President Obama: Nationalize the Fed and Create Our Own Money

We are all full of anxiety these days. How bad will the depression be? Will the bailout work? How will we (and our children and grandchildren) be able to pay for the massive bailout of the Banks and our massive public debt?

The new book, The Web of Debt, by Ellen Hodgson Brown, Stephen J. Zerlanga’s proposed American Monetary Act, and Paul Grignon’s 47 minute video Money and Debt present a persuasive case for the United States to exercise its sovereignty by creating its own currency, and for the nationalization of the Federal Reserve System. The fact that Wall Street banks are “too big to fail,” is a compelling reason, among many others, why they should be nationalized. These authors present interesting solutions for our current anxiety. They propose a way to abolish our Ponzi-like private banking system and to curb banker fraud.

Here are some shocking little-known facts from the sources here reviewed:

  • The Federal Reserve Bank is a private institution owned and controlled by private banks. It is a private bank that enriches its private owners.
  • The US Mint does not create our money. It creates about 3% of it in the form of dollar bills and coins. The rest is generated through computerized bookkeeping entries by the private banks.
  • Banks do not make loans only from money they have on deposit… Through what is called “fractional reserve banking,” They loan well over ten times the amount they have on deposit. This is how our money is created. It is created out of thin air.
  • All debt of the US, all corporate debt, and all individual debt are owed to private banks.
  • All money is debt.
  • Over 20% of our taxes are used just to pay the interest on our government debt
  • Banks are no longer limited to loaning money to make their profit. The 1999 abolition of the Glass-Steagall Act allows them to gamble in the stock market, the commodity exchanges, the foreign currency exchanges, collateralized debt obligations, and to buy and sell other banks and businesses.


Let’s use $10,000 as an example to understand the process.

The Federal Reserve Bank buys $10,000 of US debts called Treasury Bills from the US. Where does the Fed get the money? The Fed creates it out of thin air. This is the first bit of magic. This is authorized by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, and is a questionable delegation by Congress of its own power to “coin money and regulate the value thereof. It is the ultimate in privatization. It is an authorization for the Fed and the banks to counterfeit actual hard money. Other federal laws make this counterfeit money legal tender for the payment of all debts and taxes.

The Fed then loans this $10,000 to a bank and requires the bank to pay the current federal funds rate as interest. This $10,000 becomes a “liability” of the bank, but the bank immediately loans this money to a borrower, but in double entry bookkeeping, this $10,000 loan becomes an “asset” of the bank from which the bank can make further loans. Here is where the second bit of magic occurs called “fractional reserve banking.” The reserve is not gold or any other hard asset. The “reserve” is debt.

The bank is permitted by the Fed to loan 90% (or more) of that $10,000 loan to make a second loan of $9,000 which also becomes an “asset” of the bank from which the bank can make a third loan of 90% or $8100 and continuing to a maximum of 10 times the first $10,000 or $100,000.

The bank “earns” interest on this magic $100,000 created out of thin air which is the source of the bank’s immense Ponzi-like profit. A bank can earn more profit by borrowing more from the Fed and loaning it. This explains why the banks are so eager to give us credit cards.

By federal law, this money created out of thin air is “legal tender” and must be accepted in the payment of debts and taxes. The backup security is not gold, but “the full faith and credit” of the United States.

All of this is made clear and understandable by the video “Money and Debt.”


  • The power to create money is immense private power that exists parallel to our governmental power. This private power generates tremendous private wealth that is then used to control, dominate, and thwart our government and our right to govern ourselves.
  • The power to create money gives the private banking system the power to control our money supply. By curtailing the money supply, the banks can cause a deflation. By increasing the money supply the banks can cause inflation. As we now see, they can also cause a depression.
  • This private power is used solely to make a profit for the owners of the private banks. There is no public control. There is no enforceable obligation of the banks to serve the public interest or to meet public needs. We have allowed our entire existence to be dominated and controlled by those few individuals who control the banks that create our money.
  • It makes short term profit making the dominant influence on all of us and negates 2200 years of the moral wisdom of our civilization: “When gold argues the cause, eloquence is impotent;” “One cannot love both God and Mammon;” “Money is the mother’s milk of politics;” “Follow the money.”
  • More than 20% of our taxes is used to pay the interest owed to private bankers on the U.S. debt.


Professor Michael Hudson on January 30 in Counterpunch gave us a hint of what we could do:

“Bank credit is created freely. Governments could do the same. Indeed, this is what the U.S. Treasury did during America’s Civil War, when it issued greenback credit.”

There are many successful historical and current instances where sovereign governments have created their own currency.

King Henry I in England in 1100 A.D. created England’s money by simply dictating that England’s currency was to be solely wooden sticks called “tallies” with varying notches to indicate the denomination. The sticks were then split in half and one half was held by the King to prevent counterfeiting. The other half was used by his subjects to buy and sell goods. The King required all taxes to be paid with these sticks. This tally system financed the British Empire successfully for 700 years.

Prior to our Revolutionary War, Pennsylvania issued money for 50 years because England limited the supply of its money in the colonies. The King’s edict prohibiting the colonies from issuing their own money was a cause of that War.

The American colonies financed the Revolutionary War by issuing paper money.

During the Civil War the Northern Banks would loan President Lincoln money to finance the Civil War only at interest rates of 24-36%, so Lincoln caused the Congress to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to issue Greenbacks, paper dollars that were U.S .legal tender. These Greenbacks successfully financed the Civil War and remained in circulation for decades thereafter.

Stephen J. Zerlenga has drafted a proposed American Monetary Act.

This proposed Act is very useful concrete example of how the U.S. would create its own money, how it would work, and the surprising array of public benefits that could be obtained.

The proposed Act begins with a finding:

(1) The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 effectively ceded the sovereign power to create Money delegated to Congress by the Constitution to the private financial industry.

(2) This cession of Constitutional power has resulted in a multitude of monetary and financial afflictions, including an uncontrollable national debt, excessive taxation of citizens, inflation of the currency, drastic increases in the cost of public infrastructure investments, excessive un- and under-employment, and erosion of the ability of Congress to exercise its Constitutional responsibilities to provide for the common defense and general welfare.

The Secretary of the Treasury, following targets established by a 9 member Monetary Authority appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall directly issue all money, called United States Money, the nominal unit being the U.S. Dollar. This money shall be legal tender, backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.

The Act stops the creation of money by private banks. Fractionalized Reserve Banking is prohibited and banks can loan only the United States Money they actually have on deposit.

The Federal Reserve System (but not the local banks) is nationalized as a Bureau within the U.S. Treasury.

The United States would no longer borrow money. The Secretary of the Treasury shall issue United States Money as needed in lieu of public borrowing.

All existing money shall be exchanged for United States Money.

U.S. Money can be loaned to local banks which can continue to loan United States Money but with maximum charges not to exceed 8%. Banks can loan only U.S. Money.

The U.S. shall pay off the principal and interest of the national debt as they came due with directly issued United States Money.

The U.S. would use directly issued United States Money to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.

The United States could loan United States Money interest free to states and local governments.

It is contemplated that in the future United States Money would be issued to finance Universal Health Care and an Education Funding Program that would at least put the United States on par with other developed nations.


President Obama and his economic advisors can be encouraged by the fact that famous and influential economist Milton Friedman supports the idea of abolishing the Fed. For at least 300 years, the private banks have used their wealth and power to persuade governments to allow them exclusive control over money. They have relentlessly and vigorously battled every single effort of governments to create currency. The author Ellen Brown does not expressly claim that banks have resorted to actual assassination, but she does note the strange sudden deaths of many of the reformers such as President James Garfield who urged public creation of currency. The political power of Wall Street banks is currently illustrated by their ability promptly to get billions of dollars of bailout money with no serious debate. The banks due to their own greed and ineptitude are now near bankruptcy and collapse. They are more vulnerable now to nationalization than they ever have been. They have brought all of us to the brink of economic disaster. This is a strategic political time for the U.S. to create our money. The awesome political power of private banks driven by the quest for huge profits would be curbed. Public control of the money supply would unleash the government to meet our legitimate human needs as it has done in the past in our own history. If the private banks can create money out of thin air, there is no reason why the government could not do it. We would all escape our excessive debt and tax burdens due to the interest owed to private banks. If interest must be charged, let it go into the public treasury.

Doug Page is a retired lawyer for unions, a former Democratic politician, and a life long observer of government, unions and business. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Doug, or visit Doug's website.

81 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on February 7th, 2009 at 11:00am #

    The Senate and the thinking just in the last few day’s is still an old way of thinking. I will give many of those Senators the benefit of the doubt and say they are smarter than what they say and do. To me the best way to describe there thinking is child like. We have to get way past that if the human race wishes to survive. Policy makers and so called business leaders need to some how wake-up. The wisdom the knowledge the know how is out there but so far not used. In simple terms it looks to be the money and control of what is left. Tuff times ahead and somehow we need to get our voice heard loud and clear. The Capital as many people as possible one voice and soon. Who out there can get this started the time is now. These so called leaders can’t seem to think big use the knowledge so we have too. In front of the Capital a million or more to start. Who out there can get this started the time is now.

