We are all in service to a money system based on simple injustice. It floods rich people with money taken from the poor. Money is created out of nothing for those who already have lots, and who know how to make more.
The system is not only unjust, it is also extremely bad for our world. It favours the insatiable and those with no sense of morality. Inequality becomes massive. Citizens who chase money without any consideration of the harm their activities do are given power. The outcome is our world today.
The longer we put up with this injustice, the shorter will be our time as a species on Earth.
For centuries people have known this. Opponents of the system are those who know and refuse to take advantage from it; but most of those who know do take advantage of the opportunities the system presents.
The facts of the system are known and described by critics from ancient times to the present day but they are not widely disseminated, for reasons that are obvious. The most obvious of these reasons is that if the system is to remain profitable, they must not be widely talked about.
The facts can be described in simple or in complex terms. Here I try to describe them as simply as possible.
Today, money creation is not complex. Gone are the days when money was gold or silver: today, a government or a bank creates debt from nothing, and the debt becomes money. Laws authorise this debt being passed from person to person. If I have money, a bank owes me the amount. As the debt changes hands, so money passes from one person to another. The money is an entirely theoretical debt from the government or the bank to the owner of the money – often in huge amounts. The process is profitable to borrower and lender.
The unjust laws that make this possible favour the rich, and also those who want to become rich. It is easy today for rich people to borrow huge amounts of money and make huge amounts more. If you borrow money from a bank or a government, you are NOT borrowing money deposited earlier by someone else (as we are taught at school); you are getting newly created money.
Poor people, on the other hand, borrow to stay alive – and their debts increase. As more and more of the world’s money gets owned by the world’s billionaires, it gets harder and harder for poor people to pay off their debts.
This is destructive for many reasons. Huge power goes into the wrong hands – ownership by people who are ruthlessly greedy. This gives rich people more money and makes poor people poorer. This way of creating money has been used for centuries on-and-off and it has always resulted in huge and ever-growing inequality. Recently, capitalism AND communism have adopted it – to concentrate power in the hands of those who are already powerful. In the past, remedies were used to reduce the inequality, but today the inequality is carefully managed, and maintained as a power-source for the ruthless (or thoughtless) and greedy. The system creates oligarchies throughout the world.
Economists tend to skirt round these facts out of simple human self-interest, because economists are mostly employed by the powerful. Of course, some economists are honest and straightforward: for instance, Michael Hudson writes: The debt system has transformed democracies into oligarchies throughout the world.
There is another human creation which affects our behaviour profoundly: the corporation. Corporations are legally obliged to increase in power and size. They reduce the incomes of workers to subsistence level and enable predators to appropriate the rest. They de-activate the role of human conscience and replace it with greed and ambition.
Until we face up to these simple truths, we are unlikely to experience peace or stability in our world. Given our current political and economic systems, it is hardly surprising we are in deep trouble. People greedy for money and power are the worst people to have in charge. Their appetites are insatiable; they aim not at healthy societies, but at getting more and more money and power. They are the worst to have in charge. This is a truth long known; Plato, for instance, wrote: “Power today lies not with ‘the people’ but with professional politicians and the very rich” and “that city in which those who are going to rule are least eager to rule is necessarily governed in the way that is best and freest from faction, while the one that gets the opposite kind of rulers is governed in the opposite way.”
‘Democracy’ is a deceitful name for our political system. The deceit used to be well-known, but the knowledge is now kept hidden from voters. By repeating the myth that electing political parties is democracy, people have come to believe it. In reality, however, power lies with those who want it: and they are exactly the worst people to have in charge!
We need reform if we are to last much longer.