This, because of many reasons, will be a short discourse on a very complicated subject -- and is only attempted by me as a means of encouraging greater dialog and unity among ourselves and nothing else; I certainly do not consider it a fully developed historical thesis or political or economic analysis...I only hope that it will serve some purpose as an instigating communication to prompt all of us to look at the current situation as a consequence of years of historical developments.
Where do we stand -- that is where does the world itself stand in the era of expanding crises? That can only be examined by asking another question: Where did this begin?
Short answer, which will have to be sufficient for the moment, is that it began with the victory of the Union forces of the US settler colony over the Confederate, the slave-holding, element.
The slave-holding element were much more focused on their trade relationship with the mother - Europe; the Union wanted to engage in world commerce like the mother, it wanted to be a commercial power and it knew that this would mean manufacturing and general industrialization would have to be developed in the US. In many respects this split had always been there, only interrupted by the common aversion to the British crown and Parliament, which was resolved in what is deceptively called the American Revolution, but in fact was just an early form of actual UDI, Unilateral20Declaration of Independence -- or moving from a colony to a settler colony. But that UDI unity could only last so long. Immediately the states and their respective regions fell into constant feuding, exacerbated by the class struggle among the settlers, most evident in the massive debtors rebellion known as Shay's Rebellion; the persistent resistance of the native people to the steady encroachment on their lands by the settlers and of course the African anti-slavery insurrections -- as well as issues such as the creation of a federal bank corporation, the division of legal powers between the state and the union or at least the interpretation of same, the role of the arms of the state, the political and juridical aspects of the state -- the power of the executive vs. power of the legislature vs the judiciary and so forth an of course land and tariff disputes between the states, such as the Pennsylvania - Maryland, Pennsylvania - Delaware land disputes and the numerous tariff disputes as well as the problem of currency, what kind of currency, how many currencies (each state initially had its own) who would issue currency and so forth.
But the crisis over slavery quickly became the dominant point of contention in the settler colony -- and it was this problem, that is the problem of one region wanting to remain an agricultural aristocracy based on chattel enslavement of Africans and trade with Europe and other European dominated areas such as the Caribbean, and the other region looking to the20need to industrialize and compete with Europe around the globe. The latter position could not be achieved without the destruction of the slave-based economy and replacing it with "free" labor economy for various reasons, some of the most obvious being the slave would have no incentive to learn how to be a better worker in a factory since he she would see no real improvement in their lives, and of course the enslaved human being is much more likely to rebel against their lot, that a nominally free worker. Thus Africans in the majority, that is the enslaved Africans, represented a strategic threat to the Union goals and the emancipated African meant the end of the lifestyle of the southern and slaveholders in non-southern areas accustomed lifestyle.
As slavery grew larger and larger as the central issue, it spilled over into everything, for example expansion into areas such as the lands taken from Mexico, the lands purchased from Napoleon and so forth all were bedeviled by the question would these lands be free or slave?
When the union finally won, precisely because of their superior industrial base leading to greater production of war and basic goods -- and their superior communications both telegraph and railroad ...the US was ready to embark on expansion. But, the colonies had been bankrupted since the start of the revolt against Great Britain, and it continued to function in deficit for years after 1783...the Civil War exacerbated their condition...and hence the European financial c lass dominated the development of the US as it expanded, financing most of the railroads and so on.
However, with the emergence of a robust US form of imperialism in the 1890s, led by people like Teddy Roosevelt, McKinley, Gen Arthur MacArthur Sr. (father of Douglas MacArthur), cadres of conquest hungry business magnates and manned by the ever eager racist mass of settlers, the US moved into the game, so to speak, with the conquest of the Spanish colonies -- Cuba, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam...and it was on its way. By World War I, the US was powerful enough to almost overthrow the rule of the British and French when Wilson tried his magic at the conference on the Versailles Treaty, which the US had provoked by a massive propaganda campaign promising Germany a better deal which it could not deliver, because the British and French refused to go along with it...so the first effort to seize control failed, but not the next time around, after WWII, the clever move of FDR had obliged the British to relinquish their exclusive domination of the trade with the "British Empire" colony, because, she like the French had been devastated by the Germans. So for the next several decades the US ruled the roost...although you could argue that it began to fall apart even as early as the war against Korea (Korea and China really).
