On the Death of Certain Dreams

All nations, all peoples, I think, have dreams of themselves, of their better selves, of the people they imagine they could be. They are not rational and are often not even true. But then again dreams do not have to be true. We just have them. Or perhaps they have us. But those dreams have been dying recently. The dreams of whole nations have been withering and dying. As if some disease of our imagination’s immune system were turning hope against us. And we find ourselves collectively adrift, mourning for the people we thought we could be.

To lament the loss of something that was just a dream, and was, more than likely, not only not true but probably was kitsch and vaguely embarrassing, seems an odd thing. Yet the  mind is an ancient creature with habits and byways far older than we, as modern users, are aware of. We need dreams. The rational mind would like to laugh at them as childish atavisms. Yet dreams, especially those we share with others, however shyly, help define us and, I suspect, protect us. Like an immune system they help us recognize self and non-self, host and foreign. Without them there is a loneliness to which we are vulnerable. 

For those who have been brought up in these funny little islands, not everyone of us by any means, but very many of us, even in those who are too embarrassed to admit to it, there is a part of them which cannot help but smile at ‘The Spirit of the Blitz’. The dream  of the plucky war time people who came together and found they were better and stronger than their enemies, or they themselves, supposed.  Embarrassing? Of course. But it is still there. A filament which inexplicably, maddeningly perhaps, is nevertheless still there. It doesn’t even matter if it is overlain with other seemingly contradictory dreams and beliefs – those glorious punk rock years or miners’ strikes. Dreams laugh at rational consistency. 

Americans, of a certain sort, even if they would loudly protest, resonate to the simple John Wayne credo of not allowing others to lay a hand on them nor do to them what they themselves would not do to others. A direct and muscularly independent moralism, that smells of clear skies and clean rivers. A nostaligia for a mythic past when they were as they dream they can be again.

I am not defending these dreams. They are kitsch. I am not saying they are the only dreams we have of ourselves. I am saying there are such dreams in us. They had and have a role to make us whole and keep us from a deep emptiness. The emptiness of a dreamless adulthood when childhood is folded away in drawers and memories and photo albums.

I don’t know why it is I want to write this now. Or why I feel it so strongly. But I do.

It might seem a very silly thing to be talking about dreams, when the problems which beset us are so concretely real. But is it?

What has been killing the dreams in which we hoped and believed? A kind of rational nihilism in which the logical mind concludes that there is just no escape from the system it assumes is reality, despite the fact that it can see the clear traces that it is a system it had a hand in building.

Bravery is as irrational as hope, despair, like cruelty, is pure logic. There never is an alternative, not a rational one. There wasn’t in Ireland when the doubters said Ireland would sink without Great Britain. There wasn’t in 1939 when the same clever people said this little island would not survive alone, and alone it would be. There was no alternative when the poor and ignorant of, first, England, then the 13 states of North America and then of France rose up one after each other.

There never is an alternative, never a path, the rational mind declares,  that does not lead to chaos and disaster far worse than whatever injustices people have risen against. And yet here we are. The sons and daughters of those who remembered to dream.

The simple fact of out times, is that if the old dreams of our better selves are dying, then we must dream new ones.

 

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86 Responses to On the Death of Certain Dreams

  1. Phil (Mcr) December 9, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    Beautiful

  2. John G December 9, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    There’s an old (I think Dutch) proverb that says “one doesn’t require hope to persevere”, which I find useful at times.

    That and watching The Matrix every so often. :)

    • Golem XIV December 9, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

      Perhaps the English equivalent of the Dutch saying would be “Hanging on in quiet desperation.”

      I want hope.

      Showed the children The Matrix a few days ago. They thought it was great. Down the rabbit hole we go.

      • John G December 11, 2012 at 12:55 am #

        It’s a good allegory of the modern capitalist world and its media driven mirage. Hopefully the kinks in the matrix will become big enough for a critical mass to break out.

      • McCabage December 31, 2012 at 3:35 am #

        Ah Pink Floyd, some of Roger’s finest work too ‘Hanging on in quiet desperation
        Is the English way, The time is gone, The song is over, Thought I’d something more to say’ [Time, from Dark Side of the Moon for any who doesn't know, well worth a listen]

        A beautiful piece Mr Malone – hope is a fascinating necessity I think. Almost as interesting as the function of the heart, you documentary on ‘what makes us human?’ [I think it was] was brilliant.

        I hope you are well and that 2013 treats you well.
        Regards

  3. The Dork of Cork. December 9, 2012 at 9:53 pm #

    I like this guys take on “reality”

    He comes from a FF republican family………..(bit of a black sheep me thinks)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDBPx2gId9I

    • steviefinn December 11, 2012 at 10:07 am #

      Many a truth spoken in jest – The fella with the eyebrows put me in mind of the Healy-Rae mafia that I had some experience of when I lived in Kerry.

      Did you get your road yet ?

      • The Dork of Cork. December 11, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

        Yes Jackie was not well liked among many of the Kerry clan , he just scraped in during his last term……..

        But they were always very polite.

        I would not vote for him but his son Micheal always struck me as a nice man.

        Having said that I worked with a guy from North Cork and he was even more crude then this…..

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQaTkJmdDJM

  4. The Dork of Cork. December 9, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    Canvassing with his brother last year………..

    “Moving forward…………
    We should always move forward
    And I think if we move forward at the same speed together there will be no time travel”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYTYXGsflXE

  5. C. Flower December 9, 2012 at 11:00 pm #

    Was just thinking about this, but could not express it so well. In the past few days, I’ve read a few people tentatively considering the need to dream, and where to start.

    Would like to post this for discussion on Political World, if you would not mind.

    • Golem XIV December 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

      Hello C. Flower,

      Of course I don’t mind. But thank you for asking. I hope you and yours are well. It’s nice to hear from you now and again.

      • C. Flower December 9, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

        Hello G

        All still standing, thank you. :) Hope you and yours are well too. Thanks for your kind permission to quote.

        A couple of years ago, Chomsky wrote that the hardest thing today is the lack of hope – in the 30s when he was young people had powerful utopian visions of what they believed could come in the future.

        Well, it’s been done before, it can be done again, better. :)

  6. sheepshagger December 9, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    Hitler didn’t want people to dream only to obey.

    Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

    Dream on and who knows, your time might come sooner than you think.

