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Fri Dec 27, 2019, 08:22 AM

The Decade the World Went Backwards

Why Were the 2010s Such a Troubled Decade? Because the Global Economy Began to Fail Catastrophically — Just Like During the 1930s

... The 2010s were the decade that savegly regressive movements erupted around the globe — and rocketed to power in the most improbable places. Not just in war-torn poor states, or in failed and broken ones, which had never become wealthy democracies at all — but in the world’s richest and most powerful countries. A wave of hysterical, bellowing, fist-pumping hard-right fanaticism swept the globe — shattering the status quo. Of a centrism defined by American neoliberal ideals. This decade was the end of an age — and the beginning of another one. But the end of what — and the beginning of what?

...The world was going backwards. To when? To the 1930s, of course. The last time that capitalism blew a hole in the heart of the global economy, and created a wave of depressions. Only this time, many of the depressions were invisible ones. 50% of Americans struggled to pay the bills? 50% of Americans who got cancer would go bankrupt in a year or two? British living standards hadn’t risen in two decades? Good! Only the strong should survive! The weak deserve to perish. Let them. The logic — the illogic — the brutality, contempt, heartlessness, greed, and selfishness of capital had come to permeate the world’s thinking classes, too. Largely, most of the world’s intellectuals saw these invisible depressions as good things. And that was the final nail in the coffin. Wham! Revolution

Only — ironically, incredibly, stupidly, perfectly — it wasn’t the forward-moving revolution of Marx’s dreams, of Engel’s hopes, of Keynes’s quiet thoughts. It was the opposite of the global revolution of progress. It was a global revolution of regress. People had chosen to blame their problems on…hated others…but everyone was someone else’s hated other, too. Just as Brits blamed Europeans, who blamed Muslims, who blamed Americans, who blamed Mexicans. LOL — a global food chain of hate had arisen, in a colossal act of stupidity, hubris, and blindness. And yet nobody saw the irony. If everybody was blaming somebody else…who was also blaming somebody…how could anybody at all be the problem?

Nobody was the problem. The system was the problem. Capitalism was failing catastrophically and spectacularly as a global economy — unable to deliver higher living standards for something like 90% of the globe by now. In just the way greater minds had predicted it did and would cyclically, like Marx and Keynes. Never mind. Nobody remembered them. There were animals and vermin to hate, after all.

So the working class had its backwards revolution. Not towards progress, but towards regress. Hating others, of course, only costs a society things like expansive healthcare, retirement, education, transport, childcare, elderly care — because those are things had through unity and concern. But they are the very things the working class needs the most, to prosper. It’s in that sense these were regressive revolutions: they hurt the people who were part of them the most. It was the Trumpist and Brexiter who lost their jobs, whose life expectancy fell fastest, whose community was never rebuilt. Never mind — at least they had someone to hate. And what a delicious thrill that was. How it gave them the sense of worth and goodness they had been missing for too long.

The world had chosen a new destiny. Not forwards, but backwards. It had turn away from progress itself. It had rejected the idea of more for all, more rights, more public goods — for example, an education, income, or retirement for every life on planet earth. People increasingly didn’t want those things for everyone in their own societies — so how could the planet make progress towards a higher standard of living?

More at https://link.medium.com/BdKWqojaL2

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 09:21 AM

1. We need to figure out that we're all mutts.

Purity is for mathematics; the physical world is messy. Pure capitalism creates misery, so let's get back to finding the right mixture of everything to help every living thing thrive.

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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 10:13 AM

3. That simple

Neo-liberalism is all about enriching the wealthy and destroying the social good.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 09:56 AM

2. Another great post from Umair Haque

https://eand.co/the-decade-the-world-went-backwards-7031b59d108

He's put out one a day for the last few months. Not sure where all of his material is coming from but they seem very cogent and well-written.

If you’d asked the average American on January 1, 2010 “do you think there will be concentration camps…and kids in cages…in them…who are demonized as animals and vermin…by the President…in America…exactly ten years from now?” — well, they’d have laughed you out of the bar. And yet that is exactly what happened.

If you asked the average Chinese on January 1 2010, “do you think there will be a million people in concentration camps on in exactly a decade”, they’d have looked at you like you were crazy. And yet…

If you’d asked the average European on January 1 2010, “do you think that there will be Neo-Nazis in the Bundestag, and literal authoritarians and fascists contesting European elections…like the darkest chapters of history…all over again…in exactly a decade”, they’d probably have slapped you for being rude. But…

If you’d asked the average Brit on January 1 2010, “do you think that the nation will be gripped by a hysterical mania to leave the EU, which will consume whole years of politics, with all of Britain’s real problems being left in the lurch…in exactly one decade…”, well…the Brits are funny, depressing, wise people with a black sense of humour, so they might have nodded along and said “Of course!”

