The Emerging New World Order – Part 2. The End of Sovereignty

In part one I wrote,

” …in every country the people who run the State have largely decided they no longer wish to serve the people but prefer instead to serve the interests of a Global Over-Class”.

I believe we are in the midst of an historic shift in the alignment of loyalty and political power, away from democracy. I want to make it clear I do not believe the new arrangement of political and economic power was the clear goal of some hidden cabal. I think each change had an ideological drive behind it but, to begin with at least, each change was largely opportunistic and piecemeal. These pieces have, however, added up. And as time has gone by and the different pieces have accumulated, I think some wealthy and powerful people as well as some who were ideologically driven, have seen the chance to make something they desired out of the pieces. I think those who never liked democracy-for-the-masses, but preferred something that was more like the Roman senate – a place for the sons and daughters of the already wealthy and powerful families to ensure they remained wealthy and powerful – I think those people have seen an historic chance to further their vision of the future they desire and, particularly in the last twenty or so years, have actively schemed and pushed for it. Some of them have lobbied for it from Wall Street and the City, others of the same elite have written laws for it when they were in Congress and Parliament. And always they have found affordable lackeys among our political class.

Of course no one is going to admit to this. No one wants it to be clear that this is what is happening. So what our leaders have needed for some time, is a way of  serving their new masters, while claiming to be still serving us; a way of saying,”The best, if not the only, way for the State to help you, the nation/people, is for us to first help these other people.”

The  Trickle Down ‘theory’ was an early attempt . But Trickle Down was always too clearly a political sound-bite  rather than a grand theory.  What was really needed was a new vision of what the ‘Greater Good’ should look like and a theory of how to get there. And critically it had to be something that, it could be claimed, Nations could not deliver. Not only not deliver but were actively standing in the way of. There had to be a shining future which the old order of Nation States was preventing us from reaching. And this idea has, I think, surfaced again and again in different guises, certainly since WW1, but more and more prominently  in the last three decades. The idea that Nations and nationalism are standing in the way of the progress and prosperity that only a free and unfettered global market can offer, and that the State must remedy this, by limiting the power and sovereignty of their Nations is, I suggest, one of the most powerful ideas of our age and is now maturing into  the ideology and politics the Global Over-class has been seeking.

A brief history of how the State sold out the Nation

In the aftermath of WW1 the League of Nations was created because, it was said, nations left to their own nationalistic devices could not keep the peace. The League’s stated goals were nearly all political and very little mention was made of finance or trade. Perhaps if the League had prospered it might have been adopted by the then rising power of global finance and history might have been very different. Instead the Great Depression happened and the power of global finance was set back. The regulations brought in to prevent another systemic Banking Crisis held back the unfettered growth of finance for two generations. Only finally undone at the end of the century.

After WW2, however, the idea of supra-national governance, and the inadaquacy of nationalistic governments,  rose again this time with the creation of, among other things, the IMF, World Bank, and the United Nations. This time the agenda of the supra-national powers was much more focussed on finance and trade. As US Secretary of State from 1933-44, Cordel Hull put it,

[U]nhampered trade dovetailed with peace; high tariffs, trade barriers, and unfair economic competition, with war….

Trade barriers and ‘unfair economic competition’ were the creations of national governments, free trade was, therefore, the remedy and was to be championed by the supra-national, impartial IMF and World Bank. Of course in reality the IMF and WB were not impartial. Whatever their stated purpose, the IMF and WB were tools of one ideology only , the freemarket , and were the post-war means by which the powerful nations crow-barred open the economy of any poorer nation that fell into their grasp. The attack on sovereignty had begun.

But it was little noticed in the West. In part because people were too busy being comfortable and in part because the UN was the part of Bretton Woods we saw most of in the West. The UN didn’t have an ideology – so the publicity went – other than universal declarations of human rights. It was all about aid for the starving and the rule of law. Sheltered behind this public face, however, the IMF, in particular was in every way different. It was completey ideological. And its ideology was narrowly free-market. It had the mandate and the power to force governments to alter their policies in favour of open markets and international western companies.

While the UN rushed aid to the starving, the IMF forced poor nations to get rid of tariffs that tried to nurture local farmers paving the way for global agribusiness. Local economies were laid bare on every hillside where global capital picked their carcasses clean. But because it was happening over there, few of us over here gave a damn. And if anyone was tempted to see any of it as an attack on sovereignty, it was given other names, such as ‘liberalization’. We weren’t attacking the sovereignty of poor peoples, we were helping them.

Their governments, we told ourselves, were corrupt and had no vision beyond a tribal nationalism. We, on the other hand, being wealthy white people, could save them. Let our companies in and we’ll lend you the money to save yourselves from nationalism and poverty. Above the entrance to the freemarket future we may as well have put a sign which read, “Shuld Macht Frei”. But we still did not think this was ever going to be our future.

We might have been less sanguine had we been more aware of what the poor relation of the Bretton Woods era, the GATT, would one day bring us.The General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (GATT) was created in 1947 with the purpose of regulating international trade mainly by reducing “tariffs and other trade barriers”. Those other trade barriers were anything from subsidies for local industries, to environmental requirements and labour laws. In 1995 the GATT hatched the World Trade Organization (WTO). What made the GATT and WTO quite different from the IMF and WB is that it was no longer just a matter of policy as it had been with the IMF, it was now about rolling back specific laws and tariffs. AND you didn’t have to fall into debt to find yourself subject to their rule. Your government simply had to sign away some sovereignties and “voila”, your government had made you subject to rules and a world governing body you had not elected and had no power over at all. The power in the WTO very obvioulsy and clearly lay with the corporations, their lobbyists and their experts.

Thus while the IMF and WB trampled mainly on poor nations the WTO had power over any nation including the wealthy. And it was no longer purely at the level of trade policy and politics, it now opened to corporations an avenue for them to object to and challenge specific sovereign laws and tariffs. The rules of the GATT and the WTO were specifically created in order to supercede any nation’s and region’s laws where they concerned trade.

While the Conservative (Tory) party here in Britain, would rail about Europe ‘stealing away our sovereignty’, the truth was that  those same Tory politicians had been delighted, in 1995,  to sign away far more sovereignty to GATT. The difference for them was that Europe was seen as still harbouring some vaguely Socialist ideas about environment and employment rights, while the WTO very specifically did not recognize such things and in fact regarded them as exactly the sort of barriers to trade it was there to get rid of.  Such was and is the hypocrisy of the Tories, and now UKIP (UK Independence Party), about sovereignty and Europe. Labour was at least consistent in happily handing over soverignty to anyone and everyone. And the faithful western main-stream media never bothered to say a word nor to offer even an analysis let alone a critique.

Throughout the 90′s and noughties the GATT and the WTO were the primary means whereby corporate interests in one country were able to stop or roll back any rules and regulations they didn’t like, in any other country. Suddenly westerners who had never before felt threatened by international capitslism, woke up. There were suddenly ‘anti capitalist’ protests in rich nations. People who had never bothered about what capitalism did in poor nations were suddenly outraged. Now things were being done to them in their country and that was wrong! Of course there had always been those who had fought against what was done in the developing world. I don’t meant to suggest there weren’t. I am just noting how suddenly their numbers were swelled when they realized it could happen here, to them.

BUT it was still the case under the WTO rules that corporate interests could only roll back sovereign national rules and laws via their own national governments. The companies of a country could complain to their government about a foreign law or tariff but it had to be their own government, their State, which went to the WTO and filed a complaint. Thus although more corporate than the earlier IMF and WB, the WTO is still tied to the power of the State.

Which bring us nearly  up to date. The last and by far the most dangerous part of the State’s dismantling of national sovereignty, although it has its roots back in the 1970′s, has really only taken off in the last 5 years and has only in the last few months received much attention in the main stream media.

Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs)

If the WTO is the State acting on behalf of corporations, then Bilateral Investment Treaties and their rules for “Investor-State Dispute Settlement” give corporations the power to challenge and over-rule nations directly. They are entirely non-democratic and stand completely outside of national based law and even outside of most of international law. They are therefore a major crystalization of the shift in power from the Nation to the Corporation and of course it has been the State which has facilitated this transfer of power.

I apologize that the preceeding history took so long and that I have therefore still not written about BITs. I just felt the context of what came before and what still today makes up a large part of the over-ruling of the Nation was important enough to do properly. I promise I will write about BITs in part 3.  I hope you’ll bear with me .

 

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111 Responses to The Emerging New World Order – Part 2. The End of Sovereignty

  1. Jesse December 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    Thank you for this.

    It really is quite a sweeping phenomenon isn’t it? The rise of the over-class.

    We’ll have to see if J.K.Galbraith is right. He has certainly been proven right in the latter quote.

    “People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.”

    “People who are in a fortunate position always attribute virtue to what makes them so happy.”

    I especially like this one and is my ‘quote for the day’ in abbreviated form.

    “This is what economics now does. It tells the young and susceptible (and also the old and vulnerable) that economic life has no content of power and politics because the firm is safely subordinate to the market and the state and for this reason it is safely at the command of the consumer and citizen. Such an economics is not neutral. It is the influential and invaluable ally of those whose exercise of power depends on an acquiescent public. If the state is the executive committee of the great corporation and the planning system, it is partly because neoclassical economics is its instrument for neutralizing the suspicion that this is so.”

    • Golem XIV December 12, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

      Hello Jesse,

      What a brilliant quote that is! What book is it from? The first quote reminds me of my grandfather. It is the sort of thing he used to tell me when I was a very little boy. Had a big influence on me.

      • Jesse December 13, 2013 at 1:34 am #

        “Power and the Useful Economist”

  2. Kreditanstalt December 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    What is “the nation”? What is “the state”? Definitions, please.

    I’m loathe to accept a critique of the present mess which begins from the standpoint that either of these even CAN be defined…that everything can be condensed into, and described in terms of, “collectivities”.

    Perhaps the real opponent here is “government” – not this Party or that Party, this class or that class…

    Perhaps the only villains are those in power. They have the guns, they have the responsibility and they have been given the right to do something yet do nothing.

    We see no real change and, what is worse, there is silence when it comes to criticizing the INSTITUTION of government, or the need to curtail its size, scope and power.

    A naïve faith in the “benevolence”, impartiality and efficaciousness of our present governmental system remains out there in the minds of the public. Until that legitimacy is removed, nothing will really change.

    • Golem XIV December 12, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

      Well I agree with you suspicions concerning the present governments. And I agree that it is silly to think in terms o blaming this party or that.

      But I think taking issue only with government and pretending all is well in the market is equally naive.

      As for definitiions – I don’t think they are so hard to understand are they? What you refer to as governemtn is more or less what I am calling the State. The State for me is those elected – of whatever party – plus the permanent machinery of government. What we call the civil service.

      The Nation – for me – is us, the people.

      The whole poinbt of part one of this series was to try to tease the two apart. As I see it we have three parties here: the people (Nation), the State(government) and the small number of very powerful corporations and financial institutions who more or less control the market. And the actual people who run and own BOTH the government/state and the global companies are very often the same people going round and round a revolving door and are nearly always drawn from a very small class of people who I have chosen to call the Global Over-Class.

      • Kreditanstat December 13, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

        Do you really think that corporate concentration, resource monopolies, misuse of credit, insane leverage and manipulations of markets (etc.) would have occurred without the actions or inactions of government in the marketplace?

