Prerequisite Essays

Should You Read This Essay?

  Commonwealth Movement   

 Out-of-control predatory capitalists have perpetrated a worldwide economic depression.

  Capitalism's degenerate character is now extraordinarily visible during this time of multiple crises.

  This exposure of capitalism's depravity must awaken us to the necessity of instituting a commonwealth in place of this cannibalistic monstrosity.

  We cannot allow economic tyranny to continue to destroy us. We must have a government and an economy of and for the people.

      Anyone who tells you that we're merely in a mild, accidental recession is attempting to befuddle and manipulate you for their own purposes.

  The current depression is a wake-up call: we must recognize that vulture capitalism is totally out of control and destroying workers worldwide.

    Once people in all countries awaken to this intolerable economic devastation, we can begin to take back our nations and institute commonwealth communities for the good of all humankind.


      Americans should already have been shaken awake by the large number of murderous acts perpetrated by the demonic cabal through the Bush junta who seized control of America in the 2000 coup d'etat and through the con-man Barack Obama. A partial listing of these outrages would include:

“The illegal we do immediately.
The unconstitutional takes a little longer.”

Henry Kissinger, Cabal Hit Man

      American workers need to wake up to the fact that unemployment, shrinking income, home foreclosure and eviction, bailout billions for banksters, and lack of medical care that they're experiencing are not "natural" phenomena. These are not inevitable, unavoidable aspects of a sane political-economic system. Americans must realize that the current economic depression has been caused  by the vulture capitalists who've seized control of our nation and with callous disregard watch as average citizens are ground into the dust.

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   The current world depression is more visible than usual because we're seeing not only the annihilation of workers--the usual victims of vulture capitalism--but also elements within the capitalist system itself being devastated: banks, businesses, and financial institutions.

Capitalist Fratricidal War

"The drive to accumulate dramatically pits capitalist against capitalist, capitalist against worker, worker against worker. Accumulation thereby fuels competition . . . So, as capitalists strive to accumulate, as their actions become mere functions of capital, they inevitably clash with other capitalists hoping to do likewise. What erupts is a fratricidal war. Soon different 'fractions' of capital jostle with their respective corporate or sectoral peers in a treacherous zero-sum accumulation mania. Accumulation is the centrifugal force of 'capital in general.' But the positionality of each individual capitalist within this process, like that of the working class's, varies and changes over time, subject to the pace and trajectory of competition. Competition hastens a splintering of capital, as it does for labor, compounding it into many aliquot parts." 1

      The current depression is caused not by new-sprung and unusual features of predatory capitalism, but by the hyperbolic overindulgence in criminal behavior and the debauchery of maniacal greed which are the very essence of this looting malignancy. Both depraved indifference and corruption are distinguishing characteristics of crony capitalism--as is evidenced by the presence of these activities from the beginning of its history.

Capitalist Banksters Are Cannibalizing One Another

      Bank oligopolies are gobbling up smaller banks so they can control America's economy. On July 23, 2009, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher admitted this.

"[A]ll the crisis-related acquisitions we have seen may further consolidate financial assets and power into the hands of a few large organizations, leading ultimately to reduced competition and a less diverse and efficient financial sector,” he said at an event for the Fixed Income Forum in California. “The massive government assistance recently provided to large banks may be artificially tilting the competitive balance in favor of large institutions.”

   Big banks cannibalizing smaller banks: Bank of America grew by more than 138 percent after acquiring Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial. JPMorgan Chase grew by 50 percent after appropriating Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual, and Wells Fargo expanded by 43 percent after snapping up Wachovia. Prior to the crisis, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America controlled 4.4, 7.0 and 9.6 percent of bank deposits, respectively. Now, they control 11 percent, 10 percent, and 12.9 percent.

"The oligopoly has tightened. There’s been a significant consolidation among the big banks, and it’s kind of hollowing out the banking system.”
Mark Zandi of Moody’s

    The monopoly banks are taking advantage of their increased control over the market to drive up fees. These banks have recently raised their deposit fees by an average of 8 percent, while smaller banks lowered their fees by 12 percent.

