Dau sylw ar “(English) Why Wales Never Was – A Review

  1. The central points of the argument as I understand it:

    “the problem is not that there’s a market per se but that the market is not working properly: the value that everyone derives from living in their own community, and that they lose when that community is taken from them, is not being priced in.” … “all the levers of the market are controlled, not by communities, but by ideologies that originate far away” …

    “we need decisively to reject being part of a UK-wide or even EU-wide continuum and assert our national distinctiveness.”

    As Richard Douthwaite (The Growth Illusion, Short Circuit, The Ecology of Money) once observed, when the EU makes funds available for some infrastructure project to remote communities (he used a bridge to an island on the Irish west cost as an example) it is sold as a project to benefit the community yet its real purpose is to extend EU / multinational corporate access and control into that community. The result is a degradation of the local economy and self-sufficiency and increased dependency of forces outside the community’s control – all sold under the false promise of greater prosperity, opportunities, efficiency, and so on.

    So, this article begs the question – how do we turn this around? How do we build a more national, community-focused market economy that serves the people first rather than international capital that undermines community and heritage in the never ending search for profits and/or remain solvent?

    Saying that we need to do things differently is correct, but how to we get from here to there? Where is the bridge? I disagree that we are being controlled by ‘far away ideologies’. It’s not so much ‘ideologies’ that are the problem. The driving force that shapes the world we live in the money system. As Bernard Lietaer (The Future of Money) once wrote (something like): Money for people is like water to fish – it’s the medium in which we exist yet its nature remains unknown.

    It is the money system more than Liberal ideology that continues to denigrate Welsh national life. One could even make the argument that Liberal ideology is a product of the money system, not vice versa. In the same respect, hyper-destructive neo-liberalism is the consequences of removing the gold standard in 1971 and shifting to a deregulated takeover of the money system by commercial banks via bank credit/loans. So, what can we do?

    As the famous quote of Buckminster Fuller goes: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” This, I believe is the key. Remember the co-operative movement got its start in Wales. It’s still part of our social fabric. It’s time to start envisioning and building a new model. We are ready for it.

  2. If you haven’t chanced across it already, Simon, there’s a series of four articles elsewhere on this blog discussing the monetary system and the choices facing an independent Wales. Here’s a link to the first of them, and they’re all in sequence:


    I fear you may find us a little conventional, since for my part I don’t subscribe to either a return to the Gold Standard nor to ‘Sovereign money’ – I think the currency system we’ve got is probably the best available to us, and the problem is not so much how it’s structured but how it’s used i.e. holding interest rates excessively low to avoid deflation even in those parts of the economy which would benefit from it, at the price of excessive inflation in asset prices.

    Though the possibilities offered by cryptocurrencies are intriguing, and the monetary landscape could possibly look quite different a generation from now.

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