We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fears of Regime Change in New York

by Yves Smith from Naked Capitalism

This honest blogger, who has had a long career in the financial services industry, is very well connected to the elite of US society. She reports on recent conversations she's had with others who also are well connected that may illustrate how the ruling elite view the current economic collapse. Smith provides us with the rare privilege of sort of eavesdropping on a few of their conversations.
Normally, I don’t report on anecdotes from my immediate circle, but a set of conversations in less than a 24 hour period suggests that even those comparatively unaffected by the crisis are bracing themselves for the possibility of sudden, large-scale, adverse changes. And that sort of gnawing worry seems to be growing in New York despite being buoyed by TARP funds and covert bank subsidies.
What I find so interesting is that people close to the ruling class look on the future as portending ominous events while mainstream media pour reassuring messages to working people that this is just another economic cycle and things will be fine (we are winning our wars, the Gulf is being cleaned up, no climate change that can be proved, etc.) if we just tighten our belts a bit.