Some Big Wild Guesses About the Future
Another interesting essay by Charles Hugh Smith at 'Of Two Minds'; read it all, but here's a taste:
...7. The State, which was intended as a bulwark against the natural dominance of concentrated private capital and Monarchy, has instead become the handmaiden of the rentier-financial Power Elites. The Elites and the State have thus become partners in the task of diverting ever-larger shares of the national income to their own coffers.
8. As a result, inequality--as measured by shares of the national income and wealth--widens, furthering the divergence of interests between the productive class and the Elites/States' unproductive fiefdoms and dependents.
9. The State/Elites seek to counter these growing imbalances by extracting more from the productive class via taxes and "theft by other means" and masking this rising inequality by manipulating the politics of experience via relentless mass media propaganda.
The goal is four-fold: nurture complacency and fatalism in the citizenry; divert their attention from the concealed parallel system that benefits the Plutocracy and State Elites exclusively; legitimize simulacrum democracy and delegitimize protest.
10. To keep the State dependents passive and unthreatening, the Elites/State placate this class with "bread and circuses," State-funded entitlements paid for by raising taxes on the dwindling productive class. Under the guise of entitlements, the State (and the Elites who control it) has in effect bought the passive complicity of its dependents in the Elites' growing dominance of national income and wealth.
11. Having over-promised entitlements to the unproductive and garnered the majority of national income and wealth for themselves, the Plutocracy/State Elites can only tax the productive class so much lest they kill the horse they ride so majestically. Their only alternative to loss of income and power is to debauch the currency by printing money and debauch credit by borrowing far in excess of what can possibly be paid back.
12. The debauchery of credit and currency and rising inequality/diverting of national income to the Elites continues in a process of devolution until a phase shift/tipping point is reached and the status quo collapses in insolvency...
We do indeed live in interesting times.
And we will soon learn why that ancient Asian wish is, in fact, a curse.