God and Mammon

27 results back to index


pages: 378 words: 102,966

Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf, David Wann, Thomas H Naylor, David Horsey

big-box store, Community Supported Agriculture, Corrections Corporation of America, disinformation, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, God and Mammon, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Mark Shuttleworth, McMansion, medical malpractice, new economy, Peter Calthorpe, Ralph Nader, Ray Oldenburg, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, The Great Good Place, trade route, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra, young professional

The earliest of Jesus’s disciples and believers lived in simple communities where they shared all things in common and preached that “the love of money is the root of all evil.” “I think one of the most riveting passages in the New Testament is where Christ warns about Mammon, which is the power of wealth, the power of money,” says Dr. Richard Swenson, a physician who lectures widely in evangelical churches. “Christ says you cannot serve both God and Mammon. He didn’t say it’s hard, it’s difficult, it’s tricky. He said it’s impossible.”10 In fact, one of Jesus’s final public acts was a stinging rebuke to the affluenza that had begun to permeate his society. By chasing the money-lenders from the temple and overturning their tables, he challenged physically (one might even say, violently) a profane commercialism that had crept into even the holiest of places.

John’s favorite ad mocks no real product but shows a handsome young businessman who says he’s one of many who are turning to “Mammon,” because “I want a religion that doesn’t complicate my life with unreasonable ethical demands.” It’s an obvious play on Christ’s declaration that “you cannot serve both God and Mammon.” “We’re not the biggest player in the spiritual arena, but we’re the fastest growing,” the Mammon anti-ad declares. It’s a subtle but powerful reminder of the decline of true spirituality in the Age of Affluenza. Perhaps the most successful of Adbusters’ parodies were its anti-smoking ads. In one of them, two Marlboro Man-type cowboys ride side by side in the sunset.


pages: 518 words: 143,914

God Is Back: How the Global Revival of Faith Is Changing the World by John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge

affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, David Brooks, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, global supply chain, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, industrial cluster, intangible asset, invisible hand, Iridium satellite, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, liberation theology, low skilled workers, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shock, Peace of Westphalia, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, stem cell, supply-chain management, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus

THE NOT-SO-SHINING CITΥ From the very beginning America was an unusual mixture of the religious and the secular. Some of the first settlers were religious zealots, fleeing from persecution; some were businessmen, bent on making money; and still others were a combination of the two, worshipping God and Mammon at the same time (and, in Max Weber’s view, worshipping Mammon all the more successfully because they worshipped God). The hundred or so settlers who alighted from the May flower at Plymouth Harbor were certainly zealots. They had fled England, first for the Netherlands and then for America, because of theological quarrels; and they worked hard to organize their lives according to scripture.2 The death penalty awaited not just murderers but also witches, heretics, adulterers and sodomites.

Every year ten thousand to twelve thousand delegates converge on the city to attend the SBC’s annual convention, the largest in the country. The city also houses the SBC’s huge commercial arm, LifeWay Christian Resources, whose building sports a 108-foot-tall cross. Appropriately enough, the Southern Baptist Convention building is situated on Commerce Street. Nashville is the place where God and Mammon happily coexist. Some of the religious businesses are service businesses catering to the local faithful: 7 percent of the city’s business travelers are part of faith-based groups. But, as with country music, Nashville produces most of its religion business for export. Nashville is America’s biggest religious publishing center, producing more Bibles than any other city in the world, largely thanks to Thomas Nelson.


Masters of Mankind by Noam Chomsky

affirmative action, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, failed state, God and Mammon, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, Martin Wolf, means of production, Nelson Mandela, nuremberg principles, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit maximization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, union organizing, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Westphalian system

How would we react if the Luftwaffe named its lethal weapons “Jew” and “Gypsy”? The British record is much the same. Britain pursued its divine mission in the evangelization of Africa, while exercising in India “a trusteeship mysteriously placed in their hands by Providence,” easy to comprehend in a country “where God and Mammon seemed made for each other.”10 Figures of the highest moral integrity and intelligence gave a secular version of the creed, strikingly John Stuart Mill in his extraordinary apologetics for British crimes, written just as they peaked in India and China, in an essay now taken to be a classic of the literature of “humanitarian intervention.”


