MEDIA ROOTS — Recently, Max Keiser discussed, on RT, the MF Global pillaging scandal, the USA’s eighth largest bankruptcy, and how the Occupy Movement has remained largely silent on the potential rallying-call issue due to a lack of financial literacy. Fortunately, Max Keiser, Dr. Michael Hudson, Dr. Richard Wolff, and others have been speaking at Occupy Movement convergences. Perhaps, in the USA, we may learn to head off the banker fascism austerity now looming over the Eurozone. Media Roots considers the benefits of our increased collective interest in the dynamics of political economy and international relations, impacting our global regions. In this spirit, we present the second broadcast from Pacifica Radio’s Guns and Butter, featuring excerpts of the introductory remarks from radical economist Dr. Alain Parquez at the recent Italian Modern Monetary Theory Summit in Rimini, Italy, February 2012.
GUNS AND BUTTER — “Real wages will collapse. And what we have in mind is a total collapse of the share of labour income in the French society and how to get that by the Treaty of Maastricht and the creation of the euro system.” — Dr. Alain Parquez
“I’m Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter: Alain Parquez. Today’s show: The Birth of the European Central Bank: Its Real Agenda. Alain Parquez is Emeritus Professor of Economics, Ist Class, Université de Franche-Comte at Besancon, France; Faculty of Law, Economics and Political Science. He has written extensively on monetary policy, crisis theory, and economic policy, including articles and books on the impact of austerity measures, which he believes are the cause of the world crisis. He is currently writing a book on the general theory of the monetary circuit and its economic policy implications.
“Today’s show features introductory remarks by Alain Parquez at the first Italian grassroots economic Summit on Modern Money Theory in Rimini, Italy, February 2012, produced by Italian journalist Paolo Barnard. The five speakers were Stephanie Kelton, William Black, Alain Parquez, Michael Hudson, and Marshall Auerback.”
Dr. Alain Parquez (c. 2:00): “Yes, when I look at this audience, I am ashamed to be French because such an event would be impossible in my own country for two reasons. The government would have tried to forbid it. And the economy and society is in such a state of total disaster that people, even young people, are completely despaired. So, again, Italians are the sole hope of Europe. [Applause]
“Contrary to what happens in France, you try to fight the total coup d’état which has been planned a very long time ago, and enshrined into the European monetary union. I shall try to explain that the so-called ‘sovereign crisis’ of sovereign debt is a lie. [Applause] But it has been carefully planned by those who build the European system. What they had in mind was the creation of a new totalitarian social order destroying democracy, all kind of social legislation. And now the new treaty imposed by our French president, who makes Berlusconi a saint, deprived the states of any kind of sovereignty, imposed permanent deflation. So, yes, my colleague was right [reaching over to UMKC Professor W.K. Black, seated to his left]. You are what the European ruling-class is afraid of—mobilisation of the people. They want to rule by fear and ignorance. And, at least, thanks to Paolo and thanks to you, there is hope that fear and ignorance will defeat what should be deemed techno-fascism, which is the existing tradition of the European monetary union. So, thank you and hail Italy. [Applause]
(c. 6:23) “Well, I am here to speak of a very dark and tragic story. You already understood that the euro is a monster, contradicting all the rules of both modern money, modern economy. So, the problem is why is such an absurd system exists at all. I was told that in your country, like in mine, some people believe that if we get rid of the euro, Italy or France should be back to the state of the poorest part of Africa—Zimbabwe. But the real economy in the Eurozone is already in the state of Zimbabwe. For instance, some short data on France because the French invented and imposed the Eurosystem a very long time ago. In France, the true amount of unemployment is around 60% of the active people, which is obviously enormous. And we have a true rate of inflation of 7% or 8%. So, we don’t have full employment and we don’t have price stability. It means that all official data in Europe are lies.
(c. 9:38) “So, I shall start my true speech by a quotation from the Chief Executive of the French Ministry of Finance—by the way, is a monk of the Order of Santo Benedict and the Chief of the French Opus Dei; and by the way the European Commission is entirely controlled, like the French government, by the Opus Dei. So, I try to discuss with him. He told me, ‘Yes! The French economy is dead, but not enough.’ He told me, ‘Professor, you should understand why the European system exists. What we want is to destroy, forever, the people. We want, forever, to create a new kind of European people, accepting sufferance, poverty, which could accept wages lower than in China. And it will be the core of my intervention.’
