Prosperity and Ideology

Sidgwick writes that "the lending of money for interest is commonly reprehended in societies where commerce is imperfectly developed, because the 'usurer' in such communities is commonly in the odious position of wringing a gain out of the hard necessities of his fellows." (The Methods of Ethics, 454ff) This implies that the low level of economic development causes lending to be looked at with reprobation.

However, the flow of causation is rather the reverse: whenever lending and many other salubrious business practices are accepted as norm, economic growth skyrockets.

It's not poverty that fosters an infelicitous environment for doing business; on the contrary, it is precisely bad ideology that keeps commerce "imperfectly developed" and indeed fosters poverty. Let the people think correctly and implement their ideas in laws and customs, and human productive powers will be unleashed.

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