  7. Nick C December 10, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    This is definitely the moment to dare to dream. The time is ripe for us to evolve beyond this fee market madness and look after our people and planet.

    In fact like the caterpillar must dissolve into mush before emerging as a beautiful butterfly, perhaps the conditions right now are a prerequisite for a new vision and direction to emerge…

    “you may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”

  8. steviefinn December 10, 2012 at 12:35 am #

    I am presently just over half way through Vasily Grossman’s novel – ‘ Life & Fate ‘, ( Thank you Jesse } a tale involving the crushed dreams of millions, who were caught up in the titanic struggle between 2 totalitarian sides of the same rotten coin.

    The dreams of most of his characters are all distorted by terrible circumstance to small bubbles of what they once were or should have been. Some have replaced dreams with delusions – Like Jews believing they were being sent to work camps & those who dreamt that a paradise could emerge from the malignant seed sown by two rancid isms.

    I think that the hope in this story comes from what some might call, small commonplace dreams, especially from those who are capable of love & kindness. Like them perhaps we have all been infected to a more or lesser extent by a big dream, the modern day version of earlier isms, another one that seems to be turning into a delusion.

    Perhaps it’s possible to create a big dream that doesn’t go sour, one that is made of a countless number of the small dreams, those that have always been fundamental to the human race. Possibly a ridiculous idea – I must be dreaming.

  9. Roger December 10, 2012 at 4:48 am #

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q910HEkDOmE

    if music be the food of love, play on;
    Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
    The appetite may sicken, and so die.
    That strain again! it had a dying fall:
    O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound,
    That breathes upon a bank of violets,
    Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:
    ‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
    O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
    That, notwithstanding thy capacity
    Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
    Of what validity and pitch soe’er,
    But falls into abatement and low price,
    Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
    That it alone is high fantastical.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObEsvwIa73g

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4hZw_whAck

  10. GordonDonald December 10, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    In William Morris’s novel News From Nowhere the Hero, William Guest, falls asleep in squalid Victorian London but awakes in a pastoral paradise in 2102. At the end of the story he awakens again back in Victorian Hammersmith to reflect on his dream:

    “I lay in my bed in my house at dingy Hammersmith thinking about it all and trying to consider if I was overwelmed with despair at finding I had been dreaming a dream; and strange to say, I found that I was not so despairing.
    Or indeed was it a dream? If so, why was I conscious all along that I was really seeing all that new life from the outside, still wrapped up in the prejudices, the anxieties, the distrust of this time of doubt and struggle?”

    Guest believes the message to him from the future is “…Go back again, now you have seen us, and your outward eyes have learned that in spite of all the infallible maxims of your day there is yet a time of rest in store for the world, when mastery has changed into fellowship… and while you live you will see all round you people engaged in making others live lives which are not their own, while they themselves care nothing for for their own lives – men who hate life though they fear death. Go back and be happier for seeing us, for having added a little hope to your struggle. Go on living while you may, striving, with whatsoever pain and labour needs must be, to build up little by little the new day of fellowship, and rest, and happiness.”
    “Yes, surely! and if others can see it as I have seen it, then it may be called a vision rather than a dream.”

  11. Ghabhain December 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    It’s funny, in a humourless kind of way really, all this harping back to the golden times of yesteryear. Doesn’t matter if it’s the Religeous Right in America dreaming of John-Wayne or jihadi dreams of the Caliphate, as you say, it’s all kitch nostalgia.

    Here in Scotland, one can see the difference highlighted in the independance debate. The Yes campaign is based on positives looking forward – self determination, economic freedoms, personal dignity and ideas of ‘nationhood’. Compare and contrast the pro-unionist campaign which is based on nostalgia for plucky wartime togetherness and fear – fear of the future, fear of expulsion from Europe, fear of life without the rest of the UK smiling benificence upon us.

    The thing is, what the independance campaigners have are dreams of a brighter future whereas the unionists dream of a perfect past with a nightmarish post-independance future as an option to be fought against. I think I prefer dreaming of the future than ‘courying doon’, frightened of what may be. In case you’re not aware, the unionist campaign is concieved and delivered from London, not Scotland.

    I like dreams. Everything you see around you was once someone’s dream. That phone in your hand, the keyboard I’m typing on. Dreams make the future. For the past, I prefer facts, not rose tinted rear-view mirrors. Where was the plucky togetherness when the Government sent the tanks and machine-guns to quell the hungry ex-soldiers protesting after the first world war? That bit tends to be forgotten about.

    As a certain fabulous American started his speach once not so many years ago, ‘I have a dream!’ The world needs more dreamers.

    • yakima canutt December 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

      Scottish Independence campaign is very interesting; pretty unique in the world I think.
      There seems to be 4 different campaigns.
      One group are for independence, but for big government (Eck the Fish team) and pro Europe -and keep the pound sterling for goodness sake ????
      One group are for independence, but for small government and looser ties with European Union.
      One group are against standing on our own two feet, hang on to London
      One group are against any change at all, is it broke, and would we fix it in any case.

      Never have I seen an independence movement with any chance of ‘success’, like this one probably has, with less fervour and patriotic zeal.

      My view?
      Position No. 5. Write a constitution which limits govt. spending to balanced budgets and a fixed %age of GDP max; also enshrines personal rights;has 50 MPs and no parties, 20% of whom have to be re-elected every year (so you always sense the mood of the people); fixes the currency to gold, then allows the govt to print the money and stuff the banks. Any bank can only fractionally-reserve 10-fold. Foreigners can hold Scottish Bank accounts. (US money would pour into Scotland).
      No income tax or PAYE, only national sales tax. Duty paid on imported goods by the shipper. Local rates 100% funded by residents and businesses.
      Criminal, Civil and Corporate law re-written based on principles and intentions, not specifics that can have loopholes. Court cases have fixed time limits and fixed costs. Arbitration written into law for most civil cases.

      • Ghabhain December 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

        Hi Yakima,

        Please don’t underestimate the lack of fervour and zeal, it’s just that the entire press corps and state broadcaster are hostile to the conceptand don’t report it.

