Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Root Out Usury!

All very timely. Part of my Christmas re-reading was Hugh Trevor-Roper's *excellent* book, 'The Rise of Christian Europe.

That book speaks briefly abour 'the general crisis'.

A Google search for:

financial crisis early seventeenth century

lead to:


I did this because my thinking was that some economic distress in the early seventeen century must have led to the 'Civil War' and such distress would have been caused by Henry VIII's legalisation, for the first time in England, of usury.

So, a prior, similar, Google search:

financial crisis early seventeenth century usury

led to a recent book that's beyond my budget but whose Google search entry from the above search looks to be more than interesting! The serach page entry for this book is:

Law and Finance After the Financial Crisis: The Untold Stories of ...
Abdul Karim Aldohni - 2016 - ‎Business & Economics
... the relationality that was seen as being an inherent part of debt also played a significant role in the justification behind the usury laws, and in early seventeenth-century debates about lowering the maximum rate of ...

Somehow, that led to another Google search:

massacre of jews york

And that led to a BBC Religious programming page:


And that BBC page led to:


Which included the paragraphs:

Readmission of Jews to Britain

2006 marked the 350th anniversary of one of the most remarkable turning points in English history: the readmission of Jewish people to England in 1656, after they had been banned from the country some 366 years earlier. Their surprising ally in this was Oliver Cromwell.
Background to the expulsion

Jews have been living in England since Roman and Anglo-Saxon times, but they did not become an organised community until William the Conqueror arrived in 1066. He encouraged Jewish merchants and artisans to move from northern France to England.

Over the next few centuries Jews faced increasing persecution until, in 1290, they were banished altogether.


This made England the first European country to expel Jews, and they remained banned for 366 years. Some Jews stayed in England by hiding their identity and religion but the majority settled in France and Germany.

It wasn't until the 17th century that Jews were allowed back to Britain.

It was Oliver Cromwell who orchestrated the Jews' return after he came to power. He was influenced in this by Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel of Amsterdam, the Jewish ambassador to the Gentiles. On 31 October 1655, Cromwell submitted a seven-point petition to the Council of State calling for Jews to return to Britain.

Cromwell met with resistance at the Whitehall Conference in December that year but resolved to authorise an unofficial readmission.

At that time, the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community had been expelled from Spain. Many exiled Jews headed to Amsterdam, helping to turn it into one of the world's busiest ports. Cromwell saw that the return of the Jews would bring great financial benefits to England.

In 1656 Cromwell made a verbal promise, backed by the Council of State, to allow Jews to return to Britain and practise their faith freely.

As a result, Jews from Holland, Spain and Portugal came to Britain. They became more and more integrated into British society.

For a time, England was one of the most religiously tolerant countries in Europe. But it wasn't until 1858 that English Jews received formal emancipation.

All remarkable to me: particularly, from above:

 'William the Conqueror arrived in 1066. He encouraged Jewish merchants and artisans to move from northern France to England.'

Now, another element in my Christmas re-reading is Henri Pirenne's at-least as excellent book, 'Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe' (Routledge, First published in England in 1936, my copy is of the Ninth! Impression, 1972).

I won't summarise its contents (I use www.bookfinder.com to find inexpensive copies of books) but Chapter IV is superlative: notably Section III 'Money' and Section IV 'Credit and the Traffic in Money".

Briefly, while some Jews were involved in usury (against their scriptural teaching), a ton more 'Christians' (including from time to time 'Christian' 'Churches') were up to their arm pits, too, in ignoring both Old Testament *and* New Testament *prohibitions* on money-lending at interest (usury=any interest), however deviously 'disguised'.

Now, I retain my view that every hierarchy in these times co-inspires the others to hide the complete and utter sinfulness/wickedness/worse of usury ie of capitalism (my definition of capitalism js that it is the use of money to get and accumulate money: just as, previosly and contemporaneously, feudalism was the use of land to get more land, and tribalism the use of slaves to get more slaves.

An unexplored aspect of this is whether Zionism was set up to create Israel as the greatest Tax Haven kn Earth.

After all, every National Debt, for example is, eventually, owned by some family or other.

And the interest payments on those debts must be paid into the 'owners' Bank accounts somewhere . . . The City of London, Jersey, Isle of Man, Turks and Caicos, Tel Aviv?, Jerusalem?

Shades of Chapters 5 and 6 in the Book of Neihimah (for which see JI Paker's book, 'A Passion for Faithfulness'.

Of course, none of this is finger pointing.

Especially since the sustainable, peaceful alternative is well described:

In the plan for Co-operative Socialism.

A plan which Jesus describes as 'The Kingdom kf Heaven'!

I hope this helps!

Quaker John

John Courtneidge

2nd January 2018

Ps and, yes, both Barclays and Lloyds were Christian Quaker Banks and aal bar one cfedit unions and Co-operative Banks are based on interest-charging (usury).

It's simply that it took until now for a not-for-profit, usury-free banking, economic, social and ecological system to be described: the plan for interest-free money and for Co-operative Socialism (see the papers'section at www.interestfreemoney.org for the fullest, at present, background and, under construction www.co-operativesocialism.org with, as an archive www.sustainabilitynotcapitalism.blogspot.com

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