Posted tagged ‘European Union’

EUROZONE’S BURNING, CONVENE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CONFERENCE!

September 15, 2015

EUROZONE’S BURNING, CONVENE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CONFERENCE!

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Magandang gabi! Good evening!

Eurozone is burning. Before the flames would reach infernal levels, the contagion effects thereof burning the other regions of the globe, a global financial conference should be convened most urgently.

The purpose of the conference would be to configure a new financial architecture. Such a policy architecture would then as guidepost to all nation-states and regional alliances (EU, trade regimes such as ASEAN, NAFTA, Mercosur, others) to follow.

In the absence of such a policy architecture, palliatives can only emerge from the board rooms of incompetent bureaucrats. Among such palliatives now arising are: (a) Merkel’s solution to regulate hedge funds operations (financial derivatives); and, (b) Obama & US Congress’ regulations of speculative excesses of its stock markets.

Such palliatives are merely piecemeal solutions, even as they are too partial and parochial. They weren’t derived from a comprehensive paradigm that could have generated clear explications of the financial/economic crises of our times. They are reactive rather than responsive. Absent a policy architecture, and the piecemeal solutions will only have short-run impacts, and will be folded up when “things will get better.”

The top agenda that must be taken up are:

  • Criminalize speculative excesses. Speculation has fueled bubble economies worldwide. Financial predators have emerged from the oligarchic quarters up North, who have played havoc on the equities and currency markets. If it will turn out beneficial to ban and criminalize hedge funds operations later, then so be it. Such vulture funds have no place in a civilized world where we witness poverty and hunger rising.
  • Tobin Tax cross-border transactions. In no way should unbridled cross-border transactions be allowed without taxation. A minimum Tobin Tax of 0.75% on all such transactions should be imposed. Higher tax on derivatives and commodities futures of 1.5% can also be agreed upon. The accruing tax revenues will then be turned over to the United Nations and attached agencies for their operations & maintenance budgets.

 

  • Condone fraudulent/usurious debts. Debts that are fraudulent or too usurious, notably those lent to developing economies, should be completely condoned. The same economies can then have a fresh start and breathing space for anti-poverty, jobs, and related social development efforts.
  • Abolish the Jurassic Fund (IMF). It is now time to re-assess the International Monetary Fund, leading to its abolition. It does not represent the interest of the member-states, but is rather a middle man peddling the interests of global financial cartels. Its top executives come from the ranks of the same cartels. It had imposed austerity measures on many developing economies, causing more hunger, poverty, low wages, and unemployment. This Jurassic Fund (to borrow from Walden Bello) must go!

 

  • Identify financial ‘White knights’. Authentic financial ‘white knights’ from among the emerging markets should be properly identified and urged to expand their operations. These financial groups can offer long-term financing at very low interest rates. The end-users should be authentic market players that are engaged in the productive sectors, which will end the practice of ‘white knight’ financing (such as the Yen Initiative Package) that lent money to financial cartels which in turn re-lent them at higher interest rates.
  • Ban banks from speculative pursuits. Commercial banks and development banks, or all banks for that matter, must be banned from engaging in speculative pursuits such as hedge funds, commodities, and ‘hot money’ operations. Banks must service the productive sectors and must infuse moral philosophy in their organizational cultures.

 

  • Abolish stock markets. Stock markets have never been instruments for wealth redistribution. They are filled with dirty operators. It’s now time to abolish them. In their stead should be instituted a direct link between investors and market players in need of fresh money, thus abolishing the stock trader as ‘middleman’. Reforming the stock markets isn’t the answer, but rather their abolition.

 

  • Institute gold reserve standard. The gold standard of the past was abolished, in order that gold be hoarded by a few cartels up North. It is time to institute a new form of gold standard serving as stabilizer and securitization instrument for currencies. The standard will eventually lead to a re-institution of currency control policy which redounds to a more stable global economy in the long run.

 

Let it be reiterated, that should the present situation be allowed to go on, with piecemeal parochial solutions carved out at best, a bigger global catastrophe will be in the offing. A more colossal nightmare is now unfolding, which we hope the Northern countries’ incompetent bureaucrats can see at all.

[22 May 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

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EUROPE’S BURNING!

September 6, 2015

EUROPE’S BURNING!

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

Europe is on fire. Save for those who choose to be blind, the Union is going through an incendiary economic burn. How far will the economic burning go, whether it will spread to a larger continental inferno, no one can tell for now.

Before the EU’s creation, welfare policies were prevalent from east to west of the continent. Liberal reforms then arose, commencing with the Tory’s (Thatcher era) wholesale adoption and social marketing of the same, and copied by the conservatives and liberals of the continent alike.

By the turn of the century, upon the commencement of the Euro, liberal reforms already saw the uncontrollable ascent of predatory finance worldwide. Liberalized financial-capital markets paved the way for their immanence.

Among those instruments created by the predators was financial derivatives. To recall, a decade back the derivatives markets were already awash with exposures totaling over $150 Trillion, with 36% of these in the hands of British financiers while 15% were in Americans’ hands.

