Usury Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Usury. Here they are! All 130 of them:

We will go out into the world and plant gardens and orchards to the horizons, we will build roads through the mountains and across the deserts, and terrace the mountains and irrigate the deserts until there will be garden everywhere, and plenty for all, and there will be no more empires or kingdoms, no more caliphs, sultans, emirs, khans, or zamindars, no more kings or queens or princes, no more quadis or mullahs or ulema, no more slavery and no more usury, no more property and no more taxes, no more rich and no more poor, no killing or maiming or torture or execution, no more jailers and no more prisoners, no more generals, soldiers, armies or navies, no more patriarchy, no more caste, no more hunger, no more suffering than what life brings us for being born and having to die, and then we will see for the first time what kind of creatures we really are.
Kim Stanley Robinson (The Years of Rice and Salt)
Whenever human activity is directed exclusively to the service of the instinct for self-preservation it is called theft or usury, robbery or burglary etc
Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf)
Usury is the cancer of the world, which only the surgeon's knife of fascism can cut out of the life of the nations.
Ezra Pound (What is Money For?)
Care for us! True, indeed! They ne'er cared for us yet: suffer us to famish, and their storehouses crammed with grain; make edicts for usury, to support usurers; repeal daily any wholesome act established against the rich, and provide more piercing statutes daily to chain up and restrain the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will; and there's all the love they bear us.
William Shakespeare (Coriolanus)
USURY: Everybody's looking for the job in which you never have to pay anyone their pound of flesh. Self-employed nirvana. A lot of artists like to think of themselves as uncompromising; a lot of management consultants won't tell you what they do until they've sunk five pints. I don't think anybody should give themselves air just because they don't have to hand over a pound of flesh every day at 5pm, and I don't think anyone should beat themselves with broken glass because they do. If you're an artist, well, good for you. Thank your lucky stars every evening and dance in the garden with the fairies. But don't fool yourself that you occupy some kind of higher moral ground. You have to work for that. Writing a few lines, painting a pretty picture - that just won't do it.
Zadie Smith (On Beauty)
In reality, there is no materialist like the artist, asking back from life the double and the wastage and the cost on what he puts out in emotional usury.
Nancy Milford (Zelda)
And this term usury [τóκoς], which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of making money this is the most unnatural.
Aristotle (Politics)
But this is not a world of free freights. One pays according to an iron schedule--for every strength the balanced weakness; for every high a corresponding low; for every fictitious god-like moment an equivalent time in reptilian slime. For every feat of telescoping long days and weeks of life into mad magnificent instants, one must pay with shortened life, and, oft-times, with savage usury added.
Jack London
Others in the ancient world who denounced usury include Plato, Moses, Muhammad, Aristotle and Buddha. When a line-up like that is in agreement, it is perhaps worth thinking twice about our acceptance of it.
J.M.R. Higgs (KLF: Chaos Magic Music Money)
Johnny Cash isn’t king. Not in this inflationary economy. He should have called himself Johnny Gold, but that sounds too full of usury. But Johnny Duckeggs, now THAT sounds kingly.
Jarod Kintz (Music is fluid, and my saxophone overflows when my ducks slosh in the sounds I make in elevators.)
If Congress has the right under the constitution to issue paper money, it was given them to be used by themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations.
Andrew Jackson
One thing I’ve learned about grief: it’s like a creditor’s bill. You can put off paying, but it eventually falls due, and exacts usurious interest.
Rachel Hartman (Tess of the Road (Tess of the Road, #1))
Alla fine noi siamo 'sta roba qua. Sopravvissuti, imperfetti, pieni di cicatrici che ci siamo fatti tra di noi. Se ci guardi da vicino, ti accorgi che, non si sa come, restiamo attaccati. Siamo tenuti insieme con lo sputo. È così, quando attraversi la vita. Ti usuri. E non puoi più tornare com'eri prima. Ci devi stare. L'importante è che capisci quali sono i pezzi più importanti, quelli di cui non puoi fare a meno, che ti fanno essere quello che sei... E te li tieni stretti.
Zerocalcare (Macerie prime. Sei mesi dopo)
Love one another, fathers," the elder taught (as far as Alyosha could recall afterwards). "Love God's people. For we are not holier than those in the world because we have come here and shut ourselves within these walls, but, on the contrary, anyone who comes here, by the very fact that he has come, already knows himself to be worse than all those who are in the world, worse than all on earth...And the longer a monk lives within his walls, the more keenly he must be aware of it. For otherwise he had no reason to come here. But when he knows that he is not only worse than all those in the world, but is also guilty before all people, on behalf of all and for all, for all human sins, the world's and each person's, only then will the goal of our unity be achieved. For you must know, my dear ones, that each of us is undoubtedly guilty on behalf of all and for all on earth, not only because of the common guilt of the world, but personally, each one of us, for all people and for each person on this earth. This knowledge is the crown of the monk's path, and of every man's path on earth. For monks are not a different sort of men, but only such as all men on earth ought also to be. Only then will our hearts be moved to a love that is infinite, universal, and that knows no satiety. Then each of us will be able to gain the whole world by love and wash away the world's sins with his tears...Let each of you keep close company with his heart, let each of you confess to himself untiringly. Do not be afraid of your sin, even when you perceive it, provided you are repentant, but do not place conditions on God. Again I say, do not be proud. Do not be proud before the lowly, do not be proud before the great either. And do not hate those who reject you, disgrace you, revile you, and slander you. Do not hate atheists, teachers of evil, materialists, not even those among them who are wicked, nor those who are good, for many of them are good, especially in our time. Remember them thus in your prayers: save, Lord, those whom there is no one to pray for, save also those who do not want to pray to you. And add at once: it is not in my pride that I pray for it, Lord, for I myself am more vile than all...Love God's people, do not let newcomers draw your flock away, for if in your laziness and disdainful pride, in your self-interest most of all, you fall asleep, they will come from all sides and lead your flock away. Teach the Gospel to the people untiringly...Do not engage in usury...Do not love silver and gold, do not keep it...Believe, and hold fast to the banner. Raise it high...
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
The main substantive achievement of neoliberalization, however, has been to redistribute, rather than to generate, wealth and income. …[T]his was achieved under the rubric of ‘accumulation by dispossession’. By this I mean the continuation and proliferation of accumulation practices which Marx had treated of as ‘primitive’ or ‘original’ during the rise of capitalism. These include the commodification and privatization of land and the forceful expulsion of peasant populations (compare the cases, described above, of Mexico and of China, where 70 million peasants are thought to have been displaced in recent times); conversion of various forms of property rights (common, collective, state, etc.) into exclusive private property rights (most spectacularly represented by China); suppression of rights to the commons; commodification of labour power and the suppression of alternative (indigenous) forms of production and consumption; colonial, neocolonial, and imperial processes of appropriation of assets (including natural resources); monetization of exchange and taxation, particularly of land; the slave trade (which continues particularly in the sex industry); and usury, the national debt and, most devastating of all, the use of the credit system as a radical means of accumulation by dispossession.
David Harvey (A Brief History of Neoliberalism)
The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of all modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.
Aristotle (Politics)
...the presence of others has become even more intolerable to me, their conversation most of all. Oh, how it all annoys and exasperates me: their attitudes, their manners, their whole way of being! The people of my world, all my unhappy peers, have come to irritate, oppress and sadden me with their noisy and empty chatter, their monstrous and boundless vanity, their even more monstrous egotism, their club gossip... the endless repetition of opinions already formed and judgments already made; the automatic vomiting forth of articles read in those morning papers which are the recognised outlet of the hopeless wilderness of their ideas; the eternal daily meal of overfamiliar cliches concerning racing stables and the stalls of fillies of the human variety... the hutches of the 'petites femmes' - another worn out phrase in the dirty usury of shapeless expression! Oh my contemporaries, my dear contemporaries... Their idiotic self-satisfaction; their fat and full-blown self-sufficiency: the stupid display of their good fortune; the clink of fifty- and a hundred-franc coins forever sounding out their financial prowess, according their own reckoning; their hen-like clucking and their pig-like grunting, as they pronounce the names of certain women; the obesity of their minds, the obscenity of their eyes, and the toneless-ness of their laughter! They are, in truth, handsome puppets of amour, with all the exhausted despondency of their gestures and the slackness of their chic... Chic! A hideous word, which fits their manner like a new glove: as dejected as undertakers' mutes, as full-blown as Falstaff... Oh my contemporaries: the ceusses of my circle, to put it in their own ignoble argot. They have all welcomed the moneylenders into their homes, and have been recruited as their clients, and they have likewise played host to the fat journalists who milk their conversations for the society columns. How I hate them; how I execrate them; how I would love to devour them liver and lights - and how well I understand the Anarchists and their bombs!
Jean Lorrain (Monsieur De Phocas)
In reality, there is no materialist like the artist, asking back from life the double and the wastage and the cost on what he puts out in emotional usury.
Zelda Fitzgerald (Save Me the Waltz: A Novel)
Usurious rates of return are deceitful sirens that sing but to lure the unwary upon the rocks of loss and remorse.
George S. Clason (The Richest Man in Babylon)
But money doesn’t work in the sense that labor or tangible capital expends effort to produce commodities. Credit is debt, and debt extracts interest. Financial salesmen who promise investors, “Make your money work for you” actually mean that society should work for the creditors — and that means for the banks that create credit. The effect is to turn the economic surplus into a flow of interest payments, diverting revenue from tangible capital investment. As the economy’s reproductive powers are dried up, the financialization process is kept going by easing credit terms and lending — not to produce more goods and services, but to bid up prices for the real estate, stocks and bonds being pledged as collateral for larger and larger loans.
