Prognosis 2012: Towards a New World Social Order

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Richard K. Moore | Global Research

Historical background – the establishment of capitalist supremacy

When the Industrial Revolution began in Britain, in the late 1700s, there was lots of money to be made by investing in factories and mills, by opening up new markets, and by gaining control of sources of raw materials. The folks who had the most money to invest, however, were not so much in Britain but more in Holland. Holland was the leading Western power in the 1600s, and its bankers were the leading capitalists. In pursuit of profit, Dutch capital flowed to the British stock market, and thus the Dutch funded the rise of Britain, who subsequently eclipsed Holland both economically and geopolitically.

In this way British industrialism came to be dominated by wealthy investors, and capitalism became the dominant economic system. This led to a major social transformation. Britain had been essentially an aristocratic society, dominated by landholding families. As capitalism became dominant economically, capitalists became dominant politically. Tax structures and import-export policies were gradually changed to favor investors over landowners.

It was no longer economically viable to simply maintain an estate in the countryside: one needed to develop it, turn it to more productive use. Victorian dramas are filled with stories of aristocratic families who fall on hard times, and are forced to sell off their properties. For dramatic purposes, this decline is typically attributed to a failure in some character, a weak eldest son perhaps. But in fact the decline of aristocracy was part of a larger social transformation brought on by the rise of capitalism.

The business of the capitalist is the management of capital, and this management is generally handled through the mediation of banks and brokerage houses. It should not be surprising that investment bankers came to occupy the top of the hierarchy of capitalist wealth and power. And in fact, there are a handful of banking families, including the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers, who have come to dominate economic and political affairs in the Western world.

Unlike aristocrats, capitalists are not tied to a place, or to the maintenance of a place. Capital is disloyal and mobile – it flows to where the most growth can be found, as it flowed from Holland to Britain, then from Britain to the USA, and most recently from everywhere to China. Just as a copper mine might be exploited and then abandoned, so under capitalism a whole nation can be exploited and then abandoned, as we see in the rusting industrial areas of America and Britain.

This detachment from place leads to a different kind of geopolitics under capitalism, as compared to aristocracy. A king goes to war when he sees an advantage to his nation in doing so. Historians can ‘explain’ the wars of pre-capitalist days, in terms of the aggrandizement of monarchs and nations.
A capitalist stirs up a war in order to make profits, and in fact our elite banking families have financed both sides of most military conflicts since at least World War 1. Hence historians have a hard time ‘explaining’ World War 1 in terms of national motivations and objectives.
In pre-capitalist days warfare was like chess, each side trying to win. Under capitalism warfare is more like a casino, where the players battle it out as long as they can get credit for more chips, and the real winner always turns out to be the house – the bankers who finance the war and decide who will be the last man standing. Not only are wars the most profitable of all capitalist ventures, but by choosing the winners, and managing the reconstruction, the elite banking families are able, over time, to tune the geopolitical configuration to suit their own interests.
Nations and populations are but pawns in their games. Millions die in wars, infrastructures are destroyed, and while the world mourns, the bankers are counting their winnings and making plans for their postwar reconstruction investments.

From their position of power, as the financiers of governments, the banking elite have over time perfected their methods of control. Staying always behind the scenes, they pull the strings controlling the media, the political parties, the intelligence agencies, the stock markets, and the offices of government. And perhaps their greatest lever of power is their control over currencies. By means of their central-bank scam, they engineer boom and bust cycles, and they print money from nothing and then loan it at interest to governments. The power of the banking elites is both absolute and subtle…

“Some of the biggest men in the United

States are afraid of something. They

know there is a power somewhere, so

organised, so subtle, so watchful, so

interlocked, so complete, so pervasive

that they had better not speak above

their breath when they speak in

condemnation of it.”

— President Woodrow Wilson

The end of growth – capitalists vs. capitalism

It was always inevitable, on a finite planet, that there would be a limit to economic growth. Industrialization has enabled us to rush headlong toward that limit over the past two centuries. Production has become ever more efficient, markets have become ever more global, and finally we have reached the point where the paradigm of perpetual growth can no longer be maintained.