  2. Tree said on February 7th, 2009 at 11:26am #

    Bank A loans $10,000 to Bank B which is required to pay back Bank A with interest. Bank B is unable to pay back the money. Bank A then pulls out its contract with Bank B, points to the section on collateral and gets their money back through said collateral which Bank B has put up in order to borrow money from Bank A. No magic there.

    If banks curtail the money supply, they curtail their own profit.
    If it was not for this “Ponzi scheme” our economy would completely collapse.

    “There is no enforceable obligation of the banks to serve the public interest or to meet public needs. ” While true in some cases, it’s not true for all. The Federal Home Loan Banks, of which there are 12 that cover all states, have a primary goal of providing affordable housing. The Banks contribute tens of millions of dollars a year towards affordable housing grants and programs.
    And don’t forget the credit unions.

    “The United States could loan United States Money interest free to states and local governments.” What would be the incentive to pay it back?

    “banks can loan only the United States Money they actually have on deposit.” This would be a huge mistake.

    I can’t see any of these ideas as a legitimate solution to the problems we are facing.

  3. Paul Meyer said on February 7th, 2009 at 12:12pm #

    Really smart people have known for 200 years that having banking in the hands of private owners is madness, a true sorcerer’s dream. Keyne’s had a workable solution, with an international bank controlling international spending/borrowing, and each nation controlling its own currency within its borders–and carefully controlled flow of money beyond borders. That was the plan rejected by the U.S. at Bretton Woods. BUT–THAT plan will solve a GREAT deal. Socialism? You bet, in carefully measured quantities. Much better than the privitization of profit, and the socialization of debt we have now!!

  4. Max Shields said on February 7th, 2009 at 12:28pm #

    The “Depression” (or whatever we feel the need to call it) is much more than a monetary crisis; and it is much more than attempting to “recover”.

    First, it is agreed that the generation of US dollars is based on debt – loans made – through the banking system. That is a major and fundamental problem to be sure. But a national monetary system is problematic in and of itself – let’s not forget the US dollar as we know it was offically established in 1913 along with the Fed Reserve.

    Money only works when there is trust which is based on an exchange for goods and serves rendered. National currency is an abstraction which detaches the whole notion of balance of trade into an aggregate that is truly meaningless in terms of the conditions of “money” as I just stated it above. So it is not just the debt basis of American monetary system but the nationalization which causes dscontintuity in a functioning economy. Currency at the local level is a means of gauging economic health. At the national level it provides a pathology of feedback not related to any particular local and it’s balance of trade.

    The overarching problem, however, appears to be more than simply the monetary system – though the latter reflects the bigger issue. The US economy is driven by a host of faulty indices which have moved in bliss without regard for the collision course we’re on today. Those indices are harmful and must be jettisoned and replaced by indices that reflect human existence and quality of life.

    Lastly any economic system worthy of replacing what must be replaced cannot mimic this “above it all” approach to economics; that is the notion that human technology and the economic system is above the capacity of the planet and its ecosystem. Only an economy which lives within the ecosystem will serve us and provide the appropriate alternative to what we have.

  5. Tom Eicher said on February 7th, 2009 at 12:29pm #

    For those interested in the issue of monetary reform I recommend the book CREATING NEW MONEY: A Monetary Reform for the Information Age by Joseph Huber and James Robertson. It is available as a free PDF(378 KB}. It addresses the issues raised by Mr. Page in great detail and offers an interesting alternative.

    From the introduction:

    There is no better time for an idea such as monetary reform to flourish.
    The democratic state is being eroded in the face of global markets. In
    many parts of the world, concerns about market failure now have to be
    put alongside concerns about state failure. Issuing new money in the
    form of public expenditure enables the public purse to go further –
    whether for public transport, environment or regeneration. Restoring
    democratic control over how new money is issued is an important step
    towards a global economy in which unpayable debts are reduced and
    resources can be freed up for sustainable development.

  6. Max Shields said on February 7th, 2009 at 12:53pm #

    Tom Eicher,
    I get regular updates from James Robertson. Robertson and Herman Daly are all on the general same “page” regarding this issue as is Michael Hudson (referred to in this article).

    There is a confluence of thinking which is apart from the old school (neo-classical economists who geve us this debt/free market economy). These economists and other related disciplines are not part of the US system of economics as preached by our Presidential administrations. In another thread, Siglitz was the topic and while he gets part of it he is not about the kind of fundamental change required

  7. Rahb said on February 7th, 2009 at 1:18pm #

    Tree: If they care so much about their stated goals, balancing the economy and keeping housing affordable why do big investors still get bigger loans? why have so many people lost their homes? and why do they so adamantly oppose usury laws (even limiting percentages more would be something)? The current system has them constantly adding more fake (fractional) cash into the economy which you can see the results of in, pre-WWII Germany and current Zimbabwe. It’s all eventually self destructive profit motive and nothing else… The collateral of which you speak is also questionable at best, as their reserves are far less than their debts (so you’re gonna pay me back with your debts?) giving the option of bankruptcy or at least bankruptcy protection and either way the govn’t ends up having to pick up the slack with our/ public money.
    krap, I’ve been sayin’ similar things for years. Ideally the implementation could even be done, I think more effectively, slowly by using a tiered system. Have social currency, using a tally/ based on people and need, that is created and transparently monitored by the public in our own communities (with solid usury laws and recognition that one community’s labour is not more valuable than an others). The currency could be earned by getting educated in and working in the community; such as, making/ dealing with the currency, building green energy sources (wind, solar, tidal or non-dam based hydro, etc.), contributing to agriculture food and clean water distribution, building homes etc. -with a view to assuring that communities at very least have the basics, while also providing more jobs. The social currency could be used initially to pay for housing (electricity etc. could essentially be provided for free once the system is going/ we wouldn’t have to pay corporations so would be able to have more time to contribute), eventually allow taxes etc. to be paid for by it (meanwhile debts etc. can be paid off progressively quickly)… Luxury currency could be earned in the way that we’re now used to (which wasn’t always the way of it), working for companies etc. that provide us with those luxury items. In the meanwhile, don’t be confused by people who suggest metal backed currencies (I’ve noticed adds lately implying that silver, which despite appearances the US doesn’t have the greatest supply of , is the way to go) these are seriously flawed which is why they were mostly done away with in the first place. Because both aspects of the system changed at nearly the same time, there is some confusion about which one actually caused the problems – all they knew was that the metal backed system had to go, it was less using fiats and more privatization that really caused trouble.
    Again, corporations working closely with the current banking and investment groups like the World Bank Groups, (this is largely what initially funds and rescues especially big “public” and “multinationals”) are responsible for distribution of wealth (if not directly like private banking including the Fed and World Bank Groups, who’s president is put in place by the US/ representing more economic prejudice built into the system, than indirectly by determining wage and thereby product availability which also controls the types of jobs available in a community… large unions also affect those things btw.), big corporations often directly and, as above “indirectly”, control food and water distribution, resource distribution (oil, coal, lumber, metals, etc.) which also ends up strongly influencing wealth distribution, energy distribution likewise, and ultimately laws etc. They also often fund, arm, and provide propaganda to various groups (this is a particularly big problem in Africa) resulting in horrible conflicts that on the surface seem based on ethnicity or what have you, but on closer inspection are really again about profit motive. This means that they on occasion even determine distribution of life and death. These large corporations are called “private” industry giving us the idea that it is a “capitalist” libertarian system controlled by the people, but that idea is not accurate. They represent the minority being, the elite of wealth, and because of investor profit motive, not even that – but pretty strictly represent greed. My point is that they are unelected non-democratic governments (it takes 10%+ of shares to have management input, members that supposedly have a vote are blatantly outweighed and outside people in the communities where they operate have no say in how they do business aside from shooting themselves in the foot by getting the places closed, which doesn’t often work anyway – incidentally all of that also represents economic prejudice built right into the system), which faux governments are allowed, as “private individuals”, to be operating essentially illegally in all systems including “democracies”. So, another issue is that our elected governments need to recognize that problem and provide us as citizens, the means of directly and truly democratically controlling the corporations operating in our communities. That is the only way the actual values and needs of communities can ever be met by them. I can almost hear people saying, ‘people control corporations by deciding where they spend their money’, which means that they didn’t get what I just wrote – Take an example of a Walmart employee, working there as (again largely due to economic prejudices built into the systems, lack of education, etc.) that is what they are qualified to do, and that is what is available in the area (they don’t exactly have “emergency funds” to go without work while setting up their own community based stores etc.) So that’s what they have to do in order to take care of their families. I then ask the simple question, about the over worked under paid Walmart employee, who can’t rely on a schedule in order to pick up an extra job, the money from which would be negated by going to child care anyway. Where can that person afford to shop? Do you honestly think that they can even afford to shop at Sears, never mind higher end or more expensive community based stores?? I don’t work at Walmart and hopefully never will, but it doesn’t take genius or direct experience with it to figure this stuff out…
    Sorry for the massive long rant, I’d expand but that would require a book… I just think that in addition to and working with private banking, the above has a lot to do with, the current situation. Write to who you can, get active, make the public and government “authorities” aware of illegal governments operating in our communities. Remind them that just because these governments, calling themselves “private citizens”, follow the ‘laws’ that they recognize, does not necessarily make them legal or “democratic”. Peace.

