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Crisis of competence: Our flawed pollies

The Bible as capitalism’s manual


TUMBY BAY - Have you ever wondered why Capitalism and Christianity seem to sit so well together?

You have observed James Marape, for example, and politicians before him conflate wealth and religion ideas like making Papua New Guinea the ‘richest black Christian nation on Earth’.

Or fundamentalist Christians like Scott Morrison believing God wants them to be rich. Or run countries.

I think the answer is in the Christian bible. If ever there was a manual for capitalists the bible has to be it.

Here are a few examples.

The bible makes it very plain that humans are ‘created in the image and likeness of God’ and as such have control over the earth.

‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’

If that’s not an invitation to pillage resources and ruthlessly exploit lesser sentient beings I don’t know what is.

As for being fruitful and multiplying, doesn’t that presage and legitimise the massive destruction that too many humans have wreaked upon the planet in their greedy quest for wealth?

“God helps those who help themselves,” is not in the bible and is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, among others, but it is still a logical extrapolation of the right of dominion.

‘Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.’

The accepted definition of ‘submit’ is to yield to a superior force, authority or will of another person.

How else to interpret this as other than that women are lesser beings, certainly not equals or partners?

‘If a thief is caught in the act of breaking into a house and is struck and killed in the process, the person who killed the thief is not guilty of murder.’

Here we see the paramount importance of property so beloved of our capitalist friends. The trinkets that the thief might steal are considered more valuable than human life. How insane is that?

And there’s more of it in the same vein.

‘And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’

This is the excuse that has underwritten the deadly practice of revenge down the ages and which informs hideous actions of all sorts, both in reality and in literature.

Every increasingly violent film that comes out of Hollywood is predicated on this idea.

And speaking about violence what about this one?

‘Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.’

I wonder how many of the worlds arms dealers and promoters of the lucrative military industrial complex thank the bible for that little gem.

Not to mention all of those Christian lunatics swaggering about with their increasingly sophisticated personal armaments in places like the United States.

Bible of capitalismThere are many mixed messages and contradictions in the bible and, sure, there are feel-good moments too – ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’ and ‘turn the other cheek’ - but if you’re a dedicated capitalist what do they mean to you?

Love thy neighbour as thyself’ - Treat others as market forces dictate?

‘Turn the other cheek’ - An invocation to an employee not to fight back, to cop it sweet?

The bible gives a lot of authority to the capitalists just as it gives a lot of power to the men who wrote or dictated it.

If we are serious about reining in the outrages committed in the name of capitalism the nexus between it and Christianity has to be broken.

And it is probably time Christianity’s religious leaders took a long, hard look at capitalism itself.

As Christian Chiakulas writes in ‘Christianity created capitalism; it must now destroy it:

“All true followers of Jesus Christ must recognise that a system that lets millions of people die until it is profitable to save them is incompatible with the Kingdom of God and must be abolished.”


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Lindsay F Bond

In good faith of alignment with sentiment by Phil saying "space made for wild animals, especially all the species threatened with extinction", the following news item is enough to turn on the tears.
Whether by capitalism or by creep of human 'civilization' matters not if the demise of diversity in fauna and flora is not slowed, stopped and sustainably countered...

Philip Fitzpatrick

Are yes, it’s a subject worth getting back to time and time again Lindsay, that’s the only way change will occur.

The cruel and corrupt consumerism that is the canker of capitalism and its capricious carpetbaggers with their calculated, cold-hearted chequebook commercialism need to be brought to account.

So too do the complicit charlatans in government who conspire and collaborate in this criminal chicanery in such a contemptible, condescending and cowardly way.

Bernard Corden

Here is a link to a free download of R H Tawney's Religion and the Rise of Capitalism:

Lindsay F Bond

Bravo Phil, your alliteration aligns as long Lindsay.
My baulk at bandied correlation is that it takes time.
So I’ll get back to your interweave, but not today.

Meanwhile about evidence and constituent proof, folk can look to example in the motto “Nullius in verba”.

“The [UK] Royal Society's motto 'Nullius in verba' is taken to mean 'take nobody's word for it'. It is an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment.”


PNG apparently has a "State Audit and Recovery Taskforce (SART) initiated by the Department of Justice and Attorney General working with nine other State agencies".


Too easily folk might decry the pestilence brought by capitalism's scourge, and seek to bring to 'court' those who are alleged to have profiteered [oh, just a bit too much?] while having no wherewithal to bring such doggedness to heel.

Here it becomes the duty of national leadership, maybe an ebbing of knighthoods and awards, and then recount of errors of elected participants.

Sure, there are drum beats in each era, but those who to that dance, are the vectors of the contagion.

So back to the Post Courier item. It makes actual mention of Kiorota (too easily read as 'rorta') and that village is adjacent the location of earlier Isivita which was lost in the 1951 eruption of Mount Lamington {Sumbiripa], and the school there has been photographed for its asset value.

For these reasons the capriciousness of capitalism become observed reality, not just something yet unverified.

By the way [ahem] photographing buildings of value for education in Oro Province has been happening since 2008 with a small independent team of Oro volunteers.

I can personally verify with images of "poor design", construction deteriorating letting in water, and termites unimpeded. Leads to teachers in tears, and visiting team too.

So of infrastructure, who is attendant, who comprehends, who is competent? There are schools which according to headteachers, even school education inspectors are not visiting.

This is in a Province where in order to hold some responsibility for schools once initiated by the Anglican Church, persons like Nancy H White walked to visit (see Sharing the Climb).

Mention is made here to encourage optimal response from current staff of Education and all other in position of influence for the good of PNG people.

You're a good man, Lindsay. Gregarious, gangling & garrulous too - KJ

Philip Fitzpatrick

But Lindsay, there's a direct link between Christianity, Capitalism and Covid.

Capitalism, a product of Christianity, has depleted the space and resources of the planet available to wild animals, which has thrown them into close contact with humans and created ideal conditions for the transmission of disease.

This is what happened at Wuhan with Covid and in Africa with HIV AIDS and in other places where other diseases have jumped from wild animals to humans.

The earth needs to be restored and space made for wild animals, especially all the species threatened with extinction.

The only way to do that is to do something about capitalism.

William Dunlop

Ah now, Philip. Irrespective of the Godly and the Godless, the great leveller in the form of the Grim Reaper does not distinguish between princelings, paupers, billionaires and us mere mortals.

NB. I have deliberately omitted the spruiking species, who deliberate in the Great El-Bullshita Castles of every nation. Slantie.

Lindsay F Bond

There will be better days to divert to this line of thinking.
Covid-19 is the 'creature' that ought command attention.

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