By 2001, the alarming projection was leaked out that derivatives will be inflated to exceed $350 Trillions within the new decade. At a time when the global economy was producing past the $40 Trillion in Gross World Product or GWP, it was sheer madness to consider debt papers of past $350 that could meltdown the globe in case of a gigantic bubble burst.

Europe was already flat on its back for a straight two (2) decades since after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Periodic stagflations and recessions have seen the rise of poverty incidence and, consequently, the re-emergence of neo-fascist movements.

Being strongly tied up to the U.S. economy, it was not surprising to realize that a contagion of the U.S. recession will surely hit Europe, which did happen. The ugly side of the formula was the aiding of ailing banks that were badly affected by the crisis, an intervention that was flawed and immoral as it entails using taxpayers’ money to aid criminal bank speculators.

Barely out of the U.S. contagion effect, Brussels was shocked to see that a new fire had started within the Eurozone— Greece to be exact. As this was happening, Spain also began to sneeze & cough, as some of its own banks (notably Santander) spiraled down bankruptcy scale. Other member-economies were also having their own financial crucifixions going by the early part of this current year.

If we diagnose what’s going on in the financial sectors of member states, we can easily pinpoint banks as hotspot fire sources. They were heavily into speculative pursuits, with enormous exposures to derivative operations.

Just exactly how that happened can be traceable to certain acts in the North by the mid-80s. Commodities markets have sprung up on that decade, even as a global recession took place then, threatening OECD economies. Liberal reforms were already permeating diverse sectors, and within the backdrop of liberalization, financial derivatives and equivalent portfolios were launched in mass scales.

Banks shed off their previous stance of inhibiting themselves from speculative pursuits. Soon they’d find themselves investing into every speculative games they could lay their hands into, inclusive of hedge funds operations.

Now, to fast track to the present, economists estimate that EU’s aggregate derivatives are within the range of $180-$200 Trillions, estimates that seem conservative. Measure this against the gross domestic product of EU at $13 Trillions, and you would be driven to ask: just exactly where will Europe get the funds to pay the hedged financials in case of bursts and massive bankruptcies?

If all of the hedge funds investors would ask for a forced payment of their total of, say, $200 Trillions more or less, who would pay for such debts? Where will the money come from? Is it morally right to extract taxes from European workers to pay up for the dirty debt papers in case? Is it likewise morally right to impose wage cuts on workers who were not the culprits in the virtual economy game in the first place?

Concerned Europeans should better rethink the Euro and ask whether the new currency really worked for their welfare. It is now clearer that the Euro was a sell-out idea and project, that it was launched to satiate the insatiable pockets of greedy financiers represented by the top financial houses there.

And Europeans better see how silly it is to allocate taxpayers’ money worth $1 Trillion to bail out ailing banks and industries hit by the rising meltdown. For measured against total debt papers of $180-200 Trillions, $1 Trillion would be ridiculously paltry.

Yet another ridiculous intervention is the austerity measure imposed by the IMF on Greece. We’ve had so many precedents of the deleterious effects of such measures on developing economies that aimed at eventually graduating from IMF programs as a salvation measure in the short run. While emerging markets are getting out of a burning house (IMF & austerity measures), Greece voluntarily entered this house. Unbelievable!

As per reports reaching my focals, Germany had the greatest exposures to Greece’s banking sector, with exposures running to hundreds of billions of euros. British financiers, on the other hand, have their hands full in Spain’s banks.

It isn’t difficult to forecast that the fire in Greece could spread to other eurozone economies. Not even the UK, which decided to stay out of the eurozone, will be spared from the bonfire. Spain is almost there now, and who knows what country will be next.

If banks and industrial conglomerates will simultaneously burn in all of the member-states of the eurozone, with total aid claims of past the GDP of $13 Trillions, then Europe will be on the brink of a continental inferno.

Concerned readers better think for yourself whether Brussels and the bureaucrats do have the right answers to the raging problems of Europe. Poverty incidences are now hitting past the 20% mark in member countries, while massive lootings of the financial and currency markets by predatory financiers take place every day in the continent.

Well, let’s all wait and see for what happens. Let us hope that a mad Nero bureaucrat wouldn’t appear to orchestrate the burning farther to infernal scale. That would bring a new nightmare to the whole planet if it happens.

[Philippines, 20 May 2010]

BONAPARTISM: ‘TECHNOTRONIC’ CAPITALIST STATE IDEOLOGY

October 2, 2014

BONAPARTISM: ‘TECHNOTRONIC’ CAPITALIST STATE IDEOLOGY
Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Hail Bonaparte! Hail Empire! Hail new capitalism! Hail oligarchic Gods of Olympus! – Tomorrow’s slogans

Bonaparte is back today, I see him alive again. I don’t mean the personal Napoleon Bonaparte of yesteryears, I mean the state system built by Him the Emperor par excellence. Bonapartism is the hyper-convergence of all totalitarian systems of the past to the present. Old state ideologies are dying, some are already dead in fact (Old Bonapartism, Bolshevism), but a hyper-convergence of the totalitarianisms is happening….That convergence will congeal in New Bonapartism, the state ideology of the era lasting from World War III through those centuries of ‘technotronic’ capitalism of the morrows.

