Further problems are being created by the proposed solutions to an economic crisis more serious than the Great Depression. As in the 1930s , government employees of great wealth are attempting to bail out the failing system at public expense, thereby making things worse and avoiding what is for the good of humanity. Capitalism has achieved massive private profits for a minority only by generating staggering loss for a majority burdened with unpayable debt. Perpetuation of this system could lead to total disaster. But its failure presents an opportunity to bring on an age of equality and social justice such as the world has never known. The question is whether this collapsing economy will take us down with it, or whether we will transform it into a life enhancing system to advance all humanity, before it destroys everything .
A ruling power so obsessively blinded by wealth , greed and violence that it can see neither the forest nor the trees, is in process of tearing down the natural and human made structure of the world. If the majority does not act to acknowledge what the earth and political economics have been telling us for a long time now, civil society may pay the ultimate price for this barbarically uncivil and perversely anti social system.
As Bernard Madoff explained to an intently listening congregation of believers in his Ponzi scheme , a profit on one side of the ledger means a loss on the other. This is a hard and fast rule of the collapsing economy , which may yet fall on our heads unless we see that he and his ilk profit because we are all absorbing the loss . And we may pay the ultimate price unless we change the system that brings us to this critical juncture.
The indecisive billion dollar steps being taken taken on the multi trillion dollar path to a bail out of capital amount to applying a gigantic wad of bubble gum to patch the gaping hole in the Titanic. It will work for a while, but eventually water will come rushing in and the photogenic new captain and his family will go down along with the crew and passengers who have been made to pay for a colossal shipwreck. Whether the call is to abandon ship , mutiny or create social revolution, it should be obvious that radical change, not minor reform is necessary .
This is not simply a crisis of finance capitalism: Capitalism itself is the crisis. The sooner we realize that , the sooner we can help transform global society into one that assures liberty and justice for all, and is in environmental balance with nature . Another world is not only possible, but absolutely necessary. And it must be one in which the human development of the whole community is far more important than the creation of private profits for a few. The acquisition of capital for some can no longer be allowed to threaten the dissipation of society for all.
Repeating past attempts at reform of a crippled system, even if applying new names or labels, will only bring short term progress. Whether the economic product is called a new deal, a great society or a free market , like all drugs it will only provide temporary relief . Each reform pleases a part of society by creating gains for them, but always at the expense of the rest who eventually respond to calls for more reform to benefit another group , which continues the cycle. But this divide and conquer game has now run its course, and we need to understand that to succeed only by guaranteeing another’s failure is what’s leading us to political, economic and moral ruin.
And anti or pro government passion isn’t the answer if it doesn’t identify a state controlled by minority wealth as the real problem. It needs to become passion that sees the only real solution through recreating government to become a democratic expression of the majority.
Massive consumer debt incurred while earnings declined has enriched a minority with imaginary money, but that is presently vanishing from an electronic fairyland. While working people became a middle class only by absorbing hundreds of billions in private debt, capital’s governing class has been borrowing tens of billions of dollars every week for years now, creating a public debt so large it has more zeros than normal calculators can record.
We have depended on foreigners buying our public debt in order to finance a murderous foreign policy, while denying housing, health care and education to millions of our people. Meanwhile, workers with falling wages have been consuming things they often don't need and can’t afford except by going into deeper private debt. None of this can continue , and if we don't radically change our social behavior , material reality will deal with us the same way the ocean dealt with the Titanic.
Instead of private non-profit organizations attempting to provide service for people victimized by the system, we need a public non-profit organization, truly democratic government, to see to those services. This would allow private for-profit organizations to perform in a market not dependent on them for survival, but only for the things that make life more pleasant once survival has been assured. But none of that can happen if we continue increasing our burdens, and that of the earth itself, in order to go on destroying other societies in the name of a degenerate definition of freedom, while we destroy our own in the process .
All we’re being offered now is a great regression that will do nothing but make this great depression worse. In the words of a famous philosopher “ the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.” Progress demands we save ourselves by creating a cooperative, democratic, and socially responsible world. That’s the only real way out of this mess.
Copyright (c) 2009 by Frank Scott. All rights reserved.
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