Trickle-Up

Have you ever wondered how the billionaire Russian oligarchs and plutocrats managed to emerge so quickly from the ruins of the USSR? Why 1% of Chinese now control 50% of “communist China’s” total wealth and assets? Why the middle class in the US is dramatically shrinking? Why Canadians are going into debt just to keep abreast of the cost of living? Why austerity budgets are being implemented everywhere at a time of unprecedented global wealth? And why there is such growing outrage at the political and economic domination of the 1% over the 99%?

Have you considered that it is deliberate neo-liberal policy criminally and fraudulently sold to the public under false pretenses, and not because of the “virtuous circle” of free-market economics?

Such is, in any case, the suggestion of Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar in a recent article, A History of the World, BRIC by BRIC: Neoliberal Dragons, Eurasian Wet Dreams, and Robocop Fantasies.

The trickle-up process of capital accumulation and concentration that is wiping out the middle classes in Europe, Canada, and the US, and which even a neo-liberal cheerleader like Amy Chua could note in her book World on Fire,  isn’t just accidental I would suggest. Given the strange common pattern between what is happening in the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), the Eurozone, and in Fortress (or Bunker) North America, it would appear to be a common policy.

“Property is theft”, Karl Marx once stated, meaning by this not personal possessions, but economically productive capital. And observing the near gangsterism of current intensive capital accumulation, seemingly facilitated and abetted by the ruling parties of various states, it’s hard not to concur with Marx’s conclusion. “Trickle-up” — often debt-financed by middle-class householders pursuing their own self-destruction — seems to be deliberate policy.

Why that might be so is, perhaps, not difficult to comprehend. In order to compete in the “global market”, capital must become global-sized. To finance this kind of expansion of Big Capital requires fresh influx of new capital. Fresh influxes of new capital must come from somewhere to finance corporate global expansion. What further justification is needed to plunder the middle-class (since the poor have very little wealth to pillage anyway)?

Despite the crocodile tears that public figures often weep about the plight of the middle classes or working poor, their policies are designed to facilitate the transfer of wealth from an unconcentrated state to a concentrated state. Government has become, in effect, the hand-maiden and servant of a corporate elite whose motives are hardly distinguishable from those of a common street gang.

 

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3 responses to “Trickle-Up”

  1. LittleBigMan says :

    “The trickle-up process of capital accumulation and concentration that is wiping out the middle classes in Europe, Canada, and the US,”

    When I read that excerpt, images of a scene from, I believe, the “Return of the Jedi” episode of Star Wars, came back to my mind, where the so called “Death Star” is finally fully operational and is given permission to fire on the planet Alderran, evaporizing it. The scene shows multiple laser beams first focusing and gathering strength on a point in space (“capital accumulation and concentration”) before shooting toward the planet, wiping it out (“wiping out the middle classes”). After the attack, the only ones left around were the few elite who gave the command to destroy the planet and the foot soldiers that carried out the attack. The vision of Darth Vader, it seems, was a universe comprised of the elite and soldiers – with no one else left in between.

  2. Scott Preston says :

    Here’s an example of what might be termed “trickle-up” from today’s news — from The Toronto Star, http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1170817–you-pay-higher-hydro-bills-big-business-pays-less

    A fairly typical pattern, I would suggest, yet one which interested groups go to great lengths to obscure or obfuscate. The rationale would appear to be that, if you’re going to “swim with the sharks” in the global market, you must become… well… a shark; predatory. Here, the function of the captive state is to facilitate capital accumulation and concentration.

    You may recall Cheney’s infamous comments at the London Petroleum Institute speech he gave while still CEO of Halliburton. The full speech is posted online at http://www.energybulletin.net/node/559 . The most notorious lines in the speech were

    “Governments and the national oil companies are obviously controlling about ninety per cent of the assets. Oil remains fundamentally a government business. While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies, even though companies are anxious for greater access there, progress continues to be slow.”

    But, actually, Cheney neglected to mention one very important fact — the first “prize” was to capture the state. And here we begin to touch upon some of the concerns that Steiner expressed in 1919 in Basic Issues of the Social Question about the state becoming captive of economic powers. So, in Steiner’s terms then, we have indeed followed the path that he felt was most destructive.

    • Scott Preston says :

      Here, the function of the captive state is to facilitate capital accumulation and concentration

      .

      Just to expand upon that…. just observing the conduct of Canada’s present Harper government, it strikes me as being both pimp and shill for big business, whose policies are, effectively, to strip public assets and effect a wealth transfer from the public domain and middle class to corporations. The rationale for this is as given earlier.. Canadian corporations must become themselves “too big to fail” to compete, ostensibly, in the abstract economy of the global marketplace. To a great extent, therefore, “austerity budgets” are, in effect, wealth transfer budgets.

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