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Friday, 29 June 2012

Usury, 1290, the Muslim faith, debt and war

The United Kingdom and the Channel Islands both make the majority of their money through the practise of Usury, far more than any other nation in the world. Total debt (public and private) in the UK is some 1000% of GDP, by far the highest in the world.

There has been much discussion recently as to the 'morality' of taxation but if we are concerned with 'moral' right then perhaps it is time to review the moral basis for the primary source of all that taxation.

Usury, the charging of interest on money loaned (or as it is latterly defined 'the charging of interest at extortionate rates') has an interesting history, as expressed in this extract from the Catholic Dictionary,
Plato (Laws, v. 742) and Aristotle (Politics, I, x, xi) considered interest as contrary to the nature of things; Aristophanes expressed his disapproval of it, in the "Clouds" (1283 sqq.); Cato condemned it (see Cicero, "De officiis, II, xxv), comparing it to homicide, as also did Seneca (De beneficiis, VII, x) and Plutarch in his treatise against incurring debts. 
Aristotle disapproved of the money trader's profit; and the ruinous rates at which money was lent explain his severity. On the other hand, the Roman and Greek laws while considering the mutuum, or loan for consumption, as a contract gratuitous in principle, allowed a clause, stipulating for the payment of interest, to be added to the bond. The Law of theTwelve Tables allowed only unciarium fenus, probably one-twelfth of the capital, or 8.33 per cent. A plebiscitum, lex Ganucia, 412 a.u.c. went so far as to forbid all interest whatever, but, at a later period, the Roman law allowed interest at 1 per cent monthly, or 12 per cent per annum. Justinian laid down as a general rule that this maximum should be reduced by half (L. 26, I, c. De usuris, IV, 32).
Chaldea allowed interest on loans (cf. Law of Hammurabi, 48 sqq.). No absolute prohibition can be found in the Old Testament; Exodus 22:25, and Deuteronomy 23:19-20, however forbid the taking of interest by one Jew from another.
It is by no means a coincidence that the major banking families are in the main, Jewish, the trade was considered a shameful one which no good Christian would take part in. So it was left to the Jews to operate the trade. The Jews have of course suffered as a result, starting in 1290 when England became the first country to expel the Jews, in this case without first allowing them to recover the monies lent out or to sell the assets which had been secured against the loans including many of the major estates of the realm. The expulsion which lasted until 1656 when Cromwell re-interpreted the edict as applying only to Jews living in England in 1290 and welcomed many of the Jews who were fleeing the Spanish Inquisition.

One religion still bans outright the practise of Usury and that is Islam. Looking to the chart above you can see that the only regions left in the world not drowning in debt are the continent of Africa and the Middle East and India and this is perhaps due as much to the Muslim religion as it is to the presence of oil. After all the United States and Russia both have natural resources in great abundance but still require debt to service their economies and/or win elections.

By 1970 the United States had mired itself in debt fighting the pointless and undeclared war in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It had to renege on the Bretton-Woods accord which fixed the price of gold at $35 per troy ounce. Since the world came off that gold standard debt has spiralled out of control and today grows exponentially.

One has to wonder if the reason that the United States is invading the Middle East is that thanks to the prohibition of usury they cannot simply appropriate through debt, the lands, resources and gold of the Muslim nations as the Jews did to the English by 1290 and the Americans have done to the world since 1970, are these wars fought for oil or are they fought to institute the Western financial system against the religion of the people.

The worst place to be when the global financial system collapses is going to be the British Isles and probably the worst place in the British Isles to be is the Channel Islands.