Let me clarify that ‘state ideology’, or the doctrine of state that will justify its essential governance, structures & rules, nay its philosophy, is distinct from mass ideology. The mass ideologies forthcoming may vary from one country to another, such as China’s seeming Marxist-welfare statist fusion, and the rising environmentalism that could be tomorrow’s most popular.

Mass ideologies can be allowed to germinate and take hold among the masses, provided that they support the state formation in a ‘social contract’ of corporatism. In the future population of cyborg Manchurian Candidates, mass ideology will be irrelevant and unnecessary, as behavior will be pre-planned and/or pre-programmed, and re-programmable.

What I am referring to at this juncture is STATE IDEOLOGY or philosophy. As you can see above, this New Bonapartist ideology may not have a foreign policy facet in it, since ‘foreign’ and ‘domestic/national’ has already been broken by globalization. The future state will be a GLOBAL STATE, remember, so the term ‘foreign’ is of noxious impertinence for a globalized or borderless state.

‘Foreign’ could mean, later, those states of intelligences from planets across the Milky Way and elsewhere, but let me not touch on that. I’d focus on the continental and global states, such as the EU, forthcoming North American Union, perhaps an Asia-Pacific Union too, and the Planetary Union or whatever.

Let me go through the essentials of Bonapartism, culling the premises from the pass but re-constructing it for the emerging context. Take note of the following briefer:

• Centralized, Authoritarian Governance: The former Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Phallangist Spain, and today’s China provided the models for this one. Napoleon Bonaparte only partly succeeded in experimenting on this one, and then he was overthrown. The New Bonapartist state will be sustained, like China’s, and will last for nigh 200-300 years perhaps as far as visible future is concerned. State Terror will be official ‘stick’ mechanism.

• Strong Central Institutions: Centralized authority doesn’t mean strong institutions. This is where China is weak. The Emperor Bonaparte of tomorrow will ensure that institutions will be (a) centralized and (b) strong. The link between the Continental and Platenary states will be a continuous one. Likewise will the thread of governance between the Planetary state and the local region- and city-states, the building blocks of ‘technotronic’ capitalist society.

• Strong Central Financial Institutions: How could one maintain an Empire without strong global bank, strong global currency, strong securitization system (gold standard will return)? Bonaparte knew well the importance of strong national banking for sustaining his Empire and wars. The Emperor Bonaparte of tomorrow will just need to replace ‘national’ with ‘global’ and the formula is complete. Yes, the gold standard is forecast to return, and is bound to back up the financial-monetary operations of the global state. Yes too, a global currency will be instituted, and will be strong as it is backed up by ‘global gold’ or precious metals/crystals and global reserves instruments.

• Strong Global Army/Police: As instruments of state terror, a (a) global army and (b) global police will be instituted. No such army nor police exists today, and necessity dictates that they will arise tomorrow. The individuals and units of these ‘stick’ institutions will be loyal only to the global state. Beyond the 2050s, cyborgs and robots will constitute the main forces of these enforcement ‘sticks’.

• ‘Bombard the Old World’ of Nations: Bonaparte’s favorite cliché is coming back. Napoleon’s old world was the kingdom, the nascent world was the nation. Today’s ‘old world’ is the nation-state, and the nations will be literally bombarded. In a sweeping World War III scenario, as much as 90% of the nations of today (of which there are 200+) will be dismantled. Those that will resist will face the wrath of the global state before 2050. Most likely, no more nation will exist beyond 2050. The new world of region-states and city-states will be in place. This new world will be the New Feudalism, as discussed earlier.

I guess I need to end there. Just five (5) features, remember. It is so easy to note them. They were Bonaparte’s formula for governance in the past, and they will be the standard formulas for the future ‘technotronic’ capitalist state. In previous articles, I already discoursed that capitalism cannot be revived without totalitarian tyranny, so I didn’t expound on that facet here. Let me now close the article at thus juncture.

Hail Bonaparte! Hail Empire! – tomorrow’s slogans

[Philippines, 23 August 2008]

SPARTACUS UNVEILED: TROUNCING BONARPIST EUROPE

August 17, 2010

SPARTACUS UNVEILED: TROUNCING BONARPIST EUROPE

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Hail Bonaparte! Hail New Rome! Hail the Empire!

Such slogans could very well be the reverb calls across Europe any one of these coming months. Bonaparte is coming back to Europe, beginning with the consolidation of the union and the implementation of a state ideology based precisely on the centralized institutions that Napoleon Bonaparte seeded during his halcyon days.

