Protecting yourself and others from the coming collapse
Yes, it is the end of the world as we know it – meaning, we are about to witness the final liquidation of the middle class across Europe and North America, the final solution to what the business elite call “the pampered Western workers” - along with the continued and further looting of the many by the few, the consolidation of the already dominant and hegemonic powers of the banking and corporate elite who now rule the world, and the culmination of the silent corporate coup which has taken over democracy. Get ready for some exciting, and also very challenging times. Here is how you can protect yourself from the crash that is coming, which will transform the Western world profoundly.
We are returning to feudal times. We are being thrown back into Charles Dickens’ time – and even further back, back to the medieval world, prior to the Magna Charta. Don`t wait to see what happens before you decide to act. Don`t wait for it to happen in its fullness, when it is obvious to everyone. If you do, then by that time it will be too late, and you will have been liquidated and economically wiped out.
If you want to survive, and even thrive through the fast-emerging Greater Depression, and the further devolution of modern industrial society into a global neo-feudal regime, pay close attention now. The writing is on the wall, and the hour is late.
Around the world, including across Europe and North America, and especially in the United States, community-building, community revitalization and community economic development are urgently needed. Since the answers and aid don`t seem to be coming from on high, the people will have to do it themselves. Better sooner than later - and now is best.
We are about to see disaster capitalism at its worst. Get ready. Now.
Until the people embrace their power, reclaim their government and their democracy, kick the corporate elite out of government and institute serious anti-trust and election financing legislation, it will be up to the people to help themselves.
Either way, it is up to the people now.
The crash is coming, and as always, those who are prepared will fare far better than those who are not. This is a relatively short article on how we can prepare ourselves for possible economic hard times ahead. A storm is gathering, and we had best seek shelter now, before it hits.
The coming economic crash will hit hard, but the hard times will be temporary. We will get through it, and come out the other side – possibly bruised and battle-scarred, but the wiser and more street smart for it.
Make hay while the sun shines, as a wise proverb goes. Or as a Chinese saying puts it, “You don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start digging a well.” Get prepared now. You will most likely regret it if you don’t – and probably regret it severely.
Action is required. Think, plan, discuss, and above all, act. And do it now, while you can.
Be happy that you have the capacity for foresight. Those who do not will be blind-sided, and will suffer greatly for the lack.
Look ahead, be prepared, and help the people with knowledge and foresight. This is simply a matter of common sense, or at least it should be.
As Robert Weidemer, Author of America’s Bubble Economy, and Aftershock, has said, “I liken it to a doctor. If you had pneumonia, and you came to his office and he simply patted you on the back and said, “Take two aspirins – you’re going to be fine” - and instead in a week you’re dead, is that really the kind of advice you want?” No, clearly not. We have to be willing to deal with the truth, or the truth will deal with us. It is as simple as that.
And it’s not all bad news. It has a lot to do with what we do about it. And the first thing to do, the first decision we need to make, is to get informed, and get the straight facts. Without that, we’re lost, and the future will be harsh on us. So let’s dig in.
Gerald Celente - who is unrivalled in global trend analysis, with a record of thirty years of stunning predictions, including predicting the economic crash of `87, the fall of the Soviet Union, the Asian economic tsunami, the collapse of the dot com bubble and the housing bubble, and more - summarized his advice for weathering the coming storm this way: gold, guns and a getaway plan.
I would rephrase that, to say that what I feel we need now, to not only weather the storm but also to transform our society and bring about a better world, is: land, community, and democratic revolution – with well laid out contingency plans in place in case we need to make a temporary strategic retreat to a stronger position, as Sun Tzu, history’s greatest strategist advises, in order to regroup and advance later, when the timing is more ripe for major social change, and the people are ready for it.
Non-violent democratic revolution now, Gandhi-style, would be best and wisest, and is urgently needed; but it may be a little while longer before the people are ready to embrace their power, and to reclaim their democracy. In the meantime, while we continue to work for social change and the healing of this world, we will need to protect ourselves and one another as best we can from the economic blitzkrieg that has only just begun.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s start with the basics, and go from there.
Let’s start with the obvious, with savings - there are none anymore. Not only is the middle class being wiped out, and few have any money for savings, and instead are going deeper and deeper into debt and are sinking fast, but even for those few who do have savings, the low interest rates are resulting in negative interest when inflation is added in: you are losing money by putting it in the bank. So don’t do that – it’s stupid.
What it means is that you are paying the banks so that they can hold your money, and let it dribble away on you – and you are losing money to the banks while they take your money, leverage it 10, 20, 30 times or more through the fiction of fractional reserve banking, which is legalized counterfeiting, and use it in financial speculation in the global casino to make more money, every day, while your money sits there in their bank, and while every day you lose more. How insane does this sound as an investment and savings strategy? It is patently foolish, and quite mad. But people continue to do it, because they don’t understand what is going on: they don’t understand that they are being swindled and robbed.
Remember also, that the books are being cooked. Chronic and systemic lying has become a part of our culture, or at least, the culture of the elite. Remember Arthur Anderson and the “creative accounting” that Dick the prick Cheney declared his great adoration for, and which eventually brought down Enron and others? Well that sort of fudging of the numbers is common practice in the corporate world, and it is also common practice, in fact standard practice, with governments now as well. Unemployment figures are fudged. Governments stop counting people in the unemployment numbers if they’ve stopped looking for work. The official unemployment rate in the US is 8%. But when you look at the shadow statistics, the real unemployment rate is closer to 22% - something along the lines of Greece and other failing economies. The same is true with the budget figures.
There is great hew and cry about balancing the government budget, and everybody is up in arms about it, but the real problems are never counted on the ledger, and never enter the discussion – they’re not even mentioned. The real problems with the US debt and deficit, for example, are five-fold: one, tax breaks to the richest few and the giant corporations have resulted in massive losses of revenue, meaning, budget short-falls and deficits, and mounting debt; two, continued, massive subsidies to the big corporations mean huge expenses to the government, the treasury and the people, and further deficits and debt; three, multi-trillion dollar bail-outs for the super-rich and the big banks have bled the treasuries dry and driven the debt up even further; four, a private, for-profit health care system, which is twice as costly as the public health care systems of Europe and Canada, is bleeding the country dry; and five, most centrally, the military-industrial-security complex, the war machine and the police state soak up over a trillion dollars in public money every year. There is your deficit. But these things can’t even be discussed. These things are not even mentioned. These things don’t appear on the ledger. They are hidden in a cloak of silence, and instead, the people are told that it is their old age security that is the problem, and the meager assistance they get in terms of health care, by way of Medicare and Medicaid. It is a lie, and the people are catching on, and are sick of it.
And both Obama and Romney, the Democrats and the Republicans, are lying. One is simply more slippery than the other, but both are liars, and both are working for the same ruling corporate and banking elite who fund their elections. The majority of the American people know this, and that is why they don’t vote – they refuse to endorse a corrupt system where the two parties both serve the same ruling corporate elite, at the expense and the increasing misery and hardship of the people. The people are fed up with the lies.
The same is true with the official figures on inflation. The actual rate of inflation is far higher than the official numbers would have you believe - for the simple reason that increases in food costs and home heating are not counted in the inflation figures. How does that make the slightest sense? Clearly, for the 50% of Americans who now live below, at, or just above the poverty line, the cost of food and home heating is very significant, and when these costs jump, as they have, and greatly so over the past several years – thanks to global warming and peak oil, along with the artificial scarcity that has been created by the agribusiness giants and other corporate elites - the cost of living jumps to much higher levels as well.
So the figures are cooked when it comes to inflation. Who cares whether the price of Rolexes go up or down? The rich will buy them anyway, and the rest can’t afford them. What matters to most people is the cost of food, fuel and home heating – none of which are counted in the inflation figures.
And when you take into account the real level of inflation, the real increase in cost of living, the interest rates paid by the banks don’t even come close to keeping up. As I say, if you put your money in the bank, you are losing money. It’s foolish. Don’t do it. Take it out.
If you want to save your money, the last thing you should do with it is put it in the bank. There are much smarter things you can do with your money than this.
Interest rates are being kept artificially low in order to help the exporters. As a result, it makes no sense to put your money, if you have any, in the bank. The rates of interest are so low that inflation actually outpaces them, and you end up losing money by putting it in the bank - that's right: you lose money by putting it in the bank. The point has to be emphasized because it goes against a lifetime of deeply engrained conditioning. Well, our conditioning has failed us: we must now deal with reality. You are losing money by keeping it in the bank. Take it out. Period.
(My apologies for those who are quick on the uptake, but there are a lot of people out there who are functioning with minimal brain wave activity, because they are lost in a fog of chronic stupor, stemming from a life of quiet desperation. The dreamy and the sleep-walking need to be protected too, however, and not just the more clever ones and the alert.)
There is no more incentive for savings, with interest rates so low, and putting your money in the bank now is simply foolish. Not only will you lose money, but when the coming economic collapse hits, as Gerald Celente, Max Keiser and all of the best analysis shows it certainly will, and soon, banks will fold like houses of cards - and when they do, you can say goodbye to your money.
Government deposit insurance plans won't be able to keep up with the scale of the collapse, and people will lose their savings, period. As Gerald Celente says, and he’s right, “The only money that you have, that is secure, is the money you can put your hands on.” If it’s in a bank, it’s not secure: and you’re losing money every day it sits there anyway - so why keep it there?
But let’s take a look at the coming collapse, and how it is being brought on, and what it means, before getting further into what we can do about it, or at least prepare for it, so that we are not devastated by the impact, but can ride out the storm in relative ease, and with little pain.
There is a $50 trillion credit and debt bubble that is about to burst - and it will make the collapse of the housing bubble look like a school children's picnic. This is what the politicians and the elite media won’t tell you. Some of them are simply financially and economically illiterate, and indeed, most of them are. Others are simply liars.
What is coming will dwarf the last Great Depression, and the politicians are either useless in their blindness and their lack of understanding of it, or are simply corrupt, and in on the take which is going to follow, as the super-rich eat the poor and the middle class, along with most of the millionaire class – the other 99.9% - all of whom will suffer greatly, and most of whom will be devastated by the collapse.
Get ready for the bursting of the mother of all bubbles. This is going to be a big one.
The credit and debt bubble has been inflated fifty-fold since 1970: that is what fuelled the wild frenzied growth and expansion that was corporate globalization – it’s all floating on a bubble of credit, and that bubble is about to collapse. And that's not even counting the quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble. The ship is going down. It's not the end of the world, but it is the beginning of what Gerald Celente calls The Greater Depression. The super-rich billionaire class is about to devour the remainder of the middle class, as well as the poor and the mere millionaires. It is endgame.
But let’s see how this is coming about, and why, so that we understand it better, and therefore can better protect ourselves, and respond with intelligence and a clear awareness of what is happening and what needs to be done.
Two bubbles are about to burst, and both are of enormous size. One is the debt bubble, and the other is the dollar bubble – and the broader currency bubble of paper money more widely. Let’s look at the debt bubble first, although the two are deeply inter-related.
