How much land does a family need?

My first slum homestay was in a large, decrepit house. The entrance was split into narrow hallways by particle boards. I followed my homestay "brother" down one of the makeshift paths to the right, then left, right then two more lefts, shuffling between flimsy dividers that didn't leave enough space for my shoulders. We arrived …

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What is a slum?

Most folk don't want to hear me talk about slums. I once thought that slum life would make this blog unique. The internet is saturated with almost everything, but there aren't many English-speaking slum bloggers. Maybe people wouldn't want to hear what I had to say about money, power, or nonviolence, but at least they'd …

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Chicken Farm by Javier Lastras,

This is what interest does

I consider the following statement by economist Silvio Gesell, made on the eve of the Armistice Agreement (the end of World War I), to be one of the most prescient assertions in published history. “In spite of the holy promises of people to banish war once and for all, in spite of the cry of …

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Usury and the Church

For centuries the Church spoke with strength against usury. Then society changed so much that the message could no longer be heard. The transition from abhorrence to acceptance is best demonstrated by a letter of St. Francis Xavier, the famous 16th-century Catholic missionary and co-founder of the Jesuits, writing to a priest. When in the …

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In whose interest?

Basil the Great, among the most renowned of the early Church fathers, states: When the prophet wished to describe in words those who have attained perfection, those who are about to attain to everlasting life, he reckoned among their noble works the following: “They do not lend money at interest.” This sin is denounced in …

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