DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT IS NOT ENOUGH
democracy movement is not enough. The core message of Mr. Bush's
2005 Inaugural address was that we live in a world where freedom
can no longer be passively assumed. Mr. Bush observed: "
The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on
the success of liberty in other lands ." The threat
of tyranny, terrorism and corruption mocks and is the central
challenge to our freedom.
free-world response to 9/11 shifted the balance of power and bought
us time. Referred to as the democracy movement, it encourages
and gives birth to freedom and justice in lands oppressed with
since the close of WWII, the US has had a tendency to win
the battles, but not the wars. At issue is our approach to
nation building. Top-down efforts alone, are not enough .
Current efforts desperately need to be augmented with enduring
bottom - up programs . Plus, there is a
dimension that cannot be ignored, if freedom is to prevail.
central, hidden issue in this clash between good and evil is spiritual
in nature. This is not to be confused with some clerical debate,
but rather with the realities driving the hatred for our way of
life. In spite of the politically correct notions disavowing the
realities of God and expressions of faith, taking a stand for
freedom cannot endure without facing the spiritual reality.
post-9/11 clash between good and evil has historic parallels.
In the mid- to late thirties it was the rise of the Nazi movement.
The anti-free world rhetoric during Hitler's rise to power was
not unlike the all too-frequent theme we hear today. Across Europe,
people of class and reason were convinced that the answer to threats
from the likes of Hitler was appeasement. Tragically, the forces
for appeasement were in power. Winston Churchill was a lone voice
in his clarion call to draw the line. Yet, he was ostracized as
same spirit that emerged during the Nazi movement and the cooperative
appeasement culture in the thirties is with us again. Today, it
is the efforts of radical Muslims, despots, terrorists and godless
totalitarian regimes. Their unconcern for the welfare of the people,
along with their perverse grasp of freedom and lust for power
is similarly shared by a modern-day alliance of appeasers.
spite of the shocking realities of the September 2001 attack,
today's appeasement culture has arisen from among those once known
for addressing social priorities. Responsible leaders from the
liberal community have observed that liberals are no longer liberal.
By redefining realities into politically correct labels and then
embracing a modern appeasement approach, it has morphed and now
reflects the same spiritual myopia that enabled the Nazi movement
to come within a hair's breath of its goal of world domination.
shocking reality is that the forces intent on destroying our way
of life are every bit as organized as was the early Nazi movement,
with a highly developed infrastructure already in place. " Modern
Jihad, Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks " (Loretta
Napoleoni, Pluto Press, London, 2003), traces the arteries of
a $1.5 trillion "economy of terror." Underground economies, black
markets and hidden power structures in support of terrorist activities
are taking on proportions that have infiltrated and are undermining
what are considered as above-board global governmental and financial
structures. These extensive, subtle efforts have as their purpose
to undermine and defeat the free world.
reality, with its importance and ties to freedom hidden by "political
correct" posturing, is the fact that some of the most enduring
and treasured values of our society are fundamental to both the
Jewish and Christian faiths. From the Torah are the foundational
principles of the world's most successful governmental, legal
and economic systems. The free enterprise system, in its purist
sense, was patterned from biblical precepts and models.
book of Deuteronomy alone outlines the principles needed to
operate godly, entrepreneurial communities . The elements
of private ownership, customer relations, community responsibility,
profit, generosity, employee relations, making your assets work
for you, charity, excellence and fairness are clearly delineated
from the Torah, Psalms, Proverbs, the Prophets to the parables
of Jesus. The U.S. settled and grew, community by community, using
these basic guidelines.
struggle for domination in lands with little middle class mounts,
despite the seductive calm of our neighborhoods. It underscores
the strategic purpose of nation building. The reality is that
the outcome will be won or lost at the grass-roots level. Godly,
community-centered entrepreneurship is the tipping point against
the forces intent on destroying our freedom.
restoration of the biblical entrepreneurial community model and
the foundational principles underlying free enterprise will usher
in changes dramatically impacting the priorities, perspectives
and approaches to win the war as well as the battles. Until
we deal with the problem spiritually at the grass roots community
level , we live in a society that is AT RISK.
good news is that there IS a democracy movement underway. Unfortunately,
one of the most potentially potent, yet embattled efforts of our
current administration is the faith-initiatives program. Community-level
programs operated by local churches and synagogues are being assaulted
and maligned by out-of-touch bureaucrats whose own efforts would
never set a standard in the real world of business and commerce.
These entrepreneurial community building programs address not
only poverty, but women-at-risk and children-at-risk.
reality is that the middle-class is at risk in this post 9/11
world. The most consequential response to these issues is faith-based,
small business community development initiatives effectively being
employed in lands of persecution, tyranny and oppression. Jewish
tradition maintains that the highest form of charity is to help
a community member to start a business.
more, much more is needed. Reality calls for these nation-building
strategies to be based on the economic and community foundations
outlined in Scripture. In their original form, these biblical
economic community development principles were designed to serve
the people and community rather than become a system that works
the other way around, by only serving the state.
1971, Maryland businessman, Barry Harper, along with veteran Christian
community-builder, Paris Reidhead, recognized this truth and formed
the Institute for International Development. IID evolved into
what is known today as Opportunity International, the largest
faith-based small micro-enterprise (SME) development organization
in the world. Mr. Harper shares that: " every nation we went
into, people got behind it on a local level and the program just
Kent, Vice-Chairman of Enterprise Development International, another
major faith-based SME (small/micro-enterprises) developer, indicates
that: " a micro-business that feeds an entire family can be
started with as little as $250 to start a seamstress business,
for example, with the purchase of a sewing machine, some material
and some basic promotions ." Payback of micro-loans, supporting
these startups, is typically above the 96 percent level.
another more recently formed group, Global Initiatives Foundation,
targets lands impacted by oppression and persecution with business
startup programs that train community builders and encourage women-owned
businesses. Biblically-based entrepreneurship, that uses sound
tactics to employ the spiritual dimension to mobilize and build
community will operate against all odds and become an essential
step to enduring, bottom-up nation-building.
programs provide opportunity that enhances the bottom-up, grass-roots
development of a middle class in lands where freedom is at risk.
They respond to oppression, poverty and persecution with the scriptural
community standard of charity that promotes small business
development and hope . Operating at the grass-roots level,
they employ principles that are practical and bring enduring results,
community by community.
partnering with local communities, these initiatives have helped
new businesses get started, build community and community leaders;
along with establishing the seeds of grass-roots transformation
in lands challenged by tyranny and oppression. Across the world,
there is a cry due the impact and persecution from tyranny and
clash of civilizations is underway. Top-down military and diplomatic
efforts are only the first step. A grass roots impact is needed,
because the tentacles of rogue regimes and terrorism are deep
and spreading. It's time to read the handwriting on the wall.
signs of the times should be a wakeup call to get behind faith-initiatives
programs that preserve our way of life and reverse the curse that
plague lands of persecution and corruption, by offering practical
hope and establishing enterprising communities where freedom can
Ruddick is a planning consultant and author who is writing a book
on the foundations of free enterprise.
Copyright Morris Ruddick