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    Global rebellion: The coming chaos?

    I wanted to share this article as I think it is spot on with regards to the current global economic crisis.

    Santa Barbara, CA - As the crisis of global capitalism spirals out of control, the powers that be in the global system appear to be adrift and unable to proposal viable solutions. From the slaughter of dozens of young protesters by the army in Egypt to the brutal repression of the Occupy movement in the United States, and the water cannons brandished by the militarised police in Chile against students and workers, states and ruling classes are unable are to hold back the tide of worldwide popular rebellion and must resort to ever more generalised repression.

    Simply put, the immense structural inequalities of the global political economy can no longer be contained through consensual mechanisms of social control. The ruling classes have lost legitimacy; we are witnessing a breakdown of ruling-class hegemony on a world scale.

    To understand what is happening in this second decade of the new century we need to see the big picture in historic and structural context. Global elites had hoped and expected that the "Great Depression" that began with the mortgage crisis and the collapse of the global financial system in 2008 would be a cyclical downturn that could be resolved through state-sponsored bailouts and stimulus packages. But it has become clear that this is a structural crisis. Cyclical crises are on-going episodes in the capitalist system, occurring and about once a decade and usually last 18 months to two years. There were world recessions in the early 1980s, the early 1990s, and the early 21st century.

    Structural crises are deeper; their resolution requires a fundamental restructuring of the system. Earlier world structural crises of the 1890s, the 1930s and the 1970s were resolved through a reorganisation of the system that produced new models of capitalism. "Resolved" does not mean that the problems faced by a majority of humanity under capitalism were resolved but that the reorganisation of the capitalist system in each case overcame the constraints to a resumption of capital accumulation on a world scale. The crisis of the 1890s was resolved in the cores of world capitalism through the export of capital and a new round of imperialist expansion. The Great Depression of the 1930s was resolved through the turn to variants of social democracy in both the North and the South - welfare, populist, or developmentalist capitalism that involved redistribution, the creation of public sectors, and state regulation of the market.

    Globalisation and the current structural crisis

    To understand the current conjuncture we need to go back to the 1970s. The globalisation stage of world capitalism we are now in itself evolved out the response of distinct agents to these previous episodes of crisis, in particular, to the 1970s crisis of social democracy, or more technically stated, of Fordism-Keynesianism, or of redistributive capitalism. In the wake of that crisis capital went global as a strategy of the emergent Transnational Capitalist Class and its political representatives to reconstitute its class power by breaking free of nation-state constraints to accumulation. These constraints - the so-called "class compromise" - had been imposed on capital through decades of mass struggles around the world by nationally-contained popular and working classes. During the 1980s and 1990s, however, globally-oriented elites captured state power in most countries around the world and utilised that power to push capitalist globalisation through the neo-liberal model.

    Globalisation and neo-liberal policies opened up vast new opportunities for transnational accumulation in the 1980s and 1990s. The revolution in computer and information technology and other technological advances helped emergent transnational capital to achieve major gains in productivity and to restructure, "flexibilise," and shed labour worldwide. This, in turn, undercut wages and the social wage and facilitated a transfer of income to capital and to high consumption sectors around the world that provided new market segments fuelling growth. In sum, globalisation made possible a major extensive and intensive expansion of the system and unleashed a frenzied new round of accumulation worldwide that offset the 1970s crisis of declining profits and investment opportunities.

    However, the neo-liberal model has also resulted in an unprecedented worldwide social polarisation. Fierce social and class struggles worldwide were able in the 20th century to impose a measure of social control over capital. Popular classes, to varying degrees, were able to force the system to link what we call social reproduction to capital accumulation. What has taken place through globalisation is the severing of the logic of accumulation from that of social reproduction, resulting in an unprecedented growth of social inequality and intensified crises of survival for billions of people around the world.

    The pauperising effects unleashed by globalisation have generated social conflicts and political crises that the system is now finding it more and more difficult to contain. The slogan "we are the 99 per cent" grows out of the reality that global inequalities and pauperisation have intensified enormously since capitalist globalisation took off in the 1980s. Broad swaths of humanity have experienced absolute downward mobility in recent decades. Even the IMF was forced to admit in a 2000 report that "in recent decades, nearly one-fifth of the world’s population has regressed. This is arguably one of the greatest economic failures of the 20th century".

