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, March 27, 2014

George Soros‘ INET: An institute to improve the world or a Trojan horse of the financial oligarchy?

Click here to access article by Norbert Haering from Real-World Economics Review Blog.
Let’s assume that there is a financial oligarchy which exerts strong political influence due to the vast amounts of money it controls. Let’s further assume that this financial oligarchy has succeeded in having financial markets deregulated and that this has enabled the financial industry to expand their business massively. Then, in some near or far future, their artfully constructed financial edifice breaks down, because it cannot be hidden any more that the accumulated claims cannot be serviced by the real economy. ....
The financial oligarchy might also recollect that economics is their most important ally in shaping public opinion and policies in their favor. To prevent a loss of power as it happened hence, they might want to make sure first that economics will not challenge the notion of leaving financial markets mostly to themselves and will continue to downplay the role of money and the power of the financial oligarchy, and of power in general.
Let me be clear: this website is a publication of a liberal organization of economists called "World Economics Association". It is quintessentially liberal in that it functions to contain any critique of capitalism within limits permitted by the ruling capitalist class. This means that they limit their critiques to reforms of the existing capitalist system.

Thus, Haering's criticism is aimed at the existing rule of financial oligarchies that has resulted from the concentration of wealth and power that is an inherent tendency of capitalism. Liberals and libertarians fail to recognize that this is an inherent tendency and insist that we can turn back the clock on capitalism to an earlier stage of development characterized by more competing sectors of capitalists,  especially industrial capitalists, a stronger social safety net, a nationally oriented economy, and a thriving middle class that enabled the system to function. This type of capitalism represents, in their eyes, an ideal form of society.

This liberal economist and author reveals how major capitalist directors contain dissent limited to a discussion of reforms by examining the operations of well-funded non-profit think tanks, especially that of George Soros' INET. However, much of Haering's examination also applies to an understanding of how all ideological institutions of the capitalist system function to exclude more radical critiques.