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Divine Laissez Faire: Comparing the Theocratic Free Market Philosophies of the Muslim Brotherhood and The Family

[1]

Dave Emory’s entire lifetime of work is available on a flash drive that can be obtained here. [2] (The flash drive includes the anti-fascist books available on this site.)

COMMENT: Throughout the course of the “Arab Spring,” [3] we noted that it was not a spontaneous event, but a covert operation [4], tapping the deservedly righteous frustration of many of the peoples in that region in order to usher the Islamo-fascist Muslim Brotherhood [5] into power. The “turn to the Brotherhood” [6] took place during the second administration of George W. Bush and has continued under Obama [7].

(Tragically, one of the most important developments in the investigation into 9/11–the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002 [8]–has been overlooked. That investigation revealed profound operational links between the GOP and its chief “privatization” ideologues (Grover Norquist and Karl Rove) [9] and the Muslim Brotherhood, including elements and individuals involved in financing al-Qaeda [10]. It stands as a resounding indictment of this country’s citizenry, journalistic establishment and political class that the United States continues to suffer under the “austerity” onslaught manifested as “the sequester.” The core of the GOP political axis–Norquist and Rove–should  be awaiting trial at Guantanamo as the traitors they in point of fact are. The utterly gutless journalists and politicos deserve the blame for this failure.)

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Ibn Khaldun

Ultimately, Obama and/or the Democratic Party [12] will take the heat for the actions initiated by Bush, Rove and Norquist. 

There is every indication that powerful, transnational corporate forces [13] envisioned and then dictated the “turn to the Brotherhood.” 

The World Bank overtly endorsed the economic agenda of the Brotherhood, seeing in their “corporatist” ideology [14] a blueprint for advancing free-market ideology in the Muslim world.

When the World Bank gives voice to such thinking, the message resonates powerfully in the corridors of economic power. (We note in passing that the article detailing the Brotherhood’s free-market principles appeared in Newsweek, part of the Graham publishing empire at the time. The Graham publishing interests are second only to The New York Times as a “voice” the American establishment.) 

Noteworthy in this context is the similarity in the IMF’s interpretation of “Islamic free-market” principles and the “Christian free-market” ideology espoused by the powerful group known as “The Family” [15]or The Fellowship.” [16] (They are not to be confused with the Santikenetan Park Association discussed in FTR #724 [17].)

Borrowing a page from the Calvinist book, The Family sees great success in business as proof of God’s blessing on the successful.

Both the Muslim Brotherhood and The Family see free-market/laissez-faire principles as being divine in nature, ordained by the Creator.

Of course both the Brotherhood and The Family are strongly connected to the Underground Reich.

We note that “ex” CIA officer Graham Fuller, one of the architects of the “turn to the Brotherhood,” as we call it, articulated the attraction of Islam for Western conservatives/corporatists. [18]

 “Elite Fundamentalism – The Fellowship’s Gospel of Capitalist Power”;  Religion Report [Australian Broadcast Company]; 9/3/2008. [19]

EXCERPT: Stephen Crit­ten­den: Now the book is basi­cally about a shad­owy organ­i­sa­tion called The Fam­ily, or The Fel­low­ship that was founded by a guy called Abra­ham Vereide, a Nor­we­gian immi­grant to the United States in the 1930s. Tell us about him and the foun­da­tion of this organisation.

Jeff Sharlet: Vereide is a fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ter. This guy who comes to Amer­ica from Nor­way, because he sees America’s the land of the Bible unchained. Even from a boy he’s given to what he thinks are prophetic visions. He believes that God comes to him and talks to him in very lit­eral words. He comes to Amer­ica and he makes quite a name for him­self, becomes a preacher and starts preach­ing to guys like Henry Ford and titans of the steel indus­try and so on, and then has this Epiphany, this real­i­sa­tion in the mid­dle of our Great Depres­sion in the 1930s. He decides that the Great Depres­sion is actu­ally a pun­ish­ment from God for dis­obey­ing God’s law, and how are we dis­obey­ing God’s law? Well it’s because we are try­ing to reg­u­late the econ­omy, we are try­ing to take mat­ters into our own hands. Well we just have to com­pletely trust God, and those he chooses, men like Henry Ford and the CEO of US Steel and so on.

Stephen Crit­ten­den: Yes, it’s a mus­cu­lar Chris­tian­ity. You’d almost say he had a min­istry to bring that indus­trial class back into religion.

