Saturday, June 2, 2012

How Far Will this Crisis Take us??

I believe that there can be little doubt now that Western Capitalism is on the brink of some sort of crisis, the only question is how deep is the crisis and will it force a significant shift in the economic and political principles on which our society is run. For the past couple of generations Western nations have experienced an attack against the principles of equality, both political and economic, and the effort (which has been led by the corporations and their rightwing lapdogs), which has created incredible wealth and power for the few on the backs of the many, is now beginning to unravel. This unravelling was, of course, inevitable. The ruling-class cannot allow discrepancies of financial and political power to grow to levels beyond which people will accept them in a democratic society without risking real and genuine revolution. Meanwhile, corporations and the rich have taken so much money out of the system while governments have attempted to maintain a degree of social commitment that will placate the general population, that financial disaster is knocking at the door of capitalism itself. Governments like the Harper cabal have become conduits for shifting social wealth from average people to the rich and the corporations. They are pulling apart as many social guarantees, environmental regulations, and democratic processes as they can in order to continue the very act of society-killing that is causing the bankruptcy in the first place. Men like Harper are doing this for complex reasons. First of all they are psychopaths who are filled with hatred for progress and human-kind. Second, they understand so little about human society and civilization that they really believe that it will continue in a depleted state of social degradation. Third, they love the idea of a return to ancient power relations in which a small group of people can command and abuse the rest of the race.

For the whole history of human civilization, a group of alpha-males have tried to hold back human progress and maintain relations of primitive power. Meanwhile, another group of people, the indispensable progressives have sought to push our race forward toward a better and more progressive and collective future.

We know what side men like Harper are on. How far will we let him take our society back into the past before we stop him by any means necessary?


The Mound of Sound said...

We have the dual misfortune of a) one-man rule, b) by an authoritarian fundamentalist ideologue. Truth is not what facts demonstrate it to be, it is what authority chooses to believe.

Harper's mind is surprisingly simplistic. He grasps textbook economics reasonably well but can't translate that to reality. That's why the graduate degree economist completely failed to foresee the collapse of '08.

Harper cannot understand that the cement to a strong, productive Canadian society is its middle class. It is a robust, healthy, vibrant and broad-based middle class that, in a democracy, fuels the economy, lifts the weak out of poverty, provides the ladder for social and economic advancement and, above all else, creates a powerful buffer against extremism of the sort practised by Harper himself.

Just as Harper shows no intellectual curiousity about climate change, so does he show no intellectual awareness of the fate that lies in store for Canadian society if government does not reverse the rapidly growing gap - wealth, income and opportunity. He doesn't appreciate the role of effective education and healthcare in achieving an equitable, cohesive and resilient society.

Owen Gray said...

I want to echo what Mound says, Kirby. With Europe on the brink -- again -- and China slowing down, we are facing the crisis which the policies of the last thirty years inevitably led to.

The question is, will the crisis entrench a reactionary mind set? Or will it generate renewal?

kirbycairo said...

Hello Owen, thanks for the comment. I was hoping to get a comment from you on my previous post, given your history in English literature.

Steve W said...

The last time the capitalist global economy was in dire crisis we had a world war to sort the mess out. I hope that's not the road we're heading down, but war (and its aftermath) is such a vast profit maker that I believe it's a distinct possibility.

The Mound of Sound said...

Right now, Steve, I don't think it's a question of if the world becomes embroiled in war but when, what sort of warfare it will be and how the adversaries will be aligned.

We're already pre-positioning forces for a conflict in east and south Asia.

Then there's the F-35 which is a completely offensive weapon, a modestly stealthy light bomber. The role intended for it was openly established when the U.S. Air Force ran "Operation Chimichanga" in Alaska a few months ago (see "Wired" magazine). The F-35, by the way, is virtually useless for defensive purposes.

All the conditions for a major war are building. These include resource scarcity and competition, the ascendancy of new powers and the relative decline of the hegemon, global arms races, the rise of paranoid nationalism made angry and bitter, in no small part, by classic containment strategies.

Factor in the impacts of climate change only beginning to be felt and you have a formula for small, medium and even large-scale warfare. This has been addressed by Britain's MoD and was most recently discussed in the Pentagon's last Quadrenniel Defense Review.

With governments now conditioned to simply ignore challenges - environmental, economic, geopolitical - they're not prepared to address, much less resolve, there really is nobody at the wheel.

Anonymous said...

mound of sound: this is why I laugh when people love to say 'oh the earth can support 12 billion people no problem, resources *will not be an issue if everyone just consumes less*'

and therein lies the problem
people will always fight over resources, and when those resources, mainly water and then food, become even more scarce there will be even more wars!