    Global social polarisation intensifies the chronic problem of over-accumulation. This refers to the concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands, so that the global market is unable to absorb world output and the system stagnates. Transnational capitalists find it more and more difficult to unload their bloated and expanding mass of surplus - they can’t find outlets to invest their money in order to generate new profits; hence the system enters into recession or worse. In recent years, the Transnational Capitalist Class has turned to militarised accumulation, to wild financial speculation, and to the raiding of sacking of public finance to sustain profit-making in the face of over-accumulation.

    While transnational capital’s offensive against the global working and popular classes dates back to the crisis of the 1970s and has grown in intensity ever since, the Great Recession of 2008 was in several respects a major turning point. In particular, as the crisis spread it generated the conditions for new rounds of brutal austerity worldwide, greater flexibilisation of labour, steeply rising under and unemployment, and so on. Transnational finance capital and its political agents utilised the global crisis to impose brutal austerity and attempting to dismantle what is left of welfare systems and social states in Europe, North America, and elsewhere, to squeeze more value out of labour, directly through more intensified exploitation and indirectly through state finances. Social and political conflict has escalated around the world in the wake of 2008.

    Nonetheless, the system has been unable to recover; it is sinking deeper into chaos. Global elites cannot manage the explosive contradictions. Is the neo-liberal model of capitalism entering a terminal stage? It is crucial to understand that neo-liberalism is but one model of global capitalism; to say that neo-liberalism may be in terminal crisis is not to say that global capitalism is in terminal crisis. Is it possible that the system will respond to crisis and mass rebellion through a new restructuring that leads to some different model of world capitalism - perhaps a global Keynesianism involving transnational redistribution and transnational regulation of finance capital? Will rebellious forces from below be co-opted into some new reformed capitalist order?

    Or are we headed towards a systemic crisis? A systemic crisis is one in which the solution involves the end of the system itself, either through its supersession and the creation of an entirely new system, or more ominously the collapse of the system. Whether or not a structural crisis becomes systemic depends on how distinct social and class forces respond - to the political projects they put forward and as well as to factors of contingency that cannot be predicted in advance, and to objective conditions. It is impossible at this time to predict the outcome of the crisis. However, a few things are clear in the current world conjuncture.

    The current moment

    First, this crisis shares a number of aspects with earlier structural crises of the 1930s and the 1970s, but there are also several features unique to the present:

    The system is fast reaching the ecological limits of its reproduction. We face the real spectre of resource depletion and environmental catastrophes that threaten a system collapse.

    - The magnitude of the means of violence and social control is unprecedented. Computerised wars, drones, bunker-buster bombs, star wars, and so forth, have changed the face of warfare. Warfare has become normalised and sanitised for those not directly at the receiving end of armed aggression. Also unprecedented is the concentration of control over the mass media, the production of symbols, images and messages in the hands of transnational capital. We have arrived at the society of panoptical surveillance and Orwellian thought control.

    - We are reaching the limits to the extensive expansion of capitalism, in the sense that there are no longer any new territories of significance that can be integrated into world capitalism. De-ruralisation is now well-advanced, and the commodification of the countryside and of pre- and non-capitalist spaces has intensified, that is, converted in hot-house fashion into spaces of capital, so that intensive expansion is reaching depths never before seen. Like riding a bicycle, the capitalist system needs to continuously expand or else it collapses. Where can the system now expand?

    - There is the rise of a vast surplus population inhabiting a planet of slums, alienated from the productive economy, thrown into the margins, and subject to sophisticated systems of social control and to crises of survival - to a mortal cycle of dispossession-exploitation-exclusion. This raises in new ways the dangers of a 21st-century fascism and new episodes of genocide to contain the mass of surplus humanity and their real or potential rebellion.

    - There is a disjuncture between a globalising economy and a nation-state based system of political authority. Transnational state apparatuses are incipient and have not been able to play the role of what social scientists refer to as a "hegemon", or a leading nation-state that has enough power and authority to organise and stabilise the system. Nation-states cannot control the howling gales of a runaway global economy; states face expanding crises of political legitimacy.

    Second, global elites are unable to come up with solutions. They appear to be politically bankrupt and impotent to steer the course of events unfolding before them. They have exhibited bickering and division at the G-8, G-20 and other forums, seemingly paralysed, and certainly unwilling to challenge the power and prerogative of transnational finance capital, the hegemonic fraction of capital on a world scale, and the most rapacious and destabilising fraction. While national and transnational state apparatuses fail to intervene to impose regulations on global finance capital, they have intervened to impose the costs of the crisis on labour. The budgetary and fiscal crises that supposedly justify spending cuts and austerity are contrived. They are a consequence of the unwillingness or inability of states to challenge capital and their disposition to transfer the burden of the crisis to working and popular classes.

