* rkm: Has capitalism passed its peak? *


Richard Moore


That latest article, "The Post-Bush Regime: a Prognosis", seems to be 
spreading all over the internet. I Googled for the words in the 
title, and got 14,500 hits. I then Googled for exact matches on the 
title, and got 3,510 hits. My thanks to Jim Macgregor, who has been 
sending the article to all the websites he's subscribed to. Global 
Research seems to be a powerful way to reach people, and so I'll need 
to write a follow-on article for them.

This posting is my first draft of that article, so your comments will 
be welcome.


I came across a very intriguing article in the NY Times by Peter 
Goodman , Dec 30: "The Free Market: A False Idol After All?"

This headline really grabbed my attention. The free market has been 
the unquestioned economic story line ever since Reagan's day. What 
does it mean when the NY Times -- the flagship of US propaganda -- 
begins undermining  that story line? My attention was grabbed even 
more by this quote I noticed in the article:  "Untethered market 
forces lead to bad things", said Mr. Bernstein of the Economic Policy 
Institute. "You simply can't run an economy as complicated as ours on 
ideology alone". The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is a well-known 
neo-conservative think tank--  from which one expects only neoliberal 
economic views. What's going on here?? Why are they implicitly but 
obviously calling for regulatory interventionism? This brings to mind 
as well the recent statements by the Federal Reserve, implying that 
new regulations were needed in the credit game.

Keep in mind that this shift from the Economic Policy Institute does 
not represent any new economic insight on their part. Everyone with 
any smarts, including them, always knew that the free market was 
destructive to national economies. Indeed, the purpose of the 
neoliberal project was to undermine national sovereignty in general. 
This EPI statement is a propaganda shift, a shift in 'the story line'.

Also keep in mind that the US has never really observed the 
principles of neoliberalism. We forced other nations to open their 
markets, and drop their subsidies and tariffs -- by means of the WTO 
and IMF -- but we always reserved the right to ignore those 
principles in our own case, as for example with agricultural 
subsidies, and the time we prevented China from buying an 
American-owned oil company. We never have been running our economy 
"on ideology alone". Again, we see that this statement by the EPI is 
a change in the story line, not a new insight.

Certainly this EPI shift does not indicate that capitalism is being 
abandoned, but it does represent a significant turning point. As long 
as neoliberalism was the unquestioned story line, that meant 
capitalism was still on the upsurge, still the core of elite 
management strategy. If neoliberalism is beginning to fall from 
favor, and if this is going to be reflected in the story line, that 
suggests the tide of capitalism has passed its highest point, and is 
beginning to recede. In other words, capitalism may be past its peak 
as a clique tool, and this NY Times piece might be one of our first 
signals to that effect, along with the statements by the Federal 

And there are indeed good reasons why capitalism should be falling 
from favor in the eyes of our clique -- who always look at everything 
from a long-range perspective. Capitalism, as a fundamental economic 
model, no longer makes much sense for them. Growth for growth's sake 
has been a very powerful tool of wealth accumulation over the 
centuries; it's done its job well for those at the top of the 
financial pyramid. But that growth has now collided with an immovable 
barrier: the finiteness of the Earth and its resources.

Certainly our clique intends to continue exploiting and plundering, 
but the capitalist formula, objectively speaking, has now served its 
purpose -- and its dynamics no longer serve our clique as they have 
in the past. The evidence of this lies before us, as the 
hyper-inflated capitalist financial bubble is beginning to burst 
world wide, and the American economy is kaput. Purely from a 
management perspective, isn't it clear that it's time for a 
reorganization of the system?

In any case, the rest of this analysis will be based on these five assumptions:
   (1) - The neocon agenda is no longer the core of clique tactics.
   (2) - The neocon agenda has spread dissent and led people to lose 
faith in the system.
   (3) - Major programs are going to be launched around climate change 
and new energy sources.
   (4) - Capitalism is no longer sacrosanct as a basis for economic policy.
   (5) - The US economy is in shambles.

Many of us have feared that an economic collapse was in the works -- 
there is certainly much evidence for that at the moment, with 
subprime mortgages, deficits, and all. That fear led us to the fear 
that martial law would be imposed, in order to control the resulting 
chaos -- and we saw the Patriot Act as being the preparation for 
that. That scenario was a core part of the neocon agenda, and that 
scenario too I think has now been abandoned, or at least postponed 
indefinitely. There are, given our assumptions, better ways to 

 From the clique's perspective, I'd want to set up the next 
administration to really turn things around -- to take bold steps to 
create a situation that would move Americans back into their comfort 
zone. The PNAC agenda was about outright fascism, which made sense if 
your plan includes a period of economic collapse combined with more 
aggressive warfare. But if the iron boot of fascism won't be 
available to control the masses, it makes sense to avoid economic 
collapse and 'bring the masses back onside' -- to restore American's 
faith in the system. While Bush gave us only fear and dissent, I'd 
want the new administration to cheer everyone up, put a smile on 
their faces. And nothing cheers folks up like a positive economic 
turn around. If capitalist ideology is no longer sacrosanct, that 
provides the flexibility needed in order to create such an economic 
turn around.