New Rome has arisen, with its center at Brussels. Its ‘wings’ are EU and USA (with Canada its client-state), two continents that face each other across the Atlantic like select guardians of the West. As already elaborated by this analyst in couples of articles, Bonapartism in a new form is the emerging state ideology of New Rome that is sometimes referred to as the 4th Reich.

“Bombard the old world to perdition” was the late Emperor’s agenda and directive on his enthused army. The old world today refers to the nation-states, and their destruction would mean the return to the powerful cities plus regions that would altogether bow obeisance to Brussels.

The new twist in Europe today, when it is burning economically upon the burst of bubbles in the de-industrialized south (Greece began it all), is the entry of the Jurassic Bank—the International Monetary Fund—into the Bonapartist game of the oligarchs. A salvation agenda comprising of saving ailing banks and imposing austerity measures on creditor countries is the swagger of the rather thuggish dinosaur, as we observed recently.

When a dinosaur institution is called upon to salve Europe’s problems, it is clear that the ‘handwriting on the wall’ of the old world of European nations has come. With cities and regions demanding return to old days of social privileges (evaporated by austerity measures), more riots are anticipated, thus justifying more draconian gendarme tactics enforced upon angry wage workers and professionals.

If the violent protests will continue and reach ‘critical mass’ in both southern and northern sectors of the union, then the rationale for a continental police state will arise. A New Bonaparte, whoever may this politician be, shall be catapulted phoenix-like to the nadir of totalitarian power, with the support of the union’s central and national parliaments.

As you can see, Bonapartism without a Bonaparte is an oxymoron. The maelstrom in the continent will continue to build up until the condition will be ripe for a totalitarian gendarme state. The maximum agenda of a New Bonaparte would be no less than “bombard the old world” of nations: eradicate them and replace them with pre-configured regions.

Such a move will deter whatever re-actions may come from the citizens to re-strengthen the bargaining positions of their respective nations and go back to the old national currencies. Necessarily, the assets of the national armies will be re-directed to Brussels that will serve as the central command, and the assets will include the nukes of UK and France.

Since the Roman pathos or spirit has been revived anew, with war pursuits (notably versus New Persia) on the menu of hawkish adventurisms, then Europeans can only but hope for the presence of a Mark Anthony who can battle the Emperor from within Brussel’s institutions. Wishful thinking, as in a totalitarian setting all the Mark Anthony wannabes will be either jailed or terminated. Like Mark Anthony of the last days of the Roman republic, dead, caput!

In the absence of a Mark Anthony in the continent, then Europeans can best leverage their strength via a new Spartacus. Let the Spartacists gel as a gigantic movement from the diverse grassroots and working class movements in the continent, and rest assured they can be the ones that can form the resistance.

Europeans better galvanize solidarity the quickest now as an anti-fascist front versus a determined Bonapartist oligarchy & technocracy. There is no better time to revive Spartacus than now. Reviving Spartacus after the Empire and neo-Bonaparte are in place will prove to be counterproductive and defeatist.

I hope that Europeans would wake up fast to recognize the dreaded dragon of Bonapartism rising so rapidly in their backyard. Only they can stop the new fascism from consolidating further and installing a new Emperor Bonaparte.

[Philippines, 30 July 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,
UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,
COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,
BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,
ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com%5D

SCUTTLE EU NOW, BEFORE 4TH REICH OPTION AWAKENS!

June 4, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang hapon! Good afternoon!

I have no wish to intervene in the internal affairs of Europe. However, judging by the flow of events in the continent, from the signing of the earlier treaties through the monetary union and the Lisbon Treaty, there has been a clear sign of concurring agreements without the benefit of public consensus.

True, there were debates about the formation of the Union from its earlier days as an energy coalition through the birth of the Eurozone and finally the Lisbon Treaty. But the signing of treaties has been a monopoly of bureaucrats and technocrats who do not the least show accountability towards the great mass of struggling Europeans. 

Now that the Eurozone is in trouble, which further threatens the continent with a gigantic crash that could be worst than the USA’s, the prospects of more Draconian measures of implementation and austerity measures imposed on member countries are getting more real. 

Let us just hope that the increasing chaos of events in the EU won’t lead to the dreaded hyper-inflation, an ailment that crippled the late Weimar Republic and paved the way for Hitler’s rise to power. Already, the doors of Europe are opening for new fascist movements arising, movements that could very well serve the interest of the bureaucrats & technocrats working for the fat financiers led by the House of Rothschild. 

If there is any unsolicited advise I can offer to the Europeans, it is this: scuttle the Union now while there’s still time. A gigantic maelstrom is gathering in your backyard, which could lead to the rise of a 4th Reich of sorts. 

Let me share to you a past blog article about the 4th Reich possibility. 

[Philippines, 24 May 2010] 

4TH REICH IS A TRANS-ATLANTIC 2-HEADED TOTALITARIAN MONSTER

 

Erle Frayne Argonza y Delago

Good morning, Fellows across the globe!