        It’s become a trite truism – one which is routinely rejected as a “conspiracy” – but the root of all that lies with fiat currencies, fractional reserve banking and central banks. And of course overregulation: we have manipulated credit markets, prices, values, indices, interest rates, wages and markets EVERYWHERE.

        Withdraw the succour of government and let sound money, perspicacious savers and investors and honest labour and capital competition put the unsustainable out of business.

        But for that you need to get “the dead hand of government” out of the marketplace.

        • Golem XIV December 13, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

          OK so let me see if I’ve got it. Government actions are the corrosive and corrupting ‘Dead hand’. Whereas the market will always be sound, perspicacious and honset. Your words.

          So how do people like Henry ‘Hank’ Paulson fit with this fantasy? I take it he was good when he was CEO of Goldman, but then went to the bad when he was the government and then went back to being good when he left and went back to the market?

          Where does this fixation with government/bad, market /good come from? I just cannot see it as anything more than palpable tosh. There are some people who accumulate power and wealth and as they do so they want more and more. There is always a group within the wealthy who will always want more. They will use any and all insitutions to get it.

          I agree your government and mine are corrupt. But it seems you think the market is some sort of pure mechanism.

          The story that the market was corrupted by government as if all corruption flowed in one direction – well it might be your fantasy but I do not share it.

          I look at the last few years and see endemic and wholesale corruption and I see the same people in both market and State.

          • Kreditanstalt December 14, 2013 at 1:52 am #

            You said it yourself: “They will use any and all institutions to get it.”

            Hank Paulson and others like him were ALLOWED to do as they did by one of those institutions: the biggest one of all, the one with ‘a monopoly on legitimate violence’, GOVERNMENT.

            Can’t you see it? They, like anyone, will “use” any advantage that comes their way. They got lots handed to them: Cheap money. Manipulated metals markets. Permitted LIBOR rigging. No position limits. Mark-to-fantasy asset values allowed. Forced taxpayer subsidies. Permitted naked short selling. House trading even while ‘advising’ customers. Bailouts. Corporate limited liability. And on and on…

            Who permitted all that?

            To decry corporations as “evil” is redundant: human nature is to use any benefit thrown your way.

            It’s not that the market is infallible. Neither is it “fair”. Nor will it accomplish peoples’ social goals. It isn’t: it needs a light but very firm touch of regulation and to be otherwise left alone to sort out value, prices, wages, interest rates with an honesty and legitimacy on it possesses. The market is a weighing machine…it will reward the good and punish the evil if left to do so.

            To claim that governments are well-meaning but bought is a just more victim-villain game playing and class warfare. Corporate power as you and others see it exists because of the failure of the state.

            The proper role of government is to regulate. At that it has failed.

          • s.tristero December 14, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

            K, in other words, a proper role of government is to act as an impartial referee in the case of the disputes and to write the code to enable a just resolution for as many of these disputes as possible.

            if so, then a government can only be proper when those who have been entrusted with the authority that has been instilled in government are also impartial and just.

            when has that ever happened in human history?

            i bet if you asked people all over the world what the #1 problem in their communities is (however large or small, rich or poor one would define a community), they would say corruption. perhaps the same answer as it was 100 years ago or 1000 years ago, even if it was not recognized as such by most.

            if can we forget the ideals for a moment and think of them only as tools of corruption, perhaps the only difference between corrupt governments and corrupt markets is the severity of force each one is capable of yielding to make another bow to its wishes or suffer personal consequences.

            if that is the case, then i would personally lean on your side of the fence in where to place my trust.

            then again, perhaps that is not the only case…

          • Phil (Mcr) December 16, 2013 at 1:43 am #

            Kreditanstalt

            ”No position limits”

            Who would limit them if not government?

            ”Permitted LIBOR rigging”

            Who would stop them if not government?

            ”Permitted naked short selling”

            See last question.

            ”House trading even while ‘advising’ customers”

            The last thing I said.

            ”it needs a light but very firm touch of regulation and to be otherwise left alone to sort out value”

            Light but very firm? I suppose meaning less regulation but harsher penalties?

            Well, I didn’t hear anyone in the run up to 2008 saying there was too much regulation. It was Republicans and Conservatives who undid much of the old regulation and Democrats and New Labour who ran with it.

            Who exactly would decide how much regulation is too much? If it were a lefty like me, my opinion wouldn’t be allowed. If it were a participant in the market we’d have to agree that it would be in their interest to have as little as possible because, as you say, they would seek their own interest. If it were other ‘players’, say…political parties, the door would be open to lobbying and donations.

            ”The market is a weighing machine…it will reward the good and punish the evil if left to do so.”

            What tosh. It’s a human invention with all the propensity to corruption that that entails. When did it punish the evil in 1929? I seem to remember it punished tens of millions of people around the world, throwing them out of work, into penury and starting the slide into fascism. And those austerians who refused to use government intervention in the economy only protracted the crisis.

            ”The proper role of government is to regulate. At that it has failed.”

            Yeah, and the government gets captured by wealthy participants in the market who lobby and create ideologies about how the market will make us all rich if we just stop regulating it.

            I can’t for the life of me understand how you can’t see the flaws in your argument.

  3. Jamie_Griff December 12, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    Hi all,

    Totally OT but I just wanted to remind you that The Quant plays at the Camden People’s Theatre this coming Monday to Wednesday.

    It’s a tale of bankers, physics and ‘rogue traders’. A Faustian fable of one man’s attempt to master chaos and his inevitable self-destruction. (Regular readers of this blog might recognise a nicked metaphor or two.)

    If you’re able to make it along please do say hi afterwards.

    • Golem XIV December 13, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

      I’m really sorry I am so far away or I would definitely be there. Break a leg. Tell us how it went afterwards?

    • Hawkeye December 16, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

      Good luck for tonight Jamie!

      I’ve bought my ticket for Tuesday evening’s performance. Here’s hoping some other Golem regulars can make it too…..

      • Jamie_Griff December 17, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

        Thank you both!

        Look forward to seeing you later Hawkeye…

        • Hawkeye December 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

          Jamie

          Well done on such a polished and enthralling performance!

          Hard-hitting but warm and engaging too. You managed to convey the intellectual argument against rampant financialisation whilst weaving in a human side to the story.

          You really must stage this again, and again….

  4. Just me December 12, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

    “The Secret Trade Agreement About to Complete the Corporate Takeover of Democracy”

    http://www.scriptonitedaily.com/2013/12/02/the-secret-trade-agreement-about-to-complete-the-corporate-takeover-of-democracy/

  5. Mike Hall December 13, 2013 at 12:27 am #

    Good article Golem

    I think you’re absolutely on the right track with this. What you describe is the logical development path for the power of extreme wealth. No ‘conspiracy’ required, merely a clear enough vision of their personal interests by the various elements of the authorities.

    It’s worth noting that the Euro zone currency union design fits the same power structure blueprint exactly and dates from around the same late eighties, early nineties period.

    The latest parts of which are funds like the ESM which was set up with complete legal immunity for itself and its directors.

    The entire process of ‘democracy’ is just propaganda and control. Eerily like Edward Bernays’ own candid description in fact.

    Other random thought…..BBC Newsnight on as I write this…is Kirsty Wark the most nauseatingly stupid waste of space presenter/journalist on TV? Must be a good contender. Is it possible she’s not actually human at all but some horrifying vanguard robot constructed from the worst possible dystopian future anyone has ever imagined?

    • Golem XIV December 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

      Since Stephanie Flanders left the title vacant.

      • Mike Hall December 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

        good point lol :)

  6. David Morey December 13, 2013 at 1:43 am #

    The discussion of the state in this is well worth a read:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Empire-Michael-Hardt/dp/0674006712

    Is capitalism undermining the national States it relies on for stability and order, is a new orderlessness possible?

  7. bill40 December 13, 2013 at 1:48 am #

    Golem,

    I have resisted commenting so far as I wanted to wait for both pieces and now you tell me it’s a 3 parter, you harsh man. I know your blog is a part time thing but given that the BBC wouldn’t dare touch this subject in the Schapps era, the blogospere is all we have left. I gave up on the Grauniad years ago, despite their truly excellent Snowden revelations. 1% was all we got though according to Rushbridger.

    The greatest problem those of a democratic bent face is defining what the enemy is and is about hence the importance of these articles. I know it’s the speciality of Mr Ward over at the Slog to point out distractions but let’s look at them. The EU is a prime example but look at America. It accuses China of currency manipulation and cyber warfare, acres of news space was given over to these subjects. Who turned out to be at the forefront of these outrages? Oh yes the good ole USA and of course its’ favourite lapdog, the UK. Of course it’s OK if it’s the NSA or GCHQ doing it but quite frightful of foreigners to do the same.

    The fight is defined by economics rather than politics so public enemy No.1 is one Milton Friedman. he gave a plausible narrative for the global over class and whilst the MSM is busy shouting “left wing BBC propaganda” this truly shocking doctrine has insidiously been foisted upon us.

    Defining is vital.

    PS. Can the UK ever leave the EU if The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) goes ahead? Could that be detrimental to corporate rights? just a thought.

    PPS I meant TTIP but I’m very hungover this morning.

    • Phil (Mcr) December 16, 2013 at 1:49 am #

      Hi bill40

      I was under the impression that there were two big trade deals, The US-EU one and the TPP.

      Given that these are human arrangements I don’t see why we can’t unarrange them but I’m sure someone cleverer than me will point out why that will be very difficult.

  8. Enginer December 13, 2013 at 4:47 am #

    At Sinclair’s Kissimmee pow-wow I proposed that a serious effort was being made to strengthen the gold reserves of China by one of the founders of the FED, a close friend of China. One ploy has been artificially keeping the price of Gold down as a reward for China holding onto US securities in the face of overpowering inflation. That seems about over.

    The best defense against the devaluation of the dollar to to buy hard US assets,…like
    Smithfield Ham, Manhattan Offices, Chesapeake Energy..I suggested when the Gold shuffle was complete the dollar is toast. Gold…China is on track to import over 1000 tons this year.

    Remember that corporations, and governments, and Legislatures are CONSTRUCTS and can be re-constructed at will, either Globally, or Regionally. Our Choice.

    • Phil (Mcr) December 16, 2013 at 1:50 am #

      Your last sentence is absolutely spot on, Enginer.

  9. Paul Cannel December 13, 2013 at 4:56 am #

    I was recently introduced to Plato’s different forms of government whereby there is a descent or decay from Aristocracy to Timocracy to Oligarchy to Democracy to Tyranny.

    I had the thought that what we are witnessing could be an attempt by this overclass to try and reverse the process. We can already see increasing signs of Oligarchy – a system that distinguishes between rich and poor and makes the rich the rulers – all around us.

    How long before we are being presented with self-appointed Philosopher Kings with souls of gold to rule over us with benign wisdom? Or is that who the Troika in Greece and Mario Monti in Italy really are or think they are?

  10. Jesse December 13, 2013 at 5:47 am #

    http://youtu.be/rlHNGx7geVc

    • Roger December 13, 2013 at 7:08 am #

      I proof read a book for a friend last week. Roy Madron is the joint Author of a Book called Gaian Democracies, his new book is called Super Competent democracies in it he gives this quote from Josef Schumpeter several times.

      ´´(An) institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote.´´
      Josef Schumpeter.1944

      I am just reading Roy Jenkin’s Biography of churchill( it certainly gives life to Schumpters definition of Democracy) I baulk at the idea that what we consider to be the Democracy our ancestors fought for was ever about us ´´We the people´´,´´The nation´´ so to speak.

