The Money Delusion: The Ultimate WMD (as Saddam and Gaddafi painfully learned)
CAPITALISM, 3 Oct 2011
The crisis in the economic system has been well anticipated by those who noticed the complex and esoteric way in which modern Monetarism creates scarcity through taking money out of a hat to lend it, but not making enough to repay with interests. Speculation then concentrates it. Challenges to such bizarre and poverty creating system are not tolerated. Oct 15th Wake Up Day.
Attempting to understand what is happening in Libya without looking at the global crisis runs the risk of oversimplifying things. We could say “It’s the Oil, stupid!”, and we would be of course right, but only partially so. Gaddafi – not a nice man, to be sure, but not worse than other autocrats in the region – committed the same crime Saddam Hussein did. He attempted to upset the hegemony of the Dollar by proposing that oil transactions move to the Gold Dinar, a Euro-like currency for the whole of Africa. This was eminently doable, in particular because Gaddafi was sitting on a nice large pot of Gold. It would also make Africa financially independent and less available for exploitation.
As it happened, some years back Saddam had moved his oil transactions to the Euro, and the OPEC was looking into following suit. Many analysts believe this would have led to a fall in the value of the Dollar of up to 40%. And then the US started to talk about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), which of course this was, at least for the Dollar. This currency had abandoned any pretence of having gold backing when Nixon decided it did not need it in 1971, unilaterally cancelling the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold that essentially ended the existing Bretton Woods system of international financial exchange designed to prevent more nations’ bankruptcy from inducing wars like Germany had done in WW2.
There are now many papers and videos in YouTube that attempt to explain how the world monetary system works by creating debt, such as Money as Debt by Canadian filmmaker Paul Grignon and many others. Some of the proposals are interesting, like 0% interest banking with countries’ Governments rather than private financial institutions being the sole creators of the money supply, some get lost in blame games and conspiracy theories that add nothing to the debate. That there is an Economic Para-State that decides everything about our lives and exploits us is no secret to anybody, that poverty is created by the concentration of wealth and power in order to ensure slave-like cheap labour to continue increasing such concentration is now so visible only fear of falling to the very bottom of the pile keeps people from rebelling. Except in places where lots of people are now rather close to the bottom, like Spain and Greece and various other “Springs” running or on the making.
Apart from Oil and Gold Gaddafi was sitting on yet another pot of “gold”: Water. The Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System is a large underground sea of fresh water under Libya, Sudan, Chad and Egypt. Libya started using this aquifer to begin to transform this largely desert-like region. The water thus extracted and circulated through “The Great Man-Made River” costs 1/10 of desalination water. Various international agencies have been involved for some years to aid good use of the resource. In 2004 a The New York Times Science report stressed the potential of this project to improve Libya’s ecosystem making its leader perhaps more popular and difficult to dislodge.
So, Libya, one of the seven countries listed in The Guardian by former NATO Europe commander Wesley Clark in 2001 as neocon “targets” for being, like Iraq, outside international banking control is the second to fall, five to go: Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and Iran. Any country that insists on controlling its own money and dismisses the dollar as the gold standard itself may be in trouble in the future, unless it is of course China and keeps more dollars than they circulate throughout the world.
It appears that we live in a Matrix-like society, where money is real just because we believe in it but the consequences of not having it are real enough. A child dying of Malaria in Africa does not die of an illness but of economic violence, because the cure already exists, but it costs “money”. Many people are beginning to see through this illusion and are demonstrating and organising picnics outside Wall Street and the Bank of England wondering how to communicate to others the truth about such elaborate deception. Michael Moore commented that the mainstream Media is impervious or wilfully silent to such news. Could this be because it does not make “money” or because they are tied up to the “money” institutions?
Perhaps the most important realisation is that money, this non-existent article of faith, has transformed every field of human existence: “This is the great universal truth: Money is everything. Money is government, money is law, money is power. Money is basically sustenance, but more than this it is art, it is philosophy, it is religion. Nothing is done without money, nothing is possible without money. There are no personal relationships without money, there is no intimacy without money. Even peaceful solitude depends on money. But our relationship with this “universal truth” is contradictory. Most people do not like this state of affairs. And so we find ourselves subject to the tyranny of money—a tyranny that is not abstract, for it has a name, representatives, agents, and well-established procedures. Today, we are no longer dealing with feudal economies, national industries, or even regional interests. Today, the question is how the surviving economic forms will accommodate to the new dictates of international finance capital. Nothing escapes, as capital worldwide continues to concentrate in ever fewer hands—until even the nation state depends for its survival on credit and loans. All must beg for investment and provide guarantees that give the banking system the ultimate say in decisions. The time is fast approaching when even companies themselves, when every rural area as well as every city, will all be the undisputed property of the banking system. The time of the parastate is coming, a time in which the old order will be swept away. At the same time, the traditional bonds of solidarity that once joined people together are fast dissolving. We are witnessing the disintegration of the social fabric, and in its place find millions of isolated human beings living disconnected lives, indifferent to each other despite their common suffering. Big capital dominates not only our objectivity, through its control of the means of production, but also our subjectivity, through its control of the means of communication and information.” Silo: Letters to my Friends, Latitude Press, US.
On October 15th people will take to the streets in many countries around the world to sound a wake up call for a system that is breaking down but dragging its human victims with it. The alternatives are already on the table, well tested experiences and newly developed proposals circulate amongst the founders of this new dawn for humanity under the slogan of Real Democracy Now and applying the methodology of Active Nonviolence. In some places huge public assemblies, in others small groups of people undeterred by apathy, all inspired by the awareness that big changes are coming and their direction will depend on the work we do today, together.
Silvia Swinden – Author of From Monkey Sapiens to Homo Intentional: The Phenomenology of the Nonviolent Revolution – Adonis & Abbey, London 2006
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