I have reproduced Noam Chomsky’s rather long article because of its importance as an informed view of post-WW2 American/world history. In it he quotes ‘Harvard Professor of the Science of Government Samuel Huntington, who quite frankly explained the need to delude the public …… power must remain invisible: “The architects of power in the United States must create a force that can be felt but not seen. Power remains strong when it remains in the dark; exposed to the sunlight it begins to evaporate.”’

This is clearly the policy maintained by ‘the money power’ up to now, but recent events are beginning to ‘expose it to the sunlight’ – none too soon.

The latest issue of The Land (Issue 7, Summer 2009) carries a major theme of the history and effects of the enclosure of the commons, which in this country once covered the greater part of the country. The range of the articles also covers aspects around the world.

While it notes the advantages, for some, of this process, it shows clearly how these accrued overwhelmingly to the wealthier members of the communities.

This history makes clear the justice of the argument for land value taxation, although this connection is not made in the articles.

Also covered are articles on planning issues, especially on low-impact developments; and on permaculture applications, as well as two book reviews.

Subscriptions to The Land are £10 (or min. £7) for 3 issues, and these and donations are urgently needed! – [email protected]

Extract from, Wednesday 16 September 2009 21.00 BST:

“The cuts agenda is a brilliant diversion from the real crisis.

Cameron has managed to switch the agenda from market failure to public debt. If that sticks, it’s a recipe for a Tory landslide, by Seumas Milne

“Whatever else you might say about David Cameron and George Osborne, they have carried off a brilliant political manoeuvre. This time last year, as Lehman Brothers tipped the global banking system towards collapse, the Tories were floundering, irrelevant to the state intervention needed to prevent financial meltdown and hobbled by their support for the deregulation that unleashed the crisis. Cameron was reduced to bleating about “knee-jerk attacks on free markets”, as he and his shadow chancellor made the wrong call on everything from the necessity of a fiscal boost to the takeover of the banks.

“Twelve months on, the Conservatives have succeeded in turning the entire focus of political debate on its head. Instead of an argument about how to beat the slump triggered by the banking crash, all three main political parties are now competing over how to cut public spending and services. Cheered on by the bulk of the media, Cameron and Osborne have executed a startling sleight of hand, persuading a large section of the public that the real crisis facing the country isn’t the havoc wreaked on jobs and living standards by the breakdown of the free-market model - but the increase in government debt incurred to pay for it.”

Too true – and it emphasises the need for the Green Party to proclaim the obvious source behind all this diversionary debate: the ‘debt-money’ system which has caused the alternating booms and slumps over the decades, escalating the growth of debt, obscene levels of inequality and destruction of society and environment.

We urgently need the combination of

1:debt-free money, spent into circulation by the government which should create it, with an end to the banks’ priviledge of creating it along with interest-bering debt;

2: generous Citizens’ Incomes, to end the need for ‘full employment’ (i.e. wage-slavery) and instead create the freedom to choose occupation, as self-employed, in a workers’ cooperative, on ‘green jobs’, on unpaid by socially valuable persuits – or on family needs, etc.; and

3: change of taxation from effort to use/extraction of the ‘commons’ – i.e. Land Value and Resouce/pollution Taxation, etc.

I recommend you to request James Robertson to email you an ‘author’s copy’ of his article, “The Twenty-first Century Crisis of World Development – The Central Role of Money Values: a metaproblem”, which was published in a Palgrave journal – see below.

– Brian Leslie

“Beyond Economics” is the theme of Development, Vol. 52, Issue 3, September 2009 ( from the Society for International Development (

James Robertson’s paper in it is on “The Twenty-first Century Crisis of World Development – The Central Role of Money Values: a metaproblem”.

It recognises that we humans are now an endangered species and that:
“The way the money system now works is a metaproblem affecting almost everything. It imposes a perverse calculus of values, compelling or encouraging almost everyone in the world to compete to turn planetary resources into waste. We badly need to bring money values into harmony with ethical values, to motivate us to help each other to regenerate and conserve the planet’s resources.

History shows why the money system has evolved perversely as it has; and philosophy confirms that the assumption on which conventional economics is based - that values generated by a human calculus of value can be treated as objective facts - is an elementary conceptual error. But, even if we are committed to remedying its social, environmental and economic outcomes, we shy away from trying to reform it.”

The paper proposes a practical programme for money system reform as an urgent challenge for world development today.

In accordance with Palgrave’s copyright requirements, James (mailto:[email protected]) will be glad to e-mail a pdf Author’s Copy of the text of his paper to colleagues who e-mail him requesting a copy of “SID, Beyond Economics, Robertson”.