The Truth About Capitalism

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In 2008, the loss of 11 billion dollars by the world’s largest insurance company, AIG, and the bankruptcy of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers, triggered a domino effect of financial consequences which brought the entire capitalist system within a hair’s breadth of total collapse.

But, as the events leading up to the financial crisis were slowly unveiled, it became ever clearer that the crisis was caused, quite knowingly, by the bankers themselves.

The Cause

In the years leading up to the economic crisis in 2008, banks increased the funding for the riskiest loans (called subprime loans), from $30 billion a year to over $600 billion a year, rigged even higher interest rates on those loans, and then, while the bankers were making billions of dollars of profits off the borrowers’ high interest repayments, they made further profits betting against their customers ever being able to pay back the loans they had just been given.

The FBI warned the government about this in reports as early as 2006, the IMF’s chief economist, Raghurum Rajan, presented a paper to the men in charge of all the world’s major banks, including the Federal Reserve, warning of the potential collapse of the system due to dangerous incentives, and journalist Allan Sloan published articles in Fortune magazine and The Washington Post in 2007 – nothing was done.

Instead, the men who created the crisis were allowed to make billions of dollars of profits before their institutions hit bankruptcy, paid themselves millions of dollars more in bonuses out of the government bailout packages, and left the rest of us to deal with mass increases in unemployment and poverty, and national debts that no amount of austerity measures will ever be able to repay.

The Effect

7 years later and, as you read this, home foreclosures are still on the increase in many US states, the Chinese stock market is teetering on the edge of its own financial meltdown, austerity measures are intensifying in the UK, and the European Union is not unrealistically on the verge of falling apart.

The ever more concentrated power that forms from a system based on a motive of profit before people, planet, morals and ethics is leading many, like me, to investigate new political alternatives.

Podemos supporters gather in Madrid, Spain. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

Podemos supporters gather in Madrid, Spain.
Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images

New left-wing socialist parties, such as Podemos (‘we can’) in Spain and Syriza (‘from the roots’) in Greece, are rising up from the financial ruin of the hardest hit countries, and the socialist debate is picking up serious momentum in the USA, too.

July 2015, and Greece’s new left-wing party Syriza gave the people of Greece the option to vote on continued austerity measures and increased bailouts from Germany and the EU.

Since all the bailout money is only going into paying off interest on the debt that Greece already has – whilst at the same time creating even more debt for Greece thanks to the interest charged on the bailout money itself – for the first time since the Eurozone was created in 1999, people have united en masse to stand up against the irresponsible behaviour of banks and politicians and said ‘no.’

However, this is not the first example of people power since the crisis began. The first rebellion took place in Iceland. People flocked to the streets in protest after the government let the banks borrow 10 times Iceland’s GDP and then left the people of Iceland with a debt to income ratio of 240%.

Ongoing demonstrations that included stones thrown at the parliament building led to a relatively peaceful revolution; the prime minister was indicted, Iceland’s main bank was nationalized, 200 criminal charges were made against the bankers, and debt exceeding 110% of home values was simply wiped clean.

The media has largely ignored these two events, but one event that the global media could not ignore was when thousands of people poured onto the streets in the Wall Street financial district in 2010 demanding a new, humane, sustainable system.

As demonstrations rapidly spread to some 840 cities in the US, and many cities in Europe and Asia, the media was quick to demonize the movement – until finally the demonstrating fizzled out. It therefore may seem that the efforts of Occupy Wall Street were perhaps all in vain, but this is not the case.

The Revolution

Oxfam recently released a report that by 2016, 1% will own more wealth than all the rest of the people on planet earth. In the UK, 1% already owns more wealth than 55% of the population, and in the USA, the top 0.01% are currently worth as much as the bottom 90%. The Occupy Movement is the reason that the idea of the 99% is now in the public debate.

Occupy Wall Street may have fizzled out, but Occupy Together was formed; global solidarity of the 99% is increasing exponentially, new radical left-wing parties are surfacing, new coalitions are forming, and an ever increasing number of demonstrations are taking place, en masse, all over the world. It is just that the mainstream media is not talking about it – but global revolution is already taking place.

This June, for example, more than 250,000 people from all walks of life and political persuasions took part in a unified anti-austerity march that occupied the streets of London here in the UK – but there was nothing about it on the news.