        Don’t believe it? Well for one thing, Yes Scotland has more signatories to its Declaration than there are members of all political parties in Scotland. Simultaneously, the amount of BBC news coverage relating to Scottish politics has been slashed. Even more alarming is that the BBC blogs of Brian Taylor (BBC Scottish Politics Editor ) and Douglas Fraser (BBC Scotland business and economics editor) are, uniquely for the BBC, locked to prevent the posting of responses.

        I think, you hit the real pro-union position when you proffered your view, position no. 5. Think what the reaction in London would be if an independant Scotland adopted similar economic and business policies to our Scandinavian neighbours – including Iceland!

        • GordonDonald December 10, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

          The enthusiasm and positive, forward-looking nature of the Yes camp came across clearly in reports of the recent Radical Independence Conference in Glasgow. But if you want to know about it you would have had to be there or follow blogs such as Pat Kane’s Thoughtland

          http://www.thoughtland.info/2012/11/-radical-independence-conference-three-observations.html

          or Bella Caledonia

          http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/

          The mainstream media have a predetermined script in covering the independence debate: it’s all about “who rules Scotland? Labour or SNP” and anything which does not fit this narrow party rivalry story is ignored or sidelined.

        • Penny Bloater December 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

          An independent Scotland can only ever work if it is able to exercise control over it’s own economy. The only real way of gaining economic sovereignty is through having it establishing it’s own Treasury with the power to issue it’s own currency. Otherwise I think that BOE and HM Treasury policies structured around the interests of Sterling, overseas ‘investment’ and the financialised economy of the City of London will wreck any meaningful attempt at Scottish independence.

          I’m surprised to hear so little discussion of this scenario – anyone any thoughts on such a quandry or whether it merits consideration at all?

          • Roger Lewis December 17, 2012 at 8:45 am #

            Positive money are doing some consulting with the icelandic parliament on these questions presently. I agree it is essential to Scottishindependence to have their own currency and publicly owned central bank. Eire would be much better off if outwith the Euro as would Greece and the other Pigs. I saw Mario Monti stepped down the other day lots of lessons there for the yes to independence. A vote for independence would be a vote for democracy, we can not have democracy as long as ( another Chomsky favourite this.

            As long as politics is the shadow cast on society by big business, the attenuation of the shadow will not change the substance.
            Quoted in John Dewey and American Democracy by Robert Westbrook (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), p. 440; cited in Understanding Power (2002) by Noam Chomsky, ch. 9, footnote 16

      • sheepshagger December 13, 2012 at 3:19 am #

        Fuck off, Scotland has had too many neo liberal keelies in the past.
        Have you not heard of the 110 day rule?
        Git awa ya feil!

  12. Martin December 10, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Nice piece.
    I often relate things to pre ’89 Eastern Europe, only because I now have in-laws there (thanks Ryanair) and am intrigued by their history.
    Back then I think a dream might have been a pair of fancy red shoes from the ‘West’, or being able to stick two fingers up to the state/system in small subversive ways.

    On the Guardian website right now – N. Korea “We are too busy trying to survive to care”

  13. John Souter December 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    Dreams are our freedom from the shackles of perceived reality.

    The shackles of our perceived reality are locked on by our manipulators.

    The Manipulators – a few examples:

    We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries. –
    David Rockefeller, founder of, and in an address before, the Trilateral Commission, in June of 1991

    Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have. – Richard Salant, former President of CBS News

    The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, so what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes… They pull the strings… AND WE DANCE. – John Swinton, former chief-of-staff for the New York Times, in an address to fellow journalists.

    When you control opinion, as corporate America controls opinion in the United States by owning the media, you can make the [many] believe almost anything you want, and you can guide them. – Gore Vidal

    From The Golden Age
    The great mass of people … will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one.

  14. 24K December 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

    Charlie don’t surf.

  15. Jeremy S mills December 11, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    The Dreams of the individual have to become the dreams of the masses.
    Taken from an article by Owen Jones in The Independent’s “I”a few weeks ago.
    He quoted Tony Benn, who said, ‘…the flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope can build a better world.’ Jones says, ‘We have the anger. Now we need to work on the hope.’ Hope has to be the recurring theme of our collective dreams to harness the anger that is out there in a positive way for the benefit of the many.

    • Golem XIV December 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm #

      Welcome to you Mr mills.

      Hope is indeed what we must have. Shared hope.

  16. Greg December 12, 2012 at 6:32 am #

    “The emptiness of a dreamless adulthood when childhood is folded away in drawers and memories and photo albums.”

    Thanks so much. I dream of a world where thought provoking writing such as this is much more frequently encountered.

  17. Mike Hall December 13, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    All

    This is a superb documentary by Swedish TV on the debt crisis & failure of mainstream macro economics. Features Dirk Bezemer, Steve Keen, Michael Kumhof (IMF chief research economist). It also features Robert Lucas (Nobel economist & head of Chicago Booth school of economics), laughably telling us everything in the finance sector & macro economic thinking is just fine!! (WTF!)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JtVtHjZcN7s

    There are English subtitles – press the captions/subtitles button, leftmost of the lower right set of buttons.

    This is a must watch video.

    David

    I strongly suggest you put a link to this prominently on the blog front page.

    If the BBC & others had any honest/ non-stupid economics editors, it would be appearing, suitably dubbed, on English language prime time TV.

    The finance sector pyramid scheme is beautifully exposed. The IMF’s Michael Kumhof states explicitly how banks create money as debt (per MMT of course!).

    Interestingly, Kumhof also features in an interview about his recent research study on Peak Oil here:

    http://peakoil.com/generalideas/peak-oil-warning-from-an-imf-expert-interview-with-michael-kumhof/

    • Hawkeye December 13, 2012 at 10:52 am #

      Mike

      Thanks for the excellent links. Mr Kumhof has caused quite a stir! Great to see him converging with Steve Keen on these matters.

      Steve Keen is just getting closer and closer to the nub of the problem with Macro Economics.

      He cut his teeth showing how preposterous the mainstream economic canon is, when it ignores Debt, Money and Banks from its models.

      Now he has exposed that even greater flaw, the absence of factoring Energy into models of economic growth.

      I remember reading this article in early 2009, and realising that the Ecological Economics movement were on to something:

      http://hnn.us/articles/47330.html

      The challenge all along was to “prove it”.

      Keen and Kumhof appear to be rising very well to that challenge and for taking it to a wider audience.

      Maybe time for me to pen another blog post…………..