Indeed, that point was actually reached by about 1970. Since then capital has not so much sought growth through increased production, but rather by extracting greater returns from relatively flat production levels.  Hence globalization, which moved production to low-waged areas, providing greater profit margins. Hence privatization, which transfers revenue streams to investors that formerly went to national treasuries. Hence derivative and currency markets, which create the electronic illusion of economic growth, without actually producing anything in the real world.

If one studies the collapse of civilizations, one learns that failure-to-adapt is fatal. Continuing on the path of pursuing growth would be such a failure to adapt. And if one reads the financial pages these days, one finds that it is full of doomsayers. We read that the Eurozone is doomed, and Greece is just the first casualty. We read that stimulus packages are not working, unemployment is increasing, the dollar is in deep trouble, growth continues to stagnate, business real estate will be the next bubble to burst, etc. It is easy to get the impression that capitalism is failing to adapt, and that our societies are in danger of collapsing into chaos.

Such an impression would be partly right and partly wrong. In order to understand the real situation we need to make a clear distinction between the capitalist elite and capitalism itself. Capitalism is an economic system driven by growth; the capitalist elite are the folks who have managed to gain control of the Western world while capitalism has operated over the past two centuries. The capitalist system is past its sell-by date, the banking elite are well aware of that fact – and they are adapting.

Capitalism is a vehicle that helped bring the bankers to absolute power, but they have no more loyalty to that system than they have to place, or to anything or anyone else. As mentioned earlier, they think on a global scale, with nations and populations as pawns. They define what money is and they issue it, just like the banker in a game of Monopoly. They can also make up a new game with a new kind of money. They have long outgrown any need to rely on any particular economic system in order to maintain their power. Capitalism was handy in an era of rapid growth. For an era of non-growth, a different game is being prepared.

Thus, capitalism has not been allowed to die a natural death. First it was put on a life-support system, as mentioned above, with globalization, privatization, derivative markets, etc. Then it was injected with a euthanasia death-drug, in the form of toxic derivatives. And when the planned collapse occurred, rather than industrial capitalism being bailed out, the elite bankers were bailed out. It’s not that the banks were too big to fail, rather the bankers were too politically powerful to fail. They made governments an offer they couldn’t refuse.

The outcome of the trillion-dollar bailouts was easily predictable, although you wouldn’t know that from reading the financial pages. National budgets were already stretched, and they certainly did not have reserves available to service the bailouts. Thus the bailouts amounted to nothing more than the taking on of immense new debts by governments. In order to fulfill the bailout commitments, the money would need to be borrowed from the same financial institutions that were being bailed out.

With the bailouts, Western governments delivered their nations in hock to the bankers. The governments are now in perpetual debt bondage to the bankers. Rather than the banks going into receivership, governments are now in receivership. Obama’s cabinet and advisors are nearly all from Wall Street; they are in the White House so they can keep close watch over their new acquisition, the once sovereign USA. Perhaps they will soon be presiding over its liquidation.

The bankers are now in control of national budgets. They say what can be funded and what can’t. When it comes to financing their wars and weapons production, no limits are set. When it comes to public services, then we are told deficits must be held in check. The situation was expressed very well by Brian Cowan, Ireland’s government chief. In the very same week that Ireland pledged 200 billion Euro to bailout the banks, he was being asked why he was cutting a few million Euro off of critical service budgets. He replied, “I’m sorry, but the funds just aren’t there”. Of course they’re not there! The treasury was given away. The cupboard is bare.

As we might expect, the highest priority for budgets is servicing the debt to the banks. Just as most of the third world is in debt slavery to the IMF, so the whole West is now in debt slavery to its own central banks. Greece is the harbinger of what is to happen everywhere.

The carbon economy – controlling consumption

In a non-growth economy, the mechanisms of production will become relatively static. Instead of corporations competing to innovate, we’ll have production bureaucracies. They’ll be semi-state, semi-private bureaucracies, concerned about budgets and quotas rather than growth, somewhat along the lines of the Soviet model. Such an environment is not driven by a need for growth capital, and it does not enable a profitable game of Monopoly.

