The chronic bureaucratic corruption
Ministry of General Affairs
Prime Minister J.P. Balkenende
PO Box 20001
2500 EA THE HAGUE
9 June 2006
Copy: to the Supreme Court, the House of Representatives, the Tax and Customs Administration in Winterswijk and the European Court
Re: Refusal to collaborate further on the fundamental injustice within the (current) Dutch and European constitutional state, the chronic bureaucratic corruption.
- under believers -
Dear Mr Balkenende,
Thank you for your response in your letter of 22 May, which I greatly appreciate. It would seem that my letter was not very clear, which is perhaps somewhat logical. In my letter of 2 May, I question something that we have considered logical, just and scientific for 5,000 years. Something that has conditioned and pre-programmed individuals and our society as a whole for over 5,000 years will probably not be immediately clear. Although I am no lawyer, I did try to indicate in my letter that the current politico-economic system is unjust and contrary to the democratisation of society. The inseparable politico-economic ingredients competition, profit and interest have created a government that holds society and itself captive between debt and reward. This keeps society (including the government) small, dependent and adrift. It has resulted in us living in two economic worlds, one with an actual exchange of goods and services and the other a bureaucratic reflection of the goods and services traffic. This second stream is in fact the accounting side of the economy. In a healthy and open society, these two streams (economies) run completely synchronously, forming the perfect reflection of each other. This is not the case in the current politico-economic system, in which they are two separate politico-economic streams. Of course, there is a partial overlap (2%) between the goods and services economy on the one hand and the accounting ‘economy’ on the other, but over the course of time this has got completely out of hand, meaning that we’re living in a global financial casino where the largest part of accounting economy activities no longer have any roots in society, except in the belief that money in itself is worth money. Or in other words, accounting has acquired value in itself and today represents the most important‘politico-economic’ power in itself, at the expense of…….! The 5,000-year-old source that resulted in accounting acquiring value in itself and it also becoming a politico-economic power factor was uncovered by historians in Mesopotamia, the current Iraq. Today, we know it as a ceaseless number of derivatives, which are variations on that same accounting theme: interest on money.
In this letter, I will try to use a more legal approach to explain why I no longer charge (de Hutte Holding BV) and pay (EURL Petit Château Roquetaillade – Aveyron) any interest and, therefore, no longer wish to pay any more taxes on the income deriving from interest of de Hutte Holding BV. In short, this means that I refuse to support a system/structure that more or less completely undermines democratisation and justice within our society. In pure monetary terms, this undermining of the constitutional state, democracy and straightforward economic communication represents 98% of the whole. In plain language, this undermining means: a totally out of control bureaucratic fantasy at the expense of society.
From this point of view, the current politico-economic way of thinking/doing business more or less completely undermines article one of the constitution.
All persons in the Netherlands shall be treated equally in equal circumstances. Discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex or on any other grounds whatsoever shall not be permitted.
If ‘mutual competition’ really is so good for society, then I think it would be better to immediately scrap article one from our constitution. Encouraging and promoting mutual competition is nothing more than the final institutionalisation of the ‘law of the jungle’, which has automatically led to economic discrimination. For our democracy, this means that ‘winners’ have more rights than ‘losers’. Is that what we understand by democracy? In that case, there’s nothing that we need to change today, seeing as ‘this will sort itself out’ and a winner will always emerge. The government runs a relatively small risk in such a situation, as there is always a winner who then hands over a part of the profit, with which the losers can be partially compensated. Naturally, there can’t be any full compensation because then the profit stream would dry up all too quickly. Politically, legally and practically speaking, the government has manoeuvred itself into an impossible position. Whether it is willing to recognise it or not, the government is a stakeholder in this situation, because it is dependent on the financial ‘winners’. By opting for mutual competition in society, the government has pushed aside its indispensable impartiality, thereby in fact losing all moral ground for faithfully and justly steering society.
However, let’s assume for a moment that mutual competition is in fact a healthy basis for an open society and can deliver a self-regulating democracy. That would mean that the government needs to create the basic conditions for fair competition. Fair competition means that everyone has an equal opportunity to acquire a place on the local and/or global market. Is this theoretically and practically feasible? Is it possible for a judge or government to set a credible limit on what is equal and unequal? You will soon end up in a maze of arguments where everyone tries to get their (own) way and to defend their views as ‘just’, a natural consequence of our belief in mutual competition.
Within this context, the all-encompassing sense of justice that is so essential, and which should hold together our mutual trust in an open and healthy society, is an absolutely unobtainable utopia for individuals, the constitutional state and society as a whole. Everyone for themselves and the government a little bit for us all; a complete failure of the way in which governments currently operate.
