The era of growth – capitalists vs. aristocracy
When the Industrial Revolution began in Britain, in the late 1700s, there was lots of money to be made by investing in factories and mills, by opening up new markets, and by gaining control of sources of raw materials. The folks who had the most money to invest, however, were not so much in Britain but more in Holland. Holland had been the leading Western power in the 1600s, and its bankers were the leading capitalists. In pursuit of profit, Dutch capital flowed to the British stock market, and thus the Dutch funded the rise of Britain, who subsequently eclipsed Holland both economically and geopolitically.
In this way British industrialism came to be dominated by wealthy investors, and capitalism became the dominant economic system. This led to a major social transformation. Britain had been essentially an aristocratic society, dominated by landholding families. As capitalism became dominant economically, capitalists became dominant politically. Tax structures and import-export policies were gradually changed to favor investors over landowners.
It was no longer economically viable to simply maintain an estate in the countryside: one needed to develop it, turn it to more productive use. Victorian dramas are filled with stories of aristocratic families who fall on hard times, and are forced to sell off their properties. For dramatic purposes, this decline is typically attributed to a failure in some character, a weak eldest son perhaps. But in fact the decline of aristocracy was part of a larger social transformation brought on by the rise of capitalism.
The business of the capitalist is the management of capital, and this management is generally handled through the mediation of banks and brokerage houses. It should not be surprising that investment bankers came to occupy the top of the hierarchy of capitalist wealth and power. And in fact, there are a handful of banking dynasties, including the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers, who have come to dominate economic and political affairs in the Western world. I refer to this elite clique as the banksters.
Unlike aristocrats, capitalists are not tied to a place, or to the maintenance of a place. Capital is disloyal and mobile – it flows to where the most growth can be found, as it flowed from Holland to Britain, then from Britain to the USA, and most recently from everywhere to China. Just as a copper mine might be exploited and then abandoned, so under capitalism a whole nation can be exploited and then abandoned, as we see in the rusting industrial areas of America and Britain.
This detachment from place leads to a different kind of geopolitics under capitalism, as compared to aristocracy. A king goes to war when he sees an advantage to his nation in doing so. Historians can ‘explain’ the wars of pre-capitalist days, in terms of the aggrandizement of monarchs and nations.
A capitalist stirs up a war in order to make profits, and in fact our elite banking families have financed both sides of most military conflicts since at least the first World War. Hence historians have a hard time ‘explaining’ World War 1 in terms of national motivations and objectives.
In pre-capitalist days warfare was like chess, each side trying to win. Under capitalism warfare is more like a casino, where the players battle it out as long as they can get credit for more chips, and the real winner always turns out to be the house – the bankers who finance the war and then decide who will be the last man standing. Not only are wars the most profitable of all capitalist ventures, but by choosing the winners, and managing the reconstruction, the elite banking families have been able, over time, to tune the geopolitical configuration to suit their own interests.
Nations and populations are but pawns in their games. Millions die in wars, infrastructures are destroyed, and while the world mourns, the bankers are counting their winnings and making plans for their postwar reconstruction investments.
From their position of power, as the financiers of governments, the banking elite have over time perfected their methods of control. Staying always behind the scenes, they pull the strings controlling the media, the political parties, the intelligence agencies, the stock markets, and the offices of government. And perhaps their greatest lever of power is their control over currencies. By means of their central-bank scam, they engineer boom and bust cycles, and they print money from nothing and then loan it at interest to governments. The power of the elite banking gang (the ‘banksters’) is both absolute and subtle…
“Some of the biggest men in the United States are afraid of something. They know there is a power somewhere, so organised, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”
— President Woodrow Wilson
The end of growth – banksters vs. capitalism
It was always inevitable, on a finite planet, that there would be a limit to economic growth. Industrialization has enabled us to rush headlong toward that limit over the past two centuries. Production has become ever more efficient, markets have become ever more global, and finally the paradigm of perpetual growth has reached the point of diminishing returns.
Indeed, that point was actually reached by about 1970. Since then capital has not so much sought growth through increased production, but rather by extracting greater returns from relatively flat production levels. Hence globalization, which moved production to low-waged areas – providing greater profit margins. Hence privatization, which transfers revenue streams to investors that formerly went to national treasuries. Hence derivative and currency markets, which create the electronic illusion of economic growth, without actually producing anything in the real world.
For almost forty years, the capitalist system was kept going by these various mechanisms, none of which were productive in any real sense. And then in September 2008 this house of cards collapsed, all of a sudden, bringing the global financial system to its knees.
