Debt is the Hidden Issue in The European Elections

The Undebted World

The citizens of the European Union are called to vote this week for the European Parliament. It is not a real parliament, and it lacks prospects for becoming one, since all important decisions are taken by the unelected heads of the European Commission and the European Central Bank, dubbed “the worst-run Central Bank in the world”.

These elections capture however the general mood of exasperation with current policies. Conservative and extreme Right parties will rise, reflecting widespread scepticism as to the economic course of the EU and its lack of benefits for the common people. The mainstream Left unfortunately neglects these issues, and it will pay the price.

The conservatives generally blame the weak and scapegoat the refugees, the immigrants, the women, and the poor, while promising to save the middle class from the onslaught of big capital. They create false hopes of easy reform, and they never denounce the exploitation inherent in today’s system. History shows however that small owners manage to resist financial stranglehold only when they make common cause with workers and the poor, and they are not afraid to fight.

The economy looks ever more frail. In all, the Eurozone’s nominal GDP stagnates, shrinking 12% in its six largest economies in 2008-2017. The European Union remains indifferent to the peoples’ needs, while it caters for every whim of the corporations. Even so, Quantitative Easing and other crony capitalist schemes promoted by the ECB, such as the Private-Public Partnerships (PPPs) or the new Targeted Long-term Refinancing Operations (TLTRO-III) cannot save the day.

Donald Trump declares bluntly “I don’t care about Europe”, showing that US considers our continent as little more than a collection of vassal states. In all countries inequality rises, corporations rule, and oligarchs impose their will. Liberal France exhibits an abhorrent authoritarianism against the Yellow Vests. Italy chases the refugees and the Roma. Workers’ rights and incomes are eroded everywhere, with women workers hit particularly hard. Even in successful countries, such as Germany, real wages remain below their 1990 level.

Exploitation today is often effected through debt. Public and private debt are crucial mechanisms for the ongoing transfer of wealth and power from the poor to the rich, from the weak to the strong, from the many to the few. Public discussion so far neglects this issue, even though financial expropriation’s explosive potential is well known to insiders and to the mainstream parties.

Public debt in today’s European Union totals 13 trillion euro, reaching 80% of its GDP. This average masks huge variations between the European periphery and the core. For example, Greece owes 335 billion euro or 181% of its GDP, Italy 2.3 trillion (132%), and Portugal 225 billion (122%). On the other hand German public debt at 2 trillion is 61% of the GDP, and tax haven Luxemburg’s 12 billion is only 21%.

Public debt is a political choice, not a law of nature. In today’s Europe it is used to subsidise corporations, not the vanishing social state. Instead of covering their needs by taxing the rich, states beg them for loans, get gleefully indebted to them, and promptly pay huge interest to them. Falling further down into the debt trap, states transfer huge resources from the periphery to the centre, and from poor to rich. This gigantic public debt entails the destruction of democratic institutions, turning citizens into debt peons, and stealing our children’s lives.

In 2010 the Troika appointed itself as saviour of Greece from its excessive debt, which then stood at 109%. The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund imposed draconian austerity and the liquidation of public property. The Greeks’ sacrifices did not save them, but led to destitution and debt slavery. Parliamentary government became an empty form and a far Right criminal organisation, modelled on Hitler’s Nazis, surged. No European or national institution took responsibility for the debacle. But the peoples of Europe took heed.

The rest of Europe is but one debt crisis away from the fate of Greece. And the global financial bubble is guaranteed to bring this crisis forward, sooner rather than later.

Fiscal pressure leads to revolts or even cataclysmic change – it ushered to the French, the Russian, and the Chinese revolutions. But the debt crisis is not insoluble in itself. States have always the sovereign right to abolish debt, as Iceland did recently. This does not hurt the economy, but gives it a boost. It simply means that the rich will not foreclose for themselves bigger and bigger parts of future production.

We call on all European citizens, within or without the European Union, to check parties’ policies on debt. Parties lacking a clear policy on this issue either do not recognise its seriousness or simply side with the financial oligarchy.

The only responsible way to vote is to support parties promoting debt justice. This includes the abolition of odious public debt, and the resolution of non commercial private debt in favour of the many and poor debtors, instead of the few and rich creditors.

The UndebtedWorld Collective is an activist group based in Athens and Thessaloniki, with members all around the Balkans. We participate in the global fight for economic justice, and first of all for the abolition of the huge and growing economic inequality caused by debt in our part of the world. A French translation of this article is available here.


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May 25, 2019 5:55 PM

The rulers of ancient Mesopotamia instituted an official debt jubilee every few years. They did this because otherwise the bulk of the population would be reduced to slavery and debt peonage, lorded over by the equivalent of today’s billionaires. The only problem with that, from their point of view, was that there would be nobody left to defend and fight for the state. The only people with a stake in society would be the billionaire class. That is the system we have today.

May 24, 2019 5:15 PM

Erm, no. Eurozone debt to GDP is actually reducing over the past 4-5 years or so. In 2018 the ratio was 85%
Compare that to the USA, which has been increasing, and in 2018 stood at a whopping 105%
Per person, the Eurozone debt is around $33,000 whereas the US debt is double at $63,000.
The primary political and economic attacks against the EU are, as far as I am concerned, by the neocons and those wanting break apart the EU; divide and conquer has always been their game plan. Anyone else doing the same is ignorant, or a sheep, or mischievous.

May 24, 2019 5:19 PM
Reply to  Portonchok
May 24, 2019 5:49 PM
Reply to  Portonchok

The Eurozone figure is very similar to the UK by the way.
Japan’s is at 253%
Knocking the EU at every opportunity is getting boring.

May 23, 2019 10:00 PM



May 23, 2019 5:48 PM

apparently there are images in this article — can’t see ’em.

May 23, 2019 4:18 PM

Very shrewd and comprehensive summary of the situation we now find ourselves in, in a short article.

Cameron more than doubled the national debt in the 5 years 2010-2015, from £750-1,600 billion, to bail out his looting kleptocratic chums in the City. (Of course Blair/ Brown would have done exactly the same.) Since then, it has risen apace to over $3,500 billion, £2,700 billion at current exchange rates. This is partly a function of the sinking pound, which lost a third of its value, $1.86 to 1.24, the result of QE bail outs and protracted negative interest rates (and nothing to do with Brexit, which will provide a convenient all purpose scapegoat for some time to come.)

This is dwarfed by the Yew Ess Ayy. You can look at the US National Debt Clock adding well over $10,000 a second, but this is only part of the story. The Ben Shalom Bernanke bail out was touted at $750 billion, but the true figure (and this is just the initial bail out, not the endless “QE” which has continued ever since) was of the order of $23,700 billion. This is because the $750 billion figure was a sum that was constantly being disbursed and then replenished and disbursed again, like a bathtub with the plug out and both taps on full. Nobody really knows the true figure, or who got all the money, because it’s a secret. Good Old Joe Lunchbucket Taxpayer will foot the bill, as he always does. Good Old Joe. Nobody knows the true level of US public debt. $250 trillion is a credible guess, or over $750,000 per man/ woman/ child. The derivatives ticking time bomb is a multiple of that figure.

