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This week is a sequel to last week's episode, again combining some hidden history of the bankers in USA with our continued reading of David Graeber's Debt, The First 5000 Years. We conclude with the audio of an introductory presentation on Altruistic Economics which Robin Upton gave at the Chaos Computer Congress in Berlin in December 2009.
We start the show by picking up where we left off last week in the video, The true history of the Banking Cartels and the Federal Reserve, looking at the impact of organized money across the Northern hemisphere, concentrating on the United States after WW1. The retelling of 20th century history is instructive; Wall Street's support for Nazi Germany, for example, generally fails to get a mention in history syllabuses or the corporate controlled media.
Internationally, the general pattern is of bankers furthering their interests by use of loans to influence the outcome of wars (as described in episode 577). Domestically, bankers used grants and existing influence over government and business to set up independent power hierarchies and endow them with special privileges. Perhaps the key success of organized money was the fantastically profitable monopoly on credit issuance, the for-profit privately controlled group known as the US Federal Reserve.
Some institutions were openly independent from democratic control - such as the tax-exempt foundations - while others were in theory government institutions but in practice still effectively controlled by the banking interests. For example, the film terms the CIA the 'attack dog' of US corporate interests.
Then we continue with the conclusion of chapter 11 of David Graeber's Debt, The First 5000 Years, which brings us up to August 1971, when the pressure to create money to fund the Vietnam War became so much that US left the gold standard.
Graeber masterfully deconstructs the economists' fiction of money as a politically neutral force serving only to make everyone more prosperous by oiling the wheels of commerce. Marshaling evidence from different disciplines such as history, philosophy and psychology, he uses a range of arguments and historical examples which provide a more nuanced and considerably more critical picture of the social impact of money. The 'dirty secret of capitalism', Graeber says, is that it has never been inseparable from forced labor, whether indentured servitude, wage slavery or slavery of a less subtle kind. While our video focuses on the actions of the financial elite, Graeber focuses on the difficulty various social classes had in understanding what 'money' truly represents, and how they should respond to its impact on society.
We conclude with the soundtrack of a presentation given by Robin Upton to the Computer Chaos Congress in Berlin in December 2009. This is a highly concentrated presentation entitled 'Key Innovations of Altruistic Economics' (due to time, a 60 minute talk was condensed down to 8 minutes!) so it may reward multiple listens, with or without the visual component.