What we are likely to see, then, are a bevy of major government 
economic programs, quite different than those of the New Deal, but on 
a similar dramatic scale. It's like this time we're getting our New 
Deal just before an economic collapse was going to hit, without 
having to actually live through another Great Depression. And indeed, 
another Great Depression would be inevitable without economic 
interventions on the scale of the New Deal. Even the bankers are 
beginning to hint in this direction, as they contemplate their debt 
write-off nightmare.

The Grand Banner of these economic programs will of course be the 
Gore agenda, 'doing something' about climate change and peak oil. 
That's been signaled quite clearly. Even the major fronts in the 
campaign have been signaled: biofuels, research in and deployment of 
new energy technologies, more efficient automobiles, carbon taxes, 
and carbon credits. Many of these programs are already well underway, 
but that hasn't been emphasized in the media. Thus the new 
administration is provided with a head start on their programs, and 
will be in a position to take all the credit for them.

This kind of economic agenda could indeed generate a lot of economic 
activity. Government-funded development programs could fan out into 
increased employment, for example. Or subsidies and taxes could be 
used to develop new technologies and create markets for those 
technologies -- and we could get a little boom-cycle out of something 
like electric cars or solar cells. There is a foundation here, upon 
which could be built an economic-recovery program. But if we really 
want to put a smile on America's faces, there's a lot that needs to 
be added to this foundation.

For one thing, no one smiles if they and their children have no 
health insurance. If we are indeed prepared to take 'bold steps' -- 
which I think makes sense for our clique at this time -- then we can 
expect the new administration to implement some kind of program that 
ensures all Americans have at least a minimal level of medical 
security. That would certainly make the politicians popular as well. 
Similarly, unemployed folks don't smile much, and increased 
employment needs to be part of any economic recovery program. Thus we 
can expect the new administration to undertake programs that are 
effective in moving us toward full employment, more so than we might 
expect from a Gore agenda alone.

The big problem of course will be how to fund such a neo-New Deal. 
According to capitalist economics the US is bankrupt, deeply in debt, 
and is hemorrhaging cash-flow losses. We have our fingers crossed 
that China won't dump it's deteriorating dollar holdings, but we 
certainly can't expect them to fund a New Deal for us by buying up 
massive new government security offerings. If capitalism is 
sacrosanct, a neo-New Deal is not feasible. If capitalism is no 
longer sacrosanct, then a neo-New Deal becomes feasible.

Indeed, any new economic game is always feasible, as long as there is 
freedom to declare a new set of rules. Our economy is nothing but a 
game, a game played with tokens issued by the Federal Reserve, tokens 
whose value and availability is determined by the Federal Reserve. If 
they decide to issue a new set of tokens, and base their value on 
some new story line, they can do so. Their currency never has been 
based on anything real. We've always needed to close our eyes and 
trust them in order to get on with life. They've always counted on 
that, and they can still count on it.

If they want to change the rules of the game -- the tax, credit, and 
regulatory framework -- they can do so. If they want to insulate the 
American economy from the global economy, they can do so. If they 
want to create a game that operates without economic growth in token 
terms, they can do so. If they want to turn the game into a command 
economy, they can do that as well. Us peons will be cheered up by 
whatever game delivers the goods. We always are. And when we're 
getting the goods, we believe we are living in democracies. That's 
when our clique feels most secure. The most domesticated of all 
sheeple are the ones who believe they are free.

Although the economy at one level is a contrived game, there do need 
to be some real resources available for exploitation in order to fuel 
real economic activity. And here we can begin to see some of the 
pieces of the picture coming together. The Gore agenda -- biofuels et 
al -- is all about re-allocating the resources of the Global South to 
fuel the engines of the Industrial North. It's a global version of 
seizing the Great Plains from the American Indians. Let's look at how 
this works in a particular case, the case of Brazil, whom Washington 
recently persuaded to begin a massive program of biofuels production.

