Worthy Prosperity as the Remedy for the Economic Problem

Worthy prosperity is the noble nemesis of Malignant Materialism. John symbolizes it subtly as the Showbread-Table over whose tablecloth he serving the banquet of spiritual economics in Chapter 19. The systems of worthy prosperity contrast with those of Malignant Materialism. They put people before money. They work money to serve people as an end, instead of making people serve money as an end. They work money as a good servant instead of as a bad master. They pursue pure profit instead of pursuing purely profiteering. And they plan long-term.
Worthy prosperity obeys the golden rule, recognizing that if there is no Bible there is no bread.[1] Worthy prosperity is what motivates a decent doctor to help you as a patient for your own sake and to let the billing take care of itself. In contrast, Malignant Materialism is what motivates a greedy doctor to welcome you as a prospect for profiteering, and to justify excess tests and extra treatments.[2]
But all too readily folk excuse the greed of Malignant Materialism as “human nature”. Wrong! Human natureis a positive biological force that promotes the three “c”-s of coupling, childrearing, and community that are so essential to human life. In contrast, Malignant Materialism is a distortion of the human spirit.[3] This distortion of the human spirit, rather than human nature, deserves the blame for the millennia of Malignant Materialism, which the colonizing, communist, and capitalist Empires have run most recently.

Hence the importance of decent systems. The decent systems of worthy materialism bind and bond human-beings, protect coupling, childrearing, and community, and underpin the basic social contract that we all need. Worthy materialism helps you live comfortably free of financial fear by guaranteeing fair provision of your basic needs like food, shelter, clothes, healthcare, education, security, communication, transport, and pensions. Each society has its own ideal social contract for doing it. But for each, the litmus test is how that society’s social contract treats is its weakest members. How its young, old, and ill fare is the main measure—not least because we are all young, ill, or old at some time or other. Decent social contracts and worthy prosperity call for spiritual economics




[1] Mishnah Avot 3.17
[2] Phillips, Seven Laws of Money
[3] Universal House of Justice, Promise of World Peace 7