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Commentary Last Updated: Aug 3rd, 2010 - 00:32:50

Capitalism is dying a natural death
By Siv O�Neall
Online Journal Guest Writer

Aug 3, 2010, 00:19

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The curtain is going down on the lone-superpower world we know and it is now a most urgent question if and when and how forces for true democracy, human rights, peace and civilization can come out and dissipate the cloud that has spread over what was once an almost decent way of life.

The long-time descent into totalitarian capitalism and neglect for anything but corporate profit has just about finished its course. The party is over. Bankruptcy is next. What we don�t know yet is how far-reaching this economic freefall is going to be.

Predecessors such as the German Reich are brought to mind, but the similarities are far from parallel. The inhumanity is on the same scale but the hypocrisy is even worse than in the Nazi era. Hypocrisy rules the world. No slogans the rulers of the United States or the rest of the Western world pronounce as their ideologies and goals can be taken for their face value. Lies are the only things that come out of the mouths of our so-called leaders and that is the way they have set up the sordid game to their own advantage.

We the people are not supposed to be aware of how we are being treated like dregs to be discarded. The powers that be imagine that, as long as we are not told the truth about how we are being cheated out of our birthrights, we will lie down like whipped dogs and lick the feet of our torturers.

How far we have come from the somewhat civilized society that the Founding Fathers had in mind for the people of the thirteen states can only be measured if we consider the abysmal lack of basic needs and basic rights that is now the norm in the United States. In fact, there are no areas left in the year 2010 that have been spared from the general decline, cultural, economic or humane. Human rights are in tatters, the standard of living for the vast majority of American families can go nowhere but further downhill, the voices of the people are left unheard, the standard of cultural institutions, quality education and all the privileges that are linked to it are being starved out of existence.

The prostitutes of the right-wing media are making the utmost possible din so as to effectively drown the voices of reason. The general sluggishness of people is being enhanced by the non-stop propaganda fed them through the mass media, the fake view of the world as a place where satisfaction can only be had from over-consumption and from participating in the violence that is constantly displayed to us as a model of life via these mass media, the artificial uppers and downers that are offered to us by the entertainment industry to fill in the void of our souls.

The environment is being plundered savagely with no concern whatsoever for the survival of mankind, the survival of the planet and all its millions of different species. Biodiversity is a forgotten concept, except for the rare rebels who go against the stream and try to make their life-saving voices heard over the din of the machines of the killer corporations. Those predators are clearly only out to maximize their profits without the slightest concern for the catastrophic effects on the environment.

The majority of people never see what the real world is all about. How can they? The distorted �values� that money can buy are the only ones that are real to them.

A sunrise over the ocean, a maple leaf swirling in clear spring water, the little hand touching your cheek, the beauty of words coming from a writer�s soul -- what happened to the marvels of life? What happened to the real world?

So how did this Ersatz world come about?

Capitalism, the way it is playing out today, is incompatible with true democracy. This insanity, this absurd form of capitalism is altogether negating a humane system of running the world with any consideration at all for the people on the planet.

Free Market capitalism, the Chicago School of Economics professor, Milton Friedman�s brainchild [1][1] , globalization, the catchword for the Empire�s total domination over the rest of the world, Washington�s New World Order, enriching the very few and strangling the masses -- call it what you like but it�s a fantasy that is now finally crumbling. It all amounts to �screw the people� and �greed is the power that makes the world go round.� The religion in the U.S.A. is greed and it�s the only true religion there is.

However, the giant is crumbling. A fast-spreading gangrene is eating away at the interior of the nation, its elite-oriented and half-starved educational system, its sad excuse for a working healthcare system, its decaying infrastructure. The very souls of the people are withering away, as their jobs are lost, their homes are foreclosed, their constitutional freedoms no longer respected, civil rights being increasingly downplayed by the police and federal authorities.

All this is adding to and interacting with the economic meltdown and the destruction of the environment, which at this point doesn�t even guarantee a livable future for the coming generations.

A multi-lateral world cannot be stopped, as the giant is playing out its last trumps -- in case it has any left. Emerging countries are becoming emerged countries. There have not been many signs of awareness of this evolution of the geopolitical reality from President Obama, but rather a continuation of the Neocon imperialism, which will, if allowed a free rein, lead the planet to disaster. It will render the environment unlivable and thus destroy the way of life of the billions of people all over the world. With the environment in ruins, there is just no way back. The corporations whose greed is responsible for the current situation do not seem to realize or care about the direction in which they are steering our planet.

