I have to be honest here. I don’t understand all the stuff coming across the news media about short selling and bank collapses, but I do understand this. There is a lot of money somewhere in the world and it is produced by the people who work, not the people who own the places where we work. Another thing I understand is that the people who work (taxpayers) just had several hundred million dollars that they paid in taxes lifted from the treasury and handed to a few banks and corporations. Now, mind you, that money wasn’t given to the people who work in those banks or for those corporations. No, it was given to the owners and top executives of those banks and corporations so that they could get the economy going. How I understand this little money motion is that banks loan money to corporation so they can make their payrolls and other such debts, which in turn guarantees continued production which in turn allows for continued consumption by people around the world who have money and credit to buy the goods produced.
Yet, for some reason the money isn’t moving and people are losing their jobs right and left while the owners and executives of the banks and corporations are whining in the media and crying to Congress that they need more taxpayer dollars. Why isn’t that money moving? Because the banks are holding on to it instead of lending it. So, after years of manipulating money and credit lines, the banks that got rich from the unregulated free market trough set up by Congress and the rest of the
Fortunately for working
If capitalism has reached this rubicon, the possibilities for the future expand tremendously. Imagine working in a place where there is no owner and no management other than you and your fellow workers. If one recalls Argentina in 2001, they will remember television video of young people in the streets of the country’s cities blocking traffic and liberating food and other supplies. They will recall a government collapsing under the weight of its own lies and belief in the IMF model of capitalism. They will also remember scenes of panicked middle-class Argentinians lining up outside banks in the hope that their money would be returned to them and that it would have some value if it was returned.
These scenes were only one part of the story in the wake of Argentina’s economic collapse. There were other tales of people setting up their own methods of food distribution and resource management. There were tales of popular assemblies organizing the delivery of essentials like fuel and shelter. There were questions in the international capitalist media of how the global capitalists would recover their losses and if the collapse would spread to other nations that subscribed to the same debt-laden economic model. This same media had little sympathy for the plight of the working Argentinians, only concerns for the plight of the capitalists’ money.
Or, as the Lavaca Collectiva writes in its poetic introduction to their book Sin Patron: “In ages favorable to impostors, it’s prime time for business interests to masquerade as public opinion. Lobbyists honk their own horns in hopes of blocking news traffic…. And the media we have to help us interpret (these times) is really a pill that causes impotence.” They continue writing, encouraging the reader to reject this formula. “The limit of all predictions,” they write. “is what people are capable are doing.” This is the crux of this book and the stories therein. Just as the Argentinian collapse of 2001 should have been a lesson for the capitalists on Wall Street and other money capitals, the response of the workers in Argentina and their brothers and sisters in Chicago’s Republic Doors and Windows are equally instructive to those of us earning a living by working for someone else anywhere on the planet.
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