      It is difficult to get a grappling hook onto this particular monolith ( Democracy), from the sleighing of Wat Tyler onwards the operating philosophy of the House ( Casino sense) seems to be Give em enough rope and yank it periodically.

      Looking forward to part 3 and the naming of names bit.

    • s.tristero December 14, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

      thanks for sharing Jesse. nice to hear from WEP again. that’s quite the powerful clip.

      interesting how in that clip the mouthpiece from the State that was elected by the mass swayed by Nationalism is preaching Globalism, while the State mouthpiece that was elected by the mass swayed by Globalism is preaching Nationalism.

      and where is Democracy in this equation?

  11. Guido December 13, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    David,

    Not one of your best pieces.

    It is observably true that there has been and it is still under way a deliberate attempt at taking away sovereignty.

    In my opinion however, you misunderstand the mechanics of how the above is achieved.

    The Great Depression was not a set back for the power of global finance. Quite the contrary. The regulation it spawned demonstrably held absolutely nothing back. It served to, once again, reel in the masses into servitude; think Fannie Mae for example.

    Empirically, the roots of the dismantlement of sovereignty go far farther back than the 70s.

    In part 1 of your essay, someone mentioned the Renaissance as the moment that people began to break away from the yoke of kings and priests. Empirically, that was most certainly the beginning of the greatest expansion and distribution of wealth in human history – wealth that gradually eroded the clout of the central powers and that, through the culmination of scientific, industrial and cultural development of the late 1800s, also lead to a far greater degree of personal freedom that man had ever known.

    At this point, we have the creation of a central bank in the USA. No debate, no vote, no consultation with the people. A new central bank and monetary system were imposed by decree.

    Purely from an arithmetical point of view, anyone inclined to model the new monetary system would realize that the dynamic inherently and inevitably results in perpetual debt with no possibility of repayment.

    Where there is debt, there is, naturally, a creditor.

    That is the point at which you can trace the beginning of a deliberate attempt at taking away sovereignty not only from nations but from individuals.

    By dint of the money and credit creation privilege, the central entity has an arithmetical purchasing power advantage over any entity that comes further down the line of the monetary creation dynamic.

    The outcome of this dynamic can only result in the concentration of profit thus the concentration of ownership of the productive capital of society.

    It is therefore clear that from 1913 the entity charged with the creation of credit and money began to accumulate gradually greater wealth by sheer dint of collecting a fraction of all economic transactions regardless of whether the economy was expanding or contracting.

    I repeat that.

    The entity that creates money and credit accumulates profit regardless of whether the wider economy is expanding or contracting simply because they take a cut on any and every transaction.

    The reason this is so, is because regardless of whether the economy is contracting or expanding, the monetary authority still pushes out money and credit. And since every new unit of currency devalues all previous units of currency created, profit migrates towards the creator of the currency as does ownership.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2011/10/22/the-147-companies-that-control-everything/

    And this;

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/71255/10-corporations-control-almost-everything-you-buy-this-chart-shows-how

    Due to this same dynamic, the press is fully captured too eventually.

    The Great Depression was nothing but the opportunity to enhance the power of monetary authority and to enact organizations that would in time help it expand the credit cancer far and wide: i.e. Fannie Mae as but one example.

    And here we come to the role of the World Bank, the IMF and the United Nations.

    These entities are nothing other than an extension of the monetary authority. Anyone that has any ability of critical observation can only conclude that the only role these entities play is:

    - To bring nations into the Floating Exchange Rate Mechanism

    - To load them with debt

    This is the particular role of the WB and the IMF

    The UN is slightly different in that its role is solely one of churning great sums far and wide regardless the circumstances on the ground.

    This monetary system is predicated on the perpetual expansion of credit. If credit expansions should stall or reverse, the system collapses and the flows are reversed.

    Thus, despite the fact that credit conforms to the law of diminishing marginal utility which would ensure that at some point the edifice will collapse, the monetary authorities and the entities that gravitate around it have a vested interest in keeping the expansion on a positive trajectory. Thus: QE or TARP or any of the plethora of acronyms that have been foisted upon us in the recent past.

    Now, someone else in part 1 of this essay dug out a pearl. Something I’d been looking for for a very long time.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/1356047/Euro-federalists-financed-by-US-spy-chiefs.html

    Proof that the idea and purpose of the EU had nothing to do with social or political emancipation.

    As of 1929 the arithmetical reality of Fractional Reserve banking was already pushing against the limits of the system. Wealth had all been concentrated in the hands of an elite. Now the risk at hand was that of revolt at home and the potential reversal of the flow.

    What was required was a way to at once employ the masses, exterminate the masses and, eventually, assimilate other monetary systems in order to alleviate the pressure building in the US system.

    WWII was just the ticket.

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/14023/documents-reveal-that-fdr-may-have-known-about-pearl-harbor-attack-beforehand

    By then, the USA had accumulated so many human and capital resources that it went on to deploy to obliterate everything in its path.

    From there, the abrogation of Bretton Woods and the creation of the unique currency for Europe were but strategies to huge pent up monetary pressure building in the US system.

    In the year 2000 European currencies were devalued by anywhere from 30% to 50% overnight thereby granting a lease on life to the US monetary system.

    Perpetual war and ever more expensive and ostensible anti terrorist strategies are more of the same.

    Everything points to the accumulation and/or the mopping up of whatever vestiges of productive capital are left to appropriate along with the people of the world.

    One of the other ramifications of this monetary system, is that government (as the enabler of the monetary authority) becomes the largest actor in the economy. This is an arithmetical outcome.

    When government is the largest actor in the economy, large swathes of society are dependent on the perpetuation of government. So aberrant policies won’t be obstructed till the moment there won’t be enough people left to obstruct policies anyway.

    We are about 3 years away from that moment.

    • Golem XIV December 13, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

      Hello Guido,

      Sorry you don’t like this one. But I think you do me a disservice. I am perfectly well aware of how credit expansion, fiat currencies and central banks work. And surely by now you know that I know. So to suggest I have missed this point seems a little unfair and a little odd.

      I understand your concern is always to remind people of the innevitable and mathematical structure of credit creation and fiat money and the role in this of central babnks. Though I think you could also mention more often the role of private banks as well.

      As you say credit and debt – the servicing of the debt associated with fiat currency will always grow fast and accumulate in the hands of the issuers – the wealthy. No one here is arguing. Least of all me.

      But my purpose was and is to suggest that there was a time when this mechanism which did and always will concentrate power and wealth in the hand of the those at the top – was still part of a politics in which the Nation-State was the controlling structure. Certainly the State was always greatly controlled by the wealthy and alwways looked after them Giving concession to the poor when absolutly necessary. My point was to look at how teh wealthy have begun to feel they no longer need the Nation-State and prefer to have the State act in the direct and naked interests of the market (themselves). If such a shift is occuring – and I think it is – it means the dismantling of whatever vestiges we have of democracy.

      I agree with you that expansion was always necessary as was finding a place or crisis which would provide a return on capital. But when you say WW2 was ‘just the ticket’ for meeting the financail needs of America – you teeter on the edge of suggesting that America whipped the war up for that reason. I don’t think so. What FDR may have known does not encompass all the pressures in all the nations which led to the war. History is messier than that. Perhaps the Japanese might have had a little history of their own?

      Similary when you say the creation of the EU had nothing to do with social or political emancipation, again I think you over-state your case. Certainly the US had a policiy and pushed for an outcome. But there were other factors and other players (french nationalism for example) some of whom did have more idealistic and social goals.

      All I was trying to do was suggest how some of the various forces and pieces accumuated and opened opportuities for those who had a plan they wanted to see happen.

      It is the difference between creationists and evolutionary theory. Each see an outcome – Homo Sapiens for example. One sees such a particular outcome and thinks there must have been a guiding hand, a single logic. The other sees the messier accumulation of chances. I think history is something in between.I agree with your point about the importance of fiat money creation and agree the central banks have played an important role. As I said, however, I feel you understate the role of private banks in the role of credit creation and control over who owes what and who accumulates what.

      Anyway, I always enjoy your contributions and hope that you think it worth reading teh next part. And of course I hope you will continue to comment.

    • Postkey December 13, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

      “CIA supported British 1975 Yes to EU”

      http://euobserver.com/news/3182

  12. John Souter December 13, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    David I might query some of your signposts but entirely agree on your analysis of route and destination.

    The Achilles of this global stupidity is the protagonists are not capable of achieving it, while the victims, appreciating that as fact, feel incapable of preventing it.

    It’s a hens march to the midden right enough.

    • Robert McDonald December 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

      “hens march to the midden” You’re not a piper or a fiddler by any chance John? That’s a great pipe tune :-)

  13. Guido December 13, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    I did not say I “do not like it”. I did say it was not one of your best. Of course I am going to keep reading your work. I always do and I always find it informative. Were that not the case, I would not bother offering my two cents.

    Yes, I do wholeheartedly agree that there are micro-dynamics that compound and bring about a general outcome.

    But the monetary logic of an imposed central bank, comes upstream of everything else. One single, enforced and centralized monetary system is THE ultimate driver of socio
    economic outcomes that necessarily come downstream of this one single concept.

    This is also the reason why, regardless the political outcome of any given government, an imposed central bank can always extract wealth whether the economy should be expanding or contracting.

    By sheer dint of the privilege bestowed upon it to levy interest on any single transaction anywhere within the Floating Exchange Rate Mechanism, the central bank gradually drains profit and ownership unto itself and the corollary of entities that gravitate around it.

    So, yes, there will always be the De Gaulles of the situation or the Vaclav Clauses or the Ron Pauls or the Thomas Jeffersons or, indeed, the David Malones. But eventually, they will be drowned out by a state that gradually comes to fagocytize everything in its path and that deliberately subverts basic concepts that eventually lead to the total debauching of society.

    To rob a nation of its sovereignty, you first must rob its citizens of same. It cannot work the other way around because a sentient, intellectually and financially independent people will not allow their nation’s sovereignty to be taken away.

    Incidentally, intellectual and financial independence is related to capitalism of which we have seen very little in the past century. But Lenin seemed to know what, eventually, could bring about the demise of the then capitalist West. Debauch the currency.

    One final thought and a bit of a tangent.

    The concept of “political spectrum” commonly conveyed today including in academia seems to go from Marxism at the presumed left to Fascsm at the presumed right. This is a false choice of course. Both Marxism and Fascism are statist ideologies. The difference being that in one the power resides in the hands of a bunch of apparatchiks whereas in the other it resides in the hands of corporations.

    A true spectrum goes from Anarchy to Statism with everything else in between.

    Along with the concept of what “capital” is, the idea of the political spectrum has been successfully subverted in order to facilitate the roll out of our current socio/economic/political construct that is thoroughly devoted to robbing individuals of their independence intellectual as well as financial for total capture.

    g

    • Golem XIV December 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      I agree, of course, about the Central bank being up-stream. Though the situation whereby the gloabl banks have teh particular relationship they do reagrding the selling of debt does, I think, put a significant wrinkle in. Does it not?

      So what solutions? A gold standard would be one . But I think it has many other problems and can, I think, be manipulated by a a cartel fairly easily.

      But if we have any sort of fiat currency then someone issues it and others will game it and try to capture it. I personally do not see the hard and fast distinction between teh government/state and the rest of the global over-class. They are, after all, so often teh exact same people wearing different hats at different times. SO it is teh one group using two means.

