In between my studies, socialising and keeping up with the local blogosphere and news I have, of course, like most others been keeping an eye on the developing present crisis of the capitalist system. I am trying to find the time to review it and get down my analysis into a relatively short piece to post here, along with my thoughts of its impact for our people and what can be done. I’m not sure how long that will take me, as I have essays and stuff due as well which kind of takes priority funnily enough.
I’ll briefly say that I have been rather amused at the government leaders who just yesterday were ardent defenders of free-market capitalism seem to now be retreating to a broadly Keynsian social-democratic position. From my reading of the various press statements from Downing Street, the Francophone Convention in Quebec, Brussels and various articles here and there in prominent newspapers, I get the impression that a meeting will be convened shortly after the US election. This meeting will be as far as I can gather vey similar to the one at Bretton-Woods that led to the development of, amongst other things, the IMF and the World Bank. I reckon they will be looking at primarily overhauling – or re-tooling – those institutions in light of this current crisis.
What this means is hard to foresee. I get the impression that we will probably see attempts to strengthen globalisation (free trade), but I’m not sure yet. I’ll have to finish reviewing the current crisis and the newer statements before I can make a better stab at it.
Meanwhile, there have been some interesting and less-reported incidents that I think are in need of greater knowledge.
One of these is some comments coming from Westminster. Tony McNulty, a Labour Cabinet Minister was quoted as saying that: ”[The UK] will be the precursor to how deep and how long the recession will be”. He added: “We’re slowly getting to a stage where the slowdown may well turn technically into recession and then we’ll be talking about the nature and depth of the recession.” Another interesting comment from Westminster came from Colin Burgon, the Labour MP for Elmet: “What I see is the invisible hand of the market putting its hand into the pocket of the taxpayer and taking £50bn away and maybe putting two fingers up as well.”
From the union workers I have spoken to here – and I might add there is alot of industrial action lately in Scotland, with more on the horizon – the general sentiment has been along the lines of ‘So, New Labour is for socialism after all – socialism for the rich only;’ and ‘Don’t these fat cats preach to us about personal accountability all the time? Why don’t they practice what they preach? F@”$%*”!’ Suffice it to say there isn’t much sympathy for these ‘Masters of the Universe’ or much popular support for the bail-outs. At least not that I’ve found to be the case.
Much more disturbing, and all the more important have been a number of articles in the US media that I’ve been following. They really bring home what would appear to be the more immediate trickles of a possible deluge. I’m not going to comment on them here, maybe in subsequent postings, but I really think they need to be read to get an idea of what all this white-collar crime from Wall Street is translating into on the ground.
Maybe the above are isolated incidents. Maybe they are a beginning of something bigger. I don’t know. What I do know is that this system sucks, and the more I study economics here the more I find it to be totally irrational and crisis ridden, with their economist ideology being essentially one of capitalist utopianism.