If one studies the collapse of civilizations, one learns that failure-to-adapt is fatal. Is our civilization falling into that trap? We had two centuries of real growth, where the growth-dynamic of capitalism was in harmony with the reality of industrial growth. Then we had four decades of artificial growth – capitalism being sustained by a house of cards. And now, after the house of cards has collapsed, every effort is apparently being made to bring about ‘a recovery’ – of growth! It is very easy to get the impression that our civilization is in the process of collapse, based on the failure-to-adapt principle.
Such an impression would be partly right and partly wrong. In order to understand the real situation we need to make a clear distinction between capitalism itself, and the capitalist elite – the banksters. Capitalism is an economic system driven by growth; the banksters are the folks who have managed to gain control of the Western world while capitalism has operated over the past two centuries. The capitalist system is past its sell-by date, the banksters are well aware of that fact – and they are adapting.
Capitalism is a vehicle that helped bring the banksters to absolute power, but they have no more loyalty to that system than they have to place, or to anything or anyone. As mentioned earlier, they think on a global scale, with nations and populations as pawns. They define what money is and they issue it, just like the banker in a game of Monopoly. They can also make up a new game with a new kind of money. They have long outgrown any need to rely on any particular economic system in order to maintain their power. Capitalism was handy in an era of rapid growth. For an era of non-growth, a different game is being prepared.
Thus, capitalism was not allowed to die a natural death. Instead it was brought down by a controlled demolition. First it was put on a life-support system, as mentioned above, with globalization, privatization, currency markets, etc. Then it was injected with a euthanasia death-drug, in the form of real-estate bubbles and toxic derivatives. Finally, the Bank of International Settlements in Basel – the central bank of central banks – pulled the plug on the life-support system: they declared the ‘mark-to-market rule’, which made all the risk-holding banks instantly insolvent, although it took a while for this to become apparent. Every step in this process was carefully planned and managed by the central-banking clique.
The end of sovereignty – restoring the ancien régime
Just as the financial collapse was carefully managed, so was the post-collapse scenario, with its suicidal bailout programs. National budgets were already stretched; they certainly did not have reserves available to salvage the insolvent banks. Thus the bailout commitments amounted to nothing more than the taking on of astronomical new debts by governments. In order to service the bailout commitments, the money would need to be borrowed from the same financial system that was being bailed out!
It’s not that the banks were too big to fail, rather the banksters were too powerful to fail: they made politicians an offer they couldn’t refuse. In the USA, Congress was told that without bailouts there would be martial law the next morning. In Ireland, the Ministers were told there would be financial chaos and rioting in the streets. In fact, as Iceland demonstrated, the sensible way to deal with the insolvent banks was with an orderly process of receivership.
The effect of the coerced bailouts was to transfer insolvency from the banks to the national treasuries. Banking debts were transformed into sovereign debts and budget deficits. Now, quite predictably, it is the nations that are seeking bailouts, and those bailouts come with conditions attached. Instead of the banks going into receivership, the nations are going into receivership.
In his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, John Perkins explains how the third world has been coerced over the past several decades – through pressure and trickery of various kinds – into perpetual debt bondage. By design, the debts can never be repaid. Instead, the debts must be periodically refinanced, and each round of refinancing buries the nation deeper in debt – and compels the nation to submit to even more drastic IMF diktats. With the orchestrated financial collapse, and the ‘too big to fail’ scam, the banksters have now crossed the Rubicon: the hit-man agenda is now operating here in the first world.
In the EU, the first round of nations to go down will be the so-called PIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain. The fiction, that the PIGS can deal with the bailouts, is based on the assumption that the era of limitless growth will resume. As the banksters themselves know full well, that just isn’t going to happen. Eventually the PIGS will be forced to default, and then the rest of the EU will go down as well, all part of a controlled-demolition project.
When a nation succumbs to debt bondage, it ceases to be a sovereign nation, governed by some kind of internal political process. Instead it comes under the control of IMF diktats. As we have seen in the third world, and is happening now in Europe, these diktats are all about austerity and privatization. Government functions are eliminated or privatized, and national assets are sold off. Little by little – again a controlled demolition – the nation state is dismantled. In the end, the primary functions left to government are police suppression of its own population, and the collection of taxes to be handed over to the banksters.
In fact, the dismantling of the nation state began long before the financial collapse of 2008. In the USA and Britain, it began in 1980, with Reagan and Thatcher. In Europe, it began in 1988, with the Maastricht Treaty. Globalization accelerated the dismantling process, with the exporting of jobs and industry, privatization programs, ‘free trade’ agreements, and the establishment of the regulation-busting World Trade Organization (WTO). Events since 2008 have enabled the rapid acceleration of a process that was already well underway.