Let me continue to write awareness-raising materials about peace, cooperation and development, by focusing on the machinations of the financier oligarchs. The Empire is rising again, the logic being that it is a most fit governance machine for global oligarchic games and forthcoming conflicts.

Guessing gamers have been busy releasing speculations about the next financiers’ great war, and the state machinery that will undertake it. Lacking sophistication in political economy, the guessing gamers end up with superstitious sloganeering and fear-mongering, or reactive behaviors that hardly possess merit and serious attention by the more adroit minds of younger generations.

Following the historic patterns of Empire formations, it has always proved fruitful to wage synchronized conflicts and fatten the oligarchic purses in the process, if an empire formation would do the hot-work jobs for the oligarchs. The last Empire that did the massive aggression for the Anglo-Dutch oligarchs was dubbed as 3rd Reich by its created abomination, Hitler & Nazi movement.

The same Anglo-Dutch financiers, who control at least 80% of the world’s total financial flows, are itching to create a 4th Reich totalitarian state. It is time for a great war, the result of which will flatten the economies and enterprises of contending nations. The wrecked enterprises will then be bought at dirt cheap price by the same oligarchs, and the flattened economies funded back to life by the same financiers.

The question is, just exactly what oligarchic state formations to employ? The EU and USA each produce over 22% of the world gross product, or altogether produce 45% of GDP. The Anglo-Dutch financiers, on the other hand, control over 80% of the global financial flows. Using such data, it is very easy to see the congruence of continental economies and financier interests.

In my analysis, using a combination of institutional analysis and political economy, the combined EU-USA force would be excellent for creating the draconian 4th Reich. Of course, the possibility of a North American Union can be examined, but such a Union doesn’t have the purse power to leverage political strength, do understand this. On the other hand, the EU cannot impose its will on the USA without public dissent being aroused to hell fires, and so no USA-EU political integration is in the offing.

The web of institutional arrangements will see a mega-alliance of USA-controlled North America and a Brussels-based European Union. The trans-Atlantic alliance is a last-ditch effort of the same financiers to exhibit muscle power over the planet, and only the USA-EU  axis remains as the loyal consenter to the financier machinations.  Japan can still veer away from the axis, while the emerging markets’ giants—China, India, Brazil—are beyond the ambit of such machinations.

The institutional plan calls for the implementation of the final treaty in Europe, the Lisbon Treaty, that will see the advanced unification of the continent. Synchronically, a North American Union, with a common currency called Amero, will replace the NAFTA, complete the political unification process, and form the American bulwark of the new fascist axis. That done, the 4th Reich will be in place, rock-solid in armaments and awash with liquidities for more ambitious, gigantic war efforts.

Part of the governance innovations will be to abolish nations in both continents. Region-states will rise to replace the nations, each region being almost of equal population and size. With no more nations in Europe, the nuclear arsenal of France and UK will be placed in the custody of Brussels, thus transforming Brussels into a nuclear power overnight.

Transformed into police states, both continents will then wage population-control campaigns in the neighborhoods. Gangster groups will logically be deputized to augment police in searching for guns, drugs, insurgent evidences, terrorist cells, petty criminals, and other perceived enemies of the state. Those young ones engaging in binge drinking and sex orgy parties will also most likely be apprehended.

To accelerate public compliance toward the new order, riots can be engineered in cities across both continents. Food price hikes, oil price hikes, massive unemployment, social welfare cuts, overnight hyper-inflation are the most contentious issues that easily inflame quiet neighborhoods into angry urban mobs. Any high school student taking up a subject on sociology can very facilely see this possibility today. It has already been tried and tested across the globe in fact most recently.

While the continental backyards are being provided draconian order by police forces, the military assets will then flex their muscles for huge wars overseas. To ensure that competing regions and continents will be mowed down fast, inter-regional wars will be engineered. The Sunni-Israel versus Iran-Shiite war is now on the pipeline, waiting for a go-signal, a conflict that will see the weakening of the Semitic military establishments and economies, thus paving the way for less costly involvement there.

Other continents will surely see their own war fireworks fanned to the maximum most likely. It would be an instructive work to analyze and forecast the shaping of events there. For instance, the China-Taiwan and inter-Korean conflicts may ensue again on their 2nd phases. Japanese aggression may also be pursued on a 2nd phase, which could see the Japanese islands devastated with nukes combined with the Tesla Earthquake Machine to put an abrupt end to its zealous militarism.

To cap the article, it is a Trans-Atlantic 4th Reich that is now fast rising. How fast the citizens of both America and Europe can neutralize the abominations now shaping up in their backyards remains to be observed. One this is sure here: it doesn’t matter who will be president of the USA or EU. The financiers and their paid technocratic-political subalterns have already ensured that the oligarchy is in control of the situation.

[Writ 22 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

‘LATE’ CAPITALISM CRASHING DOWN ITS DEATH BED

May 30, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good evening!

The events in the Eurozone are now getting to be more alarming. Forecasters are now claiming that another round of recession is in the offing, as the bubble burst that began in Greece will spread to Spain, Ireland, and other member-states of the EU.

