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John Dolva

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fiat [ˈfaɪət -æt]n1. official sanction; authoritative permission2. an arbitrary order or decree3. Chiefly literary any command, decision, or act of will that brings something about[from Latin, literally: let it be done, from fierī to become]

fiat moneyn. Legal tender, especially paper currency, authorized by a government but not based on or convertible into gold or silver



What Does Fiat Money Mean?

Currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, despite the fact that it has no intrinsic value and is not backed by reserves. Historically, most currencies were based on physical commodities such as gold or silver, but fiat money is based solely on faith.

Investopedia explains Fiat Money

Most of the world's paper money is fiat money. Because fiat money is not linked to physical reserves, it risks becoming worthless due to hyperinflation. If people lose faith in a nation's paper currency, the money will no longer hold any value.



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“It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot of numbers in it.”

as5.gifGeorge W. Bush quotes

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It's people that need bailing out.

The world is always at a crossroad. Current events brings this starkly into focus.

The actions of the ruling elite, this year, have proven they are unworthy of power over the life of any human.

The war economy must, right now, be changed into a peace economy.

Basic human needs can be fulfilled.

Peace, and Reconciliation, can reign.

This can only come about through Direct Action.


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spot gold prices: There have been a few odd pattern as of late. A spike to 1900, then a drop and an about four day wiggle around 1830 and then a bit of a surge at 3 am NY time 2n'd sep. I wonder what caused these particular apparent markers . What's to be expected?

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Definition of Spot Gold

Spot gold is a commonly used standard for the value of an ounce of gold. ...



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Tsunami to hit Aussie real estate: claim

aap_59x27.gif On Sunday 11 September 2011, 16:43 EST Australia's love affair with property is about to turn sour as an "economic tsunami" looks set to hit world markets, American economic forecaster Harry Dent says.

Mr Dent, who arrived in Australia on Sunday, predicts the world will experience a second, deeper downturn, which will arrive between the beginning and the middle of next year.

Starting in Europe, the downturn will spread to the US, China and eventually Australia, he said.

"Australia is probably the best place in the world to survive this, but we do think Australia will not escape as well as it did from the last crisis (in 2008)," Mr Dent told AAP.

At the centre of the coming debt crisis is real estate, the forecaster says.

"People in places like Sydney or Tokyo or Miami say, `Hey, real estate can never go down here, we're a great place, everyone wants to move here, there's not much land for development', and what I say is that is exactly the kind of place that bubbles," Mr Dent said.

"Outside Hong Kong and Shanghai, Australia is the most expensive real estate market in the world compared to income."

Mr Dent said Australia's house prices would return to late 1990s or early 2000 levels.

Driving all these changes is simple demographics, specifically the peak of the baby boomers' spending, Mr Dent said.

"We predicted this (current) downturn in the US 20 years ago," he said.

"We said that in 2007 the peak number of baby boomers will reach their peak spending. They would have bought all their homes and then they will start saving for retirement ... and that you are going to see this downturn."

The drop-off in spending will affect everyone, even mighty China, Mr Dent said.

To survive the incoming "economic tsunami", Mr Dent said investors should sell their excess real estate and buy up assets in US dollars.

"Gold and silver are going to crash, they're a bubble," he said.

"Once we write down all these crazy debts, we are going to destroy a lot of dollars that were created in the boom and that makes the (US) dollar a lot more valuable."

Mr Dent is in Australia to promote his book, The Great Crash Ahead - How to Prosper in the Debt Crisis of 2010-2012, and will be speaking at the Secure the Future conference in Sydney and Brisbane in October.

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fiat [ˈfaɪət -æt]n1. official sanction; authoritative permission2. an arbitrary order or decree3. Chiefly literary any command, decision, or act of will that brings something about[from Latin, literally: let it be done, from fierī to become]

fiat moneyn. Legal tender, especially paper currency, authorized by a government but not based on or convertible into gold or silver



What Does Fiat Money Mean?

Currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, despite the fact that it has no intrinsic value and is not backed by reserves. Historically, most currencies were based on physical commodities such as gold or silver, but fiat money is based solely on faith.

