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The problem with most discussions of the crisis, Benoist notes, is that they focus on attempting to reform the present economic system in order to prevent such disasters from recurring. This is a mistake, he says, since the problem actually lies with the nature of the present-day form of international capitalism itself, a system which privileges the unbridled desires of th The problem with most discussions of the crisis, Benoist notes, is that they focus on attempting to reform the present economic system in order to prevent such disasters from recurring. This is a mistake, he says, since the problem actually lies with the nature of the present-day form of international capitalism itself, a system which privileges the unbridled desires of the individual over the needs of the community; which protects the wealthy at the cost of the middle class and the poor; and which is causing so much suffering worldwide by making it easy for corporations in the richer countries to outsource their labour to other, disadvantaged ones, to the detriment of both. It is this system which must be questioned at its very foundations. Benoist holds both the Left and Right equally responsible for this situation, since the mainstream in both currents has come to unconditionally accept the idea that liberalism and globalised capitalism are not only the best, but the only desirable method of structuring economies in the world today. Meanwhile, the international financial system teeters on the brink, with American debt soaring and the euro on the verge of implosion. Benoist not only explores the roots of how this situation came about but also makes suggestions on what might be done about it. The current crisis is not simply a temporary one; it is the consequence of the logic of capital, which knows only one watchword: more! More profits, more goods, and more trade, even at the price of austerity measures which hit the poorest. Such a system cannot last forever. Here is why.


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The problem with most discussions of the crisis, Benoist notes, is that they focus on attempting to reform the present economic system in order to prevent such disasters from recurring. This is a mistake, he says, since the problem actually lies with the nature of the present-day form of international capitalism itself, a system which privileges the unbridled desires of th The problem with most discussions of the crisis, Benoist notes, is that they focus on attempting to reform the present economic system in order to prevent such disasters from recurring. This is a mistake, he says, since the problem actually lies with the nature of the present-day form of international capitalism itself, a system which privileges the unbridled desires of the individual over the needs of the community; which protects the wealthy at the cost of the middle class and the poor; and which is causing so much suffering worldwide by making it easy for corporations in the richer countries to outsource their labour to other, disadvantaged ones, to the detriment of both. It is this system which must be questioned at its very foundations. Benoist holds both the Left and Right equally responsible for this situation, since the mainstream in both currents has come to unconditionally accept the idea that liberalism and globalised capitalism are not only the best, but the only desirable method of structuring economies in the world today. Meanwhile, the international financial system teeters on the brink, with American debt soaring and the euro on the verge of implosion. Benoist not only explores the roots of how this situation came about but also makes suggestions on what might be done about it. The current crisis is not simply a temporary one; it is the consequence of the logic of capital, which knows only one watchword: more! More profits, more goods, and more trade, even at the price of austerity measures which hit the poorest. Such a system cannot last forever. Here is why.

47 review for On the Brink of the Abyss: The Imminent Bankruptcy of the Financial System

  1. 5 out of 5

    C. Varn

    De Benoist is a rightist, and I am not. However, he seems to understand and even appreciate many strands of left-wing economic theory: he expounds on post-Keynesianism and Marxism with knowledge of the underlying theories and a view of limitations. He sees capitalism as a corrosive force, which other rightists saw from traditionalist to Daniel Bell. More than many "Marxist" academics, he realizes that neoliberalism is a political rebranding of capitalism moving away from its fordist model. De Be De Benoist is a rightist, and I am not. However, he seems to understand and even appreciate many strands of left-wing economic theory: he expounds on post-Keynesianism and Marxism with knowledge of the underlying theories and a view of limitations. He sees capitalism as a corrosive force, which other rightists saw from traditionalist to Daniel Bell. More than many "Marxist" academics, he realizes that neoliberalism is a political rebranding of capitalism moving away from its fordist model. De Benoist laments the fordist model but is clear that it was limited by rates of profits and was not maintainable. De Benoist does discuss post-Keynesian solutions but is also clear that these would also be temporary. His primary fault of Marx is that Marx generally accepted Enlightenment values while critiquing capitalism (I am not sure this is true in Marx's later works but it is definitely true in the case of Engels and of many Marxists) and Marx's under-estimation of capitalism's ability to integrate the working class temporarily (which does seem to have been true). I must admit that many rightists will probably have issues with this books tone on capitalism, the fact it didn't see a few new developments in oil production that has temporarily slowed the devaluing of the dollar, and it's embrace of many left wing economic solutions. That is to be expected: what worries me is that rightist like De Benoist understand socialist political economy more consistently than most people in my brand of politics do. Warning: while Americans know French philosophers, this book mentions a lot of French political and economic thinkers generally not known by Americans and will require use of the footnotes.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Frederik Vandelannoote