Will liberal capitalism continue to live a life that seems to hang in the balance? Or will capitalism need to restore itself through totalitarian means? What’s so wrong with the system that it just can’t be sustained enough?

Let me share to you past blog writings about the subject: ‘mad economics’ and the ‘demise of liberal capitalism.’

[Philippines, 23 May 2010]

‘LATE’ CAPITALISM ENDS IN CRASHING BLOW POST-‘MAD ECONOMICS’

Erle Frayne Argonza

Good afternoon!

At this moment, I’m sipping coffee contained in a pack that is sold for worth P130, or $3.00. The pack is one of the domestic brands of brewed coffee blends, ready for the drip coffee maker, of the Arabica and/or Robusta varieties. In economic parlance, this coffee is a commodity because (a) it was intended for exchange and not for the coffee producer’s consumption alone, and (b) money was used to acquire (purchase) it.

I have such deep fondness for coffee, as I acquired my coffee-drinking behavior as a childhood habit yet. In my hometown of Tuguegarao (city), Cagayan province (North Philippines), coffee beans were grounded into powder form and sold right inside the ‘wet’ market, was brewed using the local decoction techniques, and was consumed by people of all ages from pre-school to senior’s age. That was then, and that was how I learned to drink this beverage at age 5 more or less. I was hooked to the habit since then, even as I continued to drink milk that I still do till now.
Both coffee and milk are among my health formulas, and both are commodities.

The question I’m asking now is, will commodity-based economics survive the times ahead? Both coffee and milk will survive for sure, but will the money economy that underpins them survive as well? As to the broader world system of capitalism, will it survive too or is it in fact on its death knell today?

Capitalism was the last of the world systems that embodied the ‘money economy’ to which it properly belongs. With the opening of the 20th century, the socialist world system appeared on the social landscape and attempted to serve as an alternative to capitalism, but this experienced its early demise as its implementers found out that it cannot be sustained after all. Both capitalism and socialism are embodiments of the ‘money economy’ as it later turned out to be, they are just but two sides of the same coin: the ‘money economy’.

Socialism is gone, and no matter what attempts there may arrive to survive it in some other forms, this variant of the ‘money economy’ is gone. Now capitalism is all alone, and it is getting more real than virtual that it too is bound to crash a catastrophic end, and with its demise, the “last of the (economic) Mojicans” is bound to disappear (my apologies to Mojicans if my note sounds ethnically incorrect). And with capitalism’s demise, the whole of the ‘money economy’ folds up like unto a book that had reached its last chapter, and deserves more to be consigned to the archives of history.

The Frankfurt school thinkers, notably Jurgen Habermas, cogitated that capitalism’s life span was extended somehow, and was dubbed as ‘late’ capitalism in this last phase of the world system. In this phase, state planning and interventionism were infused into the system to extend its life. Before ‘late’ capital came the mercantile, free enterprise, and monopoly phases of this world system. Will there be another phase to capitalism after ‘late’ capital?

Before I answer that extension of life span, let me stress that ‘late’ capitalism shall end in the following process and manner:

· The re-introduction of liberalization—of free market and free trade principles—into ‘late’ capital shifted engagements away from production, the real foundation of the economy, to the sphere of predatory finance, thus producing the gargantuan ‘bubble economy’. The ‘physical economy’ of production transmogrified into the ‘virtual economy’ that produces no real value other than imaginary or delusional values. It is ‘mad economics’ in operation, no longer the ‘rational economics’ of mercantilists, classicists and neo-classicists.

· The ‘mad economics’ led to the yawning gap between actually produced values and the aggregates of financial derivatives and debts combined, to the extent that the former shrinks at a rapid rate relative to the latter. As bubbles burst from one commodity sector to another, leading eventually to a crisis of gargantuan proportion, all the more will production shrink, unable to produce values that can input into the demand functions for fresh money to pay for aggregate credits, primary debts, secondary debt obligations, and so on.

· The crisis will then move on to the further shrinking of production, tightening of credit sources, and hyperinflationary situation in utilities (notably gas & power), food, base metals and other vital commodities. Total economic collapse results from the foregoing.

· The economic collapse then leads to social unrests, turmoil, upheavals, civil wars, food wars, water wars, and possibly intercontinental wars such as another 3rd world war. The clash of world powers and their surrogate emerging markets will become the flames of a possible long war akin to the 30 Years War (c.1618-48).

Let me now end at that instance. Suffice me to proclaim that the death knell of ‘late’ capitalism and the whole of the ‘money economy’ of the last 2000 years or so are ending. The ‘non-cognitive economics’ of the Roman to feudal era, the ‘rational economics’ of the Renaissance to monopoly capital era, and the ‘mad economics’ of ‘late’ capital were markedly the underpinning mediation processes of that entire 2000-year epoch. The epoch and its last phase of capitalism is rapidly drawing to a close.

[Writ 22 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila.]

CAPITALISM’S DEMISE: WHAT WENT WRONG?