(c. 11:50) “The Eurosystem was never planned to be a monetary union. It was not even planned as a neoliberal agenda. The neoliberal economics, American style, was and is still completely ignored by the ruling European elite. What you think that even for the leader of the French Socialist Party, President Obama is a Marxist.
“So, what is the euro? A new totalitarian social order, which was planned a long time ago in the interwar period and completed by the regime of François Mitterrand. In the new order, there will be no more sovereign state. The state has to vanish, at least the state rooted into democracy, parliament, republic. In the new order, power should be entirely transferred to those who deserve it, which means some elite capitalist class technocrats enjoying absolute power of control.”
Bonnie Faulkner (c. 14:49): “You’re listening to economics professor and author Alain Parguez at the Summit on Modern Money Theory in Rimini, Italy. Today’s show: The Birth of the European Central Bank: Its Real Agenda. I’m Bonnie Faulkner. This is Guns and Butter.”
Dr. Alain Parquez: “And, in the first part of my interventions, I shall try briefly to explain the story of the planning of the European monetary union. It started in the interwar period in the most reactionary, traditionalist, part of the French ruling-class with some support from an Italian philosopher, Julius Evola, the very one who accused Mussolini of being too soft to the people and who accused Adolf Hitler of being too soft on poor people.
“In a second part, I shall try to explain that the so-called sovereign debt crisis is obviously an event who never happened in history. But such a crisis has been carefully planned by the architects of the European system. What they had in mind was to privatise the state. And since they believed that the state, at least the state with democracy was always wasting real wealth. It’s obvious that the state being forced to borrow money, the state debt should be looked at as bad debts and, thereby, the state should be completely enslaved to the so-called bonds market, which is exactly what is happening now.
(c. 18:37) “In [the] last part, I shall try to prove that there is not the least way of amending the system because as a social order it has its logic. And those who control the system will never accept any kind of change, especially, any kind of intervention of the European Central Bank. Only, indeed, if those interventions aim at increasing the banks’ wealth. So, the sole possibility of saving the European society is to get rid of that system. The private sector, capitalist sector, in Europe is now dead. To quote Michael Hudson, ‘[few public] leaders of the capitalist sector are no more interested into the real economy. They are rentiers.’ So, European capitalism is dying. [Gross Domestic Product] is for five or six years, in France, minus 3% or 4% a year.
(c. 21:12) “As for the euro, it’s as I wrote, thanks to an invitation by my colleague Stephanie Kelton, a long time ago, on false money, I wrote an article ‘False Money Against the Real Economy.’ And, indeed, it destroyed the real economy. But first let us, briefly, explain the origin of such an absurd system. There are two stages into the planning of the Eurosystem. The first in the interwar period and during 1940-1943. And the second stage, the achievement of the system was, I must say, the masterwork of the regime of François Mitterrand. So, we start in the mid-‘30s with people like Schuman, Jean Monnet. Schuman wrote that in 1927 we need to create Europe as a new order rooted into tradition saving Europe from decadence. Decadence for the poor Europeans means socialism, revolution, Protestants, Jews, Marxism, free access to health and education, abortions, homosexuality, etcetera, etcetera.
(c. 24:19) “And which is extremely interesting, for the early poor Europeans, what they wished was a system completely opposed to the United States society they hated. And the European elite was more hating the United States society of consumption, shopping malls, than they hated USSR. And now it is exactly the same. So, what was required to build Europe, to abolish the state, to force a permanent deflation by squeezing and squeezing public expenditures. It could help to transfer the power to a super-class of technocrats on a supranational scale. But for those early Europeans, what meaned Europe? It mean a condominium between France/Germany and a colonial empire, including Southern Europe and Eastern Europe. They were absolutely explicit on this problem.
“But how could we suppress the state? By depriving the State of any power on money. All of them were fanatical followers of Friedrich Hayek, the most right-wing Austrian economist of that time. So, Europe should rely on a supranational currency, entirely controlled by a sovereign central bank enjoying absolute power to ration the state. Indeed, there, finally, what they wished was to impose a future European currency, as a super-gold standard—”
Bonnie Faulkner (c. 28:35): “You’re listening to economics professor and author Alain Parguez at the Summit on Modern Money Theory in Rimini, Italy. Today’s show: The Birth of the European Central Bank: Its Real Agenda. I’m Bonnie Faulkner. This is Guns and Butter.”
