Sunday, 27 January 2013

The seeds of destruction: capitalism & social equity

Precisely when did the plutocrats peel themselves off from the rest of humanity?

If you go back 18 months, you come back to the England riots. Rioting youths broke into the owned properties of the super rich. Shopping chains, coffee empires (all not paying their fair share) saw widespread spasm of looting and disorder. Instinctively I like many others condemned this violence as demonstrative of an empty 'valueless' nature of a younger generation. 

But I've been reconsidering, and let me also give you pause for thought.

Did you know that in the US, UK the richest plutocratic billionaires saw their net wealth increase steadily since 2008? For the UK 1% they saw an average growth in their income of over 6% since then. And in the USA, 93% of all gains between 2009-2010 (precious little it must be said) went exclusively to the top 1%.
Add to this gross inequality the recent survey data evidence broadcast in the magazine 'New International' that two-thirds of millionaires and billionaires say they need to 'double' their income to "feel wealthy". Quickly a picture is emerging is it not?

Marx once said that Capitalism held within it the seeds of its own destruction. And we increasingly see evidence to this statement. Millionaires condemn the billionaires; who are gaining faster than they are. The middle classes bitch about the burden of paying for benefits they don't gain from at all... and then the poorest, and most vulnerable. Since 1979 neo-liberal economics has succeeded in pulling away the ladders offering them the little equality of opportunity they seek. 

So the riots. Those kids were just 'feral', 'yobs', 'valueless' ... right?

Am I the only one noticing there is lots of talk of the lack of 'morals' among the poorest... but no talk about the 'feral rich', and the lack of morals among the 'Chelsea & Kensington' lot?

I proffer this observation, albeit in hindsight, the riots was a sporadic and uncoordinated attempt at redistribution. Leaderless, platformless but knowing instinctively that their current share isn't equitable - the youth decided they had enough. 

Question: when will the rest of society agree too?

Did you know that after the Libor scandal, the British financial services industry lobbied politicians and regulators to the tune of $150m to prevent tougher regulations? Who really runs this country? 
To cite the late George Carlin, the politicians are "just there to give you the illusion of control. You aren't in control, your masters, your owners are"
Damn straight. The poorest get poorer, the middle earners foot the bill for increasingly eroded social security and the richest do fuck all except get wealthier. 

You have to admire the plutocrats skill really, they have managed to peel themselves off from the rest of humanity. Profiting even from the collapse of capitalism itself.

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