End the Fed… but don’t stop there!
By: Andrew Gavin Marshall
In solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement, an Occupy the Fed (referring to the Federal Reserve System in the United States) has sprung up. I would just like to make a few comments related to this issue, as I think ending the Fed is very important (along with the entire central banking system), however, many who advocate an ‘end to the Fed’ often present it as a type of all-encompassing solution, as if ending the Fed will end all the problems faced by humanity at our present situation. I hope to shed some light upon this misleading notion.
The Fed is certainly an integral aspect of the system, as is the entire global central banking system. But it was itself a product of the system, and it’s not like America or the world were wonderful utopias of freedom, equality, and justice prior to the central banks or the Fed. They simply were the manifestation of the next logical step in power structures. The problem then, lies not with the Fed alone (though it is necessary to END it), but the true struggle, and the true source of change, can come only from the great struggle against ‘the institution’ itself. Whether a central bank, a private bank, a State, a corporation, an international financial institution, the UN, the IMF, World Bank, WTO, NATO, the military, philanthropic foundations, psychiatry, the church, the media, education, etc., it is ‘the institution’ and ‘the idea’ which must be challenged. Ideas are powerful things, and when institutionalized, they become corrosive, oppressive, segregative, divisive, controlling and dehumanizing. The Institution seeks to define humanity, and thus forces humanity to conform to its definition, to fit within the confines of our global institutional structures. Instead, we need to create a society that conforms to human nature. How do we do this? First, we must discover our true human nature. As long as “civilization” has existed, humans have been defined, controlled, and oppressed by various ideas and institutions.
As such, our ‘nature’ has only been viewed within the confines of the structure that controls us. When you study mice in a maze, no matter for what length of time or what the maze is constructed of and looks like, you cannot deduce the nature of the mouse separate from the context of the maze. To understand the true nature of the mouse, you must tear down the maze, stand back, and observe as life seeks out new opportunity, exploration, discovery, creativity, and purpose. In short, freedom. We must tear down the maze, tear down the walls, the institutions and ideas which seek to define and control humanity. We have to set humanity free in order to understand our true nature, and thus, construct a society based upon that nature. Simultaneously to the de-institutionalization of society, we must construct alternatives through communities, collective groupings, cooperative voluntary associations of individuals and localities, where people directly control and operate the economy, the polity, the society itself. It does not require hierarchy, institutions, authority and coercion. It requires only the will and the ability to see the system for what it is in its entirety, and to act accordingly.
So what is a possibility? What type of ideas can we move forward with? Many people may cringe, revile, and reject the notion of ‘anarchy,’ but their prejudices in regards to anarchy lead one to associate it reflexively with chaos, violence, and disorder. Anarchy is not what one typically thinks. Anarchy is not chaos or violence or lawlessness. Anarchy is simply the concept that the burden of proof is on the structure of power, and if that structure has no legitimacy, it should not exist. Anarchy is where true democracy and true freedom flourish, where people don’t fight one another or seek to control and dominate, but where they cooperate, integrate, communicate, liberate and grow together. Technology would not be the enemy, but the means through which we establish, maintain, and give growth to a new global philosophy of liberation, through which communities and peoples around the world can interact and communicate directly with one another – and NOT through a particular lens of power – but as individuals, as equals. They can learn from each other, grow together. Anarchy is the understanding that freedom for one requires freedom for all, from all which seeks to define, control, and oppress humanity.
Never before has the aim of such a global society been made possible, but it is precisely because of technology – communication and information – that such a concept may become practical and plausible. It is precisely that everyone can see, communicate, and understand one another and our collective struggles as human beings which will allow us to understand that it is the structures, ideas, and institutions of power which must be laid to rest. If you merely replace the institution with another, change the flag, usurp the power over the institution, no matter the intent, the desire, the hope… the institution will corrupt those who sit atop. All of human history is evidence of this.
Humans were not meant to live in a system where so few are able to control so many. Power was not meant to be centralized, and thereby removed from the people. Individual psychology is evidence of this. Power is necessary in the life of all individuals, the power to lead one’s own life and seek out your own destiny, ideas, experience your creativity and to discover and be who you are to the best of your abilities. When we lack this power over our own lives, our societies become sick. The social is a reflection of the psychological, and the psychological is a reflection of the social; just as the sky reflects the ocean, and the ocean reflects the sky. To be free, personally, individually, psychologically, emotionally, politically, economically, socially, and truly… we can no longer accept this perverted system we call “civilization.”
Humanity is still in its adolescent stage, where we remain dependent upon those who brought us here. Now it is time to use the tools we have acquired through our collective historical childhood and adolescence so that the whole of humanity may now ‘grow up’ and create a society befitting of a free thinking and acting individual.
So yes, End the Fed… But for the sake of humanity, don’t stop there!
For more information on this subject, see my recent article: Against the Institution: A Warning for ‘Occupy Wall Street’
And for a wider perspective of the ‘Institutional’ system and means of creating a new one, see my report: A Revolutionary Idea for a Revolutionary Time: A Plan of Action for the Global Political Awakening