      • Mike Hall December 13, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

        Nicely written article linked there Hawkeye. A brief quote:

        “Oil gave us a once-in-the-history-of-the-planet chance to build a sustainable industrial infrastructure, one that would provide a high standard of living by running on current solar income rather than by drawing down the planetary stock of capital, and so far, we’ve blown it. We’ve been like Ponzi, meeting current expenses out of capital rather than true income. Like him, we’ve built a system that has to grow or it will crash; and like him, we’ve built a system that cannot grow forever, and so it must crash.”

        Seemingly not only are the elites, and notably, supposedly ‘democratic’ leaders in denial about this reality, but they insist on the continuation of their position at the top of the Pyramid/Ponzi even in the face of the current GFC & recession.

        I’m not at all sure humanity is going to be able to survive no matter what we do from now, at least in any currently recognisable developed world form, beyond perhaps even the next generation.

        However, if we collectively continue to use Pyramid/Ponzi competition as the model, we will doubtless add global conflict/warfare to the other inevitable list of horrors that will be the final epoch of death & destruction.

        IMO, the only possible (but far from certain) salvation is a truly co-operative approach, where we endeavour to leave no-one behind.

        Applying the latter to macroeconomics is something that thus far the Green parties have singularly failed to do (and is why I left).

        In short, it’s all of us, or none of us. No middle ground ‘fudge’ – only two paths. I choose the former (or at least the best effort we can make to achieve that).

        Of course, such an approach is anathema to present elites (as proof piles upon proof with every scandal, incompetence & malignance exposed) , selfish to the point of exclusion of even their own future generations & utterly socio-pathic. They might manage to isolate & insulate themselves from Ponzi economics, but climate change will see them off in the end. (cf Mark Lynas – Six Degrees, “…alarming, but not alarmist…” – realclimate.org )

        Sorry, might have rambled on a bit there….

        Look forward to your next blog post :)

        • Roger G Lewis December 31, 2012 at 9:16 am #

          “Oil gave us a once-in-the-history-of-the-planet chance to build a sustainable industrial infrastructure, one that would provide a high standard of living by running on current solar income rather than by drawing down the planetary stock of capital, and so far, we’ve blown it. ´

          ”Oil gave us a once-in-the-history-of-the-planet chance”

          I wanted to just take a moment to consider this claim. I feel it is a fairly big claim, one that is heard very often and accepted as being correct without question.

          Personally I think any claims that one is being presented with under the billing ´a once in a life time opportunity´, should be examined very carefully. Often when presented with such entreaties the person claiming to be pointing out the rarity of the opportunity on offer is not without self interest in one taking the supposedly rare choice.

          When back in the 1920′s oil was adopted as the primary power source along with Coal the state of technology with respect to electricity was also quite advanced, one wonders why Oil was favoured?

          When one considers prohibition in the united states (think Bio fuels and hemp) and one also considers the turmoil around the money system and the wider geo-political movements at that time(Gold Standard, USSR,Weimar to National Socialism, Spanish CIvil War). The claim that Oil some how presented us with and still does, with a once in a lifetime of the planet opportunity? I do not think the claim can stand up.

          There was some interesting Geo Thermal developments a few months back, never widely reported, but promising. The Solar budget is huge , always has been and will be for the life of the planet, the difficulty for the system of political economy we are subject to has always been that the sun as with the Air we breathe is free , abundant and can not be monopolised or made artificially scarce.

          As with the monetary myths I feel that the Oil as a special one off opportunity does not actually hold water especially if one looks outside of the economic system that is pre-supposed to give the claim any credibility in the first place. The standard line is that it is portable and relatively cheap to extract , when one starts off down that road incredulity is but a few steps around the corner.

  18. Debra December 13, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    I am a fervent admirer of William (Shakespeare…).
    For the past thirty years or so, I have been keeping time in “Macbeth”, where there is not only not much room for dreams, sleep itself is a major problem.
    I think there is an important distinction to be made between the dreams that we dream when we are asleep, and the ideals we construct to prop ourselves up while we are awake.
    I wonder if it is possible to live well without ideals. Certainly not something our civilization has cultivated for the past thousand years or so. On the subject of nihilism… remember what Cordelia says to dear Daddy when he asks her what she can say to merit.. more than her sisters, and she says “nothing”. He answers… “nothing comes from nothing, speak again”. Lear is tragically wrong…. Something indeed comes from nothing… The play unfolds out of this paradox.
    Dreams are moving, evanescent, they come to us when our eyes are closed, and fade with the morning. Much of the time they make little sense to us.
    Isn’t that a.. good thing ? That our conscious mind, what we can see of ourselves, can’t control them ?
    Ideals, on the other hand are monumental idols that we keep before our open eyes at all times. We measure ourselves and others against their standard. Not the same thing at all.
    Do we need new.. idols, or do we need to ask ourselves why we seem to be not dreaming any more ? Why we have disqualified fiction, and imagination, as you note, to construct painfully utilitarian and reductionist ideals ?
    Ironically enough, Sophocles gave us a clear glimpse of where the path we are treading leads. In “Oedipus Tyrannos”. A visionary play, in all senses of the word.

  19. Hawkeye December 13, 2012 at 10:38 am #

    A glimmer of hope in the mainstream media:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/12/hsbc-prosecution-fine-money-laundering

    “The US is the world’s largest prison state, imprisoning more of its citizens than any nation on earth, both in absolute numbers and proportionally. ………………But not everyone is subjected to that system of penal harshness. It all changes radically when the nation’s most powerful actors are caught breaking the law. With few exceptions, they are gifted not merely with leniency, but full-scale immunity from criminal punishment.”

    • Mike Hall December 13, 2012 at 2:05 pm #

      Glenn Greenwald is excellent there, great to see in the MSM, albeit in a bit of a backwater as yet.

      Reminds me of that short scene in the Swedish TV docu I linked above, where a researcher shows the interconnecting control linkages of the worlds largest corporations in a pretty pattern on his laptop & says “….100 Corporations control 80% of the global economy, the largest banks (incl HSBC!) are at the top…”

      Patently obvious who is in control…and it’s not ‘democracy’.

    • Hawkeye December 13, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

      Not read the full Peston article yet, but a quick skim through the comments, ranked by “highest rated” suggests that the British public is starting to get pretty fed up about the two tier justice system:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20667868

      Almost all top comments mention “jail time” for bankers.

