Tens of thousands of students took to the streets of London today in a demonstration that spiralled out of control when a fringe group of protesters hurled missiles at police and occupied the building housing Conservative party headquarters. Tonight both ministers and protesters acknowledged that the demonstration – by far the largest and most dramatic yet in response to the government's austerity measures – was "just the beginning" of public anger over cuts. Police, meanwhile, were criticised for failing to anticipate the scale of the disorder. An estimated 52,000 people, according to the National Union of Students, marched through central London to display their anger over government plans to increase tuition fees while cutting state funding for university teaching. A wing of the protest turned violent as around 200 people stormed 30 Millbank, the central London building that is home to Tory HQ, where police wielding batons clashed with a crowd hurling placard sticks, eggs and some bottles. Demonstrators shattered windows and waved anarchist flags from the roof of the building, while masked activists traded punches with police to chants of "Tory scum". – Guardian
Dominant Social Theme: Don't look at the students. They are always making trouble.
Free-Market Analysis: We were going to write about former President George W. Bush's new book but what is going on in Britain right now seems both important and timely. There are two developments to ponder on: Unrest has now begun in Britain over the faux-austerity that has been imposed throughout Europe. Just as importantly, someone named Douglas Carswell has introduced into Parliament a "UK banking reform bill." This happened a while ago and it is worth reporting on in some detail as what Carswell has proposed is a FULL RESERVE banking bill. His introduction of the bill on Youtube (of course) is pretty wonderful stuff for those of the "free-market" persuasion. On Youtube, it is entitled, "Douglas Carswell's UK banking reform bill, first reading (2010-09-15)."
First to student unrest. Britain being Britain it was probably inevitable that the beginnings of civil unrest would wait for a Tory administration. There really was no way that Labour, students or others in Britain – brainwashed into observing class distinctions and political protocol – would ever step into the streets to protest a Labour regime, even a "new Labour" one. But now that the Tories are in power (never mind that it is a power-sharing arrangement with the Liberal Democrats) extracurricular political protest is apparently fair game once more.
Here at the Bell, of course, we do not endorse violence, merely observe it and the policies that forerun it; we report on these developments and attempt to analyze them as best we can. We would prefer to see massive LAWFUL protests that would bring home to the powers-that-be that the Eurocrats and British officials, too, have been acting in a high-handed way for too long – but people will make their voices heard as they wish to. In Britain there has been a long time lag between complaining and acting. Until recently, the British government has blundered forward, entangling Britain evermore tightly in the EU noose. All that may be changing now.
The proximate cause of the protests are related (above) in the Guardian excerpt, but what is interesting to us is the presence of "anarchist flags." We have pointed out already (several times) that the problems in Europe are likely class-based and have little or nothing, ultimately, to do with austerity per se. That is of course the rallying cry. But in fact the anger and frustration that is in evidence across the PIGS, in Iceland and now in Britain too is far broader.
This has not in our view been properly expressed in the Western mainstream media where the emphasis has been on the "benefits" conversation. But the underlying anger has to do with the European Union, its inequities and the unfair distribution of benefits. While the PIGS elites handled massive injections of cash designed to make PIGS economies healthy enough to join the EU, the actual funds went into the pockets of those who were to make the necessary changes. In fact, little changed. The money merely acted as a kind of bribe to bring the elites on board. The EU was duly joined by these countries even though they were still spendthrift and on the road to ruin.
We long predicted the tribes of Europe would not stand for it once it stopped delivering. In Europe, especially, larger democratic issues are invoked within the context of larger practicalities. The tribes could put up with obvious EU corruption; they even could put up with fixed elections and a growing authoritarian bureaucracy.
The end of EU support involves the end of the promise of prosperity. When the Western world's economy collapsed, the EU went from golden goose to albatross. Banks that had been willing to loan endless amounts of money to ludicrous projects across Europe (Portugal's road system apparently has been almost entirely repaved) were suddenly insisting on being paid back. And the EU has busied itself raising taxes and discussing defaults.
Now there is nothing for the tribes in the EU to look forward to anymore but endless austerity and generational bankruptcy. Yet the intergenerational, familial banking elite that basically runs Europe and America seems to be counting on laws and civil and military force to keep restive citizens in line while a New World Order is gradually forged. It is madness from our point of view. This perspective could only be held by those who are generations removed from the ancestors that gathered the initial wealth.