    As all books by Benoist, this one is another well researched and thought book. It handles lots of different topics on economics. Sadly he leaves the basic income dilemma somewhat undecided. The critique on the present state of the capitalist system is brilliant and clear, but as always is it much more difficult to present sollutions or the ideal distributist system from nationalistic perspective. How to redistribute labour? Coupling of creditcreation to gold or some other value (real production) As all books by Benoist, this one is another well researched and thought book. It handles lots of different topics on economics. Sadly he leaves the basic income dilemma somewhat undecided. The critique on the present state of the capitalist system is brilliant and clear, but as always is it much more difficult to present sollutions or the ideal distributist system from nationalistic perspective. How to redistribute labour? Coupling of creditcreation to gold or some other value (real production)? Rent free economy possible? But besides this, the book is fantastic.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Dhiraj Bharude

    On the Brink of the Abyss: The Imminent Bankruptcy of the Financial System. by Alain de Benoist. Paperback -1985rs. The problem with most discussions of the crisis, Benoist notes, is that they focus on attempting to reform the present economic system in order to prevent such disasters from recurring. This is a mistake, he says, since the problem actually lies with the nature of the present-day form of international capitalism itself, a system which privileges the unbridled desires of the individual On the Brink of the Abyss: The Imminent Bankruptcy of the Financial System. by Alain de Benoist. Paperback -1985rs. The problem with most discussions of the crisis, Benoist notes, is that they focus on attempting to reform the present economic system in order to prevent such disasters from recurring. This is a mistake, he says, since the problem actually lies with the nature of the present-day form of international capitalism itself, a system which privileges the unbridled desires of the individual over the needs of the community; which protects the wealthy at the cost of the middle class and the poor; and which is causing so much suffering worldwide by making it easy for corporations in the richer countries to outsource their labour to other, disadvantaged ones, to the detriment of both. It is this system which must be questioned at its very foundations. Benoist holds both the Left and Right equally responsible for this situation, since the mainstream in both currents has come to unconditionally accept the idea that liberalism and globalised capitalism are not only the best, but the only desirable method of structuring economies in the world today. Meanwhile, the international financial system teeters on the brink, with American debt soaring and the euro on the verge of implosion. Benoist not only explores the roots of how this situation came about but also makes suggestions on what might be done about it. The current crisis is not simply a temporary one; it is the consequence of the logic of capital, which knows only one watchword: more! More profits, more goods, and more trade, even at the price of austerity measures which hit the poorest. Such a system cannot last forever. Here is why. The rest of the book tells how we got into this situation, and this is something all economists must read, at least the first eight chapters.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Pieter

    Alain de Benoist is best known as the French founder and thinker of the New Right ("la Nouvelle Droite"). This book focuses on the financial crisis: the role of credit, whether we should introduce a "guaranteed income", the use of immigration as a way to keep down wages, the disappearance of the middle class, the religion of "free trade" and the future of the US dollar and euro. Alain de Benoist is best known as the French founder and thinker of the New Right ("la Nouvelle Droite"). This book focuses on the financial crisis: the role of credit, whether we should introduce a "guaranteed income", the use of immigration as a way to keep down wages, the disappearance of the middle class, the religion of "free trade" and the future of the US dollar and euro.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Varapanyo Bhikkhu