      Which to me says , if you want any kind of fiat money, be it the sort of thing we have sort of had at various times, or MMT or Postive Money etc, they all require an issuing and controlling authority. Then the question is how can such a concentration of power be best safeguarded from being co-opted?

      Aanrchists might say there is no way. Democrats would agree there is no set of magic rules that are so greed-proof that one put in place will keep us safe and happy without any further effort on our part.

      And that for me is the rub. Democracy is only as good as the people who exercise it. Should those people become fat and lazy, stupid, stultified, distracted or allow themselves to become ill-ediucated and easily manipulated and lies to, then they will be conquered and enslaved. WHich is where we are now.

      Democracy is, for me, Darwinian. The struggle is never over, never won. Democracy must be won every day.

      Our parents forgot this post-war. My generation never knew it, to forget. Too many of us are just materialistic, whiney and foolish brats. My children and yours …well, what shall we tell them?

      What did you do during the war? Is the question we will all get asked.

      • Guido December 13, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

        Of course the central bank is not alone. It enjoys the support of a corollary of other financial entities and corporations. It is a classic pyramid. To wit, even corporations today issue debt instruments. So, no disagreement that commercial banks and other entities do play a role.

        With regards to the well being of society, one solution would be to allow economic actors to make use of the currency they wish to make use.

        Do not impose a system and do not impose a currency.

        The government can require payment in whatever form of currency it wishes provided their currency floats freely against whatever else is used by society.

        So if I choose to use salt, and you choose gold and someone else chooses to trade in hand made cigars, so be it. When the time comes to interact with the government, we exchange our own currency for government’s currency and effect the transaction.

        If government should indeed see the light and run a well managed currency, everyone will want to make use of the particular variety of currency offered by the state and everyone will be happy.

        Otherwise, allow people to trade in whatever they wish. Do not impose any variety of money nor, indeed, monetary system.

        • bill40 December 13, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

          Guido,

          I have no idea whether you will follow this thread but I have a few suppositions and questions for you. My number one supposition is that the currency the state accepts as payment for taxes is the de facto currency, no amount of wishing can change that fact. That also makes the state the de facto issuer of said currency, and what ever currency we choose someone has to issue it, multiple currencies are a non starter and at odds with the current system. The state issues the currency and can do so up to the amount of infinity minus one penny as an accounting statement. It is not up for debate it simply is but the question is who should hold this truly terrible power?

          The elites, whom Golem terms the Overclass, currently hold this power having subverted the democratic state to do so. 97% of all currency is issued by the banks and it is no surprise they use this power in their own interests, no conspiracy, just self interest. We don’t need multiple currencies, especially not laughable ones like cigars, when we have a perfectly good one, but who controls it?

          My answer would be the nation, as opposed to state, and to achieve this we need the correct economics to make the best use of it. My solution is Modern Money Theory, or functional finance or Modern Money Realism, let’s make the best use of the system we have.

          Your narrative points to anarchy (a tempting prospect) with no control over the private sector, who will protect us from overmighty corporations with a paid for private army? Until you can address these issues with clarity I’ll stick with Golems’ views. You do not appear to be adding substance to the debate.

          • Guido December 14, 2013 at 4:33 am #

            Hello Bill40

            Forgive me for I have indeed let myself go into an needlessly long winded lecture.

            My only points are the following:

            If we agree that in the presumably democratic West predicated on open society and economic freedom

            a) The monetary system is imposed

            b) The arithmetic underpinning this system lead inevitably to the concentration of ownership

            Then the only conclusion that can be reasonably inferred is that

            1) This is deliberate

            2) Therefore someone has deemed it desirable for this to happen

            3) Therefore the attempt at taking away sovereignty dates from much farther back than the 70s

            g

  14. Just me December 13, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    “The Central Banks Are Making Their Move To Put The Country Back On The US Dollar”

    http://investmentwatchblog.com/central-banks-making-move-put-country-dollar/#Gc1EdY8PApxJtBze.99

  15. The Revealing December 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    Apparently, is not a so called “New World Order” that one should be fearful of, but rather be most concerned with the dying breaths of the Old World Order which has dominated our current co-creation for countless generations;
    http://www.focusonrecovery.net/hijackofamerica/Old-world-order-Home-Page.html

    • bill40 December 13, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

      The,

      This is a place for rational thought and a prospect of a better future for us all, spare us the claptrap please.

      • s.tristero December 14, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

        Bill, just a thought, perhaps a future only guided by rational thought is not as good as reason might suggest (and already has been suggesting for thousands of years).

        and maybe The’s contribution is not as claptrap as it may reasonably appear to be at first. no matter how or where the current gears are situated, as homer and guido succinctly stated, it’s a classic pyramid scheme,

        nonetheless, agree that time is better served in discussing possible solutions in form & function. on that note, still don’t understand how MMT could not be eventually turned into another pyramid by those with the means, motive & opportunity to do so.

  16. scrofulous December 13, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    Golem, from Investopedia the short explanation of Capitalism is:”A system of economics based on the private ownership of capital and production inputs, and on the production of goods and services for profit.”

    From that, the end result for society at large seems determinant. I think that the question we need to ask is not particularly what it is, but what if anything should be done in its regard. I think I can make a simple argument that anything done to directly fight or change the capitalist/corporate state would at this point not be productive.

    The overpopulation of the earth makes it necessary to overuse the resources of the planet. No matter which political, financial or economic system we choose, the collapse of society will be the result. If so, then the question becomes what the best product for collapse is there in the shop? I would say that the best product would entail a fast collapse as there would be less resource and ecological destruction than in a slower more mediated one. If that is so, then corporations in their rapacious plunder would do the least overall damage.

    The ‘best of intentions’ in what we consider the more enlightened political/economic approach of cooperation and ‘green solutions’ will make for a longer collapse and even more destruction of resources and life. I would dearly like to hear any well reasoned and, if possible, fact-based argument to the contrary, though I think seven billion combined with diminishing fossil fuel and other resources would make it a difficult, if not impossible argument.

    • HomerJS December 14, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

      I would agree that over population is a major factor in looking at how the world economy is managed.

      The problem with the corporate model is that its focus is on maximising profits, and therefore tries to use up (make profit from) resources at an ever growing rate. The financial structure we currently have working alongside the corporations is one that is reliant on creating debt. It is like a pyramid scheme that relies on more people joining (increasing population) to keep it going. The debt is connected to purchases of product/services/resources from the corporations, and this accelerates the diminishing of resources.

      The ‘Green’ model could be seen as just a managed collapse, where we get used to ‘doing without’, especially in respect of energy (fossil fuels) and the associated goods. This model has problems because it gives many people a negative view of the future, but also because it struggles to challenge the issue of population, as well as making it difficult to accept alternative solutions (GM crops, nuclear power).
      What I think we need is probably to adopt a ‘greener’ model initially to give us more time to find alternatives. This means testing GM crops, research into fusion technology, and actually starting to seriously consider the over-population issue.

      I do think that what is most obvious is that our current capitalist/neo-liberal model is unsustainable and is not working for the benefit of most people. It certainly does not lead to the most efficient use of (scarce) resources.

  17. Joe Taylor December 14, 2013 at 1:15 am #

    Thanks for this piece Golum – for me a clear and entirely plausible explanation of the current state of play.

    I’ll do my bit to get it out there and I’m looking forward to your final summing up.

    Stumbling onto ‘The Debt Generation’ has proved to be unimaginable beneficial to me personally, especially after seeing you speak in Manchester soon afterwards.

    The benefits keep accumulating and I sure that’s the case for many others.

    If you get a fraction of the support you deserve, you’ll be a MP after the next election and a sane voice in parliament, where we really need them.

    In your last blog about Mandela, Mike Hall recommended the newly published book, Sack The Economists’ by Geoff Davies.

    I’m quite impressed by what I’ve read of it so far.

    It’s in straight forward English from a scientist for change, not language that only the author and his mother can understand.

    I’ve put up a few quotes from the book here http://bit.ly/1gwvTdH

  18. Syzygy December 14, 2013 at 3:48 am #

    Great analysis as always.. I particularly liked ‘as time has gone by and the different pieces have accumulated, I think some wealthy and powerful people as well as some who were ideologically driven, have seen the chance to make something they desired out of the pieces.’

    I think that Prof. Philip Mirowski’s keynote for ‘Life and Debt’ conference is well worth watching in that respect.

    http://youtu.be/I7ewn29w-9I

    Philip Mirowski suggests that Neoliberalism (for some powerful people at least) has become an unreported ‘Theory of everything’ – ‘a revolutionary account of self, knowledge, information, markets, and government’ that cannot be falsified by anything as trifling as data from the real economy. IMO this has a ring of truth given the alienated way of being of many of the super-rich.

    I have always been confused as to quite how neoclassical economics fitted in with neoliberalism. Prof. Mirowski suggests that that is because they are not the same. It is partly confused because many neoclassical economists have become more neoliberal.

    He identifies an elite that is intent on quite deliberately steering the global economy by protecting at all costs the capacities of the market. According to Mirowski, neoliberals have a mystical belief in the subtlety of the market to create the answers (presumably by parallel processing) which is not available to human understanding. However, this is nothing compared to how they view the mystery of the natural world. They dismiss science as a tool, believing that only the market has the capacity to comprehend its complexity.

    Essentially, they have the deliberate intent to prevent any attempt to limit CO2/greenhouse gas emissions, presumably with a view to reaping the profits from geoengineering. They are sponsoring experiments with sulphur dioxide aerosol sprays in the upper atmosphere, seeding of the seas with metals to create CO2 absorbing algal blooms, giant space mirrors and other frightening, but profoundly crazy, ideas.

    Prof Mirowski says that the short term strategy has been the funding of climate change denying, the medium term is the nonsense of carbon trading – both of which are delaying or fogging tactics to prevent any carbon-limiting measures being implemented, so that they have a clear field to commodify the climate.

    The thinking that he describes certainly corresponds to having ‘pockets of psychosis’… which TBH sadly fits.

    • Phil (Mcr) December 16, 2013 at 2:15 am #

      You may find this article interesting: ”Common sense neoliberalism”

      http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/journals/soundings/pdfs/s55_hall_oshea.pdf

      Had I not spoken to an ex-Treasury economist and a scientist friend I would have thought you were spreading conspiracy theory about ‘geoengineering’. Sadly I know you are not. Putting sulphur in the atmosphere does appear to be the plan.

      And yes, they know it could go horribly wrong.

  19. Roger December 14, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    I occasionally have a peek at the BBC and here is the result of this self enforced reality check today.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25347720

    Is middle age also a time when as well as policemen becoming younger , Economic Pundits also become increasingly dummed down?

    Aaargghhh!!!

  20. ConfederateH December 14, 2013 at 11:45 am #

    Guido wrote:

    “To rob a nation of its sovereignty, you first must rob its citizens of same. It cannot work the other way around because a sentient, intellectually and financially independent people will not allow their nation’s sovereignty to be taken away.”

    Good quote. This is precisely where Golum drives off of the reality track. As an ardent supporter of NHS, he cannot accept that every human is sovereign and has the natural right of secession. This is a pattern illustrated by fractal mathematics, and its granularity applies from the individual, though the household, to the community, to the county, to the province, to the nation state and all the way up to the new world order.

    The only way true sovereignty can exist is if all government is based on volunteerism, not on a monopoly of force. Apparently Golum would restore a system of sovereign nation states who maintained a right of secession from the NWO, but this right would stop there.

