We Are All Greece: Expert Explains How the Greek Crisis is Being Manipulated by Banks and Governments to Enslave Us All

7.11.11

In response to the ongoing Greek financial crisis, which I discussed in my article on Saturday, Crisis in Greece: Experts Call for Return of the Drachma, As Prime Minister Cancels Bailout Referendum, I was directed by my friend George Kenneth Berger to a video of the Spanish author and professor Pedro Olalla, who has been living in Athens since 1994, discussing the crisis, what it means for Greece, and for the wider European community, in which, in clear language that can be understood by those without specific economic expertise, he explains how Greece’s crisis has largely been manufactured by financial speculators and their willing and unquestioning servants in government.

Like others whose expertise is not in economics, I often struggle to understand quite what has been happening in the world since the financial crisis of 2008, and I found this to be a useful pointer towards a bleak truth that I can, nevertheless, at least partly comprehend from what has been happening in the UK since the Tories managed, with the support of the Liberal Democrats, to form a government 18 months ago. The Tories’ campaign of austerity involves falsely blaming all of Britain’s ills on its deficit — and making the ordinary people pay for it with savage cuts to education, welfare, health and any other services that involve the state — while obscuring the financial sector’s huge responsibility for creating the crisis. In this topsy-turvy world, the banks demanded and received huge bailouts, but then refused to reform their behaviour or to pay the taxes they owe, despite having created a situation that led to increased unemployment, reduced revenues, increased borrowing to compensate for the shortfall and for the increased pressure on the government’s finances.

Pedro Olalla’s 15-minute video, “Palabras desde Atenas — Words from Athens,” was recorded on October 5, and is available below, via YouTube, where, I’m glad to note, over 125,000 people have already seen it. It is subtitled in English (from the original Spanish), and this morning, in an attempt to understand more fully what was being explained, and to provide a permanent record in print, I transcribed the subtitles, and, with some minor edits for style and comprehensibility, have posted it below.

If there are any glaring mistakes, feel free to let me know, but primarily I hope you find it enlightening, and take his advice to “globalize the resistance,” in the face of governments and banks intent on impoverishing us all — and not just Greece — on a basis that, to reiterate, has much more to do with the cynical and destructive business practices of financial speculators, aided and abetted by compliant politicians, than with the deficit created by the ordinary people. Despite this, it is the ordinary people who are being asked not to react as the very fabric of their countries is demolished, leaving only the prospect of an ever-worsening spiral of unemployment and economic depression, as all their countries’ assets are used to service this manufactured debt, and to drive it further into terminal economic decline. Unless we fight back, the future for all of us promises top be very bleak indeed.

Palabras desde Atenas — Words from Athens
Transcript of a video by Pedro Olalla, October 5, 2011

Greetings to all. I want to record a few words for all who hear me from Spain or from elsewhere — urgent words addressed to my friends from Athens, an Athens more and more wounded. I want to inform you of a situation that concerns us all, and, due to its severity, is achieving what makes any other issue we might deal with seem almost frivolous. I also want to ask you for something, something important, but I’ll leave that to the end, because I trust that you will not mind waiting 15 minutes.

In recent times, the political and media discourse in Spain and other European countries has been to say, in a tone of relief, that “we are not Greece,” that our income statements are better, and that the Greeks actually deserve what is now happening to them, for being lazy and unruly and prone to strikes and demonstrations.

Hopefully, now that the tide is coming to Spain and elsewhere, that there too salaries, pensions, rights and benefits are beginning to be cut, the Spanish and other Europeans will revise their opinion of Greece, and become aware of the true nature of the situation that threatens us all, and of its true range.

What is happening? In historical terms, what is happening is that those who control financial power in the world are taking possession of political power through the creation and exploitation of debt. And they are doing this with the connivance of our government, and, in part, because of the inability of the citizens of these countries to come up with an organized response.

So the problem of Greece is not a problem of local character; it is the visible face in Europe of a tragedy that affects us all — the progressive dismantling of the state and democracy by the agents of economic globalization. What is happening is very serious, because, when the economic and financial forces have completely conquered the political power, politics as an exercise of sovereignty will disappear, democracy will only be a grotesque chimera, and, independently of whoever might govern, we will all be slaves of a handful of money magnates.

To resist this process as citizens is the deeper meaning of all the mobilizations which, for the last year and a half, have preoccupied most Greeks every single day. The people of Greece are willing to make sacrifices, and many, but they are slowly realizing that all the sacrifices that are demanded and imposed upon them are not intended to stop a perverse system, but to feed and perpetuate it.

