As a result [of the operations of the IMF and World Bank], bankers and other corporate predators strip mine countries of their material wealth and resources, shift them from public to private hands, crush democratic values, hollow out nations into backwaters, destroy middle class societies, and turn workers into serfs if they manage to have any means of employment.As history offers an abundance of evidence, private banking institutions have always functioned this way. Even though institutions like the above and the Fed like to hide behind an elaborate facade of public-private control, they operationally always serve private financial interests. The latter gain wealth and power through their control over the engines of capitalist growth--major corporations which, of course, are nearly always privately owned and controlled. That is precisely why we, as individuals and whole societies throughout much of the world, have arrived at the situation we are in today: an overwhelming number of debtors (mostly taxpaying workers) beholden to a tiny group (about 1%) of creditors (owner-investors who hide their incomes in tax havens).
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