In Europe in the past century a hundred million or more perished. While some of these murdered millions can be laid directly at the doorstep of the elites, much of the potential for mayhem lies dormant, coiled within the tribal cultures themselves. The elites have often manipulated this dangerous characteristic but not now. Over time, the EU itself may be faced with a genuine insurrection.
We argue regularly that the truth-telling of the Internet itself, like the Gutenberg press before it, has in a sense set off what is occurring today. It is a virtual paradigm shift due to the sudden availability of "secret" information that has revealed the way the world really works and the power players behind the increasingly authoritarian regulatory democracies of the West. This power elite has long sought to establish ever more elaborate world governance – a so-called New World Order. But the Internet itself, unexpected and unmalleable, has changed the elite equation. No longer is global domination assured. In fact, its possibilities seem to be waning.
At some point in our view the elite may have to take a step back, if only for its survival. The anger that is rising throughout the West, in both America and Europe, is far more disciplined in the 21st century than at any time in the 20th. The Internet itself has made a difference. The Anglo-American power elite that handled such anger by channeling it into "populist" movements can do so no longer, or not nearly so easily. The trick was always to make people demand BETTER government – and government for THE PEOPLE – when in truth government of any sort is what elites seek because they manipulate society through mercantilism. So long as there are levers of power to be grasped, the elite will end up clutching them.
But today those levers of power are malfunctioning. Most of the fear-based promotions that the elite has generated to control society are beginning to falter. Global warming and a variety of scarcity memes fail to convince. Wars are not being won. Promotions that went well in the 20th century are coming under intense scrutiny. And now the EU is beginning to face active, mass protests – not just across Europe but in Britain too.
The protests go beyond austerity issues, as we have pointed out. Perhaps the most sacrosanct of all power elite promotions has been the central banking theme (see other story, this issue). The idea that wise men could determine the amount and value of money needed by Western economies has long since taken on the trapping of a religion – one featuring ritualized predictions of the future and press conferences that have formal, even liturgical aspects. Central bankers – and their commercial bank distribution points – have been treated in a holy way.
But now, in Britain, a further protest has been made. A bill has been introduced to support full-reserve banking. The gentleman who has done the introducing is Douglas Carswell (as mentioned above) and the idea that such a bill could be introduce in Britain – where many of the most powerful elite families congregate – is absolutely astounding.
We are truly living in miraculous times. And yet it is perfectly possible that intellectual war being generated by the Internet has only just begun. The concepts of honest money – mentioned numerous times in the introduction to this bill – have only now begun to percolate once again. All across the West people are beginning to rediscover the intellectual heritage of humankind. The Anglo-American power elite has tended to downplay anything that did not directly enhance or support its goal of world domination, but much is being recovered now.
It is from our point of view for the moment an unstoppable tide. The elite may at some point gain control of the Internet, but these are massive cultural shifts at work and the Internet is a tremendously broad technology. It may not be fully controlled for many years – decades – and by then there may be other communication technologies that the elite will have to contend with. Information may never again be as thoroughly repressed as it was in the 20th century.
Here at the Bell, we would rather see monetary policy removed from the state. The best way to determine the substance of money is in the marketplace itself. But what Carswell is proposing, apparently, is a competitive system in which honest money and central banking would somehow cohabit, at least initially. He is probably correct to believe that people would shift their funds to full-reserve banks if they could, given the horrors of the current system.
We do not know much about Carswell except what we could tell from his website which is that he is a "conservative" MP and that he once ran unsuccessfully against Tony Blair. But Carswell's introduction of this full reserve, honest-money banking bill is the equivalent of a broadside launched against the powerful British elite. It is very doubtful he is acting alone (and we would hope, in fact, that he would consider a bodyguard).
Without the ability to print endless amounts of money, the Anglo-American axis' larger ambitions will go unfunded. Wars will become harder to prosecute and the prison-intensive matrix of regulatory democracy will become impossible to afford. While Carswell's legislation has not gone much remarked by the mainstream media (from what we can tell), it is available on Youtube and has been reported via the alternative media. And now you are reading about it here.