Why? Because the “rescue plan” organized by the hardcore of the EU and the IMF and imposed on us as the only desperate solution to bankruptcy is a plan designed to safeguard the benefit of speculators, to minimize their risk, and to open up the way for them to appropriate national wealth.

It is not at all a plan to alleviate the situation of the country, or to generate development, or to redistribute wealth more fairly to all. Quite the contrary, it is a plan to unfairly keep the wealth of all people increasingly flowing towards less hands.

Let’s be clear. What is presented as a “crisis” is actually an organized economic attack, and what is presented as “debt” is a carefully designed product as a weapon of submission, which gives continuity to colonialism and perpetrates the same violence.

We owe one of every five dollars of world debt to the IMF and the World Bank. For those who have notions of contemporary history, the practices of these institutions are well known in the countries where they have operated so far. If not, they should ask Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Maghreb countries, countries in Southeast Asia, or all of the so-called Third World, which, in recent decades, live bleeding by a growing process of accumulation of debt, paying back seven times what they receive in alleged development aid to the First World.

These institutions act as financial intermediaries, and, through their loans, offer greater payment guarantees to investors from the countries in which they invest. The purpose of the “investors,” as it is known, is to encash money, but as private investors they have no guarantee that the countries in which they invest will produce the expected benefits and that the encashment will occur. They are subject to the risk of the bet, and their right to collect is limited to only a portion of the benefits, and never a part of the heritage of the country in which they invest.

So, in order to collect with guarantees, their goal is to bring a collection agent capable of transforming private speculation in government debt into the country. And that is what the International Monetary Fund has been doing since its creation. However, in order to achieve this, one must get the connivance of certain politicians. And that is what they have achieved in Greece.

Now, thanks to the IMF’s “converter effect,” Greece no longer owes money to private speculators but to other states, making a non-payment more complicated. And now one has to answer for this dubious debt with the taxpayers’ sweat, and — what is even more attractive to investors — with national wealth which the government has seen to compromise as a guarantee beyond the “inalienable bounds” in the recently signed protocols’ text.

Let’s see: is Greece the most indebted country in Europe or the world, as some have tried to make us believe for some time now? Of course not. In “External Debt in millions of dollars,” it is ranked 18th, in “Foreign Debt to GDP ratio,” it is ranked 9th, and in “Debt per capita,” it is ranked 15th, well behind France, Germany, England and Switzerland, and is even well behind Spain. Nor is Greece ranked first in terms of private debt and public spending or in terms of the number of staff.

But yes, it is the country with the highest rate of consumer prices in articles of basic necessity, and most Greeks have long been turning to family, moonlight jobs and precarious work to last through the month.

What then is this debt? The debt, on which Greece is being forced to raise the highest loan in the history of mankind, consists, as 90 percent of the total, of government bonds. And government bonds are not exactly “debt”; they are “investment mechanisms,” freely negotiable in market values, bets with money that can be won or lost. And this makes a big difference.

Today, the capital which is moving in the loan market worldwide is 1,000 trillion (GB billion) dollars, while the world’s annual production is only 57 [trillion dollars]. The cause of the world’s “indebtedness” is rooted in this abysmal difference. It does not rely on the actual deficit, but on the “need” that just 1,600 big investors have of “exploiting” this capital.

In recent decades, economically speaking, we have constructed a world that is not only unjust but absurd. And yet, it seems we have to do everything possible to not let it break down. So, without going any further, two years ago Greece bailed out the banks with 70,000 million of taxpayers’ Euros, saying it was in order to “avoid major disasters.” And now we have to rescue the financial sector, again with the taxpayers’ money.

Meanwhile — attention! — 50 percent of the money that moves in the world does so through offshore companies set up in tax havens to avoid taxes and to maintain their owners’ total anonymity. In Greece alone more than 4,000 offshore companies are operating, and in the last ten years more than a million of these companies, invented by Anglo-Saxon speculators, have been established worldwide.

Nowadays, coups are undertaken by financiers. The Greek people — following the dictates of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF — have to suffer tax rises, wage cuts, and unemployment, and all their health and social gains are snatched away. They have the privatization of their state enterprises imposed upon them, and are forced to put the country’s wealth in the hands of foreign investors. They are also forced to buy weapons from their creditors, and, on top of that, are forced to pay “solidarity fees.”