Investopedia explains Fiat Money

Most of the world's paper money is fiat money. Because fiat money is not linked to physical reserves, it risks becoming worthless due to hyperinflation. If people lose faith in a nation's paper currency, the money will no longer hold any value.



26 November 2011 Last updated at 00:32 GMT

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Chavez repatriates Venezuela's foreign gold reserves


The gold was escorted through Caracas by troops and armoured vehicles Continue reading the main story

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Venezuela has received its first shipment of gold bars, after President Hugo Chavez ordered the repatriation of 85% of the country's bullion reserves.

The gold was unloaded from a plane and taken under heavy guard to the Central Bank in the capital, Caracas.

President Chavez has explained the move as an act of sovereignty that will protect Venezuela's reserves from global economic turbulence.

However critics say it is expensive and unnecessary.

Venezuela plans to bring home around 160 tonnes of gold, worth more than $11bn (£7bn).

"The gold is returning to where it was always meant to be: the vaults of the Central Bank of Venezuela," Mr Chavez said.

Hundreds of troops lined the route to Caracas as a convoy of armoured security trucks escorted by military vehicles carried the bullion to the bank.

'Historic act' Officials said the gold had come from European countries but did not say how much was in the first shipment, citing security concerns.

Central Bank chief Nelson Merentes said the return of the gold to Venezuela was a "historic act".

"It has historic value, it has symbolic value, and it has financial value," he said.

"The country's finances will be backed by autonomous wealth, so we are not subject to pressure from anyone."

Opposition groups have criticised the move as a populist measure aimed at boosting Mr Chavez's popularity ahead of next October's presidential elections, when he is seeking another term in office.

Some critics have suggested that Mr Chavez is acting out of fears Venezuela's overseas assets could one day be frozen by sanctions, as happened to his friend and ally, the late Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi.

Most of Venezuela's foreign gold reserves are held in London.

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Here's an interesting (to me) piece that helps to gain understanding in many matters.

Greek Bond Swap is precursor to Global Fiat Currency Revaluation (Explained)

09 Friday Mar 2012

Posted by Frank's Blog in depression, economic collapse, economic transition, fiat currency, Freedom, gold, hyperinflation, national debts, rich elite, silver, tangible assets., Uncategorized


Greek 'Default'...I mean 'Credit Event'

The current Greek bond swap offer, will mean that investors holding Greek bonds (debt), will have to accept a revaluation and a swap for some new bonds (new debt) that will now mature in the distant future and with less returns. I’d be pissed if I was a bond holder because they can’t even invoke their insurance they bought for such a default, the Credit Default Swap‘s. This is criminal and unlawful but this is the new norm out there in the world isn’t it. The rule of law, supply and demand and the free markets are no longer.


To keep it simple for this post, this ‘Credit Event’ which we are forbidden to call a ‘Default’, which what it actually is, is no different than the coming global revaluation of ALL fiat currencies. There will be more ‘regional’ defaults in Europe and all over the world before the powers that be (TPTB) make the big decision to revalue ALL currencies all over the world. The U.S. will be the grand daddy of them all. The one difference and possible positive aspect to the coming fiat revaluation in comparison to this Greek ‘Bailout’ by way of even more fiat currency to be paid out at a later date (kicking the can down the road), is that the coming fiat currency revaluation and resulting new currency to be adopted, will be backed by precious metals like gold and silver…possibly even platinum, nickel and copper as well.

As I’ve written about many times before, fiat money (it’s currency really, not real money), always ends up going to its intrinsic value of near zero. You can end up burning it or wiping your ass with it once it collapses so I guess it’s not completely worthless. It’s paper after all. The reason, again as I’ve written about ad nauseum, is because of the mathematical certainty and exponential debt growth needed to keep such systems running the global economy. Currency is in effect debt. So if you paid off all of the debt there would be no currency left in circulation. It’s just math and it’s just fact. That’s the bottom line no matter what you hear. It’s written in the currency act and the financial administration act if you’re brave enough to read through the legal terminology and jargon…yes, I have read them in their entirety, hence my clarity on currency as debt and gold as money.

