Only a week away from the much touted and ‘prophetic’ end of the Mayan long-count calendar and the internet is a-buzz with various sudden end-of-the-world scenarios, from solar storms and polar shifts to nuclear Armageddon and ‘Planet-X’. The fact is, the Mayan people today dispute all of the Biblical End-of Days bullshit and say that-
‘‘There are two sides to the story,’ he told CBC. ‘The one that we know is this apocalyptic meaning that has been given to the Long Count.
‘The other side of the story is the Mayan side, which you rarely see on media articles, because they never interview my own people.’ ‘For them it’s a joyous event, not an apocalyptic event. What is coming is the end of a calendar and the beginning of a new one.
More to the point, if you’re looking for a catastrophe, well you’re right in the middle of one, for in reality the apocalypse began in 2008 with the Great Financial Crash (or GFC as the ‘experts’ put it) and it’s not over yet, that and the global production of oil reached its peak in the same year. Given the fact that the entire world’s economy depends on car-culture, plastics and petroleum-based products from fertilizer to electronics, that’s not a good thing.
Meanwhile, all the big banks are now dependent on injections of liquidity through government and central bank bailouts and subsidies. In the US QE4 has just been announced pressuring the European ruling class into matching the creation of more paper money lest they are put at a disadvantage in terms of trade imbalances. In the UK the Bank of England is looking to inject yet more money into the bankrupt banks. Meanwhile the ‘smart money’ is flooding into bonds and Precious Metals creating an ever more straining and bloated bubble in the former, with the latter having its price manipulated down through market rigging (as a rush into gold would not exactly boost investor confidence). This in itself poses the risk of the bond market collapsing suddenly as they are so tied to the political and social crises unfolding in Europe, the ‘fiscal cliff’ in the US and the strong possibility of a war engineered in either the middle or far east. The rich are willing to play this dangerous game of instability because they have no other choice but to ‘fake it until they make it’, hoping that if they prop-up an artificial economy long enough with printed cash, growth will magically reappear- despite the apparently counter-intuitive policies of austerity.
From the Western point of view, the elimination of the social market economy and its model of welfare coupled with the crushing of the middle classes and of worker’s rights and living standards ought to be enough to ultimately re-stimulate the economy, except that Europe has exported all of its industry to developing nations and is too far behind in its efforts to re-train and re-industrialise society. They hope to produce a workforce that can compete with the cheap, barely unionised, newly-emerged proletariats in India, Brazil and China, by returning to the social conditions of the nineteenth century; no healthcare, no subsidised housing, reduced or eliminated welfare, no unions. In China 14yr olds have been found working in factories- the same economic logic is returning to the west as the British Government opens corporate ‘Studio Schools’ where children are sent out to do unpaid labour. This impoverishment is already well under way in the US- if you are too poor to get health insurance, you get no medical treatment once the few social credits you had run out- essentially the only option left is to go and die in the gutter. This Social-Darwinian ethos of ‘Your Death is My Life’ is the ultimate capitalist utopia- where pure, naked, self-interest rules the day, and everyone competes with everyone else for even the lowest paid, dangerous job.
A system which touts ‘opportunity for all’ knowing full well that there is no more room at the top of the social pyramid, except for the most vicious of competitors , those who are willing to forfeit their humanity for material gain and where the ‘Devil takes the hindmost’. The inherently fascistic culture of corporate capitalism is with us today in all but embryo, where euphemisms serve to mask the realities, when ‘simplifying the cost base’ means throwing people out of work, into more debt and making them homeless, where the patent lack of democracy in virtually every workplace makes a mockery of the idea of living in a ‘democratic’ society. Meanwhile corporations like Microsoft sell us the idea of a pluralist, atomised, consumer individualism, where the latest gadget or social network will act as a substitute for real democratic participation and community. These exercises in ‘soft power’ produce the ‘soft violence’ of invisible social suffering, the suicides, the addictions, the destruction of relationships, the material want, the financial hardships, where people lose self-respect in a social system that never respected them as sovereign human beings and the incarceration of those who finally explode. The Oligarchs, the austerity implementers, the warmongers, the baby-killers, know full well they are attempting to pull-off one of the greatest heists in human history, all the while balancing the real possibility of economic collapse against a zombie economy which cannot grow when potential consumers either lose their jobs or fear losing them, while they see prices rise year on year with the expansion of the money supply which eats into the value of their pay and therefore their spending power.
