Potentially Useful Serfs,
I was thinking this out while driving back from Yoakum.
The extraction of value from productive enterprises leads to "excess" or "alienated" value, which can then be "invested" in extracting more value through the miracle of financial capitalism.
"Financial capital" is an abstraction of productive capital, which used to mean farmland, forests and fisheries, then factories and mines, shipping companies, and finally just the "money" to buy and sell those things, the most flexible form of "capital", the universal-gift-certificate, Gold.
Gold was dangerous to carry and move in quantity, so "ownership papers" would be substituted and could circulate without as much risk of robbery, in various "banking" arrangements. Once banking arrangements were in place they could be further abstracted easily, with "fractional reserve lending" allowing one ounce of gold to back-up ten ounces of circulating bank-notes or checks redeemable in that gold (or silver).
This innovation allowed bankers to create "gold" without consequences, and to accumulate over time all of the physical-capital of factories, fisheries and fleets for which the "gold" could be readily traded. Clearly the "creation" of "gold" was the best invention ever for accruing "ownership" of real and productive assets. Everybody would soon discover this and insist upon doing nothing else, destroying the real economy, and causing almost all of us to die.
Fortunately, most people are not as smart as bankers and have not been able to understand this, or it just doesn't seem right to them. I understand it, but it has always seemed immoral to me, so I have never done it. I'm eccentric that way.
There is a reduction to absurdity in the system, so it has to be structured so that only a few people hold this power of money-creation. First, there are hired-guns at all levels, bank guards to NATO. There is enough created money to pay them. They don't ask questions if they get paid on time.
Then there is the mystification of the mechanisms of banking, with PR like the movie "It's a Wonderful Life", where Jimmy Stewart runs around the rural bank in the winter explaining to his neighbors how they all invested each other's money in barns and tractors and stuff, so he can't give it to them right away. The educational system continues this particular tale of mystery in college undergraduate classes, talking about "investing", rather than owning the printing press and the casino.
If everybody in the world used one kind of bank money that bank and its bankers would own everything in the world in a few generations unless other people prevented that. Enough smart people in the world understand how the money-making machine works to have their own banks. So bigger banks work to buy or bankrupt smaller banks, seeking the perfect monopoly that leads to ownership of everything, though the deal has to be shared with co-conspirators until ownership is more concentrated and the smaller ones can be peeled off somehow. Bankers and very rich bank-owners buy government leaders to control laws and the military in their favor, so that their banking privilege and ownership of all the nice things from the money they made is not threatened.
This is working quite well, so the money-creators keep creating money, and owning more stuff in the world. They especially like to monopoly-own all of a thing that people need, so that they can charge more for it, and accumulate more "excess value" to buy and own more of the real farms and factories in the world, on the road to owning everything.
There are other kinds of monopoly models that play one country against another in a world of trade. If some countries only make 3 things, then they need to buy everything else, and those 3 things they make can be 3 monopolies that pay all of the workers just enough to live. Another monopoly can import everything else, and charge enough for everything else so that workers can only buy enough to live from paycheck to paycheck. This becomes ideal, since workers use just enough to live, and all other value is "excess", "alienated" from the workers who created it.
This model used to be called "colonialism", but it became so sophisticated that the militaries could be removed, lowering the cost to the owners. It can all be done with money and trade flows if countries will make policies that keep them from growing their own food locally. If they just grow bananas for export, they need to pay the importers for everything else. That makes excess value which can be paid to their leaders and local police and militaries (and drug-lords).
The prices for food imports can be raised above the prices paid for banana-exports, so that the countries borrow money from the bankers to buy food to feed people. This can be arranged between bankers, government leaders, and "owners" of bank stock and "investment portfolios". Obviously, this gets politically touchy because people are barely living and always just barely so. If the local "owners" hold the debt of the country, they can be very close to the local government and military all the time to help keep the system operational when the working people want more for themselves.
Again, it is important to make it look more complicated, and to look like the loans are held by distant foreign banks and the IMF, but the magic is that the real owners of Argentina's $US debt are mostly living right there in Argentina, keeping the politicians, generals and gangsters on the team.
It is clear that the owners need to cooperate at some point, rather than going to war and breaking everything, especially now that the mechanisms of cooperation can be so subtle, pervasive and effective, like everybody owning stock in everybody else's company, especially through really BIG corporations like Vanguard and BlackRock that can "manage assets" across the whole world in such a way that all of the assets they manage help the other assets they manage by putting companies they don't-manage out-of-business. This can be really subtle, since it is not obvious to the small manufacturer why all of their costs are going up, and they can't seem to get anything on time, either.
During COVID lockdowns lots of smaller businesses went out of business, but bigger businesses got bigger and richer, somehow.
"Competition is a sin", and Team Global are quietly snuffing it out.
It wasn't just one thing that bankrupted small businesses. It was how everything worked out. BlackRock, Vanguard, big banks and central banks were all "saved". They "own and manage" more assets than ever. The national central-banks "borrowed" lots of money and just gave it to Team-Global, which helped keep the "threatened global financial-system from collapsing" from some "overly optimistic investments" that had not contained enough real-stuff, but mostly good-ideas.
The promise of our future work is what supports the "borrowing" of that money to save banking. We have to keep working to pay rent and bills or we will be living on the streets.
This wonderful globalized western financial system, with all of its cooperation between central banks, governments, non-bank financial institutions, shareholders, militaries and "other stakeholders" is now threatened, and if it collapses, we will all be starving, freezing and burning on the streets, where we may die of infectious diarrhea.
The threat is Russia, of course, and China, and Iran, and now India, Saudi Arabia, the rascals in Venezuela, the ungrateful Africans in general, and even Argentina if their local members of Club Global can't get a good president elected to undo or sabotage this BRICS+ membership thing.
This threat must be stamped-out completely before it is too late! Send donations and ideas to the Democratic National Committee or the Republican National Committee, but not to traitors like Donald Trump or Robert Kennedy Jr.
Externality (pictured recently with Jenny, with rising sun in our eyes)