300px-US_%2450_1929_FRBN.jpgUS Debt Note

Once you ‘get’ it you won’t look at money the same way again. Those paper dollars in your pocket are not money, they’re debt notes. Only gold and silver are money, again written the currency act and they are traded on the currency desks on the exchanges, not on the commodity desks. Yes, we could call these metals commodities as well, but their primary role is money and has been for thousands of years. Just like paper is also a commodity but they also call paper dollars money. That’s the mass delusion that the TPTB have convinced the masses to believe. This is not conspiracy or crazy talk. It is fact and is written in the law. But most people don’t even know the laws exist or even care to know how or why they exist or how they work. Funny seeing as though money is the medium that dictates every move in our modern lives.

This Greek ‘Default’ will be the first of many, many upcoming defaults of whole nations. Think about it. We have become so numb to this economic crisis that even when an entire country defaults now, the markets barely flinch. This is the most scary thing I can think of because all it is creating is the most massive global debt default human beings have ever seen. Talk about heads in the sand. They say it’s just ‘fear’ causing the markets to go down…you think!! Fear is good and it’s what keeps supply, demand and valuations in check. So if we shouldn’t have fear in the markets, then that means they would always go up forever and ever and we will all be able to keep creating wealth without work and let our money ‘work for us’? That’s mass delusion and ridiculous thought processing. We’re not that dumb are we? No, we are just very complacent and willfully ignorant.

...more... Follow link to Frank's Blog

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With the above post in mind, I think this helps towards answering the fundamental q of what is money?, and therefore understand more deeply what is going on in the real world


Larry Elliott, economics editor


Tuesday 10 April 2012 19.41 BST

Eurozone crisis is back and here to stay

It was always fantasy to believe the ECB could solve its problems by ladling out ultra-cheap money to European banks

  • Francois-Hollande-008.jpg
    French presidential frontrunner François Hollande wants to renegotiate the eurozone's fiscal pact.
    Photograph: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images
    It's back. After a four-month respite in which equity markets rallied strongly and interest rates on bonds fell, the eurozone's debt crisis is on again. Those who said the European Central Bank was merely putting a large piece of sticking plaster on monetary union's open wound with its cheap credit policy have been proved right.
    Since the troubled period began at the end of 2009, there has been a clear pattern to events: crisis, response, respite, new crisis. The latest recovery has been robust, but it was always a fantasy to believe that the ECB could solve all the
euro's problems with its long-term refinancing operations, ladling out ultra-cheap three-year money to European banks.
The current flare-up has three dimensions. The contingent cause of Spanish bond yields heading back into the danger zone (yields on 10-year debt were touching 6% on Tuesday night) was poor demand for bonds in last week's bond auctions. Fears of contagion and growing opposition to Mario Monti's labour market reforms explain why the Italian stock market has been taking such a thumping, with the shares of badly hit banks suspended.
A second factor is the emergence of political risk. Greece is holding an election early next month, and support has slumped for the two major parties that backed austerity in order to secure a second bailout from the European Union, the ECB and the International Monetary Fund earlier this year. The chances of the Greek public electing a government that repudiates the terms of the bailout is deemed to be high.
Analysts are also worrying about the outcome of the French presidential election, since the polls show that the socialist candidate François Hollande, who wants to rewrite the eurozone's painstakingly negotiated fiscal pact, has a good chance of defeating Nicolas Sarkozy in a run-off.
Markets look at France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece and see the potential for general strikes and civil strife as opposition to austerity hardens. It is not an outlook that inspires much confidence, so at the very best European markets face another two months of turbulence and uncertainty.
The likelihood, however, is that the crisis will go on for much longer. That's because the problems that have resurfaced over the past week have a deeper, structural cause: the flaw in the single currency that has left the weaker countries of the southern fringe deeply uncompetitive in relation to the powerful nations at the core. The traditional remedy – devaluation – is ruled out by membership of the euro, so the affected countries have no choice but to go for "internal devaluations", which means making themselves more competitive by driving down wages, pensions and public spending.
These programmes are draconian and deeply unpopular. In Rome and Athens, technocratic governments have no mandate for them. To make matters worse, austerity is driving Europe ever deeper into recession, making it harder to get to grips with sovereign debt. It is a toxic, and highly dangerous, mix.

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A couple of developing perspectives. Many commentators are now seriouslylooking for answers. Fundamentaly the socialist perspective is that the crisis is an inevitable progression of capitalism to severe crisis where decisions are made with no regard for people (as debt slaves (slaves to fiat currency which is slave to a faith). The 'new' opiate'?