Dr. Alain Parquez: “—of the Treaty of Maastricht, was written by a French economist François Perroux in 1943 with the full support of a treaty passed between the [white] government and the French [Ponant] regime of that time. And the new treaty, which has been decided by President Sarkozy and Madame Merkel, is exactly the blueprint of François Perroux 1943.
“Those people were against the traditional gold standard because they believed that the gold standard had not allowed a total abolition of the power of the state to spend. So, Europe should be a super-gold standard. So, it was a first stage. But, for some time, the European project was maybe in the backwards because all of his supporters were more Hitlerian than Adolf Hitler himself.
“So, we had to wait. The regime of Francois Mitterrand, I could speak on this question because I had been conscripted by the Chief Advisor of Francois Mitterrand, who by the way was a fanatical right-winger hating the modern world, hating the United States, a monarchist, who said, ‘I hate the poor.’ So, Jacques Attali was, de facto, the Prime Minister of France. And Attali was in charge with a lot of former Marxists, turned to supporters of the new regime, of drafting a more sustainable version of the Eurosystem. But they had in mind the same vision: We must destroy shopping malls, consumption. Shopping malls were, for them, a pure infamy. People should accept to be poor.
(c. 33:18) “I remember debates at the secret commission who was in charge of the campaign of Mitterrand. Mitterrand had to win the support of the then-Parti Communiste. France had a communist party; now, no more. So, I was charged to write some modest [condition]; I would say modern money programme. But Attali was asked by those who funded [the] Mitterrand campaign. And who [were] the major funders? The Chase Manhattan Bank and two other American banks. But we never gave you money to get a programme of full employment. Attali said, I have the commitment of our dear future president, as soon as we could, we will destroy, we will cut, we will deflate the economy. Real wages will collapse. And what we have in mind is a total collapse of the share of labour income in the French society. And how to get that? By the Treaty of Maastricht and the creation of the Eurosystem.
“I shall end this intervention by emphasising, first, the lies. It happened that I was quiet close to Francois Mitterrand. He was some long time ago, some boyfriend of my mother before the war. My mother told me, Francois lies so well that he could believe that he is for the people. So, Francois Mitterrand during the sole debate on the Treaty of Maastricht dared to say, answering a question from a student, I can swear there is not the least independent central bank in the Treaty of Maastricht.
(c. 37:28) “The second point. The core principle of the European treaties was the privatisation of the state, was to oblige the state to borrow money by selling bonds to private banks. So, the state, like any corporation, but a corporation with a very pure reputation had to beg money to banks at the rates of interest decreed by banks. So, finally, the Treaty of Maastricht and the following Growth and Stability Pact, a very weird name. The true name should have been Destruction and Instability Pact. So, the true world they had in mind was that, finally, the State will be completely enslaved to private banks. And, so, will be obliged to cut and cut and cut expenditures. And it is exactly what happened. And, finally, lies continue. To be brief, the share of state debt in the assets of major French/German banks is below 5%. Banks are losing money, not because of state debt, but because of the total collapse of the real economy.
(c. 40:50) “And, second point, I am horrified when people say, Oh, poor banks. The Greek government lied. But it is absurd; everybody was aware of the true state of the Greek economy. 90% of the Greek debt is held, like the Italian, by French and German banks. So, everybody knew. And, by the way, what is happening now sought to the new treaty is—if it is, indeed, finally endorsed—a total abdication of states, of fiscal policy, and any kind of social policy. And, indeed, the dream of the new order will be achieved.
“So, now, the problem of rulers of the system is how to maintain the control of society; of this, they are afraid because there is no debate. Official economists in Germany, France, most European countries, are completely corrupt. If I dare say, they are official prostitutes financed by grants of institutions; so, they never debate the infamy and collapse of European system. Thank you. [Applause]“
Bonnie Faulkner (c. 43:47): “You’re listening to Economics Professor and author Alain Parguez at the Summit on Modern Money Theory in Rimini, Italy. Today’s show: The Birth of the European Central Bank: Its Real Agenda. I’m Bonnie Faulkner. This is Guns and Butter.”