Michael Hudson (The Bubble and Beyond)
Care for us! True, indeed! They ne’er cared for us yet: suffer us to famish, and their storehouses crammed with grain; make edicts for usury, to support usurers; repeal daily any wholesome act established against the rich, and provide more piercing statutes daily to chain up and restrain the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will; and there’s all the love they bear us.
William Shakespeare (Complete Works of William Shakespeare)
If we are going to create a financial system that works for all Americans, we have got to stop financial institutions from ripping off the American people by charging sky-high interest rates and outrageous fees. In my view, it is unacceptable that Americans are paying a $4 or $5 fee each time they go to the ATM. It is unacceptable that millions of Americans are paying credit card interest rates of 20 or 30 percent. The Bible has a term for this practice. It’s called usury. And in The Divine Comedy, Dante reserved a special place in the Seventh Circle of Hell for those who charged people usurious interest rates. Today, we don’t need the hellfire and the pitch forks, we don’t need the rivers of boiling blood, but we do need a national usury law.
Bernie Sanders (Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In)
The motivation for taking on debt is to buy assets or claims rising in price. Over the past half-century the aim of financial investment has been less to earn profits on tangible capital investment than to generate “capital” gains (most of which take the form of debt-leveraged land prices, not industrial capital). Annual price gains for property, stocks and bonds far outstrip the reported real estate rents, corporate profits and disposable personal income after paying for essential non-discretionary spending, headed by FIRE [Finance, Insurance, Real Estate]-sector charges.
Michael Hudson (The Bubble and Beyond)
What art Thou then, my God? What, but the Lord God? For who is Lord but the Lord?or who is God save our God? Most highest, most good, most potent, most omnipotent; most merciful, yet most just; most hidden, yet most present; most beautiful, yet most strong; stable, yet incomprehensible; unchangeable, yet all-changing; never new, never old; all-renewing, and bringing age upon the proud and they know it not; ever working, ever at rest; still gathering, yet lacking nothing; supporting, filling, and overspreading; creating, nourishing, and maturing; seeking, yet having all things. Thou lovest, without passion; art jealous, without anxiety; repentest, yet grievest not; art angry, yet serene; changest Thy works, Thy purpose unchanged; receivest again what Thou findest, yet didst never lose; never in need, yet rejoicing in gains; never covetous, yet exacting usury. Thous receivest over and above, that Thou may owe; and who hath ought that is not Thine? Thou payest debts, owing nothing; remittest debts, losing nothing. And what have I now said, my God, my life, my holy joy? or what saith any man when he speaks of Thee? Yet woe to he who speaketh not, since mute are even the most eloquent.
Augustine of Hippo
Since “there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth than over ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance,” let us give joy to heaven. Heaven will render it back to us with usury.
Alexandre Dumas fils (La Dame aux Camélias)
We are realizing our own inseparability from each other and from the totality of all life. Usury belies this union, for it seeks growth of the separate self at the expense of something external, something other.
Charles Eisenstein (Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition)
Today finds Scotland in an extraordinary muddle. First she was free in body, romantic, cultured, and uncivilised, till her government was taken over by a usurious Kirk, weilding power through superstition. The boor for a century, she was repopularised by Scott, adopted as a plaything by a foreign queen, suffered worse than any nation in the industrial upheaval, and finally left an abortive carcase rotting somewhere to the North of England.
George Scott-Moncrieff (Scotland in Quest of Her Youth)
We must conclude, in the light of this evidence, that governments now enjoy an unmerited reputation for solving the problems of human rights and discrimination. On the contrary, affirmative action, EPFEW, and various anti‑discrimination initiatives have backfired, harming the very minorities they were supposed to protect. Government programs such as minimum wage laws, anti‑usury codes, rent controls, and zoning legislation have had unforeseen and negative consequences for the minority peoples, who have been among the greatest victims of discrimination.
Walter Block (The Case for Discrimination)
Then let not winter's ragged hand deface,   In thee thy summer, ere thou be distill'd:   Make sweet some vial; treasure thou some place   With beauty's treasure ere it be self-kill'd.   That use is not forbidden usury,   Which happies those that pay the willing loan;   That's for thy self to breed another thee,   Or ten times happier, be it ten for one;   Ten times thy self were happier than thou art,   If ten of thine ten times refigur'd thee:   Then what could death do if thou shouldst depart,   Leaving thee living in posterity?     Be not self-will'd, for thou art much too fair     To be death's conquest and make worms thine heir.
William Shakespeare (Shakespeare's Sonnets)
The teeth are made from stern stuff. They can withstand floods, fires, even centuries in the grave. But the teeth are no match for the slow-motion catastrophe that is a life of poverty: its burdens, distractions, diseases, privations, low expectations, transience, the addictive antidotes that offer temporary relief at usurious rates. Others
Mary Otto (Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America)
The word must have been in the beginning a magic symbol, which the usury of time wore out. The mission of the poet should be to restore to the word, at least in a partial way, its primitive and now secret force. All verse should have two obligations: to communicate a precise instance and to touch us physically, as the presence of the sea does.
Jorge Luis Borges (The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's Memory)
Melancholy, amorous and barbaric,” these tales exalted adulterous love as the only true kind, while in the real life of the same society adultery was a crime, not to mention a sin. If found out, it dishonored the lady and shamed the husband, a fellow knight. It was understood that he had the right to kill both unfaithful wife and lover. Nothing fits in this canon. The gay, the elevating, the ennobling pursuit is founded upon sin and invites the dishonor it is supposed to avert. Courtly love was a greater tangle of irreconcilables even than usury. It remained artificial, a literary convention, a fantasy (like modern pornography) more for purposes of discussion than for everyday practice.
Barbara W. Tuchman (A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century)
Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create deposits, and with a flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of the bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create deposits.
Josiah Stamp
Contributors and distributors tend to do better at personal branding than takers and fakers.
Ryan Lilly (#Networking is people looking for people looking for people)
Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes that nation's laws. Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation. Until the control of the issue of currency and credit is restored to government and recognized as its most conspicuous and sacred responsibility, all talk of the sovereignty of Parliament and of democracy is idle and futile.
William Lyon MacKenzie
In one sense the reemergence of ancient usury bespeaks a decline in faith. Gift exchange is connected to faith because both are disinterested. Faith does not look out. No one by himself controls the cycle of gifts he participates in; each, instead, surrenders to the spirit of the gift in order for it to move. Therefore, the person who gives is a person willing to abandon control. If
Lewis Hyde (The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property)
...the prairie towns no more exist to serve the farmers who are their reason of existence than do the great capitals; they exist to fatten on the farmers, to provide for the townsmen large motors and social preferment; and, unlike the capitals, they do not give to the district in return for usury a stately and permanent center , but only this ragged camp. It is a "parasitic Greek civilization"--minus the civilization.
Sinclair Lewis (Main Street)
What Mr. Rothschild had discovered was the basic principle of power, influence, and control over people as applied to economics. That principle is "when you assume the appearance of power, people soon give it to you." Mr. Rothschild had discovered that currency or deposit loan accounts had the required appearance of power that could be used to INDUCE PEOPLE [WC emphasis] (inductance, with people corresponding to a magnetic field) into surrendering their real wealth in exchange for a promise of greater wealth (instead of real compensation). They would put up real collateral in exchange for a loan of promissory notes. Mr. Rothschild found that he could issue more notes than he had backing for, so long as he had someone's stock of gold as a persuader to show to his customers. Mr. Rothschild loaned his promissory notes to individuals and to governments. These would create overconfidence. Then he would make money scarce, tighten control of the system, and collect the collateral through the obligation of contracts. The cycle was then repeated. These pressures could be used to ignite a war. Then he would control the availability of currency to determine who would win the war. That government which agreed to give him control of its economic system got his support.
Milton William Cooper (Behold a Pale Horse)
Companions  asked: “O Messenger of Allah, what are those?” He (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “To associate anything with Allah, sorcery (magic), without any just cause killing a life Allah has forbidden, taking interest (usury), usurping the wealth of orphans, turning back from the battlefield, and making a false charge (accusation) against the chaste but unmindful women (i.e. they never even think of anything touching chastity).” (Bukhari and Muslim)
محمد بن عبد الوهاب Muhammad bin Abdul-Wahhab (Kitab At-Tawhid - The Book of Monotheism)
Of this last kind of comparisons is that quoted from the elder Cato, who, when asked what was the most profitable thing to be done on an estate, replied, “To feed cattle well.” “What second best?” “To feed cattle moderately well.” “What third best?” “To feed cattle, though but poorly.” “What fourth best?” “To plough the land.” And when he who had made these inquiries asked, “What is to be said of making profit by usury?” Cato replied, “What is to be said of making profit by murder?
Marcus Tullius Cicero (On Duties)
The most hated sort of such exchange is . . . usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from its natural use. For money was intended as an instrument of exchange, and not as the mother of interest. This usury (tokos), which means the birth of money from money, . . . is of all modes of gain the most unnatural.”75 Money should not breed. Hence “the discussion of the theory of finance is not unworthy of philosophy; but to be engaged in finance, or in money-making, is unworthy of a free man.