Erle Frayne Argonza

To all fellow men and women out there who may have deep fondness for the liberal capitalist model of economic adaptation, I hope that you can make some adjustments in your cognitive banks. Capitalism is not a permanent facet of human life, but merely one among various epochs that will come to pass. Only impermanence is sacrosanct in the cosmos, so please refrain from singing hallelujah to a world system that is on its death knell as I articulated in a previous article.

And please refrain from swallowing hook-line-&-sinker the contentious propaganda of Francis Fukuyama about the ‘end of history’, that accordingly history had concluded with the galvanization of liberal capitalism, that history makes no more sense. Fukuyama’s theory is a slapstick narrative of hyper-valuation of the ‘mad economics’ of late capitalism and hypo-statization of reality that has no relation at all to the real in the world out there. Fukuyama had taken as ‘real’ what is actually ‘virtual’, and froze time much like unto a fairy tale of timelessness, of history-less Nietzschean moment that is fit more for infants than for adult humans.

Fukuyama epitomizes the ‘mad economics’ of all those Pied Pipers of the global oligarchy for whom he works, and his discourse is akin to the ‘mad discourse’ so described by the late Michel Foucault. The ‘mad economics’ of Friedman, Hayek, Fukuyama, and all those technocrats who serve as processors and bagmen for the global oligarchy, is precisely symptomatic of that colossal ailment of a world system, and as we all know, madness can never salve ailments but rather hasten the system’s death. Caput! Blow your horns, prepare dirges to this Dead One!

Unless that you yourselves have become maddened by the seemingly infinite monies flowing unto your purses as you are among the beneficiaries of ‘late’ capital, unless that you are indeed now suffering from combined maladies of sociopathy and schizophrenia, unless that sanity had departed from thee forever, please heed the last plea of your own conscience where sanity had retreated: CAPITALISM IS DEAD! No amount of propagandizing, of contorted interpretations, can ever change the course of history at this juncture, as we are all headed for a TOTAL SYSTEM COLLAPSE in the months ahead. Read that please: MONTHS AHEAD, not years ahead.

What went wrong with capitalism? I’m sure all of you fellows knew what went wrong, do I even need to answer that? Your previous thinker mentors, among economists and sociologists, forewarned you all of the forthcoming demise of capitalism, but you paid nary an attention to those brilliant minds as you were so engrossed in your ‘conspicuous consumption’, behaving more like some infantile EATERS or as anthropoids rather than as thinking and spiritually evolving humans. You are all very much human, so please consistently behave like one, and begin by listening to the Inner Voice of your conscience, for that voice is your soul’s.

Let me summarize the diagnostics, forewarnings and/or prophecies of our thinker mentors from the West, and I’d stress WEST because there are some other thinker mentors from the EAST and SOUTH whose peregrinations are so recondite they are not so easily digestible. Let me just stress the WEST as this is what is common to us all. So let me re-echo the thinkers and their theories:

· Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels: The internal contradictions between the private nature of capital (ownership of means of production) and the social nature of production. The ‘crisis of overproduction’ and the ‘law of the falling rate of profit’ are attendant patterns. Social revolution results, then the alternative society will be constructed.

· Max Weber: Industrial capitalism’s granite product, the bureaucracy, led to dehumanization. He never forecast though whether this dehumanizing system can be sustained—but please read between the lines. (His contemporary Emile Durkheim had a similar observation about ‘anomie’ or normless state of urban/industrial society.)

· Thorsten Veblen: The end-phase of industrial capitalism is markedly pathological. ‘Conspicuous consumption’ is the disease of this phase, the toxic behavior from the ruling class that later filtered down to the emerging middle class.

· Joseph Schumpeter: The internal contradiction between the desire for profit and the revolutionary character of innovation. The demise of capitalism will see the possibility of the technical class taking over society and build that alternative system later.

· Daniel Bell: The ‘post-industrial’ society had already been born right inside capitalism. A distinct modality in itself, post-industrialism will eventually prevail in a system that isn’t capitalist (or money economy) but rather knowledge-based. The ‘service worker’ had arrived on the social landscape, the prototype class of the future.

· Theodore Adorno, Jurgen Habermas, Herbert Marcuse: ‘Late’ capital is characterized by the pervasiveness of ‘instrumental reason’, where reason is used to justify the non-rational (‘madness’ in Foucault’s argot), where state planning/intervention was infused into a system that scorned intervention.

· Alvin Toffler: Both capitalism and socialism are based on hoarding, both are variants of the same industrial society of yesteryears, both are based on ‘2nd wave’ capital-intensive technologies and non-renewable energy sources. The ‘post-industrial’ society is altogether distinct, isn’t based on hoarding, production-consumption (‘prosumer’) is based on ‘3rd wave’ knowledge-intensive technologies and renewable energy sources, knowledge cannot be hoarded.