Dr. Alain Parquez (c. 44:08): “You see, let me allow, for a while, [to differentiate] the European Central Bank and banks because, ultimately, who has created the ECB? Who is imposing the European Central Bank policy? The states themselves. Even if the European Central Bank decided to finance state expenditures, the French Government and the German Government will say no. They absolutely are rejecting any kind of policy of saving the economy. Everybody knows that.
(c. 45:14) “First, the European Central Bank is a weak oligarchy of 17 central banks de facto ruled by the French Central Bank and by the German Central Bank. But everybody also knows that the central banks of France and Germany never do anything without the full advice, consent, and support of the new axis ruling in Europe—Paris/Berlin. Thereby, it is exactly the same for banks; governments from France and Germany imposed policies of detritions all over Europe. And now the economy is in such a state of disaster that we need an enormous increase in expenditures. So, it is much more than a job guarantee programme when the majority of the population is forever unemployed. So, my solution is let us support any movement to get rid of the euro. There is no other way. Give back full monetary sovereignty to the states. [Applause]
(c. 47:25) “I was told that this event is for the Chair of European Commission, an abomination; and your prime minister was asked to prevent it. At least, the luck for Italy is that you have a weak state, whereas in France we have a very strong state.
“Second point, I do think that what is at stake is to impose a change of politics, people accepting—as learned audience—are living in a world of lies. And you are absolutely right; the share of labour income, including pensions in France/Germany is at its lowest level since the interwar period or the Nazi period. In France, in the span of 20 years, the share of labour income collapsed by at least 30% or 40% percent. And, yes, more and more people are committing suicide in France because of labour conditions. People who are still employed are living in firms who are more and more acting as some kind of Soviet forced-labour concentration [camp]. Never have people been so productive. The productivity in France/Germany [and] is in Italy, one of the highest in the world. But, at the same time, real wages collapsed and people are not aware of this scandal.
“But now, in most parts of France, the shopping malls are empty. A large part of the country is going back to some kind of middle age, an [item] for Germany. And this is a scandal, [of which] we must try to make the people know the truth, to oblige the media to reveal the true situation. Everybody knows that the euro is grossly over-and-over-valued. The euro rate of exchange is maintained by a lot of artefacts, including permanent swaps with the Federal Reserve System.
(c. 51:49) “And now, some thought of France and Germany to get an inflow of dollars from Saudi Arabia and even China. So, the real value of the euro is absolutely nothing. After all, Italy, like France, always survived and prospered in a global environment. Without the euro, Italy was a highly competitive country, as Marshall [Auerback] said. And, so, if I could assure you that Stephanie [Kelton] was right, the euro can’t survive, only if Italy decides to remain in the system. All major banks in France and Germany are already trying to compute the effect of the end of the euro system. It is a dying system. So, the effect could be a benefit for Italy if it retains its monetary sovereignty, reconstruct the economy.
(c. 54:08) “The very option of the United States of Europe had been rejected since the start because those who intended to abolish the state at the national level did not intend to create a state at the European level. We’ve reached a state of the society where the sole option is to leave the system. And, by the way, banks do not want to be reimbursed. It is a point I should address more. The French and the Germans created a system, installing some kind of eternal debt for European people. What banks want is income. And if Italy decided to leave the Euro, the system would collapse. The real value of the euro is nothing. And it is a fact that France and Germany, and mainly the French, are afraid of this point.”
Bonnie Faulkner (c. 55:55): “You’ve been listening to Economics Professor and author Alain Parquez. Today’s show has been: The Birth of the European Central Bank: Its Real Agenda. Alain Parquez is Emeritus Professor of Economics Ist Class, Université de Franche-Comté at Besancon (France); Faculty of Law, Economics and Political Science. His main academic title is that of Docteur d’Etat Es Sciences Economiques, Université de Paris 1. He is a member of the Eastern Economic Association in the United States. Courses he has taught during the last eight years include, Principles of Macroeconomics, Theory of Economic Policy, Financial Economy, International Economic Relations, and Theory of Distribution. Visit his website at www.neties.com. Or google: Alain Parquez. Visit the website for the first Italian Summit on Modern Money Theory at www.DemocraziaMMT.info.
Transcript by Felipe Messina for Media Roots and Pacifica Radio’s Guns and Butter
fm: Updated 22 MAR 2013 20:57 CST
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