    In promoting and subsidizing the cannibalizing of failing banks by the biggest banks and investment houses, the cabal--through its Obama puppet regime--has violated federal antitrust regulations, which prohibit any single bank from controlling more than 10 percent of deposits nationwide.

  "Given the inherent tendencies of capitalist production, credit has also been a tremendous accelerator of overproduction, of overvaluing the capacity of the market to absorb products and has thus been a catalyst of speculative bubbles with the consequent crises and drying up of credit. Side by side with facilitating these social catastrophes the stock markets and the banking system have encouraged all the individual vices of greed and duplicity that are typical of an exploiting class living off the labour of others; vices that we see flourishing today in insider trading, fictitious payments, outrageous 'bonuses' that amount to huge fortunes, 'golden parachutes', accountancy fraud, plain theft etc.

  "The speculation, the risky loans, the swindles, the subsequent stock market crashes and the disappearance of huge quantities of surplus value are therefore an intrinsic feature of the anarchy of capitalist production." 2

   Some defenders of capitalism claim that the present crisis results from financiers holding the economy hostage. But, central banks, private banks, stock markets, and other credit mechanisms have been integral to the development of capitalism since its inception in the 18th century. Such instruments for creating currency out of nothing are required for the amassing and centralizing of money capital in order to permit the levels of investment required for vast industrial expansion that was beyond the scope of wealthy individual capitalists.

      An industrial or financial entrepreneur could not acquire sufficient capital by saving or by risking his own money--no matter what the capitalist myths say. In all the industrial, corporate, and stock market gambling casinos, fat cats don't bet with their own individual fortunes but with monetized wealth created by fiat.

Capitalism Is a Failed, Destructive, Unfixable System

      We must make sure that people worldwide understand that monopoly capitalism is no longer an acceptable or viable economic system--that we must replace it with a new commonwealth order.

"No economic system, particularly capitalism, left to follow its own logic unrestrained can possibly survive, as Schumpeter [Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (1942)] stressed. In the end it will undermine itself. The idea of 'free market capitalism' is a dangerous illusion in a time of growing class polarization, monopolization, speculation, militarism, and imperialism. The politics of the right, lacking any substantial or rational basis, has increasingly turned to a predatory culture of open barbarism: the resurgence of open racism, war, imperialism, sexism, religious fundamentalism. Eventually such a society, trapped in stagnation and left to follow its own downward logic, will destroy itself and everything else within its reach--not through economic breakdown but through an intensification of barbarism on a global scale. 3

"For globalization to work, America can't be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is. The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonald-Douglas, the designer of the F-15, and the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technology is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps."

Thomas Friedman, New York Times, March 28, 1999

      Joseph Schumpeter, a Harvard apologist for what he called "rational capitalism," saw imperialism as a byproduct of a war machine and monopolization rather than an intrinsic property of capitalism. This part of his analysis of capitalism--as well as all the rest--has proven totally false. Global capitalism's poster child--the United States under the cabal--has openly adopted a strategy of maintaining its economic and political hegemony through militaristic imperialism, announcing this to the entire world in the National Security Strategy of the United States released in 2002.

      Workers worldwide need to comprehend that the present depression is precisely the same kind of total collapse of casino capitalism as America suffered in 1929. In 1932, all American banks were finally forced to close--which made it clear to America and the world that American and world capitalism had collapsed utterly.