Biofuels make a lot of sense to Brazilian farmers. They can get a 
good price on global markets relative to other agricultural products. 
And every farmer loves a strong and reliable market for his products, 
and there it is for biofuels -- all those cars, trucks, ships, and 
planes running around in the world. If global energy prices go up, 
that's all the better for the farmers; the biofuel prices track up 
along with them. For Lulu, closing a deal with Washington for biofuel 
production scores easy political points with the whole farming 
sector. But what does it mean for Brazil? And how much do the farmers 
really benefit?

For the Brazilian people, it means their food supply will be reduced 
by the same amount that biofuel production increases. If sufficiently 
many farmers switch to biofuel production, there will be famine and 
starvation in Brazil. If the new administration pushes really hard 
for more biofuel production, they are in effect waging a campaign to 
starve as many Brazilians to death as possible.

When you take away a people's land, their source of sustenance, for 
your own use, you are condemning them to either death, exile, or 
virtual serfdom on the land that was theirs. This is true whether you 
occupy the land, as we did when we Won the West, or whether you gain 
control over the land by other means, such as a strong market price 
for biofuels. As we run our fuel-efficient cars, and our Industrial 
North, increasingly on biofuels, we are as surely invading Brazil as 
if we were doing it with covered wagons and the cavalry. To the 
extent we can maximize the conversion of suitable land to biofuel 
production, to that extent we are pursuing a path of genocide in the 
Global South.

As regards the farmers, they will be little more than serfs, whether 
on their independent farms, or as laborers in industrial farming 
operations. As in all agricultural sectors these days, the farmer 
gets a subsistence price for his products, the consumer pays a 
premium price, and the middle men -- the distributors and the 
financiers -- get the lion's share of the profits from the overall 
transaction. The ultimate 'biofuels vision' would turn the global 
South into one big biofuel plantation, and the only people living 
down there would be the plantation slaves and their bosses. Once 
again we'd have the Industrial North, and the Slave Plantation South, 
only this time the South would be producing something the North could 
use, instead of growing cotton for export elsewhere.

Who knows, by following such a colonial vision, it might actually be 
possible for the automobile, much improved, to survive peak oil. 
Given people's attachment to their cars, they'll be able to 
rationalize whatever is required to keep those cars purring along.

Keep in mind that it was only a minority of western pioneers who 
actually encountered the Indians, and who thought that 'the only good 
redskin is a dead redskin'. The bulk of the population in the East 
was comparatively liberal and sympathetic to the Indians. And yet 
they acquiesced in the systematic genocide, as their 'great nation' 
pursued its 'immanent domain'. In general liberal Northerners have 
adjusted very well to imperialist excesses of all sorts, particularly 
if they perceived themselves as being well off. If it means people 
can keep their cars, they won't be in any mind to connect the dots to 
mass famines 'down there', which the media will be only to eager to 
blame on unfortunate natural causes.

I've been focusing overmuch on biofuels, I fear, as they provide such 
a rich picture of the nature of the Gore agenda. In fact, the 
appropriation of the resources of the Global South has been the 
hallmark of imperialism from the beginning, and a fully exploited 
South would not be devoted exclusively to biofuel plantations. There 
would also be mines, oil wells, cattle and coffee plantations, slum 
factory zones, etc, each area producing whatever it is most efficient 
at producing. What is special about the biofuel program is that it 
signals a 'final assault' on the Global South, the launching of a 
'final solution' to the problem of exploiting the resources of the 

Instead of interventions and intrigues, tin horn dictators and market 
forces -- instead of all these troublesome mechanisms of indirect 
resource management, we are now going for the jugular, the food 
supply. We are setting out to clear the land for our use, so that we 
can keep the Industrial North running. Most of the people on the land 
are for our purposes now redundant, what Kissinger -- author of that 
infamous Government report on population control -- refers to as 
'useless feeders'. We can see this final solution in operation 
already in Sub-Saharan Africa, where six million children die each 
year from disease and starvation, and the genocidal process is helped 
along by destabilizing interventions of various kinds, while the 
media blames it all on droughts and tribal conflicts.

In the decades following World War II the Industrial North 
experienced a boom period, under capitalism, based on opening up the 
Global South ('Free World') to exploitation by capital generally, no 
longer restricted by the old colonial boundaries. Now that the 
capitalist growth paradigm has collided with the immovable barrier of 
the Earth's finite resources, a bold new strategy is required in 
order to keep the engines of the Industrial North running. And once 
again that strategy will be based on finding a way to more 
systematically exploit the  resources of the Global South. The time 
has come, evidently, to take a 'final solution' approach to that 

At the same time, this strategy is likely to include a shift away 
from growth-based economics and the capitalist paradigm. Acquiring 
exclusive use of the resources of the South provides the engines of 
the North with considerable  fuel of various kinds, but the Earth 
remains nonetheless finite. An economic game designed more along 
feudal lines would be a more suitable response to the reality of 
finiteness. We'd want a game where wealth is measured in terms of 
'resources controlled', rather than by 'success in speculative 
ventures' -- where people play fiefdom games of various kinds, at 
various levels, rather than always seeking to innovate and displace 
old ways of doing things, thus generating growth and waste. Our 
clique can run the casino for such a game, and rake in its desired 
take from each transaction, just as well as with any other game. 
Capitalism has always been just a tool, the game of choice for a 
time. Five hundred years is a long life-span for any paradigm. Did 
the Roman Empire last longer?