But for sake of the brief dialog, let us stipulate that the real break was the loss in Indochina to the patriotic forces of Vietnam...with that things started to go down hill very rapidly, politically and economically....today we see the cumulative affect the US Imperial adventure, the beginnings of a complete socio-economic collapse.
Here, take a look at what some are saying about it in the most recent news reports, first from one of their more persistently growing competitors in global matters:
"U.S. lending standards before the global credit crisis were "ridiculous," and the world can learn from China's more cautious system as it considers financial reforms, the top Chinese bank regulator said Saturday.
"Beijing curbed mortgage lending in 2003 and 2006 to keep debt manageable amid a real estate boom, while American regulators responded to a similar situation by letting credit grow, said Liu Mingkang, chairman of the Chinese Banking Regulatory Commission.
"'When U.S. regulators were reducing the down payment to zero, or they created so-called `reverse mortgages,' we thought that was ridiculous,' Liu said at the World Economic Forum in this eastern Chinese city. He said debt in the United States and elsewhere rose to "dangerous and indefensible" levels.
"Liu's comments were unusually pointed criticism of U.S. financial regulation for a Chinese official. They added to suggestions by countries that are under U.S. pressure to liberalize their financial markets that Washington's model might not be ideal.
"China has based its reforms on the United States but has moved gradually. It has kept its financial markets isolated from global capital flows, prompting complaints by its trading partners.
"As China made changes, Liu said, 'a lot of the time, we learned that what we had learned from our teacher the day before was wrong.'
"China's state-owned banks have avoided the turmoil roiling Western markets. Chinese banks hold bonds from failed Wall Street house Lehman Brothers, but they are a tiny fraction of their vast assets.
"Liu compared Washington's proposed $700 billion plan to revive credit markets to fast food and said the world needed to look at longer-term solutions.
"'Fast food is conve nient. This $700 billion package must ease the concerns and build up confidence. But if you only take this, it doesn't agree with your stomach. You should think about Chinese slow cooking and slow food,' he said, prompting laughter from his audience.
"Liu called for governments to create international standards and regulatory systems for globalized financial markets. He said Beijing has sig ned information-exchange agreements on financial regulation with 32 other countries since the turmoil began.
"Liu pointed to China's experience with real estate and the collapse of a stock market boom.
As stock prices soared, banks were ordered to make sure customers were not using loans or credit cards to finance speculation. As a result, Liu said, even though stock prices have plummeted 63 percent since the October peak, banks have suffered no rise in loan defaults.
"'We Chinese can share our own experiences with all the market practitioners,' Liu said. "Maybe our experience cannot be applicable to developed markets fully. But still, I think it might be useful and helpful to those in eme rging markets.
"The crisis is likely to increase the influence of China and other emerging economies in the world financial system..."
Chinese regulator calls US lending 'ridiculous'
by JOE McDONALD ,
Chinese regulator calls US lending 'ridiculous': Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
and from their European allies:
"In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy says the death knell has rung for freewheeling, U.S.-style capitalism. German's finance minister calls it downright 'dangerous.' Even the leader of more Wall Street-friendly Britain says financiers need closer watching, maybe on a global scale.
"What Europeans call, often with a hint of derision, the 'Anglo-Saxon' model of capitalism — with less rules, less government and, for years, more growth — is now being called fatally flawed as the financial crisis strengthens advocates of tighter regulation of banks and financial markets in Europe.
"It's a political shift that could recalibrate the economic direction of Europe as it braces and tries to survive the financial aftershocks from the earthquake that has rocked=2 0and destroyed financial institutions across the Atlantic.
The crisis has put new momentum behind measures to be unveiled by the European Commission on Oct. 1 that include plans to strengthen rules on the capital that banks must hold back and the way credit rating agencies are overseen. Other measures being pushed by some European leaders in response to the crisis include bans on short selling of securities and tighter controls on executive compensation. The European Parliament called this week for tighter controls on hedge funds and private equity investors, an idea so far rejected by top EU officials.
