Competition Entry | Wie Banken Geld machen Einblicke in ein Schneeballsystem

What are the root causes of the global economic crisis?

Von Tobias Tulinus und Florian Hauschild

Im gesellschaftspolitischen Diskurs sind derzeit aus fast allen politischen Richtungen systemkritische Stimmen zu hören. "Konservative" erkennen dass "Linke" oft Recht hatten, es wird gemahnt und gewarnt, und dass der real existierende Kapitalismus nicht funktioniert, scheint mittlerweile eine Binsenweisheit geworden zu sein.

Dennoch tut die immer breitere Kritik dem derzeitigen EU-Krisenmanagement keinen Abbruch. Die europäische Elite über Merkel bis Sarkozy droht mit dem umstrittenen ESM-Vertragsentwurf das europäische Demokratie- und Transparenzdefizit nicht nur zu zementieren, sondern auch nationalstaatliche Handlungsspielräume weiter einzuschränken, so die Kritiker des so genannten Rettungsschirms.

Auch wenn generell eine koordinierte Wirtschafts- und Finanzpolitik Teil einer Währungsunion sein sollte, stellt sich doch die Frage, unter welchen Voraussetzungen und Kriterien dieser Politikwechsel nun verwirklicht werden soll.

Die öffentliche Debatte über Geld wird derweil unermüdlich geführt, doch woher Geld überhaupt kommt und wie unser Geldsystem funktioniert, wird dabei kaum erörtert. Dass der im Geldsystem verankerte Zinseszins mathematisch bedingt zu einer immer stärkeren Vermögensumverteilung führt, ist unwiderlegt. Kritiker dieser These werden zwar vereinzelt noch laut, lassen sich aber recht leicht widerlegen.

Ein weiterer bedeutender, aber viel seltener diskutierter Fehler im derzeitigen Geldsystem liegt jedoch in der gängigen Praxis der Geldschöpfung. Diese Praxis ist zutiefst ungerecht und undemokratisch. Da es ohne ein demokratisches Geldsystem auf Dauer auch keine funktionierende Demokratie geben kann, soll im Folgenden noch einmal detailliert diese Thematik vertieft werden. Aufbauend auf einem PDF der Bundesbank wird die gängige Giralgeldschöpfung umfangreich dargestellt:

Competition Entry | The Institutional Power Alliance Behind the Global Economic Crisis

What are the root causes of the global economic crisis?

by chilywilly

In the past decade, the world has seen the kind of power that unaccountable institutions wield. The effects of globalization since the mid 20th century have revealed highly centralized structures of power, from financial conglomerates to pharmaceutical monopolies and oligarchic neo-corporate states.

These dominant institutions not only have extensive control over resources and capital, but make social, economic, and political decisions outside the public’s sphere of influence. Their links to one another became ubiquitously apparent during the global economic crisis of 2008, and their alliances continue to pose the greatest threat to economic stability internationally moving forward.

Extensive analyses of global institutions have been done in the past by intellectuals and by courageous journalists. Much work has been done on explaining the roles that both businesses and states have to play in what's called a market society, and their respective (and general) interests have been closely examined. The work of populous intellectuals and muckraking techniques used by whistleblowers like WikiLeaks has inspired activists in communities all around the world to socially pressure powerful institutions for various humane purposes.

Competition Entry | The Root Causes of the Global Economic Crisis

What are the root causes of the global economic crisis?

by Radioactive

These days, the most talked about news is the financial crisis that has engulfed the world economy. Everybody, the main headline of all newspapers is about falling share markets, decreasing industrial growth, high unemployment rates and the overall negative mood of the world economy (Eklavya, 2008).

The global economy crisis which is being experienced today cannot be seen as an event but rather, a process which has been building over time but has become more noticeable since September 2008 when a series of unprecedented events began to reorient the Global financial system.

These series of events has resulted in a global phenomenon called global economic/financial crisis. So what has caused this major economic upheaval in the world? What is the cause of falling share markets in the world and bankruptcy of major banks? In this essay, I intend to explain the root causes of the present day global economic crisis.

Recently, my local bank went bankrupt due to the global financial crisis. I had thought that the crisis would not reach Nigeria since we are relatively under-developed, I never knew that it was truly “global” and that even the rodents who spend some time in my room are suffering same predicament.

According to Professor Joseph Stiglitz, a Noble laureate and Professor at Columbia University, “the current financial crisis, which began in the US and then spread to Europe, has now become global” (Global Research, 2009). If you ask a thousand economists what they think is the root cause/causes of the global economic crisis, you will probably get a thousand answers! That aside, the current financial crisis is believed to have started in the United States of America where there is an imbalance in the circular flow of income.