  20. Phil (Mcr) December 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    Thinking about our conversation about globalization, David, I’m pretty certain Eric Schmdt doesn’t share our hopes for a new dream:

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/12/eric-schmidt-how-we-outrace-the-robots/

  21. Joe Taylor December 13, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    Went to a showing of the Positive Money film in Manchester on Tuesday night and picked up a print-out written by Brian Lesley.

    Had a good look at his website today and spoke to his wife. He’s been around a while – has anyone ever heard of him?

    Like this quote I picked up from his website:

    “There is nothing more difficult to execute, nor more dubious of success, nor more dangerous to administer, than to introduce a new order of things; for he who introduces it has all those who profit from the old order as his enemies, and he has only lukewarm allies in all those who might profit from the new. This lukewarmness partly stems from fear of their adversaries,.. and partly from the skepticism of men, who do not truly believe in new things unless they have actually had personal experience of them.” Machiavelli, The Prince, 1532.

    Also read the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – A Roadmap towards a Banking Union http://bit.ly/SXvG6A

    Any comments on this proposal regarding the ECB – are they dreaming?

  22. steviefinn December 14, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    According to this HRH is not amused by the banks & the FSA’s behaviour :

    ` Off with their heads ` ?

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/banks-were-too-lax-the-queen-speaks-1488883#comments?plckFindCommentKey=CommentKey:58aec497-f054-423a-8a08-04516ef1d0c2&plcktb=M1EdWWkCZUN7fGNabGd0XVduag4A0

  23. john ashpool December 14, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    Keats so well said this state which finds it’s echo here.
    We are like: ‘ the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home she stood in tears amid the alien corn.’

    Where is relatedness in this alienated world?
    Where is natural justice?
    Where is compasssion ( shared passion)?
    Where is truth?
    (Some of this is here of course!)

    The world that is ours has been bought.
    We let it be bought. We liked the toys so we have become ‘things’ for them.
    We are now simple financial actors; the lowest pawns in their game of Monopoly and
    we live in constant apprehension about the next throw of the dice.

    But, if in this dark night of trampled hearts and lives we cultivate com-passion and relatedness, along with lucidity, we collectively will reclaim what is our and has been stolen.
    That is, if we can become; ‘as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves’ and resist
    and see for what it is their only rule; ‘Divide,divide,divide’ and find again our solidarity, our common purpose, our humanity.

    This is the blitz again. Our’s.

  24. john ashpool December 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    Our grandparents and great-grandparents went off, innocent for the most part, to fight for King and Country.
    ( Those who displayed advanced traumatic shock disorder were shot of course – pour encourager les autres.)
    Innocent they were. They didn’t know what went on in the ‘big houses’.
    We do.( Rebecca’s 10 million…)
    But this Blitz it’s not a Blitz which has to do with ‘Little England, and that nostalgia -pathos thing you often bring up.
    This is a collective crisis in a multicultural world.
    You’re a lovely man Mister Golem but it should be pointed out that the most intelligent and lucid today – those who we can profit most by listening to – are for the most part not of English ‘stock’.
    Much of what this ‘war’ is about was initiated in England anyway.It produced Empire, and slavery and Royalty and servility
    whilst our grandparents lived innocently under it, all the while unaware of what ‘the other hand’ was doing.
    ( Unless of course they were in uniform on the good end of a bayonet and a brown fella was on the bad end.)
    Johnathan Swift knew and saw very well what ‘the other hand’ was doing. Same as it’s doing today with 21century means.
    Now that we do too -know – let’s live and resist in the present.
    Like Gilad Atzmon for example.
    http://www.gilad.co.uk/

  25. john ashpool December 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    Yes it would be nice to have pure dreams BUT C G Jung was right.
    ( That is why they decided to consign him to oblivion.
    Anybody or anything that throws a light on darkness has to be vilified.)

    We ARE interconnected by a collective unconscious.
    For example: the evil of which we see glympses in these hushed-up pedophile cases
    becomes something we have to deal with in our unconscious, in
    our dreams, and in dream language, because these facts are perceived subliminaly.
    The greys, the reptiles the ufo’s, etc, are real as Jung said, in the sense that they are representations of
    evil in the real world with which we are in contact by a form of ‘entanglement’.
    They pollute us.

    When a Diana dies, suddenly the power of this ‘entanglement’ – existing as the interior myth of the individual – becomes collectively manifest. Even though the ‘suspicion’ aroused is often sublimated.
    But that has to do with myth, with the unconscious mythical power of the head heirarchical figure.

    There is only one solution to this ‘local’ entrapment, this ‘entanglement’.
    It is travel.Travel to a larger conscious and unconscious ‘space’.
    Travel either in the mind, or literally travelling to other cultures, thus loosening the bonds that tie to the insularity of this particular island collectivity and it’s mythos.
    Men kill for myths. For a greater Serbia. For some battle, grief, lost in the past.
    They are dangerous things myths good only for turning adults into children.
    It is a painful but necessary process this cleaning out the stables, I can assure you.

    When, for example the French juge d’instruction completed his investigation of Diana’s death and called
    a press conference where the dossier was handed over to the UK authorities a journalist – English – asked him.
    “Was Diana pregnant?” to which he replied. ” Yes. Didn’t everybody know that”.
    When Charles Windsor had his day in court accused of assaulting – not a barroom brawl way – an aide de camp, the simple fact of reporting the hearing in Le Monde was such that Le Monde was banned in the UK for that issue of the newspaper.

    Our dreams are increasingly corrupted.
    We can only reclaim them but looking at the truth individually and collectively.
    The more we become as ‘wise as serpents’ before they shut down the free speech here on the Web the better.
    It probably wont last much longer.
    Afterwards, having completed the Herculean task that waits in the wings now, we can go back to being ‘as gentle as doves’ with our children.
    All of them. Not just our own.
    Every child is our child

  26. Hywel December 14, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    eerie how moneyweek is promoting the lurch into zombieland

  27. desmond December 14, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    in the empire of lies every word of truth is treason. fortunately only truth prevails in time.

