Capital is not limited to the money in your wallet or the glue that keeps society from spinning apart but also encompasses the values that motivate and drive imagination and form the way we see the world, author Theodore Roosevelt Malloch tells Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.
Malloch, the co-author with Nicholas Capaldi of “America's Spiritual Capital,” said the concept of spiritual capital is not just an academic one.
“We all know about what’s in our wallet,” he said. “We know about intellectual property. In the last couple of decades, we’ve talked a lot about social capital. You know the kind of glue that keeps society or even a corporation going, for that matter; the networks that allow people to work together and cooperate.
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“What we’re arguing is that there’s something called ‘spiritual capital,’ which is not just a part of social capital. Obviously religious traditions have existed since the beginning of time. But that this kind of orientation, the values that we hold most dearly with which we see the world through and actually which motivates and drives our imaginations, this kind of conscience – I’m not talking about one religious tradition over another – that that kind of capital is very important to the formation of the work we do, the institutions that we build and, in fact, even the economies that prosper or fail. And America’s unique amongst the countries of the world because it has a very strong and identifiable form of spiritual capital.”
Malloch said that spiritual capital has its roots in the Constitution which has checks and balances and the rule of law.
“And you put those things together with the free market economy, which we’ve all experienced and prospered under, and you have a unique form of institutions, which, in fact, then, is undergirded by religious freedom, which is another hallmark of America,” he said. “Obviously, these immigrants came to America in the first instance in order to have that religious freedom. You put those all together, and you have a kind of DNA that makes America unique amongst all nations, amongst all economies, amongst all political entities, frankly, in the history of the world. There’s no other civilization that quite matches what America has done in its unique experiment.”
Despite the advance of the Chinese economy, Malloch believes America is well positioned to continue as a world leader because it does not seek dominance and does not and probably never will, have an empire.
“China is an emerging power,” he said. “There’s no question about it. It is an important regional power in Asia and, increasingly, a manufacturer of goods which are sold around the world. Its economy is growing. What it does lack is the kind of internal freedom, the kind of religious freedom, the kind of economic freedom, the kind of political freedom that we have enjoyed so much in America.
“So whether China is sustainable as a global power into the latter part of this 21st century is a really dominant and interesting question. Or whether China would or could and might even come apart as the Soviet Union came apart because it doesn’t have that kind of spiritual basis. These are real questions. I’ve been in China about a dozen times. It’s certainly a powerful country but it’s one that is longing for freedom. And how that freedom is found will determine the course, really, not only of China’s future, but of globalization itself.”
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