Meanwhile, banks are subsidized, and not even the imposition of a minimum rate of 0.1 percent on international financial transactions is considered, with which more than 600,000 million Euros could be raised annually — more than the alleged Greek debt — without touching the taxpayers’ pockets, or the hunger of the poor. But this is not done, and that must be considered immoral.

While the world works in this manner, neither politicians nor financiers have the moral authority to impose the sacrifices they want. “So what can be done?” you will ask me. “What is not done?” [is the answer]. First of all, under what is now called European citizenship (if it even exists) in Greece, Spain and all European countries, citizens have to form a common front against the abuse, and have to demand that governments stop the speculators, obliging investors to take the “risk” of their rather devious operations instead of coming to the rescue with public money in order to make sure that they always end up winning.

They should, in short, rule for the people who entrusted them with power, and not for their own interests. In the case of Greece, European citizens should support it in refusing to recognize the “debt.” Any plans for renegotiating the “debt” will end up in bankruptcy and subject to the conditions of the lenders. And this involves everyone, not just Greece. The path of debt is a bottomless pit, as history has shown repeatedly.

So, we must demand that the current political practice changes. We must immediately stop paying the “debt.” We must clarify the origin and nature of this “debt,” see if there are any guilty of crimes amongst those responsible for the borrowing, and determine precisely how much of this hefty amount is actually an “odious debt,” contracted against the interests of the population of a country with full knowledge of the creditor, according to the concept the US coined to its own benefit, after the war with Spain for the independence of Cuba.

And once all this is cleared up and the guilty are punished, decisions will be made with serenity and justice on which loans, which sales or what new measures will have to deal with the legitimate debt, because the real deficit of the country in the last decade is only 4 percent of this supposed “debt.”

One such measure, for example, could be to claim decisively the war reparations that Germany was ordered to pay to Greece after the end of World War II, which, despite the military occupation, the massive deportations to the extermination camps and over a million dead, have not been met. Other measures, cheaper and less “historic,” would begin with prohibiting the operation of offshore companies on Greek soil, blocking their assets and obliging their anonymous shareholders to identify themselves and pay taxes to unlock their property. It is likely that most of them would not even dare to come forward.

Also, one should demand that the banks return all the money that was given to rescue them [in 2008], impose taxes on international financial transactions, impose fair rates on the shameful deposits in Switzerland and other tax havens — a series of tax measures to avoid the real fraud that is occurring throughout the banking sector and in stock exchanges, and in offshore companies. And besides all this, one would have to rethink one’s relationship with the European Union, and with the single currency, the Euro, designed with neo-liberal criteria for the priority convenience of Germany and some other partners.

If we do not acknowledge the debt, we will be kicked out of the markets for a while, and boycotted as far as possible, but we will also save money from the speculation on bonds and save much of the national wealth which is going to large investor groups. For the current year, the interest on the bonds alone is 16,000 million [Euros], the same amount which is dedicated to education and health in Greece.

If we do not acknowledge the debt, then, instead of feeding the speculation, we can address the deficit. We will be able to support the country’s real economy, relieve the pressure on citizens, revitalize trade and promote savings. And. above all, our sacrifices — which will be many — will serve to overthrow an unjust system and build a better one.

And now, coming to the end of these words from Athens, is when I want to ask of you something important. Faced with the abuses of economic globalization, help to globalize the resistance. European society is fast asleep and [unaware of, or indifferent to] the poor political management of their democracies. And yet, citizens urgently need to be progressive in their beliefs and to react decisively before the new coup — effectively, to combat injustice and ignorance, rather than to conceal and promote it according to dark interests.

And this must be done for the good of all, because those who enjoy freedom, welfare and culture more than others have this moral debt to the rest of humanity. Yes, I acknowledge that I am “anti-system,” because I do not understand how, in a world where 50 companies accumulate more wealth than a hundred countries, someone who believes in solidarity can still be “pro-system.” I think in the times we live in, our “system” needs dissidents more than ever, people willing to think high, to feel deeply and speak out.

Best wishes from Greece!

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed (and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and YouTube). Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in June 2011, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.