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy)
Farmers in the South, West, and Midwest, however, were still building a major movement to escape from the control of banks and merchants lending them supplies at usurious rates; agricultural cooperatives—cooperative buying of supplies and machinery and marketing of produce—as well as cooperative stores, were the remedy to these conditions of virtual serfdom. While the movement was not dedicated to the formation of worker co-ops, in its own way it was at least as ambitious as the Knights of Labor had been. In the late 1880s and early 1890s it swept through southern and western states like a brushfire, even, in some places, bringing black and white farmers together in a unity of interest. Eventually this Farmers’ Alliance decided it had to enter politics in order to break the power of the banks; it formed a third party, the People’s Party, in 1892. The great depression of 1893 only spurred the movement on, and it won governorships in Kansas and Colorado. But in 1896 its leaders made a terrible strategic blunder in allying themselves with William Jennings Bryan of the Democratic party in his campaign for president. Bryan lost the election, and Populism lost its independent identity. The party fell apart; the Farmers’ Alliance collapsed; the movement died, and many of its cooperative associations disappeared. Thus, once again, the capitalists had managed to stomp out a threat to their rule.171 They were unable to get rid of all agricultural cooperatives, however, even with the help of the Sherman “Anti-Trust” Act of 1890.172 Nor, in fact, did big business desire to combat many of them, for instance the independent co-ops that coordinated buying and selling. Small farmers needed cooperatives in order to survive, whether their co-ops were independent or were affiliated with a movement like the Farmers’ Alliance or the Grange. The independent co-ops, moreover, were not necessarily opposed to the capitalist system, fitting into it quite well by cooperatively buying and selling, marketing, and reducing production costs. By 1921 there were 7374 agricultural co-ops, most of them in regional federations. According to the census of 1919, over 600,000 farmers were engaged in cooperative marketing or purchasing—and these figures did not include the many farmers who obtained insurance, irrigation, telephone, or other business services from cooperatives.173
Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)
Speculators, meanwhile, have seized control of the global economy and the levers of political power. They have weakened and emasculated governments to serve their lust for profit. They have turned the press into courtiers, corrupted the courts, and hollowed out public institutions, including universities. They peddle spurious ideologies—neoliberal economics and globalization—to justify their rapacious looting and greed. They create grotesque financial mechanisms, from usurious interest rates on loans to legalized accounting fraud, to plunge citizens into crippling forms of debt peonage. And they have been stealing staggering sums of public funds, such as the $65 billion of mortgage-backed securities and bonds, many of them toxic, that have been unloaded each month on the Federal Reserve in return for cash.21 They feed like parasites off of the state and the resources of the planet. Speculators at megabanks and investment firms such as Goldman Sachs are not, in a strict sense, capitalists. They do not make money from the means of production. Rather, they ignore or rewrite the law—ostensibly put in place to protect the weak from the powerful—to steal from everyone, including their own shareholders. They produce nothing. They make nothing. They only manipulate money. They are no different from the detested speculators who were hanged in the seventeenth century, when speculation was a capital offense. The obscenity of their wealth is matched by their utter lack of concern for the growing numbers of the destitute. In early 2014, the world’s 200 richest people made $13.9 billion, in one day, according to Bloomberg’s billionaires index.22 This hoarding of money by the elites, according to the ruling economic model, is supposed to make us all better off, but in fact the opposite happens when wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few individuals and corporations, as economist Thomas Piketty documents in his book Capital in the Twenty-First Century.23 The rest of us have little or no influence over how we are governed, and our wages stagnate or decline. Underemployment and unemployment become chronic. Social services, from welfare to Social Security, are slashed in the name of austerity. Government, in the hands of speculators, is a protection racket for corporations and a small group of oligarchs. And the longer we play by their rules the more impoverished and oppressed we become. Yet, like
Chris Hedges (Wages of Rebellion)
Now the whole parable and purpose of these last pages, and indeed of all these pages, is this: to assert that we must instantly begin all over again, and begin at the other end. I begin with a little girl’s hair. That I know is a good thing at any rate. Whatever else is evil, the pride of a good mother in the beauty of her daughter is good. It is one of those adamantine tendernesses which are the touchstones of every age and race. If other things are against it, other things must go down. If landlords and laws and sciences are against it, landlords and laws and sciences must go down. With the red hair of one she–urchin in the gutter I will set fire to all modern civilization. Because a girl should have long hair, she should have clean hair; because she should have clean hair, she should not have an unclean home: because she should not have an unclean home, she should have a free and leisured mother; because she should have a free mother, she should not have an usurious landlord; because there should not be an usurious landlord, there should be a redistribution of property; because there should be a redistribution of property, there shall be a revolution. That little urchin with the gold–red hair, whom I have just watched toddling past my house, she shall not be lopped and lamed and altered; her hair shall not be cut short like a convict’s; no, all the kingdoms of the earth shall be hacked about and mutilated to suit her. She is the human and sacred image; all around her the social fabric shall sway and split and fall; the pillars of society shall be shaken, and the roofs of ages come rushing down, and not one hair of her head shall be harmed.
G.K. Chesterton (The G.K. Chesterton Collection [34 Books])
During the battle, Spartacus himself tried with frenzied determination, the symbolism of which is obvious, to reach Crassus, who was commanding the Roman legions. He wanted to perish, but in single combat with the man who symbolized, at that moment, every Roman master; it was his dearest wish to die, but in absolute equality. He did not reach Crassus: principles wage war at a distance and the Roman general kept himself apart. Spartacus died, as he wished, but at the hands of mercenaries, slaves like himself, who killed their own freedom with his. In revenge for the one crucified citizen, Crassus crucified thousands of slaves. The six thousand crosses which, after such a just rebellion, staked out the road from Capua to Rome demonstrated to the servile crowd that there is no equality in the world of power and that the masters calculate, at a usurious rate, the price of their own blood.
Albert Camus
Treating the cause of high prices and interest rates in low-income neighborhoods as the product of personal greed or exploitation, and attempting to remedy the problem through the imposition of price controls and interest rate caps. , it only ensures that people living in low-income neighborhoods have even less chance of accessing these services in the future. Just as rent control reduces the supply of housing, price and interest rate control can reduce the number of stores, pawn shops, local finance companies, and check-paying agencies willing to operate in costly neighborhoods. higher, when those costs cannot be recovered through legally permitted prices and interest rates. The only alternative for many residents of low-income neighborhoods may end up being to exit the legal market of financial institutions and ask for money from usurious lenders, who set even higher interest rates and have their own collection methods.
Thomas Sowell (Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy)
It may be remarked in passing that success is an ugly thing. Men are deceived by its false resemblances to merit. To the crowd, success ears almost the features of true mastery, and the greatest dupe of this counterfeit talent is History. Juvenal and Tacitus alone mistrust it. In these days an almost official philosophy has come to dwell in the house of Success, wear its livery, receive callers in its ante-chamber. Success in principle and for its own sake. Prosperity presupposes ability. Win a lottery-prize and you are a clever man. Winners are adulated. To be born with a caul is everything; luck is what matters. Be fortunate and you will be thought great. With a handful of tremendous exceptions which constitute the glory of a century, the popular esteem is singularly short-sighted. Gilt is as good as gold. No harm in being a chance arrival provided you arrive. The populace is an aged Narcissus which worships itself and applauds the commonplace. The tremendous qualities of Moses, an Aeschylus, a Dante, a Michelangelo or a Napoleon are readily ascribed by the multitude to any man, in any sphere, who has got what he set out to get - the notary who becomes a deputy, the hack playwright who produces a mock-Corneille, the eunuch who acquires a harem, the journeyman-general who by accident wins the decisive battle of an epoch. The profiteer who supplies the army of the Sambre-et-Meuse with boot-soles of cardboard and earns himself an income of four hundred thousand a year; the huckster who espouses usury and brings her to bed of seven or eight millions; the preacher who becomes bishop by loudly braying; the bailiff of a great estate who so enriches himself that on retirement he is made Minister of Finance - all this is what men call genius, just as they call a painted face beauty and a richly attired figure majesty. The confound the brilliance of the firmament with the star-shaped footprints of a duck in the mud.
Victor Hugo
For the laborers as such, there is in these new captains of industry neither love nor hate, neither sympathy nor romance; it is a cold question of dollars and dividends. Under such a system all labor is bound to suffer. Even the white laborers are not yet intelligent, thrifty, and well trained enough to maintain themselves against the powerful inroads of organized capital. The results among them, even, are long hours of toil, low wages, child labor, and lack of protection against usury and cheating. But among the black laborers all this is aggravated, first, by a race prejudice which varies from a doubt and distrust among the best element of whites to a frenzied hatred among the worst; and, secondly, it is aggravated, as I have said before, by the wretched economic heritage of the freedmen from slavery. With this training it is difficult for the freedman to learn to grasp the opportunities already opened to him, and the new opportunities are seldom given him, but go by favor to the whites.
W.E.B. Du Bois (The Souls of Black Folk)
Recognizing how most great fortunes had been built up in predatory ways, through usury, war lending and political insider dealings to grab the Commons and carve out burdensome monopoly privileges led to a popular view of financial magnates, landlords and hereditary ruling elite as parasitic by the 19th century, epitomized by the French anarchist Proudhon’s slogan “Property as theft.” Instead of creating a mutually beneficial symbiosis with the economy of production and consumption, today’s financial parasitism siphons off income needed to invest and grow. Bankers and bondholders desiccate the host economy by extracting revenue to pay interest and dividends. Repaying a loan – amortizing or “killing” it – shrinks the host. Like the word amortization, mortgage (“dead hand” of past claims for payment) contains the root mort, “death.” A financialized economy becomes a mortuary when the host economy becomes a meal for the financial free luncher that takes interest, fees and other charges without contributing to production.
