HomeCommentariesNewsSongsCartoonsLinks

9/23/2008

Greed Stampede

  5:54 am

To be brief:

Money is among other things, a form of power and a means to keep track of distributions of power.

Congress is preparing to promise to give away control over an enormous amount of money, hence power, in this moment of financial terror.

The value of money is not based on gold or silver anymore, but rather upon a widespread agreement or shared understanding that it has some value. In other words, there is a ’social contract’ of sorts that we will share power, resources, etc. based on the distribution of money. Our understanding of the value of money is like a language that we all speak.

Despite the tremendous inequality that this system of wealth maintains (and even exacerbates around the world), people generally accept this situation unquestionably and don’t perceive it to be unfair, despite the violent historical processes out of which the current distribution of wealth emerged (slavery, war, land theft, colonialization, etc).

This agreement isn’t working out very well at the moment. All the major investors are now fully alert to the possibility that all their assets will dramatically lose value. Soon the run on the imaginary money in the empty banks will begin in earnest, i.e., the greed stampede. In this extreme case, it can become apparent that money is basically a collectively maintained belief, a shared language of sorts. When the fear becomes strong enough, and everyone grabs for the pot simultaneously, this economic language fails and money has no value at all.

At that point we will experience financial anarchy, and a tremendous power vacuum will emerge, which would likely be quickly filled with some authoritarian military presence, martial law, etc. Perhaps some new form of temporary currency will be issued within nation states to coordinate production and distribution during the crisis, these could be called ‘coupons’ or ’stamps’ or whatever.

An interesting side point is that despite the crisis of a capital meltdown, the global infrastructure, material resources, and labor required to create all the things that people actually need and use remains intact. Perhaps that reminder isn’t very helpful. Even a perfectly functioning body can’t do any work when the mind goes into a coma. Would be nice to keep the heart beat and other vital functions working though.

Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress