Excellent article! Hyper-financialism and the hyper-concentration of wealth it breeds are the bane of human existence at this time. Sooner or later, 1789 will come around again.
And neofascism is the political complex that creates a neofeudal economic system wherein the 1% own everything, thereby fully enslaving the 99%.
Neoliberalism generates little wealth. Rather, it redistributes it upward into the hands of the ruling elites. Harvey calls this “accumulation by dispossession.”
Quite frankly, the same can be said of Capitalism itself and not just the Neoliberal version.
As example, the formation of the Hudsons Bay Company as a Corporation transferred the ownership of virtually all of Canada to that Entity. Its investors suddenly were rolling in money all based upon what in essense theft.
Private Property is also a form of theft and wealth transference from the Commons to an individual. When John Chisum moved from Tennesee to Texas , the vast ranch he was claimed to have built was premised on “The Right of Occupancy”. In other words he just claimed “This land mine because I am the first one here” (even though First nations Tribes lived in the area) and then procedded to kill people who would trespass on it. This again was theft of the commons.
All of Colonialism was mass theft via “private property laws” and "the Doctrine of Discovery "imposed on other peoples.
I almost commented on the incident along the US/Mexico border when I first read about it, but this article bears out the point I wanted to make . . . that, as with so much of what appears to be random madness by the Trump administration, is in fact strategic distraction.
As Hedges remarks, "This has forced the ruling elites to make alliances with right-wing demagogues who use the crude tactics of racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, bigotry and misogyny to channel the public’s growing rage and frustration away from the elites and toward the vulnerable."
Yes, the classic ‘divide-and-conquer’ tactic, with the modern twist, as the world devolves into more and more conflict.
The culture of ‘financialized and commodified’ minds rules under the distorted disguise of democracy. Normalized insanity, cultured thoroughly and vigorously, has produced the unwitting conformity necessary to further enable its coercive, undemocratic power.
Presumably, a few more will wake up when they are further deprived of water, food and living space. Making millions die now apparently isn’t sufficient motivation.
The wealthy overlords will be so shocked when people actually rise up against them. They will surely say, “But we gave generously to charity.”
Ding! Ding! Ding! The winning observation of the day! Simply stated and right to the point. Nice going!
And once the 1% climate deniers and industry polluters have been successful in the future, of poisoning the planets air; especially, in large cities, and privatize good air… one has to wonder how long before we get an air bill.
I wonder if Chris H.; being a minister and divinity student of James
Luther Adams and Paul Tillich, might agree that this “Dark Path”
we’re on is what happens in the world when the “wheat” allow the
“weeds” to rule. (Matthew 13:24-30).
I have difficulty understanding macro-economics. It’s like a shell game. Or, like colonialism, it benefits the middle man distributor, the manufacturer and the financial speculator while keeping colonists vulnerable to any disruption of essential supplies they could provide for themselves if their economy wasn’t based on long-distance trade. Denial of catastrophic climate change is just another form of warfare with the same dire results. Xenophobic belligerence against climate refugees is also warfare. Finally, inequitable distribution of essential commodities is, again, warfare. Donald Drumpf is an acting member of worldwide oligarchs planning World War III. They have no intention of accommodating a population of 10 billion in 2050. Drumpf is conducting the equivalent of Hitler’s ‘final solution’. The more dependent nations become on petroleum derived commodities, the more vulnerable they become to sudden disruption of fuel supplies, without which mass starvation will occur. Yemen is a test case for human extermination.
To emphasize the bipartisan nature of the neoliberal project, look at who the “great leaders” / front people were in the USA and Britain, who led the charge to impose neoliberal “freedom” on all of us:
Margaret Thatcher (Conservative), and… Tony Blair (Labour).
Ronald Reagan (Republican), and… Bill Clinton (Democrat).
As Neil Young sang about another deadly form of addiction: “Oh, the damage done…”
The US began shutting down/shipping out family-supporting jobs in the '80s – lost over 6 million mfg. jobs alone since 2000 – yet US poverty remains swept under the carpet. The Clinton administration ended actual welfare aid in the 1990s, and liberals responded with a vigorous pep rally for the middle class (updated to “working class” in 2016). What does this tell you about today’s Americans?
Understanding this country requires understanding that we aren’t “the 1% vs. the 99%.” We’re rich vs. middle class vs. poor, and we’ve already been through years of mass upward wealth redistribution. We now seem to be at the point where the rich do to the middle class essentially what the middle class already did to the poor.
Thanks for the great video link. I watched all of it, and highly recommend it to all.
Greed will always lead to bleed
Wellan, it sounds as if you have a very good grasp of the macro-economics of our global system, how it works, and for whom. The thing for me is that the we have global trade at all in the essentials that people have to have to survive. Like food, fuel/electricity for heating, transportation, etc only delivered by giant, global corporations. This also includes legal tender from the “government” that outlaws community currencies. And all essential services need to be publicly owned and operated. Period. What we need more than anything to survive as a species is peace, cooperation, and a life of dignity.
The four big D’s of neoliberalism are:
- Decreasing taxation of the rich
- Decreasing funding of social programs
In the 1970s Neoliberalism became the consensus for the Democratic and Republican parties.