Global Financial Crisis by Noah Berlatsky

accounting loophole / creative accounting, asset-backed security, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Celtic Tiger, centre right, circulation of elites, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate raider, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, energy security, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Food sovereignty, George Akerlof, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, Money creation, moral hazard, new economy, Northern Rock, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, shareholder value, South China Sea, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, working poor

Wall Street is hardly superior when it comes to generosity and detachment from worldly goods. We need simpler rules, ones that tackle the real issues. But more than rules, we need personal conversion. The apostle Paul identified the issue 2,000 years ago: the love of money is the root of all evils (1 Timothy 6: 10). He concurred with Jesus, who said, You cannot serve God and mammon [wealth or greed personified] (Matthew 6: 24). The goods of this world are good. But we have to pursue them in the right order, guided by love of God and neighbor. It applies to personal life and it applies to finance. Wisdom 30 Causes of the Global Financial Crisis shuns greed. Prudence depends on the moral virtues, as Aristotle taught.


pages: 309 words: 86,909

The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger by Richard Wilkinson, Kate Pickett

basic income, Berlin Wall, clean water, Diane Coyle, epigenetics, experimental economics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, God and Mammon, impulse control, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, moral panic, offshore financial centre, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

At the other extreme is mutual interdependence and co-operation, in which each person’s security depends on the quality of their relationships with others, and a sense of self-worth comes less from status than from the contribution made to the wellbeing of others. Rather than the overt pursuit of material self-interest, affiliative strategies depend on mutuality, reciprocity and the capacity for empathy and emotional bonding. In practice, of course, god and mammon coexist in every society and the territory of each varies depending on the sphere of life, the economic system and on individual differences. EARLY EXPERIENCE So different are the kinds of society which humans have had to cope with that the processes which adapt us to deal with any given social system start very early in life.


pages: 355 words: 92,571

Capitalism: Money, Morals and Markets by John Plender

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, bank run, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, bond market vigilante , bonus culture, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, diversification, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Carville said: "I would like to be reincarnated as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.", James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour market flexibility, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, money market fund, moral hazard, moveable type in China, Myron Scholes, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit motive, quantitative easing, railway mania, regulatory arbitrage, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, too big to fail, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Veblen good, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

As for finance, he declared that ‘of all the modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural’ – a sentiment that resonates down the ages in the light of recurring financial crises.3 Then came the New Testament, with its low view of worldly goods and its uncompromising assertion that it was impossible to serve both God and Mammon. Jesus had no time for the rich, suggesting that it was well-nigh impossible for them to enter the kingdom of heaven. And then, of course, there was the apostle Paul, that terrible old curmudgeon, who launched the definitive anti-materialist assault in his letter to Timothy, where he declared that the love of money was the root of all evil.


pages: 395 words: 94,764

I Never Knew That About London by Christopher Winn

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, Clapham omnibus, Desert Island Discs, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, God and Mammon, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Nick Leeson, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble

The Monument Monumental THE MONUMENT RISES above Fish Hill, close to where the Roman bridge came ashore and where London began. The view from the top is awe-inspiring. All around, a forest of spires and towers and turrets thrust upwards, striving for the light, a perfect metaphor for the struggle between God and Mammon. The godly spires more than hold their own, even as the towers of commerce grow ever higher and bolder. The writer James Boswell came here in 1762 to climb the 311 steps to what was then the highest viewpoint in London. Half-way up he suffered a panic attack, but he persevered and made it to the top, where he found it ‘horrid to be so monstrous a way up in the air, so far above London and all its spires’.


pages: 312 words: 91,538

The Fear Index by Robert Harris

algorithmic trading, backtesting, banking crisis, dark matter, family office, Fellow of the Royal Society, fixed income, Flash crash, God and Mammon, high net worth, implied volatility, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, Renaissance Technologies, speech recognition, two and twenty

He seemed on the point of tears. ‘Dear guests, we are honoured by your presence, by your friendship, and by your trust. I truly believe we are present at the birth of a whole new force in global asset management, the product of the union of cutting-edge science and aggressive investment – or, if you prefer, of God and Mammon.’ More laughter. ‘At which happy event, it seems to me only right that we should stand and raise our glasses to the genius who has made it possible – no, no, not to me.’ He beamed down at Hoffmann. ‘To the father of VIXAL-4 – to Alex!’ With a scrape of chair legs, a chorus of ‘To Alex!’ and a peal of clinking cut glass, the investors stood and toasted Hoffmann.