The US government is now $16 trillion in debt - and there is no way that can be paid back. The US has gone, in just over forty years, from being the world’s leading lender nation, to being the world’s leading debtor nation.
“Hey buddy, can you spare a trillion for my war and empire habit? I need a fix.”
“Man, I’d love to hook you up brother, but dude, you’re broke - and your credit is way over-extended. Sorry dude. No dice. No can do.”
That would be how the conversation would go between the US and its creditors, if sanity prevailed, but unfortunately, there is always money for war and empire - at least until the game is over, and the empire falls: as it will, and it is crumbling now. The world is wearying of carrying the astronomical American debt, and will not prop it up or support it much longer.
The US government owes $1.16 trillion to China alone. And now that China owns the former US manufacturing base, thanks to off-shoring and globalization, and now that the US imports everything except bullets, bombs and porn, which it exports in abundance, there is no way that the US can ever repay even China, let alone the rest of the world.
If you think that a Greek default on debt would bring a hard impact on the world’s economy - which is ridiculous, really, considering Greece accounts for only 0.4% of the global economy - wait until you see what happens when the world’s biggest economy and the world’s biggest debtor nation defaults. We’re talking tectonic events that will follow. The US government is unlikely to officially default on its debt, but that is what is going to happen, whatever the official line may be. The debt simply can’t be paid, and neither can it even be sustained any longer. The collapse is coming, and fast.
The US now has a trade deficit that runs into billions of dollars a day. You can’t keep buying things and selling nothing - importing everything and exporting nothing - and not go broke sooner or later, and have your credit cut off. The US is fast approaching this very real trade deficit cliff – the time when the world says, “Uh-uh dude – you’re credit is way over-extended. No dice. Take a hike - you’re broke.”
Off-shoring of the manufacturing base has de-industrialized the nation, and, along with an extremely expensive for-profit, private health care system, and a trillion dollars in military and “security” funding per year, it is bankrupting the nation. These are the simple facts, and any honest economist or financial analyst will tell you the same – if you can find one, and they are unfortunately rare. But it doesn’t take an economist or a trained financial analyst to see the writing on the wall. The figures are clear, and the figures speak for themselves. In fact, you either have to be ignoring economics altogether, or else be wilfully blind not to see what is happening, and what is coming.
We should remember the Italian saying however, “Just because you stick your head in the sand doesn’t mean the head ache will go away.” In the pursuit of ever greater short-term profits, the corporate elite have de-industrialized America, and it is sinking in debt as a result, and is now facing imminent economic collapse. And when America goes down, it will drag the rest of the world down with it. Thank you plutocrats and billionaires: you have been too kind to us poor and hapless plebes – what on earth would we ever do without you?
The business elite don’t care that the US government and the entire US economy is going into the toilet and is facing bankruptcy – they’re making a killing off off-shored production and profits, along with the military-industrial-security complex and the disastrously expensive for-profit health care system, both of which are further bankrupting the nation, and they frankly have no allegiance to the United States or any other country. The country is sinking, but the elite continue their feeding frenzy, devouring the host like maggots on rotting flesh. And they don’t seem to mind the feast, or the stench one bit.
The American government is racking up a further $1 trillion in debt every year – or we should more properly say, the political and business elite who run the nation and who have high-jacked democracy and the government are racking up another trillion dollars in debt a year, with their trillion dollar annual budget deficit. The debt belongs to the business elite and their corrupt politician friends, not the people, and it is the business elite and their cronies who should be made to pay it.
Certainly the people should not pay for the debts of a corrupt and greedy few. The tax cuts for the rich, the bailouts for the rich, and the imperial war machine that feeds the rich: these are what created the debt, along with the bad bets that the banking elite made, which the people are being forced to pay off, shamelessly – so let the elite eat their own debt. They made it, they can eat it.
Suck it up boys. It’s yours. You eat it.
More importantly, take away the empire, the more than 700 military bases around the world and the police state at home, and the US government has a budget surplus. But - shhh.... Don’t say that aloud: such things cannot be spoken. Such things are not profitable to the elite who rule the country – or at least, not profitable enough for their liking. They like astronomical profits: and war and empire, while bankrupting the nation, does line their pockets very, very well, so they are in no mood to give them up, regardless of what the people want.
That is why there is now a police state in America: because what the people want and what the ruling elite want are starkly opposed, and repression is becoming more necessary, now that the propaganda system is failing to ensure adequate obedience, docility and compliance among the masses, who are supposed to be distracted and bewildered sheep, so they don’t get in the way of elite rule and the empire. Democracy is being born in America, and the elite like it not a bit, and will suppress it by every means necessary.
The US is a powder keg, by the way, just as Europe is, precisely because of this divide between the people and the ruling elite, and the crisis of legitimacy which grows daily as a result; but that is a topic for another discussion.
There is no way the US debt can be repaid. The only way to get rid of it, is to write it down. But how do you convince creditors that you’re only going to pay them ten cents on the dollar, or less, maybe two or three cents on every dollar owed? That is a hard sell, and the US can no longer afford its extraordinarily costly military campaigns - at least not with such wild abandon - to force creditors to accept the terms of the local mob boss.
The US is an empire in rapid decline, due to the off-shoring of its manufacturing base and its perilously bankrupting – financially, economically and morally – imperial warfare; among other reasons, such as the gutting of the school system and the dumbing-down of the nation, which is causing the US to lose its innovative edge, brain drain aside, so that any economic recovery becomes that much more challenging - in addition to the de-industrialization and the gutting of the productive economy in favour of trans-national corporate and financial interests (which is the root of the problem, exactly as predicted by opponents of NAFTA, neoconservatism, neoliberalism, the IMF and World Bank, and the neo-feudal monopoly capitalism of the Freidmanites and the business elite who promote and run all of the above.)
Now that the US is rapidly losing its global hegemony as the unrivalled, ruling world superpower, because it is losing its global economic hegemony, and its military might is beginning to fail in propping up that economic hegemony - or even in succeeding in war, as Iraq and Afghanistan have proven - creditors cannot be so easily bought, bribed or intimidated. A more savvy means of writing down the debt was needed. And the answer the ruling business elite have come up with is to devalue the currency.
“Sure, we owe you 16 trillion dollars.... Guess what, we’re devaluing our currency, and of course we’re going to pay you in our currency, not yours, and our currency is worth less and less in relation to yours, so we will only have to pay you the equivalent of nickels and dimes. Suckers...”
And yes, that is exactly what the business elite thinks of the people – all people, other than themselves: whom they have an extraordinarily inflated opinion of, as the new god-kings and rightful rulers of the world. Hallelujah, and praise be to the almighty profits!
Devaluation of the currency: that is precisely what the elite are doing now with “quantitative easing” – a term that is deliberately vague and cryptic, because they don’t want the people to know what they are doing. If the people did know what the banking elite and their cronies are doing, there would be revolution in the streets tomorrow, if not lynchings of bankers as well. Which maybe wouldn’t be such a bad idea, come to think of it....But actually, no, I do not agree with the death penalty. The banking elite should simply face life in prison without parole – maybe the island of Elba would be a suitable place, considering their Napoleonic complex: little men with infantile dreams of grandiosity and world empire. They can even have their own crowns, and conduct their own ridiculously regal coronation ceremonies, in their cozy cells decked with the finest of linens, scotch and cigars. Nothing is too good for the lowest of the low.
The financial elite and their political servants are devaluing the currency through “quantitative easing” which means literally printing money out of thin air (and, of course, handing it over to your banker buddies who are – whoa, actually you are your banker buddies, since the Federal Reserve that prints the money is quite literally a cabal of private banking elites.) And they are systematically devaluing the currency in the process, because that is the only way to wipe out the debt.
So the political elite gets a massive debt write-down from the devaluation of the currency; and through the mechanism of currency devaluation, which is “quantitative easing” – or the printing of trillions of dollars out of thin air – the financial elite print themselves an additional $20 trillion. So the political elite are happy, if they have any remaining allegiance to the nation at all, or want to prop up the shell of the US government at least, to use it for imperial adventures and money-making schemes for themselves and their cronies - and they are even more happy if they don’t have any remaining allegiance to the nation or its government, because they will receive multi-million dollar payouts when they leave office, in return for their loyal service to the reigning corporate and financial elite, regardless of what happens to the nation. And the financial elite are happy, because they’ve just printed themselves and additional $20 trillion dollars, which they will use, and are using to buy up even more real world assets, land, businesses, farms and factories. And the remainder of the corporate elite are happy, along with the banking elite, because when the currency collapses and is destroyed, they will have a field day buying up assets at fire sale prices, from people and companies and governments that have gone bankrupt - and furthermore, they will have a devastated population that is so desperate, so impoverished, and so devoid of a social safety net, which has just been successfully destroyed, that the people will work for nothing, and will grovel for jobs that pay less than subsistence wages. Oh joy! This is the perfect storm, giving the perfect benefits, to the people who matter: the ruling elite.
And here we go, back to Charles’ Dickens age, to the time of the early industrial revolution, when wages were extremely low, and not even enough to survive on, hunger was chronic and pervasive, hours were long, benefits and old age pensions were non-existent, and the rich ruled freely and amassed great fortunes without the slightest restraint or concern for the people - the time of Blake’s dark Satanic mills, and grinding, crushing poverty and servitude for all but the richest few.
And the elite could not be more thrilled. Profits are going to soar, and the richest few will grow even richer, and that’s all that matters. The country and the people will be destroyed and laid low, but who cares about such trifles as these?
The global business elite are aiming to break the back of democracy, the American government, and all democratic governments, and to break the spirit of the people and subdue them, through economic and financial terrorism; and thereby, to rule over them, through plunging them into sheer desperation, crushing poverty and abject dependency: so that the elite can rule unimpeded by democracy and the people, as the new pharaohs or god-kings, and the people will be as slaves – willing and compliant draft animals, eager to work for nothing but a few scraps from their masters, and too afraid and dependent and broken to complain about it. This is the birth of neo-feudalism. Get ready for the fight of your life.
As the banking elite devalue the currency, the purchasing power of the people also falls, of course, so that those dollars in your pocket will buy less and less, and are worth less and less. Soon you may need a wheelbarrow to buy a loaf of bread – just as what happened in the Weimar Republic, where they used to say that if you left a wheelbarrow full of money on the street, chances are the wheelbarrow would get stolen. And the currency will collapse for exactly the same reasons. The response to unpayable debt in the Weimar Republic – the collapse of which, we should remember with a chill, gave birth to Nazi Germany - was to print more money to pay the debt. The currency naturally collapsed, as any reasonably intelligent person could see, at least upon reflection, was inevitable, and the German mark was devalued to 1/1000th of its former value in the span of just over two years. And sometimes currency collapse unfolds much more swiftly, in a matter of days.
In this way, by systematically devaluing the currency, the banking and corporate elite are also, in reality, shifting the debt onto the people – their debt - while they further engorge themselves: because the people are effectively paying a tax to the banking elite, by having their currency devalued, which is the equivalent of handing a certain growing percentage of every dollar to the bankers who are destroying the value of the currency deliberately.