Identical Elements of the 1929 and Current Depressions

1929 Depression

Current Depression

Liquidity expansion:
In the "roaring twenties" the value of shares in the
New York Stock Exchange, the biggest in the world,
had increased five fold

Liquidity expansion:
The FED has continued to pump currency into the stock market and investment funds resulting in the, stocks, and housing bubbles bursting

Stock market crash:
1932: stocks had lost 89% of their 1929 peak value
1929 share value was not reached again until 1954

Stock market crash:
A series of crashes beginning in the 1980s

Bank failures:
President Hoover refused to assist failing banks
All banks failed in 1932

Bank failures:
Banks are failing worldwide but most failures are being covered up by central bank loans
Banks are having to "write off" tens of billions of bad investments and are now going hat-in-hand to foreign investors to sell a piece of their business


Down 50% in 1932

20% decline in the GDP and a 50% decline in the value of the dollar

13 million workers became unemployed with no relief to speak of; a third of the population sank into abject poverty

Unemployment figures are falsified; at least 25% of American workers are unemployed or underemployed
A third of the population lives in poverty

Fake investment (gambling) funds:
Brokers' loans, buying on margin: investors could pay down only a percentage of what they were investing

Fake investment (gambling) funds:
Hedge funds: The estimated assets of these funds have risen from $491 billion in 2000 to $1.75 trillion in 2007. The funds' complicated financial transactions, mostly secret and unregulated, use debt as a tradeable security in the search for short term gain

The 1930s depression appeared to be the result of the 1929 Wall Street Crash, but 1929 only made apparent a systemic defect, capitalism's chronic overproduction in its decadent phase. This same phase of chronic overproduction began again as early as 1968, finally resulting in the present depression.

Home Foreclosures :

In 1932, over 250,000 families lost their homes; in early 1933, foreclosures were taking place at a rate of more than a thousand a day.

Home Foreclosures:
About 1.3 million U.S. homes received foreclosure-related warnings in 2007. Through real estate shell games, the super-rich have looted at least $10-$15 trillion from workers.

      Though the economic and political conditions at present are virtually the same as those in the 1932-1939 period in America, the response of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration and the cabal-controlled Bush II junta are diametrically opposite.

Opposite Response of FDR Administration and Current Bush II Junta

FDR Response

Bush II Junta Response

Home Owners' Loan Corporation (HOLC) bought mortgages from holders who could carry them no longer, financed the immediate payments, and rewrote the mortgages to provide for easy repayment over a long term and at relatively low interest rates. One out of every five mortgaged urban homes in America was an HOLC beneficiary.

The Bush II/Congressional economic stimulus plan is largely limited to tax cuts for the wealthy. Of the $150 billion allocated, $100 billion will go for tax rebates for individuals and $50 billion for tax incentives for business. The scam "stimulus" package provides no new funding for unemployment compensation, food stamps or other social programs, or for public works. Democratic Congressional leaders agreed to drop any extension of unemployment and food stamp benefits as well as proposed funding increases for low-income heating assistance and state Medicaid programs.

Capitalism Gone Bust

      Vulture capitalists are trying to make sure average citizens don't realize that their predatory shell game has totally disintegrated. The present crisis was triggered by the fall in house prices in America, along with the slump in housing construction and large scale defaults on mortgages by workers who couldn't afford the escalating interest rates of the infamous "sub-prime" or risky loans. Empty-headed consumers contributed by signing on to mortgage agreements they didn't bother to read and rapidly heaping up personal debt.

      Shock waves then traveled throughout the entire world financial system. In August, 2007, investment funds and entire investment banks, whose assets included billions of dollars of sub-prime loans, either collapsed outright or had to be rescued. Two hedge funds of the US investment bank Bear Sterns crashed, costing investors $1 billion. The German bank IKD had to be bailed out and two investment funds of the French bank BNP Paribas failed. The shares of mortgage lenders and other banks declined sharply leading to steep falls on all of the world's major stock exchanges, wiping out billions of dollars of worthless "betting slips."

      To befuddle world citizens into retaining confidence in capitalism and to allow banks to continue extending credit, the central banks--the US Federal Reserve Bank, the Bank of England, and the Eurobank--intervened through providing cheaper loans of additional billions. The hundreds of thousands of people made homeless by the "sub-prime" fiasco and the tens of thousands of workers laid off by the collapse of the housing construction industry didn't receive a penny of these loans from central banks. The dole went exclusively to the credit markets themselves--the very financial institutions who had squandered enormous sums of cash. These outlaws were being rewarded by receiving more gambling money. But this farce didn't solve the crisis.