With the collapse, the bailouts, and the total failure to pursue any kind of effective recovery program, the signals are very clear: the system will be allowed to collapse totally, thus clearing the ground for a pre-architected ‘solution’. As the nation state is being dismantled, a new regime of global governance is being established to replace it. As we can see with the WTO, IMF, World Bank, and the other pieces of the embryonic world government, the new global system will make no pretensions about popular representation or democratic process. Rule will be by means of technocratic global bureaucracies, which will take their orders, directly or indirectly, from the bankster clique.
In his book, The Globalization of Poverty, Michel Chossudovsky explains how globalization, and the actions of the IMF, created massive poverty throughout the third world over the past several decades. As we can see, with the dramatic emphasis on austerity following the collapse and bailouts, this poverty-creation project has now crossed the Rubicon. In this new world system there will be no prosperous middle class. Indeed, the new regime will very much resemble the old days of royalty and serfdom (the ancien régime). The banksters are the new royal family, with the whole world as their dominion. The technocrats who run the global bureaucracies, and the mandarins who pose as politicians in the residual nations, are the privileged upper class. The rest of us, the overwhelming majority, will find ourselves in the role of impoverished serfs – if we are lucky enough to be one of the survivors of the collapse process.
“Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government.”
— Henry Kissinger speaking at Evian, France, May 21, 1992 Bilderbergers meeting
The end of liberty – the global police state
For the past four decades, since about 1970, we’ve been experiencing a regime-change process, from an old global system to a new global system. In the old system, first world nations were relatively democratic and prosperous, while the third world suffered under police-state tyranny, mass poverty, and imperialism (exploitation by external powers). As discussed above, the transition process has been characterized by ‘crossing the Rubicon’ – the introduction of policies and practices into the first world, that were formerly limited, for the most part, to the third world.
Thus debt bondage to the IMF crossed the Rubicon, enabled by the collapse-bailout scam. In turn, mass poverty is crossing that same Rubicon, due to austerity measures imposed by the IMF, with its new bond-holding powers. Imperialism is also crossing the Rubicon, as the first world comes under the exploitive control of banksters and their bureaucracies, a power nexus that is external to all national identities. Unsurprisingly, police-state tyranny is also crossing the Rubicon: the imposition of third-world poverty levels requires third-world methods of repression.
The anti-globalization movement can be taken as the beginning of popular resistance to the process of regime change. Similarly, the police response to the Seattle anti-globalization demonstrations, in November 1999, can be taken as the ‘crossing of the Rubicon’ for police-state tyranny. The excessive and arbitrary violence of that response – including such things as holding people’s eyes open and spraying pepper into them – was unprecedented against non-violent demonstrators in a first world nation.
Ironically, that police response, particularly as it was so widely publicized, actually strengthened the anti-globalization movement. As demonstrations grew in size and strength, the police response grew still more violent. A climax of sorts was reached in Genoa, in July 2001, when the levels of violence on both sides began to resemble almost a guerrilla war.
In those days the anti-globalization movement was dominating the international news pages, and opposition to globalization was reaching massive proportions. The visible movement was only the tip of an anti-systemic iceberg. In a very real sense, general popular sentiment in the first world was beginning to take a radical turn. Movement leaders were now thinking in terms of an anti-capitalist movement. There was a political volatility in the air, a sense that, just maybe possibly, enlightened popular sentiment might succeed in shifting the course of events.
All of that changed on September 11, 2001, the day the towers came down. The anti-globalization movement, along with globalization itself, disappeared almost totally from public consciousness on that fateful day. Suddenly it was a whole new global scenario, a whole new media circus – with a new enemy, and a new kind of war, a war without end, a war against phantoms, a war against ‘terrorism’.
Earlier we saw how the orchestrated financial collapse of September 2008 enabled certain ongoing projects to be rapidly accelerated, such as the dismantlement of sovereignty, and the imposition of austerity. Similarly, the events of September 2001 enabled certain ongoing projects to be greatly accelerated, such as the abandonment of civil liberties and international law.
Before the towers had even come down, the ‘Patriot Act’ had already been drafted, proclaiming in no uncertain terms that the police state was here (in the USA) in force and here to stay – the Bill of Rights was null and void. Before long, similar ‘anti-terrorist’ legislation had been adopted throughout the first world. If any anti-systemic movement were to again raise its head in the first world (as it did, for example, recently in Greece), arbitrary police powers could be brought to bear – as much as might be necessary – to put the resistance down. No popular movement would be allowed to derail the banksters’ regime-change designs. The anti-globalization movement had been shouting, ‘This is what real democracy looks like’. With 9/11, the banksters replied: ‘This is what real oppression looks like’.
