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, September 6, 2013

The Making of the Indebted State

Click here to access article by Jérôme E. Roos from Reflections on a Revolution.
Identifying two types of money (commodity money and credit money) and two associated forms of power (purchasing power and structural power), it [the article] tries to show how the neoliberal move towards privately created credit money has endowed global finance with unprecedented structural power, rendering states increasingly dependent on private banks to maintain the process of capital accumulation. The paper concludes that the making of the indebted state under neoliberalism has brought about an unraveling of state sovereignty and political representation, and hence poses a major challenge to traditional democratic processes.
Although the moderate-in-length article is written for an academic publication, it is written in easily understood English. After reading it you will gain a much greater understanding of phrases like "state's structural dependence on finance capital" and the assertion that:
The tail of finance, then, is increasingly wagging the financial watchdog of the state – and the principal mechanism through which it does so is through debt....