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


Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [1] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: Through­out the course of the “Arab Spring,” [2] we not­ed that it was not a spon­ta­neous event, but a covert oper­a­tion [3], tap­ping the deserved­ly right­eous frus­tra­tion of many of the peo­ples in that region in order to ush­er the Islamo-fas­cist Mus­lim Broth­er­hood [4] into pow­er. The “turn to the Broth­er­hood” [5] took place dur­ing the sec­ond admin­is­tra­tion of George W. Bush and has con­tin­ued under Oba­ma [6].

(Trag­i­cal­ly, one of the most impor­tant devel­op­ments in the inves­ti­ga­tion into 9/11–the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002 [7]–has been over­looked. That inves­ti­ga­tion revealed pro­found oper­a­tional links between the GOP and its chief “pri­va­ti­za­tion” ide­o­logues (Grover Norquist and Karl Rove) [8] and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, includ­ing ele­ments and indi­vid­u­als involved in financ­ing al-Qae­da [9]. 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.)

Ulti­mate­ly, Oba­ma and/or the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty [10] will take the heat for the actions ini­ti­at­ed by Bush, Rove and Norquist. 

There is every indi­ca­tion that pow­er­ful, transna­tion­al cor­po­rate forces [11] 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 [12] 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” [13]or The Fel­low­ship.” [14] (They are not to be con­fused with the San­tikene­tan Park Asso­ci­a­tion dis­cussed in FTR #724 [15].)

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. [16]

 “Elite Fun­da­men­tal­ism — The Fel­low­ship’s Gospel of Cap­i­tal­ist Pow­er”;  Reli­gion Report [Aus­tralian Broad­cast Com­pa­ny]; 9/3/2008. [17]

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. [18]

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. [19]

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.” . . . .