pages: 1,194 words: 371,889

The scramble for Africa, 1876-1912 by Thomas Pakenham

active measures, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, centre right, clean water, colonial rule, Etonian, European colonialism, God and Mammon, imperial preference, Khartoum Gordon, land reform, out of africa, Scramble for Africa, spice trade, spinning jenny, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

Britain had pioneered the exploration and evangelization of Central Africa, and she felt a proprietary right to most of the continent. Besides, there was a vital interest at stake for Britain. As the only great maritime Empire, she needed to prevent her rivals obstructing the steamer routes to the East, via Suez and the Cape. That meant digging in at both ends of Africa. And it was in Protestant Britain, where God and Mammon seemed made for each other, that Livingstone’s words struck the deepest chord. The ‘3 cs’ would redeem Africa. That was not the way Africans perceived the Scramble. There was a fourth ‘c’ – conquest – and it gradually predominated. At first European expeditions were too weak to challenge African rulers.

If the main IAA was to be a front for King Leopold and the Belgians, why should the French committee not be a front for the French? At that time the French committee did not know what to think, their loyalties were so divided. Imagine the dilemma of the chairman, Ferdinand de Lesseps. How to serve four masters at the same time: Leopold, France, God and Mammon? Brazza felt no such division in his loyalty. He was heart and soul behind his adopted country. He made a renewed appeal to Jauréguiberry, brazenly offering to steal a march on Stanley and the Belgians. He could ‘plant the French flag at Stanley Pool’ (the economic key to the upper Congo because it was at the end of the cataracts and the beginning of the navigable river system) ‘before the Belgians do the same’.2 Stanley himself was laboriously hacking and blasting his way from the Congo estuary to the Pool, bypassing the series of cataracts which blocked the final 200 miles of the lower river.

They would have to be administered until they were ready for self-government, whenever that might be. Did this mean a return to the cynical sham of the mandate system? But an irreversible change had occurred in the world’s attitude to colonies in the twenty-seven years since the end of the First World War. Gone was the empire-building alliance of God and Mammon that had helped to launch the Scramble. Now the imperialists were on the defensive. Both the men of God and the men of business had begun to see that formal empire was counterproductive. Colonies were becoming unfashionable. Even before the beginning of the Second World War, Britain had committed herself to grant India her independence on the model of the white dominions.


pages: 382 words: 105,166

The Reckoning: Financial Accountability and the Rise and Fall of Nations by Jacob Soll

accounting loophole / creative accounting, bank run, Bear Stearns, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, delayed gratification, demand response, discounted cash flows, double entry bookkeeping, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, God and Mammon, High speed trading, Honoré de Balzac, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, new economy, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, South Sea Bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route

On his return, the man chastised him for not investing them to create more wealth: “Thou shouldst therefore have entrusted my money to the bankers, and on my return I should have got back my own with interest.”18 Matthew was not clear on whether it is man’s duty to create bounty on the earth. He warned, “You cannot serve God and Mammon.” Humans were supposed to work hard, make money, but recognize that in the end, it was only Mammon, or sinful greed. Over and over again, Matthew insisted on the separation between the earthly world of sinners and the true nourishment given only by God: “Not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.”


pages: 401 words: 115,959

Philanthrocapitalism by Matthew Bishop, Michael Green, Bill Clinton

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Bob Geldof, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, business process outsourcing, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, cleantech, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Dava Sobel, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, don't be evil, family office, financial innovation, full employment, global pandemic, global village, God and Mammon, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Ida Tarbell, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Live Aid, lone genius, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, mass affluent, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Singer: altruism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit maximization, profit motive, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, wealth creators, winner-take-all economy, working poor, World Values Survey, X Prize

(So far, Wirth concedes, there have been no other big individual donors to the foundation, since “they all view this as Ted’s deal.”) As ever, Turner is optimistic that the foundation will continue to thrive, despite the lack of hard data to back him up. “It’s so clear to so many people that the U.N. Foundation is a good idea,” he says. SIR JOHN TEMPLETON broke new ground in the spheres of both God and Mammon. It took a peculiar optimism to invest in European stocks in 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War, particularly when nearly a third of the shares were in firms that were already bankrupt. Yet this sort of high-risk investing at “points of maximum pessimism” characterized Templeton’s career, and made him a billionaire.


pages: 384 words: 112,971

What’s Your Type? by Merve Emre

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, card file, correlation does not imply causation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, God and Mammon, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, Ida Tarbell, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, late capitalism, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, p-value, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Socratic dialogue, Stanford prison experiment, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