The Free Market was set up with unilateral power for the giant in the West and unheard of wealth for the very few as its unique goal. The tools would be the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, which were working on the single track of stealing the national resources of the greatest number of countries possible and squeezing money out of financially strapped nations by lending their governments money at a high interest rate. The ultimate condition for the nations in dire economic straits, was always the cutting back on social services, devaluing the national currency and increasing taxes on the already half-strangled people, thus starving the beast. Such is the ever-present major strategy of these Washington henchmen; the super-tools for U.S. world domination. And, of course, along came the accumulation of further wealth to add to the already astronomic wealth of the corporations. Madness! To what end?

Countries which had previously enjoyed a fairly good standard of living, but had gotten squeezed by the Free Market economy, free trade agreements, such as NAFTA, CAFTA, FTAA [2] and bilateral agreements, saw their relatively comfortable lives wither away, such as many Asian nations in the nineties during the Asian financial crisis [3]. Poor 3rd World nations were suddenly rendered more impoverished than ever before, having their national resources taken over by the multinational hydras. Wherever the heavy boots of the IMF and the World Bank get a foothold in a financially troubled nation, they manage to suck the blood out of the nation�s resources and their financial independence.

Free-market capitalism cannot possibly go along with true democracy. The concepts represent opposite poles in the running of the economic systems of the world. The most outstanding mark of run-away capitalism is its denial of any civic and human rights to the working people. Privatization, which is the principal gospel of this decadent world order will eventually make us pay for the air we breathe and the polluted water we drink.

If national elections are allowed to survive in order to make for a semblance of democracy, it is only because they have no real meaning the way they are run today. They constitute no real danger to the system that is running the world since they are strictly controlled by corporations that are hand in glove with the imperialists. They are part of the system.

And yet, a majority of U.S. citizens are under the impression that their votes count for something in the running of internal and external politics. They seem to be slowly waking up, however, to the fact that their opposition to the ongoing wars and the tax cuts for the wealthy count for nothing.

The creation of the lone superpower

At the end of World War II, with Europe exhausted and virtually powerless as a commercial partner, the U.S government saw clearly that they would have to shore up the war-damaged European countries in order to create a market place for their newfound wealth. The Great Depression was over at last thanks to the boost to the economy that the war had brought to the nation. Now the U.S. needed commercial partners. So the Marshall Plan was born. Later on came the Hollywood Superman Ronald Reagan and as his megalomaniac and expansionist plans for the country were set in motion, the kernel of the Neoconservative movement was simultaneously taking shape.

During all this time a handy bogeyman was created in the Communist fiend. From the McCarthy era in the fifties to the Kennedy fiasco of the Bay of Pigs attempt to invade Southern Cuba in 1961, to the horror of the Vietnam war, to the criminal meddling in various Central American and Latin American countries, it was always the Communist threat that served as a pretext for invasions of countries that stood in the way for U.S. power and expansionism. Those countries that could not be bought up or propagandized into cooperating with the Empire were simply invaded and taken over. A blaring exception was of course the great embarrassment of the Vietnam War, when no country was ever taken over. But that didn�t even teach the imperialists a lesson. The people, yes, but the psychotic neocons, no. If anything, the lesson drawn by the neocons from that insane war was on the contrary that the U.S. had to show the world that it was still the Lord of the planet, including outer space.

Invade, crush, kill and take over national resources was the trademark of U.S. foreign policies. Until the Soviet Union imploded and the vastly overblown propaganda about the giant in the east that was threatening to end the supremacy of the number one superpower finally became open for all to see. Ever since the end of World War II, with a powerful boost given to it by the Kennedy brothers, the Communist scare has been hovering over the Western world, based on a minimum of reality but above all hysterical propaganda. It was the octopus that was spreading its tentacles all over the world. If the Soviet military power was in fact impressive, it was because they put all their rubles into the arms industry and neglected the well-being of their people.

