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

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Debts that can’t be paid, won’t be

Click here to access article by Michael Hudson from his blog. 

This liberal academic, without ever mentioning the system that created it, captures the current major contradiction in today's capitalist world : vast armies of people, employed and unemployed, in impossible debt bondage to the capitalist class. It appears that he is unable to imagine any other kind of economy, much less on what needs to be done to change to another economy. On the other hand, he may just fear the wrath of the One Percent and repercussions to his career if he strayed too far from acceptable discourse. He hints at this with these statements:
...as economies have been financialized, creditors have gained political power – and also the power to disable realistic academic discussion of the debt problem. What they fear most of all are thoughts of how to avoid today’s arrangements that have given them a free lunch at the rest of the economy’s expense.
This class, through its successful oppression of working people, has been able to thwart all efforts by workers to increase their share of the wealth which they create through mental and physical labor. In order to keep their capitalist economies going, the One Percent's ruling classes have increasingly provided credit to working people to buy the things they produce. Another major contributing factor are privately owned central banks who are authorized to issue a nation's money as debt owed by governments and, it turn, their taxpayers, mostly working people. The end result is what we have now: a world of debtors and a tiny world of creditors who demand that debts be paid. 

We are just beginning to see how the directors of this dysfunctional system are coping with diminishing resources, particularly energy sources, with which to feed their addiction to growth: reckless mining and drilling activities that pollute the environment and wars for resources in order to keep feeding their addiction to power and profits. We are also witnessing how these ruling classes are dealing with global warming--they're not! They can't, given the existing system.