The Briggs-Myers Type Indicator, which Ohmann first purchased from Hay in 1949 to sort Standard Oil’s workers, offered him the perfect solution to preserving the “wholeness of the personality”—a way of introducing people to their true selves and convincing them the work they were doing was a natural extension of how God had created them. The fact that it might also help enhance productivity seemed, to Ohmann, the ideal marriage of “higher and more enduring spiritual values” to the realities of corporate work. In its primordial form, the idea of “work-life balance” was a bargain struck between God and mammon, brokered in large part by the Briggs-Myers Type Indicator, Ohmann told Hay and Isabel. Despite the prescience of Ohmann’s vision—it must have reminded her of her mother’s mystical talk of type—Isabel did not share his sense of spiritual charity when it came to type. The benefits of knowing one’s type did not accrue to all workers equally.


pages: 419 words: 119,476

Posh Boys: How English Public Schools Ruin Britain by Robert Verkaik

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Alistair Cooke, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Brixton riot, disinformation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Etonian, G4S, gender pay gap, God and Mammon, income inequality, Khartoum Gordon, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Livingstone, I presume, loadsamoney, mega-rich, Neil Kinnock, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Robert Gordon, Robert Mercer, school vouchers, Steve Bannon, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, trade route, traveling salesman, unpaid internship

Johnson is not afraid of brandishing his elitism to enhance his leadership credentials. He exploits his training in classics and rhetoric to convey an aura of a divine right to rule. Duffell recalls one occasion which brought all this together in one act: ‘On the steps of St Paul’s, Boris commanded the Occupy [protest] movement: “In the name of God and Mammon, go!” Was it a lark – Boris doing Monty Python? Or a coded message, announcing someone who, for ten years, heard the King James Bible read in chapel at Eton? Those who don’t recognise this language, it suggests, have no right to be here, so they should just clear off.’ This kind of language is not only out of step with a modern democracy but, in the wrong hands, it can also damage the national interest.


pages: 582 words: 136,780

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded by Simon Winchester

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, cable laying ship, global village, God and Mammon, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, lateral thinking, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, South China Sea, spice trade, trade route, undersea cable

The collisions between Arab-inspired Islam and its agents, and the money-driven,. trade-driven West and hers, have been many and various: those that occurred in the East Indies in the latter part of the nineteenth century are now, when seen from today's perspective, classics of the kind. Islam first came to the East Indies in the thirteenth century, and ironically (considering the present schism between East and West, between spirituality and materialism, between God and Mammon) it came with Arab traders who were in search of business there. There is a grave of a sultan in north Sumatra that dates from 1211. There is another, at Gresik in east Java, which sports designs indicating that it was carved by masons from India in 1419. A late-fifteenth-century mosque in Demak, on the north coast of Java about 300 miles east of Batavia, was clearly the result of architectural compromises between Javanese and Arab builders.


pages: 448 words: 142,946

Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein

Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Bretton Woods, capital controls, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, corporate raider, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, disintermediation, diversification, fiat currency, financial independence, financial intermediation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, global supply chain, God and Mammon, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, land value tax, Lao Tzu, liquidity trap, McMansion, means of production, Money creation, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Scramble for Africa, special drawing rights, spinning jenny, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons

From at least the time that Jesus threw the money changers from the temple, we have sensed that there is something unholy about money. When politicians seek money instead of the public good, we call them corrupt. Adjectives like “dirty” and “filthy” naturally describe money. Monks are supposed to have little to do with it: “You cannot serve God and Mammon.” At the same time, no one can deny that money has a mysterious, magical quality as well, the power to alter human behavior and coordinate human activity. From ancient times thinkers have marveled at the ability of a mere mark to confer this power upon a disk of metal or slip of paper. Unfortunately, looking at the world around us, it is hard to avoid concluding that the magic of money is an evil magic.


pages: 458 words: 134,028

Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Tomorrow's Big Changes by Mark Penn, E. Kinney Zalesne

addicted to oil, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Biosphere 2, call centre, corporate governance, David Brooks, Donald Trump, extreme commuting, Exxon Valdez, feminist movement, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, haute couture, hygiene hypothesis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, independent contractor, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, labor-force participation, late fees, life extension, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mobile money, new economy, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Rubik’s Cube, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, the payments system, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white picket fence, women in the workforce, Y2K

