Thursday, 24 February 2011

People Power

The present wave of revolt across the Middle East -- Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, etc. -- seems to show the power of a rising generation that will no longer stand for rule by dictatorship. The degree to which Islamic belief plays a part in fuelling this revolt is open to question. Nor is it clear what will emerge to replace the regimes and ruling families that are falling. Western newspapers assume the call is for "democracy", but what does that mean, exactly, and what might it mean in a confessional Muslim state? The word itself literally means "people power". But how are the people to exercise their power,

Monday, 7 February 2011

Recovery of the Guilds

Is it possible that the guilds, those great symbols of medieval culture and enterprise, might be restored to life in our own time? The guilds were an association of freemen, of craftsmen working together to sustain each other, and through apprenticeship and training, to ensure the quality of what they produced. In the UK, the 2010 election installed a government committed to the rebuilding of the “Big Society” and reviving localism. A revival of the guilds would be a keystone in the political process of rebuilding mediatory agencies along with church and school. It is up to us who believe in the necessity of as many members of our society as possible being the economic masters of their fate to create a demand for the recovery of the guilds in our time.

So argues Russell Sparkes, in a "Tract for Our Time" just published in the Articles section of Second Spring Economy. Russell is one of the UK's leading authorities on the practical interface of ethics and economics. He is a Senior Fund Manager for the British Methodist Church working in the field of ethical investment, and Secretary on the Ethics of Investment for the same organization.