Yes, everyone’s money is devalued when the currency is devalued, including that of the elite, but there is a very important nuance to this, which makes the elite come out on top, and they gain immensely while everyone else loses by a conscious devaluation of the currency. There is first mover privilege involved. If you have an additional trillion dollars to spend before anyone else – because you just printed it - you can buy up real assets, such as land, real estate, stocks, shares, factories, office buildings, homes and businesses, with close to the same former value of that currency: as that trillion dollars gets circulated through the economy, there is more money available chasing the same amount of goods, which means the money becomes worth less, and will buy less - but you bought your assets before the additional trillion was widely circulated and began to have its greatest effect in devaluing the purchasing power of the currency. So you come out on top, as a banking elite, with another trillion dollars in real world assets, while the slobs who make up the other 99.9% all see a loss of real wealth, because their money is now worth less than it was just a year ago, or even a month ago.
Hurray for bankster fraud artists! Isn’t it great? Don’t you just want to give them a hug? Or maybe a slap on the face and a ticket to prison would be more appropriate – with no get-out-of-jail-free cards at their disposal.
This is what “quantitative easing” means – it means the banking elite print trillions of dollars for themselves, which they use to buy up real world assets - land, farms, factories, homes and businesses - leaving the currency devalued in turn, and everyone else the poorer for it.
This is what you get when you put private banking elites in charge of the creation and printing of money. This is why Jefferson, Jackson and Lincoln fought with all their might to keep the printing of money under the democratic control of Congress. This is why Woodrow Wilson was profoundly regretful and filled with remorse when he realized what he had done by signing the Federal Reserve Act in 1913, which created the privately owned central bank that is the Fed, and which transferred this vital and extreme power of money creation to the hands of the private banking elite. We were duped, and the people are only now beginning to realize it, nearly 100 years later, when the game is almost over.
And make no mistake, it is endgame folks; and when the music stops, the great majority of the people will be financially wiped out.
The longer term effects of “quantitative easing” - the printing trillions of dollars out of thin air and handing it to the banking elite; the same banking elite by the way, who control the printing of the money in the first place; and the systematic devaluation of the currency which occurs invariably as a result, are even more disastrous, as the elite well know. Disastrous for the people that is, not for the elite – and the longer term is almost here. The collapse is at our doorstep, as the banking elite have known and fully expected.
In the first ten days after Obama won the “election” – with his “landslide” of 29% of the American people voting for him – when the economy no longer needed to be propped up to make Obama look good, a trillion dollars was wiped out of the equity markets. If you don’t think the economy is going down, you’d better think again, and you’d better take another look – a very hard look – because your ass is hanging in the wind, my friends.
The result of the massive “quantitative easing,” the printing of trillions of dollars out of thin air - along with the further enrichment of the already stratospherically richest few, and the transfer of trillions of dollars from the people to the banking elite, with the trillions of dollars Bernanke is dumping from a helicopter onto the Wall street banks (and note, his helicopter flies only over Wall Street, and not anywhere else) – is that the currency is systematically being devalued, and will without question, and as a result, collapse.
Printing trillions of dollars out of thin air and handing it to the banking elite is not helping the economy - and nor was it ever intended to: it is helping the banking elite gather up even more wealth and power. And it is robbing the people in the process, and bringing on a collapse of the currency – which will enable the elite to further rob the people, in the wake of the devastation. This is disaster capitalism writ large. Naomi Klein hadn’t seen anything yet. Just wait for the orgy of feasting as the elite devour the remains of the economy and the wealth of the world in the aftermath of a global economic meltdown. It will be a sea of piranhas on a fattened cow, thrown into the river. And guess who is the cow. That would be you and I.
When the collapse of the currency comes - as it will, and the Fed and the banking elite who run and own the Fed are ensuring the collapse of the currency, by their own actions, by systematically devaluing the currency with endless rounds of “quantitative easing” - the banking elite will feast on the carcasses of dead and dying companies, families, communities and privatized government assets; and will engorge themselves on the economic slaughter and carnage they have themselves created, like ravenous vultures, or vampiric hordes, buying up real assets such as homes, real estate, government assets and businesses at fire sale prices - because the people have been forced into bankruptcy, and the banking elite are the last ones standing, and will feed on the dead and the dying, the crippled and the maimed, like ravenous beasts. And if you think this depiction is too stark, watch and see what happens. I think you will find these words have been an understatement, if anything. The carnage will be extreme.
It is a game of monopoly, and it is winner-take-all. Or so the elite have planned it. But they did not account for the fact that revolution will not be permanently suppressed. Their victory will be hollow, and it will be short-lived, mark my words.
Nevertheless, in the meantime, the economy is going down: and while the richest few will benefit enormously, as they do in every depression, the vast majority of the people – the other 99% - will suffer greatly, and their savings and wealth will evaporate, and will be devoured by the financial elite.
The blind are following the corrupt. If you follow the leaders now, you will lose, and lose more than you dare to imagine.
The question is not if, but when the US dollar will collapse, and all indications are that it is coming soon. The Euro may crash before the dollar, but the race to the bottom is certainly on, and it looks like the US is winning. But whichever crashes first, the other will soon follow, if not immediately so, as the dominoes topple one by one.
Central banks around the world have begun the race to divest themselves of US dollars. China has said it is holding enough US dollars, and it was China’s purchasing of massive amounts of US dollars that was the main reason for the dollar not crashing sooner, and remaining relatively stable, despite the fundamentals being systematically eroded beneath its veneer.
Oil barons and oil rich nations are beginning to look toward the exit, and are starting the move to get out of the dollar, and more critically, are starting to sell oil in currencies other than the dollar. The reign of the petrodollar is coming to an end, and with it, the reign of the US dollar as the de facto reserve currency of the world. OPEC nations are selling off dollars, as are China and India and central banks around the world. Even drug dealers and drug cartels are ditching the dollar, and are starting to prefer other currencies for their money laundering. The dollar is most definitely going down.
The US dollar has gained some marginal ground recently, temporarily, but that was because foolish people shifted money from one worthless paper currency which was and is in obvious crisis – the Euro – into an equally precarious and decidedly unsafe haven – the dollar. The crash that is coming is systemic in nature however, and no such marginal and short-term advantages will save the dollar from its demise. And the death of the petrodollar system and the rise of China are two more reasons why the US will soon cease to be the de facto reserve currency of the world: and when that happens, the bottom will fall out of the dollar – if not before.
The US dollar is going to crash, and when it does, because central banks all over the world are loaded to the gills with them, and can’t get rid of them fast enough without triggering the very run on the dollar that they are fleeing, the financial system of the entire Western world will go down with it, and most parts of the global financial system as well. Say hello to the paper money apocalypse, as Max Keiser so aptly calls it. It is coming soon, and it is coming fast. As Max and others have said, the banking elite are using financial weapons of mass destruction, and the results will be nothing short of horrendous for the people.
It is not just the US dollar and the Euro that are going to crash. Both of these currencies are in an extremely over-inflated bubble, and will collapse. When they do, when either of them does, most of the currencies of the world will implode with them, as the global financial system goes down. Only real assets, such as gold, silver, land and certain commodities will hold their value.
Commodities in general, other than gold and silver, are over-inflated, and commodity prices have been driven up by speculation - and this is another bubble that will collapse when the dollar, debt and currency bubbles collapse, because the brakes will be thrown on China`s sweatshop-to-the-world economy by the collapse of the Western markets of Europe and North America, which in turn will drive down commodity demand due to the lack of demand for industrial inputs and resources, and commodity prices will fall. Bear this in mind. Far more importantly, bear in mind what is about to happen to your imaginary paper money.
Your money is soon going to be worthless, or very nearly so. It may be worth thirty cents on the dollar, ten cents on the dollar, or less than a cent. Get rid of it now. Shift your money into hard assets, like land, tools, heritage seeds, food, solar and wind power, and gold or silver.
Leave a little cash set aside for fluidity, in a mixed basket of currencies, but translate 90% of your assets and savings now out of paper money, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, retirement `savings plans` and the like – now. And of course, definitely take your money out of the bank – whatever form it may be in.
(And no, safety deposit boxes are not secure in a crash either: the banks simply seize them, trying to cover their own over-extended and hyper-leveraged asses, and tell the people to go fuck themselves. Your sweet-natured bank teller might not like it, but she`s not in charge – she just takes orders from above.)
Move your money now.
The economy is going to implode when the currency system collapses, as it is going to begin to do within six to eighteen months from the time of this writing (December 4, 2012), according to the best analysts; and when it does, the smaller banks will collapse, and the bigger banks will seize all deposits, seeking to protect themselves – they will throw you overboard like yesterday`s trash, make no mistake. In either case, the long and short of it is - you lose. Get your money out of the banks now.
Don’t be a schmuck, get your money in the truck, and tell the banks, “Thanks. And good luck.”
Ok, we have to have a little levity, or the subject will be either massively boring, or else painfully, oppressively, maybe even paralyzingly frightening. So that was a moment of frivolity to lighten the mood. My apologies to the more serious and sombre readers.
But to return:
Look at what happened in Argentina when the economy collapsed in 2001. Banks closed their doors, and refused to return the peoples’ money. Armoured trucks hauled money and gold out of the country for Citi Bank and other criminal syndicates, leaving the people with nothing more than a parting phrase: "Fuck you."
Of course, the betrayal of the banks, along with the betrayal of the entire political class - and the proven, utter failure and total disaster of following neoliberal IMF policies, which was what created the economic collapse - are what made the people take to the streets in the millions after the collapse, and throw the neoliberals from power. So maybe the callousness of the banks was in some way a favour, for it awakened the people to their power.
By the way, there is more than a hint there as to what the people of Europe and North America should do when the collapse hits them in turn, after they have been sold the IMF’s poison pill of neoliberal dogma and corporate chicanery, if not before.
Rise up people. You are being scammed and shammed, lied to, cheated and stolen from. The banking elite are not your friends, no matter what you may think of your genuinely nice bank teller or branch manager, who are mere cogs in a machine they do not control.
The banking elite are screwing you, and it is about to get a lot worse. They’re going for your pension money, and your life savings now, as well as your social programs, or what you have left of them. The gang rape is on. Do not stand for this – nor bend over. I am sorry to speak so bluntly, but the message must be conveyed somehow to a public lost in a stupor of denial. Something must rouse them from their slumber, and shake them until they awake. The house is on fire, and they are fast asleep, and in great danger.
Stand up people. Where is your dignity? Where is your common sense? Rise! If the fire alarm is annoying, think how much worse it would be to sleep through the fire. Well, the house is ablaze, though most see it not, and snore away like Rip Van Winkle.
It is time for the people to awaken, and to throw the money changers to the street.