  28. Phil (Mcr) December 15, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    No one knew the banks were about to collapse until it was too late? Not according to the US Ambassador’s cables.

    http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2010/12/mervyn-king-systemic-insolvency-is-now-the-problem.html

    “What does this prove? That it was widely known in government circles by the time Bear Stearns went bust that the global banking system was effectively insolvent – and that banks’ unloading garbage assets at inflated prices was seen as critical in preventing the whole global economy from collapsing. It’s good to see this confirmed in writing.

    Now if the U.S. Ambassador was told point blank by Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, that the banks were insolvent, then clearly everyone high in U.S. and British officialdom knew as well. New Labour under Gordon Brown certainly knew. The Bush Administration knew. The Obama Administration knew via Tim Geithner.”

  29. Phil (Mcr) December 15, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    More of the cables:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/146196

  30. steviefinn December 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Conclusions arrived at from a German trauma specialist after a visit to Greece, the once cradle of certain dreams:

    http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/debatten/krise-in-griechenland-eine-gesellschaft-stuerzt-ins-bodenlose-11992352.html

  31. Penny Bloater December 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Excellent article. Lukacs predicted this situation 70 years ago and arrived at roughly the opposite conclusion to Marx’s political economy. The problem is that neoliberal globalisation as an economic and political model now holds in place a coherent, powerful argument that works exclusively in the interests of the financial and political elites who benefit massively from this social order. Over the last 30 years it has consolidated this narrative within media and political discourse.

    ‘We’ on the other hand are too socially fragmented and alienated from ‘other’ groups to attain a position of solidarity or to even decide what the actual question is. I think that this is exactly the contradiction that Occupy was trying to redress.

  32. David Morey December 16, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    Therborn on class and class struggles worldwide:

    http://newleftreview.org/II/78/goran-therborn-class-in-the-21st-century

  33. Phil (Mcr) December 16, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    A review of David Graeber’s book, ‘Debt: the first 5000 years’

    http://jacobinmag.com/2012/08/debt-the-first-500-pages/

    I suspect the MMTers / Chartalists might not like it…

    • John G December 16, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

      How so?

      • Phil (Mcr) December 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

        Well if you’d read it! ; )

        ‘Joseph Schumpeter captures the basic reason for chartalism’s unpopularity in his discussion of the “tempest in a teacup” surrounding the original reception of Knapp’s famous book:

        “Had Knapp merely asserted that the state may declare an object or warrant or token (bearing a sign) to be lawful money and that a proclamation to this effect that a certain pay-token or ticket will be accepted in discharge of taxes must go a long way toward imparting some value to that pay-token or ticket, he would have asserted a truth but a platitudinous one. Had he asserted that such action of the state will determine the value of that pay-token or ticket, he would have asserted an interesting but false proposition. [History of Economic Analysis, 1954]”

        In other words, chartalism is either obvious and right or interesting and wrong. Modern states are clearly crucial to the reproduction of money and the system in which it circulates. But their power over money is quite limited – and Schumpeter puts his finger exactly on the point where the limits are clearest: in determining the value of money.’

        In essence focusing on ‘money’ is not sufficient when capitalism is as much about social relations and hierarchies of power as price mechanisms and value etc.

        • John G December 16, 2012 at 10:34 pm #

          I did read it. Most MMTers understand the point.

          In my view the basic concept of money creation from nothing needs to be driven home BEFORE going any further.

          The struggle is to find the language to do that.

        • Penny Bloater December 17, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

          ‘Modern states are clearly crucial to the reproduction of money and the system in which it circulates. But their power over money is quite limited – and Schumpeter puts his finger exactly on the point where the limits are clearest: in determining the value of money.’

          But Markets can and do make mistakes and often big ones for various reasons which the Austrians refuse to recognize.

          We should understand the central premise here because we readily recognize that the stock market does not always correctly ‘value’ particular stocks, viewed sometimes at a particular moment, but certainly from the vantage point of hind sight and the advantages enjoyed by major market players. They can only ‘price’ rather than ‘value’ potential risks in the market.

          For example, we just saw our major financial markets collapse in 2008 not from governmental interference, but from just the opposite — too little governmental supervision and regulation to assure fair play and a lack of abuse of those markets.

          When the Austrians asserted that the market theory was a priori, they were wrong; what was a priority was only the logic of individual investment participation like buying a piece of bric-a-brac from a local market, but the moment you passed from this to the interaction of a multitude of interacting market participants you have passed into the empirical field of economic study – if one believes from a scientific perspective that this is achievable in practice.

          Also, Hayek’s conclusion will always remain largely untested: ‘Only by far-reaching decentralisation in a market system with competition and free price fixing is it possible to make full use of knowledge and information’ (Hayek 1974).

          Which national economy with all it’s complexities and variables will ever fit the description of free price fixing in practice?

          Given the level of such complexities and the number of variables in any national economy how can this theory possibly be modeled with any degree of accuracy whatsoever?

          Can you provide such a mathematical model that states otherwise?

          If not, for the most part, the ‘purity’ and ‘transparency’ of the economic models prescribed within the Austrian School will only ever remain conjecture and only workable in practice in ‘small’ and local exchanges between buyer and seller, and be of limited value beyond these confines.

  34. Phil (Mcr) December 16, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

    “Don’t be fooled. It was bank borrowing that caused the debt crisis, not consumer borrowing.”

    http://www.blog.rippedoffbritons.com/2012/03/who-was-irrational-borrower-that.html

  35. Sublime1 December 17, 2012 at 1:42 am #

    Wonderful as always to read your work, David.

    Not sure if readers here are familiar with the Real News Network, an excellent independent media outlet. They just did a great interview with Yılmaz Akyüz on where the global economy goes next. Well worth 10 minutes of your time.

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=9347

  36. Joe Taylor December 17, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Sublime1 – you’re right about ‘The Real News’. For a daily video update it’s the one to follow. Media Lens is worth following too, for a monthly email update.

    Penny – you are so right to say:

    >
    ‘We’ on the other hand are too socially fragmented and alienated from ‘other’ groups to attain a position of solidarity or to even decide what the actual question is. I think that this is exactly the contradiction that Occupy was trying to redress.
    >

    John G – I agree with you entirely when you say:

    >

    In my view the basic concept of money creation from nothing needs to be driven home BEFORE going any further.