      The first clearly visible sign of the failure of world capitalism's bailout strategy was the depositor run on the fifth largest mortgage provider in the UK, Northern Rock, whose fraud strategy was borrowing from credit markets and then re-lending the money to homebuyers at a higher rate of interest.

      As the credit markets began to crumble, so did Northern Rock. Even with the announcement of the rescue of Northern Rock by the Bank of England, long queues of depositors began to form outside the branches of the bank to withdraw their money, taking out £2 billion in just three days.

      This was the first run of this type on a British bank in 140 years. To try to make sure depositors didn't start the same kind of run on other banks, the British and European governments stepped in to give a 100% guarantee to the depositors of Northern Rock and savers in other threatened banks.

      Looter capitalism tries to conceal its failures through bailouts. TV "news" programs have run specials on how millions of homeowners were cannibalized by the subprime mortgage scam. But the personal catastrophes mortgage fraud victims suffered have all been neatly sanitized, with no one seemingly to blame for the devastation. And the CEOs of the fraud-perpetrating financial corporations, hedge funds, investment banks, and Wall Street firms are all silently gliding to earth with multi-million dollar parachutes to break their fall.

"The U.S. hasn't faced a downturn like this since the Great Depression of the 1930s."

Bill Gross, chief investment officer of Pimco, the world's largest bond fund, 2008

      Intelligent, informed members of the working class--in mutual solidarity--constitute the only force capable of eliminating the failed anarchy of looter capitalism and developing a commonwealth system. Fortunately, the number of these persons is expanding and they're becoming increasingly disaffected with the rotting capitalist corpse. But we must help people worldwide realize that recent dramatic events, beginning in the housing industry in the United States, that have shaken international finance and the entire world economic system, are intrinsic symptoms of the total bankruptcy of predatory capitalism--not merely an accidental, temporary aberration.

      Workers worldwide must be fully aware that the current depression is a clear sign of a process of disintegration endemic to capitalism that will inevitably lead to more and more violent convulsions and increasing human misery. Only this clear knowledge--and the dismay it fosters--will provide the momentum to replace predatory capitalism with an economic system for the common people.

      The crucial need for action against vulture capitalism can only be kept in mind if workers remain constantly aware that they're being decimated by a system that deliberately aims to destroy as many of them as possible. Monopoly capitalists will attempt to keep people's attention diverted to irrelevant, trifling wedge issues--as is now the entire focus of the 2008 election campaigning. Reactionary issues and candidates--from both parties--will try to keep American citizens focused on forces that pursue policies objectively against workers' interests.

      Obscenely rich people are no longer tolerable, because their looting of working class people bears no relation to what they contribute to society. Their predatory actions are neither proportional nor justified as inevitable economic success due to honest effort. Poor and middle class people can no longer believe that the economic system is fair and properly rewards those who work harder or have better capabilities.

      Truly exorbitant economic rewards should arouse working people to a struggle against the entire monopoly capitalist system. When most prosperity and wealth is unfairly channeled to relatively few upper class people, it's only a matter of time until fuming, resentful people in the working class decide enough is enough and begin to throw the rascals out.

      Now that the conditions of widespread affluence and freedom of economic mobility are no longer profitable for American capitalists, some of the more unpleasant and inevitable features of their oppressive order are affecting American citizens directly. The harsh realities of unemployment, slave wages, tax-slavery, and government harassment will provide the kind of incentive we need to consider deeper values in life beyond mindless, superficial, addictive entertainment and sports--the "circuses" provided by the present rulers. Now we can begin to explore what a commonwealth is and how we can train for it.

      The present political-economic situation is a desperate one, with predatory capitalism having seized the reins of power in all nations. But progressive forces have historically moved human civilization forward even in such wretched times as these. In America, we need to remember that we have experienced genuine advancement in times of extreme hardship: the Progressive era, the New Deal, and the Great Society. Broadbased progressive movements have appeared which changed the direction of our country.