Money has just been conjured out of thin air, a global blizzard of totally worthless toilet paper money. And of course those debts can never be repaid, just eventually inflated away Weimar style. It may be we will have to go back to using gold and silver, or a crude barter system like 1990s Russia. Not that any of this will bother our 2,300 global billionaires unduly. They more than doubled their wealth from 2008 to 2018, like the industrialists and bankers who did so well out of Weimar hyperinflation.

May 23, 2019 12:53 AM

Most voters are ordinary people. Ordinary people have more or less average Stanford-Binet ‘Intelligence’ Quotients (which is pretty much what average means, in this case in the formal ‘reasoning’ department that BigB would classify as Cartesian bullshit) and have all the time available to apply it that decades of contrary, concentrated capitalist effort have left them–which, in their collective struggle to survive in the barely modest circumstances that socialist progress got them even before the Great Reversal of the 1970s and 80s onwards, was sweet fuck all and is now considerably less than that.

So far, in talking to those people–ordinary, average voters–the quick, emotional hits of the right (and sometimes idiot left) wing populists about something their audience already knows via the school of hard knocks, but for which they do not have the time or energy left to express ‘formally’ (or, increasingly, even the barely half decent, prior ‘formal’ education needed that, less than a century ago, they finally began to get) have the eloquent reasoning of the loquacious reasoners of activist bent, including the many authors of the many articles of the above sort, knocked into a cocked hat.

Well past time for socialist activists, however committed their personal public activism is, to stop presenting its underlying ‘reasoning’ to the forcibly inattentived electorate in terms that, to their intended audience, seem to be little more than educationally poncified, over-intellectualized, hand-wringing claptrap, to get themselves down to the local tavern or bowling alley or wherever and learn to speak it in ways that their intentionally and successfully verbally dumbed down, ‘reason’-excluded audience will suddenly be revealed to have intuitively understood all along.

So far it’s demagogues, pseudo-socialists and right wing populists 110 at least, actual left wing socialists 10 at most. Message alright, language all wrong.

In an arena where the established slimeballs and carpetbaggers of the ‘ruling class’ have capitalized outrageously on the second tenet of Lao Tzu’s dictum that a ‘wise’ ruler keeps his subjects’ bellies full and their minds empty while flagrantly ignoring the first, that’s just not good enough. Helen Keller could neither hear nor see yet still, but only with the appropriate understanding of the real basics of communication by her companion-teacher, became an international scholar, author, socialist, pacifist, activist and speaker. The average (therefore the ‘majority’) voter can similarly raise themselves to understanding the way out of their grossly manipulated disadvantage, but only if it is first illuminated in such a way that they can begin to discern it.

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 23, 2019 6:08 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

Well said. Although I note you do enjoy words at a level most don’t. And you appear to enjoy that, too.

By way of gentle disagreement, the massive gaps left by the so-called education system do permit a certain freedom of exploration, at least in potential. The Orthodox isn’t quite what it used to be.

Profound change is a slow process, until it isn’t.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
May 23, 2019 8:40 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

Helen Keller’s disability would have put her in the hands of caring people, and through that contact her ability to understand and empathise would have developed exponentially.
As for the self serving I hold out little hope.
I agree with your point on language Rob. The only chance for Truth to shine is through ‘street talk’

Brian harry
Brian harry
May 23, 2019 12:25 AM

That ‘map’ of the EU with it’s accompanying Debt to GDP ratio shows that the countries with lowest D to GDP ratio’s are the (dreaded) Socialist Countries, Sweden, Norway, Denmark…..and Russia(which is not a member of the EU), has a debt to GDP ratio of 11.8, Estonia 9.3. Even Iceland has a relatively low 47.4(maybe because they jailed the Bankers?) UK, 90.4%, and Germany 65.7″

Italy 131.2 and Greece 180??

One has to ask, what is the point of the EU? Who Benefits?(and one also has to ask, NATO, supposedly a European Defence Pact, has become America’s attack dog)…….
It may be a good idea to go back to basics, and rid the world of the EU.
What is the point of The EU?

Laurence Howell
Laurence Howell
May 22, 2019 8:18 PM

POSITIVE MONEY. 18 July 2015.
Money Creation is a lucrative business for banks.

“The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it”. ….John Kenneth Galbraith, Money: Whence it came, where it went (1975), p. 15.

Laurence James Howell • 4 years ago
The whole thrust of your approach is based on the fact that the applicant receives a “loan” This is a fallacy and not easily understood. New currency is created for the new applicant by the exchange of credit, the applicant via the Application Booklet which in reality is a prommissory note and it is this PM that has value via your signature and represents your future credit. You make a donation of the PM to the arranging bank of your future credit and the bank dip into this and return this credit to you. They also inform you that you now have a loan acc. But this is untrue.
Without the fractional reserve debt based financial system the Freemasons would not have access to trillions of dollars with which to corrupt the world over the last hundred years.
This is my second post and I will debate these issues with any so called experst and professors. This is the banking secret and myself and others have been trying to gain redress in the HMCTS by using this and other information in respect of contract law.
If Positive Money is serious about changing the financial system then it is open to mount actions against the banks in the corrupt HMCTS. It is the corruption that needs addressing, after that everything will fall into place.
Peace through love
Laurence James Howell.

New post today,

The promissory note [application booklet] represent your future credits. The promissory note can act as a cheque, this cheque is taken to another part of the banking industry and cashed. The credits are yours, not the banks. The promissory note belongs to the maker of the promissory note and the signer is the maker. Credits are currency to use. The arranging bank charges on a typical house loan, three times the amount of the loan. It is a fallacy that banks create currency out of thin air for nothing, because the promissory note gets in the way. It is the pm that has the value locked up in your future earnings of credits.

Unless we use the correct terminology logic gets us nowhere. Money is not currency, only gold and silver can be classed as money. The rest is currency created by swindling our promissory note and using the pm to obtain credits which are transferred to an account titled loan account.

If you ask a friend to lend you £20, they reach into their pocket and pull out £20 and give this to you,
This is a loan. You are up £20 and your friend is down£20.

Because of the explanation given above, the bank is never out of pocket, so how can it be regarded as a loan ? No one will tell you any of the above because it is too lucrative a business.

For some reason I am unable to post my full name, I am listed on the net as Laurence James Howell.

Laurence James Howell

May 22, 2019 12:01 PM

From ancient times debt has periodically been cancelled by the rulers of the time. Usually unrepayable debt taken on from foreigners to finance the ascension of the rulers. Estates and wealth also regularly was taken from the ruling classes by the next generation of rulers. It was ever thus, when wealth was real.
Since the bankers have taken control of wealth through their token money, who now can visit upon them the ancient restorative? The serpent must bite its tail or there is no balance.