Fear and eternal war are the capitalist tools

When the Soviet Union disintegrated, the U.S. suddenly found itself bereft of a handy target to blame the evils of the world on. A new enemy had to be created and we all know how the �War on Terror� came about, based on the absurd theory, touted hysterically, that the Muslims were now all set to take over the Western world. Al Qaeda may well have been a creation by Washington but, as could be expected, it then became a reality [4]. Continuous war is of the essence to a superpower to sustain the fear that is necessary to keep the people in blinders. Hysteria and ignorance are the sine qua non for an eternal war. Non-stop propaganda is also a major tool without which the slogan �Pax Americana� would have been a laughing stock from its very creation. And of course the mass media played the game since they were being paid to do so.

Fear was the tool that was needed in order to fool the people of the world and draw a veil of emotional blindness over their minds. What made the creation of this visceral fear and anger at all possible was of course the attack on the World Trade Center and the following 9/11 hysteria. Without this enormous propaganda tool, the major wars that have followed, the total contempt for U.S. citizens� constitutional rights and the U.S. Constitution in general would have been just wishful thinking by the neocon thugs.

Of course we can�t know how much longer the �lone superpower� is still going to be breathing. It is now on life support and we can only vaguely guess what the world is going to be like after the colossus stops breathing. No words of reconciliation to the rest of the world by President Obama will save the shipwreck that is the United States of America.

What arrogance, what hubris, to believe that the United States would be able to create the millenary Reich where all other nations would be willing allies, due to the propagandized �cultural, moral and military superiority� of the Master behemoth. If not allies, they would become subdued and subservient because they would have lost their internal strength, as was the intention with Iraq, Afghanistan and probably now also with Pakistan. The Empire was going to appear so unbeatable that no other nation would ever be able to go against their formidable power. They were to be God on earth and everybody who looked into the shining light of their claim to divine power was going to see that resistance would be useless.

Wait a minute -- haven�t we seen this before? It seems to be a lesson never learned that even an Empire is bound for a swift fall when the winds turn and the scales fall from the eyes of the people in the rest of the world. And, as is perfectly obvious, the hubris was not born with the Neocons plotting in the underground during the Reagan presidency. It goes all the way back to the cruel near wiping-out of the native American population. Nobody can stand against the superpower. It is the bearer of God-given authority to rule the continent, to rule over war-torn Europe, to rule over the Americas, to rule over the resource-rich countries, to rule the world.

The psychopaths who created this absurd fantasy should by all rights be the first victims of the downfall of the Empire. In the long row of history�s empires, has there ever been one that so misjudged the power of national pride and the firm decision by the invaded people to go on running their own nation, running their own lives on territories that had been theirs for millennia?

The world is changing however. We will find out one day if it is already too late or if there is still a chance that people and the environment might be saved.

Asia is organizing to become increasingly independent of the West. They are creating their own economic cooperation organizations, such as AFTA  [5] (ASEAN Free Trade Area), born out of ASEAN, the �Association of Southeast Asian Nations,� a �geo-political and economic organization of ten countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.� This organization now includes ten countries located in Southeast Asia. [6]

The AFTA project was launched in 1993 with the objective of creating a Free Trade Area in eastern Asia. It undertook some bold measures during the Asian financial crisis in the nineties, which clearly showed up the need for mutual economic interdependence between Southeast and Northeast Asia.

In November 2001 an ambitious plan was submitted to create a regional bloc. It recommended that East Asia would move from a region of nations to a cohesive regional community where collective efforts would be made for peace, prosperity, and progress. They identified the following sectors for cooperation: economic, financial, security, environmental, social and cultural. [7]

China, the next superpower?

China�s economy is the third-largest in the world and it is the biggest holder of U.S. Treasury bonds. It is the top owner of U.S. government debt and it is also one of the �emerging nations� that can be said to have already emerged. It is now in a full-fledged position to become a superpower. The day the United States of America declares bankruptcy, China will probably be ready to take over in conjunction with other developed nations.

Right now, China is giving Obama the cold shoulder. It is a fact that trade with the U.S. has recently picked up, but basically China is economically so much ahead of the former superpower that they can well shrug their shoulders at the hypocritical demands that Washington puts forth. Who is to urge China to respect civil rights and to diminish pollution to save the environment? Or to convince China that there should be more equality of living conditions? Washington�s hypocrisy knows no limits.

Obviously we can not be looking forward to a world where one inhuman superpower would be replaced by another one. We are not blind to the kind of life we would be living under Chinese rule. But such a thought seems so far from realistic that the solution we have to look forward to as a new World Order would rather be a multi-lateral organization where no one power would have too much influence over the rest of the world.

