PPI-017-rkm essay> Destroy & Rebuild — The story of the global economy


Richard Moore

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                        Destroy & Rebuild --
                 The story of the global economy
                    (c) Richard K. Moore, 1998

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                        Destroy & Rebuild --
                 The story of the global economy
                    (c) Richard K. Moore, 1998

The standard pattern of capitalist development, repeated fractally at
every scale of operations, and througout the past two centuries, is
`Destroy and Rebuild'.  You can see this when an area is demolished to
make room for a shopping center.  What was a collection of residences,
or whatever, suddenly becomes transformed into a reliable revenue-stream
for the development-investors.

Or a forest with wildlife becomes transformed into a sterile mono-
culture `tree farm', with much higher board-foot per acre per year
yields.  Or the Great Plains and Western US, from whence the Indians and
the Buffalo were `cleared' for the grandest single development program
ever undertaken (ie, the USA), prior to globalization itself.

You can see this very same pattern in the former Soviet realm, where
economies and infrastructures are being razed to the ground, forced by
Western intentional policies, overt and covert, so that a new
international-capital friendly regime can be established -- and who
gives a damn about whatever human suffering might occur during the

`Destroy and Rebuild' applies to plots of land, markets, technologies,
industries, nations, and as well to international arrangements.

Bretton Woods, together with the US gold standard, created an extremely
stable and sound international financial regime in the postwar era --
nothing's ever perfect but that was a damn good job.

A primary characteristic of this system was that nations enjoyed
relatively stable currencies (if their policies were sound) and could
keep control over their economies.

At some point an elite decision was made in capitalist circles that this
regime was insufficiently profitable -- national economic policies were
too restrictive of capital investments by the international investor

There followed a series of destabilizing measures -- the `Destroy'
        - US goes off gold standard
        - safe havens for unaccountable financial transactions (in truth
          money laundering operations) setup in Bahamas, Panama, and
        - erosion, by deep & well-funded lobbying, of regulations on
          financial transactions across borders

In fact, this was the beginning of the overt globalization process,
beginning well in advance of the public coming-out-of-the-closet of
neoliberalism, with Reagan and Thatcher as standard bearers, c. 1980.

We are still in the very midst, the climax even, of the `Destroy phase'
regarding the international financial system.  As a matter of fact, the
international financial system, under the guidance and with the direct
participation of the elite-controlled IMF, has become a highly tuned
instrument for the destabilization of national and regional economies,
as we have seen in Brazil, Mexico, etc, and most recently in South East
Asia, and soon-to-come in Japan.

What we are seeing is a sequence of search-and-destroy operations being
carried out against any economy which has any quality of local or
regional integrity, which embodies any semblance of local optimization
for local advantage -- the globalization vision is that all econonomies
everywhere lie prone on their backs ready for consentual rape by passing
capital investors -- `competitiveness' means that the nations should
dress-up sexy so as to be more attractive to the capital-investor

These intentional destabilization raids will continue, and when they
cross the Rubicon into the USA and Europe, they will _suddenly be
_perceived (ie, characterized in the media) as a _serious problem that
_something must be done about.

Then pundits will all-at-once realize that a more stable international
financial system is needed and _lo and _behold a plan will be all ready
for adoption!  Such wonderful serendipity!

And guess who will administer this marvelous just-in-time solution?
That will be the WTO, or some other acronymical-bureaucracy equally
dominated by `public-spirited staffers' from the TNC sector.

So in the end financial stability will be `rebuilt', as is the standard
final phase of every capitalist development project.  We started with a
stable Bretton-Woods, nation-centered regieme, it was `destroyed' by a
sequence of measures, and we'll end up with a `rebuilt' regime which is

The world economy has been razed so that it can be turned into a
shopping mall for the capitalist elite, where they can conveniently go
shopping for bargains among the world's various `markets', each of whom
is expected to `compete' on the basis of its seductiveness to capital.



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