After a forum recommendation, I read the following post on wage slaves and the Seeds of a revolution. The thesis is well known to readers of this site. In the Ancient world, most work was considered undesirable and best fit for slaves. The ancient solution to this problem was to own slaves.
Today we have developed a much more sophisticated system which accomplishes more or less the same thing. This system is called “financing” (sign up for your manacles at your nearest bank) and it’s made possible by [semi-nationalized] reserve banking. Reserve banking is a system in which banks can legally write unfunded checks under the presumption that their customers will not attempt to withdraw their money at the same time. You know these unfunded checks as “money”, bank notes and Zinc alloy coins. The system was invented to match the volume of money supply to the volume of production to avoid deflation. Now, writing unfunded checks is obviously very profitable which is why it is illegal for normal people. However, banks can do it and they do it every time they give someone a loan, that is, they credit his account with the money and they write a matching amount in as an asset. The bank now owns his ass, effectively, and they did it by creating the money they lent out of thin air. There are some legal niceties involved in that the bank does not have to feed or clothe this newly induced slave nor actually put him to work and manage his labor. The clothing and feeding is the slave’s own responsibility and this ability to self-direct consumption is seen as freedom. Consumption is even seen as highly desirable freedom. Ah, the juicy irony of this. The management of the labor is largely outsourced to corporations many of which are in exactly the same situation; they’re owned too.
Fun fact: The two items which have increased most in price over the past 40 years are housing and cars. These are also the two items that were the first to become truly financialized. They also happen to be, not coincidentally, the two items which are rejected by ERE in their traditional forms. Lately, overpriced health care (where most of the money goes to administration and keeping old people alive in intensive care for 6 more months) and education has been introduced as potentially much better solutions to financial control. Avoid student loans and take care of your health so you can go with inexpensive high deductible insurance.
Going back to the post above, the posit is that people will eventually figure this out insofar they have intellectuals to think for them. It then lists a bunch of intellectuals. I submit that it’s all very fine to have theories, but in the way the modern education system works, theories are mostly something that people have learned to memorize and use in-the-box. Sure, we can explain fractional reserve banking, but what’s the solution to system where CEOs make 400+ times the employee salary and then get bailouts when they businesses fail.
Here’s a book by some random dude that nobody knows which gives you such a solution.
The problems of the world are pretty much known intellectually. We don’t need more education, more study, or more intellectuals for that matter. We need for more people to pay attention.
The above-mentioned post speaks of revolutions and some countries, like Iceland, have indeed had a revolution, completely revamping the banking system. What, you didn’t know about that?
Now, how come nobody told you?
I don’t think it needs to come to pitch-forks and riots. Credit is very much a consumerism fueled addiction. For an addiction to remain viable, it requires a pusher and addict (the puller?). My solution is simply to refuse to play ball. Stop being a credit addict. Modern slavery is voluntary. It’s just that most take it for granted.
Kinda like how we take eating corn-syrup and GMO food for granted.
Over the past few years, I have noticed more and more, especially in the younger crowd, Generation X and Y, opting out of traditional career-consumerism. This may mainly because there are no longer any careers to be had—it’s easy to not like what you can’t have.
Actually we knew that—we’re down to “resumes”, which is like a career but without a pension plan or a plan for promotions—there are fewer jobs to be had. There are fewer business opportunities that are profitable because demand is down.
Without money/credit people discover there are other ways to live and that living without 5 extra bed and bathrooms and without three cars parked in the street because the garage is full of discarded toys isn’t such a terrible thing as we’ve been led to believe.
The best part is that opting out is an individual choice. You don’t have to form unions or demonstrations. You don’t need to convince anyone or get violent in the process. You just say no to credit for starters. If you feel evil, you can save your money and join the owner side, which I have done. You can also work to become completely independent of the system which I would like to (this is harder than simply buying into the financial system as it currently exists because you need to make your own system to replace it—this usually takes the form of a self-sufficient homestead.)
In conclusion, there’s really no reason to slave away unless you want to. If you don’t know you have a choice when it comes to slavery, excuse me, being middle-class, I can feel sorry for you—and this is a good reason to keep hacking away on this blog. However, now that you know, I can’t feel sorry for you anymore.
Originally posted 2011-09-01 09:24:54.