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

Friday, August 3, 2012

Financial Predators v. Labor, Industry and Democracy

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

This is a lengthy article which repeats and expands on concepts from many previous articles by this author. He writes mostly to other economists, but an ordinary person who has done some reading from alternative sources of information regarding money and finance can understand much of what he writes. The ruling One Percent poses formidable obstacles to understanding these issues.
When you find wrong-headed ideological economics promoted year after year as a litany, there always is a special interest at work. Today’s most powerful special interest is the financial sector. It is seeking to extract gains even at the cost of imposing austerity and ultimate bankruptcy on entire national economies. Pro-creditor lobbying has gained enough subsidy and power to strip the history of economic thought from the academic curriculum, to the point of suppressing memory of monetary debates going back two centuries.
Sources I have found useful to understand these issues are Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins, The Web of Debt by Ellen Brown, The Lost Science of Money by Zarlenga, Money and Debt II (DVD) by Paul Grignon. But, there are many others.

Because we of the 99 Percent are fighting an uphill battle against powerful forces of capitalist propaganda and indoctrination, it is important that those of us who have the time understand these issues as best we can. It takes time and access to good information--two requirements that most ordinary people do not have. However, the 99 Percent have many educated people who are concerned about peace and social justice who do fulfill these two requirements and can act as trusted representatives who write about these issues in terms that ordinary people can understand. What is still needed are organized networks of alternative media in which to publish these views, media that people will turn to for understanding the critical financial issues of today. 

Where I part company with Hudson is where he seems to suggest that capitalism would be just fine if we returned to Keynesian economics or classical economics under industrial capitalism. The evolution of capitalism into predatory financial capitalism is a result of an inevitable process from exploitation of man and nature to where we are today: approaching ecological system destabilization and resource limits. Hence, another system is critically necessary as soon as possible for humans to survive in any imaginable decent condition.