    This also illustrates how this narrative starts at an incorrect point in time. England and the US have been joined at the hip for centuries and are at the root of this entire corrupt system. Americans lost their sovereignty in the war of Secession, when Lincoln worked with the English and east coast US financial elites to lay waste to a group of sovereign states that stood in their way. One could even argue that the Napoleonic wars were precisely about the same thing, the primacy of the British ruling elites. The Spanish American war and the Boer war were also steps along the path before Wilson dragged the US into WWI at the behest of these same Anglo-American banking interests. And Golum also failed to mention BIS, which is just as important a tool for these elites as the IMF or the WB.

    Finally, like almost all liberals, Golum’s narrative fails to mention two very important elements in this equation: gender and race politics. It is like weaving a tapestry without using the colors blue and yellow. The end product ends up being very monochromatic.

    The reality is that our elites have been able to manipulate and wield these weaker elements of our society in order to bolster their own power and control. These weaker elements have been willing partners in this denial of personal sovereignty. Blacks across the world have been convinced that whites deserve no sovereignty because they are guilty of their forefathers sins (as if blacks have none). Females have been told that white males have no sovereignty because someone has to pay for them being born with a uterus.

    So the end effect is that as a white male it doesn’t really matter much as long as I have no hope of ever being allowed to secede from my city, my county, my nation state, or the NWO. I am a merely a slave to the state in all cases. But at least I don’t act like I am morally superior because I want the state to steal from other sovereign individuals in order to pay for my or other peoples “health care”.

    • Golem XIV December 14, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      Hello ConfederateH,

      Whatever else you believe about me and call me, please, please, not a liberal. I am not now and have never been a liberal. Left? Yes. Liberal no. All other names I can deal with – I think.

      More seriously though I think your point is an important one. Perhaps the central one for any libertarian or anarchist.

      It is not that I want to deprive people of their sovereignty. But I have noticed that the right or sovereignty which teh wealthy want most is teh right not to help others less fortunate than themslevs if that help involves significant amounts of money.

      They say it’s not the money it’s the principal of voluntarily giving is charity, versus being required to pay ie taxes. Now Ido understand and share the irritation of paying taxes for things I do not like. I think everyone understands this. For me one example would be paying for nuclear weapons another would be paying for foreign wars that I was never given the chance to have a say about.

      But in a democracy there is always an element of the tyranny of the majority. And sometimes there is teh tyranny of the powerful minority who infest the corridors of power. The vested private interests who profit and their school chums who grease the way in government. So I am not blinkered when it comes to the short-comings of democracy or government. Nor am I some sort of collectivist who thinks the group is the only concern.

      But I do think that those who want to opt out or secede all too often want to because they don’t want to pay to help others. I think we all should help those less fortunate thatn ourselves. What about someone who was not born into any great wealth and lets say finds they have some sort of cancer which requires expensive treatment. Does the society they are born into have a duty of compassion and care or do we say, tough luck and goodnnight?

      It’s no good, in my opinion, saying let each decide how much they want to give – it’s a matter of individual conscience – because long historic data going back to the widow’s mite suggest that the wealthy will not give in charity anything like the percentage of their labour and wealth that will sustain a civil society. If that were not the case then the poor would not have lived and died in abject misery throughout the Victorian era in my country. The great grandfather for whom I was called , who died the day I was born, was himself born in the workhouse where his mother was consigned. That was the real face of charitable care when left to the individual conscience of the wealthy in my country.

      The wealthy tend to hoard their wealth away. Tax evasion, tax minimization, ending with corporations and thus those who profit from them, paying zero tax while making vast profits.

      How to deal with this? Let’s say a group of people take a vote and say we think we would like to pay taxes to have a collective health provision the NHS. A show of hands reveals a majority are in favour. What about those who are later born into this system and don’t like it? Is the democratically decided tax provision for the health system really well described as violence? It doesn’t seem that way to me. You are free to leave if you don;t like it here. You did, If I have understood you, just that.

      I know this is just a barest scratch of the surface of this hgely important debate.

      It is why I prefer a bill of obligations rather than a bill of rights. I do think we have a duty of compassion and care for each other. Perhaps you don’t, I don’t know.

      • ConfederateH December 15, 2013 at 6:04 am #

        First of all I apologize for calling you a liberal. I considered using “progressive” but discarded that. I personally consider myself an anarchist.

        Here in Switzerland I recently had a discussion with one of my work colleagues who is a Swiss patriot and who serves 6 weeks a year in the Swiss military and who is a firm believer in the draft (we recently had an initiative here and the Swiss strongly supported continuation of the draft). I argued that it was enslavement. He claimed it was an obligation to the state. Not only does he not mind serving, he doesn’t mind other people being forced to serve too. But at least he serves, unlike people who pay no income taxes and demand that the “rich” pay “their fair share”.

        My oldest brother drew a very low number in the draft lottery in the 60′s during the Vietnam war and only avoided being sent to fight by some extreme acts of civil disobedience that nearly landed him in prison. My father had been drafted during the Korean war when my brother was a baby. I am now convinced that Churchill and Roosevelt conspired and deceitfully manipulated the US into entering WWII. Wilson did the same in WWI, McKinley did the same in the Spanish American war, and Lincoln did the same in the War of Northern aggression. In hindsight, knowing what we now know, can you honestly say to me now that all the millions of British soldiers who died during those wars of your empire had an obligation so great that they were justifiably forced to die or endure conditions far worse than enslavement?

        What are these obligations? As a renounced ex-US tax slave I have another related story. For 25 years I dutifully filed and paid my US taxes even though I was living and working in Switzerland and paying taxes there. Over those years, as the US tax laws became ever more draconian, as I ended up dedicating an ever increasing proportion of my existence to trying to stay in US tax compliance, as my income and wealth increased and the double taxation took an ever increasing bite out of my income, I decided that I would no longer allow myself to be chained to the US state. So I paid up my $400 and renounced my US enslavement.

        For US tax purposes I was deemed to have died on that date and would have been forced to pay taxes on all gains (including FX gains) on my house, my pension plan, my business, in short all my property, even though it was all in Switzerland and had all already been taxed by 2 separate states. Luckily for me the total value of that property was less that $2million so I avoided having to pay taxes on what had already been taxed twice. Now, in return for these 25 years of loyal tax compliance, Obama and his buddies have placed me on their “no-entry list” and I can never return to the US. I will never see my aging mother again since she can no longer travel. Is this forced separation from my family as egregious as a slave family being torn apart?

        But back to these “obligations”. Imagine you and I were walking out of a shop and we passed a wretched Gypsy woman and her child begging for money to buy a meal. You reach into your pocket and find that you had already spent your money doing your shopping. You and the Gypsy woman declare that this is a democracy and since you two are a majority you demand that I show you my bank statement and my pay stub. You then decide that I am “rich” so you steal half of my money and give it to her. You claim that it just another one of my “obligations” and that I should do it happily because I am “free” and live in such a great democracy.

        Well what about the “obligation” of NEVER taking welfare unless you ABSOLUTELY must? This issue is closely related to the level of social capital available to a society. My parents and their generation would have been ashamed to have taken a dime. Yet the left has left our entire western civilization vulnerable to a flood of wretched immigrants devoid of social capital who come to our nations not out of love or respect for our society, not out of wanting to contribute more than they take, but because they want a free lunch. Often for their entire extended polygamous families. And these same parasites who in truth despise our western societies end up with the right to vote, and along with the left they “democratically” decide that it is my obligation to allow them to steal my property, to steal the fruits of my labor. I guess like you and Jesse I should be happy and submit to this perpetual ass-rape because it absolves me of the sin of being born a hetero white male. Well it is theft plain and simple and that is a violation of my natural rights.

        This is why to me it all comes down to the right of secession. This is the essence of my personal sovereignty.

        In my earlier comment I pointed out how your failure to address gender and race politics taints your discussion of the elites and what they are doing to us. I have come across a perfect example of this myopia in a somewhat related article by Matt Taibbi titled “Apocalypse New Jersey”:

        http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/apocalypse-new-jersey-a-dispatch-from-americas-most-desperate-town-20131211#ixzz2nOxqs5nN

        Taibbi blames the same elite crony capitalists you do in this series of blog posts you are writing, and he gets it completely wrong. Paul Kersey does an excellent job of fisking Taibbi here:

        http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.ch/2013/12/rolling-stones-matt-taibbi-writescamden.html

        • steviefinn December 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

          You mention non payers of income tax by which I assume you mean the unemployed. I was recently unemployed which I suppose according to some was my fault because I decided to make a living doing something I love, rather than sticking with a management career.

          If you were to include all tax which would include VAT or sales tax, duty on alcohol, cigarettes, fuel etc you might consider the fact that almost everybody pays tax & in the UK once employed again you then pay income tax on any benefit you have previously received.

          I always get the impression that those who attack public healthcare do so from the position of being damned sure they will never need it themselves. Maybe I should as Boris suggested based my life on the envy of those with the biggest toys & kissed arse or whatever it takes to climb that greasy pole in a dog eat dog style.

          Glad I didn’t though as I am basically happy with my lot except for the fact that I am concerned that my Grandchildren will grow up in a World, which can only value them in terms of how important a cog they are, within a machine that can only produce things that go to fuel an insatiable greed & lust for power.

          Also I am sick of hearing various seemingly affluent, but strangely frustrated sounding men, who shout about THEIR freedom & THEIR rights, justifying their basic selfishness with arguments that basically amount to ” I want this & screw you “, sounding to me very much like a bunch of spoilt children.

          Due to your detested ” Safety Net ” I have had the FREEDOM to live my life in what I consider a fruitful way & I am sure have many others. A free choice between having lots of things & being just another moaning miserable old man or getting a life – Sorry if my freedom deprived you of more things.

        • Phil (Mcr) December 16, 2013 at 2:33 am #

          ”Imagine you and I were walking out of a shop and we passed a wretched Gypsy woman and her child begging for money to buy a meal. You reach into your pocket and find that you had already spent your money doing your shopping. You and the Gypsy woman declare that this is a democracy and since you two are a majority you demand that I show you my bank statement and my pay stub. You then decide that I am “rich” so you steal half of my money and give it to her.”

          I’ve read a few straw men arguments in my time but Jesus… That’s not how democracy works and you know it.

          ”Yet the left has left our entire western civilization vulnerable to a flood of wretched immigrants devoid of social capital who come to our nations not out of love or respect for our society, not out of wanting to contribute more than they take, but because they want a free lunch.”

          Now we get down to it. Gypsys, wretched immigrants and black people.

          What of all the imperialism done by the western nations (no doubt ‘the state and the state alone’s fault’) to well, the rest of the world? Do you think we got rich just by our superior genes? How has Switzerland stayed so wealthy? Would it have anything to do with it being a depository for a large chunk of the world’s criminal money and evaded tax?

          May I ask which of the Libertarian writers you like? Von Mises? Rothbard? Hayek?

      • Guido December 15, 2013 at 7:22 am #

        “… What about someone who was not born into any great wealth and lets say finds they have some sort of cancer which requires expensive treatment. Does the society they are born into have a duty of compassion and care or do we say, tough luck and goodnnight?…”

        This is the most recurrent “argument” that leads ineluctably towards pervasive and prevaricating government.

        People advocating that government should have a welfare obligation by extension deny the inherent goodness of man.

        You know I am an expatriate. I have lived in the Middle East for a significant amount of time. During my time overseas, I have been exposed to the entire gamut of humanitarianism that goes from government mandated to the pure and sincere effort of the individual.

