Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rent = Usury

There is a species of Christianist out there in the world who seeks to differentiate between Christianity and Judaism by focusing on the fact that Judaism does not have a blanket prohibition against usury.  To be fair, these days, neither does Christianity.  But once Christianity had what I call a "soft ban" against usury in that it allowed the lending of money at interest, just not by Christians.  Of course, that is utter hypocrisy, and the fact that anybody today seeks to damn the Jews of today for a practice countenanced by Christian leaders of yesteryear is beyond my comprehension.

However, I am not in a position to contravene creed-on-creed crime.  There is just too much hate there for anybody to reason with.

Instead, I'd rather posit that the concept of "usury" reaches far beyond the charging of interest for loans of money but includes the charging of interest for the loan of any of Polanyi's false commodities: money, property and labor.  Rent is usury.  As are the wages that most employers are willing to pay their workers.

Anything that works to make the debt-money vortex siphon value from the bottom upwards is usury.  This includes things as innocuous as the corporate form, which privatizes profits while socializing the actual cost of those profits.