Capitalism thus entered its final stage as predicted by Marx. Global capital became unable to expand and generate profits at former levels so capitalists were driven to consume the government along with the physical and social structures that sustained them. The capitalist mania for short-term profit would, as always, consider as irrelevant democracy, social welfare, electoral participation, and the common good. People never matter more than profit so investment in public transportation, roads, bridges, utilities, industry, education, ecosystem protection, and health care are sacrificed for profit. In the hubris of profit and power, they are blind that these assaults will destroy the host.
The Pentagon has begun a new 21st century three front cold ‘Long War’ against China and Russia, "and hardly anyone has even noticed…. And if you imagined that a war on terror across huge swaths of the planet represented a significant global overreach for a single power, just wait. Maintaining large and heavily-equipped forces on three extended fronts will also prove exceedingly costly and will certainly conflict with domestic spending priorities and possibly provoke a divisive debate over the reinstatement of the draft.”
“We have wasted a staggering $4.79 trillion on death, destruction, and folly as our nation is increasingly impoverished and climate change threatens us with extinction. The arms manufacturers, who have a vested interest in perpetuating these debacles, will work to make a few trillion more before this act of collective imperial suicide comes to a humiliating end.” bit.ly/2JP4sxU The capitalist elite “we” have spent what they must to keep their empire solvent. Their interests are global and are tied only to profit, not to any nation, people, or even their own human race.
All war is about resources and survival. Oil is the prime resource of the middle east. Oil is expected to peak, worldwide, in the ’20s. After that, it will become increasingly expensive to obtain as it begins to finally run out. There is no way in the foreseeable future to sustain the present world economy and industrial infrastructure without oil. bit.ly/2DMRd04 If one wants to dream one can hope that nuclear fusion will finally be perfected and come to the rescue.
Dream and war is all that’s left. Capitalism has reached the dead end, that Marx wrote it would, where it can no longer consume or produce at previous levels and instead of expanding will continue the contraction of the past few decades. In order for the 1% “we” to keep power and increasing wealth, war is now the only solution. The past of capitalism is one of almost permanent war but war is now a necessity as American “defense" spending accounts for, by itself, over one-third of all global military spending. It consumes the great majority of the federal discretionary budget as the US neoliberal economy depends on war. The war machine and its ramifications contribute more than 50% to the US GDP. Without war, the U.S. economy and its empire would collapse.
War is no longer about winning or losing. It is now about keeping the military-industrial complex adequately funded. The war machine must have enough war to fuel today’s nation-state which is becoming little more than a subservient member of global capitalism. War is the only way products can be consumed without depending on human consumption via markets. Occupation of countries is carried out with corruption and incompetence encouraged in order to guarantee insurrection and more “terrorists”. The more hatred the greater profit. It also has the added advantage of deflecting attention away from one’s nation and problems via enemies, “terrorists”, which are created while all wealth is transferred to the 1% “we”. Your present elected and appointed killers are preparing for another war. Iran is now in their sights. bit.ly/2KWffWA
The US military is spread out between 1000 foreign bases so there is no concentration of anything. Moving troops out to concentrate for a war means losing control of those 132 countries the US has bases in. Why was Iraq fought with reservists who had to take 4-6 continuous tours? The US has far too small a military to both fight wars of aggression and occupying over 100 countries. It can’t do both unless it drafts 8 million people.
Motivation is key, and the US grunt has no idea why they are fighting in countries they never heard of before. Propaganda goes just so far. NONE are fighting to defend their families and countries. It is a job. Can even one soldier explain why they are killing people? The motivation that is missing is key as to why none of these wars do anything but reap vast profits for a few very wealthy foreign and domestic investors in the military-industrial complex, and the wars never benefit non-wealthy Americans.
So endless war will continue to protect the freedom of the wealthy to exploit the world. People don’t like being exploited, particularly by a foreign power, just ask some of the ghosts of the founding terrorists of the U.S.A. Trump states “he knew what he signed up for.” Unfortunately, almost all do not know what they’re signing up for but most will not be killed. For many young people, particularly the poor, the military is their only option.
If the 1% “we” wanted war to stop they could make it stop but only by destroying themselves. Somebody else, perhaps the 99%, will have to destroy those “we” and the murderous capitalist system that produced them. Socialism is the only realistic dream that can save the human race from its destruction by “us” and “we”.
The U.S. Empire though is doomed to lose its fight against “terrorism" and will also lose its empire and world domination as the rot from within increases along with military budgets bankrupting it.
HI Tom Johnson… a great video----- and those journalists who do not support Julian Assange will in essence be drawing and quartering themselves at a future date( well at least the truth tellers will be.)
Most difficulty in understanding economic theory comes from the starting assumption that it will somehow make sense.
It becomes easier if you allow what you know about the world to explain economic theory rather than allowing economic theory to explain the world.
Applause and thanks to and for Chris Hedges once again.
I wonder what distinctions we see between the neoliberal authoritarian but more internationalist fascism that has arisen after the world wars and into the 21st century as (more or less) differentiated from the largely nationalist and more openly racist fascism that rose between the wars.