In such a more feudal-like game environment, we're going to see a 
major reversal in the tides of globalization. We're going to see a 
resurgence of territoriality and regionalism. China is already 
organizing its region in that way, with the SCO and related 
initiatives. China has long expressed the desire, nay the natural 
right, to regional hegemony, and it seems sincere in wanting only 
that. Self-containment is a very long tradition in Chinese culture. 
In the expansion of the EU into the former Soviet Block, we see the 
creation of another viable regional block, even if it might have been 
created for other reasons, under an earlier game plan. Russia fits 
nicely into a game of territories, being so vast on its own, and with 
a wealth of resources that its neighboring blocks are eager to buy at 
market price. A reunion with some of the old Soviet Block to the 
south would make a lot of sense for both parties.

This brings us to the North American Union, and the new Amero 
currency.  Canadians seem to be a lot more aware of the NAU than are 
folks in the US. To most Americans (by which I usually mean the US 
variety), the NAU is just another conspiracy theory. Canadians on the 
other hand have long felt colonized by America, both culturally and 
economically. Particularly recently, with both free trade treaties 
and heightened security malarkey, Canadians can see that they are 
becoming more and more integrated into a North American system of 
some kind. They have been much more alert to what's going on, and 
they've been tracking the somewhat covert progress of this other 
regional block, the North American Union, which is to be made up of 
Canada, the US, and Mexico, and which is to have a new currency, the 

Canada has lots of resources and relatively few people. It's got 
uranium, timber, water, wheat, and much else. Mexico brings to the 
party lots of cheap labor, lots of good agricultural land, and a 
variety of resources that can be more systematically exploited with 
the help of some investment in modernization. The NAU amounts to a 
colonial expansion on the part of the US, a bit like England 
absorbing Scotland, Wales, and Ireland in earlier days. On paper 
there might be some kind equality in the arrangement, but in reality 
it will be the US operators and the US part of the economy that will 
get the lion's share of the benefits. For Mexico, the NAU may turn 
out to be a good thing nonetheless, if it spares them the holocaust 
being prepared for the Global South.

Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution present us with two alternative 
possible futures for South America. The Bolivarian alternative would 
be by far the best one for the people of South America. This 
alternative would lead to South America as a regional block in its 
own right, with its own relatively adequate resource base, oil and 
all. This alternative would however save South America from the fate 
of the Global South, and hence would seriously reduce the total 
resource base available for exploitation by the Industrial North.

As much as I love and support Chavez, and pray for his noble efforts 
to succeed, I fear that a resurgence is very likely in covert 
interventions in the left-leaning South American upstart nations. 
Perhaps there will even a return to the era of the dictators and the 
disappeared. The rest of the world, each busy building their own 
regional havens, would be quite happy to tolerate US imperialism in 
South America -- its traditional back yard -- if in return Washington 
reduces its meddling in the rest of the world's affairs, hence the 
PNAC rein-in. Our clique cannot afford to let South America achieve 
its liberation. In a regionalized world, an Industrialized North 
America needs South America as its own regional share of the Global 
South, along with whatever it can grab in Africa and elsewhere (eg, 
Kenya). The Monroe Doctrine lives on. The new biofuel program in 
Brazil is the harbinger of the onslaught to come.

As for global warming, Some people will need to migrate or move to 
higher ground. That's all that can really be done in any case. The 
Co2 time bomb has already been unleashed, and any continuation of an 
Industrial North, even a less wasteful one, guarantees that climate 
change will not be reversed any time soon. Besides, as we've seen 
with New Orleans and the Southeast Asian tsunami, climate change can 
be a handy expediter of the genocide, clear-the-land agenda. Naomi 
Klein writes about this in her excellent book, "The Shock Doctrine: 
The Rise of Disaster Capitalism". And indeed, Shock Doctrine and 
Disaster are apt characterizations of the Holocaust scenario we are 
on the verge of initiating, as we go for the jugular in the Global 
South, using market forces to starve the natives off the land.



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