Jeff Sharlet: Absolutely. This must be a Chris­tian­ity on steroids. They were build­ing on this tra­di­tion of this kind of macho Christ, and tak­ing it to these busi­ness­men who didn’t really care about church or the Bible or any­thing like that. What they cared about was organ­ised labour, and in fact, par­tic­u­larly in Aus­tralia. Harry Bridges was a major, major labour leader here in the United States. And they just saw him the Devil Incar­nate, and began to organ­ise against him. And that’s what this group has become — and are to this day. They still see God’s inter­ests as those of the absolutely unreg­u­lated free mar­kets — a very sort of macho, mus­cu­lar Chris­tian­ity that tends to serve the inter­ests of those involved. . . .

“Islam in Office” by Stephen Glain; Newsweek; 7/3–10/2006. [20]

EXCERPT: Judeo-Christian scrip­ture offers lit­tle eco­nomic instruc­tion. The Book of Deuteron­omy, for exam­ple, is loaded with edicts on how the faith­ful should pray, eat, bequeath, keep the holy fes­ti­vals and treat slaves and spouses, but it is silent on trade and com­merce. In Matthew, when Christ admon­ishes his fol­low­ers to ‘give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s,’ he is effec­tively con­ced­ing fis­cal and mon­e­tary author­ity to pagan Rome. Islam is dif­fer­ent. The prophet Muhammad—himself a trader—preached mer­chant honor, the only reg­u­la­tion that the bor­der­less Lev­an­tine mar­ket knew. . . .

. . . In Mus­lim liturgy, the deals cut in the souk become a metaphor for the con­tract between God and the faith­ful. And the busi­ness model Muham­mad pre­scribed, accord­ing to Mus­lim schol­ars and econ­o­mists, is very much in the laissez-faire tra­di­tion later embraced by the West. Prices were to be set by God alone—anticipating by more than a mil­len­nium Adam Smith’s ref­er­ence to the ‘invis­i­ble hand’ of market-based pric­ing. Mer­chants were not to cut deals out­side the souk, an early attempt to thwart insider trad­ing. . . . In the days of the caliphate, Islam devel­oped the most sophis­ti­cated mon­e­tary sys­tem the world had yet known. Today, some econ­o­mists cite Islamic bank­ing as fur­ther evi­dence of an intrin­sic Islamic prag­ma­tism. Though still guided by a Qur’anic ban on riba, or inter­est, Islamic bank­ing has adapted to the needs of a boom­ing oil region for liq­uid­ity. In recent years, some 500 Islamic banks and invest­ment firms hold­ing $2 tril­lion in assets have emerged in the Gulf States, with more in Islamic com­mu­ni­ties of the West.

British Chan­cel­lor of the Exche­quer Gor­don Brown wants to make Lon­don a global cen­ter for Islamic finance—and elic­its no howl of protest from fun­da­men­tal­ists. How Islamists might run a cen­tral bank is more prob­lem­atic: schol­ars say they would manip­u­late cur­rency reserves, not inter­est rates.

The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood hails 14th cen­tury philoso­pher Ibn Khal­dun as its eco­nomic guide. Antic­i­pat­ing supply-side eco­nom­ics, Khal­dun argued that cut­ting taxes raises pro­duc­tion and tax rev­enues, and that state con­trol should be lim­ited to pro­vid­ing water, fire and free graz­ing land, the util­i­ties of the ancient world. The World Bank has called Ibn Khal­dun the first advo­cate of pri­va­ti­za­tion. [Empha­sis added.] His found­ing influ­ence is a sign of mod­er­a­tion. If Islamists in power ever do clash with the West, it won’t be over com­merce. . . .

“Chech­nyan Power” by Mark Ames; nsfwcorp.com; 6/5/2013. [21]

EXCERPT: . . . . Fuller comes from that fac­tion of CIA Cold War­riors who believed (and still appar­ently believe) that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam, even in its rad­i­cal jihadi form, does not pose a threat to the West, for the sim­ple rea­son that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam is con­ser­v­a­tive, against social jus­tice, against social­ism and redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth, and in favor of hier­ar­chi­cal socio-economic struc­tures. Social­ism is the com­mon enemy to both cap­i­tal­ist Amer­ica and to Wah­habi Islam, accord­ing to Fuller.

Accord­ing to jour­nal­ist Robert Drey­fuss’ book “Devil’s Game,” Fuller explained his attrac­tion to rad­i­cal Islam in neoliberal/libertarian terms:

“There is no main­stream Islamic organization…with rad­i­cal social views,” he wrote. “Clas­si­cal Islamic the­ory envis­ages the role of the state as lim­ited to facil­i­tat­ing the well-being of mar­kets and mer­chants rather than con­trol­ling them. Islamists have always pow­er­fully objected to social­ism and communism….Islam has never had prob­lems with the idea that wealth is unevenly dis­trib­uted.” . . . .