Michael Hudson (Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy)
But to kill men leads to nothing but killing more men. For one principle to triumph, another principle must be overthrown. The city of light of which Spartacus dreamed could only have been built on the ruins of eternal Rome, of its institutions and of its gods. Spartacus’ army marches to lay siege to a Rome paralyzed with fear at the prospect of having to pay for its crimes. At the decisive moment, however, within sight of the sacred walls, the army halts and wavers, as if it were retreating before the principles, the institutions, the city of the gods. When these had been destroyed, what could be put in their place except the brutal desire for justice, the wounded and exacerbated love that until this moment had kept these wretches on their feet.2 In any case, the army retreated without having fought, and then made the curious move of deciding to return to the place where the slave rebellion originated, to retrace the long road of its victories and to return to Sicily. It was as though these outcasts, forever alone and helpless before the great tasks that awaited them and too daunted to assail the heavens, returned to what was purest and most heartening in their history, to the land of their first awakening, where it was easy and right to die. Then began their defeat and martyrdom. Before the last battle, Spartacus crucified a Roman citizen to show his men the fate that was in store for them. During the battle, Spartacus himself tried with frenzied determination, the symbolism of which is obvious, to reach Crassus, who was commanding the Roman legions. He wanted to perish, but in single combat with the man who symbolized, at that moment, every Roman master; it was his dearest wish to die, but in absolute equality. He did not reach Crassus: principles wage war at a distance and the Roman general kept himself apart. Spartacus died, as he wished, but at the hands of mercenaries, slaves like himself, who killed their own freedom with his. In revenge for the one crucified citizen, Crassus crucified thousands of slaves. The six thousand crosses which, after such a just rebellion, staked out the road from Capua to Rome demonstrated to the servile crowd that there is no equality in the world of power and that the masters calculate, at a usurious rate, the price of their own blood.
Albert Camus (The Rebel)
From Smith's principle that labor is the true measure of price—or, as Warren phrased it, that cost is the proper limit of price—these three men (Josiah Warren, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon and Karl Marx) made the following deductions: that the natural wage of labor is its product; that this wage, or product, is the only just source of income (leaving out, of course, gift, inheritance, etc.); that all who derive income from any other source abstract it directly or indirectly from the natural and just wage of labor; that this abstracting process generally takes one of three forms, interest, rent, and profit; that these three constitute the trinity of usury, and are simply different methods of levying tribute for the use of capital; that, capital being simply stored-up labor which has already received its pay in full, its use ought to be gratuitous, on the principle that labor is the only basis of price; that the lender of capital is entitled to its return intact, and nothing more; that the only reason why the banker, the stockholder, the landlord, the manufacturer, and the merchant are able to exact usury from labor lies in the fact that they are backed by legal privilege, or monopoly; and that the only way to secure to labor the enjoyment of its entire product, or natural wage, is to strike down monopoly.
Frank H Brooks (The Individualist Anarchists: Anthology of Liberty, 1881-1908)
usury
Winston Graham (The Angry Tide (Poldark #7))
Usury is an act of Violence against Art, which is the child of Nature and hence the Grandchild of God. (By
Dante Alighieri (The Divine Comedy: (inferno, purgatorio, paradiso))
The indignation and rage of the small merchant against the monopolies was given eloquent expression by Luther in his pamphlet “On Trading and Usury,” printed in 1524. “They have all commodities under their control and practice without concealment all the tricks that have been mentioned; they raise and lower prices as they please and oppress and ruin all the small merchants, as the pike the little fish in the water, just as though they were lords over God’s creatures and free from all the laws of faith and love".
Erich Fromm (Escape from Freedom)
Usury is the characteristic fact of the present system of civilization; and usury depends for its existence upon this super-added, social, unnatural value, which is given artificially to the material of the circulating medium.
William Batchelder Greene (Mutual Banking)
The existing organization of credit is the daughter of hard money, begotten upon it incestuously by that insufficiency of circulating medium which results from laws making specie the sole legal tender.
William Batchelder Greene (Mutual Banking)
Legislation has created usury; and the Mutual Bank can destroy it. Usury is a result of the legislation which establishes a particular commodity as the sole article of legal tender; and, when all commodities are made to be ready money through the operation of Mutual Banking, usury will vanish.
William Batchelder Greene (Mutual Banking)
When the existence of the Church is threatened, she is released from the commandments of morality. With unity as the end, the use of every means is sanctified, even deceit, treachery, violence, usury, prison, and death. Because order serves the good of the community, the individual must be sacrificed for the common good. Ludwig von Pastor, History of the Popes, from the Close of the Middle Ages, after Dietrich von Nieheim in De modis uniendiae reformandi ecclesiam, 1410
Arthur Koestler (Darkness at Noon)
You may lend with usury to strangers, but unto your brother you shall not charge interest,
Bart Marshall (The Torah: The Five Books of Moses)
— Le patron ? Un vrai juif ! Et vous savez, les juifs on ne les changera jamais. Quelle race ! Et il cita des traits étonnants d’avarice, de cette avarice particulière aux fils d’Israël, des économies de dix centimes, des marchandages de cuisinière, des rabais honteux demandés et obtenus, toute une manière d’être d’usurier, de prêteur à gages.
Guy de Maupassant (Bel-Ami)
Another question fell out with him, about some bargains he had made with some poor men, members of the same congregation, to whom he had sold seven bushels and an half of corn to receive ten for it after harvest, which the governor and some others held to be oppressing usury, and within compass of the statute; but he persisted to maintain it to be lawful, and there arose hot words about it, he telling the governor, that, if he had thought he had sent for him to his house to give him such usage, he would not have come there; and that he never knew any man of understanding of other opinion; and that the governor thought otherwise of it, it was his weakness.
John Winthrop (Winthrop's Journal, History of New England, 1630-1649: Volume 1)
Usury-money is the money of growth, and it was perfect for humanity's growth stage on earth and for the story of Ascent, of dominance and mastery . The next stage is one of cocreative partnership with earth. The Story of the People for this new stage is coming together right now. Its weavers are the visionaries of fields like permaculture, holistic medicine, renewable energy, mycoremediation, local currencies, restorative justice, attachment parenting, and a million more. To undo the damage that the Age of Usury has wrought on nature, culture, health, and spirit will require all the gifts that make us human, and indeed is so impossibly demanding that it will take those gifts to a new level of development.
Charles Eisenstein (Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition)
Money: hand-over-fist money, sweat-of-brow money, burnout money. Finger-to-the-bone money, under-the-table money, black money, dirty money, filthy lucre, money-changing-in-the-temple, thirty-pieces-of-silver money, blasphemous, usurious, treacherous money; profits, taxes, bribes, licenses, fees, levies, octrois, tariffs; middlemen, policemen, watchmen; painters, carpenters, dyers, writers, weavers; doctors, teachers, preachers, judges, accountants, barristers; wives, widows, cooks, servants, slaves, prostitutes, concubines; lewd men, austere men, gamblers, hoarders; Catholics, Roundheads, conformists, Baptists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Parsis, Armenians; black men, brown men, yellow men, white; reformers, saviours, visionaries, criminals; all in pursuit of money, money, money.
Bharati Mukherjee (The Holder of the World)
Pleasure given in society, like money lent in usury, returns with interest to those who dispense it.
Frances Burney (Cecilia : By Frances Burney and Fanny Burney - Illustrated)
The ban on “usury” was a signal example of the Church’s resistance to commercial innovation. Banking and credit were crucial to the development of larger-scale commercial enterprises. By restricting the availability of credit, the Church retarded growth.
James Dale Davidson (The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age)
Commercial “silver” debts among traders and other entrepreneurs were not subject to these debt jubilees. Rulers recognized that productive business loans provide resources for the borrower to pay back with interest, in contrast to consumer debt. This was the contrast that medieval Schoolmen later would draw between interest and usury.
Michael Hudson (...and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year (THE TYRANNY OF DEBT Book 1))
Keynes concluded that citizens both rich and poor would have to be led gradually out of capitalism, a base and repugnant system of morals. His fellow liberals in the 1920s debated the morality and efficacy of capitalism, as well as the correctness of the view that, as one Liberal politician put it, “man’s primary concern is to satisfy in ever ampler degree his physical needs.” For Keynes, this might be human nature, but his entanglement with Bateson and Pearson had immersed him in the notion that biological nature was malleable. Greed would be driven out not just by education but by the eugenic cultivation of “special talents.” It would be replaced by “some of the most sure and certain principles of religion and traditional virtue—that avarice is a vice, that the exaction of usury is a misdemeanour, and the love of money is detestable, that those walk most truly in the paths of virtue and sane wisdom who take least thought for the morrow.” In the meantime, however, Keynes conceded capitalism’s efficacy. In order to improve productivity to the point where everyone’s needs could be easily satisfied, the coming century still demanded devotion to the god of greed. The goal of the next hundred years of capitalism would be its own extirpation.
David Roth Singerman
There’s a second reason the liberal class loves microfinance, and it’s extremely simple: microlending is profitable. Lending to the poor, as every subprime mortgage originator knows, can be a lucrative business. Mixed with international feminist self-righteousness, it is also a bulletproof business, immune to criticism. The million-dollar paydays it has brought certain microlenders are the wages of virtue. This combination is the real reason the international goodness community believes that empowering poor women by lending to them at usurious interest rates is a fine thing all around.29
Thomas Frank (Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?)
