What I Am Saying And What I Am Not Saying

Its easy for some people to get the wrong idea when I talk about world trade being run by Satan. I do NOT mean or advocate things like:

That is not what I am saying at all. I am not an advocate of conspiracy theories. And what is happening is much , much worse than a few babies being sacrificed by witches (though that is still terrible and wrong).

(For why Christians should not be advocates of conspiracy theories click here)

We are talking about the lives of millions of children being sacrificed by heartless decisions for corporate profits. And this isn’t just spiritual warfare, this is real guns, bombs and bullets warfare being cooked up by firms that support violent dictatorships. Forget about the moon and stars on your toilet paper for a moment and think of an 8 year child making your running shoes in a sweatshop in Asia or the women who are kidnapped, raped and forced into prostitution. Think of the people dying from mercury poisoning or asbestos poisoning years after the companies involved knew their products were unsafe and yet they still refused to stop dumping mercury or producing asbestos sheeting. Think of all the people burned to death in exploding cars or killed because their tires were faulty and the manufacturer knew all along that this was going to be the case. Think of the grinding poverty and utter desperation in Asian nations affected by the currency crisis or of sweat-stained gold miners in South Africa who livelihoods go up and down as gold is speculated on by brokers thousands of miles away. This isn’t accidental, its evil and its Satanic.

By Satanic I mean a lot more than merely demonic and I mean a lot more than just “bad” or “in error”. By Satanic I mean that Satan himself is deeply concerned with and runs world trade even though many of the participants are completely and utterly oblivious to this. Trade is where the will of Satan is done on earth. Trade is where his lust and greed and his voracious appetite for adulation are best satisfied. Through trade he “deceives the kings of the earth”. When Satan wants to deceive kings and presidents and prime ministers he doesn’t go personally to them with his hoofs and horns and a pitchfork; neither does he write a book full of heretical doctrine which they probably don’t have the time or interest to read; instead the Devil uses money and he traps them into binding trade agreements. He dazzles them with profits, and visions of happy voters, and the illusions of material prosperity; after all -“It’s the economy, stupid.”

Probably the clearest illustration of this is “gold rush fever” as in Edgar Allen Poe’s tale “The Gold Bug”. You have probably read about the murders, lawlessness and crime that accompany a gold rush and how people leave good jobs and families to go and pan for gold. You will have learned how miners kill each other over a nugget or a claim. Outside observers are puzzled at this “gold madness” that seems to turn otherwise decent people into desperate criminals and the church always bemoans the lawlessness. Few people understand that this is not just rational or emotional but spiritual. Gold rush fever is a pure spirit of Satanic materialism. This spirit of materialism reorients the value system of people caught up under its influence. There is a noticeable abandonment of ethics and morality. Drunkenness, prostitution, gambling and murder become normal and theft is seen as the greatest wrong of all. All that matters is matter – in this case gold. Gold has become an idol, which is worshipped by that mining community, and this total focus on material prosperity drives out all spiritual values. This moral vacuum results in a general lack of restraint, which manifests as crime and havoc. Satan is attempting to create this wild and lawless, materialistic and idolatrous “gold rush” mentality on a global scale. He wants the world fixated on fast money, desperate for a profit and abandoning all ethics and morality to do so. He wants a world that has complete disregard for God. 

It is this unrestrained and lawless economy that I consider to be Satanic and which I am opposed to. I am not opposed to normal, good honest business activity.  By secular profession I am a careers consultant and a strong advocate of business and entrepreneurship. I train executives in EQ skills, leadership skills and take career options seminars. I believe in business, I have owned a business and I enjoy business. However my primary motive for being a careers consultant is because I enjoy seeing lives transformed at the end of the day. I am not in it “just for the money”.