Competition Entry | Financial Collapse because of Fiat Currency, Central Banks and The Federal Reserve

What are the root causes of the global economic crisis?

by AIS

"It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." ― Henry Ford

Historically, many things have been used for money with the most enduring form being Gold or Silver. Paper money is largely a new idea, and the tool of scoundrels and the devious to debase the value of people's savings.

The unconstitutional Federal Reserve was established in December 1913. The plans for The Fed were created in secret at Jekyll Island, Georgia in 1910.

The US dollar as the World's Reserve Currency was established as such by the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944: “The chief features of the Bretton Woods system were an obligation for each country to adopt a monetary policy that maintained the exchange rate by tying its currency to the U.S. dollar and the ability of the IMF to bridge temporary imbalances of payments”.

“On August 15, 1971, the United States unilaterally terminated convertibility of the dollar to Gold. As a result, "[t]he Bretton Woods system officially ended and the dollar became fully 'fiat currency,' backed by nothing but the promise of the federal government."

Fiat currency is simply this: The government says that something is money and must therefore be used as money. In the case of the US it is paper money and base metal coins.

The Fed essentially creates money “out of thin air”. You can find out how this is done here.

Third Monthly WikiLeaks Central Essay Competition | The Global Economic Crisis


The third monthly WikiLeaks Central Essay Competition 2011 solicits an answer to the question:

What are the root causes of the global economic crisis?

All sources used must be clearly identified when they occur and include the name of the source, and, when available, a hypertext link to the source content.


1.) If you do not already have one, register for a WLC account.

2.) Send an email to with the header: Competition: TITLE OF SUBMISSION by WLC ACCOUNT NAME. Insert your essay into the body of the email.

3.) See submission guidelines and rules below.


1. Eligibility/topics. The Monthly WLC Competition is open to (i) any registered member of except editors and WLC essay competition judges. Regular WL Central contributors, who are not editors or judges, may enter.

a. Submissions must focus primarily on theme of the month and can be any length. Submissions must be text based (we prefer html) and emailed to

b. WL Central will have the right to publish the submission without payment to the author but with attribution to the author under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Please clearly indicate that your material is for publication and indicate the name you would like to appear as author. Submissions are allowed one hyperlink under the name of the author.

c. Content, previously submitted to an earlier monthly WLC essay competition, may not be again for subsequent competitions.

d. Any quotations or copyrighted material used must be properly identified. Failure to identify non-original material will result in disqualification. Each registered account may enter only one entry for this month's competition. The submission must have a title.

e. Submissions can be written in any language.

2011-08-15 Announcing the WikiLeaks Central Cable Analysis Competition Winner

The second monthly WikiLeaks Central Competition 2011 focused on soliciting analysis of one or more of the US State Department cables released by WikiLeaks.

The winner is:

Syria: the canary in the coal mine

by JP Orient

What we liked most about the winning essay was the writer's ability to directly cite cables, and his thorough study of the issue.

We give a special mention to the other finalist: WikiLeaks: Can the Venezuelan Opposition Benefit from Chávez’s Illness? The quality of these two pieces were far superior to the other entries submitted to the competition.

All the submissions were judged on (i) newsworthiness; (ii) supporting research; and (iii) organization and writing style. (iv) We also considered the submission's capacity to engender online discourse in the form of comments and retweets.

2011-07-29 Competition Finalist: WikiLeaks: Can the Venezuelan Opposition Benefit from Chávez’s Illness?

By Nikolas Kozloff

With a big question mark hanging over the health of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, the right wing opposition sees opportunity. Though Chávez initially claimed that he was merely suffering from a "pelvic abscess," the firebrand leader subsequently conceded that he had cancer. In a shock to the nation, Chávez announced that he had a tumor removed during a sojourn in Cuba, and that he would "continue battling."

It's unclear how the president's shaky health might factor in the nation's upcoming 2012 election. The populist leader, who has closely identified himself with the so-called "Bolivarian Revolution," has never shown much interest in grooming a successor within his own United Socialist Party of Venezuela or PSUV, and so if Chávez should falter it is easy to imagine a scenario in which much of his political project could unravel or be derailed by the right.