Ohio hadn’t gone through the same real estate boom as the Sun Belt, but the vultures had circled the carcasses of dying industrial towns––Dayton, Toledo, Mansfield, Youngstown, Akron––peddling home equity loans and refinancing. All the garbage that blew up in people’s faces the same way subprime mortgages had. A fleet of nouveau riche snake oil salesmen scoured the state, moving from minority hoods where widowed, churchgoing black ladies on fixed incomes made for easy marks to the white working-class enclaves and then the first-ring suburbs. The foreclosures began to crop up and then turn into fields of fast-moving weeds, reducing whole neighborhoods to abandoned husks or drug pens. Ameriquest, Countrywide, CitiFinancial––all those devious motherfuckers watching the state’s job losses, plant closings, its struggles, its heartache, and figuring out a way to make a buck on people’s desperation. Every city or town in the state had big gangrenous swaths that looked like New Canaan, the same cancer-patient-looking strip mall geography with brightly lit outposts hawking variations on usurious consumer credit. Those entrepreneurs saw the state breaking down like Bill’s truck, and they moved in, looking to sell the last working parts for scrap.
Stephen Markley (Ohio)
MONOPOLIES, LIKE USURY, were illegal under Church law. Because unnatural. God had given the natural world to all mankind, not to a chosen few. Denying people liberty and keeping prices artificially high, monopolies were obviously a form of stealing and could only lead to perdition.
Tim Parks (Medici Money: Banking, metaphysics and art in fifteenth-century Florence)
The Labyrinth Zeus himself could not undo the web of stone closing around me, I have forgotten the men I was before; I follow the hated path of monotonous walls that is my destiny. Severe galleries which curve in secret circles to the end of the years. Parapets cracked by the day’s usury. In the pale dust I have discerned signs that frighten me. In the concave evenings the air has carries a roar toward me, or the echo of a desolate howl. I know there is an Other in the shadows, whose fate it is to wear out the long solitudes which weave and unweave this Hades and to long for my blood and devour my death. Each of us seeks the other. If only this were the final day of waiting. - S.K.
Jorge Luis Borges (Selected Poems)
Oh? What is rajadharma then?’ Somadeva asked with a chuckle. ‘To protect the weak, to bring prosperity to the masses, to eradicate poverty, to ensure each citizen has enough to fill their stomachs, a roof over their heads and decent clothes to wear, to ensure women can live with dignity, to build hospitals, streets, schools, to protect trade guilds, to prevent usury, to promote compassion not only to humans but to all creations of God—
Anand Neelakantan (Queen of Mahishmathi (Baahubali: Before the Beginning Book 3))
there is a deeper question and it is the explicit Protestant and Saxon philosophy that plans the extinction of the Catholic and Hispanic world vision. This is a task for which over a long time they have been mobilizing a force worse than the military, than usury or any legal fallacies: the penetration by sects which confuse, corrode and consume the remaining vestiges of Christian civilization. (The Black Legends and Hispanic Catholic Culture, pp. 124-125).
Charles A. Coulombe (Puritan's Empire)
For who is Lord but the Lord? or who is God save our God? [134] Most high, most excellent, most potent, most omnipotent; most piteous and most just; most hidden and most near; most beauteous and most strong, stable, yet contained of none; unchangeable, yet changing all things; never new, never old; making all things new, yet bringing old age upon the proud and they know it not; always working, yet ever at rest; gathering, yet needing nothing; sustaining, pervading, and protecting; creating, nourishing, and developing; seeking, and yet possessing all things. Thou lovest, and burnest not; art jealous, yet free from care; repentest, and hast no sorrow; art angry, yet serene; changest Thy ways, leaving unchanged Thy plans; recoverest what Thou findest, having yet never lost; art never in want, whilst Thou rejoicest in gain; never covetous, though requiring usury. [135] That Thou mayest owe, more than enough is given to Thee; [136] yet who hath anything that is not Thine? Thou payest debts while owing nothing; and when Thou forgivest debts, losest nothing.
Augustine of Hippo (The Complete Works of Saint Augustine: The Confessions, On Grace and Free Will, The City of God, On Christian Doctrine, Expositions on the Book Of Psalms, ... (50 Books With Active Table of Contents))
Other Montreal non-Italians also incurred the wrath of the Rizzuto Family during the early years of the 21st century, usually for competitive drug dealing, failure to repay usurious loans, or for running investment schemes in which the family lost money. Those hapless targets received a severe beating, or in some cases were murdered.
D'Arcy O'Connor (Montreal's Irish Mafia: The True Story of the Infamous West End Gang)
If we were to take EarthBound's early hours as material evidence of Shigesato Itoi's impressions of American culture, we would have to consider cruel parents, small-town gangs, abusive cops, weak-willed politicians, usurious property owners, and murderous religious cults as the case. This does not seem inaccurate.
Ken Baumann (EarthBound (Boss Fight Books, #1))
Even for a country where corruption is taken for granted as a part of daily life, the revelations have stunned citizens — for uncovering a wholly new criminal ring smack in the heart of the capital, and for the staggering array of charges involving politicians across the spectrum. The inquiry has blossomed into a national scandal and a reminder that virtually no corner of Italy is immune to criminal penetration. It has also raised fresh questions about Italy’s ability ever to reform itself and fulfill the demands for fiscal responsibility demanded by its eurozone partners. The widespread and unchecked corruption of public money revealed by the inquiry has helped bloat Italy’s national debt to one of the highest levels in Europe. Mr. Carminati and his associates are accused of infiltrating contracts for a wide assortment of tasks including garbage collection and park maintenance. The charges cover a gamut of activities — vote rigging, usury, extortion and embezzlement. Rome’s chief prosecutor, Giuseppe Pignatone, told Italy’s anti-Mafia commission Thursday that new operations were imminent.
Anonymous
What, then, art Thou, O my God—what, I ask, but the Lord God? For who is Lord but the Lord? or who is God save our God? Most high, most excellent, most potent, most omnipotent; most piteous and most just; most hidden and most near; most beauteous and most strong, stable, yet contained of none; unchangeable, yet changing all things; never new, never old; making all things new, yet bringing old age upon the proud and they know it not; always working, yet ever at rest; gathering, yet needing nothing; sustaining, pervading, and protecting; creating, nourishing, and developing; seeking, and yet possessing all things. Thou lovest, and burnest not; art jealous, yet free from care; repentest, and hast no sorrow; art angry, yet serene; changest Thy ways, leaving unchanged Thy plans; recoverest what Thou findest, having yet never lost; art never in want, whilst Thou rejoicest in gain; never covetous, though requiring usury. That Thou mayest owe, more than enough is given to Thee; yet who hath anything that is not Thine? Thou payest debts while owing nothing; and when Thou forgivest debts, losest nothing. Yet, O my God, my life, my holy joy, what is this that I have said? And what saith any man when He speaks of Thee? Yet woe to them that keep silence, seeing that even they who say most are as the dumb.
The Church Fathers (The Complete Ante-Nicene & Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Fathers Collection)
The failure to find adequate funds to finance deficits caused the Spanish Crown to declare bankruptcy in 1557, 1560, 1575, 1596, 1607, 1627, 1647, 1652, 1660, and 1662.14 These bankruptcies were not full debt repudiations, but more like what today would be called debt reschedulings or workouts. The Crown would declare a moratorium on the payment of interest on short-term and floating debt on the grounds that it was usurious and then enter into a prolonged and rancorous negotiation with its creditors.
Francis Fukuyama (The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution)
Yesterday I got a credit card application from a major bank with a variable rate of 12.99% to 20.99%. Such a deal. And what if I fall on hard times and lose my job? So, I wrote them a return letter: Dear major bank, Thank you for the opportunity to express how I really feel about your corporation. What I do appreciate, is that there is no stamp required for your return envelope. After tearing off all my personal information, so some dumpster diver doesn’t fill out your application for me, and find out he picked the wrong target; I just wanted to make one comment: Your practice of usury is despicable, along with crashing the global economy. Danny - I think I have my grandmother’s charm and wit. Too bad she’s not here to share it with. Maybe if every disgruntled person would use that free envelope and apply their creative talent, they might get the picture that we’re tired of this bullshit. Marcie, there are so many people you could visit and test your information extraction program on, so what are you people doing here? Is this just a practice run? Well, you wanted to know what I was thinking. And you wonder why I look to God for solutions. Wake me up when it’s over. Marcie - You are a crazy SOB. You want me to use my system to play Robin Hood. Danny - You’d make an excellent Robin Hood, make sure you get your merry band to sign on. Maybe that’s the reason we were connected by design. How much materialism do you really need? Some people take what they need from the orchard and other people pick the orchard clean. Marcie - You’re wondering what I’m thinking. I don’t want to mess your mind up with what I’m thinking, so let me simply say, I don’t approve of what some of these people have been doing for decades. Who do you think I am? Danny - Someone who frustrates me, don’t we have enough guessing games in life? Marcie - Marcie is a miracle worker, so what does that tell you? You do not even know what to make of me, someone who keeps coming back for you, someone who won’t let go of you. Danny - Why is it that there’s only a handful of words for truth and over 100 synonyms and derivatives for deception? Marcie - Are you surprised? Danny - It puts it in a different light when you start reading through the list. You may as well add amygdala hijacking. Marcie - Has Danny been bamboozled? Danny - You picked one with an unknown origin. Marcie - That is the best way to start a mind game. Danny - Okay, just for kicks, try saying synonym - cinnamon 10 times as fast as you can. From - "The Mind Game Company - The Players
Andrew Neff
First-century listeners would recognize the financial returns described in the parable as inherently dubious instances of acquisitive economic activity (i.e., using money to make money). Moreover, the usual rates of return at that time were 4–12 percent, and anything greater was considered to be oppressive.12 Recall also that in the first century the economy was seen as a “fixed pie” meaning that in order for one person to gain ten pounds (equivalent of three years’ labor), someone else would have to lose ten pounds. In other words, in order for the rich nobleman to get richer, someone else would have to get poorer.13 And finally, note that collecting interest on money went against the usury laws of Hebrew Scriptures, and that elsewhere Jesus is clearly opposed to the exploitive practices of money-changers.14 In sum, although the social elite may have found it commendable to amass riches via five- and tenfold returns on money, it seems likely that the vast majority of people in the first century would have found this to be morally and ethically reprehensible. Is it Responsible
Bruno Dyck (Management and the Gospel: Luke's Radical Message for the First and Twenty-First Centuries)
Back then, being a pawnbroker-merchant was one of the only career options available to Jews. Thanks to a papal decree centuries earlier, usury laws forbade Christians from lending for profit. So Jews took over the moneylending trades, becoming pawnbrokers, small trade merchants, and wizards of finance.