    Eugène Montsalvat: Traditionally, the mercantile elements of society were subservient. However the progression of European history has been one towards domination by the bourgeoisie. This has led to a distinct shift in the values of our culture. “It was with the bourgeoisie, as a class bearing values that were characteristic of it, that ‘merit’ lies in having established the economic sphere, at the same time it asserted itself and precisely in order to assert itself, first as an autonomous and th Eugène Montsalvat: Traditionally, the mercantile elements of society were subservient. However the progression of European history has been one towards domination by the bourgeoisie. This has led to a distinct shift in the values of our culture. “It was with the bourgeoisie, as a class bearing values that were characteristic of it, that ‘merit’ lies in having established the economic sphere, at the same time it asserted itself and precisely in order to assert itself, first as an autonomous and then as the dominant sphere. From this point of view, all European history can be read as a history of the rise of the bourgeoisie, in favor of whom the ideas that they bore were progressively established: individualism (against the significance of social relations), the cult of efficiency and utility (against the ethic of honor), and the normalization of interest (against charity and gifting.)” All social relations have been reduced to economic transactions, eliminating bonds based on custom, honor, belief, reducing the value of man to the value of his bank account. The elimination of the old social ties and the resulting atomization of society has led to a culture of alienated, one-dimensional consumers with no interest beyond satisfying materialist desires, the “Last Men” of Nietzsche. Against this increasingly dismal situation Alain de Benoist writes of the possibility of a resistance, that will usher in a transformation of the system. He endorses the idea of moving beyond Right and Left, while reminding the Right and the Left of their failures, which have resulted in the modern predicament. He warns of idealizing the working classes as naturally good, of repeating the naive Enlightenment optimism that liberalism arose from. On the Right, figures such as Sorel and Péguy have been forgotten, and the fight against communism fooled the Right into aligning with capitalism. Rather than attacking capitalism as the root of the loss of national borders and the cause of mass immigration, they fall into petty xenophobia, Islamophobia, and buy into the “Clash of Civilizations” that distracts from social conflicts at home. On the Left, four main flaws are identified, political universalism, the absence of a concrete anthropology leading to unrealistic assumptions about human nature, a belief in progress, and a moralism focused on the complaints and grievances of victim groups. Therefore, the Left disregards things such as national borders, ignores the value of pre-capitalist modes of production, and has fallen into the trap of fighting for various identity politics groups at the expense of class struggle. Instead of attacking capitalism, the Left now focuses on “anti-racism” or “sexual liberation,” which only serve to break down the barriers impeding the flow of capital and lead to further individualism in the social sphere. To challenge the capitalist system, a new class consciousness must reappear, against individualism a “collective will” must be formed. This will must come from the bottom up, being built locally, against the global hyperclass. It must be intransigently revolutionary. Benoist repeats the advice of Sorel to the revolutionary syndicalists “to take the early Christians as their example: those who absolutely rejected the world they were fighting against.” Finally, he identifies the target of this new struggle, “The principal enemy is at once the most harmful and, above all, the most powerful. Today it is capitalism and the market society on the economic level, liberalism on the political level, individualism on the philosophical level, and the United States on the geopolitical level.” He calls for an alliance from forces as disparate as Castroism and Christianity to challenge these enemies: “The enemies of my enemies are not necessarily my friends, but they are necessarily allies. I am notoriously not a Castroist, but I will always support Castro in his fight against American imperialism. I am notoriously not a Christian, but I will always support Christians every time they struggle against the power of money. Those who reason otherwise do not have a sense of the priorities or the stakes. They are quite simply accomplices.” In conclusion, On the Brink of the Abyss is an absolutely indispensable book for the enemies of the system. Anyone who wishes to see the return of traditional communities and a life with natural limits, must assimilate Alain de Benoist’s devastating critique of capitalism, liberalism, and globalism, and heed the call to rebellion. This is particularly necessary for those in the English speaking world who fancy themselves as radicals, yet still operate according to the logic of the market that is so dominant in those nations. There can be no compromise with capital, it is the part of the world that we must bring to an end. He has clearly shown us where the enemies stand, and where we must take aim. Eugène Montsalvat reviews Alain de Benoist's On the Brink of the Abyss https://counter-currents.com/2015/08/... From the book:    Originally, usura simply designated interest, independently of its rate. Today, ‘usury’ means charging an abusive amount of interest on a loan. But usury is also the procedure that allows the borrower to be imprisoned by a debt that he can no longer repay, and to be deprived of goods that belong to him, but which he has given as collateral for the loan. This is exactly what we see today on a global scale. Credit allows people to consume future wealth in the present moment. It is based on the utilisation of a virtual sum which is realised by attributing a price to it, the interest. It causes people to lose sight of the elementary principle that one should limit one’s expenses to the limits of one’s resources, since one cannot live forever beyond one’s means. The rapid growth of financial capitalism has favoured this practice: on some days the markets trade the equivalent of ten times the world’s GDP, which shows how disconnected they have become from the real economy. When credit becomes a centrepiece of the financial system, one enters into a vicious circle where the discontinuation of credit can cause a widespread collapse of the banking system. The banks have managed to make states come to their rescue again and again by utilising the threat of such a chaotic scenario. Widely available credit was one of the primary means of expanding capitalism and instituting the consumer society after the Second World War. By going massively into debt, European and American households contributed, to the prosperity of the period of the ‘Thirty Glorious Years’ between 1948 and 1973. Things changed when mortgage credit got the better of the other forms of credit. ... We are witnessing a great return of the system of usury. What Keynes called the ‘rule of creditors’ corresponds to the modern definition of usury. The usurious procedures are found in the manner in which the financial markets and the banks can help themselves to the real assets of indebted states by seizing their assets by way of interest on a debt whose principal constitutes a mountain of virtual money which can never be repaid. Shareholders and creditors are the Shylocks of our time. But it is the same with debt as with material growth: neither the one nor the other can be prolonged indefinitely. ‘Europe committed to finance,’ writes Frédéric Lordon, ‘is on the point of perishing by finance.’ That is what we ourselves wrote a long time ago: the financial system will perish by finance.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marco Svevo