    Third, there will be no quick outcome of the mounting global chaos. We are in for a period of major conflicts and great upheavals. As I mentioned above, one danger is a neo-fascist response to contain the crisis. We are facing a war of capital against all. Three sectors of transnational capital in particular stand out as the most aggressive and prone to seek neo-fascist political arrangements to force forward accumulation as this crisis continues: speculative financial capital, the military-industrial-security complex, and the extractive and energy sector. Capital accumulation in the military-industrial-security complex depends on endless conflicts and war, including the so-called wars on terrorism and on drugs, as well as on the militarisation of social control. Transnational finance capital depends on taking control of state finances and imposing debt and austerity on the masses, which in turn can only be achieved through escalating repression. And extractive industries depend on new rounds of violent dispossession and environmental degradation around the world.

    Fourth, popular forces worldwide have moved quicker than anyone could imagine from the defensive to the offensive. The initiative clearly passed this year, 2011, from the transnational elite to popular forces from below. The juggernaut of capitalist globalisation in the 1980s and 1990s had reverted the correlation of social and class forces worldwide in favour of transnational capital. Although resistance continued around the world, popular forces from below found themselves disoriented and fragmented in those decades, pushed on to the defensive in the heyday of neo-liberalism. Then the events of September 11, 2001, allowed the transnational elite, under the leadership of the US state, to sustain its offensive by militarising world politics and extending systems of repressive social control in the name of "combating terrorism".

    Now all this has changed. The global revolt underway has shifted the whole political landscape and the terms of the discourse. Global elites are confused, reactive, and sinking into the quagmire of their own making. It is noteworthy that those struggling around the world have been shown a strong sense of solidarity and are in communications across whole continents. Just as the Egyptian uprising inspired the US Occupy movement, the latter has been an inspiration for a new round of mass struggle in Egypt. What remains is to extend transnational coordination and move towards transnationally-coordinated programmes. On the other hand, the "empire of global capital" is definitely not a "paper tiger". As global elites regroup and assess the new conjuncture and the threat of mass global revolution, they will - and have already begun to - organise coordinated mass repression, new wars and interventions, and mechanisms and projects of co-optation in their efforts to restore hegemony.

    In my view, the only viable solution to the crisis of global capitalism is a massive redistribution of wealth and power downward towards the poor majority of humanity along the lines of a 21st-century democratic socialism in which humanity is no longer at war with itself and with nature.

    William I. Robinson is a Professor of Sociology, Global Studies, and Latin American Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara. His latest book is Latin America and Global Capitalism.

    Global rebellion: The coming chaos? - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

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    Quote Originally Posted by "bsnub"

    In my view, the only viable solution to the crisis of global capitalism is a massive redistribution of wealth and power downward towards the poor majority of humanity along the lines of a 21st-century democratic socialism in which humanity is no longer at war with itself and with nature.
    We sure ain't going to like the alternative ........

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    ^And it is the alternative we are most likely to face.

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    dinosaurs .....

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub
    In my view, the only viable solution to the crisis of global capitalism is a massive redistribution of wealth and power downward towards the poor majority of humanity along the lines of a 21st-century democratic socialism in which humanity is no longer at war with itself and with nature.
    I stumbled over this part too.

    Aside from the partly socialist terminology I have to agree with the analysis. It reflects my view on the state of the world economy and society.

    However socialism has abysmally failed and if reinstated will fail again.

    The problem is largely that Nation States had big capital under some kind of control. The counterforce of the Soviet Block helped that a bit. The combination of the breakdown of the Soviet Union and globalization destroyed that balance in the Western Society. A new more international balance needs to be found.
    Last edited by Takeovers; 03-12-2011 at 03:43 PM. Reason: Edited typo.

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    The Four Horsemen & the Seventh Seal...here we go...

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    William I. Robinson is a Professor of Sociology, Global Studies, and Latin American Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara. His latest book is Latin America and Global Capitalism.
    So the far-left Loons are still inhabiting UCSB, eh?
    Don't know how I got out of there alive...