Argentina told the neoliberals and the IMF to take a hike, and made a dramatic economic recovery once the corporate elite, the IMF and their neoliberal cronies were no longer at the helm: with 8% annual growth over the past eight years, outpacing even China, and turning the country into one of the economically strongest and most stable nations anywhere in the world - certainly far more stable economically than the US, Canada, Britain or Europe, all of which are on the brink of economic collapse. The rest of the world should take note, and take a lesson.
Yes, though Canadians still have a strong habit of quiet, polite complacency, and the business writers are smug as to the strength of Canadian banks, it nevertheless remains the fact that the incomparably resource-rich nation of Canada is about to sink too, along with the US and Europe, because our thoroughly corrupt politicians have sold the country out - with the SPP, and with “deep integration” with the US - and have tied the nation to the sinking ship of the US economy.
Being the junior partner in a failing empire is only good for the local elite – as with any banana republic. This Faustian bargain will not benefit Canadians, but only the corrupt elite of the country, who have betrayed their people and the land, in search of a profitable position affixed to the rear end of the American corporate elite. Such behaviour is as pathetic and cowardly as it contemptible and short-sighted; and it is the people of Canada who will pay the greatest price for such foolishness on the part of their business and political `leaders`- who should be deposed and thrown from power immediately, and without delay.
The point remains however, in spite of Argentina`s example of how to respond to IMF and neoliberal-induced collapse: the banks screwed the people when the economy collapsed, and walked away with their money. Don't think the same won't happen here. It will. And if you refuse to listen, don't say you weren't warned.
And again, aside from the very real danger of banks closing their doors and refusing to return the people’s savings and deposits, which they have done in the past, and will very likely do again, there is, the steady debasement of the currency, which continues, and is accelerating and is approaching a critical threshold.
Take the example of the 1933 US Federal Emergency Banking Act. The US government passed a law that made it illegal to possess gold. The US dollar had been pegged to gold, and backed by gold, but the economy and the government were in crisis, so the response from on high, from the elite, was to devalue the currency. The 1933 law that was passed required everyone in the country to turn in their gold to the government, or face ten years in prison and a fine of twice the amount of gold you had. Once the gold was collected from the people, and paid in exchange for paper money, in US dollars, which was pegged to gold at roughly $20 an ounce, the government reset the value of the currency, pegging it to gold at $35 an ounce. The dollar was therefore devalued in relation to the benchmark of gold: it meant that the currency was radically devalued in one fell swoop, and the people lost 70% of their purchasing power, essentially overnight. This was quite simply a mass theft: a massive transfer of wealth from the people, and the people became, overnight, far poorer than they had been.
Now we are seeing the steady and rapid, systematic devaluation and debasement of the currency with the multi-trillion dollar rounds of “quantitative easing” – or the printing of trillions of dollars of paper money out of thin air. Your money is rapidly being devalued and losing its purchasing power. And further deep declines in the value and purchasing power of your increasingly worthless paper money are coming, and coming fast. Divest yourself of paper money, and also from banks. Get out now. Shift your money into real assets, or be prepared to lose most, if not all of what you have.
It’s a shell game folks, and the game is almost over. It would be best to catch on now, before the game ends, and you lose.
So, if putting your money in the bank has become a patently stupid thing to do - considering you will lose money that way, through negative net interest rates when considering inflation, and further, because banks are not stable, nor trustworthy in times of crisis, and crisis is fast approaching - what then should you do with your money?
Well, if you have savings, the best place to put them - other than in land for garden space and mortgage-free, rent-free basic accommodation, along with seeds and garden tools, which together should be first priority - is gold and silver. Gold has gone from roughly $600 an ounce in 2006 - when I predicted the collapse of 2007, while virtually everyone was saying that everything was just rosy - to $1700 an ounce this November. Do you think your RRSPs, mutual funds, bonds or savings accounts are going to give you triple your money in six years? Not a chance. Did they triple your money over the past six years? Unlikely in the extreme.
Gold is beating just about everything during this time of currency deflation, economic stagnation and actual depression – in both yield and stability. Ditch your worthless paper money now.
Just do the math. It’s not complicated. Gold is not only more stable and more secure than paper money is even in the best of times, to say nothing of the coming currency collapse, but it pays a better yield now that currencies are being systematically and deliberately devalued. Just look at the numbers. Again, it’s not complicated. In fact, it takes real effort to avoid the obvious.
So do yourself a favour, and divest yourself of banks and paper money, including mutual funds, bonds and retirement "savings plans" that actually lose you money when inflation is counted in, or at best, severely under-perform in comparison to gold and silver, as well as having absolutely no stability in this new economic regime of multi-trillion dollar banker bailouts, helicopters dumping cash on Wall Street, quantitative easing and systematic currency devaluation leading to an unavoidable collapse.
Don`t follow the leaders now – the ones who aren`t lost themselves are quite simply corrupt. And don`t follow the herd! They are about to walk off a cliff.
My father always asked me if I`d jump off a cliff if someone told me to. He wasn`t saying I was particularly sheepish, I don`t think – he was just trying to get me to think for myself. And now, I for one, am telling you not to jump off a cliff. Do not stick with the herd this time. They are going to go over the edge, and it will be carnage below.
The masses of people have been duped into a vast over-extension, and are living in a bubble – both financially and mentally. They have been hooked on credit and are up to their eyeballs in debt with mortgages, loans and credit cards; and to make matters worse, they are counting on paper money that is about to collapse in value, and become essentially worthless. When the debt and currency bubbles are punctured and burst, and they are about to, there will be wreckage the likes of which we have not seen for at least many hundreds of years.
Shift your paper money into something that will actually hold value, and even increase in value: land, seeds, tools, food, solar and wind power, silver and gold.
And if you can, shift to mortgage- and rent-free living, by any means available - even if it means a downshift and down-sizing in your accommodations, do it. You will be far worse off in two years if you are saddled with either rent or a mortgage. I know that is hard for many people, but if there is any way you can find to unburden yourself of these, or at least lessen their burden and your liabilities, do it.
Do not follow the flock this time. Protect yourself, and put yourself in the best position of strength you can, and you will be able to help both yourself and others as a result.
Again, community-building, community revitalization and community economic development are urgently needed, and since the answers and the aid don`t seem to be coming from on high, the people will have to do it themselves. Sooner is better.
Just ask yourself, would I rather have food and feed my kids, or would I rather have a big house, and go hungry, and possibly be evicted through foreclosure? These will be the choices for most people in the near future, just as they have been the choices for millions of people already.
Shift now, move your money now, and cut your costs radically. Become as independent as you can. You will need to be.
And as Gerald Celente says, if you own a home, tear up your yard and plant a garden. (I’m paraphrasing here, but the quote is pretty accurate, from what memory serves.) “What do you want all that worthless grass for? You can't eat it, you can't smoke it - it's worthless. Tear it up and plant vegetables to feed your family.”
It's going to get rough. Those who are prepared will do well, or at least far better than those who are unprepared. Those who are unprepared most likely will be wiped out financially. This is the sad truth, and unfortunately, I expect few will listen, at least on this subject. We are too addicted to living on credit, and our addiction will be a hard one to break, and one that will cause much pain if it is not broken soon. For a great many people, there will be much crying and many regrets, I am deeply sorry to say. I wish more people would listen, and maybe they will, but the power of denial is strong, and it is much easier to follow the herd, even if they are marching in lock-step and asleep off a cliff, then to break from the flock and take a road less travelled.
Being highly social creatures, and also creatures of habit, when we are afraid, we tend to cling to the known, the familiar, and to follow the leader and stick with the bleating herd at all costs. But at certain times, this is the most dangerous thing that we can possibly do. At times, following the leader and sticking with the herd means death, or at least great peril. This is one of those times.
If you want the comfort and security that comes from a sense of community, solidarity, cooperation and kinship, then look for it with people who are still willing and able to think and reflect, and who are not behaving like zombies or the walking dead, or those who are incapable of seeing what is before their nose. Moreover, when you choose a path that brings greater stability and real security for yourself, with simplicity, and abundance for the purpose of sharing the blessings, you will tend to have more to offer the people in your life if hard times do come, and your example and your kindness will draw you closer to them, and them to you. In any case, blindly following the flock off a cliff is sheer madness. Don’t do it. No community or group-identification is worth that price, and that is the price you are likely to pay if you choose to stick with the herd now and at all costs.
For those who have ears, let them hear. The writing is on the wall. See for yourself. Do your own research. But do think about it. Time is running out. Get prepared now for an economic meltdown that will dwarf the last Great Depression.
We will see shanty towns and tent cities spring up across Europe and North America, just as we did in the last Great Depression – and we may be living in one of those tent cities if we do not prepare now.
The choice is yours. I would say that to err on the side of precaution is wise, and simply prudent, a matter of common sense.
Cut your costs, get your money out of the banks, and out of paper money all together, except for a few shillings for liquidity sake. Buy gold and silver, and more importantly, land for garden space, along with seeds and tools. And if possible, move to rent-free and mortgage-free accommodation. And do it as soon as you possibly can.
A small cottage, a cabin, a boat or a trailer that you own will be far more valuable in eighteen months or two years, than a house or apartment that you owe a mortgage or rent on, because when the collapse hits, most people will lose their homes, if they’re not paid for completely, and many millions of people will be evicted for not being able to pay their rent.
Would you rather be homeless, or live in a little cabin in the countryside? Not an easy choice, you might think, but really, the choice is clear. And this will be the choice for many millions of people, if not most.
Share, and help one another. It will make things a lot easier. The rugged individualist will tend to fare far worse than the person who learned the kindergarten lessons of sharing, cooperation and working together.
Stay calm, do your own research, think for yourself, be prepared, and help one another: these five principles will help us through just about anything.
Now do it. It’s one thing to think about things, it’s another matter to actually make it happen. Let’s get moving. Time is of the essence. Make a priority list, put it on your fridge, and check it off as you go. And start now.
Beating the flood of economic and political refugees that will be streaming out of Europe and North America – and already are:
One of the best things you can do for your family’s economic security is to plant a garden and dig or build a root cellar as well as a cistern for rain water. And in the city, that is hard to do for most people. Therefore, the safest thing you can do, if you can arrange it somehow, is to move to the country, and forget about what the house looks like, or how big it is, or whether it needs repairs, or whether there is any house at all. What you want is acreage – five acres or more for a family, including a small wood lot for heating a home or cabin. Consider this your real social security – you certainly don’t have any other kind, either in terms of your job, government assistance, or your paper money, which is soon to be worthless.
For those who cannot or choose not to move to the country, you should plant a garden if you can, dig or build a root cellar and cistern, or join a community shared garden at least. It would also be wise to get together with others in your community to create new community gardens and to expand them. When the economic crisis hits, food will matter far more than any amount of baubles, trinkets, bells or whistles you may have or have wanted. Vacant land, parking lots and Walmart stores are all ideal candidates for community garden space - and community gardens will become vitally important, even more important than they re already.