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 10:22 AM

4. Who knew so much of the working class would turn around, bend over, and

tell the republicans to have their way with them. They have been getting what they voted for - low wages, roll backs in worker rights and really shitty politicians.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 10:32 AM

5. Regulated capitalism with a socialist safety net is okay.....

Unregulated capitalism is bad.........

Faux-regulated capitalism where the government let's the capitalist write the regulations... that is a DISASTER. Welcome to drumpf's world. Business is right now racking up every dollar of profit it can from the tax scam cuts, buying back its own stock, employing people but not offering any sort of "trickle down" wage increases. They know the bubble is going to burst and when it bursts they will all be on their tropical islands sipping mai-tais while the middle class gets crushed even further to clean up their mess.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 10:37 AM

6. I don't see Obama's Presidency as a backward slide. Other events you can make a case. . . nt

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 11:08 AM

11. Obama started with a recession caused by Bush policies.

He did help to move forward but had to fight the Republicans at every turn. Screw all Republicans

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 11:39 AM

13. Carter, Clinton & Obama tried to push forward.

Repugs since Ike have done nothing but regress. They did the same after Teddy until The Crash. Every recession, except Truman's, happened under Rupug Rule.

Repugs have always been for unfettered capitalism. The should be called Regressivists because they aren't really Conservatives since conservatism means leaving things as they are, which is what the Establishment Democrats do. Only Progressives move us forward. Seems there currently are 3 philosophies but only 2 parties.

IMHO: As I've said before, America peaked with the Moon Landing and it's been downhill ever since.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 10:39 AM

7. Amen. The world has regressed so noticeably I

can't believe people aren't writing and speaking about it every day. All you have to do is watch the "news".

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 10:50 AM

8. K/R Umair's writing is oustanding. He has a Dec. 23 article on

how the Working Class Voted, but my browser won't let me access it.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 10:53 AM

9. The threat of fascism is not immaginary. I posted the 14 Characteristics of Fascism, by Dr. Britt.

This article by Lawrence Britt was published in 2003 which demonstrated that the Republican Party had chosen a path parallel to those of previous fascist dictatorships.

In addition to the fine analysis of this article, I would also like to bring attention to the collapse of unions that was masterfully engineered and accomplished by the elite in a propaganda campaign nationwide. They were to actually convince workers that the unions were their enemy. We all know the end result. Stagnate wages, cut or cancelled health care, job displacement and loss of guaranteed pensions. Labor had abandon those politicians who fought for them and the only voice to oppose the outright greed of the elite class that was growing rich at their expense. It was a clever campaign with slogans such as Right to Work Laws which in reality was a program resulted in their abandonment of the only workable obstacle to their economic enslavement. There was no longer powerful voices in congress to object to the wholesale disenfranchisement of worker's right to a decent share of the pie. They were as much a part of the elitists who were fleecing the sheep as those who had bought their loyalty with campaign funds.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 10:55 AM

10. I think it's comparable to the 1930s, but not because of the economy

The bigger issue is media. The 1930s saw the mass introduction of broadcast media to a population that was completely unready for it and quite naive to it. Similarly, decentralized ("social" ) network communications were dropped in the 2010s on a global population that was unready for and quite naive to them. So you see from Delhi to Dallas older people reading a story on their phone uncritically, and sharing it to their friends. Fortunately we don't yet have it as bad as India (lynch mobs are "organized" over WhatsApp there based on rumors about someone eating beef or making a pass at a woman of a different sect or caste) but the problem is the same: direct communication without previous gatekeepers, and a population that isn't ready to gatekeep for themselves.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 11:15 AM

12. Blame The Billionaires Not The Immigrants

Build a wall.

Between Wall Street Money and government.

What I keep telling my Trumpscum friend.

Remember when they blamed "Opportunity Zones" for Bush's recession?

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 11:42 AM

14. K&R

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Response to BeyondGeography (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2019, 03:38 PM

15. Dead On Truth

You have to hoodwink 30-40% of the populace to get where we are again.

Again it is laughable and maddening to hear democrats call a 2-3% tax rate hike on the ultra rich radically left wing.

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