  8. Rahb said on February 7th, 2009 at 1:27pm #

    Max Shields – re. “Money only works when there is trust which is based on an exchange for goods and serves rendered”, some people miss the fact that these “goods and services” as described by GNP/ GDP, in fact represent loss more than a solid ability to gain returns, which is part of the “trust” issue and it’s become pretty tough for some to trust the US… So not only does the economic system self destruct by ignoring the ecology system, it does so by working for loss mixed with greed (if that makes sense)…

  9. Tree said on February 7th, 2009 at 2:05pm #

    Rahb, there are many reasons why people have lost their homes including the fact that many, many people bought homes knowing they couldn’t afford them.
    As for collateral, smart banks, and there are a few, would not take debt as collateral, they would only take actual, solid collateral. Secondly, many banks still have reserves that are larger than their debt.
    As for the rest of your comment, it’s too goddamn long and I have a life. Sorry.
    I’m not necessarily defending banks, by the way. Just trying to inject some common sense as I feel there’s some misinformation here that contributes to the proposed solutions.

    Probably doesn’t matter anyway, we’ll all be using the Amero in a few years and bowing to the one world power.

  10. Max Shields said on February 7th, 2009 at 2:14pm #

    The economic system consists of a monetary, financial, production subsystem within the larger ecosystem – we can chose to ignore that fact as we have, or align our systems to one another, as we must.

    The GNP and GDP are pathological indices. Most nations have lost trust in the US figures – whether its the GNP, GDP or our phony unemployment figures. It’s a house of cards and so everyone pretends the naked kind is fully clothed hoping to keep the game going.

    Tom Eicher, did you notice on page 13 of the Robertson, et al Monetary Alternative the section on taxation – only land value makes any sense.

    This Georgist idea which has been in place in many nations – Ireland has been pushing hard on it and its in Australia, New Zealand, Singapour, Denmark, etc. and elsewhere – Pennsylvania as well. It is an ecotax and eliminates speculation and provides a stable economy where common wealth is captured to pay for public needs.

    These are the ideas which are needed (and proven) in order to change the collision course we’re on with this economy of endless growth.


  11. Rahb said on February 7th, 2009 at 2:33pm #

    Tree: No worries, only the 1st paragraph was really directed at you… re. “Probably doesn’t matter anyway, we’ll all be using the Amero in a few years and bowing to the one world power.” Sadly enough you’re pro’lly right. As far as loans etc. I still question how solid the collateral is in the current market… and maybe people bought houses knowing that they couldn’t afford them, because there wasn’t much choice – costs went up and people still had to move. Where I am, monthly rent tends to cost more, even for tiny basement suites, than buying a small house with a long amortization period. Fewer and fewer rentals include utilities… so-on… I’ll concede, that all-in-all this is due largely to people buying on speculation without any real understanding or education on the markets that they were “investing” in though. Where were those interested in keeping housing costs down? I partly have to blame Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump types for that too. Peace.

  12. Max Shields said on February 7th, 2009 at 3:38pm #

    Just one question, while I appreciate the gesture, why is this a request to Obama?

    Does anyone really believe in their heart of hearts that he represents this kind of change?

    (If it’s because he asked for public ideas, I think we can harken back to the start up of the Clinton administration when he asked the same and we ended up with a continuation of Reaganonics.)

  13. Jeff said on February 7th, 2009 at 5:58pm #

    And this is FINALLY coming to the mainstream! Read ‘The Creature from Jekyll Island. Only been around for decades. It is too late. This system was set to crash the day it was instituted. That was before 1933. That was before 1929. That was before 1913. I have been on this planet now for just over a half a century, and I am still surrounded by sheep. Your wake-up call is too late. They are now on to the next incarnation of control. Thanx a h@ll of a lot for nothing. I no longer try to teach the truth, you are all too blind to see until, as can be seen now, it is always too late. Your ‘inaction’ will put you deeper into slavery. ‘They’ will not educate you, and that is YOUR problem. Man, am I now p@ssed. While you all are running that way, I will be walking in the opposite direction. Been doing that now for years. May your days be merry and your future be bright. You all are walking straight into H@LL.

  14. giorgio said on February 7th, 2009 at 6:52pm #

    Ron Paul has been advocating the elimination of the Fed and ending the empire for years. These two simple measures would do wonders to restore America’s economy and enhance America’s credibility in the world. How much support has he got?

  15. giorgio said on February 7th, 2009 at 7:16pm #


    – Mayer Rothschild, the Godfather of All Banksters

    Could anybody put it as sinister and simpler as this?

  16. Tree said on February 7th, 2009 at 7:30pm #

    Thanks, Jeff. As long as you’re not bitter at things…

  17. Deadbeat said on February 7th, 2009 at 11:15pm #

    Marx’s critique of Henry George …

    Marx to Friedrich Adolph Sorge In Hoboken

    His fundamental dogma is that everything would be all right if ground rent were paid to the state.

  18. Deadbeat said on February 7th, 2009 at 11:24pm #

    Why Max Shields is dangerous …

    All these “socialists” since Colins have this much in common that they leave wage labour and therefore capitalist production in existence and try to bamboozle themselves or the world into believing that if ground rent were transformed into a state tax all the evils of capitalist production would disappear of themselves. The whole thing is therefore simply an attempt, decked out with socialism, to save capitalist domination and indeed to establish it afresh on an even wider basis than its present one.

    Max Shields the poser whose agenda is to divert, misdirect, misinform and disinform activists in the Chomskyesque tradition.

  19. Max Shields said on February 8th, 2009 at 6:45am #

    DB, again you misrepresent anything I’ve said. (Curious who it is you’re quoting by the way. It could be Marx who later got the whole idea..)

    If you look at the full spectrum of economists I’ve mentioned they do not frame their economics in left/right terms (something you find impossible to conceive, I know.)

    Land rent alone is not the entire picture. It is a very significant part of it. If you collect land rend (and that would be on all natural resources) you achieve re-distribution. The elegance of this approach is that it does not cause upheavals – violent turmoil. When every humans revolt and one group takes over from another, what we have seen throughout history is a mere trading of who’s in charge with the majority always outside the power-structure.

    The polity – living participatory democracy. The culture – cooperative and slower paced and smaller in scale. Economics includes rent on the commons to ensure wealth is captured to the public domain, all monopolies are by nature returned to the public domain. Commerce is done in a fashion that keeps the monetary system relegated to exchanges (would use the James Robertson model for monetary reform).

    I think we need to re-think the so-called “worker” identify paradigm. It will (and has in the US) become less and less a viable example of who we are. It creates and us/them. A preferred model would be workers’ cooperative whereby the worker is both employee and employer; and where democracy at work is the same as it is in the public square. (Yes, Michael Albert has devised this, but the workers’ coop is much older than his model.)

    There are problems with economies of scale which has given rise to the horror that is our global food system. Economies of scope will be much more aligned to a local sustainable economy, where currency reflects regional balance of trade.

    Land rent is absolutely necessary, but not sufficient.

    If that’s dangerous than so be it. Change, real change is dangerous.

  20. Tree said on February 8th, 2009 at 7:00am #

    Max Shields is dangerous only because he has that rare thing called common sense.

  21. Max Shields said on February 8th, 2009 at 7:24am #

    Tree, (:

  22. Max Shields said on February 8th, 2009 at 7:46am #

    Btw, Marx may have made those comments. In the end, it is Marx who is taught with Milton Friedman. In other words, Marx is no longer a danger to the neoclassical economists – consisting of neoliberals and free market fundamentalists. George unwittingly was a threat to both the neoclassical economists and Karl Marx. Why? Because the world was enthralled by George’s mind and work.

    If you want to know the roster of those who thought Henry George try Leo Tolstory (who dedicated his last book Resurrection to George and wrote extensively about land rent), Albert Einstein who thought George was one of 10 greatest minds of all times, Winston Churchill, John Dewey, and the list goes on and on.

    Kucinich and Nader both subscribe to Land Value tax/rent. A dozen Nobel Lauriate, Michael Hudson (Kucinich’s economic advisor and Georgist). He was a strong advocate of workers’ rights but approached the problem through the genius of synthesis.

    I recommend you read Progress and Poverty rather than snippets of Marx (who over time came to appreciate the genius of George.) That book is considered one of the finest works of literature and economics. It is the most sold economic book in history. George was a self-educated person, who felt deeply the problem: why does progress produce great poverty? It was this singular problem that reveals its answer in P&P and about a 1/2 dozen other books.

    I spent many years studying Marx before coming upon the brilliance of George. Before dismissing someone of the intellectual power of George, read him. You, too, may come to appreciate what so many others have come to acknowledge.