Instead of watching Walmart suck money and jobs out of the community, make space to feed the community, and make it more self-reliant and resilient, healthy, just and strong. At the least, you can force your local Walmart store to pay for the purchase of vacant land for use as community garden space, in return for the impoverishment of your community and the destruction of the local economy, jobs and local business. It’s a bad bargain – for the people that is, not for Walmart - but you have to start somewhere.
In fact, considering the massive size of the giant Walmart stores in virtually every city, and their even more massive parking lots, and considering the abysmal record of labour relations shown by the company, it would probably be best, when the economic tsunami hits and the next Great Depression really sets in, to turn the Walmart stores into homeless shelters, and turn their parking lots into community gardens.
The world would be a better place with the vanishing of this giant in any case, with its abysmal record of labour relations, its sweatshop labour and its track record of destroying local economies, businesses and jobs everywhere it goes: and the multi-billionaire Walton family can pack up and move to their own private islands, complete with a whole host of luxury toys for them to play with and to amuse themselves with, while the people get on with the business of healing the world and their communities. They cannot be allowed to toy with our communities any longer.
Believe me, we can find other, and better places to shop. It is a matter mainly of choosing to buy fewer consumer goods, and instead, choosing goods of higher quality and higher ethical and environmental standards, and refusing to allow the giant corporations and the elite who control them to do as they please, at the expense of the people and the earth, and to continue to degrade and destroy communities at home and abroad. We either regulate and reign in the corporate elite, or we will be ruled by them - and we will suffer for it greatly if we choose to remain meek and docile, and refuse to stand up to them. Walmart is just one example. The big banks are even worse, and must be reigned in even more urgently.
For those who are more adventurous, or more bold, I would suggest you seriously consider emigrating. Europe and North America are going to sink like stones. China and most of Asia, along with Australia and Africa, will sink with them, because they are dependent on European and North American markets, directly or indirectly, and those markets are going to collapse. Where then, is a safe haven to weather the coming storm?
MERCOSUR, the South American trade block which is rocking the world, will likely fare better than most countries anywhere in the world. MERCOSUR has all the resources, manufacturing, industry, skilled labour, capital and infrastructure it needs to be basically self-sufficient economically - and the more intelligent countries have begun to decouple from both the Euro and the US dollar.
Among the countries of MERCOSUR – or anywhere in the world for that matter – the strongest nation economically, and by all indications, also the most economically stable, is Argentina. This will shock many, who know nothing about Argentina’s brilliant recovery in 2003, but how do you argue with the facts? The numbers speak for themselves.
Europe and North America have followed the neoliberal advice of Wall Street, the ECB, the Fed, the the IMF and the banking elite who control all of these - and they have paid dearly for it, with drained treasuries, massively inflated government debt, multi-trillion dollar bailouts and “stimulus” packages for the richest few and the big banks, and austerity measures and social spending cuts for the masses – and all of this has produced nothing, in terms of real economic recovery, other than further lining the pockets of the super-rich who control the ECB, the Fed, the IMF and the major political parties and their governments.
Argentina meanwhile, has told the IMF and the neoliberals - who caused their own economic collapse in 2001 - to get stuffed, and to take a hike. They have done the opposite of what the Freidmanites and neoliberals, Washington, the ECB and the IMF have “advised” – or tried to impose on the world – and they have seen a solid and consistent 8% annual growth since turning the economy around in 2003, after kicking the neoliberals out of government.
With a strong and vibrant democracy, double the voter turn-out and popular support of the government that Obama won in his “landslide” victory - with 29% of Americans voting for him - and a cosmopolitan culture that rivals Europe and the most multicultural of world cities, it is the destination of choice for all thinking people, I would strongly assert.
For anyone who cares to know how to defeat both fascism and neoliberalism, and take their own country back from the bankers and the corporate elite who have high-jacked the economy and the government, Argentina shows the way. Argentina is now the world leader in terms of freedom and democracy with prosperity and equity - certainly far above the United States, for example, with its war on democracy, its increasingly fascist legislation and legal framework, and its growing and already staggering poverty and inequality. This will become increasingly obvious over the next two to three years, as Europe and North America are plunged further into a depression, and go further down the road into a neo-feudal society, ruled by bankers under a police state, with virtually all wealth and power gathered into the hands of the richest 1% and poverty and jack boots for the masses, who will not be free to dissent or even complain about their lot.
Argentina already went through two decades of fascism, from 1966-1983, I believe it was, and threw the fascists out. Most people in the US and Canada have never lived under fascism, and are clueless as to what is coming. The signs are everywhere and obvious, but the denial runs deep.
The NDAA alone proves the point. The US government can now arrest anyone, anywhere, anytime, without charge or trial, and send them to a military detention centre, for indefinite imprisonment, torture or extrajudicial execution. What on earth would you call that other than fascism?
Canada signed the SPP, as did Mexico, and both are therefore committed to “deep integration” with the US under the SPP’s explicit plan of creating a “Fortress North America” – a plan to yoke the cheap labour of Mexico along with the world’s most resource-rich country, Canada, to the military and economic muscle of American capital, in order to compete with China. Uncle Sam will of course drive the two oxen who pull the cart to market - Canada and Mexico - and without whom, the US would sink even further and faster into third-world status. Remember also that China is set to become the biggest economy in the world in less than four years, displacing the US as the number one world economic power. In the process, North America will come increasingly to resemble China - as the governing body of 30 top CEOs who will rule over new North American Union, under the guidelines of the SPP, are quite happy to have it: no democracy, just elite rule; and no labour, human rights or environmental standards to get in the way of maximum short-term profits - the people and the earth be damned.
So Canada and Mexico will go the way of the US, which is a bankrupt police state that functions only for the richest 1%. The neoconservatives and neoliberals, who share essentially the same ideology with only minor differences, are getting what they have always wanted: they are taking the government into the bathtub to drown it – and democracy along with it, so that the elite can rule unimpeded by the masses. Europe is following rapidly in the same fate, because its business “leaders” and the corrupt politicians who serve them are taking Europe down that same dark road of neo-feudal corporate rule, and fascism.
And as Gerald Celente also has said, “When the money stops flowing down to the street, blood will flow in the street.” “When people lose everything, and they have nothing left to lose, they lose it.” So the coming economic collapse will mean riots and revolution, and that will mean the jack boots really come down, as governments and corrupt politicians in service to the ruling banking and corporate elite try to maintain “order” – meaning, they use force to maintain their power, and to attempt to crush or at least suppress any revolt or rebellion: or any outbreak of authentic democracy.
I would rather take my chances with a country with a strong economy – Argentina’s economy dipped just 1% in GDP during the 2007-2009 global financial collapse, compared to a 9% loss in GDP for the US; and despite trillions of dollars in bailouts to the biggest banks and the richest few, who made bad bets and are now using economic blackmail and extortion to make the people pay for their mistakes, their malfeasance and their extreme and insatiable greed, the US and Europe have not recovered: unlike Argentina, with its 8% annual growth. 8% - that’s a higher growth rate than China!
The US and Europe are basket cases in comparison to Argentina today - and the former are sinking, and are on the brink of financial collapse, while the latter is strong and rising. Economically, there is simply no choice: Argentina wins hands down, when any serious, intelligent analysis is applied - although again, such basic clarity is admittedly rare. Myopia and cherished illusions, and a quasi-religious economic dogma are more the rule.
And I would certainly rather take my chances with a country whose people remember what fascism means, and have categorically and decisively rejected it, and defeated it: unlike Europe and North America, where the people have forgotten what fascism is, and are about to be blind-sided, and tragically so.
Argentina is also a huge country – the eighth largest in the world, with diverse ecosystems, which is good for adaptability in changing climate regimes under global warming; vast swaths of farmland; affordable land; and one of the highest percentages of agricultural land that is organic anywhere in the world, topped only by tiny Luxemburg.
Ecologically Argentina will, by all indications ,most likely fare better than most nations on earth, including all nations in the Northern Hemisphere, which are at serious risk now of radioactive fallout from WWIII, which the Obama administration is insanely risking, with his aggressive stance towards Iran, Russia and China.
Already, the northern hemisphere is heavily contaminated in air, soil and water by industrial pollution, and also by the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which has been greatly down-played, and which continues to spread radioactive fall-out across the northern hemisphere.
The southern hemisphere is simply safer ecologically, broadly speaking, than the northern hemisphere, and Argentina is among the safer countries environmentally in the south. We must consider not only our own future, but the future of our children. And the long-term health of the environment - the quality of air, water and soil above all - is a critical factor, as is prosperity, stability, democracy, freedom and peace. Presently, Argentina tops the list of desirable places to live, when all of these factors are honestly and intelligently considered. And that is not even considering the rich and vibrant culture, which is just a giant bonus, and the icing on the cake.
Argentina is roughly the size of the Eastern US, and nearly the size of India; but unlike India, with its massive poverty, largely pre-modern rural infrastructure and a population of one billion souls, Argentina is prosperous, industrialized, modern, and has only 40 million people – and most of them live in or around the capital city of Buenos Aires, “the Paris of the South.”
Imagine the Eastern US with virtually everyone living in New York, and only a few cities and towns dotted through the largely open countryside that goes on for over 1,500 miles to the South and nearly 1,000 miles to the West.
Argentina has room to grow, and land is cheap – at present. Of course, the agribusiness giants and the rich are gobbling up land all over the world, especially farm land, so this will not stay the same for long. The price of land is cheap for another reason as well: it is not wildly over-inflated as it is in North America, Europe and elsewhere by the availability of cheap credit.
Presently, Argentina would seem to be an immigrant’s dream. Maybe that is why people are flocking there from all over the world, with 40,000 people from Spain alone reportedly immigrating to Argentina every week.
Of course, some will say that there will be many more people who need help in North America and Europe if these things do come to pass here, and these formerly rich regions are hit by severe economic depression. And I would say, of course that is correct. What is also correct is that the vast majority of people in these regions will be wiped out financially, and they will not be able to help themselves, much less anyone else.
You can stay here, and commiserate over your bowl of gruel in the soup lines, and share your regrets over your lack of foresight, or you can put yourself in a position of strength, where you will have something more to offer than mere commiseration. Your call.
I would say putting yourself in a strong position is both intelligent and also noble – in that it means you will be in a better position to help others. And the same is true for revolution and social change. It’s a global village now, and there is this new thing called “the internet.” Working from position of strength, you can accomplish far more, at least potentially, and in all likelihood, than working from a position of weakness, hunger and political suppression – or worse. Sun Tzu would agree, and does agree, emphatically and explicitly, and there is no more intelligent writer on the art of strategy anywhere, living or dead. Acting in strategically stupid ways is not heroic, it’s just stupid, and it doesn’t help anyone.
Be smart, move to a place where you will be stronger, and have more to offer others, and more to contribute to the struggle for a better society and a better world. If you feel that is the Ozarks, the Rockies, the Appalachians, the Pyrenees, the Alps or the Andes, or somewhere else, then do that – go there. (I’m not saying the mountains are necessarily the best place to be – it was just a handy geographical reference, to make a point.)
Just remember, if you’re going to stay in Europe or North America, not only will you face fascism and a severe economic depression, but you had better be ready to take in refugees. You’re most likely going to have to – or face some potentially ugly consequences if you refuse.