Ultimately, the millionaires (11,000,000 globally) and the billionaires (2,160 globally) are shitting in their Calvin Klein’s, Agent Provocateurs and $100 Frigo pants at the thought of there being nothing left at the end of the rainbow, that the promise of growth is an illusion on a planet of finite resources, that capitalism has reached the apex of its development and must either collapse in spectacular fashion or decline like the empires of old- after all, Rome wasn’t destroyed in a day. The Law of Entropy rears its ugly head, like the memento mori of mediaeval moralists who cautioned the wealthy that they would not, after all, enter the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven, to remind the rich that capitalism is not compatible with the maintenance of life on such a small planet. They know the zero-sum game is nearly up, they are debating as to how to maintain their power in the face of universal, planetary crisis and are hoping to shift the blame onto mankind’s propensity to reproduce himself- over-population is to be blamed for poverty, not the system that creates artificial scarcity- so now they seek murderous Malthusian solutions to the problem of ‘spare capacity in the labour market’( Where in fact, all the world’s cities could comfortably fit into Western Australia, which means there is plenty of land, but certainly not enough shared wealth.)
They know that we are beginning to value millionaires and billionaires not by how many Dollars, Euros or Yuan they have, but how many lives they have consumed through exploitation of millions and billions of people, that they are merely a ‘cultured’ mafia whose aims are no more honourable than a street-corner pimp- Robber-Barons in expensive suits who issue death sentences from the designer desks of their penthouse offices.
In the coming months and years, we will see a dramatic decline in living standards for working people, waged and unwaged, either through repressive austerity or grinding inflation, or both, unless the derivative bubble actually bursts and produces the greatest economic collapse in the history of our species, (many times worse than the collapse of Lehman Brothers) which may be ‘caused’ or accompanied by a new Great War, a war aimed at preserving the west’s weakening grip on resources and its dwindling dominance of global trade or to camouflage the failings of the real enemies of the people at home- the bankers and their allies the politicians who caused the GFC in the first place. We do not forget, nor do we forgive, and when the time comes there will be only one apocalypse that means anything- the anti-capitalist class apocalypse.
HUMANITY WON’T BE HAPPY TILL THE LAST BUREAUCRAT IS HUNG WITH THE GUTS OF THE LAST CAPITALIST.
THE RICH ARE OUR MISFORTUNE.
EDITED TO ADD:-
‘BASEL, Switzerland—Every two months, more than a dozen bankers meet here on Sunday evenings to talk and dine on the 18th floor of a cylindrical building looking out on the Rhine. The dinner discussions on money and economics are more than academic. At the table are the chiefs of the world’s biggest central banks, representing countries that annually produce more than $51 trillion of gross domestic product, three-quarters of the world’s economic output.
Of late, these secret talks have focused on global economic troubles and the aggressive measures by central banks to manage their national economies. Since 2007, central banks have flooded the world financial system with more than $11 trillion. Faced with weak recoveries and Europe’s churning economic problems, the effort has accelerated. The biggest central banks plan to pump billions more into government bonds, mortgages and business loans.
Their monetary strategy isn’t found in standard textbooks. The central bankers are, in effect, conducting a high-stakes experiment, drawing in part on academic work by some of the men who studied and taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1970s and 1980s.
While many national governments, including the U.S., have failed to agree on fiscal policy—how best to balance tax revenues with spending during slow growth—the central bankers have forged their own path, independent of voters and politicians, bound by frequent conversations and relationships stretching back to university days.
If the central bankers are correct, they will help the world economy avoid prolonged stagnation and a repeat of central banking mistakes in the 1930s. If they are wrong, they could kindle inflation or sow the seeds of another financial crisis…’