Kenneth L. Fisher (100 Minds That Made the Market (Fisher Investments Press))
What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews?’ Luther offered seven actions. First, to set fire to their synagogues and schools . . . Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb . . . Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for Jews. For they have no business in the countryside . . . Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them . . . Seventh, I recommend putting a flail, an axe, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow . . . But if we are afraid that they might harm us . . . then let us emulate the common sense of other nations . . . [and] eject them forever from the country.
Rodney Stark (Reformation Myths: Five Centuries Of Misconceptions And (Some) Misfortunes)
These men always give the same answer-Islam is indestructible because it is founded on simplicity and justice. It has kept those Christian doctrines which are evidently true and which appeal to the common sense of millions, while getting rid of priestcraft, mysteries, sacraments, and all the rest of it. It proclaims and practices human equality. It loves justice and forbids usury. It produces a society in which men are happier and feel their own dignity more than in any other. That is its strength and that is why it still converts people and endures and will perhaps return to power in the near future.
Hilaire Belloc (The Great Heresies and Survivals and New Arrivals)
Pleasure given in society, like money lent in usury, returns with interest to those who dispense it: and the discourse of Mr. Monckton conferred not a greater favour upon Cecilia than her attention to it repaid. And thus, the speaker and the hearer being mutually gratified, they had always met with complacency, and commonly parted with regret.
Frances Burney (Cecilia)
Therefore, be not swayed by the fantastic plans of impractical men who think they see ways to force thy gold to make earnings unusually large. Such plans are the creations of dreamers unskilled in the safe and dependable laws of trade. Be conservative in what thou expect it to earn that thou mayest keep and enjoy thy treasure. To hire it out with a promise of usurious returns is to invite loss.
George S. Clason (The Richest Man in Babylon)
Still more central to his anger and frustration, and lying perhaps at the very roots of his hatred for the capitalist system, was his grotesque incompetence in handling money. As a young man it drove him into the hands of moneylenders at high rates of interest, and a passionate hatred of usury was the real emotional dynamic of his whole moral philosophy. It explains why he devoted so much time and space to the subject, why his entire theory of class is rooted in anti-Semitism, and why he included in Capital a long and violent passage denouncing usury which he culled from one of Luther’s anti-Semitic diatribes.46 Marx
Paul Johnson (Intellectuals: From Marx and Tolstoy to Sartre and Chomsky)
The mathematics of biological reproduction is logically identical with the mathematics of usury. Money earns interest, animals have babies. In
Garrett Hardin (Living within Limits: Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos: Ecology, Economics and Population Taboos)
With a gun a man can rob a bank, with a bank a man can rob the world.
Carter Glass
All of this helps explain why the Church had been so uncompromising in its attitude toward usury. It was not just a philosophical question; it was a matter of moral rivalry. Money always has the potential to become a moral imperative unto itself. Allow it to expand and it can quickly become a morality so imperative that all others seem frivolous in comparison. For the debtor, the world is reduced to a collection of potential dangers, potential tools, and potential merchandise.23 Even human relations become a matter of cost-benefit calculation. Clearly, this is the way the conquistadors viewed the worlds that they set out to conquer.
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
You devour a book meant to be read, not because you would fill yourself or have an anxious care to be nourished, but because it contains such stuff as it makes the mind hungry to look upon. Neither do you read it to kill time, but to lengthen time, rather, adding to its natural usury by living the more abundantly while it lasts, joining another’s life and thought to your own.
Woodrow Wilson (On Being Human)
Today's usury-money is part of a story of separation, in which 'more for me is less for you.' That is the essence of interest: I will only "share" money with you if end up with even more of it in return. On the systemic level as well, interest on money creates competition, anxiety and the polarization of wealth. Meanwhile, the phrase 'more for me is less for you' is also the motto of the ego, and a truism given the discrete and separate self of modern economics, biology, and philosophy. 
Charles Eisenstein (Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition)
Today's usury-money is part of a story of separation, in which "more for me is less for you." That is the essence of interest: I will only "share" money with you if end up with even more of it in return. On the systemic level as well, interest on money creates competition, anxiety and the polarization of wealth. Meanwhile, the phrase "more for me is less for you" is also the motto of the ego, and a truism given the discrete and separate self of modern economics, biology, and philosophy.
Charles Eisenstein (Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition)
A “London Mechanic's Wife” made a point that historians should take to heart: Shall the idiot-like, the stupid and usurious capitalists, tell us to look to our domestic affairs, and say, “these we understand best,” we will retort on them, and tell them that thousands of us have scarce any domestic affairs to look after, when the want of employment on the one hand, or ill-requited toil on the other, have left our habitations almost destitute...
Hal Draper (Women and Class: Toward a Socialist Feminism)
Gifts Make the Tribe The biblical proscription against usury goes all the way back to Moses. The rule was simple: you couldn't charge interest on a loan to anyone in your tribe. Strangers, on the other hand, paid interest. This isn't a matter of ancient biblical archeology; the edict against interest stuck for thousands of years, until around the time of Columbus. It's worth taking a minute to understand the reasoning here. If money circulates freely within the tribe, the tribe will grow prosperous more quickly. I give you some money to buy seeds, your farm flourishes, and now we both have money to give to someone else to invest. The faster the money circulates, the better the tribe does. The alternative is a tribe of hoarders, with most people struggling to find enough resources to improve productivity. Obviously, there's another force at work here. When I make an interest-free loan to you, I'm trusting you and giving you a gift at the same time. This interaction increases the quality of our bond and strengthens the community. Just as you wouldn't charge your husband interest on a loan, you don't charge a tribe member. Strangers, on the other hand, are not to be trusted. Going further, strangers don't deserve the bond that the gift brings. It would turn the stranger into a tribe member, and the tribe is already too big. If I loan money to a stranger, I'm doing it for one reason: to make money. I risk my money, and if all goes well, we both profit. But there's no bond here, no connection. One reason that art has so much power is that it represents the most precious gift we can deliver. And delivering it to people we work with or connect with strengthens our bond with them. It strengthens the tribal connection. When you walk into your boss's office and ask for advice, she doesn't charge you an hourly fee, even if she's a corporate coach or a psychoanalyst, even if you want help with a personal problem. The gift of her time and attention and insight is just that--a gift. As a result, the bond between you strengthens.
Anonymous
We have, in this country, one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board. This evil institution has impoverished the people of the United States and has practically bankrupted our government. It has done this through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.
Louis T. McFadden
Jews were able to leverage their control of the media into control of America's foreign policy and orchestrate the disastrous American invasion of Iraq in 2003. Films like Rosewater and Argo, as well as Binyamin Netanyahu's speeches before the American Congress in 2011 and 2015 are an indication that the Jews are still in control of America's foreign policy, in spite of the Obama administration's attempt to close the nuclear deal with Iran. And that brings us back to Hollywood. Hollywood is the creator of "mass situations," which Reich described in The Mass Psychology of Fascism. In 1965 the Catholics in America lost their nerve. When the Catholics lost their nerve in the war on Hollywood, they lost the Culture Wars. Before long there was no opposition to Jewish control of the media. This led to Jewish control over American foreign policy and the decriminalization of usury.
E. Michael Jones (The Jews and Moral Subversion)
The Bible, and virtually every major religion on earth, has a term for this practice. It’s called “usury.” In The Divine Comedy, Dante reserved a special place in the seventh circle of hell for people who charged usurious interest rates.
Bernie Sanders (Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution)
In The Divine Comedy, Dante reserved a special place in the seventh circle of hell for people who charged usurious interest rates.
Bernie Sanders (Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution)
Nothing but a Thou can be loved and a Thou can exist only for an I. A society in which no one was conscious of himself as a person over against other persons, where none could say 'I love you', would, indeed, be free from selfishness, but not through love. It would be 'unselfish' as a bucket of water is unselfish.
C.S. Lewis
On the antithetical side, the fascist Left, along with its German and Italian comrades, detested economic liberalism (capitalism), religion, usury and financial capital (often due to their ‘Jewishness’), the gold standard, free trade, limited government, low taxation, night-watchman government, rule of law, decentralization, state rights, gun rights, self-ownership, free individual choice and individualism.
L.K. Samuels (Killing History: The False Left-Right Political Spectrum and the Battle between the 'Free Left' and the 'Statist Left')
One thing I've learned about grief: it's like a creditor's bill. You can put off paying, but it eventually falls due, and exacts usurious interest." "Do they send someone to break your fingers?" said Tess, thinking of the Belgiosos. Armando laughed softly. "You find a way to break them yourself." He paused to let her think about what that entailed; she had some idea. "There's a room in my heart full of unpaid bills," he said. "We all have one. It's useful to go in occasionally and open a few.
