...Meanwhile, back in the UK, non conspiraloon acquaintances of mine who over the years have endured my predictions of financial and social Armageddon with long-suffering, and occasionally amused patience, have lately taken to conceding that yes I may have been onto something. A little over-the-top maybe but there was a kernel of prescience hidden in my, and a relatively small number of like-minded souls’, OTT ramblings
Fuck it, even the David Ickes and Alex Jones of this world have had to modify their speil to acknowledge the pre-eminent role that manipulation of finance capital plays in the world’s ills (an observation that was singularly absent earlier in their careers)
The growing awareness that something is very wrong with the world of money is now mirrored in the Official Narrative of what the future holds for the UK and other similarly fucked-up countries
Without so much as an apology for all the horseshit they've been shovelling for the last decade, the mainstream UK media have quietly binned the 'No More Boom and Bust' Official Narrative and replaced it with the ‘Austerity’ Official Narrative
As far as I can glean from reading the UK press and chatting with people in the UK, Austerity is supposedly going to take the form of some kind of wifi-enabled rerun of the 1970s. Fuck it, some of the older folks even get nostalgic about the prospect and talk of a Golden Age when people made do, all mucked in together and were better off for it
Hmmm, music and cinema were definitely better back then
... well, some of it was
1970s 2.0 will, however, not play out quite the same way in the UK for one or two small reasons...
- One billion more competing workers from India and the Far East
- No North Sea oil
- No coal
- Bugger all in the way of productive industry
- No organised labour worth its name to keep ordinary people's wages up with inflation when all that money printing really kicks in in earnest
- A lot less social cohesion
Things could easily get very nasty indeed, for a generation or more
Unless, that is, people get together and seriously overhaul the way they go about their lives
(On the positive side, the UK is still a world-leading producer of weapons, mercenaries, unnecessary, arguably harmful, drugs, Ponzi schemes and money laundering. So, fingers crossed, if by some chance there happen to be a few really tasty wars, global pandemics and colossal financial frauds in the near future the outlook for UK plc isn't entirely bleak)
Now, as it happens, I have been and continue to be optimistic about the UK’s, and other countries', long term future. The only fly in the ointment is that I believed and continue to believe that life is going to get really, really unpleasant in the UK, and other countries, in the short to medium term
Whilst chatting about this stuff with a chum the other day, she shared with me a favourite Engels quote...
'The state, therefore, has not existed from all eternity. There have been societies which have managed without it, which had no notion of the state or state power. At a definite stage of economic development, which necessarily involved the cleavage of society into classes, the state became a necessity because of this cleavage. We are now rapidly approaching a stage in the development of production at which the existence of these classes has not only ceased to be a necessity, but become a positive hindrance to production. They will fall as inevitably as they once arose. The state inevitably falls with them. The society which organizes production anew on the basis of free and equal association of the producers will put the whole state machinery where it will then belong - into the museum of antiquities, next to the spinning wheel and the bronze axe.'
Personally, I think that vision of the future needs updating a little to reflect the huge advances in technology that have been made since Engels' time.
Some anarchists would argue, as I referenced in my previous post, that you can view the countries of the world as a collection of human farms and the citizens of those countries as livestock...
and, if you pursue that analogy, it's an interesting exercise to ask yourself what do farmers do with their beasts of burden when they get their hands on tractors and other machinery?
Do the farmers let those animals graze and frolic in a quiet field somewhere or do they send them off for glue?
For that Engels' style vision of the future to work a lot of people are going to have to make, and demand, useful products that cannot be mass produced. There's a premium attached to labour-intensive produce, for sure, but if the benefits of mass production were more fairly shared people could afford it and would be happier and healthier for it
Now would be a very good time indeed for people to start digging a veggie patch and learning a honest, genuinely productive craft
...and not borrowing money to spank on tat, that would help as well
Though I'm not sure that I can see the State just sitting idly by if hordes of the newly unemployed start growing and making their own stuff and swapping it without any reference to paper money
Where’s the margin in that?