MADRID (Reuters) – The European Central Bank must take forceful and unlimited steps to buy sovereign debt to help Spain reduce its refinancing costs and eliminate doubts over the euro zone’s future, Spain’s economy minister said in comments published on Saturday.
So let’s dissect this and see what this statement means.
Were the ECB to do this then it would be a monetization of the government’s profligacy in Spain. But the cost would fall upon all European nations and their people.
This is theft of property at gunpoint by unelected, unapproved people (the ECB) at the direction of a government beyond the victims’ borders (Spain.) The Spanish could not complain as they have the right to vote out of office the Spanish ruling class involved.
But the rest of Europe does not have any such right. This would be, literally, the theft of their property (the value of their accumulated money denominated in Euros) at the point of a gun.
The people of Europe, other than in Spain, are thus as of today entirely justified in both moral and legal terms to rise and depose the leadership in Spain by any means necessary, and since they cannot vote in Spanish elections this leaves them only two options: Depart the Euro or invade Spain and depose its government by force.
Luis de Guindos may not understand the implications of what he said, but the people of Europe damn well ought to. He has declared economic war upon the rest of Europe and European nations are well-within their rights to respond either economically or kinetically as they, and only they, see fit.
No nation has the right to demand that the citizens of another nation bear the brunt of their debts, nor the cost of their social and other government spending programs. There is nothing different in fact or in theory between invading a nation and seizing its property and seizing its wealth through other, back-door means. Both are identical in their intentions and effects; the people who have no voice, who are not represented, who have no right to kick out the leadership that is acting contrary to their wishes are effectively enslaved.
It was exactly this sort of economic slavery that led to the American Revolution, and with just cause. The Founding Fathers were right — they were being enslaved economically by Britain far more than in any other form or fashion. They revolted, as was their right, and now we have The United States.
A currency union agreed upon on the premise that the central bank shall not buy the debt of any of the sovereigns, that joint and several liability for debts shall not be imposed and that governments shall not run deficits of material proportion is a binding contract upon the participating governments. Those who then seek to unilaterally violate that agreement must understand that enforcement is the right of each and every nation and person who is so-aggrieved, and that aggression of this sort is legitimately seen as an act of war.
Spain’s economic minster, in short, has declared war upon the entire European continent.
Whether that will prove to be wise I shall leave for historians to write about when the dust finally settles.
One by one European countries continue to suffer at the hands of their leaders, the longer this goes on the more inept said leaders look.
There is something seriously wrong with a system that puts its government and cooperation’s above the needs of the people. We watch as this crisis slowly unfolds and with a sense of fear that the whole system is about to collapse but yet people still do very little. It seems people have the idea that if they keep their heads down and don’t cause ripples this will pass them by.
This is the last thing people should be doing. Governments are there to answer to the people when they do not they become a dictatorship , the same governments spend billions running all over the globe fighting wars on the back of freedom and democracy. While at home they impose the very thing they say they want to stop.
This view may seem extreme but it is too close to the truth ,wars are not only fought with guns and bombs but are fought economically .When a government imposes strict measures on its people due to the failure of organizations that they trusted and then bailed out with tax payers money it should be seen as an economic war on the people of that country.
What does the future hold for us? Many people have heard of agenda21 and other programs that governments have in place to manage a populace and guide it towards what they consider to be the best future.
The hunger games the recent film adaption of the bestselling book can give us a glimpse of where we could all be heading.
The following five passages taken from wwwe-flux.com give us some valuable insight into to economics and what might play out in the future.
The Future After the End of the Economy
1. Economics is Not a Science
It is the end of summer 2011 and the economic newspapers increasingly warn that there will be a double dip. Economists predict a new recession before there can be a recovery. I think they are wrong. There will be a recession—on that I agree—but there will be no more recoveries, no return to the process of constant economic growth.
To say this in public would be to invite accusations of being a traitor, a cynic, a doomsayer. Economists will condemn you as a villain. But economists are not people of wisdom, and I do not even consider them scientists. They are more like priests, denouncing the bad behavior of society, asking you to repent for your debts, threatening inflation and misery for your sins, worshipping the dogmas of growth and competition.
What is a science after all? Without embarking on epistemological definitions, I would simply say that science is a form of knowledge free of dogma, that can extrapolate general laws from the observation of empirical phenomena, and that can therefore predict something about what will happen next. It also a way of understanding the types of changes that Thomas Kuhn labeled paradigm shifts.
