Until about a century ago the beauty of double-entry bookkeeping hailed by Goethe hovered over economic theory as well. This took the form of one of two theories that distinguished more lasting value in commodities from the price in the last market trade. One of these value theories � used notably by John Stuart Mill � mirrored the computations of the accountant � the cost of production theory of value added up costs and topped them with a reasonable profit for the producer. The other referred to the amount of �average human labour� that had entered the production of a commodity.

The mid and latter 1800s was a period of ghastly conditions in Europe�s factories � described by Charles Dickens in Britain and Emile Zola in France. The workshops had become infernos of exploitation of men, women and children. However, the workers were becoming increasingly literate, and drawn to revolution. A need arose for a less provocative theory than the labour theory of value with its strong overtones of double-entry bookkeeping in human toil.

That need was filled with marginal theory that identified value with the price attained in the most recent trade, and cast all actors in the economy as simple traders on a level playing field � from the unemployed to industrialists and bankers. All were deemed of such infinitesimal size as to be powerless to affect the market. This was done to be able to apply infinitesimal calculus which was confused with scientific method. The stern beauty of double-entry bookkeeping was scrapped. What remained was the manipulation of desire. The black magic of advertising, psychology and the power to misinform, developed to virtuosity in this age of �information,� did the rest. All players on the market, from the unemployed to the banking tycoon, were seen as just maximizing their satisfactions. If they had no job it was simply because they found greater satisfaction in the joys of leisure in their parlours than in the wages offered. How much more level a playing field could you possibly expect?

Price � i.e., the only recognized value � was seen as the result of the balancing of market supply and demand. The �pure and perfect market� looked after social justice.

In more recent years when financial institutions took over the helm of the economy, this was in fact improved on. The driving force in the economy today is the supposed �Maximization of Shareholder Value.� That dictates that the company continue growing in girth and profit at the rate already attained. For that is already transformed into present value and incorporated into the price of the stock. If foreseen profits even falters from this schedule, the value of the stock and the mountainous credit based upon it caves in. Only accountants can approve and even help design the tricks to avoid this. To reinforce their loyalties they were rewarded amply for consultant work as well as for auditing � two incompatible functions.

Until the double-entry principle is brought back to our economic thinking, the official enquiries on the Enron-AA scam will lead the world nowhere � even if the commissions of enquiry set up run into the hundreds. With theory that declares anything not bought and sold an �externality� � i.e., �off the balance sheet� � we have ended up with an increasing number of mega-corporations keeping a portion of their liability off the books. Significantly the public sector does just that with most of its capital assets. At this point you are up against the power structure that has profited from such arrangement. To deal with that will call for an immense amount of public education. That has been our goal ever since our first issue fourteen years ago. But never has the need been so great.

The Editor

�from Economic Reform, April 2002

Decoding 9�11

As Samuel Coleridge long ago advised, suspension of disbelief is the necessary state of mind for a drama to capture an audience�s attention. As entertainment pervasively supplants understanding in global mass culture, suspension of disbelief regarding 9�11 seamlessly operates by liquidation of the facts that ground truth.

The long line of repressed facts begins years before 9�11, most clearly with top-down blockings of FBI agents� investigations of mounting evidence of a plan for civilian aircraft hijacking and dive-bombing of major US buildings � a plan called �Project Bolinka� and known about since before 1996. These blocks on FBI investigations were so obstructive that the Deputy-Director of the FBI and its Director of Anti-Terrorism, John O�Neill, resigned in a career-sacrificing protest at the top-down interference. This was before he too revealingly died on 9�11 as the World Trade Center�s new Director of Security.1

There were also explicit warnings from the intelligence agencies of Sudan, France, Russia and a chorus of other international sources about the coming 9�11 attack. There were even statements by �Israeli members of the intelligence community in the US� that they knew of the attack beforehand � reports which were not denied by US Secretary of State Powell when the question arose in a press conference which I observed on December 18. Perhaps most remarkably, there had been direct warnings from the Republican Party�s own past Chief Investigative Council for the House Judiciary Committee to the closed decision circuits of Congress and the Bush administration. Representing FBI special agents suing the US Justice Department (along with Washington-DC Judicial Watch), David Philip Schippers reported in Houston on October 10 on the �Alex Jones Talk Show� that these agents knew of a plan of bin Laden�s network to attack Lower Manhattan with �commercial airlines as bombs� long before 9�11, but were blocked from investigative and preventative action by FBI and US Justice Department command, and threatened with prosecution under the National Security Act if they published this information. Attorney-General Ashcroft himself, reports Schippers, refused to return calls on this matter to his fellow senior Republican for four weeks before 9�11.

The Inner Logic of Decision

The mass media, dominantly owned by military-industrial and infotainment corporations, declined to report any of these facts. The inner logic of the shared value ground and decision structure operating under the deadly phenomena of �America�s War against Terrorism� runs deeper and wider the more one looks. In the world of forgotten fact, US logistical and financial support of terrorist networks and narcotic-financed �wars of liberation� from Afghanistan to Kosovo had been systematically fomenting chaos for well over a decade before 9�11 � the distinguishing strategy of this empire�s movement of military-political perimeters across borders. In this case, it involved the CIA�s partnership with Pakistan�s Intelligence Services (ISI) in financing and training al Qaeda, the Taliban and the Afghanistan-based terrorist camps. The ISI�s commander in chief, Lt. General Mahmoud Ahmad was, in another moment of this offstage decision structure, visiting Washington the week preceding 9�11, and is known to have ordered that $100,000 be wired to the lead WTC hijacker, Mohammed Atta before that. These facts do not fit �the