Greece (recent) debt of few hundred billion is not a lot, Apple Inc has more in reserves! It could have been cancelled and the faulty lenders should have taken their haircut.
The equally dishonest debt ladening of the third world should have been cancelled. Just a decade or so ago there was a worldwide movement to have the G8 -20 deem that. There was a meeting planned in London under the bloodyhanded Blair trying to rescue his image to sign the leading countries upto that.
Wtf happened to stop it? Did the airhead mega rich musico’s pipe it down the wrong alley into a memory hole? Did the bankers sigh with relief when a handful of bombers fortuitously chose that moment to register their objection?

Bankruptcy is a natural course to a entreuprenial failure – there would be no success without it. But as individuals are used to losing all their wealth, they are used to be able to start again. Bankers are unwilling to lose what they magically created or the real interest they collect.

Their tails must be bitten.

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 22, 2019 11:54 AM

“… and forgive them their debts …” by Michael Hudson is required reading on this topic.

It should also be pointed out here that money is (almost) always created as debt, out of nothing (ex nihilo). To create money otherwise is to ‘print money’ – a big nono. When created as debt, there is of course compound interest to pay back (see exponential growth and doubling time where e.g., 5% growth = 14 year doubling time). Thus, more money is always owed than is created, as a feature of the system. This, in turn, requires perpetual economic growth: no economic growth = increasingly visible and top-heavy debt burden. One way of correcting this repeating bubble is war and destruction (favoured by our lords and masters), another is debt jubilee (found repugnant by our lords and masters). Another would be to redesign the money system to not require perpetual economic growth (my personal choice). Sadly, the latter has the great disadvantage of seeming impossible to most people, including pretty much all economists. It would also risk The Powers That Be ceasing to be The Powers That Be.

May 23, 2019 11:01 AM
Reply to  Toby Russell

Money (or shared value) isn’t made out of nothing – but out of contractual agreement – knowingly or unmindfully entered and accepted. I sense that contractual ‘law’ is the primary instrument of the psyop – or politics (relational organisation) by deceit.

The idea of creation at the level of form is of negative and positive ‘charge’ that, if brought together, cancels to One – not to zero. But in terms of the ‘power to do things’ wholeness or ‘One’ is seen as loss of power and loss of self, and rather than operate FROM wholeness, we have ‘all the King’s horses and all the King’s men’ engaged in power struggle against feared Threat,that protects and extends fragmentation rather than align in healing it.

Fragmentation is the nature of our consciousness and society and identity or worldview in polarised reaction rather than aligning in unified purpose, or wholeness, knowingly accepted and lived.

I haven’t yet read Chris Hedges book (yet) but the core meaning of forgiveness of debts in the ‘Lord’s prayer’ speaks all the way down to our true account and relation with Self or Source-Nature, (God), with others, as with our self.

To bring a true account to light, we can say that insofar as we have not (yet) released others, (of asserted needs and demands for repayment, so are we subject or captive in the same measure to others or to ‘otherness’ of external conditions. As also pointed out in other comments here, the nature of the mind with regard to setting a false account and passing off as true, is in complexity of obfuscation linked with emotional appeal or manipulative intent.

That such a complex fudge operates AS IF a self evident reality – is testimony to the power of the mind in generating believable illusion as personal and social experience.

At a deeper or more intimate level, the mind in story operates to obscure its lack of substance by means of narrative control or narrative identity. A true account must identify truly to stand at all – else the seeming of wealth or value is passed off as a substitute currency of exchange, backed by hidden fears and insinuated guilts.

The Faustian pact in principle is of ‘getting’ something for private or personal gain, that has strong appeal in its (short term) moment, but carries a hidden cost or ‘payload’ in terms of the psyop of deceit, that seems but small print of no immediate concern in the moment of entering contractual agreement BY acting from the belief one HAS gotten some power or protection, and is using it.

Clear and conscious open agreement can establish lawful relations that honour…

(continued on https://willingness-to-listen.blogspot.com/2019/05/debt-slaves-eu-and-you.html

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 23, 2019 11:35 AM
Reply to  binra

I agree with almost all of that, and the continuation at your blog.

It’s funny, there’s quite a number of people trying to communicate what you share in your reply here (and there) with the intention of using language to cut through the limitations of language towards something far less illusory, far more honest and authentic. The problem is how odd it all sounds, even alienating. Perhaps the point is not illusion and truth as polarities, but ever more courageous and open experiencing. It is that opening up in courage that I think of as evolution … at least in terms of the character of its vector.

May 23, 2019 12:45 PM
Reply to  Toby Russell

I persist in developing or growing abilities by using them – within a consciously accepted purpose of communication – regardless that the capacity to ‘read’ or ‘understand’ is often a MIS-reading and MIS-understanding that comes back at the ‘messenger’ without often even reading the message. How then we respond is critical.

I feel to trust that this is as it currently needs to be.

The developing of new ‘structures and forms of value’ is by living them and appreciating
the giving and receiving as a true feedback towards growing in willingness for communication.

The current structuring of thought is manipulative and corrupted – as the attempt to impact, or change others. This is from an ‘impacted’ sense of self-division that re-aligns to the power of its ‘new condition’ – to learn to see and survive in a world of alienated subjection. Power struggle and identity conflict as normal.

Relationship is not systemic to a given set of fixed values – but is a mutual attunement within a wholeness (that we may experience as loss of control). That you agree or not is to me secondary to that you are in communication.

We all know how to conform to mainstream ‘relations’ under different variables – but that does not actually join or meet except for mutual strengthening or reinforcement of the separate sense of self (control).

I am wholly convinced that the capacity to appreciate or understand is NOT intellectual – but intuitive – and that the space between the lines or words can or indeed does communicate the qualities of the author – along with that of its dedication.

Reasons NOT to listen are the business of the mind to make up – until there is a gap in such a mind-defence in which the natural extension of MIND is NOT limited or blocked.

There is always a ‘payoff’ in persisting negative behaviours and results or they would not persist. Only the willingness to LOOK at our thinking and emotional reaction instead of being effectively its puppet or asset – is the release of defence-mind in a moment of a willingness to listen or ‘check in’.

The seemingly ‘not understanding’ or ‘alienated’ are free to extend communication instead of grievance if they so choose and ask with regard to where they felt the moment of the LOSS of connection.

There is a process of tuning in to each other that brings coherency and synchronicity in life and purpose – but I do not accept guilt as the basis for ‘correction’. Rather by willingness to live and learn that much that first seemed mistaken was in fact correct, and much that seemed correct was in fact mistaken.

One way to see our times is as a crash course in awakening. The crash is seemingly in slow motion – but time is in the timing. Awakening is to perspective upon conflict from a point that is not itself conflicted.

