Few people understand the money system, and economists rarely explain it. It holds such power over our lives yet we are never even taught about it in school. We are taught how to play with figures, but it is never explained to us how bankers play their number games. The total amount of debt in the world (money owed to banks) is many times their total reserves in gold and other precious metals. How can this be?
What banks can loan is not limited to the amount of their reserves but by the amount that is borrowed from them. This sounds crazy but is true. Basically, if a bank loans a thousand to one person, then it can loan that thousand to another, and so on. (And nowadays banks don't even have to find the paper money, it's just numbers in an electronic database.) Banks don't loan their own money but other people's debt. And because they charge interest on the loan, above the rate of inflation, the total debt continues to increase. We can never catch up with debt because banks make profits by putting others in their debt. Eventually the banks will own all the world's material resources, and the people will own nothing. In fact they will own less than nothing, since they will be in debt to the banks.
Recently, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, said that investors would have to accept some of the risk of lending, instead of relying on governments to bail out the banks when people default on loans. The banks, and their economist apologists, responded by saying that this would make banks less willing to lend. Angela Merkel backed down. The banks now have more power than governments. Yet they represent only a tiny minority of the population and they produce nothing - they are parasites.
People say "but we need money". This is a lie. We need material and social goods, we do not need those pieces of paper and numbers, we do not need the money system. Many societies have existed, and continue to exist (despite capitalist efforts to destroy them) without money, without any notional currency. In contrast, capitalist societies are based on money but are not sustainable in the very long term, and we periodically feel the shockwaves in the system.
We have been brainwashed into thinking that wealth means the same as money: the two words are used interchangeably. The capitalist media are happy to promote this confusion, that being wealthy means having money (in the bank). But the wealth of a society is in its material goods and its (social) services, not in coins and paper, nor on balance sheets. Money is a collective delusion promoted by greed, and sooner or later the bubble will burst.