The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the XXI Century

Published on Global Research.ca, by Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, May 9, 2010.

(The following text is the Preface of  The Global Economic Crisis. The Great Depression of the XXI Century, Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall (Editors), Montreal, Global Research, 2010, which is to be launched in late May):

The Failure of Mainstream Economics:

The economics profession, particularly in the universities, rarely addresses the actual “real world” functioning of markets. Theoretical constructs centered on mathematical models serve to represent an abstract, fictional world in which individuals are equal.

There is no theoretical distinction between workers, consumers or corporations, all of which are referred to as “individual traders”. No single individual has the power or ability to influence the market, nor can there be any conflict between workers and capitalists within this abstract world.

By failing to examine the interplay of powerful economic actors in the “real life” economy, the processes of market rigging, financial manipulation and fraud are overlooked. The concentration and centralization of economic decision-making, the role of the financial elites, the economic thinks tanks, the corporate boardrooms: none of these issues are examined in the universities’ economics programs. The theoretical construct is dysfunctional; it cannot be used to provide an understanding of the economic crisis.

Economic science is an ideological construct which serves to camouflage and justify the New World Order. A set of dogmatic postulates serves to uphold free market capitalism by denying the existence of social inequality and the profit-driven nature of the system is denied. The role of powerful economic actors and how these actors are able to influence the workings of financial and commodity markets is not a matter of concern for the discipline’s theoreticians. The powers of market manipulation which serve to appropriate vast amounts of money wealth are rarely addressed. And when they are acknowledged, they are considered to belong to the realm of sociology or political science.

This means that the policy and institutional framework behind this global economic system, which has been shaped in the course of the last thirty years, is rarely analyzed by mainstream economists. It follows that economics as a discipline, with some exceptions, has not provided the analysis required to comprehend the economic crisis. In fact, its main free market postulates deny the existence of a crisis. The focus of neoclassical economics is on equilibrium, disequilibrium and “market correction” or “adjustment” through the market mechanism, as a means to putting the economy back “onto the path of self-sustained growth.”

Poverty and Social Inequality: … //

Our Analysis in this Book:

The contributors to this book reveal the intricacies of global banking and its insidious relationship to the military industrial complex and the oil conglomerates. The book presents an inter- disciplinary and multi-faceted approach, while also conveying an understanding of the historical and institutional dimensions. The complex relations of the economic crisis to war, empire and worldwide poverty are highlighted. This crisis has a truly global reach and repercussions that reverberate throughout all nations, across all societies.

In Part I, the overall causes of the global economic crisis as well as the failures of mainstream economics are laid out. Michel Chossudovsky focuses on the history of financial deregulation and speculation. Tanya Cariina Hsu analyzes the role of the American Empire and its relationship to the economic crisis. John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff undertake a comprehensive review of the political economy of the crisis, explaining the central role of monetary policy. James Petras and Claudia von Werlhof provide a detailed review and critique of neoliberalism, focusing on the economic, political and social repercussions of the “free market” reforms. Shamus Cooke examines the central role of debt, both public and private.

Part II, which includes chapters by Michel Chossudovsky and Peter Phillips, analyzes the rising tide of poverty and social inequality resulting from the Great Depression.

With contributions by Michel Chossudovsky, Peter Dale Scott, Michael Hudson, Bill Van Auken, Tom Burghardt and Andrew Gavin Marshall, Part III examines the relationship between the economic crisis, National Security, the U.S.-NATO led war and world government. In this context, as conveyed by Peter Dale Scott, the economic crisis creates social conditions which favor the instatement of martial law.

The focus in Part IV is on the global monetary system, its evolution and its changing role. Andrew Gavin Marshall examines the history of central banking as well as various initiatives to create regional and global currency systems. Ellen Brown focuses on the creation of a global central bank and global currency through the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Richard C. Cook examines the debt-based monetary system as a system of control and provides a framework for democratizing the monetary system.

Part V focuses on the working of the Shadow Banking System, which triggered the 2008 meltdown of financial markets. The chapters by Mike Whitney and Ellen Brown describe in detail how Wall Street’s Ponzi scheme was used to manipulate the market and transfer billions of dollars into the pockets of the banksters.

We are indebted to the authors for their carefully documented research, incisive analysis, and, foremost, for their unbending commitment to the truth: Tom Burghardt, Ellen Brown, Richard C. Cook, Shamus Cooke, John Bellamy Foster, Michael Hudson, Tanya Cariina Hsu, Fred Magdoff, James Petras, Peter Phillips, Peter Dale Scott, Mike Whitney, Bill Van Auken and Claudia von Werlhof, have provided, with utmost clarity, an understanding of the diverse and complex economic, social and political processes which are affecting the lives of millions of people around the world.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Maja Romano of Global Research Publishers, who relentlessly oversaw and coordinated the editing and production of this book, including the creative front page concept. We wish to thank Andréa Joseph for the careful typesetting of the manuscript and front page graphics. We also extend our thanks and appreciation to Isabelle Goulet, Julie Lévesque and Drew McKevitt for their support in the revision and copyediting of the manuscript.

Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin Marshall, Montreal and Vancouver, May 2010. (full long text).

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