Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The World At Ransom

by Abdur-Razzaq Lubis
(Extract from Introduction to Discredit Interest-Debt!: The Instrument of World Enslavement by Abdur-Razzaq Lubis Et Al)

There is obviously something very wrong with the world today. The human race and the planet itself are in danger of extinction as a result of continuous and indiscriminate development and production.

Where the responsibility lies for the systematic degradation of human beings and the destruction of natural and cultural environments is an uncomfortable issue that must be confronted and resolved before any attempt to forge a sustainable future can be successfully realised.

At the very outset, we must categorically state that to think in the political or economic language of the day would be futile, as it would cause us to become enmeshed in `political' and `economic' issues of no relevance whatsoever.

We may even find ourselves labeled as propagandists for one side or another of the political-economic divide, whereas it is the very dialectics thrown up by the political economists which prevent us from seeing how things really work.

The world today is facing an economic, political, ideological and environmental crisis. The world debt crisis has assumed gigantic proportions, a staggering sum that cannot be paid for by any amount of environment-destructive development.

Economists' recipes are too far removed from the present-day reality. The old cures won't work - not Keynesian, Friedman or Galbraith. No simple programmes based on ideological purity, free enterprise or nationalisation will save us. In fact, no manipulative tricks with taxes, wages, interest rates, price policies, subsidies, trade relations or regional trade blocks, will make a difference. Nor will strikes, union actions, demonstrations or revolutions.

Al1 existing theoretical formulations are outmoded whether we examine the capitalist `free market' or marxism, welfare statism or traditional theories of third world development. Events have exposed their fallacies. Neither the conservative nor the liberal, the right wing nor the left wing, has the answers because both sides are locked into archaic ideological debate.

Political and economic realities have undergone such tremendous change and upheavel that our old labels do not fit any more. The terms `right' and `left' which used to denote poltical and economic ideas and entities are now relics of the past age, relegated to our political¬economic history. We are now witnessing the break-up of the system. Not the capitalist system, not the communist system, but the system that embraces them both.

Today's crisis is the crisis of the monetary system, which is a direct result of mammoth pyramids of usurious transactions. Monetarism is a global system, and its `means of production' is the banking system which exploits the principle of usury.

The critics of the capitalist state have been misled for the last century by Marx who named surplus-value as a crime against the people but did not speak out against interest-debt. The false `class conflict' between capital and labour can no longer rally the grassroots because of the increasing social mobility promised by the modern market economy.

The monetary system is entrenched in apparently diametrically opposite and opposing systems of politics and economics. Capitalism, socialism and communism are all built on the same principles of standardisation, centralisation, maximisation and more importantly monetarism. These common structural features override the differences focussed by the opponents of each side, who are merely side-tracking the issues.

To put it another way, capitalism and communism today are defined by their attitudes to the market, and the market today dominates both their political and economic spheres. `Capitalism' and `communism' both contain within them the seeds of their own fatal inner contradictions, and the tide of financial and monetary change is making them both obsolete.

To the monetarist elite, there was never any communist and capitalist divide, as they finance both sides in peace and in war. For the last few centuries they have been profiteering from war - from the European Civil Wars, the First World War, the Second World War, the imperialistic wars, up till the wars perpetuated in the Middle East today to secure control of the oil reserves.

Those who financed the colonial expeditions and expansionism are now financing the third world countries as well as the multinationals, just as those who financed the proliferation of polluting industries throughout the world are now financing the cleaning-up of the environment.

The international banking system works in tandem with the multinational corporations, and as computer and new communications systems are being laid in place, a higher and higher percentage of world production will be managed by multinationals rather than national markets today.

The monetarist elite is now pumping money into `regional growth areas' to encompass and absorb hitherto `underdeveloped' areas into the market economy. Financial centres are match-made with poorer neighbours offering abundant labour supply, to create new markets which justify further credit expansion.

As these twins, triangles or quadrangles, as the case may be, often involve two or more countries, the institutions that bridge them, and which are in fact sovereign, are none other than the banking entities and multinationals, which owe no allegiance to any country. Most transnationals are based in one country for administrative purposes, registered in another country for financial purposes, and locate their operational bases in yet other countries for cost-effective production and profit maximization.

The power structures of today operate across the national grids, overlapping their systems and methods by a series of interlocking network of commodities, currencies, stock exchange, futures and options markets. Both East and West are actively participating in this webbing monetary systems control, and its masters are in effect the masters of the world.

That is not to say that the national governments do not wield substantive physical powers. However, they act only out of necessity in compliance with these non-conspiratorial, unhiddden, yet unperceived power structures.

What must be understood is that the debt spiral and the fantastical trillion dollar loans and interest-accumulating debts are the signifiers of the power realities of today. While political and economic systems appear to be disparate, Competing and sometimes opposing entities, they are merely sub-systems of a monetarism. whose power structure represents the commodities, finance and armaments elite. Monetarism as a system which is consistent in its central principle i.e. the application of usury, rises above and profits from, all ideological and economic inconsistencies of its sub-systems.

Most people, irrespective of their politics, see the future as a simple straight line extension of the present. They are in for a big surprise. We are now witnessing revolutionary changes in all the basic sub-systems - the economic, political and social systems - generated by the shift in the monetary movement from the West to the East.

