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
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
The Threat of Barbarism: US Imperialism Unleashed
Demand periodically is unable to keep up with supplies furnished by capitalists simply because the latter repress wages as much as they can to boost profits. However, capitalists create economic crises in other ways in their mad pursuit of profits. They are very creative in extracting their profits as seen before the recent economic collapse in which they induced people to sign up for home loans which contained very easy initial conditions. Subsequently, the mortgage loans were packaged and sold like snake oil all over the world with the blessings of rating agencies and look-the-other-way regulatory agencies. They also devised and used derivative bets to multiply the gains (and losses) that could be made on these packages.
Now they are sticking the debts from their bad bets to ordinary citizens everywhere in the Western world, slashing all public services, and laying off public sector workers to pay their debts. Such austerity policies have their problems by reducing further the ability of people to buy products from the private owners of our economy. However, when all else fails, capitalists always have one other trick up their sleeves, a trick they used frequently in the 20th century. The article describes that trick and indications that political operatives of the One Percent are now willing and looking to use it to stimulate demand.