In that sense I agree that truth and illusion are NOT polarities of truly opposite kind – because truth is all and only what is – while illusion never really was.

If Jesus had been translated as ‘react ye not to deceits’ – instead of ‘resist ye not evil’, he may have found more understanding. But the nature of illusion is to substitute for true and call to it all the force of defence and protection that is due to wholeness – but assigned now to a fenced off part – and set apart and in seeming opposition BY defence.

This and any forum is word based and serves the purpose that everyone gives it. Knowing our purpose, is to my mind, everything. For if I find I am engaged in something mean, limited or unworthy of others and myself, I can use that to shift to what IS worthy.

Worth or value is in our true foundations, but we ran off with false thinking in complex instruments of packaged toxic debt. Clinging onto bad investments costs us the naturally shared experience of growing a true appreciation. Sooner or later this breaks down. If we align in our right-timing we find breakthrough. Or else persist in investing in an ever depleting and joyless ‘existence’.

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 23, 2019 3:05 PM
Reply to  binra

Yes, the negative, the fearful, the defensive and cynical cannot last. Cascading self-destruction of fear-based processes is built in, inescapable. But that is no call to passivity. I think the reason for this self-destructive property is partly due to the more robust, caring and pleasurable experience of approaching reality with love and openness, which is active, conscious, deliberate.

The seemingly ‘not understanding’ or ‘alienated’ are free to extend communication instead of grievance if they so choose and ask with regard to where they felt the moment of the LOSS of connection.

Of course, but effective communication is determined by how well we attune to the other party’s state of being.

One way to see our times is as a crash course in awakening.” I think our entire ‘physical’ reality/universe is for learning how to awaken, or grow/mature towards love, that sort of thing. We are at a very interesting bifurcation point on that vector but who can say which way we will choose as a species? I know the sorts of things I would prefer others to prefer, but know very well I have no rights whatsoever in that regard.

May 22, 2019 11:50 AM

“Death and taxes, Rodney” becomes debt and entropy.

Erm, the entire global economy is debt – more or less …and debt funding is primarily cannibalising the remaining productivity. So it has been for the last ten years – the ‘lost decade’ – of ‘dead cat bouncing’ and declining world markets. Fictitious GDP and the magic stock markets keep rising; everything else keeps falling. Stagnant wages have been in decline since the 70s: about the same length of time that militant, never before seen, levels of global inequality have set in. These are symptoms of the capitalist death throes: chain stoking since 07 and the collapse of Bear Stearns.

The article says vote for tax justice. Sound advice: only where do I do that? What we cannot seem to grasp is that globalisation is an integrated trans-national economy. There is a clue in the name and the tautology of the premise. Leaving aside the normal international tensions (US/China trade negotiations; the word-war assault on Iran; etc ): capital is a world system. Nomi Prins chronicled how the G7 CBs (including the ECB) acted in ‘Collu$ion’ after the GFC. This is ongoing to this day. Powell and Carnage talk of fictitious rate rises: while Draghi hits ‘print’. But still the global economy declines. There must be factors and hidden variables not accounted for. What could they be?

The constructed fantasy is that all these nation states – outside and including the economically suicidal Eurozone – all have self-enclosed economies, with their own currencies created onshore. Nick Shaxson exposed this fallacy when he exposed the mostly secret offshore banking system – mediated in ‘eurodollars’ (euro$). Basically, an unregulated black market in $$$$ – facilitated primarily through the City of London Corporation. The “Spider’s Web” details all of it.

Neoliberalism started in London, and spread to Wall St, and fanned out from their since the 60s and 70s …to encompass the whole globe by the late 90s. On the eve of Bear Stearns demise, this secret capital market had reached $34tn – of virtual dollars on top of the accounted for ‘visible’ dollars onshore. Which is why foreign banks that had never sold a securitised mortgage started to implode – and had to be bailed out by the Fed …in currency swaps for $$$$. The BIS wrote a paper about this in ’09. The euro$ markets facilitate international trade (and underdevelopment – but that is another story). Which is why the Eurozone cannot be looked at in isolation.

So on the one hand, we have nearly free capital cannibalising productivity: whilst exploiting the Global South – precipitating biocide and ecocide. On the other: barely serviceable pan-global debt time-bombs – subject to entropic catalysation (the higher the marginal cost of energy, the less excess ‘net energy’ (exergy) for economic activity, the less to service exponentially rising debts and rollovers). The only thing that could be worse than this extinction threatening scenario – is if someone pulled the plug on the offshore markets that facilitate both. And that is what has happened.

Basically, Powell’s rate rises last year pulled actual $$$$ – particularly from the EMEs – back ‘onshore’ into USTs. Which leaves little real currency to settle the offshore virtual black market in euro$. An unseen liquidity crisis: and an ’07 redux.

Debt is a global timebomb: set to detonate offshore. The euro$ works as ‘bank ledger money’ – not currency – which are chains of liabilities and ‘moral hazard’ encompassing the globe in threads of silk from the Spiders Web. Defaults, interest and credit swaps are already occuring. Taleb’s ‘Black Swan’ is swimming in full view: but global economists cannot see it because they do not think debt matters. It does.

Now, where do I vote to stop debt-deflationary collapse?

[I’m not posting references: because I am basically interpolating from everything that has been written about euro$ – starting with Milton Friedman’s paper. Dr Jack Rasmus is one economist that views the world system. His “Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy” provides an excellent overview.]

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 22, 2019 12:16 PM
Reply to  BigB


For me, the core challenge in beginning to want to end this lunacy is teaching ourselves – in various groupings of various sizes but across the planet – new, healthier, more sustainable ideas about what wealth is. We all know it’s not really money and all that stuff, but we’ve got to find a way of discussing how to create what sorts of wealth through what sorts of institutional change.

It’s surprisingly hard to put this simply and quickly. The mad greed that is driving us dangerously close to extinction emerges from our unexamined sense of wealth as capital, as privately owned stuff, as money riches, etc. Our desires are continually manipulated in that direction, we are constantly cajoled to imagine only within its boundaries. And the costs of obeying the endless propaganda are societal atomisation, hopelessness, emptiness, despair, cynicism, etc. To change direction towards health (the real wealth) requires we first look deeply at the sort of wealth we want to create together.

In other words, we have to stop playing by their rules.

It would be nice to have a political party for that, but politics is so moribund it must first be collapsed so that something new can be built in its place.

May 22, 2019 9:49 PM
Reply to  Toby Russell

Buddhist economics: as if people and the planet mattered – that is a dialogue I have been waiting for since I read Schumacher …way back when God was a boy.

Unfortunately, we can think progressively: but the international capital markets control governments, financial services, private equity, and commodity markets from offshore. Enact anything to tighten capital controls, or impose re-regulation, close tax loopholes; etc – and watch your currency disappear offshore as capital flight; to be replaced by hyperinflation and vulture capitalists picking over the bones of your putative progressive economy. You can call it ‘deglobalisation’; ‘anti-imperial’; or ‘post-neoliberal’. Only, it won’t be. It does not matter who is in charge: Corbyn, May, or Gove …it will be neo-neoliberalism!

