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Tue Sep 1, 2020, 02:23 PM

'Why It Feels Like A New Dark Age Is Falling'; Paying The Price of Greed, Violence, Exploitation

'This is Why It Feels Like A New Dark Age Is Falling.' We’re Now Paying the Price for Decades of Greed, Violence, and Exploitation. By Umair Haque, Eudaimonia and Co, Aug. 28, 2020.

Here’s a tiny question. What do you think the world’s average income is? You might imagine the following, having heard the Western myth of progress over and over again. Once upon a time, there was a world of poor and starving people. Then came the industrial revolution. Bang! Suddenly, unstoppably- something very much like a miracle- the world began to get rich, exponentially. There was a magical hockey stick of “growth,” and billions were “lifted out of poverty.”

Here’s a tiny reality check. The world’s average income is…about $10,000. Startled? Did you think, perhaps, that the average would be something like $100,000? Not even close. Surprised? What does that figure say, mean, represent? What is the story it tells? I think the story it tells is about this: why everything seems to be imploding into a fireball of stagnation, climate change, inequality, & extremism. It explains why we at each others’ throats, even now. It says: we are still a poor world. And now we are in a classic poverty trap: we are fighting over what little spoils there are, more viciously each day, whether in trade wars like Trump’s or Brexit, or through fascisms big & small…instead of cooperating wisely, investing carefully, planting the seeds of our harvest in tomorrow, so there is greater abundance for us yet. But I’ll come to all that.

Let me begin with the first problem that story tells: depletion, exhaustion, climate change, mass extinction. Let’s translate that figure. We’ve spent centuries ravaging the planet. We’ve strip mined its minerals, drained its fossil fuels, polluted its oceans. We are currently killing off the only life we know of anywhere in the universe. All to…earn just $10,000 per person for the globe. Startled? But do you see the problem? The planet doesn’t have much more left to give us. We are- right now, this decade- on the cusp of catastrophic and severe and irreversible climate change. Our cities will drown. Mass migrations will ensue. Resource wars will erupt. The planet is out of things to give us- and yet we are still a poor world. So how are we going to grow richer? Are we?

We’re still a poor world. But our model of getting rich- global capitalism- has run out of juice. It’s costs are becoming more destructive & rampant & ruinous by the day. Bang! It feels like a new dark age falling. We have, in other words, hit the limits of a certain paradigm, way of “growth,” but more crucially, way of thinking, seeing, behaving. It’s time for us to dispel the myth that destroying our home made us- at least some of us- rich...

Read More, https://eand.co/this-is-why-it-feels-like-a-new-dark-age-is-falling-b0368138e3c5

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Reply 'Why It Feels Like A New Dark Age Is Falling'; Paying The Price of Greed, Violence, Exploitation (Original post)
appalachiablue Sep 2020 OP
SharonAnn Sep 2020 #1
appalachiablue Sep 2020 #3
appalachiablue Sep 2020 #2

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Sep 1, 2020, 07:10 PM

1. Excellent analysis. Thanks for posting.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 1, 2020, 08:05 PM

3. Haque is a highly perceptive thinker and excellent

writer especially for a person on the young side. A few years ago I was sensing that we might be heading into some kind of new 'Dark Ages,' but more in terms of the loss of Enlightenment and democratic values, culture, human and social advancement.

The distressing economic picture he outlines impacts all of those of course. Hopefully we can turn back the authoritarian movement here and begin implementing positive policies so desperately needed. A very tall order, but we'll see how things go within the next six months. There's still reason for hope, I believe.

Several other articles I've read by him in the last few months are also outstanding.



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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Tue Sep 1, 2020, 07:45 PM

2. On destabilization:

..That brings me to the next problem: destabilization. What happens to poor countries, which struggle to develop middle classes? Well, they struggle to become democracies. They seem to be caught, perpetually, in the chaos of authoritarianism, fascism, and so forth. You see the fascist tides ripping through the world — even the rich world? What’s driving them is poverty, too.
People even in rich countries aren’t seeing their incomes grow — while the mega rich are becoming the ultra rich. The result is waves of authoritarianism, as people seek strongmen to provide them stable lives and a sense of optimism again — and, more darkly, to exclude the subhumans and the impure from the social surplus (like Trump making military babies born of foreign soil no longer citizens).

This implodes into fascism because it leaves middle classes struggling, stuck, collapsing. We can see that happening all over the world — China, India, America, Britain. But fascism then leads to self-destruction: it doesn’t make societies richer. Societies, instead of investing in, say, hospitals, schools, or retirement, begin malinvesting in camps, Gestapos, secret trials, armies, bombs, missiles, kleptocracy, cronyism — just like America. When capitalism becomes fascism, countries grow poorer, not richer, and America is the prime example. But that also means that we have probably hit the limit now of how rich capitalism is ever going to make the world.

The story that the figure of $10,000 per person — in a world wracked by climate change, extremism, stagnation, and inequality — tells me is this: none of that is a coincidence. The system we have now could get us to this level — about $10K per person — that much is true. But only by sparking climate catastrophe, fascism, authoritarianism, eventual war, the fracture

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