The Night Before the Morning After
America and Britain in the last 450 years have ascended to be both the leading imperial powers in the world. Britain in its age was unassailable, in the case of America, at its height, was completely unrivalled and was dominant in all four areas of warfare; sea, land, air and space. The trappings of such global dominance is, the ability to walk the earth having no door closed to you or wealth beyond your reach. They both had differing versions of ruling but their intentions were identical, a world obedient to their hegemonic designs and receptive to handing over all their natural resources and human wealth.
It can be categorically stated that no people or civilisation have gained such an ability to totally dominate and destroy the whole world in history such as what we witness in the American/British hegemony today.
The American and British empires were distinct in their political sources but the reality is that they were both manned by exactly the same ethnic group thus being different phases of the same tribal imperialism. The French have called both the American and the British hegemony the “Anglo-Saxon empire.” This I believe is a correct expression of the reality thus demonstrating simultaneously difference and similitude.
With such overwhelming power and dominance in the world it was virtually impossible to envisage a time when this type of hegemony would end. But, the Anglo-Saxon empire is now on the verge of a catastrophic collapse. We stand at that point in time only read about in history books where an age is setting and a new era is rising. But; will their end be like the end of so many other nations that have risen and declined before them? Will their end be an acceptance of their reality and then a scaling down of hegemonic operations to match their bank balance? I suggest this idea is as hopeless and naive as the question. I fear their end will be as unique as the type of global dominance and power they enjoyed.
The Anglo-Saxon empire is unique for many reasons and achieved very unique goals unmatched in world history. It was never satisfied with just ruling another people or nation but had to culturally recalibrate the ruled nation either at the point of a gun or at the point of a pen by economic slavery. It imposed on the world its values and way of life. In the British phase this was done in a more brutal and crude way; in the American phase the tools of choice are economic loans and debt slavery. Only when a country did not comply with their foreign policy objectives did they use military force. It also tried to turn the ruled into carbon copies of itself or totally and systematically eradicate the inhabitants. The most famous examples of this are America, Australia and New Zealand. In these places the original inhabitants have been reduced to almost token populations and have been replaced by the descendants of the first settled British immigrants and subsequent British immigration.
Also this empire has managed to unify the world with the same system of banking and money along with a global network system of communication. Sums of money and messages can be sent around the world in the blinking of an eye. Another unique character of this empire is its technological achievements. The Anglo-Saxons have revolutionised the way we live on the planet to such an extent that in some parts of the world people who are deprived of these technologies and modern gadgets suffer anxiety and stress.
But, one of its most unique achievements in world history is the replacing, globally, of gold and silver unit currency for paper and introducing to the world standardised unit currency interest. In simple terms it made usury halal by removing gold and silver as a backing for all the money in circulation. This was a massively significant move whereby paper money no longer represented the actual amount of gold you were entitled to redeem from the governing bank but simply represented a fictitious arbitrary value given to it by the government or central bank. They removed the intrinsic value of money from currency. This move was seen as a master stroke by its architects because it solved the problem of not having enough gold. The bank would simply print more and more money to meet demand and economic requirements. It could easily do this and never worry about running out of cash because it could always just print money.
I’ll take this opportunity to stop and remind you that Allah (SWT) plans and that He is the best of planners. And, that having firm belief in Allah (SWT) is not only good for your akhirah but an excellent option for your dunya too. Why do I say this? We should trust in Allah (SWT) because He has promised the believers victory and this victory can come even when you as a human being have no logical explanation as to where that victory will come from. Our mental, intellectual and spiritual sight is limited by Allah (SWT) we cannot see beyond our faculties. So, victory is coming all that is required from you is firm iman and righteous good deeds and Allah (SWT) has written the script.
The myopia of removing gold as the unit currency was a clear indication of arrogance and spiritual blindness. Even though there was opposition to its removal the voices of dissent were swept away. The result of such a move was to place the government in perpetual debt to the banks. Every time a banknote was issued it was sold to the government at a price. That price is bought with money already in existence which has itself been issued with a debt attached to it. So, no matter how much money the government has, every banknote used to pay the banks for their services has a debt attached to it therefore the debt can never be paid. If gold had remained the government could have used gold to buy the banknotes thus having the banknotes free of debt or interest. But, the bankers like their position of power over the governments and will be adamant that the status quo will not change.