As far as I know, the discourse known as economics does not correspond to this description. First of all, economists are obsessed with dogmatic notions such as growth, competition, and gross national product. They profess social reality to be in crisis if it is does not conform to the dictates of these notions. Secondly, economists are incapable of inferring laws from the observation of reality, as they prefer instead that reality harmonize with their own supposed laws. As a consequence, they cannot predict anything—and experience has shown this to be the case in the last three or four years. Finally, economists cannot recognize changes in the social paradigm, and they refuse to adjust their conceptual framework accordingly. They insist instead that reality must be changed to correspond to their outdated criteria.
In the schools of economics and in business schools they do not teach or learn about physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy—subjects that deserve to be called sciences, that conceptualize a specific field of reality. Rather, these schools teach and study a technology, a set of tools, procedures, and pragmatic protocols intended to twist social reality to serve practical purposes: profits, accumulation, power. Economic reality does not exist. It is the result of a process of technical modeling, of submission and exploitation.
The theoretical discourse that supports this economic technology can be defined as ideology, in the sense proposed by Marx—who was not an economist, but a critic of political economy. Ideology is in fact a theoretical technology aimed at advancing special political and social goals. And economic ideology, like all technologies, is not self-reflexive and therefore cannot develop a theoretical self-understanding. It cannot reframe itself in relation to a paradigm shift.
The development of productive forces, as a global network of cognitive labor that Marx called the “general intellect,” has provoked an enormous increase in the productive potency of labor. This potency can no longer be semiotized, organized, and contained by the social form of capitalism. Capitalism is no longer able to semiotize and organize the social potency of cognitive productivity, because value can no longer be defined in terms of average necessary work time. Therefore, the old forms of private property and salaried labor are no longer able to semiotize and organize the deterritorialized nature of capital and social labor.
The shift from the industrial form of production to the semiotic form of production—the shift from physical labor to cognitive labor—has propelled capitalism out of itself, out of its ideological self-conception. Economists are dazzled by this transformation, as knowledge that had previously been structured according to the paradigm of bourgeois capitalism: linear accumulation, measurability of value, private appropriation of surplus value. The bourgeoisie, which was a territorialized class (the class of the bourg, of the city), was able to manage physical property and a measurable relation between time and value. The total financialization of capital marks the end of the old bourgeoisie and opens the door to a deterritorialized and rhizomatic proliferation of economic power relations. Now the old bourgeoisie no longer has power. They have been replaced by a proliferating virtual class—a deterritorialized and pulverized social dust rather than a territorialized group of persons—usually referred to as the financial markets.
So how can semiotic labor be valued if its products are immaterial? How can the relationship between work and salary be determined? How can we measure value in terms of time if the productivity of cognitive work (creative, affective, linguistic) cannot be quantified and standardized?
3. The End of Growth
The notion of growth is crucial in the conceptual framework of economic technology. If social production does not comply with the economic expectations of growth, economists decree that society is sick. Trembling, they name the disease: recession. This diagnosis has nothing to do with the needs of the population because it does not refer to the use value of things and semiotic goods, but to abstract capitalist accumulation—accumulation of exchange value.
Growth, in the economic sense, is not about increasing social happiness and satisfying people’s basic needs. It is about expanding the global volume of exchange value for the sake of profit. Gross national product, the main indicator of growth, is not a measure of social welfare and pleasure, but a monetary measure, while social happiness or unhappiness is generally not dependent on the amount of money circulating in the economy. It is dependent, rather, on the distribution of wealth and the balance between cultural expectations and the availability of physical and semiotic goods.
Growth is a cultural concept more than an economic criterion for the evaluation of social health and well-being. It is linked to the modern conception of the future as infinite expansion. For many reasons, infinite expansion has become an impossible task for the social body. Since the Club of Rome published the book The Limits to Growth in 1972, we have understood that Earth’s natural resources are limited and that social production has to be redefined according to this knowledge.2 But the cognitive transformation of production and the creation of a semiocapitalist sphere opened up new possibilities for expansion. In the 1990s the overall economy expanded euphorically while the net economy was expected to usher in the prospect of infinite growth. This was a deception. Even if the general intellect is infinitely productive, the limits to growth are inscribed in the affective body of cognitive work: limits of attention, of psychic energy, of sensibility.