As I continue to develop my project Wake Up World Education, and its aim to encourage rapid positive social change through education, I have been inspired by all of these events to create a short documentary as the third episode of my Truth Behind Politics series.

The documentary critiques capitalism and its flaws and encourages people to move their money out of the big banks and join the movement for social change. In just 30 minutes, it covers the history of the central banking system, the Eurozone, the Occupy Movement, the increasing number of coalitions and demonstrations taking place worldwide, recent events in Iceland and in Greece, and asks the audience one main question:

Was Karl Marx right? Is capitalism on the verge of collapse and a positive new community-based social system coming to fruition in its wake?

My goal is to inspire positive change through raising public awareness of important issues not covered in mainstream media; please share the video with others, support my work by subscribing to my channel, and I would love to hear your thoughts below!

Follow The Money: How The Monetary System Is Rigged To Enslave Humanity

No one is immune to debt, and the majority of us are in some form of financial debt (1, 2, 3). Studies show that not having enough money, and especially being in debt, causes serious physical and mental distress (1, 2, 3). This article investigates why banks put people into debt, and uncovers why a world without any debt is completely possible.

The modern word ‘bank’ stems from the word ‘banca‘ used in Italy during the Middle Ages, but the goldsmiths of 17th Century England are often cited as where contemporary banking began (1234).

In those days, people would deposit their gold for safe keeping with the goldsmiths who issued a piece of paper (or promissory note) for the gold stored. The goldsmiths then loaned the depositor’s gold out to others in the form of further promissory notes, making good profits from the interest they charged (source).

Today, when you deposit money in your chosen commercial bank, the bank also loans out your deposited money to others. This clever system of making profits out of nothing is called fractional reserve lending and is explained simply in our video here:

However, the very first sophisticated banks can actually be traced back to the very first known civilization, the 6000-year-old ancient culture of Sumer in the area of Mesopotamia, where the Sumerian kings used a kingdom’s bank which issued clay tokens as receipts, or promissory notes, for interest repayments made with silver (123).

Kings using banks as a tool to rule over people obviously paints a much more negative picture of our monetary system than evolution from barter; yet if we critique the use of money from this perspective, it becomes clear that it is now the world’s central banks that have this sovereign power of control over kingdoms, or nations, today.

This is because central banks do not carry out fractional reserve lending of money stored in their vaults like commercial banks; instead, their role is to actually create a nation’s official money (or legal tender).

Central banks then loan out that money to the nation’s government, and the people pay back the government’s debt, as well as the interest the government incurs when it borrows the money, via income tax on wages.

The government’s debt is then expanded by commercial banks through loans to the public with further interest. Since the extra money needed to pay back all this interest does not exist, central banks need to keep creating more money so there is enough money in circulation.

This causes the value of each individual bank note to decrease, so prices go up (inflation) and people now have to work even more hours — not just to pay all the interest back, but now also to buy the things they could afford before.

The central banking system is explained in more detail in our short documentary here:

It was in 1694, when the King of England required funds for a war against France, that incredibly wealthy private individuals provided that money in return for the formation of the Bank of England.

In this instance, private banking families first gained huge direct influence over king and government (12), and by 1783, when America won its independence from England, the Founding Fathers were well aware of the perils of private central banks (1, 2); for the Bank of England had outlawed the interest-free independent currency that had brought prosperity to the colonies, thus creating the hardship and despair that Benjamin Franklin claimed was the true cause of the American Revolution.

Yet the power and influence of the dominant (also inbreeding) banking families had now become immense (123), and investigations into the causes of the Panic of 1907 suggest that they deliberately triggered bank runs on some of the increasingly successful and profitable smaller trusts by spreading insolvency rumors that would cause several of them to fail (12345).

In 1910, a secret meeting between these banking elites, Senator Nelson Aldrich, and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Department A.P. Andrews, was held on Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia. It was there that the central banking bill called the Federal Reserve Act was drawn up (123456).

Then, only 16 years after the Federal Reserve was instated, it substantially increased the money supply, increasing unsustainable lending and borrowing. Just like 1907, bank runs, bankruptcy, and systemic collapse occurred (source), but as the USA experienced the Great Depression, the elite “Money Trust” bankers had already pulled their money out of the stock market, using it to buy up cheap stocks and smaller failing banks (12).

As technology develops, the techniques for loaning out and gambling with money have become more convoluted, but the pump and dump scheme continues to consolidate wealth and power with those in the know, while the ordinary working person is literally paying the price (12).