      These reformist movements need to be understood in their material and social context so that we can comprehend why they were as successful as they were. In the early part of the twentieth century, when Wall Street and the railroads abused the farmers and the early industrial workers, resistance built up and radical politics came into play. In the thirties, ordinary working people were active in the New Deal transformations, unions were organized, and the corruption of corporate leaders was widely exposed. When the 1929 Wall Street crash brought on the Great Depression, factions of the ruling class recognized that they were virtually helpless to remedy the catastrophic situation. Both rich and poor supported Franklin D. Roosevelt's reforms and regulations, and capitalism was saved from itself, along with improvement in the plight of ordinary Americans. A strong liberal-labor bloc moved the country to the left.

“The middle classes could become a revolutionary class. The growing gap between themselves and a small number of highly visible super-rich individuals might fuel disillusion with meritocracy, while the growing urban under-classes are likely to pose an increasing threat . . . Faced by these twin challenges, the world’s middle-classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest.”

A 2007 report from the UK Defense Ministry's Development,
Concepts and Doctrine Centre suggesting what might happen by 2035

Which Way Will We Go?

     Two diverse responses to the 1929 economic world depression led to two diametrically opposite political and economic systems:
  • The progressive New Deal of
    Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • The fascist Nazi totalitarianism of Adolph Hitler

      As I'm writing this essay, the FED has within 8 days raised the discount rate a staggering 1.25 points and Shell Oil corporation has announced £20 billion in profits for 2007. These are two unmistakable indicators that vulture capitalism has collapsed and its obscene excesses are no longer tolerable. Given that world capitalism is bankrupt, America will move either toward a progressive development of a commonwealth political-economic system or toward a total police state, a la the Hitlerian nightmare of 1930s Germany.

American Fascism

      The cabal has already twisted America into an almost total police state under the Bush junta. It may now use the economic collapse of American capitalism to impose a complete fascist totalitarianism in which all dissenters are placed in concentration camps already built by Halliburton.

      As was true in 1930s America and Germany--and again is true now--economic factors play a significant role in determining how a society evolves. After its demoralizing defeat in World War I, Germany suffered from the fiendish Versailles treaty being imposed on it by the "Allies." Germany was forced to pay incredibly large reparations to France and Great Britain, and was forced to give up thirteen percent of its land.

      Economically devastated, Germany tried to recover from the war by way of social spending. But the revenue from income taxes began to fall. In 1913, over fifty three percent of all tax revenues was from income, but in 1925 it dropped down to 28%. Even with all its economic problems, Germany could have made reparation payments if foreign countries hadn't placed protective tariffs on German goods. French and British protective tariffs further depressed the German economy. Faced with reparation payments they couldn't pay, Germany began printing huge amounts of money, throwing Germany into a state of super inflation.

      Inflation reached the point where common essentials cost millions of marks. Cartoons of the time depicted people with wheelbarrows full of money who couldn't buy a loaf of bread. To make matters worse, foreign lenders withdrew capital and world markets further closed against German imports. When the U.S. was hit by the great depression it immediately called in its loans to Germany. This, in addition to all of Germany's other problems, caused the German economy to collapse.

      This state of runaway inflation and political breakdown with the collapse of the German Republic, made the German people particularly vulnerable to being manipulated by a predator like Adolf Hitler. Foreign vultures such as Prescott Bush (grandfather of Dubya) financially supported Hitler, creating conditions that would inevitably lead to a war in which predatory capitalists would reap huge profits.

      Economic and political catastrophe in Germany led the people to embrace any way out. Along came Hitler with his plan for a swift economic recovery. Hitler outlined a plan where in four years he would completely eliminate unemployment throughout Germany. Never mind that Hitler's plan wouldn't raise the level of income for ordinary people--that it was a plan for a new militaristic imperialism. The German people felt desperate and allowed Hitler to seize power in the same way Bush seized power illegitimately in 2000.