After the illusions of the new economy—spread by the wired neoliberal ideologists—and the deception of the dot-com crash, the beginning of the new century announced the coming collapse of the financial economy. Since September 2008 we know that, notwithstanding the financial virtualization of expansion, the end of capitalist growth is in sight. This will be a curse if social welfare is indeed dependent on the expansion of profits and if we are unable to redefine social needs and expectations. But it will be a blessing if we can distribute and share existing resources in an egalitarian way, and if we can shift our cultural expectations in a frugal direction, replacing the idea that pleasure depends on ever-growing consumption.
4. Recession and Financial Impersonal Dictatorship
Modern culture has equated economic expansion with the future, so that for economists, it is impossible to consider the future independently of economic growth. But this identification has to be abandoned and the concept of the future rethought. The economic mind cannot make the jump to this new dimension, it cannot understand this paradigm shift. This is why the economy is in crisis and why economic wisdom cannot cope with the new reality. The financial semiotization of the economy is a war machine that daily destroys social resources and intellectual skills.
Look at what is happening in Europe. After centuries of industrial production the European continent is rich, with millions of technicians, poets, doctors, inventors, specialized factory workers, nuclear engineers, and so forth. So how did we suddenly become so poor? Something very simple happened. The entirety of the wealth that workers produced was poured into the strongboxes of a minuscule minority of exploiters and speculators. The whole mechanism of the European financial crisis is oriented towards the most extraordinary displacement of wealth in history: from society towards the financial class, towards financial capitalism.
The wealth produced by the collective intelligence has been siphoned off and expropriated, leading to the impoverishment of the richest places in the world and the creation of a financial machine that destroys use value and displaces monetary wealth. Recession is the economic way of semiotizing the present contradiction between the productive potency of the general intellect and its financial constraints.
Finance is an effect of the virtualization of reality acting on the psycho-cognitive sphere of the economy. But at the same time, finance is an effect of the deterritorialization of wealth. It is not easy to identify financial capitalists as individual persons, just as finance is not the monetary counterpart of a certain number of physical goods. Rather, it is an effect of language. It is the transversal function of immaterialization and the performative action of indexicality—statistics, figures, indexes, fears, and expectations are not linguistic representations of some economic referent that can be found somewhere in the physical world, as signifiers referring to a signified. They are performative acts of speech producing immediate effects in the very instant of their enunciation.
This is why, when you try to seek out the financial class, you cannot talk with someone, negotiate, or fight against an enemy. There are no enemies, no persons with whom to negotiate. There are only mathematical implications, automatic social concatenations that one cannot dismantle, or even avoid.
Finance seems inhumane and pitiless because it is not human and therefore has no pity. It can be defined as a mathematical cancer traversing a large part of society. Those who are involved in the financial game are far more numerous than the personal owners of the old bourgeoisie. Often unwittingly and unwillingly, people have been dragged into investing their money and their future in the financial game. Those who have invested their pensions in private funds, those who have signed mortgages half-consciously, those who have fallen into the trap of easy credit have become part of the transversal function of finance. They are poor people, workers, and pensioners whose futures depend on the fluctuations of a stock market they do not control or fully understand.
5. Future Exhaustion and Happy Frugality
Only if we are able to disentangle the future (the perception of the future, the concept of the future, and the very production of the future) from the traps of growth and investment will we find a way out of the vicious subjugation of life, wealth, and pleasure to the financial abstraction of semiocapital. The key to this disentanglement can be found in a new form of wisdom: harmonizing with exhaustion.
Exhaustion is a cursed word in the frame of modern culture, which is based on the cult of energy and the cult of male aggressiveness. But energy is fading in the postmodern world for many reasons that are easy to detect. Demographic trends reveal that, as life expectancy increases and birth rate decreases, mankind as a whole is growing old. This process of general aging produces a sense of exhaustion, and what was once considered a blessing—increased life expectancy—may become a misfortune if the myth of energy is not restrained and replaced with a myth of solidarity and compassion.
Energy is fading also because basic physical resources such as oil are doomed to extinction or dramatic depletion. And energy is fading because competition is stupid in the age of the general intellect. The general intellect is not based on juvenile impulse and male aggressiveness, on fighting, winning, and appropriation. It is based on cooperation and sharing.
This is why the future is over. We are living in a space that is beyond the future. If we come to terms with this post-futuristic condition, we can renounce accumulation and growth and be happy sharing the wealth that comes from past industrial labor and present collective intelligence.
If we cannot do this, we are doomed to live in a century of violence, misery, and war.
In conclusion if we want change if we want to secure a future we are the ones that have to do it. Current systems have been shown to be a failure we must now work together and find a new system one that works for all, the power should be with the people that is true democracy and freedom.