A few years ago it was the orthodoxy – the body of ideas that all right thinking people should adopt without question – to talk about the world as one big global village. Globalization a.k.a. Americanization would bring peace and prosperity, and universal Happyness.
Then came 9/11 – and then the GFC of 2008.
Nobody talks much about the Global Village any more, and DAVOS – the Olympus of the Gods of Globalization – was poorly attended this year.
When you reach your 80s, with a mind reasonably intact, then Karl Marx’s “History repeats itself, first time tragedy second time farce,” or the more elegant French saying, “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose,” resonate ever more strongly.
Do people remember these financial scandals of recent times?
– Investors Overseas Services
– Slater Walker
– Icelandic Banks
– Societe General
– Barings Bank
– Northern Rock
– Lehman Brothers
– Bernie Madof
– Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac
And all the other nefarious dealings – and at times sheer incompetence – of the financial community? The unacceptable face of capitalism.
Or further back in time:
– The Great Depression of the 1930s
And even further back:
– The South Sea Bubble of 1720
– The Dutch Tulip Mania Bubble of 1636
And yet we continue to try and build a global society based on get-rich-quick speculative bubbles (a.k.a. financial derivatives and hedge funds) so that the filthy rich can get even filthier. There is currently about 8 times more out in paper than actual assets exist in the world. And if I have sparked your interest read Loretta Napoleoni’s excellent book ROGUE ECONOMICS for a more detailed and informed analysis.
Last year the wealth of the top 1% in the world increased by 18%, and the wealth of the bottom 50% decreased by 10%. I guess you could call that balance? Does anybody wonder why Trump, and BREXIT – and even ISIS (DAESH). These represent the backlash to the ruthless greed of the people who contribute nothing, merely seeking to make money from money, and ruin the lives of normal people. And of course they will fight endlessly to maintain their supremacy. Hence the howls of rage against Trump and Brexit.
My book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” concerns the flotsam and jetsam that washes up in The Arabian/Persian Gulf. Expatriate American and British workers who are victims of the West’s ruthless and heartless financial system. And my work in progress, GULF II “The Beginning of Sorrows” concerns one man ruined and brought to the end of his tether by the GFC, the Global Financial Crash of 2008.
You can review and buy my book, THE GULF “Reaping the Whirlwind” and its fictionalizations of real events in the Middle East at:
Or on my publisher’s website: