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NEWNATIONS BULLETIN: 14TH OCTOBER 2013

"Myths, Politicians & Money"

by Bryan Gould

 

This is a seriously important book, badly needed in the discussion of where things have gone wrong in the economy and subsequently democracy, certainly in the western world. It addresses the widespread dismay that the power of Banks, International Investment Companies, Sovereign Wealth Funds - high finance generally, can now be seen to lord it over democratically elected governments.

 

But how has this happened?

 

Bryan Gould starts his book by reconsidering Francis Fukuyama’s 1989 “The End of History “ - which was intended to describe the post-cold war achievements of the free market and the ’plateau of success’ on which the world had found itself.

The reality can now be seen that in the 1980’s there was indeed an end to some seven hundred years of history, during which inch by painful inch, western liberalism had gradually emerged as a growing force in the conduct of governments. This process can now be seen to have been gravely damaged when Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher agreed to remove exchange controls and to float their currencies.

That single action cleared the way for a determined assault by international capital, on the political power of democracies across the globe. The ability of international investors to take advantage in moving capital at will across frontiers, thus bypassing governments, has ever since altered the balance of power in favour of the new masters of the economy, "a cabal of extremely rich and powerful people and institutions". As a result, virtually the whole of the increased wealth of the last three decades has gone to the richest people in our societies, whilst joblessness has become endemic, and poverty - even in rich countries, has risen. As a result people have witnessed the growing power of international finance and the consequent diminution of democracy.

 

The conflict can be summarised, in that the cult of the individual without constraints, has triumphed over the concept of a democratic society, with its obligations to all of its people, including working towards full employment. Now major decisions are taken not in government but in company boardrooms, in the interests not primarily of citizens, but of shareholders and Directors.

The article we publish here is an introduction by the author to the important book of this title, which is a warning about "what we are in the course of losing before it is too late", now available from Amazon and internationally.


                                                                                                                       Clive Lindley. Publisher


 

Bryan Gould, formerly a New Zealand Rhodes Scholar, was a diplomat with the UK Foreign Service, then an Oxford law don. He worked as a TV journalist, then became a Labour MP in the UK Parliament – for a time their Shadow Cabinet economic spokesman, and in 1992 a contender for the party leadership. He returned to New Zealand and became a University Vice-Chancellor. Now retired, he is a commentator on world events.

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