The banknote started life as a receipt for the amount of gold held by a bank for an individual. A bank was usually a safer way to hold gold and gold is obviously very heavy, there is only so much you could physically carry around with you at any one time. The banknote system or bearer bond, as is sometimes referred to, represented a good innovation in the commercial world. But, when the notes no longer represented gold or silver the exchange of notes for real goods was indeed usurious because the notes in reality were completely worthless or worth very little. When they represented gold the value was the gold itself not the paper note. So any transaction with a paper note meant that you were exchanging something fictitious and worthless for something real and of value. Gold had an intrinsic value so every exchange was itself for equal value.
“Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say, “Trade is [just] like interest.” But Allah (SWT) has permitted trade and has forbidden interest. So whoever has received an admonition from his Lord and desists may have what is past, and his affair rests with Allah (SWT) . But whoever returns to [dealing in interest or usury] – those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein.” (2:275)
Once the doors of usury were opened they were never going to be restricted in the minds of those that profited from it. The Anglo-Saxon banking system used debt and usury as a way to enslave its population as well as other governments around the world. It allowed its citizens to borrow money based upon interest to buy homes, cars and anything they could possibly ask for. The private housing economy is based entirely on usury/interest as all the prices of commercial property is based on the purchaser’s ability to borrow from the banks not on how much the property is actually worth. If tomorrow the banks refused to lend money for mortgages the result would be a massive reduction in the house prices to values representing non-bank loan interest inflated prices. It could be argued that the loan of money by banks to fund purchases isn’t technically based on interest but is actually a simple loan and the interest is added afterwards. But, the reality is that the banks wouldn’t lend a penny if they couldn’t charge interest upon it.
“O you who believe, you shall observe God and refrain from all kinds of usury, if you are believers. If you do not, then expect a war from God and His messenger. But if you repent, you may keep your capitals, without inflicting injustice, or incurring injustice. If the debtor is unable to pay, wait for a better time. If you give up the loan as a charity, it would be better for you, if you only knew.” (2:278-280)
This unfettered interest/debt facility didn’t just change the commercial world but resulted in a change of attitude in the population and the social culture. Where prudence and fiscal responsibility were the norm it was gradually replaced by “buy now and pay later.” The effect of usury was to divorce earning from spending, thus resulting in the psychological trick of allowing the people to think that they were able to afford more. In reality it was only a satanic trick by which people would spend money they didn’t have on goods they probably could afford to do without, while paying way in-excess of the real market value of the goods. And, in the event they could not pay the interest on the loan quick enough it would cost you more. So, the poorest, who could least afford to pay, would end up paying the most for the things that others paid considerably less for.
“If thou lend money to any of My people, even to the poor with thee, thou shalt not be to him as a creditor; neither shall ye lay upon him interest.” (Exodus, 22:25)
“And if thy brother be waxen poor, and his means fail with thee; then thou shalt uphold him: as a stranger and a settler shall he live with thee. Take thou no interest of him or increase; but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon interest, nor give him thy victuals for increase.” (Leviticus, 25:35-37)
“Thou shalt not lend upon interest to thy brother: interest of money, interest of victuals, interest of any thing that is lent upon interest. Unto a foreigner thou mayest lend upon interest; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon interest; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou puttest thy hand unto, in the land whither thou goest in to possess it.” (Deuteronomy, 23:20-21)
There are some who argue against this logic by stating that you should not buy more than you can afford and this will simply avoid the problem. The problem with such simplistic reasoning is the failure to factor in the potent power of learned human behaviour through cultural influences and ideology. The deep materialism in the west has completely reprogrammed the human value system to promote personal wealth and material gain to the highest status. A person is valued not for his noble qualities but for his ability to acquire wealth and therefore those who do not possess such qualities are deemed worthless. This capitalistic skewing of human values has been the driving force, in the modern age, for people to spend well beyond their means thereby placing themselves into phenomenal amounts of debt.
As the culture of the west has grown increasingly more comfortable with debt and interest their governments have slowly lost their economic prudence since the Second World War. The very tools by which they have strangled and enslaved the developing world such as with IMF (international monetary fund) loans from the World Bank and other financial institutions, the very same institutions are ringing the alarm bells for their share holder.
“And [for] their taking of usury while they had been forbidden from it, and their consuming of the people’s wealth unjustly. And we have prepared for the disbelievers among them a painful punishment.” (4:16:1)
In the next issue we will look at the impending economic doom of the western powers, especially America and Britain, and how throughout their plotting and scheming they have not seen the very tool of their oppression winding itself around their necks to slowly alleviate them of their power and position.
By: Salim Willaims