No. 99August 29, 2021
The irresponsibility of calling this pandemic election two years into the Liberals’ term of office reflects an unprecedented degeneration of Canada’s so-called democratic institutions. The arrogance of imposing this election shows above all else that the decision-making power is above the people (and against the people). It reveals the need for Canadians to directly take things in hand by opposing the cartel party system and refusing to let those in power set the agenda for both the election as well as what comes next.
The Liberals say that Trudeau is in search of a “grand idea” for the election. At the press conference where he announced the election he said that “we have to continue what we have been doing” and that the pandemic is an occasion to “rebuild better.” His words are vacuous PR to see what can be made to stick. The audience is comprised of the media, the pundits and the polling companies which are mostly set up by this or that cartel party or other private interest to ask the questions and promote the results they want. Whichever party shows its mettle and performs well will get the vote of the oligarchs. The people, called electors, are treated as consumers and their role is to “pick a side.” Nothing else. They exercise no control whatsoever over what the cartel parties do, say or decide. Even the members of the cartel parties are thoroughly disenfranchised and have no say whatsoever as concerns candidate selection or decision-making. Their candidates and MPs are similarly powerless. Along with the public, the members, candidates and MPs of the cartel parties themselves are mostly disinformed. Rumour and innuendo keep the ball rolling. The sum total is that the people concerned can exercise no control whatsoever over what is happening.
The alternative is to affirm the right to speak in our own name, empower ourselves with every step we take by taking that stand which is to our advantage within the situation. In this election, working in a manner which keeps the Liberals in a minority position is a good place to start.
The failure in this election to follow even the most token democratic process and expectation shows that powerful private interests have seized the reins of power at every level. Whosoever does not go along with what these interests decide gets defamed, isolated and silenced. What are called politics are reduced to a mafia-style turf war which Canadians despise and reject.
The fact that some Prime Minister, who nobody even knows who he is controlled by, thinks he can speak a bunch of self-serving nonsense day in and day out in the name of high ideals is a case of the emperor strutting around naked. He can do so because all his courtiers — media, pundits, pollsters and his entire entourage — sit there praising his suit of clothes which does not exist and the people are powerless to do anything but declare the obvious — the emperor is naked.
The political lesson is that the Prime Minister has all the power. So long as the people use whatever nonsense he and his entourage speak and say as their reference point — not their own needs, claims and aspirations for society — it is the people who are naked. They can turn this around by establishing their own reference points — those needs, claims and aspirations which advantage them not the rich and powerful — and speak in their own name.
The Marxist-Leninist Party program raises the need for a new direction for the economy. Nothing could illustrate this need more than the sharply higher quarterly profits of the big publicly chartered private banks during the pandemic. Profits for May, June and July doubled from the previous year at the Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal and the Bank of Nova Scotia. The other three big banks are expected to report similar fat profit increases for their fiscal quarters ending July 31.
Profits at RBC for its third quarter were $4.3 billion up from $3.2 billion during the same quarter last year. Scotiabank says its latest quarterly profits were just over $2.5 billion compared with $1.3 billion last year. BMO reports third quarter profits of $2.2 billion up 85 per cent from a year ago.
Some of these increased profits arise from higher bank fees that all banks have imposed during the pandemic. Higher fees have been put on most bank transactions. This includes changes to “preferred chequing” accounts that require certain monthly balances to avoid fees. TD recently raised the minimum balance to avoid fees from $2,000 to $5,000 and its fee for each transaction went from $1.25 to $1.95. Transaction fees usually include the use of Interac debit during a period when cash payments have been discouraged to curb infections from COVID-19.
This gouging of the public is because the essential public service of banking is controlled by powerful private interests expropriating huge profits – all of it sanctioned by governments at all levels who dare claim that this is the proof of a sound economy. They argue that consumer choice is a mark of democratic freedoms. If you don’t like how your bank is gouging you, find another. It is the method they use to keep the people ranting against them but powerless to do anything about it. It is very self-serving.
– K.C. Adams –
A clear distinction must be made between public and private banking. Banking is an essential public service that all use yet private banks have taken control of this role for the benefit of those who own and control them. The essential public service of banking is controlled by powerful private interests expropriating huge profits.
The big chartered banks have become public/private corporations containing a contradiction between their essential social nature and private ownership and control. The public/private banking enterprises have been given government monopoly charters to function essentially as public enterprises yet expropriating private profit with a handful of oligarchs exercising control over the sector.
Another aspect of their public/private character is that they lend money as mortgages. Many of these mortgages are guaranteed by the public Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). If the mortgage fails, the private banks seize the principal/collateral and CMHC makes up any shortfall. The public CMHC effectively subsidizes private mortgages, taking out much of the risk for the big banks. If, that is to say, lending money one does not possess can even be called a risk.
Hilliard MacBeth, long-time Edmonton-based financial advisor and author remarks bluntly, “In Canada, the CMHC is the primary risk taker and the bank just gets to keep all the profits.”
Banking is an essential public service that does not create new value directly but rather facilitates productive economic activity. Private interests profiting from such an essential public service under government monopoly charters, to the tune of billions of dollars each quarter, is a corrupt pay-the-rich practice destructive to the public interest, economy and common good.
Government Indebtedness to Global Private Moneylenders
During the pandemic, governments have indebted themselves enormously to global private moneylenders, who will be banging on the door of public finances for years to come for their principal and interest, their pound of flesh from the body politic. This practice, along with the monopoly of the big public/private banks, are corrupt features of the pay-the-rich economy that must be stopped.
Human-centred public banks should be created that operate in the public interest to stabilize the economy and encourage the participation of the people in that economy and its constant extended reproduction for the common good. Public banks would only charge enough fees to cover the price of their operations and not expropriate interest profit.
Private banks should not have the public mandate and sanction to lend money that they do not possess or be awarded public insurance for free to issue loans for which they do not even possess the money to be loaned. The private chartered banks should lose their public privileges and monopoly charters and operate as true private banks in competition with public banks acting as an essential service for all and serving the common good.
The Marxist-Leninist Party program demands a new direction for the economy:
Stop Paying the Rich; Increase Funding for Social Programs!
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