Why did the banks give us the shaft? Because we let them.

Those of us whose early lives were grounded in sixties counterculture movements were witness to a number of social experiments that failed— free love, communal living, and use of narcotics, for example— things that may not have started out as experiments (we were so sure we were right!) but ended up being mostly abandoned in favour of practices that actually made the world a better place.

One of these experiments was the libertarian rearing of children. After all children had rights too and who were we to judge what was best for them? We had seen how how own stifling upbringings had crushed us and stifled our creativity, and we knew that if we just gave our kids free reign they would always do what was right for themselves and build a beautiful new world.

Wrong. You simply can’t give children the sense that they can do as they like. We’ve been there. We know.

Which brings us to the system of corporations that runs our economy. This is far more unwieldy than a child because it’s not even human, in spite of having a very clear and aggressive— and potentially malevolent— agenda. So why would we tell this system to do as it likes? Why do people still believe the virulent propaganda that tells us that salvation lies in privatisation and a free market?

I think we’ve learned our lesson. We flubbed; the checks and balances once imposed on the financial system to protect democracy should never have been removed. The expertise is there to put them back, only smarter and stronger this time around. So let’s get busy.

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