In the world at large, life can be a desperate struggle for mere survival. It’s generally a rotten world, unjust to the core, built on lies wrapped in noble words, sustained by robbery. It’s a world where 11% of the world, as much as 24% in Sub-Saharan Africa, are undernourished, and half the world’s food is being thrown away. These are undernourished people that could easily be feeding themselves. But much of the world’s population have the crippling burden of being citizens of a nation in bottomless debt to the global financial system, this governs everything.
The World Development Movement have reported widely on food speculation in international markets. They report that five of the largest banking groups, speculating on food such as wheat, soya and maize, made £2.2 billion on food prices between 2010 and 2012. This activity, this greased lightning money, financial bullying, all of it coming from outside of the usual traders in these vital commodities, led to a rise in the price; what a surprise. This inevitably means people could afford less of it and, doubtless, some couldn’t get enough of it.
This speculation has been the result of liberalising the international food commodities market, an act heralded as being for the benefit of people globally. This is murder. Though, through the medium of money, there’s completely remoteness from the action, this is murder. The medium of money facilitates not only slavery but murder. For all the talk of actions that put lives at risk, these are activities that must be costing actual lives on a large scale. The money monster will seek to siphon off cash from anywhere it can get into, even crises of mass hunger.
Who can take meaningful action about that? It seems nobody. It's called freedom and that's never really challenged. This snorting up of poor people’s livelihoods in the name of free trade, extracting wealth from commodities markets, is facilitated by the instability caused by the influx of hot money in the first place. But what government or international agreement is now going to reverse this deregulation and return to the previous protective regulations? There’s a strong feeling that this just couldn’t happen, there’s a ratchet mechanism that wouldn’t allow that to happen. The politicians have probably already made it illegal in some clause of some trade treaty. It would be a blasphemy to the sacred idea of free trade.
And almost perpetually now, there is fire or flood or drought somewhere in the world. In many countries, to widely different degrees, senseless slaughter of human life rages on, in ways that it becomes increasingly incomprehensible exactly who is killing who and for why. There is much torture in the world, in every sense, tortured minds, tortured thinking. There is systematic rape, there is murder, there is the psychological brutalisation of children. There are 95,000 unaccompanied children in Europe, and 10,000 have disappeared. It can feel like civilisation is cracking and starting to fall apart
We haven’t another world to compare it to, but in many ways, the history of the world, where the world has reached thus far, is just appalling and desperately sad. A terrible missed opportunity.
This has all been a very random charge sheet, things wrong with the world to lament. Here’s a paragraph from John McMurtry’s book Understanding the Cancer Stage of Capitalism to list out some of the world’s challenges on a more specific charge sheet. Giorgio Baruchello reviewed the book on the Web and said:
… one paragraph of this study suffices to summarise the all-fronts corporate money-system attack on biosphere and civilisation:
The air, soil and water cumulatively degrade; the climates and oceans destabilize; species become extinct at a spasm rate across continents; pollution cycles and volumes increase to endanger life-systems at all levels in cascade effects; a rising half of the world is destitute as inequality multiplies; the global food system produces more and more disabling and contaminated junk food without nutritional value; non-contagious diseases multiply to the world’s biggest killer with only symptom cures; the vocational future of the next generation collapses across the world while their bank debts rise; the global financial system has ceased to function for productive investment in life-goods; collective-interest agencies of governments and unions are stripped while for-profit state subsidies multiply; police state laws and methods advance while belligerent wars for corporate resources increase; the media are corporate ad vehicles and the academy is increasingly reduced to corporate functions; public sectors and services are non-stop defunded and privatized as tax evasion and transnational corporate funding and service by governments rise at the same time at every level.(144-46)
And Baruchello said:
This diagnosis may seem hyperbolic. But a search for even one exception to these trends reveals how exact and precise they are.
And it does seem like the mistaken road, to serfdom indeed, the accumulation of centuries of uncollected economic rents, the runaway governing money meme released in the late Middle Ages, developed by banking geniuses of the 18th and 19th century and greatly defended and enhanced by creative economists of the late 19th century, is a process that‘s reached a natural stage that was always inherent in it; an end game.
The least we can say is, something is badly wrong, the world is nowhere near as good as it could be; it’s turned bad, and that’s obviously so.
Henry George’s Social Problems can be read here, it will indeed ring bells, speaking clearly and familiarly from 1883.
Dire mistakes have been made in the development of human civilisation - mainly over the distribution of wealth and the continued rise of the spectre of power - and these have been amplified over centuries and have produced horrendous manifestations. We have found it a strange comfort in at least starting to understand where it is wrong, and what being right would look like.
We’ve definitely felt spooked during the making of these notes, terrified actually. Power feels secret, impenetrable, insensible, following its own runaway logic. Its logic has taken on a life on its own, beyond the actual people involved in it; they are really just actors that fulfil positions in the process, and their role is an integral part of how the system works. They don’t propel the process, it’s a process that propels them, a programme. It’s a relentless programme that must eventually, over time, lead inexorably to its conclusion.