26 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    On Facebook, George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    Digging and sharing, Andy.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, George, for alerting me to this in the first place. It’s very much appreciated. The contagion, it seems, is still spreading, as Italy totters, but everyone is encouraged to look at it through their own nationalistic prism. So now. in the UK, we’re already adding disdainful comments about Italian corruption to our dismissal of Greece as a country full of scroungers. Sometimes I’m still amazed at how many supposedly intelligent people – even in the media – can be so jingoistic …

    Here’s to empathy and transnational solidarity instead …

  3. Johan Herrenberg says...

    Pedro Olalla’s analysis could bind the Occupy movements together internationally. Ordinary people everywhere are under attack from their own governments without knowing it. They are sheep, led by wolves. Only a sharply focused message will cut like a laser through the fog of war. Only global unity can create global resistance against global predation.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Hi Johan,
    Yes, I’m inclined to think so. I devoted some time to transcribing the subtitled version so that I’d take it on board properly. However, I think I need to try and distil it still further so that the activist community can pick up on it. The problem with economics is that those without expertise in the field are so easily confused, which is why the key is .to make the message as simple and as powerful as possible.
    By the way, “Ordinary people everywhere are under attack from their own governments without knowing it” is very good, very powerful.

  5. anna says...

    As I’m also utterly non-competent in macro-economics let alone financial speculation, this really was enlightening.
    I would like to emphasize a small fragment from it, as it refers to a painful notion that I have felt all these lasts months while feeling exhilarated by the awakening of (part of) western society to the understanding of who is ruling our governments and the world:
    the immoral and counter-productive notion of ‘not-in-my-backyard.
    For this exploitation of course has been perpetrated since times immemorial on the populations of all our (ex) colonies and third world countries, while most of us tended to look the other way …
    So yes, by all means, let the people of all European countries make one front to clean up the mess in the EU, which has a wider impact on the rest of the world as well.
    But let’s not make the same criminal mistake again, of fighting only for ourselves and our direct neighbours, while forgetting those on whose back this criminal system has been experimented and refined, before it was unleased on us.

  6. Johan Herrenberg says...

    Hello, Andy. Yes, the message must be distilled to a diamant-hard essence (sorry for mixing my metaphors). I don’t think the opposition of the 1% vs the 99% cuts it, because there is a sense of envy and resentment hovering behind it. What must be attacked is the logic behind that difference. Economics are a screen for something far more fundamental and, alas, eternal – the preying of people on people, which now has turned global.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Hi Anna,
    Yes, you’re right to point out our largely overlooked exploitation of what we now refer to as the developing world, rather than the Third World, as though a name change signifiies anything. I thought Pedro Olalla touched on this powerfully, when he mentioned that these countries are obliged to pay back seven times what they were loaned in the first place, and that’s extremely relevant, I believe, to what’s happening in Greece.

    The next step we’re seeing, as has happened in so many other countries in Africa and elsewhere, is the privatization of the state (for Western benefit, up to and including privatizing water, and also involving the seizing of any valuable assets), and the privatization of markets (again for Western benefit, so that Western multinationals can even destroy local markets, importing and selling to people even their most basis foodstuffs, for example). On this basis, Greece is being downgraded to the status of the Third World country — or, to expose the farce of how we label things, part of the developing world, even though the development of all these countries has actually been killed stone-dead by Western intervention.

    Sadly, although I can’t tell how much people in the West are in denial rather than being ignorant, it’s clear that few people care enough to alter their shopping habits — even though exploitation, though masked, is not hidden in key areas like clothes manufacturing, for example. Although, to be honest, its’s so prevalent that we’re all touched by it. We have murderous wars in Africa for our mobile phones, and slave-like working conditions in China to produce our Apple computers, to cite just two examples that are relevant to almost everyone.

    Clearly, then, we need to rethink the neo-colonialism that accompanied our orgy of consumerism at the end of the last century and the start of this one (until the crash of 2008 provided a wake-up call — although not one that was sufficiently consciousness-raising or apocalyptic), as it would be hypocritical to recognize that this treatment is being applied to Greece, and to complain abut it, but not also to recognize that it has happened elsewhere in the world, over and over again, for decades.

    Also, I just recalled that I wrote something about this process of global exploitation back in 2004, for my friend Val Stevenson’s Nth position website — a review of “The Blood Bankers: Tales from the Global Underground Economy,” by James S. Henry:
    http://www.nthposition.com/thebloodbankers.php

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, Johan. I agree. I think what we need to recognize is that the eternal “preying of people on people, which now has turned global” is not only a much bigger problem than most people realize, as these forces actively prepare to impoverish all of us except the very rich, by lying that there is no alternative to savage austerity, but also that, I believe, it is actively suicidal, as strangling the economies of Western countries will end up with the bankers and financial speculators cannibalistically consuming everything until there is no one left to bleed dry.

