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

Saturday, November 27, 2010

So, How Does the Financial System Work?

by Dan Hind from The Return of the Public

This is some of the clearest writing I've found on the internet regarding money operations. The writer is a professor of sociology at an English university.
Quantitative easing can only be understood if we understand what central banks do – if we understand the mystery that lies beneath the day-to-day operations of the economy. The calculations of capitalist activity rest finally on something very like a magic trick. This is why criticisms [of] the Federal Reserve in particular often veer off into heated speculation about shape-shifting lizards or the urgent need to buy gold now. Once you understand that the so-called private sector is dependent on the operations of the state it is easy to lose your balance. So steady yourself. This is the secret of the temple.
Like the political institutions that are portrayed as "democratic", the creation and operations of money is hidden behind many layers of obfuscation so that ruling capitalist classes can have their way with us. 

In order to learn more from this author, I just ordered his new book, The Return of the Public, from a bookseller in England.