Albert Brenner: ‘Überizing; The Democratizaion of Usury’

When caught in a current, it is always prudent to swim with the current, but to the side – to exit. The great Banking Crisis has, once again, shown that simply swimming with, or against, the current is all for naught. The current of human greed is inexhaustible. Social responsibility is last on the list in the affairs of the unholy alliance between politics and finance. Profit is privatized whilst loss is socialized all with the unashamedly overt support of the democratically elected governments of the West (Iceland being the notable exception).

To be fair; said governments had to intervene to save the System from self-imploding. Quantitative easing saved the day, for today. But what about tomorrow? Giving a drunk more booze sure sooths the longing, but it cannot, be any and all means, cure the addiction.

Marxism tried to “cure” said addiction by fervently advocating for the abolition of private property (read private capital hoarding) thereby hoping to “cold-turkey” the all-too-human need to possess/own. This “cure” obviously failed… due to the imperatives of evolutionary pressures, the dictates of Natural Law and the moral precepts in/of Christianity.

As naively Progressivist as the above endeavour was and still is, in certain countries – the underlying motive to undermine said unholy alliance between politics and finance cannot be shunned outright. Fact is: the common wo/man always has to bear the burden when things go awry among these, hitherto, “powers-that-be”.

But what if modern technology has the potential to, at least, buffer the excesses of the System… to the benefit of the common man who, at the end of the day, actually sustains it? This author believes it is indeed possible to “exit” the System without (it) leading to the self-implosion (thereof).

All that is needed, is the “democratisation” of usury/banking. This is a real possibility, given the incredible advances of, especially, the IT Revolution. This revolution has, inter alia, opened up the incredible (liberating) potential of “non-mediation” – from age-old fixed structures, e.g. monopoly-capitalism.

The first example of “non-mediation” in the IT Age was Napster. This (free) file-sharing platform allowed users the liberty to download and compile their choice of music in a single data storage unit “burnt” CDs, back then. This “non-mediated” liberty to choose (your own music) led directly to the invention of the Apple iPod. And this, as we know, propelled Apple into the dizzying heights of profit unheard of before – a (current) quarterly turnover that equals the total yearly industrial output of Russia.

This process of “non-mediation” has rolled on relentlessly. It simply cannot be stopped. A new Age has dawned. A true revolution. Just last week, taxi drivers in France took to the barricades to protest against the cell-phone app called Über. This simple app directly threatens their livelihood insofar as it turns (every) common man, with a car (and time), into a taxi driver. In short; the monopoly on public transport taxi drivers had, has been broken via the process of “non-mediation”.

So why not apply the same principle to banking? Bankers have, for too long already, monopolised usury. Simply put; why not “Überize” banking especially given the extremely low interest rates offered by banks in the West nowadays?

Just imagine (theoretically) giving every common man the possibility to be a banker. Would that not be a sterling approach to “distribute” (the) wealth equally among those who actually create/d said wealth? Labour topping investment, this time round à la Piketty. Said private citizens could then, when vetted accordingly, truly be the banker. There would, obviously, be many “loan-sharking” pitfalls. But then; if properly regulated, it would certainly allow the common man to participate more directly in the financial system more than ever before!

It obvious that the common man does not have the funds/savings to act as the guarantor/financier of the 30-year mortgage plan of his/her neighbour But if (the) like-minded team up for the common purpose of taking social responsibility for the private financial decisions of the individual, this could be overcome without too much ado. It is simply a question of trust… among the like-minded.

It is indeed impossible to swim against the tide of human greed. But it is also not impossible to swim to the side, to the benefit of your neighbour who, at the end of the day, means you. Or do you want to be the sorry sucker who always picks up the tab every time the banker and his/her politician buddy profit whilst socialising loss… eternally at your expense?

I say NO!

Ergo, exit… by Überizing Usury.