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    ^ This article is way above your reading/vocabulary level boontard. Stick to the cartoon and picture threads..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers
    However socialism has abysmally failed and if reinstated will fail again.
    Yes but we are soon to face the imminent failure of capitalism so then what is next?

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    There's no soon about it. Macro events unfold at a pace forgotten by the instant society.

    Decades. At least.


    The initiative clearly passed this year, 2011, from the transnational elite to popular forces from below.
    Wishful thinking.


    It is going to take pain way beyond the current level. But it's building.

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    ^ No doubt about it. It is pain that will come and it will be forced upon us all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub

    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers
    However socialism has abysmally failed and if reinstated will fail again.
    Yes but we are soon to face the imminent failure of capitalism so then what is next?
    The present system is the best we have come up so far, despite its present major failings. Reforms will come and succeed in the long run.

    Early capaitalism was reigned in at the national level before the present globalisation, that destroyed those checks and balances. Something to replace them will be introduced as nobody has a real long term interest to see the system fail. But it will take time and will be painful, no doubt.

    Call me the last optimist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers
    Call me the last optimist.
    Yes you are my friend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub
    In my view, the only viable solution to the crisis of global capitalism is a massive redistribution of wealth and power downward towards the poor majority of humanity along the lines of a 21st-century democratic socialism in which humanity is no longer at war with itself and with nature.
    I stumbled over this part too.

    Aside from the partly socialist terminology I have to agree with the analysis. It reflects my view on the state of the world economy and society.

    However socialism has abysmally failed and if reinstated will fail again.

    The problem is largely that Nation States had big capital under some kind of control. The counterforce of the Soviet Block helped that a bit. The combination of the breakdown of the Soviet Union and globalization destroyed that balance in the Western Society. A new more international balance needs to be found.
    It depends what you mean by socialism... Certain groups actively stigmatize words like socialism to mean communism, terrorism, marxism, etc...

    To me, socialism means a system that, at heart, has society and members within the society as paramount (not a 'system' itself or a small group within a system...). Thus, we can change the word socialism to 'socially conscious'; within such a system, a free market economy, gaining wealth, getting ahead through hard work and smart ideas, are all possible, indeed they are encouraged. What is not sustainable is greed at all costs where a minority and/or the system itself limit opportunities for the majority, and frame social discourse (and thus culture) with words such as 'communists', 'terrorists'; 'them and us' notions which are used as manipulative tools.

    Foxs news readers will be scared by (and rallied to fight by...) words such as 'democratic socialism', just as they are by words such as 'terrorists' (where the word 'terrorist' is defined by systems and/or minorities that control systems to mean anybody that attempts to harm the system or the minority controlling it - therefor one would not be shocked if the US financial sector, whoops I mean 'government' and 'senate'... were to rule the 99% a terrorist organization, or some similar such term as 'threat to national security').

    It comes down to equal opportunities, sustainability, social equality and social and global fairness - unfortunately for us Europeans and Yanks, we are going to have to give up the notion that we deserve more than other people from other continents due to the colour of our passports....

    Greed at all costs, the myth of 'growth at all costs' and established 'greed at all cost cartels' (typically groups working in a coordinated fashion made up of links within corporations such as pharmaceutical and energy, 'security and military' organizations, media, banking, the judiciary and government institutions) need to be eradicated - no easy job, but it looks like people are increasingly in agreement, despite the media onslaught of propaganda and misinformation.

    I suspect, sadly, that a lengthy and bloody war with Iran (or any other suitable candidate) is the next defense mechanism to be unleashed by the US/Israeli/European 'greed at all costs cartels' - and this really is something that people must stop.
    How do I post these pictures???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo
    It depends what you mean by socialism... Certain groups actively stigmatize words like socialism to mean communism, terrorism, marxism, etc...
    Socialism is by definition a step on the road to communism. You can't redefine that away.

    If you want someting else, don't use the word socialism.

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    This is the most salient bit of info in the article:
    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    William I. Robinson is a Professor of Sociology, Global Studies, and Latin American Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara. His latest book is Latin America and Global Capitalism.
    Amazon.com: Latin America and Global Capitalism: A Critical Globalization Perspective (Johns Hopkins Studies in Globalization) (9780801890390): William I. Robinson: Books

    here is the career-builder himself:
    William I. Robinson
    ...surfing a tide of global dissent fuelled by left-wing polemic journalists, with a wet and willing customer base to buy into it.

