Some things never change, and in a broad-brushed historical review one could reasonably say we’re still serfs -- slaves to debt acquired from the oligarchs of finance. This week’s 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta serves to remind us that creating new publicly-owned banks is a defining step toward breaking free from living in total subservience to privileged private parties. Here are two birthday essays on the pivotal relevance of the Magna Carta to today’s struggles for justice and democracy:
If Magna Carta is to be recovered in its fullness, we must bring with it all that can be obtained from these interpretations. The first one calls for the abolition of the commodity form of wealth that blocks the way to commoning. The second one gives us protection from intrusion by privatizers, autocrats, and militarists. The third one warns us against false idols. The fourth renews the right of resistance.
~Peter Linebaugh, The Magna Carta Manifesto (2008)
In honoring this venerable 800th anniversary of one of the most important documents in the history of free people, one wants to remember that the Emperor really has no clothes unless we the people bestow them. While Oligarchs hold the many privileges of power, they’ve forgotten they work for us. That was the gist of the Magna Carta event: “All power emanates from the People” At least it should -- and it can again.
So we’ve selected two brief essays for your reflection at this historical moment and hope they’ll stir your inner-Revolutionary consciousness. Here are two excerpts:
From Paul Craig Roberts' “Happy Birthday Magna Carta”
A new slave existence is being created in front of our eyes as law ceases to be a shield of peoples and becomes a weapon in the hands of government. Eight hundred years of reform is being overturned as Washington and its vassals invade, bomb, and overthrow governments that are out of step with Washington’s agenda. Formerly self-sufficient agricultural communities are becoming wage slaves for international agribusiness corporations. Everywhere privilege is rising above law and justice is being lost.
The concentration of wealth and power is reminiscent of the aristocratic era and of Rome under the Caesars. The demise of the rule of law has stripped ordinary people of security and dignity. Peoples of the world must protect themselves by acting in defense of the Great Charter’s principle that governments are accountable to law.
And this from J.T. Coombs of Global Magna Carta.org: “Why Magna Carta Works”
Today power and greed is more subtly attained by financial instruments, rather that instruments of war. Debt has become the weapon of war as our money supply is created by financiers, rather than governments, gradually enslaving people and countries by debt repayment.
These debt repayments have become the single most important aspect of any country’s responsibilities, because of beliefs that have been imposed by the few on the many and which, like Magna Carta, have been written down to authenticate them. That these written beliefs can also cause human suffering shows how the shaping of Life by dominating beliefs can sometimes be disastrous to our wellbeing. (The TTIP secret trade agreement is the latest example, if allowed.)
This is where we find ourselves in this 21st century, as debt spurs the attainment of power and greed.