Tuesday, May 12, 2015

80 people own more than 3.7 billion.

I read at Global Research, citing OXFAM (one of the few charitable NGOs that really has a conscience) that the World's 80 wealthiest individuals own more than the less affluent 50% of the global population. Reality can be even worse because some very rich individuals such as monarchs are not included in the sources and the exact accountancy of their wealth is not fully clear anyhow. 

Another finding is:
The Credit Suisse Global Wealth Databook 2014 presents on its page 98, a global wealth pyramid, which indicates that the world’s richest 0.7% (35 million people) own $115.9 trillion, while the poorest 99.3% (4,665 million people) own $147.3 trillion. It also shows that the richest 8.6% own $224.5T (trillion), while the poorest 91.4% own only $38.7T. (Or, in other words: the richest 8.6% own 5.8 times as much as do the poorest 91.4%.)

Finally they mention that scientific research demonstrates that the USA is no longer a democracy but an oligarchy (pretty much like Russia). The power of the common people to influence policy in the USA is effectively almost zero nowadays. 

They don't say but much of that is because of private property of the mass media, which are concentrated in very few hands. These have globally rigged the market so media are not anymore profitable in most cases, becoming exclusively an investment for their influence, something every stinkingly rich oligarch must have but not because they make any profit, not directly, but because they serve to influence policy and politics in general.

It is the same in Europe and in almost every other place. I guess that the few exceptions may be found in Latin America, where a few countries like Venezuela or Bolivia can be considered truly democratic, with common people actually making a difference, or in Greece. 

Marx predicted it

But back to the economy: this horrible situation of extreme and growing inequality, of extreme concentration of wealth and power in very few hands, is exactly the predictable and actually predicted outcome of Capitalism in the "end of times" (so to say): an unproductive rentier oligarchy, every day more extremely financier and speculative and corrupt to the marrow is parasitizing the global economy. This minuscule group of hyper-rich cannot of course generate much demand (some luxuries but nothing otherwise), what actually plunges the real economy into catastrophe as the bulk of the people is deprived of even the most basic means of life (salaries that don't even pay the rent, you know the deal, you probably live through it in one or another form). 

The result, the unavoidable and already ongoing result is a dramatic implosion of the whole economy, produce that doesn't sell, even if people would like to buy it (but nope: they can't afford even the very basics), deflation that causes the collapse of even correctly managed productive companies, accumulation of the nominal wealth in the speculative-financial sector, a gambling residual economy that is absolutely unsustainable (more money invested in betting against the success of companies and countries than in favor of their success). No future at all for this scenario. I doubt it survives to 2020. 

But regardless of the sustainability, or rather total lack of it, of the current speculative global economy (or rather eco-chaos, because there is no nomos whatsoever in it anymore), the dramatic effects it is having and will have on the vast majority of the population can't be exaggerated: each month, each year greater and greater fractions of the global people are being pushed to the extremes of near-impossible survival, what causes desperate mass migrations, riots and what-not. Only the low level of class consciousness and popular organization prevent this situation from evolving into full fledged revolutions in more and more places. Mind you that the growing victories of "Bolivarians" or now also Syriza in Greece must be considered as revolutionary because they are active expressions of the extreme exhaustion of the peoples and their growing desire to try anything but this endless and hopeless plunder. 

Sometimes, rarely, even mercenary politicians, in Freudian slip, speak the truth. The Secretary General of the ruling People's Party of Spain, María Dolores de Cospedal, is one of those. In two occasions she was recorded reminding us "how hard they have worked to plunder the country", confusing the Spanish word sanear (to clean up) for saquear (to plunder, to loot).

And that's the truth: they are looting not just this or that country but the whole planet Earth. It's a bit like the flying party of Douglas Adams: until the last pack of chips is exhausted, until the whole planet underneath has become scorched earth... they will continue with the looting. 

Unless we impede it. Time to sharpen the pitchforks.

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