    effetti collaterali: se leggerete questo libro diventerete comunisti (ovvero come conciliare un'ideologia di sinistra con un'antropologia di destra) il libro meriterebbe anche solo per le due paginette di massimo fini. ostico da subito, con rimandi ad altri libri e fitte note a pie' di pagina (anzi a piè di fine libro). e non è neanche iniziato... "ricorrere a una manodopera a buon mercato, poco qualificata, ma altrettanto poco rivendicativa. ciò spiega perchè il padronato, considerando gli immi effetti collaterali: se leggerete questo libro diventerete comunisti (ovvero come conciliare un'ideologia di sinistra con un'antropologia di destra) il libro meriterebbe anche solo per le due paginette di massimo fini. ostico da subito, con rimandi ad altri libri e fitte note a pie' di pagina (anzi a piè di fine libro). e non è neanche iniziato... "ricorrere a una manodopera a buon mercato, poco qualificata, ma altrettanto poco rivendicativa. ciò spiega perchè il padronato, considerando gli immigrati come un esercito di riserva del capitale che permette di spingere verso il basso il salario degli autoctoni, abbia sempre favorito l'immigrazione". PRENDI NOTA. "la causa immediata dell'aggravamento dei debiti pubblici è individuabile nei piani di salvataggio delle banche private, decisi dagli stati nel 2008 e nel 2009". PRENDI NOTA 2 "Non sara' certamente limitandosi a indignarsi , come è considerato di buon gusto fare oggi, che si cambieranno le cose. l'indignazione che non sfocia nell'azione concreta è soltanto un modo comodo di sentirsi a posto con la coscienza". esattamente cio' che scrive barnard quivi http://www.paolobarnard.info/info_vda... la seconda parte del libro si sofferma sull'analisi della situazione francese (in parte simile a quella italiana: se ad. esempio in itaglia la soglia di poverta' è 780 euro, in francia è 950). detto questo "LA COSTRUZIONE EUROPEA NON E' NIENTE'ALTRO CHE CHE UN MEZZO PER IMPORRE AI POPOLI (sic) DELLE RIFORME NEOLIBERALI IL CUI OBIETTIVO E' QUELLO DI ADATTARE LE SOCIETA' EUROPEE ALLE ESIGENZE DELLA MONDIALIZZAZIONE (globalizzazione?) altro dato interessante i 6000 ricchi incestuosi che terrebbero in mano, grazie al loro sterminato potere economico, le sorti del mondo (cfr. ROTHKOPF, nomen omen, che parla di SUPERCLASSE GLOBALE). e arriviamo al capitolo 10, che, guarda caso si intitola instaurare un REDDITO DI CITTADINANZA. l'autore scomoda addirittura PLATONE: "se uno stato vuole evitare una disintegrazione civile non bisogna permettere alla povertà e alla ricchezza estreme di svilupparsi in alcuna parte del corpo civile, perchè ciò conduce al disastro. ma prima, c'è un passo sul qualo non sono assolutamente d'accordo: quello in cui si definisce il reddito di cittadinanza come "diritto incondizionato alla sopravvivenza materiale di ogni cittadino". questa mi pare, per ovvie ragioni, una stronzata. per tacere della postfazione!!!! la POSTFAZIONE è da 5 stelle! ma sono cose da pazzi!!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ietrio