Surveys show that 80% of people in business are like me – they work because they believe in what they are doing and the money is of secondary importance. Somewhere in a long forgotten business book I read a quote that went something like this: “To a business money is like oxygen, you die pretty quickly without it, but no-one lives just to breathe.” For most people running a local garage or corner store, or managing a private school or farming potatoes in Idaho, “money is like oxygen” is a pretty good summary of how they feel. They are good ordinary honest folk that like fixing cars, selling groceries, delivering first class education or growing potatoes but they also have kids to feed and educate and bills to pay so they aren’t going to do it for free. They need to run their businesses well and turn over a decent profit but if you said to them “You are just in this for the money” they would be grievously insulted.

However if you said to a currency trader “You are just in this for the money” he would probably reply: “What else is there?” or “That’s the bottom line in this business”. It’s a different world, a totally and utterly materialistic world. A world where what you do does not teach kids or grow potatoes or fix cars or help families buy their groceries; a world in which you do not deliver a product of any sort. Where people just invest. Where traders buy and sell on the basis of facts and figures without any thought of even the most fundamental moral consequences. Lets be clear about this, morality is not just a bunch of rules cooked up by a bitter spinsters intent on making sure no-one has any fun. Basic morality is about justice and justice is not intended as a restriction on free trade - it is intended as a restriction on crime. If justice gets in your way - its because you are a criminal.

So as I talk about world trade being Satanic please remember I am not talking about normal businesses. I am talking about the frenzied, amoral, gold-rush, speculative mentality of pure market activity divorced from actual production. I am talking about the “of course we are just in it for the money” mentality. Also I am not attacking particular individuals as much as a system that is evil and wrong

There is a deep unease about where the markets are taking the world and this unease is being felt even by those who are most a part of the market system. Even as big a name as George Soros has expressed strong reservations about the system he is part of and become a trenchant critic of the excesses of globalization. Impressed by the work of Karl Popper he critiques the markets as being excessively individualistic and laissez-faire and having given way to social Darwinism and predatory practices. In his 1998 article “Towards The Global Society” he starts off by saying that the current economic practices and theories have led to unequal distribution of wealth, to market instability, and has created conditions for the unregulated rise of monopolies and oligopolies, as well as undermining the viability and social and economic roles of government. He then goes on to say:

This brings me to the most nebulous problem area, the question of values and social cohesion. Every society needs some shared values to hold it together. Market values on their own cannot serve that purpose, because they reflect only what one market participant is willing to pay another in a free exchange. Markets reduce everything, including human beings (labor) and nature (land), to commodities. We can have a market economy but we cannot have a market society. In addition to markets, society needs institutions to serve such social goals as political freedom and social justice. There are such institutions in individual countries, but not in the global society. The development of a global society has lagged behind the growth of a global economy. Unless the gap is closed, the global capitalist system will not survive. When I speak of a global society, I do not mean a global state. States are notoriously imperfect even at the national level. We need to find new solutions for a novel situation, although this is not the first time that a global capitalist system has come into being. Similar conditions prevailed at the turn of the century. Then the global capitalist system was held together by the imperial powers. Eventually, it was destroyed by a conflict between those powers. But the days of the empires are gone. For the current global capitalist system to survive, it must satisfy the needs and aspirations of its participants.

This gap between the market economy and the market society is what this book is trying to address, but from a spiritual and biblical perspective looking at a wider set of forces than economists do. Later we will spend a whole section looking at why decent people in good companies make terrible decisions and why philosophers and deeply philanthropic people like  George Soros are still enmeshed in a system that causes untold suffering. The system itself is distorted from below. There is a serious and deep twist put into it by Satan, and while God has not yet given up on the market, and the silver and gold are still His, the market is difficult and rebellious and quite possibly among the least redeemable parts of life on earth.