Today, the richest 1% own more than the other 99% put together, and 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the entire world’s population (12); it is essential then to consider, since a person can only spend so much money in one lifetime, why these people are accumulating all this wealth.

What can we do?

It is important to note that the central bank of all central banks is the Bank for International Settlements (12) with its 60 member central banks which work to establish “monetary and financial stability” while also intrinsically involved in the International Monetary Fund along with 189 member countries, as well as the World Bank, whose goal is to “end extreme poverty.”

But the facts demonstrate that the aim of the world’s wealthiest and most secretive individuals has never been to create stability or to end poverty, but rather to control governments and monopolize hunger, deciding who eats and who does not (12).

Not only that, but studies repeatedly show that people are not born greedy, but rather those people who seek wealth and power suffer from psychological personality disorders, including psychopathology and narcissism (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

But the most important fact of all is perhaps that this central banking elite can only rule over people as long we allow them to do so (1234).

The money that central banks produce today is fiat money, or ‘faith’ promissory notes, meaning it is not backed by gold or silver, it cannot be redeemed in any material form, and it actually has no material value.

In other words, the value of money comes entirely from the central banks’ promise that the money itself has some intrinsic value. The use of fiat money, and the necessity to pay bank debt, depends entirely on the people’s belief that they need to actually do so.

WUWE is a project to promote critical thinking and inspire positive systemic change by raising awareness of global issues not covered in mainstream media; please support us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, or subscribe for the latest updates here

Columbia University Professor Drops Some Knowledge About What’s Really Happening In Syria

Critical thinking is the “The objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement” followed by the ability to find fact-based information to investigate the topic or argument and discover what the facts actually are.

The goal of critical thinking is to be able to make a conclusion based on facts and not on any preconceived assumptions. According to the University of Minnesota, Professor Nan Gesche, this means having an open-minded “beginners mindset” without bias and prejudice (source).

This is the hardest part of critical thinking because of cognitive dissonance, which is the human’s tendency to argue black is white rather than hold a view that goes against their previous conditioning/assumptions.

Critical Thinking in Academia

In my previous article, I explained that the need for people to be able to critically think about current political events is increasing while studies suggest that the ability for the general public to critically think is seemingly declining (source).

Some academics are taking these findings very seriously. Ultimate Civics, for example, have developed a free American civics unit to inspire students at middle school and high school levels to think critically about U.S. democracy and emerge as change makers (source). Meanwhile, Stanford University has created free downloadable curricula, materials and assessments to help college students develop critical thinking and civic online reasoning skills (source).

But can we really rely on our education systems to provide us with critical thinking skills?

“I want a nation of workers, not thinkers.”
– John D. Rockefeller

One academic passionate about engaging people in critical thinking is Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Colombia University who recently took the opportunity during a debate about the recent missile strike against the Syrian government to use his time on a mainstream news channel to state:

“I think we have to understand how this happened. This happened because of us. These 600,000 [dead] are not just incidental. We started a war to overthrow a regime. It was covert. It was Timber Sycamore. People can look it up. The CIA operation together with Saudi Arabia still shrouded in secrecy, which is part of the problem in our country. A major war effort shrouded in secrecy, never debated by Congress, never explained to the American people, signed by President Obama – never explained. And this created chaos, and so just throwing more missiles in right now is not a response.”

While the original mainstream narrative presented to the public is that the war in Syria is multifaceted and far too complicated to be fully understood, this is absolutely not the case.

We only need to critically think about one question:

Did the USA deliberately start a war in Syria to overthrow Assad and the Syrian government?

If we first look at the official mainstream narrative, then the answer is “no”. In 2011 when the Syrian conflict began, we were told that the people of Syria had taken to the streets, following the example of Egyptians and Tunisians, to peacefully demonstrate for political reform. Then the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, ordered the Syrian Armed Forces to open fire on the demonstrators.

According to this narrative, people armed themselves and formed groups to defend themselves against Assad’s regime (source).


Related CE Articles:

Syrian Doctor In Douma Has Some Serious Doubts Over The Chemical Gas Attack

Robert F Kennedy Jr. Explains The Real Reason The West Is Trying To Destabilize Syria

MIT Professor Emeritus Claims Latest Chemical Attack In Syria Was Not Assad’s Doing

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Stops Live Concert To Explain False Flag Chemical Attack In Syria

Breaking – US/UK Intel Admits They Bombed Syria With No Proof of Sarin Chemical Attack

Declassified CIA Report Exposes 25-Years of US Plans To Destabilize Syria


The Facts

The secret training and arming of rebel groups by the CIA to overthrow the government was first reported by The Washington Post and International Business Times (article now removed, but viewable here) back in 2013.

