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, October 10, 2016

Economic 'Recovery' Feels Weak Because the Great Recession Hasn't Really Ended

Click here if you wish to access the interview (and transcript) with Michael Hudson directly from The Real News Network.

As always, Hudson views the finance section of capitalism as the sole evil that is wrecking societies. Thus he has always argued the need for government controls over financial institutions. His acolytes even argue for government ownership of central banks which issue this money in the form of debt. He and they seem to yearn for the good ol' days of the FDR administrations and for laws like the Glass-Steagall Act, and they rail against the new financial betting forms known as derivatives

What he and his followers apparently don't understand is that finance as it exists today is a product of capitalism, and as such, the institution is designed to support capitalists. Some early capitalists realized that if they are in charge of creating money and controlling money (who gets the money and for what purposes), they can sell it like any other product and make much more money without having all the headaches associated with getting resources, dealing with wage laborers, costs, etc. And with more money comes more power (the most addictive substance of all) to get what they want in spite of societal opposition.

Hence many early capitalists saw the splendid opportunities of owning banks which issued their own notes, and following this period they saw much greater opportunities by owning central banks which were backed by all the enforcement powers of the state. The owners of central banks now own and control much of the world. In effect economies now serve financial institutions and the people who own them--not societies. So, I ask you: do not people like Hudson, while limiting their criticisms to preserve their careers, also help protect and preserve the system and the tiny group of people who preside over it? Isn't that the problem? With so many knowledge people limiting their criticism of the way capitalism works, could they not be helping to preserve the system which is wrecking havoc on societies and destroying the environment? 

Also, notice the title of the re-post on Hudson's website: "Democracy’s Debt Ladder". This is so typical of capitalist ideologists: they insist on equating capitalism with "democracy".