  23. Max Shields said on February 8th, 2009 at 8:04am #

    As to Marx’s initial rebuke of Henry George, it’s important to know that George traveled the world and took it by a storm with his economics on land. It was not until years after Progress and Poverty was translated to German that Marx produced his 3rd Das Capital volume on land that he got it.

    The brilliance of George’s land reform is incredible in every aspect.

  24. Jeff said on February 8th, 2009 at 1:52pm #

    Maybe some can clear this up for me. Was Marx of jewish origin?
    Thanx in advance.

  25. Max Shields said on February 8th, 2009 at 4:07pm #

    You mean Groucho? Or Harpo?

  26. Hue Longer said on February 8th, 2009 at 4:56pm #

    Max is showing a sense of humor! Having a nice day today, Max?

  27. Max Shields said on February 8th, 2009 at 5:17pm #

    But of course, Hue.

    A bit more on the man we should all know:

    “Men like Henry George are rare, unfortunately. One cannot imagine a more beautiful combination of intellectual keenness, artistic form, and fervent love of justice.” — Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)

    “For some years prior to 1952 I was working on a history of American reform and over and over again my research ran into this fact: an enormous number of men and women, strikingly different people, men and women who were to lead 20th century America in a dozen fields of humane activity, wrote or told someone that their whole thinking had been redirected by reading “Progress and Poverty” in their formative years. In this respect no other book came anywhere near comparable influence, and I would like to add this word of tribute to a volume which magically catalyzed the best yearnings of our fathers and grandfathers.” – Dr. E. F. Goldman, Princeton historian

    “I went one night quite casually into a hall in London, and I heard a man deliver a speech which changed the whole current of my life. That man was an American – Henry George.” – George Bernard Shaw, (1856 – 1950), Irish dramatist and Nobel laureate

  28. Tree said on February 8th, 2009 at 5:28pm #

    Jeff, the historian Paul Johnson refers to Karl Marx as the ultimate self-hating Jew.
    But maybe that says more about Paul Johnson.

  29. Max Shields said on February 8th, 2009 at 5:37pm #

    Martin Luther King on Henry George

    From the Georgist Progress Report website, here is an excerpt from Martin Luther King Jr.’s final book, Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community, in which King supports a guaranteed income rather than conventional welfare programs as the most direct means of dealing with poverty; he includes a quote from Henry George’s Progress and Poverty:

    The fact is that the work which improves the condition of mankind, the work which extends knowledge and increases power and enriches literature, and elevates thought, is not done to secure a living. It is not the work of slaves, driven to their task either by the lash of a master or by animal necessities. It is the work of men who perform it for their own sake, and not that they may get more to eat or drink, or wear, or display. In a state of society where want is abolished, work of this sort could be enormously increased.

  30. Ramsefall said on February 8th, 2009 at 6:24pm #

    The irony of change — that which humans claim to want most, but that which they are really most truly afraid to embrace. No doubt we’ve all experienced this dichotomy at one point or another in our lives, on one level or another. Inevitably, either with courage, or dragging feet, the waves of change maintain their ebb and flow.

    Jamais vous avez me contesté de ma question sur la raison …et de qui parle vous savez.

  31. Deadbeat said on February 9th, 2009 at 12:38am #

    While King extracts a quote from Henry George in his speech “Where Do We Go From Here” in that same speech here is what King as to say about Communism…

    About Communism

    Now, don’t think that you have me in a “bind” today. I’m not talking about Communism.

    What I’m saying to you this morning is that Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the Kingdom of Brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of Communism nor the antithesis of capitalism but in a higher synthesis. It is found in a higher synthesis that combines the truths of both. Now, when I say question the whole society, it means ultimately coming to see that the problem of racism, the problem of economic exploitation, and the problem of war are all tied together. These are the triple evils that are interrelated.

    Apparently as King quotes George regarding poverty he misunderstands Communism. To say that Communism forgets that is individual clearly shows that King needed to further his understanding of Communism. Communism as defined by Marx is the final stage when the “state withers away”. In other words the Communism is when society is truly free and doesn’t require the state. However in order to get to Communism there must be a transition when the state is taken over by the workers to serve the workers. That transition period is Socialism.

    King unfortunately was NOT a contemporary of Henry George who knew him best. Here is a link to Daniel DeLeon, the leader of the Socialist Labor Party of America and remark regarding Henry George.

    Here DeLeon’s concludes…

    Peace to the ashes of Henry George. A benign Providence removed him before election day, the day, when, had he lived until then, he would have suffered the crowing mortification of his life — the slight of the evidence this his inane Single Tax theory had dwindled into nothingness, and that even with the most absurd, loud and huckstering system of booming, giving him by the capitalist conspirators, and accepted by him, his name had ceased to be one to conjure by, and that his struggles to stem the tide of Socialism were misspent.

    It is clear as day that like with Zionism, Max Shields agenda is to sow the same kind of confusion upon the working class as Henry George did a over a century ago. It is one thing to analyze out the fallacies and problem with capitalism. What really matters is what is being offered as solutions. Dialectics is what is extremely important and what is being present via Henry George (as well with Herman Daly) are ideas that is sorely lacking dialectics. It is the failure to fully examine solutions that will only in the end lead to reactionary counter-revolutions.

    A case in point is Ron Paul. Despite being on the right side of the War in Iraq and being against the Fed, the solution offered by Paul does nothing to fundamentally change society. In the end Paul’s position serves to reform Capitalism rather than to dismantle it. The point is that while Paul sound goods ultimately his solutions fall short. The same is true with Henry George. While George sounded good about the problems of poverty his ultimate solution was not permanent and problematic. In fact it served to maintain aspects of Capitalism that would in turn be reactionary.

    The point of Socialist is to end Capitalism — period and to use POWER in order to accomplish this. The solution offered by George is merely an “adjustment” to the current order not a change of the order.

    As Tree writes …
    Max Shields is dangerous only because he has that rare thing called common sense.

    Tree remarks proves my point about the danger of Max Shields. She is exactly CORRECT. Because Max’s proposition sounds good it makes “sense” because the working class since the end of WWII has lost conscientiousness and connection wiwithin the context of REFORMING Capitalism. And if you think about it is rather ANTI-DISSIDENT.

  32. Deadbeat said on February 9th, 2009 at 12:41am #

    As Tree writes …
    Max Shields is dangerous only because he has that rare thing called common sense.

    Tree remarks proves my point about the danger of Max Shields. She is exactly CORRECT. Because Max’s proposition sounds good it makes “sense” because the working class since the end of WWII has lost conscientiousness and connection with radical working class ideology and can only view solutions within the context of REFORMING Capitalism. The dialectic is missing and and if you REALLY give it some thought it is rather and woefully ANTI-DISSIDENT.

  33. Deadbeat said on February 9th, 2009 at 12:54am #

    It is obvious that Einstein political education EVOLVED from when in 1931 he praised Henry George for in May 1949 he wrote the essay Why Socialism? and was a good friend and colleague of Paul Robson. Einstein’s essay on Socialism appeared in the very first edition of The Monthly Review.

    The link for Einstein thoughts and advocacy of Socialism below…

    Why Socialism?


    With Capitalism in crisis people are going to look for alternative. As Joseph Anderson pointed out recently people can seek false prophets. The other choice is for people to start using their god giving intelligence and being to THINK for themselves. That means the HARD WORK of dialectics or taking the easy way out via soothsayers.

  34. Earl Grey said on February 9th, 2009 at 1:00am #

    The problem IS the monetary system, and any type of monetary-based economy. If you check out Jacque Fresco and you’ll see that a resource-based economy makes much more sense. If we advance technology to the point of replacing every single human in the workforce, we can get rid of money. With the intelligent management of the earth’s resources, we can provide all the luxuries of modern life for every single person on earth. And since virtually all crimes involve money directly or indirectly, we can almost eliminate crime. With artists, scientist, and free-thinkers at the forefront of progress (not congress), instead of making laws, we find solutions. Eliminate the need to work, freeing people to be and do whatever they desire. With no need for money or barter, every single human beings’ quality of life raised infinitely. Sound to good to be true? Probably is.

  35. Jack said on February 9th, 2009 at 6:00am #


    The “dialectic” is mystical-hermetic mumbo jumbo. It’s the reason leftists have splintered, fragmented and failed since Marx was ruined by Engels.

    Rosa knocks it out of the park. It’s long, but certainly worth the read:



  36. Tree said on February 9th, 2009 at 6:28am #

    Deadbeat, I agree with what you wrote in your last comment. However, I do not support socialism. I think it’s the flip side of the same coin and would provide no solutions only more problems. Possibly we need a combination of socialism and capitalism. The least radical solution to many radicals but it might work. I guess we’ll find out since we seem to be heading in that direction in America, if we aren’t there already.

  37. Max Shields said on February 9th, 2009 at 6:59am #

    No, Deadbeat, my agenda is to find fundamental priniciples that work. No more, no less. Those who want to add voodoo are lost souls.

    We know Henry George’s principles work. We have hundreds of empirical studies that attest to that fact. What what does Marx have?

    But there is a profound moral aspect to Henry George that the astute ready will see time and again in Progress and Poverty.