    I’m not even sure how much those supposedly in charge recognize this. My analogy for the times we’re living in is that we’re a ghost ship, with no one in charge. While we had growth, all the exploitation made sense. Here in the UK, for example, all people thought about was shopping, and taking out exorbitant loans on over-priced houses that, miraculously, kept increasing in value, but with the end of that boom, and people either genuinely poor or too scared to spend, there’s less and less for the speculators to leech from.

    Even more importantly, all the illegal mechanisms for conjuring money seemingly out of nowhere are what led to the crash of 2008, but those responsible have not fundamentally changed their ways, so it’s both easy and important to keep the focus on them, and to accompany that with demands for them to pay, pay, pay — to push on the wholesale tax evasion and dodgy deals that mean that banks and corporations are paying almost nothing to support the rest of us. That too is ultimately suicidal, as all but the richest, who can afford, say, their own private islands, have to live in functioning countries that have not descended into a cannibalistic frenzy of extreme, manufactured poverty.

    Anyway, that’s not the kind of concise messaging we need — but I need to keep getting my thoughts in order. This is new territory for all of us in so many ways.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Lewis MacKenzie wrote:

    Haven’t had a chance to read/watch this yet but will do so when I get out of work.

    Here’s a great article in the LRB by Wynne Godley in 1992(!) predicting the problems of the Eurozone. Very much worth a read.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v14/n19/wynne-godley/maastricht-and-all-that

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Fascinating. Thanks, Lewis. I’ll have a proper read later, but even just skim-reading the beginning, it’s clearly very relevant. Here are just a few paragraphs:

    The central idea of the Maastricht Treaty is that the EC countries should move towards an economic and monetary union, with a single currency managed by an independent central bank. But how is the rest of economic policy to be run? As the treaty proposes no new institutions other than a European bank, its sponsors must suppose that nothing more is needed. But this could only be correct if modern economies were self-adjusting systems that didn’t need any management at all.

    I am driven to the conclusion that such a view – that economies are self-righting organisms which never under any circumstances need management at all – did indeed determine the way in which the Maastricht Treaty was framed. It is a crude and extreme version of the view which for some time now has constituted Europe’s conventional wisdom (though not that of the US or Japan) that governments are unable, and therefore should not try, to achieve any of the traditional goals of economic policy, such as growth and full employment. All that can legitimately be done, according to this view, is to control the money supply and balance the budget. It took a group largely composed of bankers (the Delors Committee) to reach the conclusion that an independent central bank was the only supra-national institution necessary to run an integrated, supra-national Europe.

    But there is much more to it all. It needs to be emphasised at the start that the establishment of a single currency in the EC would indeed bring to an end the sovereignty of its component nations and their power to take independent action on major issues. As Mr Tim Congdon has argued very cogently, the power to issue its own money, to make drafts on its own central bank, is the main thing which defines national independence. If a country gives up or loses this power, it acquires the status of a local authority or colony. Local authorities and regions obviously cannot devalue. But they also lose the power to finance deficits through money creation while other methods of raising finance are subject to central regulation. Nor can they change interest rates. As local authorities possess none of the instruments of macro-economic policy, their political choice is confined to relatively minor matters of emphasis – a bit more education here, a bit less infrastructure there.

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Lewis MacKenzie wrote:

    Yes, at the root of the eurozone’s problems is the Euro itself, it would seem. Whereas the UK govt. (or the US, Australian, Japanese and just about every other sovereign govt.) are currency issuers and can therefore run large deficits and sustain essentially unlimited debts indefinitely when the need arises, the eurozone nations are merely currency users, and thus rely on the financial markets for funding when tax revenues collapses. They cannot manipulate the interest rates on government bonds in the same way as the BoE [Bank of England], which can control bond-yields at all maturities through its liquidity management operations. That’s why Cameron is deliberately misleading people when he claims that Tory austerity measures have reassured “the market” and kept interest rates low: “the market” doesn’t control the interest rate on UK bonds – the central bank does, and it’s a public institution, answerable to parliament.

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Lewis. That’s very interesting. I now think I’ve figured out the basic problems with the Euro project. What i hadn’t quite realized was the simple explanation of why Cameron’s austerity claims are a lie, so thanks for that too. The explanation adds weight to my opposition to austerity because of its ideological basis, and because it is leading to depression, unemployment, and an inevitable decline in economic activity.