Reporting over the past several weeks suggests that Chávez might be in worse shape than has been commonly let on. Though he returned to Venezuela after his operation in Cuba, Chávez recently announced that he would pay yet another visit to Cuba in order to undergo chemotherapy. The firebrand leader, however, still refuses to reveal what kind of cancer he has or its severity. Ominously, one medical source reported to Reuters that Chávez's cancer had spread to the rest of his body and was in an advanced stage. Hardly inspiring confidence, Chávez remarked "I have faith in God, science and our Cuban and Venezuelan doctors, all the people who attend to me and finally myself and this will to live."

Second Monthly WikiLeaks Central Competition | US State Department Cable Analysis


The second monthly WikiLeaks Central Competition 2011 will focus on soliciting analysis of one or more of the US State Department cables released by WikiLeaks.

Submissions may use one or more of the cables released on the WikiLeaks Web site on or prior to 11:59 p.m. July 31, 2011.

All sources used must be clearly identified when they occur and include the name of the source, and, when available, a hypertext link to the source content. Citations of cables MUST use the cable's "REFERENCE ID" and a hyperlink to the source document.

2011-07-17 Announcing the WikiLeaks Central Essay Competition Winner

The winner is:

Continued improvements in technology will eventually render the State obsolete.

by xaviercromartie

We would like to make clear that the judges are not 'endorsing' the underlying philosophy of the writer by announcing a winner. What we liked most about the winning essay was the writer's ability to clearly describe the relationship between the seemingly anarchical state of the Internet and the centralized structure of the state proper vis a vis the individual. We believe the writer successfully rendered the topic relevant and worthy of further discussion.

Competition Entry | Empowering the Individual - The Answer to Tyranny

How can individuals and societies protect themselves against the encroachment and abuse of government power in the modern age?

By "Peacenik" Rick Dickinson

The specter of totalitarianism is looming. A cyber-backed authoritarian regime, arising from the collusion between government and other powerful institutions, forever protecting the interests of the few from the threat of a free human race. Yet the solution to prevent this dystopian future can be found where it has been all along: inside every person.

The surest way to keep out tyranny starts with a voice inside that says "I can make a difference. My voice counts. I matter!" Whatever it is that makes someone feel like this, is precisely what is needed in larger amounts. Anything that takes an individual from feeling helpless and afraid to feeling hopeful and engaged is what will ultimately set humankind free.

Of course, one invigorated individual alone wouldn't stand much of a chance against the influential entities seeking to enslave the planet. But that's where emergent technology comes into play. Now, unlike any other time in history, humans have the tools to channel independent actions from a multitude of engaged citizens into an indomitable player in the political spectrum.

Everyday, more and more people are getting infected with the empowered spirit, and, all the time, innovations arise to more effectively organize this scattered people-power into a focused force for change. Soon, if it hasn't happened already, the world's population will recognize that the balance of power is now in their hands.

With an enlightened global populace demanding accountable governance everywhere, humans will be set free to create, in the words of Paul Krugman, "a society each of us would want if we didn't know in advance who we'd be."

Competition Entry | How can individuals and societies protect themselves against the encroachment and abuse of government power in the modern age?

How can individuals and societies protect themselves against the encroachment and abuse of government power in the modern age?

By anonym

Gesellschaft motivieren, sich gegen Machtmissbrauch des Staates zu schützen Noch nie war es so einfach wie heute sich zu informieren. Durch Internet hat jeder Bürger nahezu kostenlos Zugang zu fast grenzenlosen Informationen.

Dennoch ist ein Großteil der Gesellschaft so wenig politisch interessiert und folglich so schlecht informiert wie wahrscheinlich keine Generation davor.

Die Macht, die die Gesellschaft theoretisch durch den Zugang zu massenhaften Informationen hat, wird nicht genutzt und vermutlich noch nicht einmal wahrgenommen.

Es ist den Medien gelungen, die Aufmerksamkeit der Gesellschaft vollständig auf die Sparte Klatsch und Tratsch, Triviales und Sport zu lenken und die Bedürfnisse nach Information damit zu befriedigen. In einer Demokratie sollte die Gesellschaft und die Medien durch kritisches Hinterfragen ein Gegengewicht zum Staat und der Wirtschaft bilden, so dass Machtmissbrauch des Staates und der Wirtschaft verhindert oder deutlich erschwert wird.

Dieses Gegengewicht ist durch die politische Gleichgültigkeit der Gesellschaft und durch die Oberflächlichkeit vieler Medien nicht mehr ausreichend vorhanden. So glaubt z.B. der Großteil der Gesellschaft, dass in den TV-Nachrichten auseichend objektive und neutrale Informationen vermittelt werden. Dadurch wird es dem Staat einfach gemacht seine Macht zu missbrauchen. Es kommt zu Verquickungen zwischen Staat, Wirtschaft und Medien. Der Machtmissbrauch des Staates wird von der Gesellschaft nicht oder sehr spät erkannt. (Beispiel: So wurde in Deutschland gegen das Bahnprojekt Stuttgart 21 erst nach Baubeginn demonstriert.). Wie können sich Bürger und die Gesellschaft gegen den Machtmissbrauch des Staates schützen?

Die Gesellschaft muss zuerst motiviert werden und die Notwendigkeit erkennen, sich zu schützen.

Competition Entry | A Modern Social Contract.

How can individuals and societies protect themselves against the encroachment and abuse of government power in the modern age?

By Bradley Bowman

When a government abases the social contract that protects natural rights and prosperity without the consent of the governed, a new contract must be made.

For the first time in history, the communication of information flows indiscriminate of class or culture. The modern age has witnessed the impact in the Middle East where individuals and societies continue to rewrite their social contracts against their former governments. It is within the social media groups, the hacktivists, and the protestors of impoverished nations that power shifts from the privileged few back to the protection of the people.

In a recent interview with two Anonymous operators, the administrators stated that the group was not represented accurately by the mainstream media. “ 99% of Anonymous aren’t hackers at all. They are just normal users,” said one operator, “People that care and are sick of the system.”

People go on the irc client,, for mostly social reasons and network with each other for active protests. If interested in “joining” Anonymous, go to the IRC address and join the channel #opnewblood to learn more about becoming active as a protester, supporter, or to become more informed on current issues pertaining to government abuses. Most people can contribute to the cause just by spreading the word. From Anonymous’ perspective, the power of an idea can change the world.

One member sent a link to a video of a protest at Scientology Church in
Edmonton. See Anonymous members stood outside the building in Guy Fawkes masks and held up signs of protest denouncing it as a cult.

Competition Entry | Speak Boldly

How can individuals and societies protect themselves against the encroachment and abuse of government power in the modern age?

By Rhonda Dolen

If one stands and watches a mass of people in a dark night, take one candle, and with it, light all the other candles held by hopeful hands under dark skies, until the night flickers with a brilliant beauty from star-like, flickering candles, lighting the darkened landscape; then one is witnessing a representation of the power of words, words that are filled with appeals to humanity, to justice, to reason, to freedom, to an end to corruption. Appeals to justice and humanity catch fire in people’s souls until soldiers accept flowers in the barrels of their guns and stand down as iron curtains are ripped to pieces.

The best way to fight off the encroachment and abuse of government power in the modern age is by appealing to the quality of being humane – by appealing to humanity. These appeals to humanity should encourage people to recognize the vital importance of supporting WikiLeaks and organizations like it - and of supporting whistleblowers in general.

Appeals to humanity have achieved exquisite victories in modern history with no weapons but voices. Gandhi in India, Martin Luther King, Jr. in America’s southern states, the recent Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, all testify to the power of our better natures when we stand up and say, “Enough!” And indeed, the use of weapons by individuals against modern governments would be a hopeless, and at the very least, bloody endeavor in most cases.

Competition Entry | Freedom and Moral Right are Inseparable

How can individuals and societies protect themselves against the encroachment and abuse of government power in the modern age?


Anyone not blindly influenced by his own prejudices can't help but perceive that there is a close and inseparable relationship between the moral condition and climate of an individual and a nation and the agreeableness to liberty of a government. History is full of examples of a people being oppressed by government when the virtue of the people declines and tends toward corruption. Loss of liberty and freedom always follow the rejection of vicissitudes by a people or nation. Truth, honesty, goodness, kindness, peace and mercy are the sure and eternal supports of a free people and that a deviation from those points invariably lead to a slow and then rapid decline in the freedom of people. Conversely; lying, theft, malice, greed and killing are inimical to freedom and liberty.

Competition Entry | Shrouded in Secrecy

How can individuals and societies protect themselves against the encroachment and abuse of government power in the modern age?

By Joel Phillips, Columbia University Undergrad

The first time I heard about WikiLeaks and its mysterious rebel leader, Julian Assange, I was definitely impressed. My generation was one of the first to grow up in a world in which our lives revolved around our computers. I certainly had a reserved admiration for those cool hackers, fueled by Redbull, who could create chaos around the world – from their dark, basement lairs.