Industrialising nations, caught in the productivity competition, no longer question the technolorical project nor the wisdom of endless growth which will only exhaust their resources and environment, after which the monetarists will simply move their capital into new regions where exploitation will be more 'cost-effective'.

Nor do the third world peoples question the creation, in the first place, of that artificial politico-economic entity, the modern 'nation-state', which boundaries cut across natural nations and which hold together diverse peoples whose government must necessarily be a political compromise, hence one whose survival is inevitably dependent on the generosity of international patrons. To attain and retain power, the nation's political masters have to enter into a Faustian contract.

That is why it is practically and theoretically impossible to shift the tyranny of modern statism by revolution, as has been proven by the many failed revolutions which have only caused senseless death, destruction and misery to millions.

In a world where multinational and regional economies are becoming more important than national economies, the 'sovereign nation’ continues to be deceptively propped up in all its glory. Peoples are divided into competing national economies, and democracy sustains the illusion of political freedom. In actual fact, the results of democratic elections impinge no more on the power structures than does the matter of who win the football game affect the whole business of professional football.

All that matters to the monetarist elite is that the national governments, democractically elected or otherwise, are given carte blanche to commit themselves to colossal interest-debts, which are passed on to their citizens in the form of taxes. National assets are held to ransom, having been mortaged several times over. Through the authority delivered to the national governments by popular mandate, the whole world has been surrendered to the monetarists'

Now, it appears that we are in a great rush of seemingly unrelated changes. In fact, accelaration of change is itself a mark of our time. These changes on a global scale, while purporting to be driven by technological advances and market forces, in fact propel the systematic absorption and exploitation of people and resource.,. The changes affect many countries and peoples, not in the narrow political sense, but through a comprehensive social transformation which encompasses the realm of psychological and social development.

The process of social disintegration had already begun in the colonial days. The authorities sowed disharmony and suspicion, while claiming to be the only force keeping the people from tearing each other apart. The rivalry of political parties in a democratic svstem are just another way of keeping the people divided.With the modern work and leisure patterns, the atomisation of modern society is thorough and complete.

As the peoples in the third world have been hypnotized by materialistic displays into accepting `modernisation', they cease to defend their traditional forests, farmlands, towns, settlements, in short, the sustainable human community. As soon as the community as a whole puts down its guard, its people are effectively transformed into `workers' - commodified labour units in the enslaving production process.

Yet the elite among the worker ants of the monetarist colony entertain the myth of individual freedom - expressed in little more than private fantasies, individual fashion tastes and spending habits - programmed by a media monopoly which stretches from one end of the globe to the other, reaching 3 billion out of 5 billion of the world's population.

Where in a community with traditional loyalties, the people could rally around a leader and seek justice for a wrong done to one of their own, modern-day `individuals', divided into nuclear families, car¬owners, workers, credit-card holders, consumers etc. are powerless to act, delegating actions and responsibilities to authorities, departments, and so forth.

Instead of kingdom, tribe and clan, individuals now band themselves into `residents' organisations', `friendly societies', and `social clubs' which provide a `sense of belonging', but which are in fact divorced from their natural political territories and sources of authority.

Just as displaced indigenous peoples are offered welfare resettlement, the poor and dispossessed are offered `charity' `housing', so every alienated individual in modern society is allowed to claim nominal `human rights', in a world where the traditional society, which had it’s own provisions for personal safety and social justice, has been completely undermined.

Human rights cases will be acknowledged wherever it gives the monetarists an excuse to slander a `closed economy'. Even the environmental cause has already been absorbed into the mainstream, gg multinationals a cleaner image than most local industries. Any social orpolitical organisation, causeor lobby will betolerated, coopted and even funded, so long as it does not question the means by which wealth is created, procreated and appropriated.

'Most people are still unaware that the basic rules are changing, that a large and growing hegemony has arisen that dwarfs all others and affects all of us. We should be fighting to shape the next society, to define our positions in relation to what is emerging and not to what is passing into oblivion.

A whole cluster of new groups are taking form, despite the political and economic tyranny of today, of people who are resisting the homogenising force of the production and consumer-oriented society. These new forces have to unleash a new vigour and vision, and mount a real challenge to those who remain totally committed to an unsustainable way of life.

The collapse of the monetary system itself is inevitable because of its inherently illusory and irrational nature. However, we do not want the world and its species to be destroyed in the last convulsive throes of the all-devouring, parasitical, usurious beast.

At this historical moment the entire world is held at ransom - where every person and every land must submit to the monetarist agenda of continuous expansion, at whatever cost to the human being and the planet earth. The human project has been hijacked by the monetarist oligarchy and its destination has been switched, from a fertile realm of self-realisation to a desecrated wasteland.

Faced with the endangered present, we must identify the elements responsible, and assess where the greatest clangers lie and whcre the most radical measures must be applied - if we are to survive and save the human project, which is none other than a balanced and sane life transaction.

It will begin with the re-evaluation of our current values and the conscious attempt to be a free being as opposed to an enslaved, indebted being. It is in this context that we need a new community and a non¬usurious trading model.