July 15, 2016

Author Find: Jack Cashill

So a couple weeks ago friend Ron sends me a link to an overheated article on the Clinton conspiracy front. Specifically, it listed all the death and destruction that seems to follow them, some of the deaths curiously premature. The one that got my attention was Sec. Ron Brown, who died in a plane wreck with a bullet-like hole through his head with no autopsy done. Of course every time there's no autopsy that leads to nefarious conspiracies, but I did search amazon books for books about Brown and came across the author Jack Cashill. 

His book on Brown's death wasn't in ebook form, but I was interested enough to read a sample of another Cashill book and then buy it: Deconstructing Obama, about how Bill Ayers ghostwrote Obama's famous memoir Dreams of My Father. Damned if he doesn't make a very strong case. He's a talented writer as well; I'm as “over Obama” as the next guy but somehow I was riveted by this story of our sham-in-chief. 

I immediately downloaded his book on usury as well (Popes and Bankers) and thus far he's describing the great tension in how usury was contra Jewish and Christian teaching but managed to become commonplace. (I got interested in the subject after reading Zippy Catholic's ebook contra usury, some months back.)  Funny line from it:

"Through it all, this poster child for the subprime meltdown remained confident that she would not be evicted. As she confided to the Boston Globe, likely without consulting her source, 'The Lord is on my side.'"

I also saw that Cashill wrote a book praising Joe Frazier and denigrating the secular deity Mohammed Ali, which is another plus in his favor. I gotta keep an eye on this brazen truth-seeker. Because sometimes the conspiracists are right.  


Banshee said...

I don't know all about it, but the usury thing seems to be a big misunderstanding. Jesus is pretty clear that providing development capital to trusted investors, who then pay stuff back with interest, is a good thing (although fortunately, his Purgatory standard is only paying everything back to the last penny).

Your early sources are pretty clear that they're talking about loan sharks, because the ancient world had that. Then (probably thanks to all the bad business practices and horrific Imperial taxes, that made almost every commoner in the Roman Empire have to become a slave), you see usury defined as any kind of interest-bearing loan. (The same late-Empire trauma is probably why Islam has its weird loan-avoidance systems, and why things like the Grameen Bank have to be so elaborate to survive.)

So then you get to the Middle Ages, and merchants and religious orders invent a more sophisticated financial system than Rome or Greece ever had. Nobody can decide if it's usury or not. Eventually the theologians catch up with the idea that you can be paid for hiring out use of one's money for a certain time, as well as having the money itself paid back; just as people often pay for time as well as labor and expenses when hiring a worker, instead of just paying for piecework.

Banshee said...

Anyway, I was quite indignant about all the sources who didn't discuss the developments in theology, when I found out there had been such developments, and not just the magical handwave that anti-Catholic sources love to imply. You can't go on about Dante and usury without discussing what happened... or so you would think. But Ezra Pound sure doesn't. Nothing like a little oversimplification and mystification, just to bind unfair burdens on other people's consciences and faith.

Anyway, Acton Institute actually publishes translations of a lot of the relevant financial theology treatises, both Catholic and Protestant. The Josephinum may carry some of that stuff, or you may be able to get it through interlibrary loan from UC or Ohio State or wherever. (Or you can always just buy them through the magic of Amazon, of course.)

So if even a conspiracy-ish guy can go into the history more elaborately than most of the academic sources, it's pretty sad. Financial history of the US used to be a big thing (my dad's college US history book went into enormous detail about banks and tariffs and such), but I don't really know where to look for financial history of the "Early Modern Era," as we are now supposed to call the Reformation/Post-Reformation/general mess.

TS said...

Thanks Maureen. I'm pretty ignorant of early financial history so hopefully I can begin to remedy it. Haven't read enough of the Cashill book yet to get a feel for how fair he is, or how will treat developments in theology and such but he writes in an accessible style which helps, and he footnotes extensively so I can look at the source material too.