    The stupid kid of yesterday, the one who could not do the school math, now knows all the Algebra needed to understand Finance.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Fri

    كسم الرأسمالية طبعًا

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robert Chapman

    I've read extensively about the current financial system as well as the problems of the last decade. This is very thought provoking book and well worth the read. Although I don't agree with some of the ideas proposed, I found that the author did an excellent job of presenting both sides of any given argument for the readers consideration. The discussions around the loss of jobs due to offshoring and outsourcing as well as those around an existence income are particularly interesting. I've read extensively about the current financial system as well as the problems of the last decade. This is very thought provoking book and well worth the read. Although I don't agree with some of the ideas proposed, I found that the author did an excellent job of presenting both sides of any given argument for the readers consideration. The discussions around the loss of jobs due to offshoring and outsourcing as well as those around an existence income are particularly interesting.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jens

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nightocelot

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

  13. 4 out of 5

    LobsterLover

  14. 5 out of 5

    ForSureNotSangwon

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Bels

  16. 4 out of 5

    Judie Murphy

  17. 5 out of 5

    Friedrich Mencken

  18. 4 out of 5

    John Morgan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Hegarty

  20. 4 out of 5

    Veeler.Play

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pieter Krsteff-Jantcheff

  22. 4 out of 5

    Matias Exequiel Perez Artuso

  23. 5 out of 5

    Andre Jonsson

  24. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tim

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Peers

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amogh Sahu

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lavinia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jacob Senholt

  31. 4 out of 5

    Eugene Eayuss

  32. 4 out of 5

    Billy Roper

  33. 5 out of 5

    Blake

  34. 5 out of 5

    Wickstrom

  35. 4 out of 5

    Pijus Valiukenas

  36. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  37. 4 out of 5

    SALLY WHITE

  38. 4 out of 5

    Julia Conway

  39. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Fantom

  40. 5 out of 5

    Stella Clarkson

  41. 5 out of 5

    Aan Krida

  42. 4 out of 5

    Ted

  43. 4 out of 5

    Alice

  44. 4 out of 5

    Betty

  45. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

  46. 5 out of 5

    Stacia Chappell

  47. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

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