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

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Banksters HATE The Free Market

Click here to access article by James Corbett from his blog. (I updated the following commentary to further clarify my views at 5:52 PM CT.)

This libertarian exemplifies so many American libertarians (Ron Paul is a well known example) who are critical of governments, and often criticize government policies and actions. Libertarians are found clear across the political spectrum. Clearly Corbett is on the right. His exclusive focus is on formal/legal restrictions on the rights of individuals and ignores all the power that wealth and the ownership of productive property gives to individuals who possess them. Property rights including the ownership of money are sacred to these people as well as to all capitalists. When right-wing libertarians speak of individual freedom, they totally ignore the system of capitalism that inevitably creates gross inequality in all its forms.

These "free marketeer" libertarians are often caught in contradictory political positions: they ignore the capitalist promotion of government subsidies to corporations but they don't like the rather mild restrictions that sometimes interfere with corporations' quest to attain profits regardless of adverse consequences: environmental destruction, food poisoning, drug addiction from opioids, and extreme inequality of living standards and opportunities. It's obvious to any awake person that the rich and their corporations control the government, and they want to keep it that way. But to right-wing libertarians the government is an entirely independent entity.

In this article and the related one for members by the same title, he argues that bankers as well as socialists (financiers) are the scourge of free marketeers, and he poses a question to socialists to reconcile this apparent contradiction: "Why is it that the very banksters that they so rightfully rage against are in fact their biggest allies in the fight against the free market?" This is a logical and empirical fallacy. He doesn't see that bankers are the ultimate capitalists, that they are an inevitable product of the capitalist system. Bankers simply believe that money is the ultimate form of property (which is sacred) and they use it to rent out to capitalists, who engage in profit-making enterprises and who don't have sufficient capital to be bankers. They are putting their capital to work in such corporations, and under the rules of capitalism they feel entitled to the rent of their money. Thus, I pose a question to Corbett: why do corporate executives and their upper-middle class professionals ally themselves with bankers?

Thus, Corbett often shares a bed with economists like Michael Hudson, who betrayed his Trotskyst roots to make money for capitalist enterprises and finally to teach in one of their universities. Granted that Hudson has often exposed the harmful effects on economies caused by financiers and the debts they pile on productive corporate enterprises, but he seldom directly criticizes the system in which bankers were created.

Corbett, like many American libertarians, always refers to "free market" as a system whereby small businesses compete against each other in a market of consumers who want the best products at the cheapest price. Is this a reality in today's world? Were the "free marketeers" ever leaders in capitalist countries? Financiers (think Alexander Hamilton, the Rothchild clan, etc) have always been a major and leading part of the capitalist class, and today they have overwhelming control of most of the world. 

Also, I want to deal with his often cited writings of Antony C. Sutton. One must exercise some critical thinking when reading his books or articles. Based on my readings of several of his books and his career, I think he was a rather weird character. He served capitalists for many years; and based on this service, he was awarded a research fellowship at the very exclusive and conservative Hoover Institution. I tend to think that he was a mixed-up character who had been thoroughly indoctrinated with capitalist philosophy, but was also a stickler for truth. When he started uncovering some very inconvenient truths about what happened in history and to the embarrassment of the ruling capitalist class, they cast him out of the Hoover Institution. 

One of the facts which Sutton spread that appealed to the ruling class was that capitalists had bankrolled both Lenin and Trotsky, and libertarians continue to make all kinds of wild inferences from this. In these cases bankers allegedly helped with trip expenses to enable the two revolutionaries to return to Russia. Do you think for a moment that Lenin and/or Trotsky were/was subsequently controlled by bankers? Capitalists will always try to control people by funding them.  On the other hand, Sutton's research did uncover a lot of information regarding the funding of Nazis by American capitalists; and he revealed a lot of information about the highly secret "Skull and Bones" club at Yale University to the embarrassment of the ruling class.