Volatility

June 24, 2011

A Brief Statement of the Facts

Filed under: American Revolution, Disaster Capitalism, Neo-feudalism — Tags: — Russ @ 2:37 am

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The entire debt economy was forced upon civilization from the top down. It was done in order to deliver humanity into the hands of history’s worst villains. Financialization has been the core of the neoliberal strategy. Inducing your intended victim’s indenture can be just as much an aggressive plot against him as crafting a gun with which to physically kill him. (Of course, they’ve made and used plenty of physical weapons as well.) This liquidation phase of neoliberalism is war by other means. It is vicious war by criminal elites upon the people. It is class war; it is civil war. The goal, intent, and procedure are veritably totalitarian.
 
The whole bubble-crash-bailout-austerity-feudal enslavement process is a planned strategy for the complete looting of nations and the imposition of tyranny upon them.
 
We the people must respond in kind:
 
We owe nothing. On the contrary, only the existence of the society built by people who work ever enabled finance extractors and other leeches to exist at all. So they were already our creatures even before the crash they inflicted upon us and the bailouts they stole from us. The latter have only cinched it once and for all. Through the bailouts we the people own the banksters and their political lackeys. We own them, we own their banks, we own their corporations, we own every cent any of them stole on a personal level, we own it all. They owe us everything they have. They must repay it all upon demand.
 
Then there’s their systematic assault upon our jobs, upon the real economy, upon the safety net we paid for, upon civil society itself. There’s their intentional crashing of the economy, and the systematic robbery of trillions for which they used this crash as the pretext. The restitution they owe for these crimes is beyond tally. Here again, they owe us everything they have, and vastly more. They must repay it all upon demand.  
 
The banksters and corporatists are chattel of we the people. They’ve stolen so much that if we put them all in chains tomorrow, it would take a million years for them to work off their debt to us. It’s they who owe such a monumental debt to the people of Greece, not the other way around. What’s true for Greece is true for all other countries – Latvia, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and on up to the Britain and America. All nations.
 
To recap:
 
1. They were never anything but parasites upon us in the first place.
 
2. They intentionally crashed the economy (by blowing up a bubble and then picking their moment to puncture it, using the allowed collapse of Lehman as the political pretext for the Bailout).
 
3. Although they forced the Bailout upon us, nevertheless our money was stolen for it, so the Bailout means we the people are now the formal owners of the banks, in addition to how we already morally owned them.
 
4. Meanwhile the banksters have engaged in a monumental criminal conspiracy against our economies and polities. The induced crash, stolen bailouts, and austerity assaults comprise the climactic phase of this long arc of crime.
 
The debt they owe us is literally infinite. We owe them nothing.
 
This is the simple, wholesome, true consciousness all of humanity must develop, if we intend to continue as human beings at all, instead of being terminally reduced to the most wretched servitude.
 
All of humanity is standing tall in Syntagma Square.
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8 Comments

  1. How frustrating..you’re so right -but OLD news. And billions of people are in the process of making the same mistakes, and becoming what we want to leave behind. They’re already captured..working in polluted cities to have 2 cars (probably on credit) instead of the bicycles. Looking through their eyes, it’s understandable…a conundrum!

    Comment by Natalie Golovin — June 24, 2011 @ 10:33 am

    • Yes, old news to some of us. If only it would become new news to these inertial masses.

      Comment by Russ — June 24, 2011 @ 11:28 am

  2. “The debt they owe us is literally infinite. We owe them nothing.”

    It cannot be repaid. Seeking repayment is counterproductive. In fact, it is playing “their” game, only in reverse.

    I’ve been rethinking my position on money, just last night, after three beers. I rarely drink, so my thinking was definitely impaired. But this morning the logic still seems sound, so I’m floating it here and there. Now here.

    Money is debt, no matter what. It’s not just in this fractional reserve banking, double entry bookkeeping form that it is debt, it is always and can only be debt. It is bondage. It is evil, the root of evil (I’m not being religious). Money is a thought pattern, a keeping of accounts when in fact there’s no need to do so, not really. Or, perhaps there was a need, but only to learn the need was self-imposed. A lesson which takes millennia to learn. Perhaps you find this line of thinking absurd, but to me, everything is a miracle, from the tiniest sub-atomic energy-node to the entirety of Universe. No, I’m not drunk, just in a very strange mood. 😉 And I hate to hide that I am one moody son of a bitch. But I digress.