    Here is a man, an American, and yet few know of him or his works, except the intellectually curious. I’ve yet to hear from anyone who has read his works and not walked away profoundly moved. This is a deep intuitive truth in his writtings. But, DB, you’d have to actually read them to understand this.

    You’ll find course galore on Marx in ever major University. He is no threat to the establishment. His works are simply clinical discussions. There are Marxist theorists at Yale, Harvard, the University of Chicago (that bastion of free market fundamentalism) and nearly all others. And yet there are no courses in these institutions on an American whose book on economics has sold more than any other on the topic (that includes Marx). Why is that? If Marx is such a threat to capitalism, why has he been embraced by acedemia but George has not?

    George’s work has been implemented, successfully, the world over. And Marx? If Latin America used George’s approach to re-distribution of land, the results would be phenomenal. In fact, there is a great deal of work going on throughout Central and South Americas regarding land value rent/tax.

    Henry George does not provide a manifesto or doctronaire approch to economics. In that sense he is free from “isms”. There are Henry George Institutes throughout the world. If you need to rely on politics to tell you which way the wind is blowing check out the Green Parties in Scotland and Ireland and Canada. FEASTA (The foudation for the economics of sustainability) inIreland

    But you have to be open to getting it, DB. That King was not a Communist is hardly an indictment on either him or George.

  38. Max Shields said on February 9th, 2009 at 7:16am #

    Deadbeat, false prphets – James Petras?

    Henry George is NOT a prophet. He was an economist and philosopher. He didn’t PROPHETIZE anything. He offered fundamental principles and solutions. As to prophets: That’s your man Marx who was all about crystal balls.

    Again, ignornance will only get you so far, DB. Read and learn.

  39. Max Shields said on February 9th, 2009 at 8:11am #

    I would also add, that while I think George has much to offer, none of the references I’ve made (including my own position) are wed to the ideas of one person.

    George provides a fundamental starting point. Economists such as Herman Daly, while including George in his economics of sustainability (steady-state economics) is simply integrating the ideas of George to a 21st Century realization of the dangers of endless growth economic)s (or as he puts it the “uneconomics of growth”.

    Within these and similar ideas is a notion of growth curtailment. The realization that we have a pathological economic system, with its pathology of corporate “person-hood”, global market high-stake speculative finance, it’s out of control monetary system, and the mindless mantra of “growing our way to prosperity”; has led to significant alternatives. That Henry George can provide a means of recapturing our common wealth without endless growth (in effect re-distribute it), and provide what has been acknowledged as an eco-tax to curb environmental industrialized damage, for starts, is not something to “fear” as you seem to be warning everyone, DB.

    It is something to better understand. There is no perfect system. George doesn’t provide a “system” or template for implementation. He provides some essential insights which are worthy of consideration.

    What I am suggesting is that Marx has very little to offer in these regards. Socialism can exists (did and does) without Marx. Getting past the “isms” is important. It is the “isms” which for a theocracy of thinking, of blindly following.

  40. bozh said on February 9th, 2009 at 10:44am #

    right, let’s forget about all isms and stop for a while (how about a century?)to define any of them.
    instead, let us observe what people do. doing this, needs no education of any kind; and, more importantly, all people can do that without any effort or will power.

    to raise well-educated children or to teach adults all we need to do is to tell them what we smelled, touched, heard, seen, and tasted.
    that’s all folks.

    philosephers, preachers, ‘teachers’, pols et al, as a rule, dwell on esoteric, verbal brilliancy, predictions; make ‘promises’; are casuistic, etc.
    and since no peasant cld understand these ‘lofty’ (s)thinkers, a poor peasant thought, Well no wonder i am a serf; i am so insignificant and stupid in comparison to jesus, ghandi, churchill, jefferson, st. augustine, lenin, hitler, sharon, einstein, engels, issaiah, greenspan, et al.
    there is no a priori knowledge; knowledge comes only a posteriori; i.e., experience (tasting, hearing, seeing, touching, smelling) comes first and knowledge only after experience.
    only after all that comes theorizing, conjecturing, postulating, assuming, etc. and that’s what jesus, marx, keynes, et al did or do.
    not only that clergy ‘knows’ before experiencing; their ‘knowledge’ is apsolute and true for all times.
    this is a recipe for apsolute (if i may use that term?) insanity which we now observe in gaza, iraq, afgh’n and entire planet. thnx

  41. Doug Page said on February 9th, 2009 at 3:05pm #

    My own comment on Henry George. I think his tax proposals are terrific as a fair way of raising money. The private ownership of land is a significant problem. We should own the land in common. In my view, the real crisis we face is caused by the fact that millions of us must work for private employers who seek to maximize profit by seeking ever lower wages. In modern times, George’s answer, like the answer of the Libertarians is: “Quit. Do not work for such an employer. Seek a job somewhwere else.” In modern society, there are far more employees than there are jobs, so in this game of musical chairs, many are left without a chair. George’s specific answer is “get a piece of land for yourself and support yourself.” That is simply impossible for the millions in modern society who need work. So, so far as I can now see, Henry George’s approach does not solve our problem of massive and increasing unemployment planet-wide.

  42. Max Shields said on February 9th, 2009 at 3:45pm #


    You have not read Henry George. It is best to say nothing at all than to make a fool of yourself through total ignorance.

    I don’t thinkl you comprehend employment. Employment to do what? For whom? To make what?

    And since you have not read George you have no idea what he has to say about these matters and a slew of other areas.

    What is a job? Should we all have “jobs”? But to be sure at the turn of the 20th Century the earth carried under 2 billion people, within a meager 100 years there are 6 billion. The planet cannot support this kind of growth. It can easily support under 2 billion.

    Again, you have no clue. You asked me via email to give your sources – that was 10 minutes ago. I complied thinking you were interested in learning. There is no way you could have read these Doug Page, in 10 minutes.

    I think DV needs to consider whether they publish stuff by someone who has not done his homework. Btw, where are your references. Do you grab it out of your arse the way you’ve gone on about H. George?

    Methinks you a fraud, dougie

  43. Doug Page said on February 9th, 2009 at 5:02pm #

    Max Shield: You are obviously well versed in attacking the man and not the idea. I promptly went to the sources on line that you gave me. Shall I send you the quote upon which I relied? You yourself do not answer private query to you about how you understand how placing land in common ownership would provide a solution to the labor management conflict. You change the subject and say we do not really need jobs. Please answer my question directly if you have an answer.

  44. Max Shields said on February 9th, 2009 at 5:34pm #


    I apologize for getting on you. I felt betrayed by your earnest questions and you sudden comment on the topic without researching it.

    I didn’t change the “subject”. You want to learn – it doesn’t come wrapped in sound bite – I know they stopped teaching learning in school, but there’s still only one way to do it. Read, think, write, discussion with others, test your understanding, read, reseach…and when you’re ready begin engage larger and larger audiences…but it seemed with your rush to put something out you skipped the whole process – of learning….

    I’m asking you to think when I say: what is a job? Is your aim to make sure everyone marches off to a “job”? Full employment? Does that mean when you write an article and submit it to DV you are employed? By whom? What made you write it?

    A farmer farms, an artist creates, a mason build firepaces or walls, a musician makes music, actors act, teachers provide a means to impart and on and on. Are these “jobs”?

    I think the question of jobs and employment needs more than a simple Marxist idea of “worker” in some industrialized plant with his/her lunch pale or in a suit and tie on the 23rd floor of some building.

    George writes about work, and he talks about what “land ownership” does to turn jobs into slavery, by working to provide an “employer” with wealth, while you receive a “salary” for time compensation.

    What is progress? And is it something that is meaningful? If so to whom?
    Why does what we call progress create poverty? Does the answer to this question have anything to do with having a “job” with having “full unemployment”? Not really.

    What George identified has been exaserbated, but massive industrializaition, globalization, and out of this world population growth and dependency on fossil. The problem is the same, but its scale is massive and in need of what George provides plus what some others are introducing. But to a person, all economists who understand the need for a sustainable economics use George as an integral part of their thinking and solutions.

    Again, I emplore you to read Henry George if you are serious about this subject – which I think we all should be.

  45. Ramsefall said on February 9th, 2009 at 6:18pm #

    I appreciate the information that Doug is sharing, but to me it read like a striking overview of Zeitgeist II Addendum, up to the part about the government creating money.

    Those questions which Max proposes about how to define workers, jobs and progress has merit. The workers are simply the people that create the wealth for the employer, typically at low wages and often in poor conditions; a CEO is also a worker, just very well compensated which provides much more incentive to return the next day. Outsourcing has turned workers around the world into literal slaves with little rights, if any depending on the country, while corporate profits have soared. It’s a sad state of affairs which in my perspective indicates absolute regression, not progress.

    The job is the work required to create wealth for the employer, thus sustaining the business in a monetary-based economy. No profit, no business, no job. The fine line falls between livelihood (passion based) and job (obligation). A true artist; composer, sculptor, painter, writer, etc, pursues a livelihood which often earns less than a job, which is why there are so many starving artists who are so reluctant to follow obligations in order to pursue their passion.