It integrates data from the RAND Terrorism Chronology and RAND-MIPT Terrorism Incident databases, the Terrorism Indictment database, and DFI International’s research on terrorist organizations, and is funded through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Grants and Training. Key articles for this chapter include Bruce Hoffman, “We Can’t Win if We Don’t Know the Enemy,” Washington Post, March 25, 2007; George Packer, “Knowing the Enemy,” New Yorker, December 18, 2006; Daniel Pipes, “God and Mammon: Does Poverty Cause Militant Islam?,” National Interest, Winter 2002; and Alan B. Krueger and Jitka Maleckova, “Seeking the Roots of Terrorism,” Chronicle of Higher Education, June 6, 2003. In particular, the studies on terrorists in Egypt, Lebanon, and Israel are summarized in the latter piece.


pages: 1,106 words: 335,322

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow

business cycle, California gold rush, collective bargaining, death of newspapers, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, endowment effect, family office, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, God and Mammon, Ida Tarbell, income inequality, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, New Journalism, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, passive investing, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price discrimination, profit motive, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, The Chicago School, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Thorstein Veblen, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, white picket fence, yellow journalism

—San Francisco Chronicle “You can read the book as a sympathetic portrait of a complex man, a business history, a legal battle, or simply as a great yarn.” —Business Week “It is hard to imagine a better biography of Rockefeller being written. . . . An enthralling biography of an enthralling person.” —Chicago Tribune “A monumental and mesmerizing biography . . . a fascinating yarn, capturing a man who insisted he could serve God and Mammon.” —The San Diego Union-Tribune “A richly textured and engagingly lively portrait. . . . It is a remarkable story and Chernow tells it with confidence and clarity . . . probably the last word on a genuine titan.” —Daily News “Rockefeller lived one of the great American lives, and Chernow has provided him with one of the great American biographies.”

Where Rockefeller differed most from his fellow moguls was that he wanted to be both rich and virtuous and claim divine sanction for his actions. Perhaps no other businessman in American history has felt so firmly on the side of the angels. Critics were quick to spy an oily sanctimony in this servant of God and Mammon and wonder why his religious beliefs didn’t trammel his acquisitive nature. They converted him into a wily Machiavellian or a stock figure from a Balzac novel—the pious, cunning hypocrite who showily attends church on Sunday then spends the rest of the week trampling rivals underfoot. More generous critics argued that he simply led parallel lives, with a complete separation of his public and private selves.


The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community by David C. Korten

Albert Einstein, banks create money, big-box store, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, clean water, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, death of newspapers, declining real wages, different worldview, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, God and Mammon, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, joint-stock company, land reform, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Monroe Doctrine, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, new economy, peak oil, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Project for a New American Century, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sexual politics, shared worldview, social intelligence, source of truth, South Sea Bubble, stem cell, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, trade route, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, World Values Survey

So let us now take a brief look at the formation of the colonial empires of the modern European nation-states and their transmogrification into the institutions of the global corporate empires of the late twentieth century as the ruling class negotiated an end run around the modern democratic challenge to its power and privilege. CHAPTER 7 Modern Empire No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24 As we look deeper for the soul of capitalism, we find that, in the terms of ordinary human existence, American capitalism doesn’t appear to have one. In the economic sphere, efficiency trumps community. Maximizing returns comes before family or personal loyalty. What seems priceless in one realm may be wasted freely or even destroyed by the other.1 William Greider By the reckoning of Western historians, the modern era began in 1500.


pages: 613 words: 151,140

No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Brixton riot, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, Farzad Bazoft, feminist movement, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, greed is good, illegal immigration, index card, John Bercow, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, light touch regulation, Live Aid, loadsamoney, long peace, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, negative equity, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, old-boy network, popular capitalism, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sloane Ranger, South Sea Bubble, spread of share-ownership, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Winter of Discontent, young professional

As the traders arrived at work, they set their computers to sell shares at whatever price they could get, in the expectation that prices would continue to fall. The strategy depended, of course, on someone else being prepared to bet that shares would rise, but there were no takers, so the computers had to set share prices ever lower to attract buyers. After the crash ‘portfolio insurance’ was deemed to be a bad idea.2 Thus it appeared that both God and Mammon had signalled that capitalism was collapsing, as revolutionary Marxists had been predicting for so long. In that same month, October 1987, a coroner’s jury brought in a verdict of unlawful killing in the inquest into 188 people who had died in Britain’s worst peacetime disaster at sea for nearly seventy years, when a roll-on roll-off car ferry capsized just outside the Belgian port of Zeebrugge on 6 March 1987.