"Sarkozy, initially quiet on the crisis, in now proving among the most outspoken critics of the bankers and lenders who led Wall Street to disaster. He says they must punished, at least financially.
On the issue of executive pay, made even more of a hot-button topic by Wall Street's turmoil, he's given business leaders in France until the end of the year to agree to more "acceptable practices" or said he'll do so through parliament — which his party controls.
"'The idea of the all-powerful market, unconstrained by any rule or political intervention, is mad. The idea that markets are always right is mad,' Sarkozy said in a stinging speech Thursday, sounding mor e like a leftist on a soap box than the conservative he professes to be.
"The financial industry, he thundered, has 'perverted the fundamentals of capitalism.'
"After years of enduring calls from economists and corporate executives to free up their economies with a more hands-off, Anglo-Saxon style of governance, Europe's leaders have leapt at the opportunity provided by the U.S. financial meltdown to vaunt the merits of continental Europe's more interventionist traditions. There's been some quiet gloating in Europe, combined with real fear that the U.S. turmoil will freeze growth, push unemployment back up and make it tougher for nations and households alike to make ends meet.
"German Chancellor Angela Merkel said last week that the United States had been irresponsible to let major banking and credit institutions operate with too little government oversight.
"Merkel pointedly recalled that she tried to win support for greater transparency and regulation on international markets at the G-8 summit of world leaders in Heiligendamm, Germany, last year but that governments including that of President Bush did not heed her warnings.
"'In the beginning, there was no chance without people saying: 'Let the markets get on with it, we don't20need more transparency, and everything is working with rating agencies,' Merkel said.
"Now we have moved on — because America, and Britain too, are saying: ''Yes, we need more transparency. Yes, we need better standards for rating agencies.''
Merkel's finance minister, Peer Steinbrueck, went even further on Thursday, when he criticized what he called an 'Anglo-Saxon' attitude in the U.S. and Britain that encouraged risky lending and investment practices because of 'an exaggerated fixation on returns.'
"The argument used by these 'laissez-faire' purveyors was as simple as it was dangerous,' he told German lawmakers.
German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said Germany considered itself "vindicated," and said that in addition to ongoing efforts to ensure better liquidity and risk management, leading industrial nations should consider whether more action is needed.
Even British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, long considered a safe pair of hands when he ran the British treasury but now overseeing an economy tumbling toward recession, is playing the "told-you-so" card.
Speaking on the BBC, Brown called for more international cooperation in supervising the financial industry and reform of international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
"'This set of events is making people realize that some of the things that we proposed years ago, but we couldn't get consensus on, need to be done,' he said."
"Crisis boosts urge to regulate in Europe"
by GREG KELLER ,
Associated Press Writers Elle Moxley and Bob Barr in London contributed to this report.
Crisis boosts urge to regulate in Europe: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
So what happened to the mighty US, well they can be best described in reference to another historical period that of mid 19th century Europe, a Europe that was fixated with the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte's sudden rise to power in France. The leaders of the US can be considered a latter day replica of the leaders of Louis Bonaparte Society of December 10 Dictatorship, that is nothing more but murdering thieves and robbers in the guise of statesmen and men (and women) of letters. This is how Marx described the Louis Bonaparte mob:
"...But above all, Bonaparte knows how to pose as the Chief of the Society of December 10, as the representative of the lumpen proletariat to which he himself, his entourage, his government, and his army belong, and whose main object is to benefit itself and draw California lottery prizes from the state treasury. And he confirms himself as Chief of the Society of December 10 with decrees, without decrees, and despite decrees.
"This contradictory task of the man explains the contradictions of his government, the confused groping which tries now to win, now to humiliate, first one class and then another, and uniformly arrays all of them against him; whose uncertainty in practice forms a highly comical contrast to the imperious, categorical style of the government decrees, a style slavishly copied from the uncle.
