|Spanner in the Works|
Numerian over at Economic Populist goes into great detail about how we got into this miserable economic condition and what it means for the future of the United States and its Globalist followers. It isn't pretty.
Framing what's happening as the development of a Permanent Dependency Class is something I haven't seen before, but it strikes me as an intriguing and reasonable way of looking at it. Except for one thing: once people become part of a dependent class, no matter what it is, the props are then routinely and almost ritualistically knocked out from under them, leaving them to fend for themselves if they can. It is a Social Darwinist game which Our Betters seem to love to stir up and watch.
Perhaps this sort of thing is a natural result of overpopulation and the impending climate catastrophe.
We haven't heard much about "overpopulation" in many years thanks to the advent of the Green Revolution and the determination of governments and social engineers -- in China and India especially -- that their people will not starve ever again.
I've written before that famine and starvation were used as social control weapons by colonial powers back in the day, and they were used because they were very effective. People who are barely surviving -- or dying in droves all around -- are not likely to rise up against their exploiters and oppressors. Even if they try, they are not likely to be successful. They become dependent on the good will and largesse of their masters -- whoever they may be; during the colonial era, the masters were the European colonialists.
We haven't quite returned to that model of social and political control, but we're getting there, as the experiments in neo-colonialism going on in Europe today (affecting primarily Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, most of Eastern Europe and to a limited extent Italy) amply show. People are starving in Greece already, and the situation is nearly as catastrophic in Spain and Portugal for far too many. If the Eurocrats out of Berlin and Brussels are successful in essentially destroying Greece as a viable nation and society and in setting up some sort of beggar state ruled from the rapacious financial hubs, then it will become a model for EuroEcon for some time to come. They've already successfully destroyed the Greek economy, and they're working hard on doing the same to the rest of the "peripheral" nations.
A major paradigm shift is underway, one that is as fundamental as any we've seen in centuries.
A tiny minority of Global Wealthy -- individually and through the corporations they own and control -- are vying to Rule the World to their exclusive advantage, bugger everyone else.
Numerian sees the process clearly enough, but seems to believe it is related closely to the practices of third world plutocrats who have long ruled their roosts with iron rods, keeping tens of millions -- billions -- of people in debt, penury and poverty while the rich benefit from the resources of the land and the labor of the impoverished masses. In order to keep the masses in their place and prevent more than modest and occasional uprisings, the third world plutocrats maintain the masses as a dependent class of peons -- providing them with enough to get by and survive, but no more than that.
In other words, in the third world, plutocrats have behaved with something close to responsibility toward their dependent charges, though never generously.
Numerian sees something similar happening in this country, but I would say that Our Betters have no sense of social responsibility at all, and they seek to avoid and undercut any responsibility for the well-being of the Lesser People that has been imposed on them by law and tradition for generations.
There is no substantive economic or institutional pressure being put on them to behave responsibly toward anyone, certainly not toward anyone of a lesser status than they themselves. Governments by and large have abandoned their own responsibility for the "general welfare" -- in an effort to serve and please the Global Plutocracy against the interests of the People.
The absence of any sort of moral suasion from institutions and individuals aligned with or part of the Plutocrat Class has been one of the most striking aspects of this paradigm shift (into neo-Colonialism, neo-Imperialism, and neo-Fascism) compared to those of the past. There is no apparent counterbalance from among the High and the Mighty to the course of events underway -- events which are destroying the natural world, the economies of nations, and the lives and futures of millions upon millions of people around the world.
This absence was made manifest -- and very striking -- in the lead up to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The People took to the streets in their millions to protest; the People's voice was ignored. It could be ignored in part because there was no established institutional voice, and no respected members of the ruling class aligned with the People.
The situation is much the same with the current deficit hysteria. The way nearly the entire media -- including much of the "new media" -- is aligned with those who are pushing austerity and deficit hysteria rather than with the People is striking and highly evocative of the way so much of the media (including "new media") was breathlessly anticipating the looming invasion of Iraq.
It's all Plutocrat Play Time.
What to do about it is among the most vexing if not the most pressing problems of the Modern Era. A spanner must be thrown in the works somehow, but so far, nothing that has been tried has worked more than momentarily -- if that.
What to do?
One thing that's being done and may be successful over the long term -- and for some, the short term as well -- is withdrawal from whatever world it is the Plutocracy seems to be engineering for the rest of us.
Unfortunately, withdrawal can only be a temporary solution while other options are explored. Eventually, the relentlessness of the exploiters and predators is inescapable. And then?
We'll see, won't we?