The events of 9/11 led directly to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and in general helped create a climate where invasions of sovereign nations could be readily justified, with one excuse or another. International law was to be as thoroughly abandoned as was civil liberties. Just as all restraint was removed from domestic police interventions, so was all restraint being removed from geopolitical military interventions. Nothing was to stand in the way of the banksters’ regime-change agenda.
“The technetronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society…dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values…this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior…Persisting social crisis, the emergence of a charismatic personality, and the exploitation of mass media to obtain public confidence would be the stepping-stones in the piecemeal transformation of the United States into a highly controlled society…In addition, it may be possible – and tempting – to exploit for strategic political purposes the fruits of research on the brain and on human behavior.”
— Zbigniew Brzezinski, Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, 1970
The post-capitalist era – new myths for a new culture
One of these days, all the threads will come together, geopolitically and domestically, and the world will change. It will be a new era, just as capitalism was a new era after aristocracy, and the Dark Ages followed the era of the Roman Empire. Each era has its own structure, its own economics, its own social forms, and its own mythology. These things must relate to one another coherently, and their nature follows from the fundamental power relationships and economic circumstances of the system.
Whenever there is a change of era, the previous era is always demonized in a new mythology. In the Garden of Eden story the serpent is demonized – a revered symbol in paganism, the predecessor to monotheism. With the rise of European nation states, the Catholic Church was demonized, and Protestantism introduced. When republics came along, the demonization of monarchs was an important part of the process. In the post-2012 world, democracy and national sovereignty will be demonized. This will be very important, in getting people to accept arbitrary totalitarian rule…
In those terrible dark days, before the blessed unification of humanity, anarchy reigned in the world. One nation would attack another, no better than predators in the wild. Nations had no long-term coherence; voters would swing from one party to another, keeping governments always in transition and confusion. How did anyone ever think that masses of semi-educated people could govern themselves, and run a complex society? Democracy was an ill-conceived experiment that led only to corruption and chaotic governance. How lucky we are to be in this well-ordered world, where humanity has finally grown up, and those with the best expertise make the decisions for the whole globe.
Capitalism is about growth, progress, and change. Under capitalism the virtues of ambition, initiative, and competitiveness are praised, because those virtues serve the dynamics of capitalism. People are encouraged to always accumulate more, and never be satisfied with what they have. Under capitalism, people need to have a bit of liberty, and a bit of prosperity, so that the dynamics of capitalism can operate. Without some liberty, ambition cannot be pursued; without some prosperity, how could accumulation be pursued? In the post-capitalist world, the capitalist virtues will be demonized. This will be very important, in getting people to accept poverty and regimentation…
The pursuit of money is the root of all evil, and the capitalist system was inherently corrupt and wasteful. Anarchy reined in the marketplace, as corporations blindly pursued profit, with no concern for human needs or for the Earth. How much more sensible are our production brigades, producing only what is needed, and using only what is sustainable. Capitalism encouraged greed and consumption; people struggled to compete with one another, to ‘get ahead’ in the rat race. How much wiser we are now, to live within our ration quotas, and to accept our assigned duties, whatever they might be, in service to humanity.
In this regime change, ushering in the post-capitalist era, we’re seeing a conscious orchestration of economics, politics, geopolitics, and mythology – as one coordinated project. A whole new reality is being created, a whole new global culture. When it comes down to it, the ability to transform culture is the ultimate form of power. In only a single generation, a new culture becomes ‘the way things are’. And what, we might inquire, might stand in the way of any future manipulations of the cultural regime that the bankster royal family might contemplate?
Ever since public education was introduced, the state and the family have competed to control childhood conditioning – and it is in childhood that culture is transmitted to the next generation. In the micromanaged post-capitalist future, we’ll most likely see the ‘final solution’ of social control, which is for the state to monopolize child raising. This would eliminate from society the parent-child bond, and hence family-related bonds in general. No longer is there a concept of relatives, just fellow members of the hive. The family must be demonized. Already, here in Ireland, there are daily TV spots dramatizing the plight of children who are being abused or neglected by their parents…
How scary were the old days, when unlicensed, untrained couples had total control over vulnerable children, behind closed doors, with whatever neuroses, addictions, or perversions the parents happened to possess. How did this vestige of patriarchal slavery, this safe-house den of child abuse – the family – continue so long to exist, and not be recognized for what it was? How much better off we are now, with children being raised scientifically, by trained staff, where they are taught discipline and healthy values.