The DVD, Money as Debt, reviewed in the last issue, has been well received by those known to me who have viewed it; it has done a good job of the difficult one of ‘opening eyes’ to this vital issue. This emphasizes to me the truth in Keynes’ introductory remark in The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money: "The ideas [which are here expressed so labouriously] are extremely simple and should be obvious. The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds." (J M Keynes, 1936).
The truth of this observation has been obvious to me since my youth, in relation to the issue of the nature and implications of the way our money is created and distributed. The myths about it promoted by those who benefit from it are all-pervasive – and Keynes himself remained a victim of them.
Much progress was made in the 1920s and ‘30s in challenging the myths, including the myth of the possibility and desirability of eternal ‘economic growth’, but the issue was removed from public debate during the last World War, and has only in the last couple of decades started to regain the attention of thinking people, as the destructive effects of the exponentially growing levels of debt worldwide inevitably thrust themselves onto public notice. (E.g. personal debt in the UK now exceeds £1.2 trillion!)
Since my last attempt to get a motion on this passed at Green Party Conference, last Spring, failed by a narrow margin, I hope that all who have ‘seen the light’ will get hold of this DVD and, if Party members, get the fellow-members of their Local Party, and as many others as they can, to view it, and then to support the next motion, which cannot be until Spring 2008. By then, I hate to think how much more avoidable damage will have been done to society and our environment, even if the ‘economy’ has still managed to avoid a crash due to the escalating levels of debt, or to ‘peak oil’, or to its built-in distortions of purpose or what further wars may have been started to justify further growth of government debt in the name of ‘national security’, and to capture more of the dwindling resources.
The growing recognition of the urgency of change from the everlasting ‘economic growth’ required to avoid collapse of ‘the economy’ to rapid ‘economic contraction’ to minimise the future devastation due to global warming makes recognition of the need for the reform of our debt-generating money system, and so campaigning for it, top priority.
I have nearly sold-out of the first batch of these DVDs, but can take orders to await arrival of a further bulk-order, which I will place as soon as I have a few more orders for it – at £8.50 inc. p&p.
I have been criticised from time to time for my emphasis on monetary reform in this newsletter; I make no apology for this. The further I have read and debated the issue, the clearer it becomes that it is the ultimate, and most urgent, issue behind all the others plaguing this world due to mankind’s activities – allied as it is to the issues of greed, privilege and power.
However, I also try to cover a wide range of other issues, particularly those of land and resource taxation and Citizens’ Incomes, also needed to achieve a more equitable sharing of wealth as a fundamental requirement for development of a life-sustaining future. What material I find to cover these issues, though, could be improved by more input from readers. – Many thanks to those few who supply this from time to time!
– Brian Leslie