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Lewis MacKenzie wrote:

    Our government claims it has no money, yet it is a sovereign currency issuer. It cannot run out of money. Unlike a a currency user, who must receive income in order to spend, a currency issuer must spend in order to receive income: Taxes are paid with currency issued by government, therefore government spending must be the prior act and taxation subsequent. So why on earth is the government cutting the only plausible source of income to the private sector when everyone’s broke and horribly exposed to debt? The government deficit is a non-government surplus, by definition. Why then does the government want to slash the non-government surplus and force us even further into debt? The government can always pay its dues in £, irrespective of its income. We can’t. It’s absurd.

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks again, Lewis. On that basis, then, is the whole “age of austerity” based solely on ideology, on the Tories’ obsessive desire to shrink the state and to privatise whatever hasn’t yet been privatised?

  15. Johan Herrenberg says...

    I am grateful for Lewis MacKenzie’s contributions, which have sharpened my understanding. I wish understanding alone would change the thing understood…

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, I agree completely, Johan.

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Lewis MacKenzie wrote (in response to 14):

    Yes, I think so. This is a case of the Tories not letting a good crisis go to waste, even when that crisis (at least in the UK and other sovereign nations) is largely confected.

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    George Kenneth Berger wrote:

    I posted Lewis MacKenzie’s link separately. At least one person found it interesting. About austerity and ideology: About one year ago I asked a conservative, thoughtful Swede what the economic motivations were for the present Swedish government’s economic policies and moves. He said there were none at all; just ideological convictions.

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks again, Lewis and George. In clarifying exactly what arguments to take to oppose austerity in the UK, I am reassured to hear, Lewis, that it is entirely legitimate to describe it as a manufactured crisis on ideological grounds. That doesn’t make the Tories’ plans to further empower the rich at the expense of everyone else any less disgraceful, but it does clarify that there is no legitimate argument of economic emergency.

    As for Sweden, George, I don’t know enough about the political situation to comment in any detail, but as we know, the same kind of people, with access to power and influence, are talking to each other across Europe right now, and are clearly not concerned about the lives of the majority of citizens …

  20. Andy Worthington says...

  21. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Turin, for the video. It’s French, it lasts a minute and half, it’s animation reminiscent of Spitting Image, and it’s spot-on.

  22. Andy Worthington says...

    Lewis MacKenzie wrote:

    I can recommend some good blogs to read, that explain the monetary system in more detail:
    Excellent introductory primer:
    http://neweconomicperspectives.blogspot.com/p/modern-money-primer.html
    Bill Mitchell’s blog, a bit more technical, but still readable and contains a huge amount of info (check out the deficit spending 101 blogs):
    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?page_id=1667
    Michael Hudson’s blog is excellent too, especially on Greece and the role of finance in undermining democracy throughout the course of history:
    http://michael-hudson.com/
    This 1913 essay by Alfred Mitchell-Innes on the nature of money is fascinating, and also relevant:
    http://moslereconomics.com/mandatory-readings/what-is-money/
    Finally, if you haven’t read David Graeber’s book “Debt: The First 5000 Years”, you need to stop what you’re doing, go and buy it, then start reading it immediately.

  23. Andy Worthington says...

    Wow! OK, thanks very much, Lewis. I’ll get back to you when I’ve checked out your very kind recommendations.

  24. Richard Klein says...

    Es escalofriante Pedro hasta donde estan llegando las malas intensiones de unos pocos pero que de esos que son pocos son los que estan orquestando todo este desequilibrio a nivel mundial por la parte economica y estoy totalmente de acuerdo en lo que planteas para solidarisarce con los que quieren cambiar este ‘cuento’ de lo globalizado y del endeudamiento de los paises de mas escasos recursos son el tipo de gente si es que se les puede llamar gente a esta plaga de la muerte que se escabullen por todos los rincones con el fin de sacar provecho que son los mismos que han iniciado la guerra contra el terror, el 911 y las demas guerras y genocidiossi hay que decirlo es un odio contra el ser humano y sumo esto a los comentarios que haces en el video.
    Richard Klein

  25. Johan Herrenberg says...

    Excellent recommendations by Lewis MacKenzie. I am certainly going to read David Graeber’s study.

  26. Andy Worthington says...

    Yes, I also have to find some time to follow up on Lewis’s recommendations, Johan.

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