Bank Royal Commission ‘Rank Socialism’: Howard

     FORMER prime minister John Howard has slammed a royal commission into the banks, describing it as “rank socialism”.
In an interview due to screen in full on David Speers’ Sky News program this evening, Mr Howard warned the Coalition against the move, The Australian reports.
 He said embracing such a policy would damage the Turnbull government’s fortunes.

 “Our banks demonstrated in 2009 that they were among the best-run, the most prudentially supervised, and the most well-capitalised in the world,” Mr Howard said.
 “I say to my former colleagues and the people I still support, don’t embrace a royal commission, and to those in the National Party and elsewhere who might see this as some kind of retaliation for co-operation between people on the same-sex marriage issue, I would say that I agreed with those people in the National Party on the substance of the same-sex marriage issue, but that is over.
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Wallace Klinck Canada responded to the article:

     I should say that the contrasting of “communism/socialism” with “capitalism”, per se, is a tactical error and a serious conceptual mistake.  All nations that possess tools are “capitalist” and the communist regime of Soviet Russia was most intensely “capitalist”.  Its emphasis was on heavy industry to the gross neglect of the consumer.  I was in the U.S.S.R. and Ukraine in 1981 and their economies were consumer wastelands.  They did not even have refrigeration in Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev food stores which depended on ice-boxes, were dingy and ill-stocked and required about three time-consuming stops when exiting.  In Moscow there were only two book stores—both stocked almost entirely with communist literature.  They imported some McGraw-Hill textbooks for the Universities.  If one searched Moscow in the evening for a restaurant a little sliding window would suddenly open and then rapidly slam shut.  We stayed at a fairly decent hotel in Moscow, the Cosmos, but it had been built by the French for the Olympics.  Entry and exit were supervised by the usual “key ladies”.

     All nations need real capital or “tools”.  The successful deployment of these tools depends upon decentralization of initiative that is applied to commercial and industrial activities.  Centralized planning expressing the production and consumption policies of a few self-proclaimed omniscients according to their view of how the world should be, and exercising punitive sanctions to force this concept on society from the top down via central planning, destroys creativity, initiative and sabotages, thereby, the whole process.  As one young Russian, having married a Canadian girl after moving to Canada, said to me while shaking his head, “Hmm—I don’t know—we work but nothing seems to happen.”  This is hardly a mystery to anyone who has a rudimentary understanding of the principles of human association.  Dynamism—not stasis—is the key issue.  This depends upon decentralization of administration, voluntary initiative and individual creativity.

     When we advance black and white judgements and comparisons between “capitalism” and “communism/socialism”, per se, we misconstrue and misrepresent the whole scenario.  We provide totalitarian ideologues a perfect opportunity to indoctrinate youth and others who are not favourably impressed with a “capitalism” that promotes increasing centralization of power and wealth, corrupts all levels of society and misdirects resources toward continuous waste and war—while abandoning increasing numbers of ordinary citizens to growing poverty and hardship consequent to technologically induced elimination of remunerative opportunity and inflation of prices—all in the context of an oscillating economy and an uncertain and insecure future, where the economy chokes on its own abundance due to a bottleneck in consumption occurring purely because of artificial and distorted financial-accountancy   Only resort to increasingly onerous taxation to “spread the creeping poverty around” reduces or avoids absolute destitution in the context of a much more physically productive economy than existed in primitive times.

     This continual apposition of “capitalism” and “communism/socialism” is a dialectical snare which detracts from the real problem with which we have to contend, but do not understand—primarily because of a destructive and evil, guilt-inducing Puritanical philosophy that deceives us into thinking that an inability to access physical wealth, in the context of its actual and potential super-abundance, requires additional work and toil for humanity.

     The bottle-neck is in ability to consume and this occurs because of a fundamental and increasing deficiency of financial consumer purchasing-power.  This single fatal flaw in our system of cost-accountancy and credit issue and cancellation is the primary cause of virtually all of our economic and social problems.  The fault does not lie in the free society and the solution does not lie in the centralization of resource deployment and initiative.  Humans associate at many levels which requires both individual and joint participation.  Youth and others can see this reality, so the whole argument for a free-for-all laissez faire economy is seen to be unrealistic in the essential nature of things.  Because of their natural desire for self-preservation people who view and experience the vagaries of the existing economic system are often and increasingly deceived by the lure of collective and centralized action as a guarantee of economic security.  What else would one expect of those who find themselves increasingly marginalized and economically deprived, in circumstance of obvious material abundance, while observing a small seemingly favoured class living in extreme luxury?

     If we continue to draw a false comparison between the fictitious, or fabricated, categories “capitalism” and “communism/socialism”, a dialectical dichotomous strategy of Marxism itself, while blandly and blindly ignoring the real cause of our problems, i.e., a defective and non- self-liquidating price-system which prevents us from accessing the consumer wealth emanating currently from the production system, except by means of an evermore burdensome financial mortgage upon the future, thereby to stop up the “Abundance of the Kingdom”, we will continue to fall victims to the advocates of tyranny while making only ineffective rear-guard efforts to oppose their enslaving policies.  These malodorous policies are being taught in the universities where insecure, impressionable and naïve young people who have not experienced the abuses of direct administrative political and economic totalitarianism are often easily seduced by these enticing and seditious tactics.

Letter to The Australian