By C H Smith
Contexts and Causes
If we are indeed entering a multi-decade Great Transformation, then as prudent as it is to stockpile a few months of food and supplies, that will obviously not get us through the Transformation, either as individuals or as communities. We need a response that will make the Transformation a positive one. Our goal is a sustainable, productive economy and a full appreciation of the fundamentals of life.
First, we must identify the fundamental “problems” and then, present solutions. Our goal is that the solutions become “obvious”.
Not all critiques manage this; the grandfather of cul-de-sac critiques was Marx, whose profound critique of capitalism did not produce any coherent alternative system.
It is also important to understand that every “solution” benefits someone, cui bono, to whose benefit?, and why we take such care in analyzing how “problems” are being framed by the status quo.
The intellectual framework which supports the Elite’s dominance and makes it apparently “natural” or “beneficial” is the Plutocracy’s key defense; Thus a defense of “capitalism” turns out to be a targeted grab-and-run exploitation of vulnerable resources and peoples.
Identity itself can be reduced; thus a citizen is reduced to “consumer.” As long as “consumers” benefit in any way, then what might be lost to workers, voters, citizens, etc. can be cast aside as meaningless.
Since profits are made by selling something to consumers, it’s extremely handy for all other roles and identities to be extinguished, diminished or marginalized.
In this sense consumerism is in effect the de facto state religion of the U.S.A., and it directly benefits the Elites who own or control the vast majority of the nation’s financial wealth, income, law-making machinery and productive assets.
Even as the economy slips into a Plantation-like structure populated by debt-serfs laboring under the illusion they are free spirits pursuing their own self-interest, the upper caste bureaucrats and technocrats labor to maintain the facade via the distraction of “entertainment,” the “staging” of “news” and the dispensation of “justice” even as “theft by other means” (looting, embezzlement, fraud, collusion, etc.) is the modus operandi of an unaccountable Plutocracy.
since free markets are inherently risky (that is, ontologically based on risk and return and shifting supply and demand), the Plutocracy and State functionaries/parasites both have compelling incentives to escape exposure to market forces via exemptions.
The point is that this process of persuasion/gaining compliance is not a conspiracy; it is a complex mixture of conscious and subconscious realignments of incentives and disincentives.
It isn’t corruption per se, simply the “rational response” to incentives and cost-benefit ratios embedded in the very structure of the system.
The middle class outside the “caste” of State technocrats is squeezed by Plutocratic and State over-reach; as they drop out then the taxes they paid to support the ever-growing State decline, eventually leading to the State’s insolvency.
structures (both political and intellectual) which once made sense are extended to absurdity/non-sense as the State and Plutocracy over-reach to sustain the status quo,
empires and States collapse when the costs far outweigh the gains