NOTES FOR THE APPRAISAL OF THE ROLE AND FUTURE OF the CHRISTIAN COUNCIL FOR MONETARY JUSTICE [CCMJ]
The thrust of CCMJ has expanded to be a part of pending systemic change. As an open Council CCMJ is now showing its weakness in terms of its need for people with time and means to sustain and change the networking which has proved so fruitful in increasing awareness, but has achieved little in terms of effective re-design at the roots of our exploitative economic system. No clear executive group exists to execute and audit its strategy and tactics for encouraging initiatives to gain inclusive justice.
The ‘Engagements’ summary on www.ccmj.org/wp shows some of the many agencies now wrestling with related issues. Do they get to the roots that affect:
a] exponential loss of location value to those able to extract ‘rent’,
b] the deep exploitation in the fiscal and monetary systems;
c] the right to the dignity of a basic livelihood to all the offspring of emergent creation.
• CCMJ has emphasised that ‘chaplaincy’ is a valid role for anyone committed to achieving inclusive justice in the ecological community. Its purpose is to affirm and critique; to aid the voluntary audit of a person’s, an organisation’s, or a system’s behaviour in relation to unconsidered, or hidden externalities; myopic forms of exploitation or injustice; Society is profoundly confused about justified Costs, Fair Price and Usurious Profit [See box 2 below]: There is a huge need to learn to detect and affirm theological resonance in matters relating to the creative tension between: • Principles and Pragmatism; • Pastoral care and Prophetic audit; • Money values and intrinsic values; • Re-form [palliatives] and Re-design [curatives] [see box 3 below]
CONCLUSION and DEBATE: We will face a choice as a result of our appraisal on March 8th and 9th – that is to either: a] Adopt this Motion tabled by Canon Peter Dominy that CCMJ should close:
CCMJ Appraisal (8th and 9th March 2014): PROPOSED MOTION by Canon Peter Dominy
Whilst appreciating all that has been accomplished under the banner of CCMJ in over 50 years, it seems to me that the time has come that CCMJ should now cease to exist as a formal entity. The present Chairman has done a heroic job in seeking to draw together those seeking to implement principles of economic justice in our world, but, despite several attempts, it has not been possible to find a successor for him, and he has often found it difficult to enlist support for his various initiatives. Whatever the situation was 50 years ago, there is now a wide variety of organisations, some with a specifically Christian foundations, which are operating in this area, and it seems that those who might have given their energies to CCMJ are giving them to one or other of these. In one sense, this is a cause for great rejoicing. On the other hand, it does suggest that the need for the specific contribution of CCMJ is drawing to an end.
It is possible that the Global Table might continue to be able to function, but as a separate entity, and that would depend on someone being willing to take it on. If there was one organisation to which Associates might be encouraged to give their particular support, I think it could be the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility – http://www.eccr.org.uk. It may not be doing exactly what CCMJ has been doing, but it is a definitely Christian organisation drawing support from all quarters of the Christian community. It does a lot of networking, and subjects with which CCMJ has been concerned are often prominent in its activities. Apart from that, I’m sure we would want to encourage Associates to continue influencing the organisations to which they belong to implement the principles for which CCMJ has stood over the years.
At the same time, I’m sure we would all want to put on record our sincerest gratitude for the magnificent work done by all those who have been office bearers for CCMJ, and, not least, for Peter Challen, without whose tremendous efforts the organisation might have ceased to exist long ago. Any motion for the closure of the organisation should not carry any negative implications about what anyone has done. On the contrary, it could be interpreted that the emergence if so many other organisation is testimony to the faithfulness of those who have laboured so hard in CCMJ. On this basis, I would like to propose the following motion for discussion on March 8th. and 9th:-
“THAT this meeting recognises, with deep regret, that the time has come that CCMJ should cease to exist as a formal entity. At the same time, it wishes to express its deep appreciation to those who have enabled it to function over the last fifty years, especially its present Chairman, Peter Challen. It believes that the witness of CCMJ to principles of economic justice on the basis of the Christian faith has been highly significant, and hopes that Associates will continue that witness in the other organisations to which they are committed.” (Canon) Peter Dominy, 32, Bedwin Street, Salisbury SP1 3UT email@example.com 017l22-238635
b] Offer practical proposals for its continuing in a refreshed pattern to be an advocate of the two major emphases offered in the two boxes below:
|THE CORE OF CCMJ’S CONCERN: ANY FORM OF ‘EXPLOITATION’, ESPECIALLY:
USURY (definition from Anne Pettifor’s ‘The Coming First World Debt Crisis’ 2006 – p135]
Usury is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the fact, or practice of lending money at interest; esp. in later use, the practice of charging excessive or illegal rates of interest for money on loan.”
This is a definition too narrowly framed. It is vital for society to broaden the definition of usury, making it clear and explicit. Anne offers a revised definition to stimulate further debate:
– Usury is the practice of exalting money values over human and environmental values; of creating money at no cost and lending at rates of interest intended not to foster and maintain humanity or the ecosystem; but to
a) accumulate reserves of unearned income;
b) extract wealth from the productive sector in a manner that is parasitic:
c) extract wealth from those from those who lack at wealth (the asset-less); and
d) make a claim on the future.
|SPREAD THE WORD AND HELP US ALL TO THINK ABOUT THESE MATTERS OF INCLUSIVE JUSTICE [Micah 6:8].
A CURRENT STANCE: BOTH/AND ………………to meet the need………….