All the while we are bound to exchange information in conventions of duality: we will never truly understand why. Neoliberal capitalism is the endocolonisation of consciousness: something we discussed before. We created a system which created us: in a dialectical materialistic self-reinforcing cycle. Not everyone is a raging neolib/neocon: but the majoritarian desire is for the material prosperity and techno-progress that is now globalised …even though they may feign disgust at otherised neoliberalism …projected ‘elsewhere’ onto a despotic elite. They still want the valorisable living standards.

The hegemonic overarching belief is that things will keep getting better: almost no one will admit that they won’t. Among the depoliticised and disenfranchised: the yearning is for a return to prosperity. And the minority that would accept a massive drop in living standards is thus minimised. Even though the alternative is to continue with neoliberal BAU: and end up with less …a lot less. Nonetheless, there is a neo-religious blind faith investiture in the absolute validity of the tenets of duality …tenets that neoliberalism has colonised, valorised, and weaponised as objectivity. And it controls its fantasy of objective realism from offshore.

If they hadn’t become inculcated as common cultural taken-for-granted theisms – it would be quickly apparent that dualism and its materialistic tenets are nonsense. How can something – anything – exist in its own right, for itself, by itself – isolated from everything else? It is a totally transparent logical fallacy: outside of reductive scientific materialistic epistemology.

Materialism itself – our material pursuit of desire-dreams – is imaginary. It is the mirror of a split objectivity – that subjective consciousness and the desire-object are separate and other. Which is why accumulation is never satisfied: possession of the object – whether it be an objective material ‘thing’ or a subjective ‘immaterial’ lifestyle goal (which,in fact, is loaded with embedded energy and resource depletions) – is to be dissatisfied. Dissatisfied, because one is not yet whole …this is desiring dukkha. Which manifests as neoliberal capitalism: which we take as an external system going on elsewhere. When all along it was in our imagination. Which is vikalpa: taking the unreal to be the real; inverting the reality with the illusion.

Well, when we have collectively exhausted the possibility of desiring dukkha – by consuming all the major resources …if we haven’t precipitated any number of cascading failures leading to any number of potential Apocalypses …we will have inadvertently created the conditions for perfect Zen. Materialism will no longer be a distraction. We can focus on farming and spirituality. We will then have to take the real to be the real: because there will be little else to mistake it for. Which is beyond tragedy for a species that arrogantly laid claim to the title ‘sapiens’. Maybe then we can reflect on how our imaginary materialism made us vulnerable to and enabled the neoliberalism that consumed everything in a collective desiring-dream?

May 23, 2019 1:49 AM
Reply to  BigB

“…if we haven’t precipitated any number of cascading failures leading to any number of potential Apocalypses…”

We have. The house is already empty. Only the lights remain on until the decaying restraints on our massive rervoirs of mindlessly accumulated energy cut off and bury the last incontroverable evidence of ‘intelligent’ life on earth.

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 23, 2019 6:45 AM
Reply to  BigB

Information exchange, or communication, requires sender and receiver, which is a duality of sorts. Then, beneath that, some manner of subject-object split for there to be distinctions/differences to communicate in the first place. Information is discernible difference. Wanting to have that gone is wanting the end of information, which is wanting the end of experience. A step too far for me. So, for me anyway, the irreducibility of dualism as a function of experience beyond a formless and unchanging “I AM” is a logical requirement for richer sets of experience. I prefer, notionally – I’m hardly in a position to choose! –, richer sets of experience. However, that duality is necessarily part of a netted whole. And that’s a Buddhist perspective, I believe. Something like: One is only possible through diversity, and vice versa. I like that.

They still want the valorisable living standards.

Yes, but with a horrible emptiness underneath that desire as an increasingly poisonous and guttering fuel. I don’t think it’s romantic of me to say that.

Overcoming challenges and maturing the quality of our consciousness is how the lasting, robust joy is built, a truth as fundamental as dualism. Back when god was a boy, I studied child psychology for a while. There was a picture in one of the books I had to read of a naked, roughly two-year-old boy building a tower of blocks. He had an erection from the satisfaction of his accomplishment. Very Freudian of him, but we’ll let that go… For me, that’s an as-above-so-below type of thing, evidence that success truly is its own reward as a feature of consciousness. It just gets buried by the rat race. It’s still there, waiting to be rediscovered.

Materialism will no longer be a distraction. We can focus on farming and spirituality. We will then have to take the real to be the real: because there will be little else to mistake it for. Which is beyond tragedy for a species that arrogantly laid claim to the title ‘sapiens’.

I know, right! But we earn it, don’t we? So is it really tragic? I agree with those who see evolution as a fundamental property of consciousness. Reality just makes most sense to me with that assumption plugged in. So we have to earn that state. And evolution won’t be done then, either. The state you describe will come with its own challenges. No doubt they will be difficult, too. That is probably the nature of challenge; we create it with what we are as a hurdle to what we might soon be.

May 23, 2019 10:33 AM
Reply to  Toby Russell

Your first paragraph wades us into a philosophical nightmare of communication, which we just about wade out of. The dualism is between two nodes in a netted whole: not two separate entities. The difference is between material and efficient causality (transmission of force on mass) and formal causality (transmission of information). This can best be addressed with reference to the ‘Two Truths’ doctrine – of conventional and ultimate reality. Duality cannot be negated: because it has no ultimate reality. It is a human abstract construction – conventionally applied. There is nothing wrong with this per se: only that the dualist convention has replaced the ultimate reality as real. This is vikalpa: imagination. The only thin that will be nihilated are the aspects of our conceptual taken-as-real constructions that are essentially destroying the world. Experience, entropy, etc cannot be nihilated. They are liberated from the conceptual tyranny that has brought us far along the path of auto-genocide. The liberation from our logically flawed slow-omnicidal conceptions is life itself: life perceiving life with no pernicious dichotomies. Life IS communication: information flows freely between all nodes in the web in para-lingual direct communication …life to life. Dualised metaphysical dichotomous conceptual frameworks kill this appreciation stone dead. From the death of life, feeding on the remains, neoliberalist capitalism flourishes. That is why we are here; and not in synergetic interbeing and interspecies co-evolution with organic, natural, reality.

I studied psychology a bit too. It needs inverting. The experiential ‘pre-ontological’ mind – take as ‘primitive’ – is supervened by the developed ontological mind. This is the root cause of our psychosis. The ontological mind can conceptualise seemingly rational constructs – that actually have no empirical corresponding truth in reality. Our economic concepts of permanent negentropic growth stand primary here. They are imaginary, and cannot, and should not stand empiric scrutiny. Yet nearly everyone believes in a version of permanent growth …which is not only illogical, but a life threatening fantasy …which still we believe.