Is it really that bad? Lets look at some statistics from the website ww.globalissues.org the references backing up these statistics are also given there:

Half the world -- nearly three billion people -- live on less than two dollars a day. 1

The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the poorest 48 nations (i.e. a quarter of the world's countries) is less than the wealth of the world's three richest people combined. 2

Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. 3

Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn't happen. 4

51 percent of the world's 100 hundred wealthiest bodies are owned by corporations. 5

The wealthiest nation on Earth has the widest gap between rich and poor of any industrialized nation. 6

The poorer the country, the more likely it is that debt repayments are being extracted directly from people who neither contracted the loans nor received any of the money. 7

20% of the population in the developed nations, consume 86% of the worlds goods. 8

The top fifth of the world's people in the richest countries enjoy 82% of the expanding export trade and 68% of foreign direct investment -- the bottom fifth, barely more than 1%. 9

In 1960, the 20% of the world's people in the richest countries had 30 times the income of the poorest 20% -- in 1997, 74 times as much. 10

An analysis of long-term trends shows the distance between the richest and poorest countries was about :  3 to 1 in 1820
11 to 1 in 1913
35 to 1 in 1950
44 to 1 in 1973
72 to 1 in 1992

"The lives of 1.7 million children will be needlessly lost this year [2000] because world governments have failed to reduce poverty levels" 12

The developing world now spends $13 on debt repayment for every $1 it receives in grants. 13

A few hundred millionaires now own as much wealth as the world's poorest 2.5 billion people. 14

"The 48 poorest countries account for less than 0.4 per cent of global exports." 15

"The combined wealth of the world's 200 richest people hit $1 trillion in 1999; the combined incomes of the 582 million people living in the 43 least developed countries is $146 billion." 16

"Of all human rights failures today, those in economic and social areas affect by far the larger number and are the most widespread across the world's nations and large numbers of people." 17

"Approximately 790 million people in the developing world are still chronically undernourished, almost two-thirds of whom reside in Asia and the Pacific" 18

"7 Million children die each year as a result of the debt crisis. 8525038 children have died since the start of the year 2000 [as of March 24, 2001]." 19

For economic growth and almost all of the other indicators, the last 20 years [of the current form of globalization, from 1980 - 2000] have shown a very clear decline in progress as compared with the previous two decades [1960 - 1980]. For each indicator, countries were divided into five roughly equal groups, according to what level the countries had achieved by the start of the period (1960 or 1980). Among the findings:

  • Growth: The fall in economic growth rates was most pronounced and across the board for all groups or countries.
  • Life Expectancy: Progress in life expectancy was also reduced for 4 out of the 5 groups of countries, with the exception of the highest group (life expectancy 69-76 years).
  • Infant and Child Mortality: Progress in reducing infant mortality was also considerably slower during the period of globalization (1980-1998) than over the previous two decades.
  • Education and literacy: Progress in education also slowed during the period of globalization.

As I write this chapter, world events this week confirm the above statistics:

·         A contract for $200 billion USD was awarded to Lockheed for the manufacture of the Strike Fighter jet. Given that the combined GDP of the 43 poorest nations is $146 billion this contact is a HUGE amount of money. Given that over a billion people live on less than $1 a day this contract could have fed all those 1.3 billion people for 5 months. Instead it will go largely into the pockets of a few huge companies and generate just 8000 jobs over 30 years.

·         Three hundred and seventy Middle-Eastern refugees (including Afghans) drown trying to reach Australia as a part of a people-smuggling racket.

·         The Taliban government of Afghanistan is confirmed as playing an active part in the world drug trade and supplies 80% of the world’s opium – from which heroin is made.

·         Statistics came out here in the Philippines saying that  forty percent of the population live in poverty and 27% live in the deepest form of poverty known as “absolute poverty”.

·         The International Labor Organization says that child prostitution constitutes between 14-16% of the GDP of Thailand.

Just this weeks events illustrate where the money is going, and where it is NOT going. They illustrate how desperate poverty connects with drug trafficking and people smuggling, which then connect with terrorism in Afghanistan. There is something deeply wrong, and it’s deliberately wrong, but there is no one person who forces it to go wrong. It’s a deep perverse warp in the way money flows in world trade. When this warp becomes too bad and the iniquities too deep God sends His prophets and gives a chance for repentance, if they are ignored – judgment follows.

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