As for the other emerging nations, such as India and Brazil, they still have a way to go. A low quality of education, an average low standard of living, faulty healthcare, a sadly insufficient fight against pollution and contempt for human rights are among the major problems for these countries, as well as for China. However, the United States could well be pointed to as equally lacking in every one of these areas. There is also a horrifying lack of equality in all these countries, but then again, the richest country of them all, the U.S. of A. shares the guilt of these only relatively wealthy countries.

Latin America is gathering strength

In another part of the world, there is Latin America that is currently fighting for its independence from the Empire. The birth of Mercosur, the Common Market of the South, took place on March 26, 1991. Since its creation including Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, Venezuela also joined on 17 June 2006. Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru currently have associate member status.

Panama and Mexico have also announced their intention to join Mercosur.

On the other hand, Venezuela has also initiated ALBA (a symbolic acronym since alba means dawn), Venezueal�s answer to imperialist free trade agreements (�Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas� or �Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra Am�rica�), which, to begin with, comprised Venezuela and Cuba. Later, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua have joined the alliance. Some islands in the Caribbean are also members. Honduras became a member in August 2008, but, interestingly enough, after the coup in June 2009 to overthrow President Manuel Zelaya, its membership was withdrawn.

On December 16, 2009, the Honduran congress met to withdraw the country from the ALBA, claiming a �lack of respect� from Venezuela since the country�s joining in 2008, citing in particular Hugo Chavez� remarks about a potential invasion of Honduras to restore Manuel Zelaya to office, after he was removed on 28 June 2009 in the 2009 Honduran coup d��tat. Withdrawal from ALBA was ratified by the Honduran Congress on January 13, 2010. Economic relations with Venezuela continue, including via Petrocaribe.�

Mercosur and ALBA are the Latin American answer to NAFTA, CAFTA and FTAA, the U.S.- sponsored so-called free trade agreements, which are for anything but free trade, constantly raising trade barriers against foreign nations for the profit of the United States.


The United States, the lone superpower is no more. The sooner the leaders realize this, the softer will be the fall when the giant finally breaks down. Barack Obama gave Europeans and many others some kind of hope for a change of path by the callous behemoth. But no such thing has happened and no such thing will happen. Only the downfall of the Empire can now save the world. Unless it is already too late.

Are we seeing the emergence of another kind of New World Order, one of less arrogance, one of multi-lateral cooperation? The world is crying out for a new order where life-and-death issues will be handled by all the world�s nations and not trampled on by one greedy colossus that imagines it is the monarch of the planet.

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[1] Friedman�s political philosophy, which he considered classically liberal and libertarian, emphasized the advantages of free market economics and the disadvantages of government intervention and regulation, strongly influencing the opinions of American conservatives and libertarians.� His influential book Capitalism and Freedom was published in 1962.

[2] La Riva/Puryear: Abolish NAFTA, CAFTA, FTAA, WTO, IMF, World Bank. Also see NAFTA/FTAA/CAFTA.

[3] Asia�s financial crisis -- There is no basis for the claim that the Asian financial crisis was due to a lack of sound economic fundamentals. The currencies of the affected countries were forcibly devalued and their financial systems were brought to ruin by the activities of speculators. The crisis has, however, revealed one glaring weakness: the absence of a lender of last resort for the region. (by Chandra Hardy) More about the Asian financial crisis at Third World Network

[4] The name �is now just a loose label for a movement that seems to target the west,� says Marc Sageman, a psychiatrist who has long studied terrorism networks. �There is no umbrella organisation. We like to create a mythical entity called [al-Qaeda] in our minds but that is not the reality we are dealing with.�

[5] �From the inception of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1967 to 1991 economic cooperation among its members was virtually non-existent. However, in January 1992 the leaders of the member states agreed to work towards an ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). Following an uncertain initial phase the leaders rededicated themselves in 1995 to an accelerated implementation of the (The Financial Times) AFTA agreement.�< (

[6] More about this geo-political and economic organization at ASEAN

[7] More information about ASEAN and AFTA at What Is Integration

Siv O�Neall is an Axis of Logic columnist, where this essay first appeared, and is based in France. Her insightful essays are republished and read worldwide. She can be reached at

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