Is Grameen Bank Founder Distributist Or No?

As posted on the October 14th edition of The Western Confucian - formerly known as Katholic Shinja - our collegue Iosue Andreas notes that the founder of the Grameen Bank has won the Nobel Peace prize for 2006. Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus, who also invented the concept of "Micro-credit", won the award for his work in helping the poor of Third World nations start their own small businesses.

As reported by the pro-Catholic AsiaNews, based in Italy, Grameen Bank - started in 1983 - now has over 1000 branches and over two million clients, most of them women. However, as AsiaNews notes, Grameen has strict loan regulation enforcement. Complaints are that Grameen has taken on more big business-like practices.

Furthermore, the Austrian School Libertarians at the magazine The Free Market - published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute - reported as far back as 1995 that Grameen uses it's influence inpart to advocate for both contraception and abortion. According to the magazine's editor Jeffrey Tucker - who is also the article writer and has a history of misunderstanding Distributism - Grameen's founder believes "that population and marriage are the primary causes of Bangladesh's poverty". For example, number 6 of "The Sixteen Decisions" - a set of values that the Bank promotes - advocates planning "to keep our families small".

That is something Distributism can never support, for that promotes one of the agendas of the Sexual Revolution - population reduction.

Some of the figures Tucker cites may or may not be substantiated, as Mr. Andreas sited in a response to a comment I made about the AsiaNews report, and I agree with his analysis. Grameen may be a benefit to many in the Third World, but it is not the cure-all for it's many problems. Much of what "micro-credit" advocates fits in well with Distributist Thought, but not all of it. Attacking marriage and families, as well as advancing a globalist and eugenicist dystopia via the UN, is completely unacceptable.

Let those of us promoting Distributism worldwide be wary of the Grameen Bank and it's value system. As we are taught in Holy Scripture, "Test everything, hold fast to what is good."


benedictus Monday, October 16, 2006 at 7:32:00 PM CDT  

Distributists should also be wary because Yunus is a bit of a usurer. They charge 20% interest for these microloans! There is an interesting post about it here.

Stephen Heiner Monday, October 16, 2006 at 11:00:00 PM CDT  

Excellent example of extracting the gold from the dross, Roy.

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