Real wealth can only be rooted in the real world, and therefore money has no value if there are no real products, values and services to back it. What we have seen over the years is the globalization of a system that sees money as an end in itself—in fact the production of money has become one of the main endeavors of our time, money and its derivatives having become the main trading good on the world’s markets.
The people who act as movers and shifters on these markets literally live in a parallel world, far removed from the worlds of trees and bees and the millions of children on this round rock in space who die from starvation or polluted water, or who accidentally fall prey to modern word creations like "collateral damage" or "turkey shooting." Somewhere. In distant strange countries. In remote mountain areas.
Occasionally the banksters, the investment managers, the traders and brokers even are referred to as "Masters of the Universe," which is true, only in that their universe is a wholly virtual one, for the work they do is mainly superfluous, and the real universe would stand unharmed and entirely unimpressed if their entire breed would disappear from one moment to the other. Only he who is aware of his own utter insignificance may be called wise.
But the system we have created is one where food and shelter are on one side of an equation where money is on the other. Unfortunately the convulsions of the thing called "The Market" that we see these days are orders-of-magnitude higher than all the food and shelter needed. Supporting and rescuing virtual entities in this twisted world has become more important than the livelihood of humans. Oh yes—there are ideologies and explanations behind that. "Trickle down" is such an explanation. Somehow everyone is to benefit from this system that can best be described as a mathematical representation of greed en gros. Somehow.
Perpetual growth, exponential rise of nothingness, interest upon interest, fire that feeds fire—the tales of Midas and Erysichthon went unheard over the millenia. It is amazing that the majority of people and peoples over and over again in history could be so successfully kept from seeing the most obvious facts in front of their eyes. The principal mechanism behind this phenomenon is the strong urge to believe. It is easier to believe than to be critical and skeptical. Believe that all is good, that all is fine, that one is part of a big plan, of God's own people, that all that happens is good and right and righteous. The truth is: it is not. The truth is that we have created a society where the sensitive and clever people are powerless, while providing ideal provisions for the rise of psychopaths and networking money dynasties.
Opinion is bought. Not by purchasing it directly, but by applying elaborate means of mental manipulation—decades of brainwashing hundreds of millions of people into accepting their fate and submitting their freedom for the better of a perceived bigger goal, which, strangely, itself is called freedom. There is no freedom in the Western world, least of all in the United States. Everything depends on money. There is no freedom without money, and those who possess near endless supplies of it in turn are slaves of the dynamics of their own wealth. They do not possess the money, but rather, as if it were a demon, are possessed by it.
The brainwashing goes so far that the majority of people these days actually seem to believe that all those hundreds of billions—or even trillions—of Dollars missing in the financial markets somehow, magically, have indeed disappeared. Were "destroyed," as I sometimes hear it said in the media. And the people, the normal person who hardly has enough to pay for the bread and butter of his children, is to bail out the self-proclaimed rulers of the world.
We hear arguments that do at first sight sound reasonable and true enough. When the banks are bankrupt, so we are told, the companies will not be able to get the credit they need for daily operation, and that will result in corporate failures, loss of jobs and economic decline. Well—here is the news: the money was not destroyed at all! It is still there. The ailing credit that went into the housing market financed—houses, for example. Millions of craftsmen made a living and consumed, and many of those most likely were able to buy houses themselves. And the collapsed market of obscure financial derivatives is at the same time mirrored by a market of rather successful speculators. That is the nature of an out of control "free" market: One can only win when another loses. Another truth is: the money has not been destroyed. It only changed hands. And those hands will also be willing to pass it out to those who are prepared to pay the proper price for the credits. Nothing is lost, as painful as that may seem to those who were shaken awake from their ludicrous dreams of infinite wealth and power, having to realize, that they merely were Masters of their own delusions. At the same time—while the United Nations successfully raises 16 billion Dollars in funds to fight global poverty, to do something against the fact that almost a billion people on Earth suffer from starvation—the US Government proposes a 700 billion bailout plan for the fallen speculators and hazardeurs. Shouldn’t we sit down, quietly, for a moment and think? It is the advice Winnie Pooh gives to four-year-olds. Think!
Think! What does it all mean mean? What the hell is going on? It always struck me as most peculiar that someone can at the same time be "pro life" and "pro gun" and "pro war." Pro life. How many unborn children did Mr. Bush kill in their mothers’ wombs by ordering the war against Iraq? An ugly thought and yet reality, like so many ugly things going on. Think! Think! And how the heck can one proclaim oneself a follower of Jesus Christ and yet live a life in the name of greed and material possessions? It just doesn’t make sense...
The US is the world’s most aggressive proponent of free market and globalization as long as it is on the winning side, but the rhetoric changes when it is not. Despite its own wishful thinking to the opposite, America does not appear as a shining beacon for the world, but instead it has been exposed as a highly untrustworthy partner that changes the rules of the game according to its own momentary interests—or rather the interests of its ruling elite.
There even are open musings in influential circles about friends becoming enemies as soon as it comes to conflicting interests—such as resources.
America, it seems, is not a leading example that should be followed—perhaps never was. Instead it is a bullying narcissistic member of the family of nations, only interested in itself. In other words: The United States behaves like a spoiled teenager—only like a spoiled teenager with enough power and weaponry to destroy the entire planet. If this country were a person, I would recommend behavioral therapy—and dammit America—I love you, but if you aspire to remain the rightful leader of the world, go and get an education and realize that the captain of a team also is part of the team.
© 2008 by Stefan Thiesen. Dr. Thiesen is an author who writes from Germany.
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This story was published on October 2, 2008.