    The way I’ve come to understand money thus far, there are two ways of creating it; for profit via usury/fees (must look into Islamic banking!) in the market, or by government spending. Hours and Time Banks are a market solution minus usury, but a market with an inflexible price system, with the implied profit to the commons of a functioning community. The difference is there’s just time-as-measure and uniformity of value. But the hours, having spending power, are debt. It doesn’t matter what entity you give spending power, the bestowing of spending power turns that nothing, that digit, that accounting entry, into a debt in the sense that the nothing can be ‘transformed’ into a good or service. Society owes to the money in existence, a point Frederick Soddy makes, but I didn’t fully get until yesterday. If the money is not extinguished upon exchange, it remains a claim on goods and services. Society is in debt to that purchasing power while it is generally agreed that it has purchasing power. Soddy calls money virtual wealth, defines it as “The nothing we get for something before we can get anything.” The main word is nothing, and how it relates to something, the power it has over, or the claim it has on, that (future) something.

    So money is always debt because it is necessarily nothing. Even in barter — which is all we really have anyway, even with a medium of exchange which is a commodity. Do you buy an apple with money, or is the person with the apple buying money with the apple? Is 50c worth one apple or the other way around? When money exists as part of our cultural sense of how to interact with each other, we are in debt to it. It owns us. It makes us think in terms of debt and bondage. Were a ‘perfect’ government kindly to spend 10 trillion into the economy, that is a debt the economy owes the money. What is money without an economy? Nothing. It is potential purchasing power with nothing to purchase. Money is debt. Period. It is a nothing bestowed with purchasing power.

    This begs the question, what is debt? I’m beginning to believe it is an illusion we have saddled ourselves with in fear of the scarcity we conjured into being when we started farming and ‘owning’ and ‘controlling’ nature. Debt is the natural consequence of notionally removing ourselves from nature, to stand apart from it, and shape it to our desire. We’ve been running from mess and ‘chaos’ and ‘disorder’ ever since, and have shaped the way we perceive reality so deeply, we are no longer capable of seeing debt for what it is: bondage to fear. The fear of want and death. The fear of nature.

    I hope to god this makes some sense, because I’m just bashing away here. The question I’m putting to myself is if the rest of the universe operates on a debt basis. I don’t think it does. There’s no debt, no owing. There’s only rebalancings in constant and ‘creative’ reaction to previous rebalancings. It’s just energy patterns, man! People say friendships and other human relationships are based on debt and owing. “You owe me one.” “I owe you big for that! Thank you so much!” But that’s not debt. We just think it is because of money and the origins of money. I don’t owe my wife repayment for loving me, marrying me. We are in a relationship of shifting happiness, suffering, stress, fun, etc. There’s no fixed accounting, no need to measure, no bill to settle. If we settled a bill, if we equaled each other’s contribution, would that zero be the end of the relationship? Is love extinguished when all is balanced? Friendship? Of course not, because they’re not based on debt. Debt is bondage. Love, trust, friendship, are based on ongoing creativity and living processes that refuse all measure (except via art of course, which is no measure). Life is not about negatives, it is about creative instability. There’s a big difference between the two.

    So, back to the line I quoted at the top. We cannot transcend this bondage, this debt, unless we transcend money, re-embrace shared abundance, live in nature, with uncertainty, and forget the Tower of Babel. Hunting down the evil ones will turn us into evil ones, cause us to rebuild a new totalitarian system in the mess of war. The only way through is to construct, imagine, experiment with very different rules. Relearn the commons, which is us in the Universe together.

    I’m a vacillating so and so, so I might retract all this a few hours from now. Nevertheless, I took the risk of thinking out loud here as one part of joining in more deeply and nakedly with those networks I think are producing decent amounts of what humanity needs right now; good ideas.

    Comment by Toby — June 25, 2011 @ 3:58 am

    • It cannot be repaid. Seeking repayment is counterproductive. In fact, it is playing “their” game, only in reverse.

      You thought I meant literally seeking repayment? Of course not – how can an infinite debt be repaid? As far as the wealth goes, I merely want to confiscate every cent they have.

      I don’t think it’s a new idea that money is debt. After all, even conventional economics claims it’s loaned into existence. I agree that the whole concept, just like taxes, is primarily about social control rather than any economic imperative. Why should anyone ever need to go into debt? If a social project (which is what all necessary and worthwhile projects are) needs capitalization, why wouldn’t that be a community effort? The only answer is always that this would prevent parasites from extracting illegitimate rents.

