Andrew Bradstock is Howard Paterson Professor of Theology and Public Issues at the University of Otago, Dunedin. He recently (5 August 2009) delivered a public lecture at the University of Auckland’s School of Theology titled ‘Profits Without Honour?: Economics, spirituality and the current global recession’. I love his opening:
We believe in one Market, the Almighty,
Maker of heaven on Earth,
Of all that is, priced and branded,
True growth from true growth,
Of one being with the Economy.
From this, all value is added.
We believe in Deregulation, once and for all,
The only way to prosperity.
For us and for our salvation,
Reagan and Thatcher were elected
And were made gods.
In their decade they legislated
To take away our economic sins.
They were crucified by the Liberal Media,
But rose again, in accordance with their manifestos.
They ascended in the polls
And are seated at the right hand of Milton Friedman.
We believe in the Invisible Hand,
The giver of economic life.
It has spoken through our profits.
It proceeds from the Law of the Deregulated Market,
And with the Market is worshipped and glorified.
We believe in one Globalised Economy.
We believe in one key business driver
For the increase in Gross Domestic Product.
We acknowledge one bottom line
For the measurement of wealth.
We look for the resurgence of executive compensation packages
And the life of the financial years to come.
Jason, thanks for linking to this. However, it’s a pity you don’t also give a precis of the substance of this very good paper. This opening makes it look superficial – unfortunately it will alienate as many people as it engages.
Jason, an interesting “creed”. But how are we to interpret this text? It does, of course, raise the question of whether corporate profits are evil. And whether, we in turn should benefit from such profit – directly or indirectly. Andrew does a great job of nuancing a response to this.
Following on from Paul’s comment, this “creed”, in isolation from the rest of the paper, leaves an unnecessary separation between Andrew and the benefactor of the chair that he occupies.
I liked the creed very much. It’s been on my office door ever since Andrew did his dry run at Otago
Paul and Grant, thanks for your comments. By way of clarification, my decision to post only the opening of Andrew’s paper is by no means to cast aspersions on the substance of the remainder of his paper. I fact, it was to do the opposite: hence, my provision of the link to the full paper.