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As we return to reading David Graeber this week, we look at the origins of capitalism in USA - how the system of self-sufficient slave estates and family farms gave way to one of wage labor. Then we ask, were the events of 11 years ago the cover for a massive financial fraud? We conclude by reflecting on what these angles contribute to our understanding of 'capitalism' and the importance of personally, consciously stepping away from it.
Thanks to Against The Grain for the Charles Post interview
This week we look in our first hour at the origins of capitalism in USA, and in our second at what may turn out to be a singularly event in its unraveling - the attacks of Sep 11th. While regular listeners have heard a mound of compelling reasons to question the US government's official conspiracy theory, motives for the attacks have usually been limited to launching the War On Terror and facilitating the overt fighting of Resource Wars. This week we hear excerpts of a theory which relates 9/11 to the black budget and the need to cover up massive financial fraud. Like Susan Lindauer's testimony in episode 589, these ideas complement the existing evidence we have heard on 9/11. Does this mark the beginning of the end of capitalism?
In our first hour, we hear from Charles Post, author of "The American Road To Capitalism". Although speaking on the historical roots of capitalism in the USA, he tackles fairly similar themes to episode 619. He argues that while the merchant class tried to create a capitalist system in USA from the outset, they were prevented by the superabundance of land (since it was legal to murder Indians and take their land). This lead to a society of subsistence farmers until the 19th century, although capitalist values increasingly gained traction. Capitalism only really took off in USA, Post argues, with the rise of the large land companies and the end of free access to land. Once people had to go into debt to buy or rent land, they became subject to the 'compete in the marketplace or die' pressures which characterize capitalism, so they could no longer retreat from the market into local self-sufficiency. We then return to read a short extract of the final chapter of David Graeber's Debt, The First 5000 Years, which continues into our second hour.
After a quick music break, our second hour continues with two excerpts of Collateral Damage 911 Part 2, an article which presents a new twist to our considerable archive of material on Sep 11th. We only read a small fraction of this complex and multi-faceted article, which centers on the post-WW2 'war chest' (a.k.a. the black budget) used to fund illegal ventures by a select group who secured control over most of the world's large banks, intelligence agencies and governments. The article mentions $240 billion of 10 year bonds which were fraudulently created on Sep 11th, 1991, a crime which was conveniently hidden by the timing of the attacks on exactly the places where records of the bonds were held, and where the fraud was being investigated. We conclude with some summary reflections on the lessons of the evidence presented and a personal call to move over to the Gift Economy.