        Empirically, it is glaringly clear today that Western governments have made use of the humanitarian cloak purely as an expedient political strategy. By progressively allowing government to take ostensible responsibility to provide more services and more welfare, we have fed a leviathan that today is stifling diversity or, indeed, independence.

        And despite our presumed well meaning policies aimed putatively at not leaving any child behind or providing cancer treatment to those that may not have the means, the reality is that individuals still find it necessary to set up private initiatives to help the unfortunate and the poor.

        This is clear evidence that in a world of limited government, the goodness of man would inevitably come through.

        Without mentioning that with limited government, not only would the humanitarian effort be more efficient but the cost of living, and therefore the cost of care, would also be stable, if not declining and, most importantly, accelerated consumption would be inexistent.

        Government should not be the answer to everything for everyone. Government should be limited to upholding the laws that society creates.

        The minute that a society begins to shift its own individual responsibilities unto a group of people that have been endowed with the privilege of extortion, the dynamic is dialed in.

        If you were able to break down this dynamic in arithmetical equations, you would see that endowing government with progressively greater “responsibility” eventually leads to the concentration of power. This is an arithmetical truism.

        • s.tristero December 15, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

          “governments have made use of the humanitarian cloak purely as an expedient political strategy.”

          this is such an essential point, stemming from the widespread assumption that what is considered the “Commons” belongs in the Public sphere. but does Commons = Public (and thus in antithesis to Private), or is the Commons a distinct category outside yet interpenetrating both the Public & Private spheres?

          perhaps a way out of this endless Public vs. Private debate (that even with the best intentions seems to devolve into the same cycle of bickering with no positive outcome) is to triangulate by separating what could be considered as belonging in the Commons and not automatically assuming that the Public sphere is entitled (and more importantly, has the Authority) to manage it.

          i/m/h/o, the #1 item on this list (higher than “Healthcare”, which like “Anarchy”, has been abused to the point to have lost the essence of its original meaning) is MONEY (or what we consider money, the definition of which should also be up for questioning).

          if everyone’s hunches are correct and a tiny group of people has the rest of humanity boxed into a pyramid once again, in spite of the tool invented to diffuse political power called Democracy, than perhaps we should all begin to be so brazen as to tear everything apart and see how the parts can interlock together in a different way.

          • Phil (Mcr) December 16, 2013 at 2:44 am #

            Since when did government = public? How many public services in the UK have been privatised by successive governments?

            Where does civil society sit in this discourse? Or trade unions? Or charities? Or co-operatives, mutuals etc?

            Marxists and Libertarians imagine some utopia if only everyone agrees to their vision of things and their interpretation of history. Well, sadly everyone isn’t going to agree and so I am in favour of a collaborative pluralism of government, civil society, private companies and individuals, co-ops, charities, trade unions and academics. I think it’s what David calls democracy.

          • s.tristero December 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

            Phil, “A government for the people, by the people, of the people” that is the common perception : that government exists within the public sphere no? whether or not we both agree that it has captured by a few private interests is immaterial when you ask the common man or woman for their interpretation.

            your 2nd paragraph is filled with excellent questions worthy of an entire Golem post in and of itself.

            just pulled out a painting yesterday a friend gave me with the scribble IF EVERYONE IS RIGHT, THERE IS NOTHING LEFT. so yes agreed, but would add that it’s not just Marxists and Libertarians, though they seem to be the worst offenders at the moment.

            but if you are correct (and I agree that you are) and everyone is never going to see eye to eye, how is this the recipe for collaboration, and not endless competition between each of the factions. isn’t what you described pretty much what is happening now?

            perhaps this is what Democracy is? an endless battle between factions for control? where does collaboration work into this model?

          • s.tristero December 16, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

            p.s. i would also argue that what you classify as “public services” actually belongs in the sphere of the commons which was given to the public sphere to manage and been overtaken by the select private interests who have captured the public sphere.

            how have they done so? to borrow from guido’s borrow, it’s the money silly.

            here’s an idea for those who believe in the democratic ideal: why not bring Democracy to the monetary system?

        • Phil (Mcr) December 16, 2013 at 2:39 am #

          ”This is clear evidence that in a world of limited government, the goodness of man would inevitably come through.”

          We’ve already been through what leaving people dependent on charity does. What about their sovereignty? Why should they be left dependent on the ego of someone else because they are locked out of the labour market or don’t have sufficiently valuable labour to sell? How exactly did people become wage slaves anyway? I thought it was because wealthy elites threw people off the land during the enclosure movements.

          You do realise markets are only one way of running an economy don’t you? Have a look at Karl Polanyi’s work.

          • Guido December 16, 2013 at 6:20 am #

            You become a wage slave when 2 things happen:

            a) An entity enforces one type of arbitrary currency

            b) This entity constantly and aggressively devalues same

            When individuals and entities have no other choice but to make use of one type of currency, you are shackled to the entity that creates that currency.

            In enforcing and simultaneously devaluing one arbitrary currency, government must per force become the largest actor in the economy. This dynamic is enabled by excessive and frivolous investment driven by financial value rather than intrinsic value which in turn stimulates excess consumption, the depletion of food stocks and the devastation of the environment.

            When government is the largest actor in the economy, the majority are dependent on government either directly or indirectly.

            As that happens, economic actors my initially still be free to move physically but the reverse of the coin is their inability to alter their professional or social circumstances due to their dependence on government jobs and/or government contributions.

            That is how you become a wage slave.

            I know personally hundreds if not thousands public employees from many nations around the globe. Not many of them are happy, fulfilled nor, indeed, do many have faith or believe in what they are doing. But of the plethora that are unhappy and mope about it, I only know of a handful that have resigned on moral grounds. The rest knuckle under and carry on because leaving public employ would require a serious reassessment of their life style.
            These are pure wage slaves.

            “…Key Facts

            The bottom 20% had average income of $8,100 but received $22,700 in annual assistance, netting $30,800 in after-tax income
            .
            The second quintile had average income of $30,700 but received $15,200 in annual assistance, netting $43,400 in after-tax income.
            …”

            Read more at http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/12/rich-dont-pay-most-of-taxes-they-pay.html#gbBGZ2A4z5fP6IkU.99
            .

            The bottom 20% and second quintile are wage slaves.

            And that is what makes a wage slave.

            To borrow a famous quote: It is the monetary system stupid!

  21. Andrea December 14, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

    Golem wrote: — I want to make it clear I do not believe the new arrangement of political and economic power was the clear goal of some hidden cabal. I think each change had an ideological drive behind it but, to begin with at least, each change was largely
    opportunistic and piecemeal. These pieces have, however, added up. –

    Well said. I’d like to add that on a lower level – the work place, a similar process took and is taking place.

    I entered the work force under the ‘old system’ which particularly in a country like Switzerland was quite fair, agreeable, and efficient. I have worked for large public and private institutions, one multi-national. In all cases – depending on the time period – similar forces were at work. (From Science..)

    A growing bureaucracy, rules, and enforced political correctness and subservience, which mostly had no positive effects, although the mask was ‘efficiency’, ‘integration’, ‘promoting minorities’, ‘streamlining’, ‘participation’, ‘transversal collaboration’, ‘fairness’, ‘proper review’, ‘innovation’ and so on.

    All this lead to more control of employees and in ALL cases the rise of a ‘management’ class, given over to admin., pol figures, arrivistes, scammers, while giving experts (those who really know the stuff) short shrift or minor roles. This is particularly dismaying in Science: Taylorism doesn’t work.

    Hierarchies were thus turned on their head, all the enterprises became larger and more costly (usually at the expense of the taxpayer who did not notice) and while ‘output’ rose according to ‘fakey’ measures it sank in quality, imho. Think of Obama enforcing the review of teachers on the basis of their pupil’s grades on standardized tests. (!)

    Salaries stagnated or were lowered for those doing the work, and young people were enjoined to adhere to a strict system of advancement for extremely poor pay and to be totally subservient, which drove the keen away. For the supervisor class, salaries rose astronomically, and they took more and more control.

    As competition was encouraged over collaboration, while collaboration was falsely hyped at the same time, the atmosphere soon became acrid, polarized, and subject to conflict, cheating, and fake ‘results’ or ‘work’… those who made shoddy compromises rose, the others sank.

    At the same time, these institutions were de-politicized, there was no space for thinking about the common good, the only point was to look good, get more funding, more money, become famous, etc. Debate of any kind was thrown out the window and became a simulacrum – as it was still, in this milieu, considered important to ‘exchange ideas’, there had to be some pretense.

    It was slow rot, taking 30 years or so, with some ppl copying others. One move would catch on, would be taken up, and maybe even abandoned as not effective. There were just ‘new ideas’ to take more control, divide and create competition which would enable those at the top to win in all cases.

    The process is the same in Finance, Insurance, Gvmt, Utilities. The only place collaborative schemes exist is in Top Corps, they understand the advantages they hold and how to coordinate strategies. Say, to exaggerate quite a bit.

  22. scrofulous December 14, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    A bill of obligations is a lovely anarchist ideal.

    So many things meant by that word, “anarchist’ aren’t there? So hard to put that idea of obligation into practice where education is driven by the fear of not getting one’s share. (Something any good and grasping capitalist knows and uses).

    I like the simple clear statement of Golem on obligations, rather than rights, being our necessary watchword, but how does this become the general paradigm when our education from childhood has been based on fear that we will not get our share and find ourselves in the workhouse of Golem’s great grandparent? How do we lose that fear when with a capitalist world we know that no matter how much we can accumulate there is someone out there who wishes to take it away for their benefit? How much is enough to make one safe?

    I think the sort of value changes that eliminate that fear depend on working, supporting and especially speaking with one’s ‘neighbour’. In our free floating population, I define neighour is anyone we come in contact with.

    If we can educate ourselves, with ideas like Golem’s on ‘obligation’, and others like Noam Chomsky’s on anarchism, there might be a few seeds planted that could weather the storm of what I personally can only see as a coming collapse.

    I just took a look about the net and was in luck, found this interview of Chomsky, ‘Noam Chomsky: The Kind of Anarchism I Believe in, and What’s Wrong with Libertarians’.

    . http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/noam-chomsky-kind-anarchism-i-believe-and-whats-wrong-libertarians?paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

    • Golem XIV December 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

      What a great interview. Put like that, who couldn’t say they would welcome the anarchist tendency Chomsky describes?

    • s.tristero December 15, 2013 at 1:41 pm #

      unfortunately, it seems to me that, for whatever reason, that Mr. Choms continually refuses to escape the binary trap of Left vs. Right, Right vs. Wrong.

      thus, he opens everything he writes up to the cage of polarization, which as we should all well know by now from years of reading comment boards all over the interwebs, is filled with heated & counterproductive arguments that lead nowhere except back to the same.

      Bernays must be smiling, as his Grand Plan is working well beyond his wildest dreams.

    • ConfederateH December 15, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

      Gotta love this pearl from Chomsky:

      These are the origins of what became a huge industry of controlling attitudes and opinions. Now the oil industry today, and in fact the business world generally, are engaged in comparable campaigns to try to undermine efforts to deal with a problem that’s even greater than the mass murder that was caused by the tobacco industry; and it was mass murder. We are facing a threat, a serious threat, of catastrophic climate change.