The above point of view tries to show that there is something seriously wrong with our current politico-economic system. That does not, however, explain why it has been such a huge success in society up until now. There should be a logical explanation for something that’s been successful for 5,000 years, right? Surely, we can’t have been so stupid as to allow something that doesn’t work to do what it wants? The trick is to properly map out what initially appears to be a difficult paradox to allow the deeper set issues to come to the surface.
There is a very simple explanation for the success of the current politico-economic system: the prospect and possibility of reward exists for ‘everyone who does their best’. Who wouldn’t want to be rewarded for the efforts they make? The current economic system capitalises perfectly on this need/desire, thereby explaining the massive success of the current politico-economic way of thinking and doing business.
But what happens to children, adults, the constitutional state and, therefore, society as a whole if we, as individuals, focus on reward (profit in economic terms) in combination with mutual competition?
This is an important question that our constitutional state needs to analyse and answer swiftly and carefully. It is not that difficult to analyse why we ended up believing in mutual competition. Competition makes profit possible – something we have translated in bureaucratic terms, allowing profit to be converted into financial resources, and we have our well-earned reward for the efforts we have made. In society, our belief in profit is very important, which can also be seen in sports, politics and the business community. In economics, profit combined with growth forms the key basic principle. It is essential for the survival of each individual company and in large part the basis on which the government currently operates, i.e. creaming off the profit. In reality, our belief in profit has led to a split (schizophrenic) economy with the economy of goods and services on the one hand and the bureaucratic economy on the other.
The success of politico-economic bureaucracy depends on the belief in added value. This added value is an accounting technique, an arithmetic lever with which we can convert added value, profit, additional value or whatever you call it on paper. This means that a pear can change into a pear plus 5, 10 or 20%. By doing so, accounting has acquired a value in itself and given that it has acquired a value in itself, it represents a very important politico-economic power factor. However, what has actually happened in reality is that the economy has split itself into goods and services which we need to survive on a daily basis, on the one hand, and the accounting economy, i.e. the bureaucratic economy, on the other, which has gone on to lead a life of its own, separate from that of goods and services. This split happens exactly at the accounting point in time when the pear changes into a pear plus x percent. This accounting technique is possible because it has been derived from our 5,000 year old assumption that money is in itself worth money. This, however, is actually only true when someone is found to be prepared to work for this (i.e. believe that this is true), because no matter how little or how much we think about it, money can never be worth money in itself. That would mean that if we could actually live off money, nobody would ever have to work. No, money needs people, who believe that money is worth money. Money is an incredibly important and essential tool in our economic communication. However, over the course of time, money has increasingly changed from being an efficient tool into being a goal in itself by giving the accounting of goods and services a value in itself. As a result, we, as society, governments and the business community, have become increasingly dependent on (captive to) the reward (profit, added value, bureaucracy, etc.), and its counterpart, debt. As a result, over the centuries, we have slowly but surely lost sight of the daily reality of the exchange of goods and services by focusing too much on an accounting technique, which is in fact an arithmetic lever (interest, profit, etc.) in which we have started to believe and which, logically, has created a world in itself with the accompanying laws, to which we, as society and as government, are subject. Our current politico-economic system is in fact founded on a single all-pervasive accounting scandal. To a great extent, this explains why today only two per cent of our daily monetary transactions represent goods and services and the rest speculation in hot air. But we do need to wake up to the embarrassing fact that the source of this is a simple arithmetic lever which we have come to regard as truth on paper and in our psyche. Who wouldn’t want to have a method at their disposal with which a single pear could be increased to one point two pears by way of an arithmetic technique? Because that’s the consequence of our very tempting belief that money, figures, accounting, bureaucracy, etc., are worth money in themselves. There is nothing scientific about this at all; it is an assumption that you can either believe in or not. If we believe it, it will create a world which we have given it ourselves, in the assumption and hence the accompanying laws. If this assumption promotes justice and democratisation (tolerance, honesty and collaboration), then it is an excellent one. But the fact is that this 5,000 year old assumption makes the rich richer and gives the lower levels of society less and less space, all of which is encouraged and supported by our constitutional state. Furthermore, governments are assuming Soviet-like proportions because every day they try to set right what has been bent from the outset. Over the course of time, believing in competition (giving it value) has resulted in governments losing more and more of their legitimate right to speak for society. We have become partners in crime serving the privileged in society, who can be summed up as ‘the financial world, the bureaucrats’ – which, to be clear, we all are to a greater or lesser extent because of the faith we attach to our self-created financial bubble which only exists on paper and which has finally poisoned our psyche. Rich or poor, we are all believers in a financial, politico-economic system which imposes its unjust laws on governments, the business community and society. But, to be clear, we have sowed, watched over and reaped all of this ourselves: an increasingly, all suffocating bureaucracy.