That is no threat of course: it is simply an observation, and one we would do well to consider very thoughtfully. Not every desperate and hungry refugee will walk away cheerfully if they are told you will not share your food, land or shelter – and there will be enough of them that we can be sure a few at least will be violent.
Of course, some will say that you simply get a gun, and blast away any trespassers. Well, that is one option, but however morally bankrupt that option may be, and it is, it is also rife with danger, and will most likely bring on even greater disaster. It’s like responding to a fire by throwing gasoline on it. Not a very smart idea, generally speaking. Sooner or later, someone, or some group, will come along with more fire power, and you and your family will not fare well in the shoot-out at the OK Corral.
Violence and guns are not the answer. Sharing and cooperation are far more effective methods of self-protection, generally speaking. And they won’t cost you your soul either. Violence degrades the mind of the one who resorts to it, clouds the mind, distorts our view of reality, calluses the heart, and sows disaster in return: for it is a round world, and what you put out, sooner or later comes back to you. If you insist on using guns, at least use tranquilizer guns, or rock salt in a shotgun. Don’t kill anyone.
Just as with the last Great Depression, there will be millions of people who are displaced refugees, roaming the countryside in search of food, shelter or work. Remember also that while most people are peaceful and help one another in times of crisis, certainly there is at least 1% who will not be so nice. And they will find you. And they will be armed and dangerous.
Your best line of defence - unless you’re going to move outside North America, Europe and other regions that will be hard hit, or you’re willing to move north into the arctic - is to share, and to have enough abundance of food, agricultural land and shelter that you have the means to share. That means being prepared. And for most people, it means pooling resources cooperatively, as in creating a land trust or rural housing co-op. But, that is the choice of every individual to decide. No one can force you to do what is prudent or wise.
Just as you don’t expect to get into a car accident when you get into your car, but you put your seatbelt on anyway, just in case, so too should you prepare for possible economic hard times. It is only a matter of prudence, of simple common sense. Moreover, we are living in a bubble, and that bubble is about to collapse.
If you feel you can do your best and give your best where you are now, then stay put. I’m just saying that we should give some serious thought to where we want to place ourselves - consciously, and with forethought - to weather the coming storm.
One of the best things you can do if you only have a little money is to go into business for yourself. It doesn`t have to be anything big. It can be micro-scale. Start a business, start a co-op, or become self-employed, if you can find any way to do that. And if you try, you probably will find that you can. Home repairs, car repairs, small scale building or renovation projects, sewing, cooking, baking, painting, gardening...there are many things that can bring a small income, and that may not seem like much of a big thing, but in the near future, it will be. It may be challenging, but your chances may be considerably better than if you simply rely on employers and a paycheque, or government assistance, since virtually all jobs are now insecure, as are all government programs and government assistance. Do not think your paycheque, your savings, or your government will protect you. These are now in danger of failing you. Be prepared.
Remember also, that when either the US or Europe collapses economically, the middle class around the world will be wiped out, for they are all dependent, directly or indirectly, either on European or American markets, or on capital and finance from these centres of imploding and crumbling power. When either the US or Europe goes down economically – and both are set to implode – the rest of the world will also feel the shock, and will feel it profoundly. People in Russia, China, India, and all over the world will be affected. People will have to rely on themselves, their friends, their family and their neighbours. These are the simple facts of the matter. Prepare now.
The trend towards greater insecurity of jobs and government assistance is only going to increase - and increase greatly, and rapidly. A combination of self-reliance, adaptability, a positive attitude, confidence, dignity, boldness and self-respect, along with cooperation and sharing, will be the most powerful resources you will have in the near future. In fact, these are the most powerful resources anyone can have at any time. Use them now, nurture them, and make them grow. The economy is shrinking and collapsing – your personal resources don`t have to. They can actually increase.
Another good option, if you can find a way to do it, is to find a job that will let you telecommute or otherwise work from home; or better, since it is more self-reliant, and doesn`t depend upon a paycheque from someone else: start a web-based business that you can run from home. Selling your art, music, writing or technical consulting skills online may be an option for some people; other people have other skills.
Finding a way to work from home, or some way to have a portable income, will also allow you to relocate, and to move to the country where you can slash your living expenses, as well as avoiding the worst of the chaos that is to come - if you do your research and apply what you’ve learned - and also to have garden space and a root cellar. It might be a big adjustment or a small one, and it might take some homework and some investigating to find your way, but it could prove to be very, very worthwhile in the end – and even in the near future.
Look up straw bale, cob and super-adobe for ultra low-cost, green building methods. They are comfortable, warm, beautiful, healthy, and extremely inexpensive. It is worth a serious look, at the very least, and you may find that you can afford to own a beautiful home in the country – and mortgage-free at that! Would that not be worth a little effort? And if you share the land with a few friends or families, you can buy the land for extremely little as well.
Look up co-housing, eco-villages or housing co-ops. They have all the information you need, and many great ideas and inspiring examples of how to do it. These communities and villages and housing co-ops will be among the islands of sanity and well-being in the times ahead, when poverty and desperation are rampant and have become the norm – in both the cities and the countryside.
Again, cut your costs and living expenses, and shift out of paper money and banks and into real, tangible assets. Help one another and become more self-reliant, as well as mobile and adaptable, and consider seriously where you want to be to ride the storm out.
Being self-reliant and adaptable will be key, as well as helping one another, and having a land base of some kind – whether it is your own, or even better, if it is shared, and is part of a community of mutual aid, solidarity and people helping one another in good times and bad.
I’m not saying that we should all become hippies and join a commune: I’m simply saying that we will need to rediscover the values of community and helping one another, as well as independence, if we want to survive the difficult times ahead, or have a decent life, or even a good life, through the turbulent time and beyond.
Our future now depends upon a combination of mutual aid and a spirit of independence, more than just about anything else. Money and wealth are not the true sources of security, or even prosperity or peace. Money and wealth can be lost or wiped out in a heart-beat. True wealth and a much greater and more reliable security can be found through the power of community, of people helping one another, and through a spirit of independence.
Community, independence, mutual aid and mutual empowerment are the values to be nurtured now, and these will be our greatest strengths, and our greatest protection, as well as our greatest sources of joy and peace. It has always been so. And in times of great difficulties, it is even more the case.
We are moving ever more deeply and more rapidly into a neo-feudal world order, and until the people awaken sufficiently to their power to change that, by reclaiming their power, their voices, and their democracy, and dethroning the financial elite who have stolen their democracy and their future, the trend will continue. The global economic collapse which is coming will only hasten the already existing trends of neo-feudal corporate rule, extreme and growing disparity, the elimination of the middle class, growing poverty, and fascist measures and a police state to back up the crumbling legitimacy of the ruling elite, and to suppress the people, who are growing increasingly frustrated and discontent.
Among the other things that we will see in the near future is a return to walled cities, like they had in medieval times. We already have this in some measure, and the trend is accelerating, and will accelerate rapidly after the coming economic collapse. We already have gated communities, communities surrounded by walls and with armed security guards - small private armies guarding them. We will see much more expansion and intensification of this well-established trend.
We are returning to a time of segregation, but in the rapidly unfolding neo-feudal corporatist order under which we now live, the boundary lines of segregation will not be primarily along the lines of race, although those divisions will remain, and will worsen. In the new feudalism of global corporate rule, the lines of segregation will be based on class, and we will see a form of economic apartheid, backed as usual by clubs and guns, walls and fences.
The rich will live in their walled and gated communities; whole neighbourhoods will be cordoned off, and protected by private security forces, who will keep the sea of the poor from entering. Outside these islands and bubbles of wealth surrounded by walls and protected by private armies, will be the wasteland, and the domain of the growing sea of an underclass – the peasants - who will be left largely to rot, to starve, to scratch and claw for a meager and thin subsistence, and to die. And the rich, the ones who matter, will be sheltered from the sight of them, any contact with them, or any real or honest news about them.
They will be the disappeared, and their memory will be largely erased, even though they will be the overwhelming majority. For the wasteland, there will be lawlessness, and the only real concern of the police will be political repression – dissent being their only real concern, and a threat which must be crushed. It will not be a lack of police that cause decay in the wastelands outside the walled islands of affluence, but sheer poverty and despair. The police will likely bring more harm and repression than aid, when they bother to show up at all.
Cities, states and municipalities are in financial crisis, while increasing poverty and desperation is driving up crime rates, and police forces are laid off due to a shortage of funds. San Bernadino, California saw its murder rate jump 50% this year, but is facing bankruptcy, and has laid off 80 police officers. The city attorney told citizens to “lock your doors and load your guns,” because the city can’t afford adequate police protection. Oakland has experienced a 43% rise in burglaries this year alone, with 11,000 homes, businesses and cars broken into so far this year – 33 a day. And due to budget cuts, by February of 2013 the police force in Oakland will be 25% smaller than it was in 2008. When the economic collapse hits, these trends are likely to intensify greatly.
Increasing poverty, desperation, gang activity and police cuts are sweeping across the US, as the economy implodes and the infrastructure collapses. The trend is clear, and it is alarming. And while the US may be leading the way in these trends, Europe and the rest of North America are following rapidly behind.
Imagine a world that is beginning to look more and more like inner city Detroit – with abandoned buildings, desolation, very high crime rates, extreme poverty and unemployment, great misery and despair, rampant violence, and a general atmosphere of a bombed-out war zone. Because of economic crisis and funding cuts, Detroit has 1,000 fewer police officers today that it did a decade ago, yet crime rates keep climbing. Police are now advising people to “enter Detroit at your own risk.” And Detroit is showing us our future, the future we will very likely have when economic depression hits like a tsunami across the Western world.
Detroit used to be the centre of the US auto industry, the Motor City. Now it looks like Beirut. And it is showing us our future, the future of a de-industrialized Western world, where off-shoring and corporate globalization, along with mass looting by the banking elite and the super-rich, have bled the cities and the countries dry.
In Chicago, budget cuts have resulted in massive police lay-offs, while gang activity has soared. There are now 200 police officers assigned to Chicago’s Gang Enforcement Unit, to deal with 100,000 gang members in the city. Those are not good odds. When the economy crashes, Chicago will not be a place anyone would want to live. Unfortunately however, the same trends are widespread. Police forces are being cut as budgets are cut, and gang activity continues to rise as poverty and despair rise. The trend is ominous.
But with or without budgets cuts, police are wasting their time harassing people and putting people in jail for victimless crimes of drug possession, while gang activity soars and goes radically under-addressed. Millions of young men and women are in prison for what are in truth archaic and out-dated, useless prohibition laws. Prohibition doesn’t work. It only feeds organized crime and gang activity, while punishing those whose only crime was ingesting an intoxicant. Such laws are pointless, a gross waste of time, at best, and totally self-defeating for a society. Criminalizing the possession of alcohol did not stop alcohol use. And the criminalization of drug possession has utterly failed to stop drug use. All it has done is to waste the time of the police, as many police chiefs are now saying, while giving gangs and organized crime a huge boost. The drug wars must be ended. They are worse than a failure – they are radically counter-productive. But for the near future, they will continue to remain widely in place, much to the loss of effective policing and public safety.
