The predominate Western economic system, referred to as “capitalism” or
“the free enterprise system” is the primary tool of control or imperialism used
by those of European descent. This world-view has its roots in the harsh and
hostile climates from which the predominant capitalist cultures originated.
During the first millennium AD, these nations endured the brutal and barbaric
“Dark Ages”. Tyranny, starvation and disease were rule throughout Europe.
Europeans began exploring and invading other nations to escape the
“civilization” they had created. Their economic theories were developed
around the standards of scarcity, competition for resources and acquisition
through war.

As the name confirms, this system elevates property rights and the ownership
of material assets above human, environmental or other rights. The underlying
tenant of Western economics is that it is the study of the distribution of scarce
resources. This belief implies that the natural state of things is shortage and
scarcity. Gross profits are returns on capital or equity. Humans are considered
inputs. Payments to humans are considered costs. The avoidance of cost is a
fundamental requirement for maximizing profits. In essence the system
privatizes profits (for benefit of a few individuals) and socializes many of the
costs of production and distribution (to the detriment of employees, the
general public and the tax payers). This system has led to exploitation, since
owners of capital are forced to seek the lowest cost sources of raw materials,
labor, equipment and distribution. They are also forced to avoid recognizing
the costs of pollution, joblessness, social dislocation and many of the other
costs, which their strategies create.
The financial powers of the West have been able to influence the court system
to classify corporations as “persons” under the law. This means that
corporations have all the rights of human beings. Multinational corporations
are therefore able to thwart efforts to control their activities by invoking
protections against discrimination, defamation and patents.  

The capitalist system is only stable where financial growth is perpetual and
exponential. The system becomes unstable if continuous growth in profits
cannot be maintained. Since money and power are concentrated in a few
hands, these people and corporations are able to amass increasing power
and control. These same people use the mass media to advocate for this
system and to obscure all ideas counter to their immediate interest. The
police and military might of the government is used to protect their interests.
The political system becomes corrupted by large contributions and paid
lobbyists that result in legislation that benefits small but wealthy special
interest groups.

The print and broadcast media are powerful tools used to consolidate this
control. The media is used to deceive the majority of the people into believing
that three illusions are reality. These are:

1.        That international financial institutions and multi-national corporations
are the “good guys” who are attempting to raise the standard of living for
everyone.
2.        That those who wish to be liberated from control by the global
institutions are the “bad guys”, often labeled as communists, extremists,
radicals, insurgents or terrorists.
3.        That the military has the right and power to control the world and can
attack anyone who opposes the actions of these giant institutions, with
impunity.

If these illusions were not widely believed, the multinational institutions would
be unable to exert control. The attempted takeover of Iraq and Afghanistan
prove that these forces lack the moral or military strength to dominate the rest
of the world. The so-called “war on terrorism” is in reality, a desperate last-
ditch effort to avoid losing control. The new surveillance, police and military
doctrines being enacted are designed to enable the arrest, imprisonment,
torture and assassination of anyone they label a terrorist or supporter of
terrorists. These are the measures of a corrupt, dieing and desperate system.

The current direction of the American government is toward bankruptcy. The
vast majority of the nation’s resources are being allocated toward covert
operations, military aggression, prisons and removing responsibility from the
wealthy for their actions. Social services, education, local governments,
retirement systems and the environment are all being sacrificed.

By definition, this economic system cannot and will not benefit the majority of
the residents of the earth. Unlimited property rights means that the fortunate or
unscrupulous few own vast amounts of property, while the majority own little or
no property. Viewing people as costs, rather than as the purpose of economic
activity, means that unemployment is the rule in most countries and
communities. Cost avoidance, taken to its logical conclusion, leads to an
irrational and irresponsible avoidance of the consequences of ones actions.
Thus, we hear the continuing cry from the wealthy that business costs and
taxes are always too high. They feel they have no responsibility to feed,
shelter, educate and heal those harmed by their business practices.
Maximization of profits leads to theft of resources, falsified financial reporting,
fraud and deception in the management of businesses. The majority of the
world’s population is then left to live with or to attempt to repair the damage
through national and international agencies that are financed by taxing those
who benefit the least from the free market system. The majority of the people
lose their hard-earned investments and savings because, all too often, the
“profits” of the capitalists were actually based upon fraud, deception and false
accounting.

This is not a critique of capitalism, alone. The other Western economic
systems, socialism, communism, feudalism and mercantilism are all founded
on various philosophies about the ownership, production and distribution of
scarce natural resources. None of them is founded upon the godly nature of
the human spirit and its true exalted destiny. Neither do they recognize that all
of creation is holy and that the relationship of humans with nature, spirit, life
and other intelligences determines the true success of human endeavors. This
is why these economic systems have remained foreign and unfulfilling to
African and other non-European nations.

It is necessary, then, that the majority of the world’s people must employ a
different economic system within our cultures. Economic democracy must be
the foundation of our system. The new system must acknowledge that
resources can be scarce neither in reality nor potentiality. Scarcity is an
artificial condition caused by the abuse, hording or misallocation of the world’s
abundant resources. Scarcity is exacerbated by absentee ownership, wherein
the owners of capitol are shielded from the results of their decisions. Local
control and universal participation must be required in economic decisions.
The interests and wellbeing of people and our environment must take
precedence over the interests of the absentee owners of capital. Real profits
are the natural result of producing a needed good or service efficiently.
However, profits must be allocated to employees, the immediate community,
the global African community and, finally, to the absentee investors, instead of
primarily to absentee owners, alone.

Accurate accounting for the actual cost of doing business must be required in
profit & loss statements, including damage to the environment and harm to
employees and communities. Local ownership and control of businesses must
take precedence over absentee ownership. Experiments in many alternative
economic structures have been attempted; from cooperatives to worker-
owned corporations to government ownership of resources. The system we
develop for the future can borrow from these previous experiments. However,
the missing ingredient in all of these systems is the recognition of the spiritual
nature and destiny of humans and all of creation. Universal or cosmic
spirituality must serve as the foundation for the repair and reorientation of the
Africa’s economic system. All commerce must have, as its first priority, the
upliftment and enlightenment or the largest possible number of people.
Technology and capitol, by themselves, do not benefit humans. The
knowledge and skills, or “human capitol” produced by the creations and use of
technology and capitol are the true benefits of economic progress.
2.  THE ECONOMICS OF ABUNDANCE