"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

How can we heal our flawed economy Part 2

I am always disappointed to find when I speak to fellow Christians that they have not heard of The Jubilee Centre. Born out of a dream by its founder Michael Schluter in 1983, that biblical understanding would one day become a significant influence in world affairs, the Centre has been involved since in several reform initiatives, such as the UK’s Keep Sunday Special Campaign. The Jubilee Centre is first and foremost a Christian social reform organization. It is now pushing for recognition internationally and towards the end of 2008 made a presentation to staff and students at two Christian colleges in California, supported by Azusa Pacific University. The Jubilee Manifesto, published by them in 2005, is a Christian vision for social reform, based on the contention that there are sound biblical alternatives to capitalism, socialism and other ideologies. The Manifesto looks at a model of a new finance and economy based on the principle that the goal of a country’s economic policy should be healthy and enriched relationships, rather than wealth. It thus champions another vision of economic change.

Psychiatrists know that many of the mental illnesses so prevalent in our material Western society today stem from an unfulfilled need for sound and supportive personal relationships in our lives. It is not helpful to have an economic system that does little to support family and community life. The Manifesto suggests that a just and relational economy would ensure everyone has access to a means of production to give them income, through a wider distribution of assets, and land reforms, and this would preserve ‘rootedness and a sense of place’ for a wider population. It has been written to open up debate, as a catalyst for discussion and response, in the hope, in the words of the authors, that it ‘will encourage Christians in all parts of the world, and in all walks of life, to set about the reform of public policy, their workplace and their home life with a fresh sense of purpose and renewed vision.’

But this idea is not only for Christians. All who have a strong desire to improve this world, to make it a better place for our children and grandchildren, could usefully heed the message in this Manifesto. The Jubilee Centre website is also an excellent resource for stimulation and action.

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