11 April 2017
Article By Caitlin Johnstone

“It is well enough that 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.”

The popular quote above has at times been attributed to Henry Ford, though it’s most likely a paraphrase of his actual words authored by Congressman Charles G. Binderup in 1938. In any case, it points to the self-evident fact that our economic system is so vastly complex that there are multiple contradictory schools of thought on how it works and how best to approach it. It’s so vastly complex that the few people who understand it are able to manipulate it to their advantage, and to the disadvantage of the overwhelming majority of people who don’t. There are a lot of shadows in all that complexity for the mechanisms of deception and exploitation to hide, and that’s exactly what happens; people get ripped off by a system they don’t understand.
If something is complicated, ordinary people who don’t have years of their lives to dedicate to its study are forced to take the experts on that subject at their word. If a doctor tells you that you have a certain illness which requires a certain treatment, you take her at her word, because her expertise is why you sought her out in the first place. It’s a highly imbalanced power dynamic, which is why we have things like the Hippocratic Oath to make sure experts use the power they’re entrusted with responsibly.

One pernicious side-effect of the existence of such power dynamics, however, is that people can be tricked into assuming that they exist in places where they do not. And I see this happening with the situation in Syria.

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