We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nationalise the banks to save the future

by Peter Boyle from Green Left

Look at what the left in Australia has learned about privately owned banks:
Under capitalism, competition leads naturally to greater concentration of ownership and market domination. And the objective of each competing capitalist enterprise, in engaging in such competition, is to increase its profits.

The obscene inequalities that have arisen through this process are just one issue. The bigger problem is that these giant banks — unashamedly running on the principle of insatiable profit greed — are using the collective savings of our society (and bad debts the public may one day be expected to “socialise”) in a totally irresponsible way.

Instead of directing these funds to the urgently needed transition to renewable energy, to public transport, health, housing and education, they are directed to expanding dirty coal and other fossil fuel industries, to enriching mining magnates, and to destructive speculative ventures.

Our society cannot afford to have these decisions carried out on the basis of what makes the big four the most profit. This is why, as socialists, we say: nationalise the banks and democratically run them in the community interest.