Our experiential mind needs to be given primary status. That which does not exist in experiential reality cannot be affirmed in conceptual dualised conventional reality. This is ‘pramana’: and sublates the ontological mind without fully negating it. Much of what we have learned from scientific inquiry is useful: but much of it is ‘imaginary’ (vikalpa) or ‘prapanca’ – mental proliferation …conceptual diarrhea like our economic theology in progress and growth.

No one really understands evolution: it is who we are and what we do. We are micro-evolutionary beings: without purpose. Which is manifest as neoliberalism. The world is a manifestation of intention: the result of the subjectification of choice. This is karma. We keep making the same old materialistic choices and wonder why it keeps getting shitter and shitter. So we split our objectivity further: blame someone or something else: then moan because it keeps getting shitter and shitter. So we get angry and frustrated, and start scapegoating …pretty soon we are in conflicted sectarian communities and enforced ghettoisations …which keeps getting shitter and shitter. When will we learn that we only have ourselves to blame?

We are the evolution, as I said the other day. The evolution will not be telivised: because the evolution will be ‘ashraya paravrtti’ = the evolution at the base of consciousness …the very inversion of the pre-ontological and transformation of the ontolological from psychotic disassociation from reality to fully re-integrated with reality. We are that evolution. The material bottleneck humanity is going through will take either of two broad generalisations. We will either destroy ourselves for the remaining material prosperity – or come to terms with who we really are. The next few decades are make or break for us.

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 23, 2019 11:15 AM
Reply to  BigB

That answer has cleared up a few things I wasn’t sure about in your perspective. Thank you. I think our views are very closely aligned. “Life IS communication.” Bingo. But also interpretation, as there is no communication without interpretation, even within self.

Re. interpretation: My first para (mis)used the term “dualism” as an insoluble thing but in a good way; not as an unbridgable split but a necessary element of interpretation/translation. At least, that’s how I meant it. Certainly not as a nightmarish trap. For me, creativity and diversity emerge from interpretation. Kind of. Sounds vaguely, poetically valid to some degree…

The other day I found myself typing this: “There will be no revolution but it will be televised.”

May 23, 2019 4:47 PM
Reply to  Toby Russell

“Poetically valid” is what we need to establish. I made the same points to Crank the other day. The idea that language is an objective reality in itself – re: the analytical ‘correspondence theory of truth’ – is, in itself, slow genocidal. That might sound extreme: but language patterns our behaviour. If we think that everything we can rationalise is already verified as true and real …oh dear!

And, clearly we do. Economic theory is validated by extremist ‘mathiness’, and taken as a ‘science’. A science Keen and Hudson, inter alia, have debunked. But every government in the world operates on NCE: long after it has been exposed as pseudo (which was in Chile, before even Reagan and Thatcher).

The big blackhole we have in our dualisation of reality is us. Language IS Being …language qua Being. Language is also a metonym for mind. We have neither an individuated mind, nor an individuated Being. Being qua Being is language as metaphysical linguistification. Everything is correlational, inter-relational, compounded and inter-caused.

We cannot physically dissect the world without first vivisecting it. We can only metaphysically vastly oversimplify the living processual inter-relationships by ‘dissecting’ them with language …dualising them for convenience. Which is a fantastic and necessary tool: but a very poor reflection of the overall unity of diversification.

We could so easily update the concepts of language once we realise just what a pernicious and vicious anthropogenesis they have become. If language is Being: it could just as easily be language as Becoming …following Bergson, James, Pierce, and Whitehead’s process ontology. Panta rhei – everything flows; I Ching – everything changes; wabi-sabi – everything is a flawed perfection; enso – everything is a completing whole…

…there, fixed it.

Pierce had a three sided theory of the sign. That could be modified: subject/object/whole; self/other/whole …every oppositional binary is a conventional differentiation only within the context of the whole.

Fixed it again.

The only thing that gives me hope is that there are so many easy fixes, once we give up on materialistic life-negation. The only thing that gives me despair is just how bad does it have to get before we realise that?

As always, I think we are on the same wavelength about that.

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 24, 2019 7:17 AM
Reply to  BigB

“To be human is to exist in language.” I think that’s Fritjof Capra.

Consciousness/being is in part the creation of symbols for experience that can be shared/communicated. How those symbols develop into systems that structure perception (languages) must be reflective of where we’re at in terms of the quality of our consciousness. Of course that unpacks into seemingly endless amounts of detail, but I think as a general observation it is calming to some degree to think of it as a natural process. If we let it calm us, anyway. We are the quality we have earned.

On the other hand, there is the habituated rut of ossified orthodoxy: “The only thing that gives me despair is just how bad does it have to get before we realise that?” The deeper the bifurcation point, the stiffer the ossification. “Systems prepare their overthrow with a preliminary period of petrification,” said R H Tawney back in 1922. The size of the reward tends to reflect the size of the challenge. To quote Bruce Hornsby, that’s just the way it is.

Then, yet again, there’s Sheldrake’s idea of morphic resonance. Somewhere on the planet some poor rat figures out a maze in about 2 hours. After that, rats all over the world figure out the same maze significantly faster. Before Bannister ran a mile in under 4 minutes it was impossible. Soon almost anyone could do it. I see that as a source of some hope, though this feature cuts both ways; depression is also infectious. So, the more of us even wanting authenticity, courage, transparency, the more of us trying to be loving, open, empathetic, and talking about it, the better.

May 23, 2019 1:57 PM
Reply to  Toby Russell

I am not an ‘anything’-ist – but I have and can know giving and receiving as one – regardless the forms it takes.
I Am That I Am does not relate specifically to a body or form – but to a quality of Self-aware be-ing.
The realm of experiencing self-differentiation is not inherently or implicitly form or body-defined. But that is a realm of pure experience our mind is predicated against – in order to sustain a physically identified personality construct.
There are those who ‘cross the veil’ and do not want to ‘come back’ from such a knowing Light.

The recognition of truth is not really by an illusory mind, or in a world of illusion, or a result of the any illusion of doing. ‘It takes One to know One’ – but as the embrace of all that is true in our mind and our world, we unfold the experience of self differentiation as a self separation – which is a Forgetting of the Light to the sense of the physical embodiment – whic includes the subtler sense.

The I Am of Existence is prior to any self and world differentiation and in a sense outside time and yet intimately within it and doesn’t truly have an ‘other’ or ‘outside’ or dimension – being the root of dimensionality and ‘brotherness’ or shared reflection in one light.

Trying to write this may seem flowery and nice but it takes One to abide One – and direct experience of the formless can be traumatic and terrifying to the unprepared or unready. A mind given to fearful projection is not ready. How would a mind become ready but by beginning to recognise the correspondences between its thinking and its adverse perception and experience. And so come to freely question its own thinking – by which it has framed itself in feared and believed separation from love’s awareness, and from the Living.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
May 23, 2019 8:44 AM
Reply to  BigB

Schumacher and Erich Fromm.
‘To Have or to Be’ is one of the most important books ever written.

