EXTRACTS PROM SHOGHI EFFENDI'S LETTERS
TO RUTH J. MOFFETT AND ROBERT LEE MOFFETT
December 26, 1935, Haifa
. . . Questions Nos. 1, 3 and 5 contain a number of points to which there is no reference in the writings of Baha'u'llah or the Master. There are practically no technical teachings on economics in the Cause, such as banking, the price system, and others. The Cause is not an economic system, nor should its founders be considered as having been technical economists. The contribution of the Faith to this subject is essentially indirect, as it consists in the application of spiritual principles to our present-day economic system. Baha'u'llah has given us a few basic principles which should guide future Baha'i economists in establishing such institutions which will adjust the economic relationships of the world,
Question 2. The Master has definitely stated that wages should be unequal, simply "because that men are unequal in their ability and hence should receive wages that would correspond to their varying capacities and resources. This view seems to contradict the opinion of some modern economists. But the friends should have full confidence in the words of the Master, and should give preference to His statements over those voiced by our so-called modern thinkers.
Question 5. "Profit sharing" should be used, rather than "income sharing”, as the former is the term actually in the Baha'i Writings.
Question 6. Whatever the progress of the machinery may be, man will always have to toil in order to earn his living. Effort is an inseparable part of man's life. It may take different forms with the changing conditions of the world, but it will always be present as a necessary element in our earthly existence. Life is, after all, a struggle Progress is attained through struggle, and without such a struggle, life ceases to have a meaning; it becomes even extinct. The progress of machinery has not made effort unnecessary. It has given it a new form, a new outlet.
Question 7. By the statement, "The economic solution is divine in nature" is meant that religion alone can, in the last resort, bring in man's nature such a fundamental change as to enable him to adjust the economic forces that threaten to disrupt the foundations of his existence, and thus assert his mastery over the forms of nature
Question 8. As already referred to in answer to Question 2, social inequality is the inevitable outcome of the natural inequality of man. Human beings are different in ability and should, therefore, be different in their social and economic standing. Extremes of wealth and poverty should, however, be totally abolished.
Your true brother,