Tax Resistance, Debts and Empire

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I appeared at The People's Forum on this highly recommended panel. Join Dr. Michael Hudson, New Testament Scholar, Dr. Aliou Niang and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Biblical Scholar and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, for a discussion on the history of debt and what it means for our context today. Moderated by Shailly Gupta Barnes and the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights and Social Justice.

Up in Arms

The Delphic Oracle Was Their Davos: A Four-Part Interview With Michael Hudson: A New “Reality Economics” Curriculum Is Needed (Part 4) Cross-posted from Naked Capitalism By John Siman, who is also the author of Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 in this series John Siman: I want to spell out the implications of the points that Socrates brought up, and with which you and I agree. That leaves the question facing us today: Is the American oligarchy and state as rapacious as that of Rome? Or is it universally the nature of oligarchy in any historical setting to be rapacious? And if so, where is it all leading? Michael Hudson: If Antiquity had followed the “free market” policies of modern neoliberal economics, the Near East, Greece and Rome would never have ...

The DNA of Western civilization is financially unstable

The Delphic Oracle Was Their Davos: A Four-Part Interview With Michael Hudson: (Part 3) Cross-posted from Naked Capitalism By John Siman, who is also the author of Part 1 and Part 2 in this series John Siman: It seems that unless there’s a Hammurabi-style “divine king” or some elected civic regulatory authority, oligarchies will arise and exploit their societies as much as they can, while trying to prevent the victimized economy from defending itself. Michael Hudson: Near Eastern rulers kept credit and land ownership subordinate to the aim of maintaining overall growth and balance. They prevented creditors from turning citizens into indebted clients obliged to work off their debts instead of serving in the military, providing corvée labor and paying crop rents or other fees to the palatial sector. JS: So looking at history ...

Mixed economies and monopoly

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The Delphic Oracle Was Their Davos: A Four-Part Interview With Michael Hudson: Mixed Economies Today, Compared To Those Of Antiquity (Part 2) John Siman: Could you define what you mean by a mixed economy? Michael Hudson: There are many degrees of how “mixed” an economy will be — meaning in practice, how active its government sector will be in regulating markets, prices and credit, and investing in public infrastructure. In the 20th century’s Progressive Era a century ago, a “mixed economy” meant keeping natural monopolies in the public sector: transportation, the post office, education, health care, and so forth. The aim was to save the economy from monopoly rent by a either direct public ownership or government regulation to prevent price gouging by monopolies. The kind of “mixed economy” envisioned by Adam Smith, John ...

The Delphic Oracle as their Davos

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A Four-Part Interview With Michael Hudson About His Forthcoming Book The Collapse of Antiquity (Part 1) Cross-Posted from Naked Capitalism. By John Siman Note: Michael Hudson published … and forgive them their debts: Lending, Foreclosure, and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year in November of last year. It is the first volume in what will be a trilogy on the long history of the tyranny of debt. I have interviewed him extensively as he writes the second volume, The Collapse of Antiquity. John Siman: Michael, in the first volume of your history of debt — "… and forgive them their debts", dealing with the Bronze Age Near East, Judaism and early Christianity — you showed how over thousands of years, going back to the invention of interest-bearing loans in Mesopotamia in ...