      If you read Lawrence Goodwyn’s The Populist Moment you’ll see how the core problem the movement was trying to solve was the liberation of the farmer from debt indenture. Without getting into the details of Charles Macune’s subtreasury idea, I’ll say that in essence it was a proposal for the government to free the farmer from having to resort to private credit, on the grounds that what the farmer does is so critical to society that he should be so liberated, even if one otherwise believes in capitalism.

      But the same principle can be applied to all constructive sectors. And we don’t need centralized government to provide the capitalization either. Confederated communities can do that.

      The question I’m putting to myself is if the rest of the universe operates on a debt basis. I don’t think it does. There’s no debt, no owing. There’s only rebalancings in constant and ‘creative’ reaction to previous rebalancings.

      That makes me think of Nietzsche’s objection to the “laws of the universe” reification. (Beyond Good and Evil, section 22)


      People should forgive me, as an old philologist who cannot prevent himself from maliciously setting his finger on the arts of bad interpretation—but that “conformity to nature” which you physicists talk about so proudly, as if—it exists only thanks to your interpretation and bad “philology”—it is not a matter of fact, a “text.” It is much more only a naively humanitarian emendation and distortion of meaning, with which you make concessions ad nauseam to the democratic instincts of the modern soul! “Equality before the law everywhere—in that respect nature is no different and no better than we are”: a charming ulterior motive, in which once again lies disguised the rabble’s hostility to everything privileged and autocratic, as well as a second and more sophisticated atheism. Ni dieu, ni maître [neither god nor master]—that’s how you want it, and therefore “Up with natural law!” Isn’t that so? But, as mentioned, that is interpretation, not text, and someone could come along who had an opposite intention and style of interpretation and who would know how to read out of this same nature, with a look at the same phenomena, the tyrannically inconsiderate and inexorable enforcement of power claims—an interpreter who set right before your eyes the unexceptional and unconditional nature in all “will to power,” in such a way that almost every word, even that word “tyranny,” would finally appear unusable or an already weakening metaphor losing its force—as too human— and who nonetheless in the process finished up asserting the same thing about this world as you claim, namely, that it has a “necessary” and “calculable” course, but not because laws rule the world but because there is a total absence of laws, and every power draws its final consequence in every moment. Supposing that this also is only an interpretation—and you will be eager enough to raise that objection?—well, so much the better.

      That is only an interpretation, one which, if applied in a temporal, money-grubbing way (which is never what Nietzsche meant), would be used to exalt the tyranny of finance. (Of course, the “laws of nature” interpretation performs the same function, as we see with all bogus economic ideologies. It’s heads I win, tails you lose with these criminals.)

      Comment by Russ — June 25, 2011 @ 4:58 am

      • Of course “money is debt” is an old equivalence. The question is whether this is good or bad, and if bad, what to do about it. One suggestion for those who see “money is debt” as a bad thing, is to create money in a different way to FRB, e.g. 100% reserve banking, with govt. spending (not lending) money into existence. However, if money is only and always debt, because it can only ever be, even if gold or cowrie shells, a “nothing bestowed with purchasing power”, then there is NO solution to the problem of money as debt that maintains the needs for money. The mere existence of money, in every form possible, is a cultural phenomenon causing us to think in terms of ownership, debt, repayment, etc. Look at your anger at the obscenely wealthy. You want every cent repaid (“confiscate”? to keep? to re-use?). What are these cents but debts? Why should we want this back? What does that actually mean? Maybe ‘repayment’ is just a perpetuation of the debt-system, the bondage-system, in another guise, another format.

        My interest is in how to build a steady state growth socioeconomic system, one which has nature and sustainability and reality at its heart. Because of the enormous cultural resistance to the very idea of steady state growth I experience almost everywhere, I’ve put a lot of effort into thinking through money re-design to be a tool that has a chance of co-existing with steady state economics. Perhaps such is impossible for the reasons given above. Perhaps the only way ‘forward’ is with a comprehensive, global change of consciousness that leads, in part, to the realization that money simply isn’t necessary (as you appear to suggest). That would be a leap to resource based economics. And that is an enormous challenge, necessarily global, and totally unknown in history.

        That’s a fascinating Nietzsche quote. I’ve never read his work, but my exposure to his thinking, via your efforts and other people’s elsewhere, suggests to me more and more strongly, I should jump in and take a look. It’s difficult to get a solid bead on the passage you quote out of context, but it seems to hint at the inevitable, spiraling circularity of subjectivity that so fascinates me. “Mind and world arise together.” To me, that just about says it all!

