23 November 2010

Ooh aah!

You might think that footballers would know a thing or two about money. Not only are they paid absurd amounts of the stuff, but they have also seen their game destroyed in a process of rapacious financialisation so that nothing beautiful remains. Well, ok that winning goal that Spurs scored against Arsenal on Saturday is an honourable exception.

So we can be delighted to hear from Eric Cantona that it is not complicated to sort out the global financial crisis. All we have to do is nip to the bank on December 7th and take all our cash out. This will precipitate a banking collapse: banks are the problem, so problem over.

The advantage of being French is that you can make such prognostications sound really cool and when you say 'C'est pas complique' you sound irresistible. But Eric could not be more wrong about this providing a solution to the problem. Just like in 1968, destroying an existing system is not the complicated part: it is putting something better in its place that takes the thought and effort.

I'm intrigued to see whether this money withdrawal ploy will take off like the Rage Against the Machine mass buy-in did last Christmas. Perhaps it is something about the festive season that lures us to act in a communal fashion. If it works, then Cantona may finally get himself onto a Philosophy Football t-shirt, although there will no means of buying it.


  1. While I agree that "destroying an existing system is not the complicated part", we've had precious little success on this front in recent years - this seems to be the first proposal that has a decent chance of success. Even if it does not succeed in bringing down the banks (which could have some scary short term consequences), it will certainly radically restate the balance of power - the banks relying on us, rather than the other way round. Hopefully this (and the media-friendlyness of the proposal)will mean we get to discuss the reality of banking and alternatives to it in a much more public way than we've been able to so far.

    On the second point that "it is putting something better in its place that takes the thought and effort" - I'd argue that lots of people have done the thought (yourself included). The previous blocks have been a way of raising awareness and determination for change, and an ability to bring the current system to its knees. Cantona's proposal fits the bill in these senses...

    Which leaves the effort. I 'umbly suggest that if it's a choice between the complete breakdown of society due to banking collapse or the use of alternatives already existing somewhere, people will choose the latter.

    (Let's hope so! Because even without Eric, its pretty likely people will cotton on to the banking scam and take their money out of these unsafe institutions sooner or later...)

    The real question is how we convince people to put their money into sensible places once they take it out, learn why the problem was fractional reserve not just some evil bankers, and treat each other nicely as we build the new system...?

  2. Far from the game being destroyed, this country has never before seen football of the quality that is on display every weekend these days.

    Cantona is right in my view, but it will never happen.