Further, as the economic crisis deepens and corruption and decay increase alongside and as a result, the increasingly militarized police forces will tend to perform their traditional primary function, which is to serve and protect and to defend the existing inequalities of wealth and power: to defend the rich few from the many, who would seek a more equitable distribution of wealth and power, were the state not used to prevent this from happening.
There are many honourable police officers out there, who are true and loyal defenders of the people and the constitution, but the police are increasingly being used by the richest 1% to deflect the very legitimate grievances and demands of the other 99%, and to suppress mass, popular movements that are pressing for greater justice, equity and real social change; and this trend will only accelerate and intensify, in the near future at least.
Along with roaming gangs and rogue police, and Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, ICE, ATF, DEA, TSA and other government agents who increasingly feel they can do whatever they please, when the infrastructure begins to crumble, as it is already crumbling in the US now, privatized mercenary armies, such as the secretive and infamous Blackwater, which recruits thugs and hired killers and operates with impunity, above the law, and which is already operating in the US now, will have a field day. As Jeremy Scahill has said, “To have mercenary companies which have operated in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the “war on terror” essentially declaring themselves above any effective laws, now deploying on the streets of US cities, should be seen as an ominous threat.” In short, the post-economic collapse world will not likely be pretty - and agents and forces hired by the government may be even more dangerous than the gangs, the mob and the run-of-the-mill criminals, who will also run wild.
I do not ascribe to the Hobbsian illusion that life before civilization was “nasty, brutish and short” – because the archeological evidence, which Hobbes was completely unaware of, proves conclusively that it was in fact, just the opposite. The ideology of The Heart of Darkness or Lord of the Flies is just a retelling of the illusions and misunderstanding of the English philosopher Thomas Hobbbes: that civilization is a thin veneer, and it easily falls away to reveal a brutality and ugliness in human nature. The converse is far closer to the truth, as the broader sweep of anthropological evidence and history shows beyond any doubt, for any who care to look.
“Civilization” has been the descent into a mentality of self versus other, and us versus them, a bifurcation of the mind, as Whitehead put it, and therefore into violence, hording, inequality, oppression and war. See Rianne Eisler’s The Chalice and The Blade, or better, Murray Bookchin’s magnum opus, The Ecology of Freedom, for the real facts, and the rarely known story of the quiet revolution in anthropology in the 1970’s. These two works, along with Kropotkin’s Mutual Aid, Etiene de la Boite’s The Discourse On Voluntary Servitude, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, and, On Civil Disobedience, Ronald Wright’s, Stolen Continents, and, A Brief History of Progress, Noam Chomsky’s Year 501: The Conquest Continues, and Necessary Illusions, Naomi Wolf’s The End of America, Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, John Perkins’ A Game As Old As Empire, C. Wright Mills’ The Power Elite, Richard Heinberg’s The Party’s Over, Mathew Stein’s When Technology Fails, Don Miguel Ruiz’ The Voice of Knowledge, and The Four Agreements, and Jeremy Rifkin’s The Empathic Civilization, should be required reading for everyone over twelve years of age, or at least, anyone who has any interest in understanding the world we live in. If you’re going to read just twenty books in your entire lifetime, these nineteen works should be among them. Anyone who is unfamiliar with these works – and especially Bookchin’s The Ecology of Freedom, is in all likelihood ignorant of the broader sweep of human history, and also the underlying major dynamics of human society.
Life before “civilization,” prior to 5,000 years ago, was in general, peaceful, equal and free - as the archeological evidence overwhelmingly attests. And that is what we can return to, with or without advanced technology, when this present civilization begins to collapse - or before, if we choose.
In times of crisis, the best and the worst of the people comes out. Most tend to help one another in times of crisis and hardship. Assuredly however, those who are already of a violent or sociopathic bent, find crisis to be an opportunity for even greater ruthlessness in the pursuit of self-interest, power or greed. The 1-2% who are quite comfortable with using violence to get what they want, tend in times of great trouble and despair, to become even worse in their behaviour; and with an economic collapse that strains already eroding infrastructure and nerves even further, the situation can become very bad, very quickly, despite what Chomsky called the “basically decent impulses” of the great majority.
In general, the outlands beyond the walls of the rich communities will increasingly become a festering sewer of destitution and desperation, with roaming gangs terrorizing a basically peaceful people, who are merely trying to survive; and with the police, mercenaries and government agents adding to the barbarity, as much, and as often as they seek to prevent it - and often in collusion and collaboration with the gangs and the criminal syndicates, as now, in a mutually beneficial deal with the devil, in which thuggery, political repression and drug and weapons dealing line the pockets of all but the most valiant and incorruptible. If this sounds hard to imagine, consider that cocaine and heroin trafficking in the US has been traced to the CIA, which controls the bulk of the global drug trade, for purposes of raising funds for illegal, covert operations that Congress won’t fund. Does anyone remember the Iran-Contra scandal? Look up Peter Dale Scott, or Michael Ruppert, who first broke the story of CIA cocaine trafficking as an LAPD narcotics investigator in the 1970’s. This is fully documented and on record. Is the picture laid out above so hard to imagine, considering that?
The people will begin to form their own volunteer police forces and emergency response teams, and to re-enshrine constitutional rights, constitutional law and due process in their communities, at the local level, for the police and the government will have largely abandoned them, just as they did in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina, and in New York and New Jersey after Sandy. It will be up to the people to rescue and help themselves. In the desolation and pervasive poverty, the best and the worst of the people will come forward, you can be assured. Many will rise to the occasion. A few at least will sink to lower levels than we may care to imagine. As always, it will be up to the people to shape their own future, and to determine their response to the challenges ahead. There will be no white night riding in on horseback to save them. They must save themselves. And they will, but likely, not without some considerable struggle, and potentially at least, also a period of considerable darkness in the land. But their future remains in their hands, and it is confidence, a spirit of independence and mutual aid that will bring the best results, and an end to the hardships - and not despair, cynicism, apathy, divisiveness, or narrow and self-defeating habits of self-insulation, partisan squabbling, isolationism, and illusions of powerlessness.
It’s already happening. Foreclosures, evictions and homelessness are exploding across the formerly rich nations of the Western world, as the elite few continue to gather up all wealth into their hands, and the middle class is destroyed and is pushed into the growing underclass below. The trend is clear, and it is obvious - and it is about to accelerate massively with the coming economic crash.
And while unemployment, poverty and homelessness skyrocket, what are the governments doing? Obama and the other criminal political prostitutes to the ruling billionaire class have refused to help the people in any serious way. All of the outstanding mortgages of the people of the United States, along with all credit card debts and all students loans, could have been written off or even paid off, but instead, Obama chose to follow in line with George Bush and the neoconservative/neoliberal corporate-welfare programs, and trillions of dollars were handed to the richest few and the biggest banks. Don’t expect your government to save you. Your government is part of the problem. Your government is working with the people who are stealing from you, and who are about to pull the rug out from under the rest of the people who are not yet sunk economically. What you can expect from your government is tear gas and riot police, pepper spray and political repression – not aid and assistance. The fantasy bubble is about to burst, and this one will be a more painful collapse than the collapse of even debt and dollar bubbles, which will bring the great majority of the people of the world to their knees financially, as is intended. The shock of reality to the many will be devastating, I am afraid. Preparation would be wise, to say the least.
People of Europe and the United States: do you really believe your governments are helping you? Some will say yes, because the social programs that the people fought for and won over the past 70 years are still in place, to some degree; but the reality is that these are being systematically dismantled by governments and politicians who are bought and paid for by the corporate elite.
The business elite are waging a war, a class war, as Warren Buffet freely admitted, and they are rolling back all of the gains made by the people since the time of Charles Dickens and the early industrial revolution – and before, from the time of the Magna Charta in 1215. They are also dismantling the safety net which was created after the last Great Depression - because people with no safety net are more desperate, and will work for nothing, so the labour costs of the corporate elite will plummet like a rock, and almost as fast as the people fall into the growing sea of an underclass.
Your politicians and governments and the corporate elite whom they serve are waging this class war of the 1% against the other 99%, and they are destroying the social fabric, the social contract, and the safety net, along with democracy and constitutional rule, so that the elite few can rule unencumbered by the masses, and can continue to gather up all wealth and power in their hands.
Look at the Obama administration: Obama took millions from Wall Street to get elected, and then had favours to return – so he stacked his government with Wall Street boys, such as Tim Geithner; then he handed huge sums of money to his Wall Street backers, then pushed for permanent immunity from any and all prosecution for his Wall Street buddies. Guess who he serves? Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, Angela Merkel – same story. They’re all political prostitutes for the ruling banking elite. They have all the integrity of sewer rats. Just look at their actions! Look at their record! Don’t just listen to the pretty speeches and the rhetoric – they’re liars. Look at what they have done.
You shall know them by their fruits. They have loyally served the richest few at the expense of the many, who fund their elections and give them multi-million dollar kickbacks and corporate positions in return. Do you really expect them to have a change of course and a change of heart at this point? You are fooling yourself, and you will be sadly disappointed, and tragically betrayed.
According to a systems analysis of the global economy that came out of Switzerland about a year ago, in a case of science confirming the obvious, it was revealed that 40 corporations, mainly banks, now control the global economy. Goldman Sachs, controlled by majority shareholders NM Rothschild & Sons, is at the top of the list. As one financial trader told a shocked BBC reporter, “The crash is coming, and Goldman Sachs rules the world.” Who rules us now? Who controls the governments? The bankers.
The richest 0.1% of the world’s population now controls the global economy - as well as the central banks, the global financial system, the ECB, the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, WEF and the Fed, along with the majority of the governments of the world, including the governments of Europe and North America. Any honest look at the numbers will make this obvious, and undeniable.
The richest 1% of Americans now control 40% of the wealth of the nation, while 50% of Americans live at or below the poverty line, and poverty is increasing rapidly, as the middle class is being destroyed and the rich get richer. The private off-shore accounts of the global elite now hold $11.5 trillion (USD). Do you hear that giant sucking sound? Yes, that is the sound of of off-shoring profits: that is the sound of main street being bled dry.
Meanwhile, the 10 biggest banks in the world now control over $26 trillion (USD) in assets – and this continues to rise every year. The biggest 50 banks in the world now control a staggering $67 trillion (USD) – and climbing. Compare this to the formerly reigning world super-power: the fast-crumbling American empire. The US government by comparison is $16 trillion in debt, and is going deeper into debt and insolvency, at a rate of another trillion dollars a year. The former world-dominating super-power which is the United States, is now bankrupt, while the banking and corporate elite are swimming in money. The numbers speak for themselves. Bankers now rule the world.
And what did our governments do when the financial crisis of 2007-2009 hit? They handed hundreds of billions of dollars, and trillions of dollars, to the richest few and the banking elite - then they have the audacity to say that they have no money, and they have to make cuts in social spending, and cut the social programs that help the people.