Rachel Hartman (Tess of the Road (Tess of the Road, #1))
...randomized trials found a surprisingly positive effect from microsavings programs, which help the poor save small amounts of money. One-third of the world's population has no access to bank accounts and must resort to hiding cash somewhere, such as in a shack with no lock. Moreover, impoverished farmers often receive money in large sums just once or twice a year, after a harvest, and then they are deluged with loan requests. The result is pressure to spend money rather than save it...Then there is usury-not just on loans but also on deposits. In West Africa, villagers can deposit money with susu money traders, but they must pay 40 percent interest on their deposits!
Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Everything and Nothing* There was no one inside him; behind his face (which even in the bad paintings of the time resembles no other) and his words (which were multitudinous, and of a fantastical and agitated turn) there was no more than a slight chill, a dream someone had failed to dream. At first he thought that everyone was like him, but the surprise and bewilderment of an acquaintance to whom he began to describe that hollowness showed him his error, and also let him know, forever after, that an individual ought not to differ from its species. He thought at one point that books might hold some remedy for his condition, and so he learned the "little Latin and less Greek" that a contemporary would later mention. Then he reflected that what he was looking for might be found in the performance of an elemental ritual of humanity, and so he allowed himself to be initiated by Anne Hathaway one long evening in June. At twenty-something he went off to London. Instinctively, he had already trained himself to the habit of feigning that he was somebody, so that his "nobodiness" might not be discovered. In London he found the calling he had been predestined to; he became an actor, that person who stands upon a stage and plays at being another person, for an audience of people who play at taking him for that person. The work of a thespian held out a remarkable happiness to him—the first, perhaps, he had ever known; but when the last line was delivered and the last dead man applauded off the stage, the hated taste of unreality would assail him. He would cease being Ferrex or Tamerlane and return to being nobody. Haunted, hounded, he began imagining other heroes, other tragic fables. Thus while his body, in whorehouses and taverns around London, lived its life as body, the soul that lived inside it would be Cassar, who ignores the admonition of the sibyl, and Juliet, who hates the lark, and Macbeth, who speaks on the moor with the witches who are also the Fates, the Three Weird Sisters. No one was as many men as that man—that man whose repertoire, like that of the Egyptian Proteus, was all the appearances of being. From time to time he would leave a confession in one corner or another of the work, certain that it would not be deciphered; Richard says that inside himself, he plays the part of many, and Iago says, with curious words, I am not what I am. The fundamental identity of living, dreaming, and performing inspired him to famous passages. For twenty years he inhabited that guided and directed hallucination, but one morning he was overwhelmed with the surfeit and horror of being so many kings that die by the sword and so many unrequited lovers who come together, separate, and melodiously expire. That very day, he decided to sell his theater. Within a week he had returned to his birthplace, where he recovered the trees and the river of his childhood and did not associate them with those others, fabled with mythological allusion and Latin words, that his muse had celebrated. He had to be somebody; he became a retired businessman who'd made a fortune and had an interest in loans, lawsuits, and petty usury. It was in that role that he dictated the arid last will and testament that we know today, from which he deliberately banished every trace of sentiment or literature. Friends from London would visit his re-treat, and he would once again play the role of poet for them. History adds that before or after he died, he discovered himself standing before God, and said to Him: I , who have been so many men in vain, wish to be one, to be myself. God's voice answered him out of a whirlwind: I, too, am not I; I dreamed the world as you, Shakespeare, dreamed your own work, and among the forms of my dream are you, who like me, are many, yet no one.
Jorge Luis Borges
Of Rome's wealth in the Middle Ages de Rosa says: "The cardinals had huge palaces with countless servants. One papal aide reported that he never went to see a cardinal without finding him counting his gold coins. The Curia was made up of men who had bought office and were desperate to recoup their enormous outlay. . . . For every benefice of see, abbey and parish, for every indulgence there was a set fee. The pallium, the two-inch-wide woollen band with crosses embroidered on it . . . paid for by every bishop. . . brought in. . . hundreds of millions of gold florins to the papal coffers. . . . [T]he Councilof Basle in 1432 was to call it 'the most usurious contrivance ever invented. . . . '" De Rosa continues:       Dispensations were another source of papal revenue. Extremely severe, even impossible, laws were passed so that the Curia could grow rich by selling dispensations . . . [such as] from fasting during Lent. . . . Marriage in particular was a rich source of income. Consanguinity was alleged to hold between couples who had never dreamed they were related. Dispensations from consanguinity in order to marry amounted to a million gold florins a year.26 An Eyewitness Account from Spain D. Antonio
Dave Hunt (A Woman Rides the Beast: Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days)
Psalms 15 1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? 2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoreth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. 5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
Simon Abram (The Psalms)
Usury was seen above all as an assault on Christian charity, on Jesus’s injunction to treat the poor as they would treat the Christ himself, giving without expectation of return and allowing the borrower to decide on recompense (Luke 6:34
David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years)
With Hitler, too, we see a dedicated socialist who, shortly after assuming the leadership of the German Workers’ Party, changed its name to the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP). In statement after statement, Hitler could not be clearer about his socialist commitments. He said, for example, in a 1927 speech, “We are socialists. We are the enemies of today’s capitalist system of exploitation . . . and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.”36 The Nazi Party at the outset offered a twenty-five point program that included nationalization of large corporations and trusts, government control of banking and credit, the seizure of land without compensation for public use, the splitting of large landholdings into smaller units, confiscation of war profits, prosecution of bankers and other lenders on grounds of usury, abolition of incomes unearned by work, profit sharing for workers in all large companies, a broader pension system paying higher benefits, and universal free health care and education. If you read the Nazi platform without knowing its source, you could easily be forgiven for thinking you were reading the 2016 platform of the Democratic Party. Or at least a Democratic platform drafted jointly by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Sure, some of the language is out of date. The Democrats can’t talk about “usury” these days; they’d have to substitute “Wall Street greed.” But otherwise, it’s all there. All you have to do is cross out the word “Nazi” and write in the word “Democrat.
Dinesh D'Souza (The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left)
He looked like an excited sixteen-year-old with his tousled hair and shining eyes. Barbara could not deny she liked him, even though every word he said was repellent to her. With an eloquence that frequently tied itself in knots but was of an unflagging vehemence he explained to her that the faith for which he was fighting was basically revolutionary. 'When the day arrives and our Führer takes over supreme power, then that's the end of capitalism and the economy of the big bosses. The servitude of usury will be abolished. Big banks and stock exchanges that bleed our national economy white can close their doors, and no one will mourn them". Barbara wanted to know why Miklas did not join the Communists if he, like them, was against capitalism. Miklas explained as eagerly as a child reciting a lesson learned by heart. "because the Communists have no patriotism for the fatherland, but are supranational and dependent on Russian Jews. AndCommunists don't know anything about idealism-all Marxists believe that the only purpose in life is money. We want our own revolution-our German, idealistic revolution. Not one that will be directed by Freemasons and the Elders of Zion.
Klaus Mann (Mephisto)
One might think that Protestants, who had been persecuted so viciously for their heresies against Catholic doctrines, would take a dim view of the idea of persecuting heretics, but no. In his 65,000-word treatise On the Jews and Their Lies, Martin Luther offered the following advice on what Christians should do with this “rejected and condemned people”: First, . . . set fire to their synagogues or schools and . . . bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them.... Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed.... Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.... Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb.... Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews.... Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. Seventh, I recommend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen. 3[:19]). For it is not fitting that they should let us accursed Goyim toil in the sweat of our faces while they, the holy people, idle away their time behind the stove, feasting and farting, and on top of all, boasting blasphemously of their lordship over the Christians by means of our sweat. Let us emulate the common sense of other nations . . . [and] eject them forever from the country.35 At
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
Charging interest on loans was thus defined as the ‘sin of usury’, and widely condemned in principle while pretty much ignored in actual practice. In fact, as already noted, by late in the ninth century some of the great religious houses ventured into banking and bishops were second only to the nobility in their reliance on borrowed money. In addition to borrowing from monastic orders, many bishops secured loans from private Italian banks that enjoyed the full approval of the Vatican.
Rodney Stark (Reformation Myths: Five Centuries Of Misconceptions And (Some) Misfortunes)
The need for loans often was so great and so widespread that Italian banks opened branches all across the Continent. Although many bishops, monastic orders and even the Roman hierarchy ignored the ban on usury, opposition to interest lingered. As late as the Second Lateran Council in 1139, the Church ‘declared the unrepentant usurer condemned by the Old and New Testaments alike and, therefore, unworthy of ecclesiastical consolations and Christian burial’.
Rodney Stark (Reformation Myths: Five Centuries Of Misconceptions And (Some) Misfortunes)
I see us free, therefore, to return to some of the most sure and certain principles of religion and traditional virtue—that avarice is a vice . . . and the love of money is detestable. . . . But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight. John Maynard Keynes,
Michael Rhodes (Practicing the King's Economy: Honoring Jesus in How We Work, Earn, Spend, Save, and Give)
I never saw Claben bawled out for his performance, his extortions, yet he was a louse, the worst vile stingy hyena when it came to usury and dishonesty! A skunk when it came to "lend and lease"! Never a day's, a penny's grace...the worst tyrant about extensions...he'd fleece them to zero!...he'd finish off even the most decrepit woebegone wrecks...he'd suck them beyond the bone!...and he'd insult them besides into the bargain!