American Commonwealth

      The other possibility is that American workers will take back their country from the looting capitalists and institute a government and an economy for the welfare of all citizens. The challenge for the working class will be to defend and affirm itself against the annihilative forces of plutocracy, to gain confidence in its own forces and to become increasingly conscious that it is the only social force capable of overthrowing capitalism.

      Roosevelt's New Deal progressivism saved America from devolving into a Hitlerian nightmare of militaristic fascism. However, it saved vulture capitalism from its own excesses and left it alive to begin again its relentless pillaging of the working class. The plight of workers improved but full economic recovery occurred only when it was harnessed to arms production in preparation for a new plundering of world markets in the imperialistic bloodbath of World War II. In other words, even the "miracle" of FDR's recovery was possible only when unemployed workers had been transformed into cannon fodder for a new world conflagration.

      If we want a stable, just, egalitarian, sustainable world in which the "free development of each is the condition for the free development of all," there is no alternative but a long march to commonwealth propelled forward by a fully-informed, effective workers' movement.

      A commonwealth can only be instituted when a small group of persons--having suffered under an oppressive form of rule and having prepared themselves for self-rule--take over the direction of a group or community. This preparation involves, among other things, the close examination of real, as opposed to assumed or imagined capacities, and the development of real competence.

      A commonwealth can only come to those who are willing to work for the best and highest in human development for all. At almost any point in a nation's history it can be said: "Yes, there are problems here, but it could be worse. Instead of being a malcontent working for unnecessary change, be thankful for what you have." That has been said to every enslaved or oppressed group in human history. That's what the white owner said to his black slave, the British trying to mollify the oppressed colonists in America and India in the 1770s. The good is often enemy to the best. Today we hear: "What oppression? We never had it so good. Don't rock the boat." For many people, life under this present plutocracy, which they have been fully programmed to experience as a democracy, appears rewarding and complete.

  To institute a commonwealth, we must study carefully how current economic cannibals will be defeated through philosophical understanding and activity.

1) How Philosophy Overcomes Tyranny

2) Overthrowing the New Slavery

3) The New American Civil War

4) Realizing a New World

5) Overcoming the Present Dark Age

6) Realizing the New Commonwealth

7) How Philosophy Overcomes Propaganda

8) Building Commonwealth Community

      Each of us has a part to play in helping people worldwide come awake to the devastation of the current world economic depression--using this awakened insight to overthrow predatory capitalism and institute a commonwealth order for the betterment of humankind.

"When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the
     People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer
     forget who robbed me last year, who played me for
     a fool--then there will be no speaker in all the world
     say the name: 'The People,' with any fleck of a
     sneer in his voice or any far off smile of derision.
The mob--the crowd--the mass--will arrive then. "

Carl Sandburg, "I am the People"

Updates and References:

  • 3/18/08: Capitalism Collapses

  • 3/13/08: FED Bails Out Big Banks, Not Mortgage-scammed Workers
  • 3/10/08: Financial Meltdown

  • 3/7/08: Democrats Want to Bailout US Banks with Taxpayer Dollars

  • 2/27/08: Naomi Kline's Shock Doctrine; a Superficial Analysis of Global Capitalism          Part I

  • 2/22/08: Breakdown in the World Banking System

  • 2/1/08: More Evidence of Current World Depression

  • 2/1/08: Capitalism's World Crises

  • 1/31/08: FED Rate Cuts Have No Effect on Current World Depression

  • A Fascist America

  • Capitalism's Structural Crises

  • Capitalism As Imperialism

  • Notes:

    1 Andy Merrifield, "Class Formation, Capital Accumulation, And The Downsizing Of America," Monthly Review, Oct, 1999

    2 International Review, No. 131 - 4th quarter 2007

    3 John Bellamy Foster, "The End of Rational Capitalism," Monthly Review, March 2005


    The Cabal and Economic Depression