Debt and Democracy: Has the Link been Broken?

“Book V of Aristotle’s Politics describes the eternal transition of oligarchies making themselves into hereditary aristocracies – which end up being overthrown by tyrants or develop internal rivalries as some families decide to “take the multitude into their camp” and usher in democracy, within which an oligarchy emerges once again, followed by aristocracy, democracy, and so on throughout history.

 “Debt has been the main dynamic driving these shifts – always with new twists and turns. It polarizes wealth to create a creditor class, whose oligarchic rule is ended as new leaders (“tyrants” to Aristotle) win popular support by cancelling the debts and redistributing property or taking its usufruct for the state.

 “Since the Renaissance, however, bankers have shifted their political support to democracies. This did not reflect egalitarian or liberal political convictions as such, but rather a desire for better security for their loans. As James Steuart explained in 1767, royal borrowings remained private affairs rather than truly public debts.[1] For a sovereign’s debts to become binding upon the entire nation, elected representatives had to enact the taxes to pay their interest charges.

 “By giving taxpayers this voice in government, the Dutch and British democracies provided creditors with much safer claims for payment than did kings and princes whose debts died with them. But the recent debt protests from Iceland to Greece and Spain suggest that creditors are shifting their support away from democracies. They are demanding fiscal austerity and even privatization sell-offs.

 “This is turning international finance into a new mode of warfare. Its objective is the same as military conquest in times past: to appropriate land and mineral resources, communal infrastructure and extract tribute. In response, democracies are demanding referendums over whether to pay creditors by selling off the public domain and raising taxes to impose unemployment, falling wages and economic depression. The alternative is to write down debts or even annul them, and to re-assert regulatory control over the financial sector.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28076

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Pulling Back the Curtain on the Wall Street Money Machine

“On November 27, Bloomberg News reported the results of its successful case to force the Federal Reserve to reveal the lending details of its 2008-09 bank bailout.  Bloomberg reported that by March 2009, the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion in below-market loans and guarantees to rescuing the financial system; and that these nearly interest-free loans came without strings attached.

“The Fed insisted that the loans were repaid and there have been no losses, but the Bloomberg report said the banks reaped a $13 billion windfall in profits; and “details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger.””

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28109

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Russia Urges Verification Powers be Added to Bioweapons Treaty Regime

“Russia would like to see a mandatory verification system established for the Biological Weapons Convention to ensure that member nations are abiding by their obligations not to develop or store disease materials for offensive purposes, ITAR-Tass reported on Wednesday …

“The United States does not support a binding verification mechanism, partly on the grounds that the biological science research community is too diffuse and complex for such a regime to be practical. Speaking at the conference yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged that the pact’s annual reporting section instead be amended to “ensure that each party is answering the right questions, such as what we are each all doing to guard against the misuse of biological materials.”

http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20111208_7788.php

Apparently all they have to do is inspect Sierra Army depot and see whether a contractor’s report of seeing large vats of liquid is true.

 

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GMO Junk in “Organic” Infant Formula

“One of the most vulnerable segments of the population — infants — are being affected as chemical giant Martek Biosciences uses cronyism to have its patented GMO products classified as organic. The National Organic Program is trying to correct this, but in the meantime the “organic” infant formula or baby food parents feed their children could contain industrial Frankenfood.”

http://www.naturalnews.com/034364_infant_formula_DHA_genetically_modified.html

Formula has always been junk food for babies.  This is just one more reason to avoid it.

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War on Syria Secret Base Gets a Bit More Exposure

“18 days ago, on November 21, here at Boiling Frogs Post, I reported on the ongoing joint US-NATO secret training camp in the US air force base in Incirlik, Turkey, which began operations in April- May 2011 to organize and expand the dissident base in Syria. I had received the information for that story from multiple sources including highly credible insiders in Turkey and government insiders here in the US. You can read the story here.”

http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2011/12/09/war-on-syria-cover-up-update-who-is-breaking-the-blackout/

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Neoliberalism, “Regime Change” and NATO’s “Humanitarian Wars”

“First in Global Research’s Interactive Reader Series, we bring to the attention of our readers a collection of Global Research articles on the “Arab Spring”, covering recent developments in several countries across the Middle East and North Africa region. The Interactive Reader is a collection of previously published articles on Global Research. Its objective is to provide an overview as well as a comparative understanding of country-level experiences of the upheavals.

“This selection of articles is intended to dispel the notion that the “Arab Spring” is just a pro-democracy movement spreading spontaneously from country to country, opening the way to a meaningful change in the political and economic landscape. The term “Arab Spring” is itself a Western-imposed term conjured up by people who appear to have little understanding of the complexities and realities of the region.

“The double-standards of the U.S. and the European Union have become visible during the course of these tumultuous events. Both the US and the EU have kept silent about the brutal repression of unarmed civilian protesters in the Persian Gulf sheikhdoms, such as Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, while, by contrast, the Western powers have vehemently pushed for conflict with Libya and Syria.

“America is no “role model” of democratization for the Arab World, comprising some 22 countries with a combined population of 300 million. US military presence imposed on Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and other Arab countries over decades, coupled with Washington-inspired “free market” reforms, are the root cause of state violence.

“Washington’s agenda for Egypt and Tunisia was to hijack the protest movement; what prevails in Egypt is the maintenance of a de facto military regime. In Tunisia, following the October 2011 parliamentary elections, the neoliberal policy framework remains unscathed.

“From Washington’s standpoint, regime replacement no longer requires the installation of authoritarian military rulers, as in the heyday of US imperialism. Regime change can be implemented by co-opting political parties, financing civil society groups, infiltrating the protest movement, and by manipulating national elections.

“The ultimate objective is to sustain the interests of foreign powers and to uphold the “Washington consensus” of the IMF/World Bank economic agenda that has served to impoverish millions throughout the Arab World and beyond. “

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27884

Coming soon to a country near you.

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Third world, here we come

Shocking Charts And Statistics That Prove That America Is No Longer A Wealthy Nation

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/shocking-charts-and-statistics-that-prove-that-america-is-no-longer-a-wealthy-nation

But it’s all just a terrible accident.  Or just random corruption.  Or maybe it’s just the invisible hand of the “free market”.  None of the above.  It’s the fruit of plans that were laid down in the ’80s and before.

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