Why don’t you have any money? Maybe because you just gave away $20 trillion of the taxpayers’ money across Europe and North America to pay for your criminal banker friend’s bad bets? Twenty trillion dollars. Think about that number. That is roughly twenty times what it would take to transform the world, eliminating poverty and creating a full-employment green energy infrastructure. The scale of the mass theft, the grand chicanery, the mass transfer of wealth from the people to the already super-rich elite, is astronomical, and it is nauseating, and sickening in the extreme.
“Oh no, we can’t help the people – we just transferred over $20 trillion of your money, the taxpayers’ money, to the banking elite. We’re tapped. The people will have to tighten their already tight belts a little more, or a lot more, and suck up the austerity measures. Let them eat cake.”
Come to think of it, I think we’ve heard that line before. And we know how that went.
Wall Street, as anybody who is paying attention knows, controls Washington, and the Goldman Sachs boys now have effective control over Wall Street, as well as Fleet Street, the Bank of Canada and the European Central Bank (ECB). Former VP of Goldman Sachs European operations, Mario Draghi, now heads the ECB. The ECB in turn, now rules over Europe, and has begun setting policy and even installing governments in nations across the EU, for example, installing another former Goldman Sachs boy Mario Monty as Prime Minister of Italy, after throwing out the democratically elected government, run by a right-wing billionaire who just wasn’t sufficiently pro-banker-rule to satisfy the robber barons at the ECB. The money changers have taken over. The politicians are mere servants of the real ruling elite.
Or to put it in terms, not of power blocks, but of ideology, neoliberalism and neoconservatism, which are merely two sides of the same coin, and two factions or wings of the ideology of corporate rule and corporate pillage, have taken over.
This is the same “Washington Consensus” economic policy that has been imposed around the world for decades by the IMF, called “structural adjustment” or “austerity measures.” The IMF itself is controlled by corporate elites, and it represents the same crony capitalist and monopoly capitalist ideology that came out of the Rockefeller-created Chicago School of Economics and the pen of Milton Friedman, the lead cheerleader for the neoliberal/neoconservative blitzkrieg that has rocked the world since the birth of corporate globalization forty years ago, beginning under General Augusto Pinochet in Chile, with his fascist coup and the assassination of the democratically elected President Allende.
(See Greg Palast, “A Marxist Threat To Cola Sales?” and “Tinker Bell, Pinochet and the Fairy Tale of Chile; and Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, for an honest history of the neoliberal/neoconservative global onslaught.)
The neoliberal/neoconservative ideology is not hard to understand, although its spokespersons and spin doctors cloud it in obscurantism, deliberate vagueness and obfuscation, and sheer Orwellian doublespeak, lies and deception. Neoliberalism and neoconservatism, which are for all intents and purposes the same, and are merely two wings of the same ideology of corporate rule, mean quite simply, and above all, unfettered freedom and privilege for the business elite, and austerity for the masses. The ideology represents what Adam Smith called “the vile maxim of the masters” – which as he said, means, “All for us; none for anybody else.”
It is not so very difficult to understand, when the smoke and mirrors, the rhetoric and the spin are pulled away. It is simply a bid for absolute corporate power, with global corporate rule, the submission of all governments and competing powers, maximum gains for the richest few, a profound contempt for the people, and a passionate hatred of democracy. And the governments of Europe and North America are all on board. They’re all corporatists now.
We’ve had a silent corporate coup. Democracy has been high-jacked, and is being destroyed.
Your governments are inflicting austerity measures on the people, while handing billions and trillions of dollars and Euros to the banking elite who are already stratospherically wealthy. Do you really believe that your government has your best interests at heart? Think again. They will not protect you from what is coming. In fact, they are aiding and abetting the financial terrorists who are actively destroying you and robbing you blind.
Between Goldman Sachs, the Rothschilds and Rockefellers and a dozen or so other banking and corporate dynasties, there isn’t much left of democracy anymore; and this will remain the case until the people find their confidence, their dignity, and reclaim their rightful democratic power to shape their own future. This latest of empires will crumble and fall, as all empires before have done, but it will only happen when the people embrace their power and reclaim their democracy, or if they do not, it will fall when it consumes itself, by destroying the very basis of life on earth. In the meantime, governments at present are aligned with the ruling corporate and financial powers, and not the people. The people are forced to look after themselves, and to shape their own destiny.
While the disenfranchised many are walled off from the rich, and dwell in the wastelands of the underclass, the securitized islands of the rich will face their own kind of internal decay. Sealed off from the larger world in a fortress of gold and ivory, with their beloved video screens which reinforce their cherished illusions and protect them from the face of reality; surrounded by high walls, security guards, private armies, surveillance cameras and razor wire, they will slowly suffocate on their own insularity and inward decay, like the aristocrats of the late Roman empire, lost in their debauchery and self-importance, as the empire crumbles and falls.
For the islands of the rich, a mind-numbing conformity and refusal to question power, the official ideology or the herd of “high society,” will be the norm – as always, but only more so. The moral costs to the rich will be even higher than the cultural and intellectual costs, which will be extreme enough in themselves, but few will likely think of such things, as they rarely have in the past, with only a few shining and noble exceptions.
A soulless and hollow life, filled with glittering surfaces and no depth, lived with a cowering deference to power and conformity, and a virtual lobotomy as a result, will be the norm for the islands of affluence, and the hollow men will bask in their hollowness, oblivious, until the moment of death, when a great many will be filled with profound remorse, or at least regret for having wasted their life on trivial concerns and empty vanities. But by then of course, it is too late, and another generation of self-indulgent, self-important and self-deluding narcissists will grow up to take their place, never questioning their inwardly barren existence until their final moment. And on and on it goes, until the greed and overconsumption destroys the very basis of life on earth, and even the rich perish in their own waste, in what the World Bank predicts will be just 50-100 years or less.
The elite of course, the ones who rule, will associate neither with the underclass nor the merely affluent, who are their loyal servants and slaves – exactly the same as now, only with a further remove into the stratosphere of self-insulating extreme wealth, and the shelter of their bunkers and securitized mansions, palaces, yachts and jet planes. And they will continue in their obsession with limitless wealth and power, and their infantile dreams of grandiosity and world empire, until at last they are either thrown from power by the people, or destroy themselves, along with the basis of all life on earth.
And the three tiers of society will remain largely segregated – which is best for the ruling elite, since divide and conquer has always been the primary method for gaining and maintaining power throughout history.
All of this could be avoided, but it likely will not be, because the people have not yet awakened sufficiently to their power, or sufficiently accepted and embraced their power and responsibility to avert this kind of future that is now rapidly unfolding.
Change will come, but the people will have to awaken from their slumber before that happens, and that may yet be delayed a little while longer, due to the awful power of denial and the illusions of powerlessness, which now shackle the people in their mind-forged manacles, just as in Blake’s time, and tragically so.
And all of this is far from the worst case scenario, which is the US going to war with Iran, which will launch WWIII, as China, Russia and India side with Iran, and nuclear and biochemical warfare makes life in the Northern Hemisphere not worth living. We’re not even talking about worst case scenarios here. We’re just talking about baseline trajectories for the growing inequality, disparity and poverty that are coming down the line through the neo-feudal rule of the global corporate and banking elite, and their rape and pillage economics.
Do not allow the US to launch war on Iran. Stop this madness at all costs. And if the US does go to war with Iran, pack your bags, and be prepared to take flight to the southern hemisphere. We’re talking about an event on the scale of the Black Death of 1348, which wiped out a third to half of Europe’s population – except that this war will be global, and the entire northern hemisphere will be affected. And the plague won’t recede in two years either, as it did during the Great Plague of Europe: the contamination will linger for centuries, and the living will envy the dead. The only places that will remain habitable for human beings will be in the southern hemisphere, and there too, only in certain areas. We must work for peace now, with every fibre of our being. The future of humanity and the earth depends upon it.
This is a very dystopian and horrible future to contemplate of course, but unfortunately, for most parts of the world, this is the future that is being shaped for us by the ruling corporate elite and their political minions. If we want something different, we will have to work to change it. This will change, but the people will have to embrace their power and work together to change it. This new dark age will not be avoided or overcome merely by wishing it to be so. It will require decisive and bold action. Unfortunately, there may be some time lag, as the people settle into a paralyzed state of shock, or continue in this already existing mode, a little longer.
In the meantime, we should consider our options in terms of the coming economic meltdown, and consider both the ethics and the intelligence of either complacency and a false sense of security on the one hand, or a smug and callous, narrow economic self-centredness on the other. Both will be disastrous to us, in one way or another.
People who refuse to prepare for possible economic hard times will be severely remorseful of their inaction, I can assure you, and they will in most cases, and in all likelihood, be wiped out financially. It’s going to be a very rude awakening for many, I am afraid to say. Pink Floyd said it best, in the song, Sheep:
“What do you get for pretending the danger’s not real?
Meek and obedient you follow the leaders
Down well-trodden corridors into the valley of steel...
What a surprise! A look of terminal shock in your eyes
Now things are really what they seem
No, this is no bad dream.”
Be prepared. You have been warned.
It’s going to be an adventure, any way you decide to handle it, so try to let’s look at it that way. Help people as much as you can, and try to keep a positive attitude, even when things fall apart, which they are about to do.
Stay calm. It’s not the end of the world, it’s just a rough patch, and we will get through it.
Two other sayings from Asia can help us now and in the future to keep our heads and to keep things in perspective: “A hard rain doesn’t last all day.” And this too shall pass.
But please, whatever you do, do your own research if you are not convinced. Do not take this lightly.
Complacency now will lead to serious regrets.
The Boy Scouts got it right on that point: Be prepared.
“Until the people get the courage, the dignity, the self-respect and the integrity to create their own future, rather than letting these other people create it for them, it’s going to continue to decline.
The people of our generation [the baby boomers] – they don’t have the fight left in them...
and they’re bankrupt - emotionally and spiritually, and often financially bankrupt.
The change has to come from the young people.
If it doesn’t come from them it’s not going to happen.
And when I’m saying young, I mean forty-something and under.
Those are the ones that can make the change happen.”
- Gerald Celente
You know what to do now. Now it is time to act.
Preparation, mutual aid, empowerment, and bold, creative action for social change: these are the things that we need now. Embrace your power, and act. Life is for living - not moaning, treading water, or merely getting by, if we get by at all. Live now. Life is too short and too precious for a drifting malaise or a passive complacency. Live!
J. Todd Ring,
December 4, 2012
For further information, see Gerald Celente and Max Keiser. You couldn’t find a better source for serious and honest, intelligent economic analysis.
Money As Debt, The Monopoly Men, Too Big To Fail, Confessions of An Economic Hitman, and The Money Masters
Starve Trek – New Internationalist Magazine
A Game As Old As Empire – John Perkins
Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street To Rescue Wall Street
- Neil Barofsky
Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill) – David Cay Johnston
Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein