Why are so many people struggling with debt? Why do governments seem so keen on punishing their most vulnerable citizens? And why do we seem to be marching towards catastrophic climate change, with barely a murmur?
Writer and journalist Peter Batt will try to provide some answers in a presentation about his new book, Psychopath Economics, at the Evolution Cafe in King Street, Ramsgate, on July 30.
And, in doing so, he argues that to have any effect, the anti-austerity movement look to non-traditional forms of protest that both broaden its appeal and wield economic power.
Starting with an explanation of the book title itself, he will argue that today’s austerity drive has nothing to do with economics and everything to do with neutralising the state as a democratic alternative to corporate power.
In this way, he claims, austerity and free-trade agreements such as TTIP are being pursued to render our societies completely dependant on multinational corporations, which have long aspired to be the unrivalled providers for human need.
But Peter Batt also argues that ordinary people underestimate their own power, in large part because of prevailing belief systems that hide basic truths about our political and economic system.
These include common misconceptions about how money and debt are created in today’s economy, a process which directly leads to the unequal distribution of jobs, wealth and power.
Our political and economic system is psychopathic, and psychopathic power concedes nothing without a threat, and so grassroots campaigns must be imaginative, disruptive and explicitly wield economic leverage to degrade the elite’s financial and intellectual assets.
To this end, Psychopath Economics looks at the potential of tax strikes to make governments accountable to ordinary people once again. It also looks at the overwhelming moral and economic case for a widespread campaign of debt cancellation.
In addition, Peter Batt explores the power of anti-branding attacks (‘brandalism’) that directly degrade corporate marketing campaigns, and discusses the potential of peer-to-peer technologies, such as cryptocurrencies, as viable alternatives to today’s banking system.
The talk, Psychopath Economics – and how to defeat it, starts at 7pm on Thursday, July 30, at the Evolution Cafe, 40 King Street, Ramsgate.