    I don’t know how this aligns with George, yet another target on my list, but perhaps Max can give me some feedback?

    Best to all.

  46. Ramsefall said on February 9th, 2009 at 6:31pm #


    great point you make about knowledge and experience, how can anyone really acquire any pertinent knowledge without experience?

    I work with high school students in Colombia who seem to think they know everything at 15-18 years of age, yet I do my best to let them discover for themselves. Because they’re part of the elite class (it’s a trade-off for me which I could go into at another time to justify the means, cause there is an end) they have never had to do anything because nearly all have house workers (maids, servants, choffeurs, etc, and treat the world as such). Even the simplest of experiences like cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, painting the house, working in general, is completely unknown to these sheltered kids. At times it’s quite pathetic the dearth of their real life experiences. Talk about dependency on others to survive.

    Personally, I would take experience over textual instruction, any day. Not that texts don’t have value, as we know they do, but that value is limited in comparison to integrating our senses in various experiences that open the eyes, the mind and hopefully the heart.

    Thanks for propelling me to once again consider the importance of experience for the sake of knowledge.

    Best to you.

  47. Deadbeat said on February 10th, 2009 at 2:22am #

    Jack writes…

    The “dialectic” is mystical-hermetic mumbo jumbo. It’s the reason leftists have splintered, fragmented and failed since Marx was ruined by Engels.


    di·a·lec·tic (d?’?-l?k’t?k) Pronunciation Key

    1. The art or practice of arriving at the truth by the exchange of logical arguments.
    1. The process especially associated with Hegel of arriving at the truth by stating a thesis, developing a contradictory antithesis, and combining and resolving them into a coherent synthesis.
    2. Hegel’s critical method for the investigation of this process.
    3. The Marxian process of change through the conflict of opposing forces, whereby a given contradiction is characterized by a primary and a secondary aspect, the secondary succumbing to the primary, which is then transformed into an aspect of a new contradiction. Often used in the plural with a singular or plural verb.
    4. The Marxian critique of this process.
    1. The Marxian process of change through the conflict of opposing forces, whereby a given contradiction is characterized by a primary and a secondary aspect, the secondary succumbing to the primary, which is then transformed into an aspect of a new contradiction. Often used in the plural with a singular or plural verb.
    2. The Marxian critique of this process.
    4. dialectics (used with a sing. verb) A method of argument or exposition that systematically weighs contradictory facts or ideas with a view to the resolution of their real or apparent contradictions.
    5. The contradiction between two conflicting forces viewed as the determining factor in their continuing interaction.

  48. Deadbeat said on February 10th, 2009 at 2:28am #

    bozh writes…

    max, right, let’s forget about all isms and stop for a while (how about a century?)to define any of them. instead, let us observe what people do. doing this, needs no education of any kind; and, more importantly, all people can do that without any effort or will power.

    That right bozh lets NOT LEARN FROM HISTORY and let’s NOT LEARN FROM THOSE THAT PRECEDED US who did the observations and devised theories that we can learn from and LET DOOM OURSELVES TO REPEAT THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST. That is exactly the agenda that Max Shields is proposing with his advocacy of Henry George to have workers to follow in George’s failed footsteps.

  49. Deadbeat said on February 10th, 2009 at 2:51am #

    Doug Page writes …

    Max Shield: You are obviously well versed in attacking the man and not the idea. I promptly went to the sources on line that you gave me. Shall I send you the quote upon which I relied? You yourself do not answer private query to you about how you understand how placing land in common ownership would provide a solution to the labor management conflict. You change the subject and say we do not really need jobs. Please answer my question directly if you have an answer.

    Doug asks the right questions. Doug realizes that George’s solution is inadequate to address the manner by which the working class is oppressed. For example in our information age what good is a land tax when billions can be made on stock speculation in an 10 x 14 office. Or that the relationship of capital to workers is the basis of oppression — world wide. This is why the theories and ideas of Marx has endured for well over a century and a half.

    Georgism is like “libertarianism”. Once again while both may have rhetorical flourishes and some great soundbites they are used by the Capitalist ruling class and some well meaning but naive members to advocate reforms that eventually lead to reactionary rollbacks. This should be the obvious lessons of Liberalism. Liberalism forced the ruling class to make concession but it kept the ruling class in power long enough to rollback much of the reforms. The U.S. today after 70 years of Liberalism has the WORST distribution of wealth due to the last 40 years of ruling class rollbacks because Liberalism sought to PRESERVE the Capitalist class.

    The Capitalist class also used Henry George as a tools to keep the working class from becoming conscience about Socialism. He became a necessary tools to DIVIDE the working class. George however did provide some means of education to the working class about their oppression. Therefore in many ways Engles saw George as a “transition” for the working class to gain greater conscientiousness of their oppression. Eventually however, from Engles, point of view, the his followers would realize the fallacy and seek more useful solutions to their oppression.

    The problem is that these lesson and experiences HAVE ALREADY BEEN LEARNED. Why learn them again. The ridiculous and inane remarks by bozh to dismiss HISTORY shows a profound anti-intellectualism among so-called “dissident” that it is profoundly embarrassing. It is this level of anti-intellectualism is why a Chomsky or a Max Shields can mislead and misinform people and caused them to make incorrect analysis by offering fallacious arguments. That is what dialectics are about. It is about thinking logically and understanding opposing forces and contradiction and establishing a set of strategy and tactics by taking such forces into consideration.

    I’ll conclude by quoting Deadbeat …

    With Capitalism in crisis people are going to look for alternatives. As Joseph Anderson pointed out recently people can seek false prophets. The other choice is for people to start using their god giving intelligence and begin to THINK for themselves. That means the HARD WORK of dialectics or taking the easy way out via soothsayers.

  50. Deadbeat said on February 10th, 2009 at 2:55am #

    Max writes…

    Deadbeat, false prophets – James Petras?

    No Max. You are the false prophet. Both you and Noam Chomsky.

  51. Deadbeat said on February 10th, 2009 at 3:02am #

    Earl Gray writes…

    The problem IS the monetary system, and any type of monetary-based economy. If you check out Jacque Fresco and you’ll see that a resource-based economy makes much more sense.

    Tell that to the RULING CLASS. The problem is Capitalism. I’d suggest to you to read The Communist Manifesto. Believe it or not it is required reading for MBA students. NO SHIT!

    Do you want to know why? Because MBA professors see workers AS THEIR ENEMIES. If you cannot figure out that we are losing the class war than your perspective will be limited to reforming Capitalism which will RETAIN the very ruling class that oppresses everyone. It is time to wake the fuck up!

    I’ll conclude quoting the prophet known only as DEADBEAT…

    With Capitalism in crisis people are going to look for alternatives. As Joseph Anderson pointed out recently people can seek false prophets. The other choice is for people to start using their god giving intelligence and begin to THINK for themselves. That means the HARD WORK of dialectics or taking the easy way out via soothsayers.

  52. Max Shields said on February 10th, 2009 at 6:06am #

    DEADBEAT – vacuous.

  53. Tree said on February 10th, 2009 at 6:31am #

    We have prophets on Dissident Voice? And false prophets? I didn’t know this was such a mystical, religious group here, I thought we were just swapping ideas and opinions.

  54. Ramsefall said on February 10th, 2009 at 7:16am #

    The same thought occurred to me, too, Tree. Self-proclaimed prophets at that. How has mankind managed to make it this far? Miraculous, really.

    Best to you.

  55. Ramsefall said on February 10th, 2009 at 7:19am #

    Chomsky has also been known to quote himself, the similarity is striking.

  56. bozh said on February 10th, 2009 at 7:35am #

    predicting ( foreseeing, prophesying) is not a human trait. no one can foresee anything.
    one can only conclude that s’mthing may happen.

    it is nigh impossible not to grab you by ear and haul you off to see a falling apple.
    how did you manage to confuse facts (including historical facts) with, let’s say, fascism?
    what an ism or study of it wld explain the massacre in gaza? psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, other facts probably can explain such phenomena.

    is there an elucidation at all about mad ‘jewish’ behavior? or the fact that judaists insist that only hebrews can prophecy?
    history was repeated in gaza but not by me but by a people who have learned little or nothing from it.
    it is a people who ignore facts more than any other people i know of that will, i conclude, repeat history many times more.

    seeing facts cld easily obviate future crimes. that’s all folks!

  57. bozh said on February 10th, 2009 at 8:05am #

    it seems you haven’t noted my assertion that we do not obtain knowledge (knowledge of history, medicine + being part of knowledge) a priori or beforehand as the lore teaches us but only after experience or afterfact.

    history had been experienced; bomb hitting buildings had been seen, heard, felt; its explosion smelled and even tasted.
    so gaza massacre is not only a historical fact (as thirty-year or ww1 wars were) but also a fact.

    in my comments of months ago i have stated that one shld study history for ist protreptic (for what it teaches us) value.
    i think this clarifies my position.
    i’ve also said that people shld stop attacking even other peoples ideas let alone people.
    instead juxtapose own. let’s not ape msm. thnx

  58. Tree said on February 10th, 2009 at 8:16am #

    Ramses 🙂
    I have to say, I do often enjoy the mystical aspects of life but I can’t say I see too much of it here.