Award-winning journalist Ben Swann explained in a special 2015 Truth in Media report that ISIS entered Syria from Iraq in heavily armoured Humvees and tanks left by the U.S. military, and weapons and training from US and coalition special forces, organized by the CIA.

While reports from The Washington Post and The New York Times claim that the covert CIA program to fund rebels has now ended, Professor Jeffrey Sachs goes on to say the “war continues because we to this day back rebels that are trying to overthrow a government contrary to international law, contrary to the UN Charter, contrary to commonsense.”

A recent joint report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Program (OCCRP) and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) found that the Pentagon is still supplying up to $2.2 billion worth of weapons and ammunition to Syrian rebels (source).

Michel Chossudovsky, award-winning author, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa, and the founder and director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) explains:

“The global war on terrorism is a US undertaking, which is fake, it’s based on fake premises. It tells us that somehow America and the Western world are going after a fictitious enemy, the Islamic state, when in fact the Islamic state is fully supported and financed by the Western military alliance and America’s allies in the Persian Gulf” (source).

Professor Jeffrey Sachs points out that the solution to the Syrian conflict is no more complicated to understand that the cause: “stop trying to support rebels who are committed to overthrowing the government” and instead “go to the UN Security Council” to “agree with Russia on a strategy for ending the fight, but ending the fight means that we stop trying to overthrow a government.”

Conclusion

Looking at the facts, it is clear that the answer to the question “Did the USA deliberately start a war in Syria to overthrow Assad?” is “yes.” The next question one might ask is “why?”

As a lecturer of critical thinking and solutions education myself, I designed a talk on critical thinking about Syria that took students on a deep, difficult trip down the rabbit hole of answering that question “why.”

Like coming to terms with the fact that the Twin Towers were blown up, going through this wake up process can be extreme, but it is an essential one to go through because once we are presented with facts that challenge our world view, we can only deny them (cognitive dissonance) or accept them.

If we accept them, we start to see we are not the ego (our conditioning), reject the fear-based mainstream narrative of problems, and focus instead on the love-based narrative of solutions.

I invite you to watch my full 52 min lecture, or the 3-part version below, and please consider sharing it with anyone you feel can handle the cognitive dissonance, and has the potential to free their mind.

My next article will be about the positive, alternative narrative. Sign up to stay updated here.

WUWE is a project to promote critical thinking and inspire positive personal and systemic change by raising awareness of facts not covered in the mainstream; please support me on FacebookYouTube and Twitter, or subscribe for my latest updates here.

Staged Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria? Why We Need Critical Thinking

I have 20 years experience teaching critical thinking. Today I teach critical thinking at one of the most prestigious universities in the UK, and the rest of the time I travel, teaching critical thinking to students in poor and rich countries around the world. I do this because I believe understanding how to identify fact from fiction is not just helpful – it is essential.

Most would probably agree that critical thinking (being able to separate facts from fiction and thus make informed decisions) is important, but unfortunately this skill is largely missing in the general public.

A Need for Critical Thinking

In 2014, Cambridge International Examinations research revealed that teachers across the globe believe critical thinking is the skill their students most lack when they begin their post-16 courses at school, and 56% of teachers said students were still unable to think critically when they entered university (source).

A 2011 study by sociologists from the New York University and University of Virginia concluded that 45% of students graduated “without knowing how to sift fact from opinion, make a clear written argument or objectively review conflicting reports of a situation or event” (source).

More recently, a 2017 study by MindEdge, an online learning company founded by Harvard and MIT educators, found 44% of college students could not correctly answer 6 of 9 questions designed to gauge their ability to detect fake news (source), and a report by The Wall Street Journal the same year found large groups of college seniors have “basic or below-basic levels” meaning “they can generally read documents and communicate to readers but can’t make a cohesive argument or interpret evidence” (source).

It is easy to focus on the students here, but if the majority of students are unable to critically think at 16 years of age, and are still unable to critically think when they enter or leave university, it follows that parents, teachers and other adults that they regularly come into contact with are also failing to effectively demonstrate how to do so.

