Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Global Insurrection

by Jack_Popiel (writer), Colorado Springs, January 18, 2012

The utopian schemes of “globalization” and “free trade” have generated an increasingly unbalanced economic situation, weighed down with oppression, corruption and growing income inequality.

“The authorities are trying to respond but are running out of time. There is a danger of a revolution because in the conditions of a political desert there are no parties or politicians to channel this colossal social energy into a constructive solution”.

Nicolai Petrov, Moscow Carnegie Institute, December 2011 – Comment on the popular reaction to the official results of the Duma election.

“Revolution” is no idle word in Russia. Mr. Petrov, for his part, has worked at the highest levels of Russian government and media since the final years of the Soviet Union. Having lived through every upheaval the country has seen in the last two decades he knows what is going on.

His comments do not address an isolated case. In an interview published in France at the end of December, Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, similarly upbraided European political leaders for their inability to address the Euro crisis with any degree of effectiveness.

Other examples abound: failure to deal with corruption in India’ Parliament; debt ceiling fiasco in the United States; uprisings in the Middle East. Everywhere governments are sinking, and in some places already underwater.

Popular grievances are similar across the board: oppression, corruption, economic decay, lack of opportunity for young and old alike. This is global phenomenon, leading to a worldwide popular uprising. 2012 appears as a hinge year, when much of the near future will be decided. Elections are due this year in Egypt, Mexico, France, Russia and the United States. A change of leadership is due in China. Nowhere can calm and stability be now taken for granted.

The world is coming to grips with the consequences of economic and financial globalization, into which governments and economic leaders rushed headlong, lured by rosy promises of ever-increasing prosperity and peace. Instead they got:

  • A massive inflation of the financial sector, itself increasingly addicted to speculative ventures and systemic instability
  • Wholesale transfers of industries, resources and know-how to states most willing to “game the system” through mercantilist practices. Left behind is an economic desert.
  • Rising income disparity between the super-rich elites and the economically sinking populace, with a growing void where the middle class once was.
  • Entrenched corruption grounded in the merging, at the top, of political and economic interests.

The widening gulf between the elites and the general population has been compounded by technology, which in many cases has eliminated the “routine” jobs that traditionally provided the ladder to economic success. Up to the recent past the holders of such jobs were the perennial anchor of stability and of national service.

In the two decades since the fall of the USSR we have gone from “peace in our time” to a world in permanent crisis.

Can anything be done?

The solution does not rest with more international institutions and even greater “global integration”. It is precisely these institutions that have failed to foresee and prevent the crisis.

Nor is the answer to be found in the now sterile opposition between right and left, capitalism and socialism. The current situation already embodies the worst features of both: a bloated state with growing inequality; inefficiency with naked greed; stifling regulation and speculative license; oppressive security below with unlimited power at the top. Neither the state nor the market will save the day.

As Mr. Petrov points out, the “colossal social energy” of the budding insurrection must be channeled into constructive solutions. Utopian schemes will not do.

The only way goes through the institutions on which national life is founded; which are embedded, so to speak, in the people’s DNA. Each population knows what these are, and rediscovers them in times of trouble.

In the United States this communal bedrock is our ability, in times of great need, to lay aside individualism and join together, with full freedom of will, to defend and promote the national interest. At such times there is no conflict between government and citizens, but both become a single entity:

We, the people…

We have achieved this unity several times in our history. It is time to do it again.

About the Writer

Jack_Popiel is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on The Global Insurrection

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By Janey B on January 25, 2012 at 01:07 pm

Wonderful piece, but I wonder at "we the people." How I wish I could agree! At least part of the problem, to me, seems that there is no longer a "we the people" in the US. Keep in mind that the very rich have been buying up media outlets since 1945, with special zeal after Watergate. And do not EVER discount the value of propaganda. The US public is being fabulously manipulated by crony capitalist propaganda masquerading as "values." This is why Joe the Plumber takes a stand for the very people robbing him blind. Until we can turn the minds of the victims as to who REALLY is responsible for their economic misery, I beieve, sadly, that nothing will change. The rich lie. They always have, throughout history. If we cannot expose them for the liars they are and unite the people they are lying to, I see little hope for "we the people."

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