    B.A. Journalism (major)
    Numerous Journalist Reports in the Following Outlets (1980-1996)
    He's an activist and Chavista.

    https://www.facebook.com/people/Will...00001305098194

    Go and join his friends
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1F2i0rYMj8

    we are all figments of our own imagination.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo View Post
    It comes down to equal opportunities, sustainability, social equality and social and global fairness - unfortunately for us Europeans and Yanks, we are going to have to give up the notion that we deserve more than other people from other continents due to the colour of our passports....

    Greed at all costs, the myth of 'growth at all costs' and established 'greed at all cost cartels' (typically groups working in a coordinated fashion made up of links within corporations such as pharmaceutical and energy, 'security and military' organizations, media, banking, the judiciary and government institutions) need to be eradicated - no easy job, but it looks like people are increasingly in agreement, despite the media onslaught of propaganda and misinformation.
    Well summed up, BB

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    I haven't read any more of this thread than this.
    As the crisis of global capitalism spirals out of control, the powers that be in the global system appear to be adrift and unable to proposal viable solutions. From the slaughter of dozens of young protesters by the army in Egypt to the brutal repression of the Occupy movement in the United States,
    Because that pissed me of and I immediately realized whatever the source is or whoever the author, they're idiots or they they have an agenda.
    'crisis of global capitalism' WTF is that supposed to mean. It's not a crisis of 'capitalism'. It's a crisis of unutterable greed in some cases, unbelievable mismanagement in others, and all sorts in between, and even the American crisis and the Euro crisis are fundamentally different.
    And to suggest that their is some relationship between the Egyptian riots, which are the people rising up against a regime and the OWS, which is people rising up against a financial system is too ludicrous for words.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bettyboo
    It depends what you mean by socialism... Certain groups actively stigmatize words like socialism to mean communism, terrorism, marxism, etc...
    Socialism is by definition a step on the road to communism. You can't redefine that away.

    If you want someting else, don't use the word socialism.
    Words are contextual, they are redefined every moment of every day, dependent on POV, etc... Consider what terrorism meant to the American people before 9/11 and what it means now; consider what communism meant to Russians 20 years ago and what it meant to Americans 20 years ago; what it means to Russians now and what it means to Americans now...

    Socialism traditionally has core 3 meanings, only one of which is closely related to marxism...

    &, I already added a more specific term to avoid the typical right-wing fear of any political system stating in 'social...':

    "we can change the word socialism to 'socially conscious'"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Koojo
    And to suggest that their is some relationship between the Egyptian riots, which are the people rising up against a regime and the OWS, which is people rising up against a financial system is too ludicrous for words.
    I'd agree, it's quite a stretch (an untenable one I'd suspect...) to link these separate ideas together in this way.

    He could have reframed it, and said something along the lines of: "all over the world citizens have had enough of watching their incumbent 'elites' getting richer whilst everyone else gets poorer; the wealth gap widening in Eqypt as it is in America; uncompromising greed propagated by a distant and tiny element of society the root cause in both countries... Then the two ideas are brought much closer together, although they seem systematic of human nature rather than one particular recent political or social occurrence when they are brought into relief to one another...

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    'greed at all costs cartels' BB.

    after Iraq what chance is there.
    we have the smart greedy basterds
    and the average greedy muthers.
    non-greed was an idea that failed big time.
    soon most will be put back in their boxes and labeled.
    can't say i feel optimistic about Iran
    unless there are massive changes with Israel.
    it's all getting a bit scary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billy the kid View Post
    'greed at all costs cartels' BB.


    it's all getting a bit scary.
    Quite.

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    The rise of innovation in communications, media and technology has given repressed third world countries a view of the western lifestyle. Since their leaders can no longer hide it from them, the people have seen it, and they want it. Witness the arab spring and potential for for more popular uprisings.
    When the west tells them they can have it, but not right now, they are unlikely to be fobbed of with sweetners.
    There will ba cost for all this new social democracy, because an orderly transition now seems unlikely.
    The constant references to accumulation in the OP should really be changed to read "consumption".
    Wouldn't it be rather appropriate if the likes of Boon Mee were trampled in the rush for these new found freedoms?
    Heart of Gold and a Knob of butter.

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    Lets not let the old geezers hijack the thread. If you have a problem with the first few lines then just read the third part titled "The current moment".

    Goodness do not be so easily controlled.

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    socialism is the way forward, the usual nutters can't make the difference between communism and socialism

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