Many of us also, I believe, long for a worthy cause. Julian Assange, in a sense, embodies this image. He is a rebel who is challenging the powers that be, bringing secrets around the world to light. However, all fantasies aside, if someone truly pressed me to reveal what I really believed, I would have had to admit that, cool as he may be, governments and corporations could never function without being able to retain certain “secret” information. I’ve been in leadership roles before. Some things are just simply better not shared with the masses. That would only create chaos. Right?

Leaders and politicians around the world tend to agree with me. Even the Obama administration, which had been such an advocate for government transparency, has come out in adamant condemnation of Julian Assange and his rebel organization, WikiLeaks. Just last year, in 2010, the first big bomb exploded in Washington’s face when WikiLeaks released the controversial footage of a 2007 air strike carried out by the U.S. military in Baghdad – against civilians. When the Pentagon learned of the potential leak of this information to the public, they went so far as claiming a national security threat from the WikiLeaks website. (The Guardian, 5 April 2010)

Competition Entry | Engineering Resistance: From the Triangle to the Circle

How can individuals and societies protect themselves against the encroachment and abuse of government power in the modern age?

By Andrew Mckenzie

The laws of parliament are complicated for the same reason the National Bank makes currency difficult to print. So, people can’t figure out how to do it. The liberation of humanity is achieved only through the liberation of the individual. We need to build tools, pirate the parliaments, unleash the political conscious, and build a new democratic basis for a better future.

What does the Internet mean for politics in the West? In the Middle East, WikiLeaks, Al Jazeera, and social networking sites have been credited with putting social and democratic movements on steroids, having played a large role in bringing millions of determined revolutionaries into the streets. Closer to home, Anonymous and Lulzsec have thrived, prying at the secret corporate and military supra-structures of Western societies.

The Internet is a place for the freedom of ideas, actions, and information. We have seen the Internet profoundly improve social contact, business efficiency, and information accessibility. The Internet is unique because of its ease, structure, and familiarity. We are now beginning to see the political consequences of this revolutionary technology.

The Internet is not merely an archive of accessible information. It represents quite powerfully a representation of human reality. This reality is home to humanity's ideas, culture, knowledge, transactions, and social communication. In this essay, I argue that the Internet is evolving into a tool to liberate the individual from the alienation of our modern political systems.

Competition Entry | Bradley Manning for President?

How can individuals and societies protect themselves against the encroachment and abuse of government power in the modern age?

by Timothy Lawson,

The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings.

Kennedy’s words are true today.

In a historic address to the American Newspapers Publishers Association ANPA in 1961, President Kennedy outlined the contradictory nature of the need for secrecy in matters of national security and the need for greater public access to the machinations of government. The ideals of free speech and a free press are enshrined in the American national consciousness.

The concern expressed by President Kennedy in his 1961 speech is just as valid and relevant today as it was fifty years ago. Two recent chains of events have bought this issue to the forefront of the media spotlight; the actions of Anat Kam and the alleged actions of Bradley Manning.

The current furore over the Wikileaks scandal bears many similarities to the Anat Kam affair. Kam, the young Israeli journalist, was accused of stealing over 2,000 military documents and leaking them to Uri Blau – a reporter for Israel’s oldest daily newspaper, Haaretz. Her aim was to expose war crimes committed by the Israel Defense Forces (IFD) in the West Bank.

Competition Entry | Cont'd improvements in technology will eventually render the State obsolete.

How can individuals and societies protect themselves against the encroachment and abuse of government power in the modern age?

by xaviercromartie

A human is, by nature, a capitalist—a producer of capital. As Frank Chodorov wrote in The Rise and Fall of Society, humans seek to satisfy their infinite desires with the least possible net expenditure of labor. Technology continuously improves over time because humans are capable of understanding nature's laws and calculating ways in which producing something today can make life easier in the future. For example, by expending the energy to produce a spear, an early human found hunting and self-defense significantly easier thereafter.

The State is not a producer; it is "a bandit gang writ large," as Murray Rothbard put it. Politics is not a science; it is simply control over other people. In The State, Franz Oppenheimer explained the origin of the State. The origin of the State is the conquest of capital-producing people. The State comes into existence entirely for the purpose of economic exploitation. The conquerors become masters and the producers become their slaves.

In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond supports the idea that the State arises out of conquest. Diamond cites, in detail, the example of the Battle of Cajamarca between the Spanish Empire and the Inca Empire. 168 Spanish soldiers massacred an army of approximately 80,000 Incans. The Spaniards won because they had superior technologies such as guns, cannons, and steel.

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