  59. Ramsefall said on February 10th, 2009 at 8:39am #

    Mystical aspects are real and inherently valuable, but we don’t come here for mysticism, do we, Tree?

    After last week’s chock-full-of- bs-shenanigans with JA and DB, I question my presence here at all. Discussions are great, mulling over our differences can be constructive, but there’s also a lot of muck and arrogance from some who think they know every damn thing in the world, and likely haven’t been anywhere in the world to confirm their own assertions.

    C’est la vie, ce n’est pas mal.

    Best to you, Tree.

  60. Tree said on February 10th, 2009 at 8:45am #

    Yes, I often ask myself why I comment here. Maybe I should’ve just stuck to submitting articles and having them ignored by the editors 😉

    I just try to look for the more positive aspects of discussions here. It’s hard to find people around me who share similar ideas so sometimes it’s nice to read an article or a comment here and find common ground or be challenged.

    Oui, c’est la vie et quand meme.

  61. Max Shields said on February 10th, 2009 at 9:18am #

    The idea that the Communist Manifesto is(?) required reading for MBA degrees speaks to the heart of the issue. Why would a person being groomed for capitalism read such a doctrine? (I do question its general use, but give the comment the benefit of the doubt).

    If you look at how civilizations get built you’ll conclude that it is all on the amplification of human energy. That is humans are capable of very little in terms of physical energy. Animals, slaves, wood, coal, natural gas, oil have all played a role in the creation of a place and time.

    Fossil (coal/natural gas/oil) made industrialization possible, at least the kind of industrialization that we’ve come to know. There is a consensus among geologists and energy experts (and many financiers) that these energy sources (fossil) cannot be replaced in total; i.e., a collection of all alternatives cannot replace fossil. On the other hand, fossil as a source is finite. Net energy determines its availability. The better humans get at extracting it, the faster it is depleted. It’s the law, a law of physics that cannot be ignored.

    Technology is not a solution to this dilemma. Nor is efficency. The only ultimate solution is to drastically reduce consumption of natural resources, shrink the population to about where it was at the turn of the 20th Century, and transition to alternative renewable energy sources. The uneconomics of growth (today’s capitalism) must be replaced with a steady-state ecomonics of sustainability. Human life will change radically for the industrialized world as we know it.

    Marx doesn’t begin to deal with this reality we are faced with. In many ways, it is not a new reality. Civilizations, and particularly empires, collapse when energy sources decline. These human creations exist on the basis of readily available energy sources which amplify human existence.

    Henry George deals with this fundamental principle by addressing land (again, land is not simply the ground, but all natural resources). Because it is a fundamental principle it gets to the heart of the matter. It is not an analysis of capitalism or socialism or any “ism”. These isms are human inventions. Fundamental universal principles are not based on human fabrications. That is the genius of George.

    Read J.W. Smith for a view (along with James Robertson) of the monetary system from a Henry George perspective.

    The incredible thing is (aside from the fact that he is not taught to MBAs which is understandable because his work threatens the economics of growth that is the mantra of MBAs) that he is a genuine American thinker. A man praised throughout the world…a thinker who was an “everyday man” and yet so few of us know who he is.

    That is changing, but to dismiss him without even reading his works, or first attempting to wrestle with his observations, is tragic.

  62. Ramsefall said on February 10th, 2009 at 9:45am #


    I enjoyed reading George’s Progress and Poverty last night, intro and conclusion. A very sensible, direct and eloquent antithesis to the economic status quo…surprisingly literary in its quality. Thanks for the recommendation.

    The one thing I disagree with though Max, is that technology easily has the capacity to not only eliminate our dependence on fossil (if not at least drastically minimize it), and possibly perpetuate a more responsible approach to natural resource management. I don’t think we should look at the situation in extremes, such as decreasing population by 70%, although perhaps that is what’s needed most, I don’t want to make that call. However, without responsible management and oversight of said resources, we’re screwed either way, and now may already be too late. It’s all speculative anyway until a new approach is implemented either by force or by free will…the latter of which is most unlikely.

    Best to you, Max.

  63. bozh said on February 10th, 2009 at 10:22am #

    it is bad/futile to talk on and on about isms like communism, socialism, consumerism, but adding yet another ism, this time mysticism, just ‘mystifizes’ for me the isms even more.

    we have survived for, let’s say, 500,000 yrs having never ever heard about any ism.
    but once shammanism/mysticism/cultism (religion) arose, let’s say, 20,000 yrs ago we’ve had warfare, slavery, murder, serfdom, cannon fodder, abuse of power to this day.
    to go on for centuries or even millennia.

    interestingly enough, 5-10,000 yrs ago there may have been only about 100mn people on earth. so, there was ample water, fish, game, trees, and vast expanses of empty land.
    so, as far that went, we didn’t need to wage all those wars millennia ago.

    so, obviously shammanism (religion) was even then one factor in those wars as well as present wars.
    that means we had no truth. for it wld have set us free. but we had the damn religion, tho.
    and all hell broke loose. thnx

  64. Max Shields said on February 10th, 2009 at 11:10am #

    Thanks for the feedback Ramesfall,

    Henry George does not call for population changes (there was no need back in the late 19th C). The carrying capacity of the planet, according to those who can deal with human needs and environmental capacity would be around 1.7 billion. The incredible growth spurt (think about it over a million years to reach 1.6 billion and than a whopping 6 billion in just 100 years! That’s just incredible) has created a major dilemma in sustaining the species, not only the human species but many other forms of life.

    The point on all this is we can use our intelligence to do something about it or let reality come crashing down on us. It’s up to us to realize the choices. Population explosion was created by cheap fossil, which in turn gave us a cheap global food system. But there is a diminishing return on all of this.

  65. Max Shields said on February 10th, 2009 at 11:21am #

    Furthermore, on the issue of human population; humans are no different in many respects than other living creatures. Extinction occurs when a species is not able to adust its population growth to the environment’s capacity to sustain it. Sometimes, the species gets “lucky” and reduces it’s numbers to meet environmental capacity. Sometimes there perish.

    Humans have the added problem of amplifying their limited capacity to exist. Humans, to exist in temperate and other locations on the plant must consume enormous amounts of resources. As with other creatures, there is depletion. With luck another source is found. But with Western civilization (and now as it moves across the planet), the incomparable need for fossil has become the major thrust of our existence on the planet. With 6 Billion people we have become ever more dependent on that energy source.

    Our uneconomics of growth is not only about consumption, but about how many are consuming. The cheap technologies and energy has exploded the human population. Without the energy sources capable to support this growth, we could be doomed. Nature will in the end take care of this problem; unless we do something intentionally to reduce our strain on the planet.

    The dream of ever increased capacity through technology requires super-planetary resources. If that were even possible the energy to get us there is more than we have.

    We need to take what energy we do have to reduce and create a human society where growth is social and interpersonal and less material. We may have to migrate to places that are more accommodating as well.

  66. bozh said on February 10th, 2009 at 11:44am #

    i’m not against pop reduction or against maintainance of the world pop.
    am i mistaken in saying that it’s mostly rich people who want to reduce or maintain present world pop at 6bn?
    and why? and who is going to regulate/supervise it?
    the why can be easily answered: people in rich countries want to maintain their lavish and abusive life styles.
    the fewer people on the planet, more goodies for them.

    and who is going to regualate it? answer tp that is also obvious: rich countries headed by world plutos.
    in short, back to basics: interdependence and socialism for plutos and their supporters and independence/dependence and resulting poverty/death for the rest of us.thnx

  67. Ramsefall said on February 10th, 2009 at 11:46am #

    Only a minor deviation, Max — that 6 is closely approaching 7.

    “Without the energy sources capable to support this growth, we could be doomed.”

    I have to tweak this a bit by saying that without efficient and non-polluting, renewable energy sources capable of supporting this unprecedented human growth, we ARE doomed. As for our Mother, she’ll bounce back in her own, slow geologic time once we quit abusing her.

    As for estimating the carrying capacity of the planet in respect to humans, until a complete collapse of our species, it’s nearly impossible to ascertain. Once again, responsible management of resources with techniques to curb and/or eliminate pollution and caustic industrial byproducts, along with the implementation of strategic, intelligent energy production, is the key.

    Best to you.

  68. anthony innes said on February 10th, 2009 at 6:40pm #

    Any discussion of the illusion of money and fiat currency manipulation verses ecologically sustainable social order with out addressing the role of the Bank of International Settlements and the bank cartel it supports is diversionary gate keeping by naive dupes of the status quo.

  69. dogismyth said on May 1st, 2009 at 6:50pm #

    Hey, we all here know the game. And we certainly could offer up much better solutions. The central banks are a cancer throughout the world along with the IMF, World Bank, BIS, UN and other concilatory agencies like the WHO which dictate societal norms for the serfs.

    Every time I watch the news (faux) or CSpan, I see these windbags in suits that attempt to confuse us while they attempt to console us. They are crooks, through and through. All of them.

