Illusions waiting to be shattered

The collapse of the world monetary system and events have shattered many illusions not least the one that Alberta’s prosperity would not be affected by a world recession.

The illusion of Thatcherism, which asserted that, when the rich accumulated an increasing amount of the wealth it would trickle down to the poor.

That Monetarism (sound money) was the key to stabilizing the capitalist system after the failure of Keynsianism (pump priming).

That the oil industry internationally that operates under private ownership and only for profit can function without causing disasters.

The illusion, that economists have some idea of how the system works and can point to a way out of the world crises.

That the Canadian banking system is superior to those of other nations when our economy is limping along in step with the world economy and we are not, in reality, in much better shape than most of the advanced countries.

There are many more illusions waiting to be shattered, including the assertion that the current crises will end and bring a return to former levels of prosperity.

As a province and as a nation we are a part of the world economy, in particular the economy of the United States our largest trading partner, now in the worst crises in its history.

The world economy was only rescued from a severe depression on the scale of the 1930’s by the injection of a staggering $14 trillion, compare this to the Marshall Aid Plan to rescue Europe after the Second World War which was $17 billion (the equivalent of $200 billion today) and the enormous scale of the problem can be seen (U.S. dollars).

Workers in Canada and other countries are being forced to take cuts in the name of sharing out the sacrifice in order to save their respective economies, at the same time there are more billionaires than ever before. Some sharing!

So called economic experts and many academics scoff at socialism without ever having read a single word written by the great socialist teachers and philosophers of the past.

However, socialists, including those of the NDP, have a duty to offer an explanation of the nature of the crises and an alternative way forward.

The present crises is not temporary. It marks a fundamental turning point in history.

Keith Norman Wyatt