"Industry and commerce, hence the business affairs of the middle class, are to prosper in hothouse fashion under the strong government: the grant of innumerable railroad concessions. But the Bonapartist lumpen proletariat is to enrich itself: those in the know play tripotage [underhand dealings] on the Exchange with the railroad concessions. But no capital is forthc oming for the railroads: obligation of the Bank to make advances on railroad shares. But at the same time the Bank is to be exploited for personal gain and therefore must be cajoled: release the Bank from the obligation to publish its report weekly; leonine [from Aesop’s fable about the lion who made a contract in which one partner got all the profits and the other all the disadvantages] agreement of the Bank with the government. The people are to be given employment: initiation of public works. But the public works increase the people’s tax obligations: hence reduction of taxes by an attack on the rentiers, by conversion of the 5-percent bonds into 4½-percent. But the middle class must again receive a sweetening: hence a doubling of the wine tax for the people, who buy wine retail, and a halving of the wine tax for the middle class, which drinks it wholesale; dissolution of the actual workers’ associations, but promises of miraculous future associations. The peasants are to be helped: mortgage banks which hasten their indebtedness and accelerate the concentration of property. But these banks are to be used to make money out of the confiscated estates of the House of Orleans; no capitalist wants to agree to this condition, which is not in the decree, and the mortgage bank remains a mere decree, etc., etc.
"Bonaparte would like to appear as the patriarchal benefactor of all classes. But he cannot give to one without taking from another. Just as it was said of the Duke de Guise in the time of the Fronde that he was the most obliging man in France because he gave all his estates to his followers, with feudal obligations to him, so Bonaparte would like to be the most obliging man in France and turn all the property and all the labor of France into a personal obligation to himself. He would like to steal all of France in order to make a present of it to France, or rather in order to buy France anew with French money, for as the Chief of the Society of December 10 he must buy what ought to belong to him. And to the Institution of Purchase belong all the state institutions, the Senate, the Council of State, the Assembly, the Legion of Honor, the military medals, the public laundries, the public works, the railroads, the general staff, the officers of the National Guard, the confiscated estates of the House of Orleans. The means of purchase is obtained by selling every place in the army and the government machinery. But the most important feature of this process, by which France is taken in order to give to her, are the percentages that find their way into the pockets of the head and the members of the Society of December 10 during the turnover. The witticism with which Countess L., the mistress of M. de Morny, characterized the confiscation of the Orleans estates 3 “It is the first vol [the word means both “flight” and “theft"] of the eagle” – is applicable to every flight of this eagle, who is more like a raven. He and his follower; call out to one another like that Italian Carthusian admonishing the miser who ostentatiously counted the goods on which he could still live for years: “Tu fai conto sopra i beni, bisogna prima far il conto sopra gli anni” [Thou countest thy goods, thou shouldst first count thy years]. In order not to make a mistake in the years, they count the minutes. At the court, in the ministries, at the head of the administration and the army, a gang of blokes of whom the best that can be said is that one does not know whence they come – these noisy, disreputable, rapacious bohemians who crawl into gallooned coats with the same grotesque dignity as the high dignitaries of Soulouque – elbow their way forward. One can visualize clearly this upper stratum of the Society of December 10 if one reflects that Veron-Crevel [A dissolute philistine character in Balzac’s novel Cousin Bette] is its preacher of morals and Granier de Cassagnac its thinker. When Guizot, at the time of his ministry, turned this Granier of an obscure newspaper into a dynastic opponent, he used to boast of him with the quip: “C’est le roi des droles” [He is20the king of buffoons]. It would be wrong to recall either the Regency or Louis XV in connection with Louis Bonaparte’s court and clique. For “often before France has experienced a government of mistresses, but never before a government of kept men.” [Quoted from Mme. de Girardin.] "
pp 132 -5, "The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte" Karl Marx, International Publisher Co., 1990
or online at 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. VII
This is what the US is now, a society run by the lowest, crudest of vile criminals...and that is saying something given the US history of robber barons, gilded age excesses and all other kinds of amoral decadence.
And this is why we are bound to beat them..if we have the courage and desire to do so...that is.