    Purge the system. That is what is necessary. Ban economists to some desolate island. Put politicians on a short leash. Restore the constitution with necessary amendments for term limits and zero contributions from anyone or any company. Bury capitalism in a deep dark cave. Restore our unalienable rights.

    We live within an establishment designed by those that demand control. Their rule is through complexity,chaos and confusion. We waste a large portion of ourlives fulfilling needless duties and tasks for our masters. Simplicity, common sense and humanity are not the norm, and are shunned by those that rule, for they cannot operate within a system of honesty and transparency.

    We must purge the system. Of all the evil and the evil ways that we have been taught to accept with our daily bread.

  70. Truthman said on May 1st, 2009 at 6:55pm #

    Very well written article. Easy to understand and digest. And someone may have pointed this out already and if they have, forgive me, but numerous leaders of our country have tried to change this. Here is a C & P for you to digest:

    Any President that Would Dare Oppose The Federal Reserve Gets Assassinated ….
    Rothschild agents in 1791 formed the First Bank of the United States but intense opposition to foreign ownership by President Jefferson and others helped kill it by 1811. A Second Bank of the United States was formed in 1816 once again by Rothschild agents and this time they secured a 20-year charter. However, President Andrew Jackson was also opposed to foreign ownership and withdrew the federal deposits in 1832 as part of his plan to kill the bank charter in 1836.

    An attempt to assassinate Jackson in 1834 left him wounded but more determined than ever to stop the central bank. Thirty years later President Lincoln refused to pay international bankers extremely high interest rates during the Civil War and ordered the printing of government bonds. With the help of Russian Czar Alexander II who also blocked a similar national bank from being set up in Russia by the international bankers they were able to survive the economic squeeze.

    Lincoln said, “The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity….

    Both Lincoln and Alexander II were assassinated. In 1881 James Garfield became president and he was dedicated to restoring the right of the federal government to issue money like Lincoln did in the Civil War and he was also assassinated….

    Years later John F. Kennedy opposed a private national bank and was assassinated in 1963 and Ronald Reagan opposed a private national bank and in 1981 an attempt was made to assassinate him. Coincidence or not the opposition to a privately owned national bank was a common characteristic. … Source

  71. Truthman said on May 1st, 2009 at 7:14pm #

    And so my point is this, President Obama or ANY OTHER leader puts their life on the line to change this arrangement with the FED. Ron Paul has been yelling it for years, yet he’s still alive and well. We are ALL waking up to it and I doubt that the oligarchs could actually kill Obama at this moment without a great national uprising. However, President Obama is very smart and I am certain that he is making NO MOVES without the proper prerequisite approval from these Zionist bankers. How else could he have been elected? They have controlled our electorate, media and congress for at least since November 22, 1963. That was the coup.

    I believe that America and our constitutional experiment was an exceptional and valid attempt to circumvent control from the oligarchs. I also believe that the experiment has failed miserably. Using the media as they most certainly have, and the propaganda that they create from government press releases, they have managed to convince the American people to rise against their own well-being. Quite amazing, if you think about it. Yet, they have.

    And this circumvention could definitely not have come from “informed” human beings. Hence, keeping us “ill” informed has served their cause greatly. Now, they are struggling to reap what they thought they sowed and it is not working out quite as pleasingly as they hoped, yet it IS working out.


    I don’t believe in God, as organized religion portrays him, but if I did, THANK GOD FOR THE INTERNET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  72. joed said on May 1st, 2009 at 7:49pm #

    there will be no great national uprising. amerikan people are very sick and will not do what needs to be done to get well. there will be no great national uprising. this very moment as you read this is what the amerikan people have and want and will accept. this is it kids. the bad guys won and you lost because you are very sick and there will be no great national uprising. there will be no uprising of any sort.

  73. Elena said on May 1st, 2009 at 9:54pm #

    joed, I would call it deep denial. Although all this information is at our finger tips people would rather live in this allusion that it’s all going to work out and they don’t need to do more than maybe vote now and then.

  74. Deadbeat said on May 1st, 2009 at 10:56pm #

    There are a lot of small and budding organizational drives occurring. You shouldn’t be so pessimistic. More can be done but until there is solidarity and and ideology that folks can get behind it’s not going to happen right away.

  75. pj said on May 2nd, 2009 at 12:04am #

    Truthman-great post.
    It’s been said that Marx diagnosed an illness-lack of capital for the poor, and prescribed suicide as the solution-no private land ownership.
    As for the fellow who wants to kill 70 percent of the people-what happens if they perfect cold fusion or something after your power thugs do the deed? “Whoopsie!!”
    Your understanding of Ron Paul is as limited as your utopianist arrogance is vast. Here is a profound quote-“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Newsflash-this ain’t heaven. You have no idea how many people the universe could sustain. You are a good little “activist”, but your agenda is straight out of The Protocols. Abolishing The Fed is a good idea-giving that power to the US government would backfire most likely. Giving the power to a world government would get you your population reduction, mon ami.

  76. bozh said on May 2nd, 2009 at 6:14am #

    movements and organizations of all sizes and set up for various purposes vanish or change, parties or a party for all purposes stays for a long time; changing with the times.

    organizations are by nature divisive; internally and externally. Multitude of organizations that exist, as now situation proves, have not contributed much if anything to human understandings, cooperation, peaceability, necessary education, etc.
    this may be one reason why oligarchs selves support many organizations.

    The ‘education’ in canada and US is horrendous. Such an ‘education’ [by media, schooling, advertising, movies, tv, political lingo, jingoism] is now preparing {‘teaching’} that use of dirty small bombs to kill ‘terrorists’ wld be justifiable.

    and now that pols are or appear to be frightened like never before, one can expect tightening even more the grip on control of the people.
    Pols are on defensive; cornered like rats; thus, even more liable to be erratic, despotic.
    Is it to late to start a party in US? I say no, never! But one wld risk assassination of individuals if a party wld be established.
    perhaps nader is aware of this as well as greens. Greens is just another org and with one purpose in mind and not all goals as a party shld have.
    basically, in US and elsewhere, one can have an asocialist [?fascist] and a socialist structure of society and governance.
    In US, the structures are strongly antisocialist; i.e., anti healthcare, enlightenment, peace, etc.
    if amers are unwilling or cannot change it, then that wld ensure that the despotic rule wld abide for decennia or even centennia.
    eventually some revolt wld occur. tnx

  77. joed said on May 2nd, 2009 at 6:14am #

    you lost the bad guys won. there will be no uprising and change will not occur without sacrifice and hardship. amerikan people are very sick and can not help themselves. there is a book, The Unconquerable World by Jonathan Schell. tells how to live in a police state. here is a site that will show you how other peoples have regained their freedoms. shows the sacrifice and hardships they knew were necessary.
    amerika is very sick and unable to make itself well. the bad guys won and you lost.

  78. bozh said on May 2nd, 2009 at 6:37am #

    truthman, very good observations,
    i’d just add that the basic change in US can be wrought ?only by establishing a strong second all- purpose- party. Orgs and movements are not long lasting; often singular; torn inside; almost completely innefective; approved by the ruling class, etc. tnx

  79. Rick V said on May 2nd, 2009 at 7:55am #

    I love how the author of this article has you all off on a tangent; arguing about things that don’t matter. This is about a “new” monetary act to be made law. Shake that yoke off your shoulders and try reading the Constitution and see what the original says.

  80. KingofthePaupers said on May 2nd, 2009 at 8:27am #

    Jct: And until you get money fixed from the top, how about setting up a do-it-yourself community currency.
    Best of all, when the local currency is pegged to the Time Standard of Money (how many dollars/hour child labor) Hours earned locally can be intertraded with other timebanks globally!
    In 1999, I paid for 39/40 nights in Europe with an IOU for a night back in Canada worth 5 Hours.
    U.N. Millennium Declaration UNILETS Resolution C6 to governments is for a time-based currency to restructure the global financial architecture.
    See my banking systems engineering analysis at

  81. HolySpiritBeliever said on May 2nd, 2009 at 8:38am #

    ” 6:3 If someone spreads false teachings 8 and does not agree with sound words (that is, those of our Lord Jesus Christ) and with the teaching that accords with godliness, 6:4 he is conceited and understands nothing, but has an unhealthy interest in controversies and verbal disputes. This gives rise to envy, dissension, slanders, evil suspicions, 6:5 and constant bickering by people corrupted in their minds and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness 9 is a way of making a profit. 6:6 Now godliness combined with contentment brings great profit. 6:7 For we have brought nothing into this world and so 10 we cannot take a single thing out either. 6:8 But if we have food and shelter, we will be satisfied with that. 11 6:9 Those who long to be rich, however, stumble into temptation and a trap and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 6:10 For the love of money is the root 12 of all evils. 13 Some people in reaching for it have strayed from the faith and stabbed themselves with many pains.”

    ‘NUFF SAID. IF this country returned to Christianity as it’s guiding force, all these problems would go away. Some say that will NEVER happen. The Book of Revelation says they and all others who argree, are wrong. God keeps HIS Promises. Are you ready?