May 23, 2019 4:49 PM
Reply to  Fair dinkum

A book is nothing without a reader – who is nothing without the willingness and wherewithal to understand it and let him-herself be changed by living from what is revealed by the book in the reader.

When the student is ready, the Teacher appears – or when there is willingness to know, the unfoldment of the answer within the active desire occurs. A chance meeting, remark or book appears. To such a one the book is alive. To others it is words.

The spirit of the living is not reached by application of the dead letter – but if there is also a desire to heal or to know, then dead letters will not completely block answer – though old habits of thinking and seeing may co-opt and subvert it as part of the curriculum of those who try to possess the answer for themselves.

In form (material sense), having – or possession is an object of affection (or indeed affliction) given meaning and attention for the role the meaning plays.
In mind, ideas strengthen by being shared.

Currently we have mass propagation of a split minded ideas (doublethink or self contradiction) through a manipulated ‘narrative identity’.

The impulse to heal the divorce of heart and mind (or mind at war with itself in denial and substitution of the heart’s desire) is evident in a ‘scientific’ milieu.

But the objectification of everyone and everything is hardly the basis for having and being life.

‘He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise’.
William Blake

(Schumacher – economics as if people mattered).

continued in the theme on

May 23, 2019 11:34 AM
Reply to  Toby Russell

Just as the Internet (of computing devices) operates a mess of protocols that have been brought to operate AS IF ONE THING, so our ‘mind’ has been acquired or inherited to serve a world that SEEMS self evident – but is an insanely complex self-dissociation.

Only those who are releasing allegiance and investment in an insanely complex self-dissociation, are free to notice or become aware of what truly stands Obvious when the mind is released of conflicted activity.

That which truly SUSTAINS is already given – or indeed Giving its its nature. But seeking to sustain an insanely complex self-dissociation is marching to a different drum.

We are the capacity to recognise and extend or share value. But we can also give value to the unworthy and lose our own sense of worth by persisting in doing so.

A profound sense of self-LACK drives a false set of needs – false because they are taken out of true context.

If I seem critical – it is not to the spirit of what you wrote – which is calling attention to where attention needs to be called – if we do truly want to live.

The willingness to truly embrace life is altogether different from being run by fear of the loss of a false sense of control over self and life and others or situations. The latter is the mind that uses or is predicated upon death. This is not obvious or perhaps comprehensible to the ‘thinking’ of the world, but is surely obvious in the fruits AS our world.

Pulling out of a death spiral is really being awakened from the belief we are apart and alone – and therefore compelled to sustain ourselves in and by such a ‘dead end’

Reacting to – or giving attention to propaganda or narrative control is a way of NOT listening within.

The art of being is listening within – as one with – relational endeavour.

A false sense of power and protection has induced a terrible sense of self-lack, as a result of feeding it. The addiction scenario applies to a captured mind. Reclaiming our true inheritance is initiated by releasing allegiance to the false – but must grow a culture of true support in place of a victim mentality – that underlies a vengeful self-vindicating hate agenda. I sense that the preciousness of such hate and grievance, underlies the insane fragmentation (atomisation) of our world.

No one can release that which they are unaware of and unwilling to own in themselves.

What we unconsciously give worth and value to through masking in codes of learned conformity and acceptance, is fully active in undermining our joy in life now, this day of our time together.

The willingness to look at the ‘shadow’ of fears and denials is part of the connectedness to Life that CAN and does come through such moments AS a gift of life revealed through a shared nature – and not to a private stash of insights.

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 23, 2019 11:44 AM
Reply to  binra


I don’t think you are being critical at all. It’s just that we use a different lexis and method. My efforts are aimed at describing, with as much brevity as I can muster, logical flaws in the madness that (hopefully) act as doorways to the sorts of things you attempt to communicate. I also try not to prescribe. The only path I know of towards a healthier, more loving, less fearful way of being is via free will. The process cannot be forced.

May 23, 2019 1:25 PM
Reply to  Toby Russell

Well said and indeed to the point!
The forced is the false.(Even if we learn to pass off as if natural).
I did not take much advantage of an ‘education’ as a lad but in later life recognizing the value of words when redeemed to serve an original and felt meaning – have naturally grown in the learning. I had to look up ‘lexis’ – and of course have added to my ‘lexicon’. For better and for worse.
Free will! Or release and be released.

Many or perhaps all have experience of pain or indeed trauma around freedom of being and learned ‘not to go there’ or let it move them EXCEPT under special conditions in which case freedom becomes associated with conditional ‘love’.

Being truly moved is thus inhibited and associated with hates and fears. (And being forced with control and security).

That there is a Movement of ‘Awaking’ is evidenced in the bringing up of hates and fears… to be undone instead of re-investing and reinforcing. But that is a choice we each make – in our relational situation. Because even in hate and division we are joined or indeed ‘entangled’ in projected shadow-selves.

Witnessing to choice offers a reminder to other beings OF choice – perhaps more so in a cultural agreement to feel vindicated in hate. But I do share in feeling the feelings that leave us bewildered or betrayed – and they are hateful. I simply do not want to persist in a ‘mind of denial’. And so I give and receive in a different measure.

Because I can use the mind does not mean I go there to feel or know anything.
Doing that is where I feel free will is lost to a mind of conditional ‘love’ that living does not confine itself to.

Giving power to ‘conditions’ impels us to seek to manipulate or control them – and others who are part of them with us. ‘I will love you if and only as my conditions are met’ – is backwards. But normal to human social interaction and exchange.

I feel that love is the medium in which we receive – and so unless I love you first I will misread the ‘situation’ in terms of my past – which is to say I wont really be present. Love is the willingness to abide with what is – in desire to recognize what is true (worth or value).

Toby Russell
Toby Russell
May 23, 2019 2:47 PM
Reply to  binra

“The mind analyses, the heart knows,” is one way of putting it. And our culture is lost in the endless labyrinths of mind.

Love is unconditional, or it isn’t love. Growing into the state of love, or becoming love, requires courage, persistence and determination, as well as letting go – which, again, takes courage. But the process is not mind-based, it’s more of a heart thing, at the level of being itself, so not by analyzing or thinking yourself there. Mind is definitely helpful though, a wonderful tool and revealing of deeper processes, but does get in the way with its chatter and worry. You know this of course, I just wanted to echo your insights – which are echoes of others’ insights back through the ages – in my lexis 😉 by way of agreement.

May 23, 2019 5:10 PM
Reply to  Toby Russell

Yes – The heart is the formless knowing – that also knows when it has been accepted by the mind instead of denied by any of its labyrinthine diversionary evasions.

Letting love abide or become in us calls out the belief we are unworthy or unsafe to love – or both.

