Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Collapse

Interesting sites in Lower Manhattan via Teh Goggle.

[Not having a whole lot of time to write these days, I'll make this one brief.]

The linkages between the attacks on 9/11/2001 and the ultimate economic collapse of 2007-08 might benefit from further exploration. Or maybe not. There are certain things we just don't want to know.

At the time of the attacks, after all, it seemed to me that the target in New York, the World Trade Center, was a hub, if not the global hub, of financialization -- what amounts to the creation of "wealth" out of nothing and the transference of wealth (in the real sense) from workers to the leisure class.

The target was perfect for messing with that whole scheme. Whether doing so was in anybody's mind or not, I don't know, but for a time, there was panic among the financial class. And shortly there would be demands, demands of billions upon billions of dollars in compensation for losses that day -- not from insurance companies but from the government, as if the government had some culpability somehow. Hm. Who'd a thunk.

And then there were the wars in the aftermath of the attacks, wars in which scads of money, cash money, featured prominently -- pallets of $100 bills famously shipped to Iraq, for example; guest houses along the Tigris found stacked to the rafters with $100 bills; showers of hundred dollar bills dropped over Afghanistan among the Northern Alliance, etc. It was money war, in which "sides" were bought and sold like commodities.

The American economy shifted into overdrive, not to satisfy the needs of warriors overseas but to satisfy the extortion of the the financial class -- which, after all, had suffered directly from the attack in New York on 9/11.

The location of the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park/Liberty Plaza may have been happenstance, but it was striking how close it was to the site of the holes where the trade center towers had been. It was within a block or so of the long delayed "Freedom Tower" that is intended to replace the collapsed and vanished towers. While the demonstrations and protests were focused on Wall Street abuses, the point was made by many observers that "Wall St." is not the financial center it once was, that the chief players have long since moved their headquarters elsewhere, and the Stock Exchange itself is almost a stage show; the real action is not there anymore. Nevertheless, the physical Wall St. and Zuccotti/Liberty Park suffered greatly in the attacks and building collapses of 9/11; they were too close to escape the fall-out.

In the end, we've all been suffering from the multiple collapses during the past almost inconceivably eventful decade plus one. What's been happening didn't begin on 9/11, but it was vastly accelerated as a consequence of those attacks.

And always, it seems to be about the money. Not so much about the lives and the property destroyed, the entire nations put to the torch and the hundreds of thousands or millions sent to their doom.  It's about the money.

How much, how fast, and who from.

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