Louis-Ferdinand Céline (Guignol's Band)
Still, there was prosperity for a few; quick credits to be made in ore processing, local and deep-space transport, and usury. For the Tarkins, wealth came by providing security. Their climb to the top had been hard won. Among Eriadu’s earliest pioneers, the ancestral Tarkins had had to function as their own police force and defenders, countering attacks first by the ferocious predators that thrived in Eriadu’s forests and mountains, then by off-world rogues and scoundrels who preyed on the exposed populations of the struggling settlements.
James Luceno (Tarkin (Star Wars Disney Canon Novel))
The main substantive achievement of neoliberalization … has been to redistribute, rather than to generate, wealth and income. [By] ‘accumulation by dispossession’ I mean … the commodification and privatization of land and the forceful expulsion of peasant populations; conversion of various forms of property rights (common, collective, state, etc.) into exclusive private property rights; suppression of rights to the commons; … colonial, neocolonial, and imperial processes of appropriation of assets (including natural resources); …and usury, the national debt and, most devastating of all, the use of the credit system as a radical means of accumulation by dispossession. … To this list of mechanisms we may now add a raft of techniques such as the extraction of rents from patents and intellectual property rights and the diminution or erasure of various forms of common property rights (such as state pensions, paid vacations, and access to education and health care) won through a generation or more of class struggle. The proposal to privatize all state pension rights (pioneered in Chile under the dictatorship) is, for example, one of the cherished objectives of the Republicans in the US.
Michael Hudson (Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy)
Whether it's a usurer's usury or an actuary's actuality, they all sail on the liquid of liquidity.
Stewart Stafford
Sharecropping is the dirty little secret at the root of America’s wealth—along with slavery itself. The immense profits generated by the industrious yet impoverished Black “sharecroppers” and “tenant farmers” financed Europe’s and America’s Industrial Revolution, including the building of their railroads, factories, mills, and their entire infrastructure. It is truthfully asserted that the major cities of America and the Western world were “built with bricks of cotton.” Today the debt traps designed to ensnare the working poor and middle class in a lifelong cycle of debt—the high-cost installment loans that charge usurious interest rates of 100% or more, the “payday” loans that charge 400% interest, the extortionate credit card multi-charges, the subprime mortgages with ballooning interest rates, and the home equity loan swindles—are the bastard children of the sharecropping American South. It
Reclamation Project (How White Folks Got So Rich: The Untold Story of American White Supremacy (The Architecture of White Supremacy Book 1))
There is no greater crime than a crime against humanity. There is no greater crime against humanity than usury. The greatest violence, and the greatest threat to humanity, is the growth of MONEY.
COMPTON GAGE
There is no greater crime against humanity than usury.
COMPTON GAGE
In the new faith, there is only one commandment. It is this commandment, and this commandment alone, that must be followed to end the times of suffering, which are soon to come. FORSAKE USURY.
COMPTON GAGE
Curbing the financial sector. Since so much of the increase in inequality is associated with the excesses of the financial sector, it is a natural place to begin a reform program. Dodd-Frank is a start, but only a start. Here are six further reforms that are urgent: (a) Curb excessive risk taking and the too-big-to-fail and too-interconnected-to-fail financial institutions; they’re a lethal combination that has led to the repeated bailouts that have marked the last thirty years. Restrictions on leverage and liquidity are key, for the banks somehow believe that they can create resources out of thin air by the magic of leverage. It can’t be done. What they create is risk and volatility.2 (b) Make banks more transparent, especially in their treatment of over-the-counter derivatives, which should be much more tightly restricted and should not be underwritten by government-insured financial institutions. Taxpayers should not be backing up these risky products, no matter whether we think of them as insurance, gambling instruments, or, as Warren Buffett put it, financial weapons of mass destruction.3 (c) Make the banks and credit card companies more competitive and ensure that they act competitively. We have the technology to create an efficient electronics payment mechanism for the twenty-first century, but we have a banking system that is determined to maintain a credit and debit card system that not only exploits consumers but imposes large fees on merchants for every transaction. (d) Make it more difficult for banks to engage in predatory lending and abusive credit card practices, including by putting stricter limits on usury (excessively high interest rates). (e) Curb the bonuses that encourage excessive risk taking and shortsighted behavior. (f) Close down the offshore banking centers (and their onshore counterparts) that have been so successful both at circumventing regulations and at promoting tax evasion and avoidance. There is no good reason that so much finance goes on in the Cayman Islands; there is nothing about it or its climate that makes it so conducive to banking. It exists for one reason only: circumvention. Many
Joseph E. Stiglitz (The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future)
Protecting people from their bad habits—in fact, defining which habits should be considered “bad” in the first place—is a prerogative lawmakers have eagerly seized. Prostitution, gambling, liquor sales on the Sabbath, pornography, usurious loans, sexual relations outside of marriage (or, if your tastes are unusual, within marriage), are all habits that various legislatures have regulated, outlawed, or tried to discourage with strict (and often ineffective) laws. When
Charles Duhigg (The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business)
Banking!” Mathis was saying. “What is it but usury? Bankers are money lenders, usurers. But because they lend other people’s money or money that does not exist, they have a pretty name. They are still usurers. Once, usury was a mortal sin and an abomination, and to be a usurer was to be a criminal for whom there was a prison cell. To-day the usurers are the gods of the earth and the only mortal sin is to be poor.
Eric Ambler (Journey Into Fear)
Freedom is not freedom if you work full time and live in poverty. Freedom is not freedom if a single medical crisis can drive you to bankruptcy. It is not freedom if child care is too expensive for you to hold a job, or if you are born poor and at every turn are blocked in your rise: by underfunded schools, overpriced colleges, and usurious college loans.
Michael Tomasky (The Middle Out: The Rise of Progressive Economics and a Return to Shared Prosperity)
...randomized trials found a surprisingly positive effect from microsavings programs, which help the poor save small amounts of money. One-third of the world's population has no access to bank accounts and must resort to hiding cash somewhere, such as in a shack with no lock. Moreover, impoverished farmers often receive money in large sums just once or twice a year, after a harvest, and then they are deluged with loan requests. The result is pressure to spend money rather than save it...Then there is usury-not just on loans but also on deposits. In West Africa, villagers can deposit money with susu money traders, but they must pay 40 percent interest on their deposits!...One of the most common models for microsavings is the village savings and loan. It is very simple and has spread around the world since being launched by CARE in Niger in 1991....It costs $25 per participant to start a microsavings group through CARE, and it strikes us as a cost-effective way to help people help themselves. Contributions to CARE can be earmarked for the village savings and loan program.
Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
Mine is no rhetorician's fame, No petty usury I claim; Nor am I skilled to face the foe: 'Tis Thou, O Christ, alone I know. Yea, I have learnt to wait on Thee With heart and lips of purity, Humbly my knees in prayer to bend, And tears with songs of praise to blend.
Aurelius Prudentius Clemens (The Hymns of Prudentius)
That a member of the clergy took an interest in double-entry bookkeeping was important, because Pacioli’s method helped the merchants overcome the church’s disdain for usury. The merchants had to prove to the church that their businesses were not, in fact, sinful, that they provided a benefit to mankind. During the Middle Ages, writes author James Aho, “the very thought that a person might be profit-hungry and yet Christian was an outrage.” Double-entry accounting, completely unintentionally, provided a way around this. How? The answer lies in the Book of Revelations, Christianity’s tale of a final reckoning, where it is said: And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. Interpretation: The dead stand before God and open their book. Then God opens his book. The second book. You might call this, oh, double bookkeeping. “Whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Through a simple method of accounting, the merchant class was able to perform a trick that had eluded them for a millennium: making it acceptable to engage in the business of making loans. Double-entry bookkeeping, Aho writes, “was itself complicit in the invention of a new ‘field of visibility’: the Christian merchant.
Michael J. Casey (The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything)
Double-entry accounting was popularized in Europe toward the end of the fifteenth century, and most scholars believe it set the table for the flowering of the Renaissance and the emergence of modern capitalism. What is far less well understood is the why. Why was something as dull as bookkeeping so integral to a complete cultural revolution in Europe? Over nearly seven centuries, “the books” have become something that, in our collective minds, we equate with truth itself—even if only subconsciously. When we doubt a candidate’s claims of wealth, we want to go to his bank records—his personal balance sheet. When a company wants to tap the public markets for capital, they have to open their books to prospective investors. To remain in the market, they need accountants to verify those books regularly. Well-maintained and clear accounting is sacrosanct. The ascendance of bookkeeping to a level equal to truth itself happened over many centuries, and began with the outright hostility European Christendom had to lending before double-entry booking came along. The ancients were pretty comfortable with debt. The Babylonians set the tone in the famous Code of Hammurabi, which offered rules for handling loans, debts, and repayments. The Judeo-Christian tradition, though, had a real ax to grind against the business of lending. “Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother,” Deuteronomy 23:19–20 declares. “In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord God,” Ezekiel 22:12 states. As Christianity flourished, this deep anti-usury culture continued for more than a thousand years, a stance that coincided with the Dark Ages, when Europe, having lost the glories of ancient Greece and Rome, also lost nearly all comprehension of math. The only people who really needed the science of numbers were monks trying to figure out the correct dates for Easter.
Michael J. Casey (The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything)
Stuyvesant went on to reveal his true feelings, which had nothing to do with their finances. Owing to their “customary usury and deceitful trading with Christians,” he wrote, “we pray that this deceitful race—such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ—be not allowed further to infect and trouble this new colony.
Edward Kritzler (Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean)