July 22, 2013
Publicat în English content
Democratic politics is not "consumer goods”, it is "citizen goods”. Politicians are not chocolate manufacturers asking their consumers how they'd like their chocolate to be better manufactured. It's far more complicated than that - unless you insist on being a village idiot, and seeing everything as a bar of chocolate. Unfortunately, a lot of people are insisting on being consumers, and are behaving like village idiots, demanding their own chocolate bars, and consumer rights, without demanding more fundamental changes and better chocolate.
This isn't a good place for democracy to be in, but we do not think civically, or do not want to think “civically”, and we are presented a world in which we are merely “free” consumers in a world of business, in a kind of political and civic vacuum... Yet, now, something more dangerous appears to be (or to have been) occurring - mirroring Mussolini's brand of Fascism - the state and the corporations are merging, the consumer is a citizen, and the citizen is a consumer.
However, consumerism isn't citizenship and citizenship isn't consumerism - regardless of how much we may pretend it is, or want it to be like that. If citizenship and consumerism were the same thing - they wouldn't be two very different words, conjuring-up, two very different worlds. We're never going to destroy either one of them - however much radical neo-liberalism (i.e. corporatists) or radical socialism (i.e. communists) might aspire, and we certainly do not ever want to merge them together, as under Fascism.
Using neoliberal language and financialized/marketized plans to deal with the economic problems which have their origins deeply embedded in the very same ideologies and actions; is the same as using socialist language and state plans to deal with a problem more fundamentally brought about by socialism and the state. What we're experiencing is the corporate-neoliberalism version of what the Communist world experienced when it denied it's internal contradictions, which, of course, eventually led to its collapse. The USA and EU are to suffer the same fate. The UK is stuck between two “arse” cheeks; what's that hole between two arse cheeks called again?
Well...is a politics of greater moderation likely to supplant corporate neoliberal globalizing agendas and policies? It seems unlikely, but blessed with a "democracy" we can make our demands known - hopefully with good levels of civic understanding, in spite of the crap we're fed - rather than the mentality of "village idiots" as is proscribed to us. There's a reason the Americans and Anglo-Saxon's bang on about "community", and "communities" -- the last thing they want is for individuals to think and engage as citizens, or as mature, urban people --- thereby organizing and forming united movements.
They want us to think and act - as dementedly atomized, stratified and unknowing as the corporate agendas and policies seek to construct us; thereby allowing business to get on with organizing and agitating us into whatever consumer packaging they see fit. Of course, this is the very “social engineering” they accuse communists, socialists and all others of badly instigating. Yet, if you go to most high streets, now, across the UK, you see the same generic, characterlessness buildings and frustrations as cameras depicted under Soviet communism.
We are held captive to a system in crisis. Capitalism goes around shifting the “crisis” from one place to another; it's never not in crisis. It's hitting Europe, America and Japan now because, collectively, we can't afford the gas bills. We can't afford them, because growth isn't sustainable, the energy resources making growth “real” are finite, we've been living on cheap debt, and the elite are hoarding much of their money away. The West isn't best, it's quite a mess, and we all know it - especially the Anglo-Saxons who have lead the charge.
It's the rise of business power and the decline of political power, and the triumph of consumerism over citizenship, only now the corporations need the state to save them - to do their bidding - and keep the private consumer identity strong, and suffocate the public citizen.
The Bank of International Settlements has got one thing right
Quantitative Easing has reached its limits and cannot help to stimulate economic growth. QE is a busted flush.
But why is the BoIS still pushing the austerity pathway? - it should be obvious that austerity cannot lead to sustained economic growth because there is a demand crisis within every major Western capitalist country. The mealy-mouthed statement that the short term pain is worth the long term gain simply flies in the face of reality - we have been in recession for five years, with little sigh of any sustained and vigorous growth which could have been expected by now. Living standards in most capitalist countries are falling for the majority of the population, dramatically so in some Euro Zone ones. To push for “financial consolidation” at this juncture is irresponsible and probably self-defeating, as our experience shows - government debt is still growing, despite, or perhaps because of, Osborne's public expenditure cuts.
Only fiscal expansion, focused on capital investment, will stimulate the economy enough to start to reduce unemployment, raise living standards, and increase consumer demand. What law of government or economics says central banks must at some point sell the bonds they purchased with QE money, This system is not your credit card, QE was used to lower interest rates, give liquidity to banks and lower the interest burden on government debt, and the mortgage market. If every overseas investor decides to sell their bonds and rates jumped up ,so what that liquidity is what is needed, and the fed has unlimited fiat money to set any rate it wants.
Meanwhile, The European Central Bank is already looking ahead. European leaders recently decided to make the ECB partially responsible for keeping tabs on the health of the Continent's banks. And according to Euro Group head Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Frankfurt-based institution is taking the job seriously.
"Now, the ECB is going to look deep into the books and will involve external, independent experts. It is clear to the ECB that its credibility will be harmed if it doesn't make precise checks", Dijsselbloem said in an interview with four European newspapers on Wednesday, including the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung. "Because as soon as the ECB takes over the central monitoring role over Europe's banks, it becomes responsible."
The European Union tasked the ECB with keeping an eye on banks in the bloc late last year and preparations have been underway since then. Starting in the autumn of 2014, the central bank of the common currency zone will begin monitoring the euro area's largest financial institutions. Should they be unable to prove their financial health before then, however, unwinding them and shutting them down could be an option.
That, though, has become the most controversial element of the banking union plan. On Wednesday, disagreement flared between the European Commission and Germany over who will have the final say when it comes to restructuring wobbly banks. A proposal by Commissioner Michel Barnier, who is in charge of the financial regulation portfolio on Europe's executive body, called for the Commission to have final decision making powers on which banks get restructured.
There will only be one thing standing when the FT passes.
The FT is the “financial tsunami”.
• No it’s not bonds.
• No it’s not equities.
• No it’s not gold.
• No it’s not commodities.
• No it’s not oil.
• No its not Euro, Yen or Sterling.
It is the Big One! It’s US DOLLARS in cash.