I’d never heard of Buddhist Economists or the Bancor currency. Umair Haque has, though.
After World War II, the US and UK got together to design a global economic system to prevent the very mistakes that caused that catastrophe. Today we have just a superficial understanding of political economy: we think in binary terms of either “hate” or “economic anxiety”. Then, figures like the great JM Keynes had a more nuanced understanding of political economy. They knew that stagnant economies are like amplifiers of a society’s latent rage — that poverty feeds hate with anger. And so the point of the system that Keynes hoped to design was to prevent imbalances between nations — that is, one nation owing too much to another, thus causing onerous debt repayments, which are essentially what drove the German economy into the ground, and led to world war and holocaust.
To prevent all that, Keynes — along with the equally brilliant founder of Buddhist Economics (yes, really), EF Schumacher — proposed something really radical, revolutionary, beautiful, transformative. History’s first ultranational currency, Bancor. Bancor wasn’t a currency that you or I could hold: only governments could hold it, only gold could be exchanged for it, only the IMF could lend and settle it, and — here’s the key — opposite to your personal bank account, if you held too much, you’d be charged interest — making the rational thing for you to do to invest your surplus of it. The Bancor system would balance itself — and an era of peace would dawn.
It was the single most brilliant institutional design probably in human history. Can you guess what happened next?
There was only one hitch. America. Because America was the stronger party in the post-war negotiations, Bancor never came to be. Why did America object to Bancor?
And while I don’t wish suffering on anyone (well, not really), Caitlin has her own inimitable way of speaking the truth–that the jerks piling on Trump for reaching a partial cease fire agreement in Syria with Russia are putting us all in danger and the really need to stop now.
The Twitterverse is of course already exploding, with McResistance Maddow muppets pounding out furious responses to Trump with heavy fingers and countless hysterical corporate media articles being written as I type the end of this sentence. A new article by the CIA-fundedWashington Post is being frantically circulated about Russian hackers having infiltrated America’s energy companies with no skepticism whatsoever, despite WaPo’s having leveled a very similar accusation about Russian hackers infiltrating America’s power grid a few short months ago which was proven to have been 100 percent false from top to bottom. These horrible omnicidal maniacs have somehow taken a ceasefire in Syria and an improvement in relations between two nuclear superpowers and twisted that into being a bad thing. This is unacceptable, inexcusable, and damn near unforgivable. These people are literally traitors to their species.
Have fun this fine Sunday, birdies!