Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Let one who is without sin cast the first stone

Criticising bankers seems once again to be the in thing, with politicians and newspaper editors leading the way.

Sadly neither of those groups are the most respected or well-regarded either.

When Jesus was confronted with the question of what do to with a woman who had been condemned for adultery, he confounded onlookers by not calling for her death by stoning but with a question of his own: let one who is without sin cast the first stone.

I do not get any comfort when my politicians blame others or call for heads to roll. Where wrong doing has happened, justice should take its course without needing the interventions of a passing bandwagon.

How can any of us know how we might have fared if we were subject to the same pressures, culture and systemic forces pushing and pulling on us?

I heard a commentator say that the problem of having banks too big to fail was that people had no fear or concept of risk. If the Government will always bail you out then the system will never be fixed. So, is the response is to reintroduce fear in the system?  To make capitalism more capitalist?

Well that's not my take on fixing a system. Relying on the negative forces of greed and fear is no way to go about creating an environment where real and lasting positive change can take place.

The Church of Scotland's Special Commission on the purposes of Economic Activity makes the case for the alternative way of fixing the problem; to change a culture so that capitalism's goals take account of means as well as ends. Wealth creation can be ethical, so long as economic activity includes the principles that reduce inequality, promote mutuality, eliminate poverty and are environmentally sustainable. So let's stop sitting in our glass houses casting stones and start planting some seeds of change.

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