A Discussion: The PROUT Clue to the Financial Crisis

(July 2012) – As the banking crisis unfolds, the world shudders in horrified wonder as to its realities: Players at the top in the loans and investments industry have systematically plundered our wallets to the tune of trillions and trillions of dollars.

And when they announce bankruptcy on top of that, governments simply extend their full support by giving them even more trillions of taxpayers’ money.

This is the only game of Monopoly where the biggest cheaters and losers win every time. The bailouts of banks are nothing short of giving criminals prize-money for first having carried out the biggest robbery in world history and then imploring them to continue.

Still, the ruling dogma remains: “They’re too big to fail! How can we do without our banks?” And so pundits and columnists around the world are asking: How can we change the corrupt banking and corporate culture?

Which is a bit like asking: How do we protect our home now that we’ve finally given the mafia the entrance key and, in case they lose it, always keep our back door open?

Our reply: Forget that “banking culture”, it’s irrelevant for now. First of all we must disarm the exploiters of their lethal weapons and transfer power to those who do not just think about burgling, swindling and knocking others out economically 24/7.

– And where do we find such noble people who do not always think in terms of burglary, swindle and economic violence, you may ask?

– Well, you’re looking at one and there are many more of us out there. Give us the keys to our own home! Put the reins of the real economy in the hands of those of us who depend directly on it for our upkeep and future fortunes! Don’t let the economy be a plaything in the hands of outsiders anymore!

– Thanks for the lovely slogans but isn’t that communism: The people running the economy?

– Utterly wrong. Communism is robbery too: A few get rich in the name of the state while most people end up poor – state capitalism. A real people’s economy means decentralization [link]. We need to delegate economic initiative and influence throughout society, not just concentrate in one high place, the bank.

– Oh, but wouldn’t that be capitalism; opportunity for everyone?

– Wrong again. Capitalism also means economic centralization. Capitalism professes decentralization of opportunity but effectively bars the 99% of us from the pursuit of economic fortune. The difference between capitalism and traditional socialism is that the former is centralization of wealth into a few private hands while the latter is controlled by a few public hands. We don’t want economic centralization in any form or shape.

– No more banks then???

– Of course we need lots and lots of banks, but different banks from the profit-hungry organizations that are plundering us today. Instead banks should take the form of cooperatives directly linked to productive cooperative endeavors – agricultural, producers, consumers, service, etc., cooperatives.

– Cooperative banks? They don’t make profits.

– That’s what you may think but most of them do very well actually. The idea here however is that they should make just enough profits to pay their own bills. Profits should not be their main objective. Banks should serve the markets and not try to own them.

– How do you do that?

PROUT’s first fundamental principle answers that.

– Uhmm, but if there would be nothing much to earn in banking, who would take an interest?

– In running banks you mean? Plenty of people would! Those who need finance would see to it themselves. You might end up wanting to help run one too. You may read more about it on this site.

– No banks at the top anymore then?

– Yes, banks should be subordinate to people’s economic interests and not the other way around. If we want something else rather than unbridled accumulation at the cost of others we need to do something about the economic structure and not about “the banking culture”.

– How about the stock exchanges?

– Those speculative casinos and generators of greed have no place in human society and should be closed down first of all.

– Are you out of your … !

– End of discussion. / t.ö.

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