, the more basic problem has been the conversion of economies that are largely food-self-sufficient into chronic food importers. Here the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Trade Organization (WTO) figure as much more important villains

African agriculture is a case study of how doctrinaire economics serving corporate interests can destroy a whole continent’s productive base.

in the 1960s, Africa was not just self-sufficient in food but was actually a net food exporter


almost every country

a net food importer

the explanation was the phasing out of government controls

to which most African countries were subjected as the price for getting IMF and World Bank assistance

reality refused to conform to the doctrinal expectation that the withdrawal of the state would pave the way for the market and private sector to dynamize agriculture

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