We can already see steps being taken to shift the corporate model towards the bureaucratic model, through increased government intervention in economic affairs. With the Wall Street bailouts, the forced restructuring of General Motors, the call for centralized micromanagement of banking and industry, and the mandating of health insurance coverage, the government is saying that the market is to superseded by government directives. Not that we should bemoan the demise of exploitive capitalism, but before celebrating we need to understand what it is being replaced with.

In an era of capitalism and growth, the focus of the game has been on the production side of the economy. The game was aimed at controlling the means of growth: access to capital.  The growth-engine of capitalism created the demand for capital; the bankers controlled the supply. Taxes were mostly based on income, again related to the production side of the economy.
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Terror: The facts US media ignore

Paul Craig Roberts |  THE “Underwear Bomber” case indicates that whoever is behind these bomb scares is laughing at our gullibility.

How realistic is it that Al-Qaeda, an organization that allegedly pulled off the most fantastic terror attack in world history, would in these days of heightened security choose for an attack on an airliner a person who is the most conspicuous of all? Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had a one-way ticket, no luggage, no passport, and his father, reportedly a CIA and Mossad asset, had reported him to the CIA and Mossad. Does anyone really believe that Al-Qaeda would choose as an airliner bomber a person waving every red flag imaginable?

This obvious question has escaped the US media, a collection of salespersons marketing full body scanning machines for airports.

Would Al-Qaeda, with its extensive knowledge of explosives, have armed Umar with a “bomb” that experts say couldn’t have blown up his own seat?

It is difficult to imagine a more gullible population than America’s, but do even Americans believe this story?

Since 9/11 the FBI has been busy enticing people, who lack organizational skills, into “terrorist plots” that consist of FBI-initiated hot air talk. These ridiculous stings are then taken to trial, and the media fans the flames of fear of “home-grown terrorist plots against Americans.”

There is little doubt that those interested in leading the US deeper into a police state and deeper into a “war on terror” are active in adding orchestrated events to whatever real ones real terrorists manage to accomplish. The paucity of real terrorists has caused the US government and its Ministry of Truth to promote the Taleban to terrorist rank. The problem is that these “terrorist acts” are taking place thousands of miles away in lands that the average American cannot find on a map and, thus, lack scare value. To keep the peril alive for Americans, we have the Underwear Bomb Plot.

What will be next? An elaborate head of hair laced with nano-thermite?

The “war on terror” is a far greater threat to Americans than all the terrorists in the world combined. This is so because the “war on terror” has destroyed the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. American citizens are now helpless in the event someone in government decides that some constitutionally protected behavior, such as free speech, or a contribution to a children’s hospital in Gaza, where Hamas, a US-declared “terrorist organization,” happens to be the elected government, constitutes aiding and abetting terrorism.

On Jan. 5 a ruling by the Federal Appeals Court in the District of Columbia gave away the most essential protection of liberty by declaring that the US government is not bound by law during war. The ruling absolves Washington from complying with America’s own laws and from complying with international laws, such as the Geneva Conventions. It makes a mockery of all war crime trials everywhere. By elevating the executive branch above the law, the court gave the government carte blanche.

The rationale offered by the court for refusing to uphold the law came from Judge Janice Rogers Brown, who said that America had been pushed by war past “the leading edge of a new and frightening paradigm, one that demands new rules be written. War is a challenge to law, and the law must adjust.” By “adjust” she means “be set aside” or “be thrown out.”

The US Supreme Court has refused to defend both the Constitution and the principle that government is not above the law. Last Dec.14 the Supreme Court refused to review a ruling by the Federal Appeals Court in the District of Columbia, which dismissed a torture case with the argument that “torture is a foreseeable consequence of the military’s detention of suspected enemy combatants.” In other words, neither US nor international laws against torture can be enforced in US courts. The opinion was written by Judge Karen Lecraft Henderson.

The “war on terror,” which is enriching Halliburton, Blackwater (now operating under an alias), and the military/security complex, while denying Americans health care, is running up debt that is a threat to Americans’ purchasing power and living standards. The contrast between America’s sanctimonious rhetoric and the murder of civilians and torture of prisoners has destroyed America’s reputation and caused Europeans as well as Muslims to despise the United States.

The sacrifice of the Constitution and rule of law to a hyped “theorist threat” has destroyed the heart and soul of America herself.

As a poet wrote, “our world in stupor lies.”

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