      Bwaaaaaa. After all the revelations from Climate Gate about how the CRU had not only falsified data, destroyed data, denied access to their precious “peer reviewed” journals and generally conspired in a corrupt fashion for years that makes them poster boy for this entire series on NWO take over, Chomsky again tries to blame the oil industry because people don’t believe his lies. Well we know that these oil companies give more to warmist causes than to denier causes, but Noam would never let the truth get in the way of another globalist yarn he is spinning.

      Maybe if there actually was some global warming to backup Noam’s lies then the people might start to believe them. Well after waiting a decade, the himalayan glaciers haven’t melted, the arctic ice cap is expanding, and the maldives are still DWL nirvanna. So then Noam and his cronies had to back pedal and call it “climate change”, then “climate disruption” and now “extreme weather”. What a pile of stinking BS, foisted on us by the likes of Cameron, Gore, Obama, Blair, Bush, Geldoff, Branson and all the other global elites. But Golem still can’t see it.

      The real issue here is how the left is allowed to ignore all reality and survive in their own shuttered bubble world. Here are a few examples:

      - NHS really works
      - Global Warming = Global Cooling (at least until the planet cooperates with the globalist agenda and starts warming, then global warming = global warming)
      - The pandemic of black violent crime across the planet is due to the legacy of slavery and white guilt
      - Diversity/Multiculturalism/Vibrancy makes our society stronger
      - Long term welfare recipients would rather work, there just simply aren’t enough “good jobs”
      - Families don’t need fathers
      - Immigration from low wage countries doesn’t hurt the unskilled
      - Radical homosexuals don’t have any agenda, once they get to have their gay marriages they will leave the family alone. Scouts honor.
      - This tax increase is temporary….

      • Phil (Mcr) December 16, 2013 at 2:55 am #

        Considering your so keen on your own independence and sovereignty why do I feel like you’ve repeated every talking point of the wealthy’s political parties?

        ”Diversity/Multiculturalism/Vibrancy makes our society stronger”

        ”Families don’t need fathers”

        ”Immigration from low wage countries doesn’t hurt the unskilled”

        ”This tax increase is temporary”

        I can think of plenty of ‘left wingers’ who wouldn’t go along with those statements. (The rest of them are too tangled for me to bother engaging with at this time of night.)

        I can’t however think of a Libertarian who wasn’t a bitter (usually middle aged) white man.

        • ConfederateH December 16, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

          Well I am an anarchist, not a libertarian, but I am a white man, and I am very bitter about what the US and the Rockwell family instigated medical system has done to my family.

          As far as why an anarchist who cherishes personal sovereignty might not want to allow masses of social capital impaired vibrants to immigrate and then decide that they have the “democratic” right to steal the fruits of my labor, well I’ll let you figure it out.

      • steviefinn December 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

        Please provide proof for the Arctic ice pack’s supposed expansion despite the fact that the Bering strait will soon be opening up for shipping, not to mention the North west passage.

        Who is in a bubble ?

        From businessmen not tree huggers :

        http://www.longshoreshippingnews.com/2013/12/tschudi-shipping-exploring-possibility-of-alaskan-port/

        • ConfederateH December 16, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

          First article I found:

          http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/16/nature-proves-al-gore-wrong-again/

          But what is really galling is that the elite-nomenclatura-warmists come up with some patently absurd hypothesis, ie. be patient, global warming is coming as soon as the cooling has finished, and then expect everyone else to prove it is false, even in the face of years of contradictory evidence and proof of not only their incompetence (what about all those “scientific” models that predicted 50 million dead by now) but even worse their corruption and malfeasance. Did you even bother to follow what went on with Climate gate, or when commanded “look the other way” by the Bernaysian media, did you merely look the other way?

          • steviefinn December 16, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

            Why is the Berings strait becoming free of ice ?, shipping companies do not consider investing billions for no reason. I do not care about yesterdays news about peoples lies & fuck ups, only what is actually happening now & the polar ice cap is not spreading as you stated, it is shrinking – Give me evidence to the contrary & I will agree with you.

          • 1redart December 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

            Willard Anthony Watts (Anthony Watts) is a blogger, weathercaster and non-scientist, paid AGW denier who runs the website wattsupwiththat.com. He does not have a university qualification and has no climate credentials other than being a radio weather announcer. His website is parodied and debunked at the website wottsupwiththat.com Watts is on the payroll of the Heartland Institute, which itself is funded by polluting industries.[1]

            http://sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Anthony_Watts

        • ConfederateH December 17, 2013 at 9:19 am #

          I note how reluctant you are to address climate fraud and how you insist on focusing on climate mal-investments. Fine.

          There is a climate-industrial-complex that is nearly as big and pernicious as the military-industrial-complex and the sickcare-industrial-complex. Just think of all the windmills sucking down subsidies stolen from the millions of states’ slaves. These monstrosities will never stop killing birds and they will never stop being environmental catastrophes and they would never be good investments.

          Yet private equity, hedge funds and banks are able slice these things into tranches and sell them for a profit to the gullible and brainwashed state sycophants who might break even due to tax loopholes that they have created by manipulating the fascist state.

          Now to your single paragraph article about another company wanting to carve a profit out of the climate propaganda pie and try to represent this as being proof of global warming. Sheesh. Could it be a CIA or KGB front to get submarines into the arctic and stake out more loot for the state? Could it be another scam by JPM, GS or Barclays? Could it simply be another Misean mal-investment made at the peak of this keynsian bubble?

          • Golem XIV December 17, 2013 at 9:45 am #

            Hello ConfederateH,

            I can’t speak for Stevie, but you talk of climate fraud as if you thnk this is proven. I am quite familiar with a lot of teh science – not an expert but fairly knowledgeable – and I do think climate change, in large part caused by human actions, is happening. The fraud you talk about – if its the University of East Anglia case – is not quite as simple as fraud.

            Yes, stupid and arrogant things were done, but behind the neadlines I think the scientific case is still alarmingly strong. Perhpas you know better than I and would dissagree.

            But I think there is a vast difference betweenn the military/Indistrial conplex and what you call teh climate-industrial complex. Yes there are monied concerns involved with climate change but there are also many good scientists. I konw there are people who brush them all aside on the grounds that they are just liars grubbing for funding – I say this is a sweeping and ill-founded generalization that bears no resemblance to the many scientists I have met and talked to.

            I am sure there are corportes looking to profit from climate change. Just as there are States competing for the riches that may be beneath the Arctic. But none of that changes the fact that the arctic ice is melting. Neither corporate interests nor State security can melt teh ice ofr their convenience. Iteither is or it is not.

            Of course it could be that all the scientists are either wrong. If they are it is an amazing phenomenon. All that research in so many different fields by so many different scientists and they are all wrong. COuld be but I think the odds are quite long.

            As for them being aware it is wrong but all being party to a grand scam that is a vision of a conspiracy which I find silly.

            There are still many uncertainties with understanding the gloabl climate and energy system but I do not think the whole thing is either a hoax, a conspiracy nor an uncritically accepted government or big business sponsored lie.

            I think the science is soundly based and that climate change is both real and pressing.

            Another thing for us to disagree about. Life is never dull is it? The real question is can people who fundamentally disagree still live together civilly? If they can’t it does not bode well for a peaceful future does it?

          • steviefinn December 17, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

            Well I give up, I grant you what I am sure will turn out to be a Pyrric victory.

            You increasingly sound like Grover Norquist who I came across on the video ” Status Anxiety ” that I re-capped last night. He has a face & demeanour I have come across in the past, hard faced & miserable, but I assume he enjoyed the little demonstration of his power he gave over his underlings – May as well argue with a brick wall, so I wont, as it’s pointless.

            He strikes me as a good illustration of why the American dream sucks, he should be happy if his philosophy is correct but instead appears to be full of bitterness & anger, something that will increase with age as there will always be something he cannot control – A little worm in that supposed golden apple.

            David – Agreed on all counts – I was just trying to give an example of something that didn’t depend on scientific research as an illustration of what’s happening up there. It’s part of a conspiracy of mine to attempt to open closed minds.

      • HomerJS December 16, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

        As someone who is long term unemployed I would just like to take issue with this one point.

        - Long term welfare recipients would rather work, there just simply aren’t enough ‘good jobs’

        It always annoys me when someone expresses this point and talks about ‘good jobs’. It gives the false impression that people are turning down other ‘not so good’ jobs, and this is not backed up by the evidence of how many people apply for basic minimum wage opportunities. The long term unemployed are not categorised by their lack of desire to work, or for their choosiness about what jobs they will do. The only thing the long term unemployed have in common is that employers do not want them.

        • ConfederateH December 16, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

          @Homer: The lefts vilification of anyone opposed to constantly increasing minimum wages (which they won’t admit is to mitigate the effects of their reckless keynsian policies) are the main object of my scorn here. If the market were left to settle without the crony capitalists, labor unions and the socialists wielding the states monopoly on force there would be plenty of jobs, even more so if low skilled (implying a lack of social capital) immigrants were also kept out.

          Judging by your word I would still say that you are the exception rather than rule. Have you tried pizza delivery, garbage pickup, temporary agencies for short term menial work?. When I graduated from University in California in 1981 with a degree in Statistics specializing in Econometrics and Simulation, unemployment was at 12% and interest rates were headed up to 17%. There were no “good jobs” but because I had family helping me out I never was forced to resort to scraping the bottom of the barrel. I never got a dime of welfare or unemployment because I was ineligible. Today I would have all kinds of support from the state of CA and the US govt.

          Furthermore, having gone through an extended period of unemployment left so many scars that I vowed never to be unemployed again. So I have never been fired and never been unemployed again. I don’t quit my old job until I have a new one and I make sure I have good letters of recommendation when I leave. I’ll bet that I have coded in more languages on more types of computers running more kinds of databases than you can imagine. I have moved several times to get access to jobs with better career paths. A lot of this has been made possible by an ongoing effort to stay on top of technology.

          As far as I can tell the 99ers (those who were supposed to lose their unemployment benefits in 2010 after being fired in 2008) are still receiving unemployment 5 years later and it is a hot potato issue for the Dems who are desperate to divert criticism from the massive fraud they perpetrated called Obamacare. So what message gets sent to those who should be desperate for work when they and their colleagues are allowed and indefinitely extended paid vacation?

          • HomerJS December 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

            I think there is a challenging debate around the idea of people being ‘desperate to work’ as although you want people to look for work there are consequences for pay and conditions for making people ‘too desperate’. But I think it is a myth that people don’t want to work. There is also a myth that people can just lower their sights and get just any job. I once went for such a job and not only did I not get one of the numerous vacancies, but the job was then re-advertised. It wasn’t just that others were better suited (or perhaps even more qualified), it was a complete rejection.

          • sam March 20, 2014 at 12:11 am #

            Unemployment.

            At the macro level, i disagree- its just math. Unemployment is not an accident but a designed feature of the economy. (Hence the need for importation of excess labour, which you recognise).

            At the individual level, it is very much determined by the macro situation and specific employers discriminations (legal or illegal).

            Money/Capital is earned or (unless you have a printing press or a skim based on it ) by selling to buyers in society, no buyers = no sellers. So we are all joined and also intergenerationally. Your capital needs to provide your retirement. It depends on society accepting your stored capital. Indeed society creates the money for you to purchase with your labour.

            One generation can repudiate inequity, it will happen. No doubt the tptb are trying desperately to ensure the current model of crony capitalism at any cost. This includes war. This crosses creed,color and sex.