The French cœur is heart.
When madness rises in the the land there is need to realign in true desire – which always unifies. The minds ‘wants’ are legion and always divide and conflict. If we KNOW we are using ‘as if’ or dealing with a Model or imaged forms of reality – then we are not mistaking it FOR Reality and investing in the identity it gives us.

Well met.

May 23, 2019 1:32 AM
Reply to  BigB

“…chain stoking since 07 and the collapse of Bear Stearns.”

Full marks for noting the first lightly publicized indications (deprecated) of the underlying rot instead of falling for the subsequent, official-narrative-preferred, diversionary crap about 08 and the Great Lehman Recession (which was the reconstructed ass-saving date). The fuckers knew all about it a full year before they told you about it, all the better to positi0n themselves for reaping the hedge-returned gains rather than positi0n yourselves for the better (c.f. the look on G.W. Bush’s face when Andrew Card ‘first informed’ (sick) him that Osama bin Laden had successfully flown s0me commercial jets into the Twin Towers).

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
May 22, 2019 11:01 AM

And there’s the debt we owe our children.
Their future.
We’ve stolen it.

May 23, 2019 11:55 AM
Reply to  Fair dinkum

To give AS you have received is the nature of a true and balanced account. To take what is not yours and give what is not due is to dissonance yourself and feel fear, hate and guilt that then compels a sense of conflicted attempts at atoning in self-denial or sacrifice – and demanding it of others – and holding them to it.
The imposition of a hated past upon the present – extending into the future – IS the sacrifice of a true Presence in and of which a true and balanced account can be received – but not ‘gotten’ or taken by loveless intent.
Release others – including your children – from YOUR judgement – and learn to receive OF them what we forget BY judging.

I responded to your post as to a psyop. Or as a propaganda for guilted debt-slavery upon which to run collective self-denial.

I could think that those who hold on to a bankrupt and bankrupting system of thought have deprived me of the fullness of my life – IF I wanted to assign blame for NOT living THIS ONE onto others – oh and my parents etc.

The remorse that cuts because we recognise that we hurt others, life and ourself in error, needs be met by the Call for Correction – to come back into right relation and to put the call to guilt, fear and division, behind you – in disregard – BECAUSE you are consciously aligned so. The pain of our past has then served to illuminate a greater perspective – that is embodied in who we are now. We can learn by our mistakes when we allow them to be mistakes instead of worshipping sin as power over Life.

May 22, 2019 8:57 AM

The real problem are the beneficiaries of the fiat or printed money. The beginning of the debts for the others. Never mentioned! No problem when it is the state (SOE), but for the other countries, who are they?

May 23, 2019 1:53 AM
Reply to  Jim

Earlier than that. The hereditary holders of the intellectual property known as fractional reserve banking

Francis Lee
Francis Lee
May 22, 2019 8:34 AM

Readers should bear in mind that this is only PUBLIC debt. When private debt – i.e., household, student, corporate and financial debt – are added and for good measure, unfunded future liabilities are factored in, total debt balloons to about three to five times public debt. In the US for example (sovereign) debt to GDP is 105%, but total debt adds up to approx 330% of GDP. The uncomfortable fact is that since the 2008 blowout debt has been rising faster than growth, pretty much everywhere. A sort of Keynesianism in reverse.

Anyone familiar with the history of economic thought can easily spot the problem: the theory of Diminishing Returns (Ricardo), the tendency of the rate of profit to fall and the problem of transforming surplus value into profit (Marx) and the decline in the Marginal Efficiency of Capital (Keynes). All of which tendencies are intrinsic to the system. Unfortunately modern economic theory doesn’t bother with these venerable sages and thinks it knows better.

I think it would be justifiable to define Economics is the modern mumbo-jumbo, see here:

”Academic economics has become a disaster and a disgrace … not only did most academic economists fail to see the great implosion coming, but were’nt even looking in the right direction. And having been surprised by its arrival, they had little to say about its implications – the greatest event to befall the capitalist system since WW2…

Although there are some shining exceptions most academic economists, whilst clinging to the idea that their subject is relevant and of interest to the wider world, in fact practise a form of medieval scholasticism – of no use, or interest, to man or beast. The output of their activity consists of articles entombed in ‘scholarly’ journals usually about questions of startling irrelevance, badly thought out and appalling written, littered with jargon and liberally dosed with mathematics, designed to be read by nobody outside of a narrow coterie of specialists and increasingly not even by them.” (The Trouble with Markets – Roger Bootle)

May 23, 2019 2:00 AM
Reply to  Francis Lee

“Unfortunately modern economic theory doesn’t bother with these venerable sages and thinks it knows better.”

Correction: for “modern economic theory” read “modern manythings theory”. If it were only economic theory we still wouldn’t have enough of a workable paddle to get us out of this shit creek.

Harry Stotle
Harry Stotle
May 22, 2019 7:40 AM

‘Parties lacking a clear policy on this issue either do not recognise its seriousness or simply side with the financial oligarchy.’ – major parties DO recognise it, but keep schtum, presumably for 2 main reasons.
[1] because they will be rewarded with a seat on the board either during or after their political career.
[2] they feel hopeless because the economic dynamic is embedded too deeply and for too long.

Meanwhile, attempts by citizens to counter this fundemental injustice are met with state violence (see yellow vests).

The corporate media play their part by overblowing the significance of internal or external threats, or by constant distraction such as endless articles about Tommy Robinson or Nigel Farage rather than exposing the way in which a corrupt economic system is at the heart of most of the real damage (driving wars and exploitation in its many guises).

The average Guardian reader is so blinded to this self-evident reality that they label those who point it out as ‘Tommy Robinson apologists’ rather than grasping why corporate greed poses a much greater existential threat to Europe than the antics of a peripheral clown.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
May 22, 2019 6:09 AM

All in all, a very sound and sensible article … until we come to this:

The conservatives generally blame the weak and scapegoat the refugees, the immigrants, the women, and the poor, while promising to save the middle class from the onslaught of big capital.

How do we square such a criticism with the following:

The economy looks ever more frail. In all, the Eurozone’s nominal GDP stagnates, shrinking 12% in its six largest economies in 2008-2017 … Even in successful countries, such as Germany, real wages remain below their 1990 level.

Given the fact that wages are falling while rents are simultaneously rising, it follows that Europe has more than enough people for now. Though it may be true that some parties are demagoguing the situation for nefarious purposes, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a legitimate issue. The refusal to see anything wrong with unlimited immigration is, in fact, one of the biggest flaws of the modern ‘globalist’ left.

Consider the case of Sarah Wagenknecht of Germany’s Linke Party. She actually made a very sensible, fair and humane proposal for immigration reform last year at her party’s conference, but was shouted down as a ‘racist’ and forced into early retirement by the membership.


Roger Wise
Roger Wise
May 22, 2019 6:08 AM

And what of the USA?