When the financial crisis of 2007-08 broke out, and pressure was brought to bear on the US Congress to act, the threatened consequences of not complying was the collapse of the world financial system. The same specter has been trotted out again and again each time another crack formed in the facade of financial stability. It's always the same: what's at risk isn't the multitudes of citizens whose tax money is extracted by government for the benefit of the corporations that control it, but rather the ultra-wealthy who run those corporations. We, the people, are expected to sacrifice our own welfare for the benefit of those who have sucked us dry.
But how could that be? How could a collection of corporations act in unison like that? If they were truly each out to maximize their own value, why would they collaborate like that? The answer, of course, is that they don't. If, as Mitt Romney asserted, corporations are people, then what governs those corporate "people' are the big banks. Corporations exist in a monetary ecosystem governed by a cartel of central banks, headed by the Bank for International Settlements. The megabanks of the Basel Accord have, over time, installed central debt-money banks into nations around the world, and it is they who really control the shots. National governments are pawns to them, and the people within those nations do not matter at all.
So, then, what are we to make of the listed aspects of government that Progressives oppose? What effect will it have if we replace the people in office now with others? Could that do any more than a paint job in repairing the foundation of a crumbling skyscraper? If we did manage to fill the legislature with firebrands intent on fixing what is broken, could they overpower the unlimited money spent to keep the system as it is? The damage has already been done. The system is broken, and the Supreme Court has guaranteed that it stays that way. We're doomed. So what can we do?
The global financial system that teeters on the edge of collapse, lest we bow to endless demands for blackmail from people who are, knowingly or not, doing its bidding, is getting more fragile by the day. We know that the price of stocks and of various commodities is continually being artificially managed to keep up the appearance of stability, so it's foolish to invest in them. After all, that's one of the troughs that the uber-rich drink our hard-earned wealth from. We know that the big banks have only their own interest in mind, so don't keep your money in them; move it to local credit unions instead. The rightists always talk about starving government; we can starve the fiscal vampires of our life's blood.
When you're threatened with the collapse of the very same financial system that has stolen your savings, and maybe even your home, don't come to its defense. Ask the same question that the masters of the universe ask: What's in it for me? But don't stop there. Ask why should I put myself at risk to protect the bottom line of a corporation? What would really happen if the global financial system were to collapse? How would it affect me personally? How would it affect the homeless people in my city? How would it affect the rich, how would it affect the middle class, and how would it affect the poor? If they want your support for some action, don't accept vague answers or hand-waving.
Imagine then, that the worst that we're threatened with actually does come to pass. Imagine that the global stock markets have crashed, and everyone with money invested in them was wiped out, including cities, states, retirement funds and mutual funds. Imagine that international commerce has ground to a halt, and products from faraway places no longer reach the shelves in your local stores. There would be a lot of fallout, a seriously large number of things that would simply stop working. The federal government could collapse. You could lose power if the plant could not get fuel. The companies whose servers keep the commercial Internet alive could pull the plug. And so on, and so forth. But what would happen to you? What would your personal world be like that next morning?
I don't dispute that things will get ugly. It will. I've even written a series of short stories about it. But look around. Is merely tolerable good enough?
P. Orin Zack