        Comment by Toby — June 27, 2011 @ 1:04 am

      • You want every cent repaid (“confiscate”? to keep? to re-use?). What are these cents but debts? Why should we want this back? What does that actually mean?

        I want the community to take back the land and any other real assets for reasons that should be obvious. As for the money, I want to obliterate all wealth imbalances, which are objectively malevolent in that they always lead to oppression (even if the wealthy faction doesn’t “mean” to do that). From that point of view whether the money distribution is equalized or money simply ceases to exist makes little difference. The point is that no one holds a loaded gun at the head of anyone else.

        That would be a leap to resource based economics. And that is an enormous challenge, necessarily global, and totally unknown in history.

        Did Daly write anything about money in his steady-state vision? I can’t recall from the few pieces I read some years back.

        The context for the Nietzsche quote is part one of Beyond Good and Evil, which he dedicates to shredding the “Prejudices of Philosophers”, in this case the reification often involved in the “laws of nature” metaphor.

        Comment by Russ — June 27, 2011 @ 2:29 am

      • I’m not an expert on Daly, but from what I’ve read thus far I doubt very much he looks at the dynamics of money, or at money itself. Money is a fascinating and central phenomenon that somehow fails to fascinate in the right way. John McMurtry’s first chapter of “The Cancer Stage of Capitalism” is very interesting on this, partly because McMurtry himself fails to deal with money creation in the book, a book explicitly about how philosophy has failed, through the ages, to address The System it operates in, and how we should really be looking at it. It’s a very good book though.

        I believe the process you touch on will lead us, logically, to having to abandon money somehow, which means the arguments/reasoning, and the fight to see that process through, are one. The absence of explicit ownership in the form of private property is a systemic change that accomplishes most of what needs to be done, renders money unhelpful, and forces us to re-interpret wealth along more honest, rich and natural lines (almost as pre-requisites and consequences simultaneously).

        Comment by Toby — June 27, 2011 @ 5:17 am

    • Toby, I am 100% with you on transcending money as being the key “enlightenment” paradigm shift necessary to address almost all of the ills discussed here.

      Russ, in a comment below, says “whether the money distribution is equalized or money simply ceases to exist makes little difference”. But the mere mathematical FACT of money is what inexorably leads to imbalance, NOT the political or social structures having to do with it (bank regulations, limits on usury, access to credit, or whatever). The sheer implementation of money itself serves as an osmosis membrane, which will only allow wealth molecules to pass in a single direction, as I see it.

      I’m going to add my latest read, “Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt” by Frederick Soddy, to the forum library. I am only on the first chapter. It’s quite amazing what concepts he dealt with in 1926! Wikipedia says Soddy has been regarded as a “crank”, which means someone is onto something, usually!

      Whether you find others in agreement here (and I hope you do) this is going to be a very, very hard sell (“sell”, hah!) because it goes against everything that 99% of us have been brought up to believe is true, as were dozens of generations before us down the line. I have had discussions with some pretty smart people who I can get to understand that banking is broken, but the shift away from money is a mental leap they refuse to make. It will come, though, I think, at least to communities where the idea is allowed to take root.

      —-
      “The question I’m putting to myself is if the rest of the universe operates on a debt basis. I don’t think it does. There’s no debt, no owing. There’s only rebalancings in constant and ‘creative’ reaction to previous rebalancings. It’s just energy patterns, man! “

      Ah… but I think that’s where some debt does lie: in energy patterns. Since our universe is constantly dissipating energy, we are constantly losing ground with respect to it, and have to make up in capital consumption what is lost to us each year through natural processes or our own mismanagement. We aren’t in a perfectly balanced perpetual motion machine, but otherwise you’re on the right track, I think. There’s certainly no need to create additional artificial imbalances, except to set up the opportunity for a few to extract further with each movement.

      Toby, below you say “My interest is in how to build a steady state growth socioeconomic system, one which has nature and sustainability and reality at its heart.” Well, there is more than one contradiction in terms in that sentence. Growth can neither be steady-state nor sustainable. Neither mathematics nor nature is on our side, here. The best we can hope to do is to observe nature and the laws of thermodynamics and attempt to work with them to the best of our abilities and capacity for comprehension, rather than against them as is our current plan.

      Comment by Lidia — June 28, 2011 @ 10:06 am


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