I need not articulate further, do I? They all converged on one theme: capitalism is transitory, it bred social maladies (alienation, dehumanization, anomie, conspicuous consumption,…), is systemically flawed, and will be dismantled at sometime in the future.

No matter how delimited their theories maybe, as they all proceeded from certain perspectives (they were all ‘paradigm’-based in the jargon of Thomas Kuhn), they all proclaimed—in either tacit or explicit fashion—the coming demise of the system. They weren’t as silly as Fukuyama who popularized seemingly ‘satanic verses’ (distorted precepts) about a non-changing, permanent economic landscape called ‘liberal capitalism’, but were rather so adroit at social forecasting that they saw a vision of the future as they were articulating on their empirical observations of the present society.

So, fellows out there, prepare for the months and years ahead. We are headed towards those stormy months, years, maybe even decades. How the future society will come to shape is not easy to forecast. “Something blurs the Force, darkens our sight of the future,” declared a Jedi Master in the Star Wars cinema fame. Let me end right here.

[Writ 22 August 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila.]

EUROZONE’S BURNING, CONVENE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CONFERENCE!

May 28, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang gabi! Good evening!

Eurozone is burning. Before the flames would reach infernal levels, the contagion effects thereof burning the other regions of the globe, a global financial conference should be convened most urgently.

The purpose of the conference would be to configure a new financial architecture. Such a policy architecture would then as guidepost to all nation-states and regional alliances (EU, trade regimes such as ASEAN, NAFTA, Mercosur, others) to follow.

In the absence of such a policy architecture, palliatives can only emerge from the board rooms of incompetent bureaucrats. Among such palliatives now arising are: (a) Merkel’s solution to regulate hedge funds operations (financial derivatives); and, (b) Obama & US Congress’ regulations of speculative excesses of its stock markets.

Such palliatives are merely piecemeal solutions, even as they are too partial and parochial. They weren’t derived from a comprehensive paradigm that could have generated clear explications of the financial/economic crises of our times. They are reactive rather than responsive. Absent a policy architecture, and the piecemeal solutions will only have short-run impacts, and will be folded up when “things will get better.”

The top agenda that must be taken up are:

  1. Criminalize speculative excesses. Speculation has fueled bubble economies worldwide. Financial predators have emerged from the oligarchic quarters up North, who have played havoc on the equities and currency markets. If it will turn out beneficial to ban and criminalize hedge funds operations later, then so be it. Such vulture funds have no place in a civilized world where we witness poverty and hunger rising.
  2. Tobin Tax cross-border transactions. In no way should unbridled cross-border transactions be allowed without taxation. A minimum Tobin Tax of 0.75% on all such transactions should be imposed. Higher tax on derivatives and commodities futures of 1.5% can also be agreed upon. The accruing tax revenues will then be turned over to the United Nations and attached agencies for their operations & maintenance budgets.
  3. Condone fraudulent/usurious debts. Debts that are fraudulent or too usurious, notably those lent to developing economies, should be completely condoned. The same economies can then have a fresh start and breathing space for anti-poverty, jobs, and related social development efforts.
  4. Abolish the Jurassic Fund (IMF). It is now time to re-assess the International Monetary Fund, leading to its abolition. It does not represent the interest of the member-states, but is rather a middle man peddling the interests of global financial cartels. Its top executives come from the ranks of the same cartels. It had imposed austerity measures on many developing economies, causing more hunger, poverty, low wages, and unemployment. This Jurassic Fund (to borrow from Walden Bello) must go!
  5. Identify financial ‘White knights’. Authentic financial ‘white knights’ from among the emerging markets should be properly identified and urged to expand their operations. These financial groups can offer long-term financing at very low interest rates. The end-users should be authentic market players that are engaged in the productive sectors, which will end the practice of ‘white knight’ financing (such as the Yen Initiative Package) that lent money to financial cartels which in turn re-lent them at higher interest rates.
  6. Ban banks from speculative pursuits. Commercial banks and development banks, or all banks for that matter, must be banned from engaging in speculative pursuits such as hedge funds, commodities, and ‘hot money’ operations. Banks must service the productive sectors and must infuse moral philosophy in their organizational cultures.
  7. Abolish stock markets. Stock markets have never been instruments for wealth redistribution. They are filled with dirty operators. It’s now time to abolish them. In their stead should be instituted a direct link between investors and market players in need of fresh money, thus abolishing the stock trader as ‘middleman’. Reforming the stock markets isn’t the answer, but rather their abolition.
  8. Institute gold reserve standard. The gold standard of the past was abolished, in order that gold be hoarded by a few cartels up North. It is time to institute a new form of gold standard serving as stabilizer and securitization instrument for currencies. The standard will eventually lead to a re-institution of currency control policy which redounds to a more stable global economy in the long run.

Let it be reiterated, that should the present situation be allowed to go on, with piecemeal parochial solutions carved out at best, a bigger global catastrophe will be in the offing. A more colossal nightmare is now unfolding, which we hope the Northern countries’ incompetent bureaucrats can see at all.

[22 May 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com,

ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]