How can governments steer society when they have handed over their sovereignty to the cult, idolizing (rewarding) the winner?
And then we seethat the dividing line between public affairs and a mafia organization is, unfortunately, paper thin.
The term ‘maffioso’ originates from the end of the last century (…) and means the glorification of individual power (…) which does not tolerate others having power. He places himself above the law.
Inspector Corrado Cattani from the TV series ‘La Piovra’
Society including (the constitutional state) faces the important decision of either remaining a child (dependent) or becoming an adult (independent at society’s service)!
In a system based on mutual competition, the winner has more rights than the loser; is that what we mean by the practical and theoretical interpretation of democracy and constitutional state? Is it not essential within a democracy that the majority or the political winners bear the same amount of responsibility for acting justly towards the losers or the minority? Is this not exactly the dividing line at which a constitutional state maintains or loses its credibility? The difference between the short-term survival of various stakeholders or the sustainable survival of the whole in the short and long term?
If we attach too much value to something superficial, we will never be able to get to the deeper mysteries of life, to which we are all inseparably connected. The fact that we all originate from the same source, life itself, may give us the strength, the desire and the courage to conquer the mutual distrust that mutual competition has sowed in mankind’s psyche for centuries. Do we dare shake off our animal-like, instinctive shackles? Can we ever really own the earth, for example? Or can we in all modesty and fairness only share what life itself has given us?
‘The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said “This is mine”, and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society.’
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Nowadays, liberty, equality and fraternity have been bureaucratised, taken away from mankind and society. I believe that a man can only be happy when he can live in harmony with the environment, is capable of working independently and, in doing so, is able to contribute to society. In my view, that is the only legitimate moral tax (fiscal measure). However, this can only happen when mankind becomes aware of itself and its place in society. One person’s freedom will then become another person’s freedom, quite unlike what we see today in our politico-economic way of thinking and doing business, which comes down to hitching someone else to your cart and making them politically and economically dependent. The belief in competition creates social and economic apartheid (economic discrimination) within society, which authorities (legislative, executive and judicial) nowadays have unfortunately institutionalised, thereby effectively leaving democracy and the constitutional state to their own devices. For democracy, this effectively means that winners have more rights than losers, with winners/losers then being partially protected/compensated by the government. Following this logic, we are only partially protected by the constitutional state; both the winners and the losers feel aggrieved within this context, as a result of which society falls more and more into the clutches of indifference, intolerance, mistrust and a general sense of frustration and injustice.
For example, what message are we sending out by levying ‘VAT, income tax, corporation tax’? You may participate, the business may make (paper) profit, but please be so kind as to pay here? Can we serve the public with the money that comes in from this? But that, in fact, means that we do not regard ourselves (as individuals and society) capable of taking independent and collective decisions (apart from money), thereby admitting that we do not really believe in a society of people, by the people and for the people (democracy). It destroys natural freedom, solidarity and mankind’s sense of justice and replaces this with a bureaucratic-legal machine. In a practical sense, it unfortunately means that our economic rules are founded on mutual blackmail and hypocrisy, and therefore we have reduced democracy today to meaningless window dressing, an ideal with no economic roots in society, perverted by our belief in paper profit.
Mr Balkenende, from my letter of 2 May you could have sufficiently surmised what I was actually asking of you. What I am asking you and, in turn, the Supreme Court, the House or Representatives and the Tax and Customs Administration office is the following:
Is there a place within our constitutional state where what I believe is a fundamental and chronic social injustice can be brought before a court, without immediately being throttled by the legal-bureaucratic machine?
It’s not about the (tax) money for me; as far as I’m concerned, it’s no ordinary quibble between a company and the Tax and Customs Administration; it’s about the fundamental way in which our economic communication operates, the foundations of our constitutional state and democracy, which today can be regarded as being mafia-like, Kafkaesque, chronically unjust and undemocratic. Mr Balkenende, your government will undoubtedly come up with many arguments to ‘brush this issue aside’. From a psychological point of view, I can fully understand this, but it remains a bitter pill that we will have to swallow sooner or later, individually and collectively. For now, however, we are all cowards, believers in a bureaucratically and legally protected lever, a politico-economic bubble with no roots in society, operating at the expense of the environment we live in, democracy, the constitutional state and the weaklings in society.
the bureaucrat Peter Hoopman the philosopher and entrepreneur Peter Hoopman
De Hutte Holding BV EURL Petit Château Roquetaillade - Aveyron
c/o petit château Roquetaillade 12490 MONTJAUX
12490 MONTJAUX France
France tel. + 33 (0)5 65 58 19 59