Faith-based economics at the European Central Bank

With its austerity policies imposed on heavily indebted countries across the euro zone, the ECB is actually making things worse. Here's why


Growth machine is a capital problem

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Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy could find himself having to intervene in regions run by his own People's party. Photograph: Europa Press via Getty Images The conservative Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy expects to take direct financial control of at least one of the country's ailing regional governments by May, according to sources in Madrid.

With some regional debt already downgraded to junk, senior officials said it would be the regional governments themselves that came to Madrid to beg for help to get through the year.

"It wouldn't be surprising if this happened in May," said a high-ranking official. "Some are paying interest rates that are impossible."

International lenders are expected to welcome the plans after a series of warnings about the deteriorating state of the Spanish economy.

Government borrowing costs jumped above 6% on Monday as foreign investors expressed their growing fears for Rajoy's administration and the prospect of a major default.

The rate, or yield, on the country's 10-year government bonds hit 6.1%, the highest since December. Spain's Ibex 35-share index fell to 7245, down from February's 2012-high of 8902.

Lyn Graham-Taylor, a Rabobank strategist, said: "We're back in full crisis mode. It is looking more and more likely that Spain is going to have some form of a bailout."

Across Europe, markets recovered some of the losses from sharp falls last week. The FTSE 100 was up 37 points at 5689 after a drop to 5579 on Wednesday.

Worries about Spanish bank loans to the beleaguered construction sector, bankrupt property developers and €50bn (£41.2bn) of outstanding debts in Portugal have unnerved investors.

Markets are almost shut to some of Spain's 17 regions, so their best hope of financing deficit spending and rolling over debt is Rajoy's administration, which has passed tough new laws giving it the right to intervene in the regional governments.

Government sources said the new law meant the regions, which control 37% of Spain's public spending, could be forced to impose greater austerity to meet the deficit targets they missed so spectacularly in 2011.

The regions, which run health, education and other essential services, were largely responsible for Spain's failure to bring its deficit under control last year, leaving investors and other eurozone countries worried that they had become untameable.

Rajoy may find himself in the politically embarrassing position of having to intervene in regions run by his own conservative People's party. The eastern Valencia region has had its debt downgraded to junk status and central Castile-La Mancha must find a way to cut its deficit from 7.3% of regional GDP to the government's 1.5% target this year.

Other potential targets include the country's largest region, southern Andalucía, where the caretaker socialist administration was accused by officials in Madrid of hiding debt. Local officials have vigorously denied the claim and invited EU inspectors to scrutinise the accounts.

A new Andalusian government, led by the socialists and backed by the communist-led United Left party, is expected to be formed soon following last month's regional elections. Government sources said any attempt at rebellion by Andalucía against the strict 1.5% deficit target would be met with intervention.

Sources said the government was willing to share the political unpopularity of higher regional taxes or cuts in health and education. Over the next fortnight the government will pass measures allowing the regions to adjust their spending, mainly with cuts, on health and education by some €10bn a year. Regional government budgets must be approved by next month.

Fellow eurozone countries have told Spain, which is now seen as the greatest threat to the common currency, to slash its deficit from 8.5% to 5.3% this year in what will be one of Europe's most stringent austerity programmes.

Rajoy's government has announced €27bn of cuts in central government spending, but the biggest worry remains the regions – which, despite urging by the former socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero – failed to cut their deficit at all last year.

To make Matters worse, Spain's finance minister, Luis de Guindos, admitted on Monday that the country, whose economy is projected to shrink by 1.7% this year, had entered recession in the first quarter.

De Guindos said a stability programme agreed with Brussels would force Spain to cut its structural deficit to 3.5% of GDP this year. The structural deficit is the shortfall in a country's finances that is not explained by cyclical factors such as booms and downturns.

He said that the structural deficit ballooned from a projected 4.7% to 7% last year. "In structural terms, we are going to compensate for the adjustment that should have been made last year, and the one we are committed to for this year," De Guindos said.

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Argentina sent shock waves through the oil industry by announcing plans to nationalise local oil assets controlled by a Spanish company, in a controversial move that threatens to sour the already troubled relationship between the two countries.The move to seize 51% of Repsol's YPF business in Argentina sent the company's shares spinning down 18% on Wall Street and will worry other big foreign investors such as BP.

