The God That Failed- The 30-Year Lie of the Market Cult The money to make a better life, to serve the common good, has always been there. But it has been kept from you by deceit, by dogma, by greed, and by the ambition of those who have sold their souls, and betrayed their brothers and sisters, their fellow human creatures, for the sake of privilege and power.
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Perhaps the most striking fact revealed by the global financial crash -- or rather, by the reaction to it -- is the staggering, astonishing, gargantuan amount of money that the governments of the world have at their command.
In just a matter of days, we have seen literally trillions of dollars offered to the financial services sector by national treasuries and central banks across the globe.
The effectiveness of this unprecedented transfer of wealth from ordinary citizens to the top tiers of the business world remains to be seen. It will certainly insulate the very rich from the consequences of their own greed and folly and fraud.
Milton Friedman's Market Economy
Beginning with Margaret Thatcher's election in 1979, government after government -- and party after party -- fell to the onslaught of an extremist faith:
The narrow, blinkered fundamentalism of the "Chicago School." Epitomized by its patron saint, Milton Friedman (watch video clip of Milton Friedman) , the rigid doctrine held that an unregulated market would always "correct" itself, because its workings are based on entirely rational and quantifiable principles. This was of course an absurdly reductive and savagely ignorant view of history, money and human nature; but because it flattered the rich and powerful, offering an "intellectual" justification for rapacious greed and ever-widening economic and social inequality, it was adopted as holy writ by the elite and promulgated as public policy.
This radical cult took its strongest hold in the United States and Britain, and was then imposed on many weaker nations through the IMF-led "Washington Consensus" with devastating and deadly results. (As in Yeltsin's Russia, for example, where life expectancy dropped precipitously and millions of people died premature deaths from poverty, illness, and despair.)
According to the (market) cult:
This was the cult that captured the governments of the United States and Britain (among others), as well as the Republican and Democratic parties, and the Conservative and Labour parties as well.
And for almost thirty years, its ruthless doctrines have been put into practice. Regulation and oversight of financial markets were systematically stripped away or rendered toothless.
Year after year, the ordinary citizens were told by their governments:
We have NO money to spend on your needs, on your communities, on your infrastructure, on your health, on your children, on your environment, on your quality of life.
We can't do those kinds of things any more.Of course, when talking amongst themselves, or with the believers in the think tanks, boardrooms -- and editorial offices -- the cultists would speak more plainly: we don't do those things anymore because we shouldn't do them, we don't want to do them, they are wrong, they are evil, they are outside the faith.
But for the hoi polloi, the line was usually something like this: Budgets are tight, we must balance them (for a "balanced budget" is a core doctrine of the cult), we just can't afford all these luxuries.
But now, as the emptiness and falsity of the Chicago cargo cult stands nakedly revealed, even to some of its most faithful and fanatical adherents, we can see that this 30-year mantra by our governments has been a deliberate and outright lie.
The money was there -- billions and billions and billions of dollars of it, trillions of dollars of it.
We can see it before our very eyes today -- being whisked away from our public treasuries and showered upon the banks and the brokerages.
Let's say it again: The money was there all along.
The money for all of this -- and much, much more -- was there, all along. When they said we couldn't have these things, they were lying -- or else allowing themselves to be profitably duped by the high priests of the market cult.
When they wanted a trillion dollars -- or three trillion dollars -- to wage a war of aggression in Iraq, they found it.
Now, when they want trillions of dollars to save the speculators, fraudsters and profiteers of greed in the global market, they suddenly have it.
This is one of the main facts that ordinary citizens around the world should take away from this crisis:
The money to maintain, secure and improve the lives of their families and communities was always there -- but their governments, and their political parties, made a deliberate, unforced choice NOT to use it for the COMMON good. Instead, they subjugated the well-being of the world to the dictates of an extremist cult.
A cult of greed and privilege, that preached iron discipline to the poor and the middle-class, but released the rich and powerful from all restrictions, and all responsibility for their actions.
Let these thoughts guide you as you weigh the promises and actions of politicians and candidates, and as you assess the "expert analysis" on economic and domestic policy offered by the corporate media and the corporate-bankrolled think tanks and academics.
You certainly will hear, when (and if) the markets are finally stabilized (at whatever gigantic cost in human suffering) -- the adherents of the market cult emerge once more and call for "deregulation" and "untying the hands of business" and all the other ritual incantations of their false and savage fundamentalist faith.
So remember well the lessons of this new October crash:
The money to make a better life, to serve the common good, has always been there.
But it has been kept from you by deceit, by dogma, by greed, and by the ambition of those who have sold their souls, and betrayed their brothers and sisters, their fellow human creatures, for the sake of privilege and power.