pages: 522 words: 162,310

Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History by Kurt Andersen

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, animal electricity, anti-communist, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, Burning Man, California gold rush, Celebration, Florida, centre right, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, disinformation, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, God and Mammon, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, high net worth, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, large denomination, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, McMansion, Mikhail Gorbachev, Minecraft, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, placebo effect, pre–internet, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Snapchat, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y2K, young professional

What about Jesus, who wasn’t really “blessed financially” and regularly hated on the rich in favor of the poor? When I searched Osteen’s site for references to Mark 10:21 (“Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven”) or Matthew 6:24 (“No man can serve two masters….Ye cannot serve God and mammon”) and 19:24 (“easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God”) or any of the brutal first verses of James 5 (“Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you”), the result was No Results. “God puts desires in your heart,” Osteen says, and “there’s nothing wrong with having a nice home.”


pages: 565 words: 164,405

A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World by William J. Bernstein

Admiral Zheng, asset allocation, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, British Empire, call centre, clean water, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Doha Development Round, domestication of the camel, double entry bookkeeping, Eratosthenes, financial innovation, Gini coefficient, God and Mammon, ice-free Arctic, imperial preference, income inequality, intermodal, James Hargreaves, John Harrison: Longitude, Khyber Pass, low skilled workers, non-tariff barriers, Paul Samuelson, placebo effect, Port of Oakland, refrigerator car, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, two and twenty, upwardly mobile, working poor, zero-sum game

The slave-laden vessels proceeded on the southbound journey to Alexandria (one of whose entrances was called the Pepper Gate) or to Cairo, where they filled their holds with pepper, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves brought by Arab traders from points east. This trade gave the Genoese a financial and strategic leg up against their Venetian rivals. The end of the crusader outposts in the Levant was clearly hastened by the slave-soldiers conveyed by the Genoese, who seemed to have little trouble choosing between God and Mammon. In the words of the historian Andrew Ehrenkreutz, When compared with all the materialistic benefits obtained from the businesslike relations with the Mamluks, the final humiliation of the Cross in the Levant was of small concern to the hard-headed Christians of Genoa.33 Just as quickly as the demand for the Bosphorus-Black Sea slave route arose, it collapsed with the dissolution of the Ilkhan Mongol threat and the fall of Acre and Tyre in 1291.


pages: 612 words: 200,406

The Last Spike: The Great Railway, 1881-1885 by Pierre Berton

banking crisis, business climate, California gold rush, centre right, Columbine, financial independence, God and Mammon, Khartoum Gordon, mass immigration, transcontinental railway, unbiased observer, young professional

The Winnipegger jumped to the obvious conclusion that the stranger wanted to buy the property and informed him that it had already been sold at eight hundred dollars a front foot. He “was unable to realize the possibility of any one coming to Winnipeg for any other purpose than to learn how real estate was going.” Certainly, the dividing line between God and Mammon was blurred that hectic winter. Early in February, the trustees of Knox Presbyterian Church succumbed to the craze. The church occupied a valuable corner lot at the junction of Fort and Portage; it had cost twenty-two thousand dollars to build; the land had been secured for a few hundred. The trustees announced that the building would be auctioned off on February 18, 1882, to the highest bidder.


pages: 716 words: 192,143

The Enlightened Capitalists by James O'Toole

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, City Beautiful movement, collective bargaining, compensation consultant, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, desegregation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, end world poverty, equal pay for equal work, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, greed is good, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inventory management, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, means of production, Menlo Park, North Sea oil, passive investing, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Socratic dialogue, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, stocks for the long run, stocks for the long term, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, traveling salesman, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, Vanguard fund, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional

They were on their way financially; yet Tom was unhappy, and wasn’t sure why. After a visit with his Episcopalian priest, he did something unprecedented in the history of business leadership: he enrolled in the Harvard Divinity School as a graduate student in theology, and commuted to his company headquarters in Maine to spend two and half days a week. GOD AND MAMMON Chappell had always been a devote Episcopalian, but he had kept his business interests separate from his spiritual life. That changed in 1986 after a series of disagreements with his hired professional managers over what constituted “success” in their business. They were certain success was measured by profit margins, but Tom wasn’t so sure that was all there was to it.


pages: 1,152 words: 266,246

Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris

addicted to oil, Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Doomsday Clock, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, market bubble, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pink-collar, place-making, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, upwardly mobile, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