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina's president, introduced the new measure to Congress in a bid to recover sovereignty over its national hydrocarbon resources.

Kirchner accused Repsol of failing to produce enough oil through YPF to meet Argentina's energy requirements. Repsol's alleged failure threatened to "practically turn us into an unviable country," Kirchner said. Economic and political interest in the country's hydrocarbons has rocketed since the end of last year when YPF announced it had discovered a shale oil site that could potentially yield 1bn barrels.

Politicians have accused Repsol of failing to invest enough in future production at a time when the high cost of oil is undermining the country's economy.

The nationalisation comes amid escalating threats against operators drilling for oil off the disputed Falkland Islands.

Argentina is expected to expropriate about 24% of YPF from Repsol and another 26% from Argentina's Peterson Group at a price yet to be determined by the government.

Kirchner said the price would be set by the national appraisal tribunal and insisted the business could continue to be managed "professionally". She said Argentina was one of the few countries that did not control its own oil.

YPF is Argentina's biggest oil company and was in the hands of the state until the early 1990s. It was acquired by the Spanish group in 1999 and the boss of Repsol, Antonio Brufau, has been in Argentina since last week trying to head off a takeover. He told Mitre, a local radio station: "You've got to talk, not impose."

Speaking in Madrid a few hours before the announcement, the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, warned: "Wherever there is a Spanish company, the Spanish government will be there defending its interests as its own."

Last week, Spain's foreign minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, threatened to break off economic and fraternal relations with Argentina if Kirchner moved against YPF.

Independent petroleum experts were stunned by the development. "They are going to be closing the country as an investment destination," Anish Kapadia, an analyst at the London-based energy investment house Tudor Pickering Holt, told Bloomberg. BP, whose Pan American business in Argentina was a fully-integrated oil business covering exploration, production and petrol marketing, said it was unable to talk about what the nationalisation might mean for its business.

"We have not heard anything from the government. It is business as usual for us. I do not want to make a comment on someone else's business," said a company spokesman. BP tried to sell the business in 2010 for $7bn to Bridas Corporation, a deal which fell apart.

Kirchner's bill is expected to fly through Congress within the next couple of weeks thanks to the President's legislative majority.

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Growth machine is a capital problem

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

By Ian Angus


In article after article, book after book, scientists and environmentalists have exposed the devastating effects of constant economic expansion on the global environment. The drive to produce ever more “stuff” is filling our rivers with poison and our air with climate-changing gases. The oceans are dying, species are dying out at unprecedented rates, water is running short, and soil is eroding much faster than it can be replaced.

But the growth machine pushes on.

It’s not just inertia. Unending material expansion is a deliberate policy promoted by politicians of every political stripe, from social democrats to ultraconservatives. When the leaders of the world’s richest countries, the G20, met in Toronto two years ago, they unanimously agreed that their “highest priority” was to “lay the foundation for strong, sustainable and balanced growth.” They used the word “growth” 29 times in their nine-page final declaration.

Corporate executives, economists, pundits, bureaucrats, and of course politicians … all agree that growth is good and non-growth is bad.

Why, in the face of massive evidence that constant expansion of production and extraction of resources is killing us, do governments and corporations keep shoveling coal for the runaway growth train?

In most environmental writing, one of two explanations is offered — it’s human nature, or it’s a mistake.

The human nature argument is central to mainstream economics. Our species is homo economicus, economic man, defined by John Stuart Mill as “a being who inevitably does that by which he may obtain the greatest amount of necessaries, conveniences, and luxuries, with the smallest quantity of labour and physical self-denial with which they can be obtained.”

So we always want more, and economic growth is just capitalism’s way of meeting that fundamental human desire. Enough is never enough for our species.

That view often leads its proponents to conclude that the only way to slow or reverse the pillaging of Mother Earth is to slow or reverse population growth. More people equals more stuff; fewer people equals less stuff. As Simon Butler and I show in our book Too Many People?, many populationist arguments are no more sophisticated than that.