    >

    As I see it, and I’m by no means an expert, that’s the basic problem and everything else follows from it. The ‘powerful few’ are able to dominate and exploit ‘the many’ because ‘they’ are able to create ‘money’ out of fresh air and dictate the terms by which ‘the many’ are provided with this essential commodity, and on what terms. Much of the rest, to my mind, is so much intellectual balderdash.

    I’m not so sure you are right to say:

    >
    The struggle is to find the language to do that.

    >

    It’s a pretty simple message – legislate to stop the commercial banks creating money as dept and give that function to an independent, transparent, accountable government agency to create debt-free money for use in the real economy (in short, the Positive Money message). Thanks to the fairly recent IT developments, we have the means to get that message out there.

    The struggle, as I see it, has a lot to do with ego. Many of those who come to understand the three-card trick that traps humanity into debt slavery, understandably, want credit for working it out. If we all got out there and did our bit to spread the simply Positive Money message, instead of trying to impress people by our own individual, intellectual analysis of the situation, society at large would be better served.

    It’s not long to the next election and legislation to change the current economic system, that most of us think isn’t fit for purpose, requires political willpower.

    If and when a large percentage of the general public understand the simple mechanism by which the ‘powerful few’ dominate and exploit them, they might put enough pressure on Labour, UKIP, The Greens, the Lib-Dems and other would-be claimants to government, for them to make that issue a key part of their electoral manifestos.

    So let’s get out there and do it. Any better suggestions?

    • John G December 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

      I’m no longer of the belief that the system can be changed from within. Certainly not from within the parties. In fact, I think the party system does more to stifle democracy than any one party state could ever achieve, but that’s another story.

      I referred to changing the language because the public’s mind is framed within gold standard terminology which no longer applies e.g. “government debt”.

      If you can get the message across that government bonds are not debts that must be repaid, but in fact private sector financial assets, then I think you can get somewhere.

      But even something as simple as that is harder to do than it sounds. People are very well conditioned to believe that money is a resource and that an economy is like a business.

      • JayD December 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm #

        Would a good starting point be to establish a None of the Above movement to at the very least encourage the spoiling of papers and if the majority or even 50%+ did so the so called party winner would have no legitimacy and a true debate about the nature of society and our collective dreams would have to follow.You could even form an official body to serve as the spoiling party…….I quite fancy, ‘Serfs’R'Us!

        • John G December 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

          Indeed. In Australia we have compulsory voting and I’ve argued for quite a few years that it would serve democracy better to be able to vote for NotA.

          Otherwise we are forced to give legitimacy to the meagre choice on offer and the rotten system that throws them up.

  37. 24K December 17, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    Milton, I think his mom had too much sherry to name him Milton. A big hollah to all the Milton’s out there…

    Where does that guy get off saying that greed is a good thing? That crow/crackhead faced woman said the same.

    Apparently alot of folk celebrate the death of this dude this time of year.

    Not Milton, another dude. Homer Simpson called him Jebus once I recall. Anyway this dudes dad made the universe and wrote a book.

    In this book, or the pamphlet that came with the book, or on the inside of the dust jacket of the book there are SEVEN DEADLY SINS.

    Guess what one of them is?

    I don’t understand why Christians run their economies based on one of the SEVEN DEADLY SINS.

    For me that would make a great ad campaign. Aren’t you yanks all God fearing?

    • steviefinn December 18, 2012 at 1:21 am #

      Are you by any chance referring to Ayn Rand ? Thanks for making me laugh at the thought anyway :)

      ” Praise the Lord & pass the ammunition “

      • 24K December 19, 2012 at 1:26 am #

        Yes Crow face. Some say she never wore shoes and could peel an orange with her feet.

  38. Joe Taylor December 18, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    John and Jay

    You both make very good points but, from a purely practical point of view, in democracies such as ours, there has to be a legislative process before anything enforceable comes into law, which necessitates political willpower by the ruling party. So, to get any fundamental change to the status quo, it needs a party in opposition to promise a change that the majority of the electorate badly wants to happen.

    New Zealand changed to proportional representation because the opposition promised a referendum on the issue, got elected then had to ahead with the referendum (which, incidentally they campaigned against when the time came). Thatcher came to power because she offered a radical alternative to the prevailing status quo, which the electorate, at the time, was dissatisfied with, after the Winter of Discontent.

    I can’t honestly see any opposition party sweeping into power on a platform of allowing a vote for None of the Above – or any tweak to the voting system. But right now, ordinary people are suffering because of undemocratically enforced austerity measures, which they blame, rightly or wrongly, on the Banks.

    If a party now in opposition (or even in power) promised to reform the banks, as I’m sure they will, it’s no good them tweaking at the edges – Robin Hood Tax, banning huge bonuses for bank CEOs and such like. To make a real difference, the change needs ensure a fundamental difference to the defunct economic system, be explained in such a way that it’s easy for the electorate to grasp and be emotive enough for the electorate to demand it.

    If you or anyone else can think of anything that fits that criterion better that the Positive Money’s idea, I’m all ears.

    • John G December 18, 2012 at 5:05 am #

      I have problems with the Positive Money people and their message. It’s muddled when it comes to so called government debt.

      I don’t pretend to have a better answer but I can’t see them gaining traction the way it stands.

      Re NZ. It had the longest continuous Social Credit party (if memory serves) in the world.

      • JayD December 18, 2012 at 10:45 pm #

        Does the Positive Money movement focus solely on the money/debt creation area or does it tackle also what we do with it re. individuals getting rich v co-operativism and the whole stuff driven psyche?
        I’m afraid that I’m too long in the tooth to hold out any hope for change coming from within our thoroughly corrupt STATEus-quo serving democratic processes and the silent disenfranchised majority seem to concur through their non involvement. SerfsRUs candidates could act as a None of the Above vote and immediately stand down having initiated a true debate to be forced into the open about EVERYTHING (i.e our hopes and dreams….to bring it back to the original subject!)

  39. Joe Taylor December 18, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    You could well be right JayD.

    In his 2010 book, Death of the Liberal Class, the former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges notes that:

    ‘The anaemic liberal class continues to assert, despite ample evidence to the contrary, that human freedom and equality can be achieved through the charade of electoral politics and constitutional reform. It refuses to acknowledge the corporate domination of traditional democratic channels for ensuring broad participatory power.’ (p. eight)

    Worse, the liberal class has: ‘lent its voice to hollow acts of political theatre, and the pretence that democratic debate and choice continue to exist.’