  23. scrofulous December 14, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

    Thanks Golem, it is pretty hard to imagine Noam running about in black slouch hat and cape with bombs under either arm, isn’t it? Too bad anarchism has, for many, that sort of image. Unfortunately it would be pretty hard to find another word that has the same impact. Much like the problem the word ‘Christian’ has and what Christ had to say. For myself there is a great similarity underlying them both once the muddiness has been removed.

    Please have a very Anarchistic Christmas and the best for all your New Years.

  24. Phil (Mcr) December 14, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    Good analysis of Too Big To Fail and why their ‘resolution plans / living wills’ change nothing. I think David has written about this before but it was interesting to see a former Goldman director and Bear Sterns analyst say it.

    http://www.nationofchange.org/fed-s-employment-taper-myth-big-six-bank-stocks-and-downgrades-1386430139

  25. Aleph0 December 15, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    @”I do not believe the new arrangement of political and economic power was the clear goal of some hidden cabal. ”

    I beg to disagree !

    .. & agree with many points made by Guido & bill40.

    TPP & TAP are both a very serious Coup d’Etat against Nation States and certainly indicative of a “hidden cabal”.

    A recent surprise to me was F. William Engdahls’ book : “Seeds of Destruction” …. in that I thought it was going to be “just” a long list of GMO crimes , Monsanto etc.

    Engdahl actually went far deeper down the rabbit hole to disclose many “now unclassified” State Secrets that connected US National Security issues to themes like over-population , GMO, Money Control etc. etc.

    Here is a short book review :
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/seeds-of-destruction-the-hidden-agenda-of-genetic-manipulation

    This is what TAP/TPP is all about – Corporate hegemony, mainly US based Corporations , but not all.

    Allow me to also recommend reading “Our Crowd” BTW :
    http://www.amazon.de/Our-Crowd-Jewish-Families-History/dp/0815604114

    The book was a great read & packed with details of how these families operated.
    What struck me was that after the 1910-1920 period, the wealthy families of the 1700s-1900s became diluted & replaced by a far more destructive group in the US, namely the Rockerfellers and Morgans .

    Engdahl’s book describes the close relationship between Rockerfeller & Kissinger, and documents that Pres. Nixon signed – advised by K & R .. which were about WW over-population becoming a major issue of US National Security.

    PPS: Just out of interest… have you read the Kissinger Memo from 1974 ? .. on Gold.
    ..and the German Kanzlerbiref ?

    • Golem XIV December 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

      Hello Aleph0,

      I think you have mis-read me. Sorry Iif I wasn not clear. I said I did not think that the present outcome had been a clear plan of a secret cabal from the start – but I did think that more recently a clear chance had been seen by some the the wealthy and powerful, that the plan was anti-democratic, and that they were now actively pushing for it. The TPP etc, for me, fall within this latter time-frame.

      So I am not sure we disagree on the present situation. Perhaps we dissagree on how far back a single controlling cabal and a single long term plan goes.

      • Aleph0 December 16, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

        OK .. I’m with you now.

        Again , have you read “Our Crowd” ?
        You will enjoy it I think… simply a wealth of information and insight.

        The well known wealthy families like the Seligmans started off as peddlers in the 1700s.
        The book speaks very positively of these “old rich” .. and as I said , once these great families became diluted through having many children & marriages, new “powers” took the reigns (after ca. 1910 onwards)

  26. Phil (Mcr) December 16, 2013 at 4:40 am #

    For the virulent anti-statists, how does this article match the ideology? One faction of ‘the state’ undermining the rest of it and collaborating with this nation’s greatest enemy?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/the-nazis-british-bankers-1275885.html

    ”In the saga of Nazi gold, it is always the Swiss who are to blame; the Swiss who were prepared to accept bullion looted from the victims of German oppression to the extent that the war was prolonged longer than necessary. But if the historians are right, these papers will go to the heart of the British financial establishment and raise questions about the allegiance of one of the most powerful figures of his day, former Governor of the Bank of England, Sir Montagu “Monty” Norman. Academics believe the archive will show that the Bank, led by Sir Monty, bent over backwards to help the Nazi war machine.”

  27. GordonDonald December 17, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    David, the issue of how states (and in particular the US) have actively worked to shape and direct the global economy, and how this has affected national sovereignty with regard to markets is addressed in this book:
    ‘The Making of Global Capitalism. The political economy of American Empire’ (2013, Verso) by Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin.
    Panitch and Gindin have documented the ways the US has reacted to and prepared for economic crises since the Great Depression, but within a framework of becoming the major capitalist economy and taking on responsibility for advancing global capital interests rather than simply national ones (or rather how the consensus emerged between business and politics that it was in America’s interest to promote free flows of capital and redefine the powers and duties of states).
    One interesting revelation is how the US Treasury and Federal Bank reacted to the increasing volatility of markets following deregulation: an acknowledgement that this was inevitable and that crises were unavoidable, but that they would adopt a policy of crisis containment rather than crisis prevention and that this policy necessitates global coordination of states to intervene strongly when crises erupt. This consensus is now shared by all the other neoliberal players: UK, EU, Japan and is why although greater state intervention is accepted, greater regulation or controls on markets and capital was never an option.
    I think this book is invaluable in putting what’s going on now with regard to trade agreements and curtailment of national democratic forms in to perspective.

    BTW I hope nobody here takes seriously the claims by ConfederateH to be an ‘anarchist.’
    ConfederateH is not an anarchist but a right wing propertarian or minarchist
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propertarianism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minarchist
    This has very little in common with anarchism or libertarian communism which share an opposition to capitalism and the state, and argue for replacing an authoritarian state with an egalitarian society based on real, participatory democracy. Since capitalism requires a strong state to exist (not least to beat up any inconvenient dissenters and trade unionists) the idea of anarcho-capitalist is a contradiction in terms.

    • GordonDonald December 17, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      See this report on use of police by UK universities against student protest for a glimpse of state force in support of the ‘neoliberal university.’ Includes a comment from (genuine) anarchist David Graeber.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVEqUcDGdHs

    • Golem XIV December 17, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

      Hello GordonDonald,

      Thank you verey much for the book recommendation. I can’t promise when I’ll get to read it but I would like to.

      I wonder if between us all we could think of beginning to compile a library of read and recommended books. They don’t all have to be of the same political outlook, only that they are intelligent and interesting? Is it an idea that could be of use or just a breeding ground for ill-temper?

  28. shaun o'hara December 18, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    thankyou again golem

  29. Just me December 19, 2013 at 3:12 am #

    “As Job Market Improves: QE To Be Cut To $70B”

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/afontevecchia/2013/09/05/bernanke-feds-september-taper-call-closer-as-job-market-improves-qe-to-be-cut-to-70b/

    “More Misleading Official Employment Statistics — Paul Craig Roberts”

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/12/10/misleading-official-employment-statistics-paul-craig-roberts/

  30. Just me December 19, 2013 at 10:14 pm #

    “Severely sick Italians fear job loss”

    http://www.thelocal.it/20131217/severely-sick-italians-fear-job-loss

    “Poverty skyrockets in Ireland as the ruling elite gets richer”

    http://rinf.com/alt-news/breaking-news/poverty-skyrockets-in-ireland-as-the-ruling-elite-gets-richer/

  31. Just me December 28, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    A lot of info in this video, covers a lot of events, watch until the end

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I1PanpyOSA

  32. Just me February 1, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    “Replace dollar with super currency: economist”

    http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2014-01/29/content_17264069.htm

    A big step to one world government ?.

  33. Just me February 21, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    “Why Is The Obama Administration Putting Government Monitors In Newsrooms?”

    http://newswatch.us/why-is-the-obama-administration-putting-government-monitors-in-newsrooms/

  34. Just me February 25, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    “Venezuela: Reports Arrest of Arab Mercenary in Aragua State”

    http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2413531&Itemid=1

  35. Just me March 8, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    **MUST READ**

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/02/28/barr-f28.html

  36. FrozenBoots April 15, 2014 at 5:20 am #

    Hi David,

    I would first like to convey a few things that I have always felt about you. I have been a fan of your documentaries since The Flow of Time which I watched more than a decade ago, I think. In terms of the way it made me feel (and think) it was right up there with Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. Moreover, as a son of a pure mathematician, I was deeply moved by Dangerous Knowledge; I am sure he would have loved watching it any time he could, just as I do, not only because of your ideas in it which he too had lived by (not pledging allegiance blindly or dogmatically to anything just for psychological comfort’s sake), but also because of the way you look at those men who devoted their lives to such fundamental questions of life. Hat’s off to you, sir. In a world where the art of reflection and thoughtful exposition is being lost in a social environment where thoughts are expressed mostly vacuously and without depth and rigor, your documentaries are refreshing, rejuvenating, and reassuring.

    As for your concerns about the state of the world as regards the financial politics that governs it, I was quite surprised that your book dealt with such an area – quite a departure from your documentary themes.

    I have not read the book; but I have been aware of the voodoo made-up world of financial instruments and the mechanics and politics of colonialism via corporations. And it ‘is’ just plain old colonialism. The age of colonialism through the use of standing armies is gone; it is more sub-rosa in nature. But it is the same old resource-grab scheme as ever. I see sectors getting privatized now all over the world and I cannot help but feel the same thing that I felt while watching the growth of the colonial powers of the past. The East India Company’s history shows how it rose to power from just a bunch of desperates looking to profit somehow from the potentially huge margins (%age in ‘thousands’ not hundreds or tens) on sale of cinnamon from South Asia, to this huge monster that basically became the actual administration that ran colonies across the world. It started wars, enslaved entire populations, toppled governments, instigated financial and political plots, and always got its way because of the Establishment behind it as it tried to swallow every resource on earth.

    In terms of fighting back in recent history, a precedent was set (for the current generation who have not suffered colonialism) by the people of Bolivia, who took on the company that made storing rainwater illegal (imagine that), and the government that was protecting that company. But, I can see that the problem is that most people have not been hammered down to that necessary degree. Even M.K. Gandhi did not do anything until he was thrown off a first-class carriage onto the platform in the middle of the night. (Until then he wanted to be a swashbuckling barrister in the British mold.) Life is still livable, isn’t it? I guess the water needs to get hotter for people to snap. But already even people who are relatively secure are feeling the pinch. “It’s too expensive to live, it’s too expensive to die,” an Irish friend of mine said. I wondered if she knew the state of the people who are much lower down in the social strata in poorer countries than her and are being turned back into slaves en masse. Imagine their plight.

    It is not at all surprising that people, communities, and entire nations are being brought to their knees and robbed at monetary gunpoint as fears are induced of an uncertain future. But I suspect that people are afraid for a bigger reason: they know in the back of their minds every day that this won’t be won by merely blogging or tweeting. One day, it will get real. The way the world works is that you have to fight for your dignity, your self respect, and your freedoms. Tecumseh told us to respect others views and demand that they respect yours. We must demand corporations that we be respected. And the good thing is that if you do, you stand a good chance that you will win. But first you must stop being afraid all the time.

    I hope that people realize that they are in the middle of one of most important phases in history and that they must wake up and stop being passive entities in the narrative. Remember the lessons of history. Percy Shelley (the inspiration for Gandhi’s “civil disobedience” movement) wrote:

    “And these words shall then become
    Like Oppression’s thundered doom
    Ringing through each heart and brain,
    Heard again – again – again -

    ‘Rise like Lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number -
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you -
    Ye are many – they are few.”

    And David, please keep making sober, thoughtful documentaries the way you always have. I swear I love them.

    Regards,
    SM

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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