The other common greenish explanation for the constant promotion of growth is that we have somehow been seduced by a false ideology, a harmful mythology. “The more we examine the role of growth in our society,” writes the Australian environmentalist Clive Hamilton in Growth Fetish, "the more our obsession with growth appears to be a fetish — that is, an inanimate object worshipped for its apparent magical properties.”

Similarly, in The Environmental Endgame, environmental science professor Robert Nadeau says political leaders and economic planners are under the sway of “a quasi-religious belief system” – so what is needed is a religious conversion. “If political leaders and economic planners realize that the gods they now serve are false and proceed to do what is required to resolve the environmental crisis, we can soon be living in a very different world.” The task is to free humanity from “the fiction that perpetual economic growth is possible and morally desirable.”

These and other writers offer valuable insights into the catastrophic effects of constant growth, but they consistently fail to answer the most important question — why are these mistaken ideas so powerful? Why do politicians and economists cling to growth as a goal and GDP as its measure?

Critiquing the growth paradigm

The British Marxist Gareth Dale offers answers to those questions, and a refutation of the human nature argument, in an important paper published this month in the British journal International Socialism – “The Growth Paradigm: A Critique.”

Dale defines the growth paradigm as “the proposition that economic growth is good, imperative, essentially limitless, and the principal remedy for a litany of social problems”. Although that proposition seems ubiquitous and even natural, he says, the idea that pursuing profit for its own sake would benefit society at large is in fact “uniquely modern”.

“For millennia no sense of ‘an economy’ as something separate from the totality of social relations existed, nor was there a compulsion to growth. ‘Do we never find in antiquity an inquiry into which form of landed property, etc. is the most productive, creates the greatest wealth?’ asked Marx rhetorically. … The ancients, he wrote elsewhere, ‘never thought of transforming the surplus-product into capital. Or at least only to a very limited extent.’”

Not until the 1500s did the idea that accumulation is natural or desirable take root among the wealthy, and there was no major public defence of that idea until Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations in 1776. Even then, it wasn’t until the first decades of the 20th century that the general belief that material progress is desirable transmuted into “an urgent conviction that promoting growth is a matter of national priority”.

This history undermines the idea that a desire for constant expansion of material wealth is inherent in human nature. Economic man and the growth paradigm are recent inventions that our species managed without for most of our time on Earth.

So why is the growth paradigm so tenacious and influential now?

The argument that economic growth is driven by incorrect ideas gets the relationship exactly backwards: the view that constant economic growth is desirable is a product of a growth-driven economic and social system, not its cause.

Dale writes: “The growth paradigm is anchored in social relations. It is intrinsic in a society based on commodity production, for in such a society the drive to accumulate capital is imperative and ubiquitous. It cannot be explained in terms of misdirected views and false priorities alone, and therefore the transformation of humanity’s relationship with its environment requires more than a change of mentality.”

The emergence of the growth paradigm as a coherent ideology in England in the 1700s reflected the colossal shift that was then taking place in peoples’ relationships with each other and with nature. For millennia almost all production had been for use, so there was little need or room for growth as we understand it today. But under capitalism, most production is for exchange: capital exploits labour and nature to produce goods that can be sold for more than the cost of production, in order to accumulate more capital … and the process repeats. The growth paradigm doesn’t cause perpetual growth — it justifies it.

The fact that pro-growth ideology reflects the fundamental nature of capitalism does not, of course, mean that there is no need to expose and combat it. On the contrary, Gareth Dale insists: “There is a need for ideology critique: to uncover contradictions in the dominant ideology, to lay bare their connections within society’s mode of production and to comprehend their obfuscatory workings …

“The growth paradigm — the idea that continuous economic growth is society’s central and overriding goal — provides ideological cover for what is the true goal of capitalist production: the self-expansion of capital. Capitalists and their cadre would prefer their interests not to be seen in these terms. ‘As a system of competition,’ Mike Kidron and Elana Gluckstein observe, ‘capitalism depends on the growth of capital; as a class system it depends on obscuring the sources of that growth.’”

This brief introduction cannot do justice to Dale’s account, which not only deals with the history and roots of the growth paradigm, but offers valuable insights into its implications for left-green strategy in this century. It’s an important contribution to our understanding of capitalism’s growth paradigm, and to our fight against it.

[Republished from Climate and Capitalism].

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