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

Monday, November 11, 2013

Bankocracy: from the Venetian Republic to Mario Draghi and Goldman Sachs

Click here to access article by Eric Toussaint from the Committee for the Cancellation of the Third World Debt

The author examines the historical roots of the concentration of financial power in the hands of early bankers and their current manifestation as a powerful core of capitalist ruling classes who have taken over governments to serve their interests while wrecking havoc on entire societies.

Toussaint also offers what might be regarded as a strategy that could pave the way to create a different kind of society:
The banking profession is too essential to the economy to be left in private sector hands. Banks must be socialised (this implies expropriating them) and put under citizen control (of bank workers, clients, associations and representatives of local public stakeholders), as it must be subject to public service guidelines and the income its activity generates must be used for the common good.

Public debt contracted to save banks is definitely illegitimate and must be renounced. A citizen audit must determine the other illegitimate and/or illegal debts and play a part in mobilisation so an anticapitalist alternative can take shape.