    See here for the rest of that article: http://bit.ly/zIS08Y

    If you think that campaigning for a None of the Above vote is the way to go then by all means do it. I’m with you and I’ll help you, just get in touch.

    There are far too many people only too happy to tell other people what they should or shouldn’t do but very few, like our David or the crew from Positive Money, who will get off their arses, stick their heads above the parapet and actually DO something

    • JayD December 19, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

      The first part of my post was a genuine question…….do they question the growth paradigm etc. or just the single money/debt creation issue?(Which I agree is huge).I would add more to the chatter here but two finger typing makes that a very slow process.
      Generally though I would say that the mantra of being the change that you want to see (with all the caveats that ‘reality’ imposes) would probably sum up my attitude to campaigning. This comes though from somebody who came pretty close to destroying themself via a path that passed through the miner’s strike, Wapping, free-festival movement and other stops……deep down I’m afraid that the lunatics have been running the assylum for too long now and any real hopes of an orderly transition out of the madness are somewhat fanciful………..or is it just that I’m a little depressed!!
      The main appeal of the None of the Above concept is just to give voice to the voiceless and to remove the sham of legitimacy that ‘democracy’ has given the political class and their friends.
      P.S. Who would have believed it………………………the police tell lies….!!!(UK)

  40. John Souter December 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    Take responsibility for the integrity and commitment of your democracy and democracy will sort out money.

    A greedy man can only gain if another man feeds him.

    I wish all of you the best for the festive season

  41. allcoppedout December 20, 2012 at 2:49 am #

    Zerohedge has just blogged some Reuters’ research on what we should know about what’s happened to one of our dreams – higher education – http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-19/sorry-poor-kids-road-rags-riches-no-longer-goes-through-college

    The old answers don’t work. We need new dreams, yet I suspect we face a very old enemy. It’s so bad we can barely use education and good in the same sentence. I don’t see ‘there is no alternative’ as rational at all – it’s more that the objective voice is Bacon’s Idols rolled into one, Undead control fraud.

  42. allcoppedout December 20, 2012 at 3:09 am #

    JayD sounds about right. The madness is obvious in the claim implicit in university benefit – that the ratio of graduate to non-graduate jobs is 50:50 in a ‘working smarter’ world when even China has its ‘Ant People’ (graduates in poverty etc.)

    We have a vision of real alternatives at the same time as knowledge of how much they have equated with vile equality experiments. I suspect the big thing is control of leadership – something that always fails after we have ‘run towards the bullets’.

  43. Joe Taylor December 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Hi JayD

    You asked about Positive Money.

    As an organisation they focus mainly on the money/debt creation area. I guess they’ve decided that they can’t get into becoming like a political party and having a position on everything.

    Obviously, the personnel involved within the organisation will all have views on everything else

    Have a look at their website if you’re interested. Lot’s of chat on their forum too.

    Ben Dyson is the founder and I’d say he’s become semi-minimalist over the last year so opted out of the ‘whole stuff driven psyche’!

    What I like about Positive Money is that they don’t try to come up with a master-plan that is all things to all people. It is pretty obvious to everyone that the people we expected to do that have failed big time. PM concentrate on a single but very important issue and say, ‘this is a fact, here’s the evidence, deal with it.

    The beauty of that message – stop the banks creating money out of fresh air and using it to turn us into slaves – is that I can explain it in two minutes to the bloke next door, who doesn’t have a computer, without boring him to death.

    I personally think that most of our social problems flow from income inequality and that income inequality is just one of many detrimental results caused by banks creating money and using it for speculation instead of an independent government agency creating the money we need for the real economy.

    My dream, as a committed community activist, is be able to get that message out in a simple, emotive manner such that Joe Blogs and his dog can understand it and not shrug his shoulders but want to do something about it.

    I don’t think we will ever get social justice, equality, human rights, participatory democracy, be able to protect the biosphere and make this world a decent place to live in if we don’t deal with the money issue first.

    • Nell December 21, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

      Yes – that was my take to when I first learnt about how banks create credit money. I have moved into the more esoteric world of economic theory since then, but still regularly donate to Postive Money. It is sad to think that people understood much better how credit money worked in 19th century US. There was a populist movement ‘People’s Party’ that fought for nationalized banks and debt-free money.

  44. backwardsevolution December 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    steviefinn – I have noticed that you’re keeping people up to date with the LIBOR scandal. During 2012, the U.S. had two terrible mass shootings: one by James Holmes in a Colorado movie theatre, the other by Adam Lanza who shot and killed 26 people (20 of them Grade 1 students) in Connecticut last week.

    “The father of Newtown Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza is Peter Lanza who is a VP and Tax Director at GE Financial. The father of Aurora Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes is Robert Holmes, the lead scientist for the credit score company FICO. Both men were to testify before the US Sentate in the ongoing LIBOR scandal. The London Interbank Offered Rate, known as Libor, is the average interest rate at which banks can borrow from each other. 16 international banks have been implicated in this ongoing scandal, accused of rigging contracts worth trillions of dollars. HSBC has already been fined $1.9 billion and three of their low level traders arrested.”

    http://www.examiner.com/article/libor-scandal-grows-as-the-fathers-of-two-mass-murderers-were-to-testify

    Both fathers were set to testify in the LIBOR scandal! Is this a coincidence, or what? Both boys were on anti-psychotic drugs which can cause uncontrollable rage and aggression.

    • John G December 21, 2012 at 12:45 am #

      I think the LIBOR aspect of this has been debunked. There certainly are other unexplained aspects in both incidents though that suggest the involvement of others in the crimes and that both the alleged perps may have been patsies.

    • steviefinn December 21, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

      Backwardsrevolution

      That if nothing else is an awful coincidence, from the bit I have read it seems Mrs. Lanza had developed a siege mentality, perhaps her son had picked up on this which obviously would not help with his obviously psychotic state of mind.

      Siege mentality might be illustrated by this report from Dec 6th detailing Smith & Wesson’s 48% rise in weapons sales – Scary times. I also saw an article that the US’s gun shooting level was equivalent with places like Columbia if you took out the suicides.

      http://ir.smith-wesson.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=90977&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1765194&highlight=

      I was always glad that some of the nutjobs I knew in England when I was young were unable to get hold of guns, they were bad enough without them.

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