That is not all. A report by the Foundation for Young Australians in 2015 found the demand for critical thinking skills in new graduates has risen 158% in 3 years (source) while a 2016 Stanford University report found college students actually performed worse than high school students at distinguishing “between a news story, an ad, and an opinion piece” (source).

This is extremely worrying when we consider that the growing nuclear threat and a lack of trust in political institutions are two main reasons scientists have set the doomsday clock at 2 minutes to midnight for 2018 (source).

The need for students and non-students to understand global events is indeed increasing, while the ability for the general public to act on truth, it seems, is actually declining.

The Ability to Act on Truth

Let us take one of the most important events unfolding in the world right now as an example – missile strikes against the Syrian government.

France (source), the UK (source) and the USA (source) claimed they had evidence that a chemical attack did take place on April 7th in Douma and that it was carried out by Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Meanwhile, Russia said this evidence comes only from media reports (source), and presented testimony from two medics who said the video broadcast of survivors being treated for chemical exposure had been faked by intelligence services, with Britain directly involved (source).

Is it possible that media outlets reported on a fake video about a chemical weapons attack that did not even take place so that the US-led coalition could justify attacking the Syrian government?

Critical thinking is the “The objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement” (source). It is therefore first important to acknowledge any assumptions or conclusions we may already have based on prior conditioning (not facts). For example, a preconceived idea that our governments and media are the good guys and would not lie.

Next is the ability to find fact-based information to investigate the topic or argument to discover what the facts, not assumptions, actually are.

Evidence of Media Manipulation

In 2013 the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) released a documentary called Saving Syria’s Children with staged events and fake video footage of an an incendiary bomb attack that featured British doctor Rola Hallam, who not only lied about incendiary bomb victims around her, but also turned out to be the daughter of Syrian rebel supporter, Dr. Mousa al-Kurdi (source).

A similar event took place in 1990 when nurse Nayirah gave testimony that was used to justify bombing Iraq in the Gulf War. It turned out her testimony was also fabricated, and her father was in fact the Kuwaiti Ambassador to Washington (source).

The U.S. government has certainly been manipulating the media since the 1950s (source), and in 2010 it was made public that the CIA “now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network” and has “persuaded reporters to postpone, change, hold, or even scrap stories” (source). Modern journalists confirm this (source) and according to former CIA officer Michael Scheuer, the BBC is now one of the first organisations that the CIA goes to when they want to influence the news media (source).

Evidence of Chemical Weapons Attacks

In 2013, PressTV reported on a leaked document revealing a UK-Qatari plot to fund rebels and fake a chemical weapons attack from the Syrian government (source). Later that year, Carla del Ponte, leading an investigation for the U.N., found no evidence Assad had used chemical weapons but strong evidence coalition-supported Syrian rebels had carried out a Sarin nerve gas attack (source).

According to award-winning journalist Ben Swann, as of Feb 2018 there has been no evidence of Assad using any chemical weapons (source), and Professor Theodore Postol at MIT released a 6-page document providing evidence that the White House Intelligence Report from 2013 and 2017 were both blatant fabrications (source).

Postol also reminds us that false intelligence on weapons of mass destruction “led to a US attack on Iraq that started a process that ultimately led to a political disintegration in the Middle East” and only days ago, CNN reported that the US-led coalition in fact proceeded with military action in Syria without having any certainty about the alleged chemical attack (source).

Facts Not Assumptions

The final stage of critical thinking is to be able to make a conclusion based on the facts and not on any preconceived assumptions. According to University of Minnesota Professor Nan Gesche, this means having an open-minded “beginners mindset” without bias and prejudice (source).

This is the hardest part of critical thinking because of cognitive dissonance, which is the human’s tendency to argue black is white rather than hold a view that goes against their previous conditioning/assumptions.

Nevertheless, if we look at the facts, we must conclude “Yes. It is possible” that the media reported on fabricated evidence, and it is also possible that the attack was completely staged by intelligence services and did not take place at all.

Why? Because the facts show that all this has happened multiple times before. Please watch my video below to see why this matters and what we can do.

I also invite you to watch my full lecture on The Art of Critical Thinking, and if you would like me to make more Trews-style videos, then please let me know here.

WUWE is a project to promote critical thinking and inspire positive personal and systemic change by raising awareness of facts not covered in the mainstream; please support me on FacebookYouTube and Twitter, or subscribe for my latest updates here.