The harder his taxmen squeezed, the more problems mounted. Philip’s subjects—breeding like mice in a barn, caught between starvation and the state, and seeing their contributions spent on quarrels in faraway countries with peoples of whom they knew nothing—increasingly fought back. In the 1560s Philip even managed to push God and Mammon into the same camp. The normally stolid Dutch burghers, persecuted by the Habsburgs for their Protestantism and burdened by heavier taxes, went on an altar-smashing, church-desecrating rampage. Losing the wealthy Netherlands to a nest of Calvinists was unthinkable, so Philip sent in the army, only for the Dutch to raise one of their own.


pages: 1,205 words: 308,891

Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can't Explain the Modern World by Deirdre N. McCloskey

Airbnb, Akira Okazaki, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, British Empire, business cycle, buy low sell high, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, Costa Concordia, creative destruction, critique of consumerism, crony capitalism, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, Ferguson, Missouri, fundamental attribution error, Garrett Hardin, Georg Cantor, George Akerlof, George Gilder, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, God and Mammon, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, Hans Rosling, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, immigration reform, income inequality, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Harrison: Longitude, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, lake wobegon effect, land reform, liberation theology, lone genius, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, new economy, North Sea oil, Occupy movement, open economy, out of africa, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Pax Mongolica, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Philip Mirowski, Pier Paolo Pasolini, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, positional goods, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, refrigerator car, rent control, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, spinning jenny, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, the rule of 72, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, Toyota Production System, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, union organizing, very high income, wage slave, Washington Consensus, working poor, Yogi Berra

The job was, as Kadane puts it, “to watch oneself for the smallest sign of deviation from the godly course.”27 Ryder watched himself with the intensity of a Woody Allen character under psychoanalysis, and for the same reason: his modern life in trade, he believed, might corrupt his soul. He wrote—Ryder could have been a writer of hymns—“The dangers numerous are which every saint surround / Each worldly pleasure has its snare if riches do abound.”28 It is an ancient theme, that one cannot serve both God and mammon. The sin of pride in possessions or in success leads away from God, as does pride in anything here below. As Ryder put the matter in another of his hymnlike lines: “If I’m concerned too much with things below / It makes my progress heavenward but slow.”29 “By daily striving for worldly achievements undertaken to honor God,” Kadane writes, “Ryder risked transforming his successes into excesses and his achievements into vanity.”


pages: 913 words: 299,770

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

active measures, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, American ideology, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, death of newspapers, desegregation, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, friendly fire, full employment, God and Mammon, Howard Zinn, Ida Tarbell, illegal immigration, jobless men, land reform, Mercator projection, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Savings and loan crisis, Seymour Hersh, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, very high income, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration

South Vietnam needs foreign investment to finance these and other developments. . . . She has a large labor pool of talented, industrious people whose cost of labor is far less than Hong Kong, Singapore, or even Korea or Taiwan. . . . I also feel there is much profit to be made there. The combination of serving both God and Mammon had proved attractive to Americans and others in the past. . . . Vietnam can be the next “take off” capitalistic showplace in Asia. In the spring of 1975, everything that radical critics of American policy in Vietnam had been saying—that without American troops, the Saigon government’s lack of popular support would be revealed—came true.


pages: 1,590 words: 353,834

God's Bankers: A History of Money and Power at the Vatican by Gerald Posner

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, central bank independence, centralized clearinghouse, centre right, credit crunch, disinformation, dividend-yielding stocks, European colonialism, forensic accounting, God and Mammon, Index librorum prohibitorum, Kickstarter, liberation theology, medical malpractice, Murano, Venice glass, offshore financial centre, oil shock, operation paperclip, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, WikiLeaks, Yom Kippur War

Winston, “Chicago Archbishop Under US Inquiry on Funds,” The New York Times, September 11, 1981, 16. See also Andrew M. Greeley, Furthermore! Memories of a Parish Priest (New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 2000), Google ebook edition 2011, 88–89; Hoffman, Anatomy of the Vatican, 64; Alexander L. Taylor III, “God and Mammon in Chicago,” Time, September 21, 1981; Linda Witt and John McGuire, “A Deepening Scandal Over Church Funds Rocks a Cardinal and His Controversial Cousin,” People, September 28, 1981. 34 Ibid.; Barry W. Taylor, “Diversion of Church Funds to Personal Use: State, Federal and Private Sanctions,” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 73, no. 3, Article 16, 1205–06.