Another excellent Guns and Butter interview with economist Michael Hudson. The interview is almost a month old but still well worth listening to. Hudson examines the death of Europe and how neoliberalism, with its favouring of property and finance over labour and industry, is driving society back to feudalism. As Gore Vidal has said, in the future, Europe will just be a big farm for China.
The Way We Were and What We Are Becoming (59:52):MP3
The Way We Were and What We Are Becoming with financial economist and historian, Dr. Michael Hudson. We begin with an analysis of the continuing bailout of insurance giant AIG and Monday’s stock market selloff; price and debt deflation; the two sectors of the economy; two definitions of ‘free markets’; the classical economists; revolution from the right and the former Soviet states; the threat of war; IMF/World Bank resurgence; the dollar versus the euro; analogies to Rome, neo-feudalism.
One point of note is that the illegal war of aggression in Iraq is not a war related to economics but to the strategic interests of Israel. Hudson, explaining American Imperialism, states that “unlike England the United States didn’t have to invade countries, at least before the oil grab in Iraq” and instead drained countries through the US monetary system. It’s revealing that he suggests Iraq as a change in economic policy, it was not about economics, the oil lobby in Washington didn’t want a war, they wanted an end to brutal sanctions to gain conventional access to the oil.
Michael Hudson writes that “in a nutshell, the solution to a debt crisis is to be yet more debt. If debtors can’t pay out of what they are able to earn, lend them enough to keep current on their carrying charges. Collateralize this with their property, their public domain, their political autonomy – their democracy itself.”
Not much substantive news was expected to come out of the G-20 meetings that ended on April 2 in London – certainly no good news was even suggested. Europe, China and the United States had too deeply distinct interests. American diplomats wanted to lock foreign countries into further dependency on paper dollars. The rest of the world sought a way to avoid giving up real output and ownership of their resources and enterprises for yet more hot-potato dollars. In such cases one expects a parade of smiling faces and statements of mutual respect for each others’ position – so much respect that they have agreed to set up a “study group” or two to kick the diplomatic ball down the road.