Just suppose - you were in charge of a system that managed the financial affairs of a society. Suppose that this system, whilst appearing to benefit everyone, in fact acted as a slow but inexorable wealth pump that channelled wealth and benefits into the hands of those that were in control. Suppose it also incorporated mechanisms to keep the vast bulk of people secure in the belief that the system was benign and operating in their own best interests.

Now suppose that over time some of the difficulties and inherent contradictions in the system started to come to the attention to some of the people. Suppose that the idea that your system was not in fact the best possible system in th best of all possible worlds was starting to take root and voices were being raised questioning the efficacy and purpose of your financial system.

 

Wouldn't it be handy if you had a way of restoring people's belief in the ultimate benevolence of your system. Better still if this also had the effect of damaging the finances of some of your opponents.

Suppose you had already dealt with a lot of the parts of the system which were not channelling wealth your way, but were actually working for the mutual benefit of the little people. You have already taken the mutual building societies and mutual funds and credit unions and turned them into proper banks which served your interests. But you still have one fairl sized bank which is operating as a cooperative and putting effical concerns and mutuality high up its agenda rather than acting as a good capitalist bank being a wealth pump serving those in control.

How convenient if this particular bank could be shaken and undermined. It is probably the bank that most of your opponents use since it is more or less the only slightly impure (from the point of view of purity of capitalist essence) one left and so naturally appeals to those uneasy with the way your system is operating.

Wouldn't it be excellent if a head of this organisation could be shown to exhibit moral turpitude; the people are suspecting that many high flying investment types are living a champagne and cocaine life style - lets make a scapegoat of the one who is in charge of the most moral bank.

How excellent, if people are starting to questioning whether the high renumeration of your pet bankers is really justified or if their skills are real, if it turned out that this suspect head of the most moral bank that is becoming unstable was barely qualified for the job. Wouldn't that just go to show that all of the others must be worth their rewards as their banks do not seem to be failing.

"Look, " you could say, "here's what happens if you don't have the right people running these banks. Here's what happens if you try to mix finance and ethics. Here's what happens if you don't play by my rules. Now we'll have to clear up the mess that you have created. Terribly sorry that some of you have lost your money here, let Daddy and the Grown-ups take it over and make it right again. Just trust us and believe that this really is the best possible financial system for the best of all possible worlds."

Rest in Peace Co-operativism. Farewell mutuality. Its dog-eat-dog out there.

Back to business as usual with the wealth pumps continuing to promote inequality whilst consuming the world.

So it goes.