G20 meeting highlights the crisis of capitalism

By   /   July 16, 2017  /   23 Comments

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The self-selected ‘cabal’ of ‘Caesars’ meeting at the G20 represented 85% of the world’s GDP, had limited political mandate to make decisions, and excluded most of the ‘Global South’. They embodied the world’s richest elites making decisions affecting the world’s poorest, behind closed doors.

Last week the G20, (Group of Twenty) of leaders from some of the world’s largest economies, met in Hamburg, Germany. The self-selected ‘cabal’ of ‘Caesars’ meeting at the G20 represented 85% of the world’s GDP, had limited political mandate to make decisions, and excluded most of the ‘Global South’. They embodied the world’s richest elites making decisions affecting the world’s poorest, behind closed doors. One evening, leaders from Trump to Trudeau, were entertained in a concert hall by Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’, while tens / hundreds of thousands of citizens protested the impacts of global capitalism on burning streets outside.

US President Donald Trump was in Hamburg with his wife and the rest of his nepotistic entourage masquerading as officials. He came face to face with Putin for the first time. They possibly shared strange handshakes, maybe they even chest bumped. Trump continued to defy political consensus, maintaining his isolationist policies on climate change and economic protectionism. Turkey’s President attended, but his crack down on opposition forces continued at home. China’s President Xi sat among leaders of the capitalist west while the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo died in prison.

But despite the mustering of defences, and the show of strength, global capitalism is on the run. It’s contradictions and limitations are becoming ever clearer. Indeed, the G20 heads of state first met in response to the Global Financial Crisis, to stabilise capitalism and to improve ‘global governance’. Agenda items this year included global economic growth, international trade, financial market regulation and ‘issues of global significance’ such as migration, digitisation, terrorism and climate change. In addition to limits to growth, a globally saturated market, deindustrialisation leading to a ‘middle class crisis’ and nationalist populism and instability in the west, these globally significant issues are threats to global capitalism. Globalisation, say some economists, has lost its dynamism, it has run out of new markets to exploit. With the hollowing out of developed western economies and saturation of markets and credit, and the emergence of protectionism, capitalism is at ‘tipping point’, it may already have eaten itself, and the G20 are doing everything to keep it alive.

Global capitalism, rather than creating a rising tide that lifted all boats, has instead led to ‘the great convergence’, a concentration of wealth in the hands of the few. Nearly all gains from globalisation have been concentrated in six countries, and the greatest benefits have accumulated in China’s emerging middle class and the elite 1% mostly from the US. Now, eight billionaires own the same as the poorest half of the world’s population – about 3.6 billion people.

But an alternative agenda was evident at the G20 too. The G20 meeting provides a focus for dissent. It becomes a lightning rod for a range of concerns about the current economic model. More than 100,000 protestors attended the Hamburg G20, not just the world leaders. There was an ‘alternative global solidarity summit’. Greenpeace interrupted a bulk freighter bringing in a shipment of charcoal in protest against fossil fuels. The ‘Zombie march’ of 1000 clay caked artists highlighted the malaise of civic apathy. Masked protestors dressed in black were met with a phalanx of special armed police forces with aggressive attitudes, water cannons, armoured vehicles and even a ‘survivor tank’ designed to withstand chemical and nuclear attack. 15,000 police were deployed, 400 of whom were injured. 400 protestors were arrested, but the number of injured protestors was unreported. A city official described the melee as ‘organised and long prepared criminal violence as never witnessed before’. Protestors were charged, bashed with truncheons, punched, run to the ground. In turn, cars were burned, shops were looted, it was a ‘new dimension of violence’ on the streets of Germany’s second largest city.

Past gatherings of world leaders at G20 meetings such as in Seattle in 2010, have also been accompanied by civil unrest and riots. It’s been easy for conservatives to decry the acts of protest and dissidence and to blame the protestors rather than the police, the police state or the international system that inflicts violence at personal, civic, cultural and ecosystem levels. Campaigners for global justice and against the inequalities and destruction of global capitalism, have been derided for being environmentalists, fascists, Marxists, ‘obscurantists’. They’ve been condemned as privileged white kids wearing branded gear protesting against sweatshops. But they’ve shone a light against inequality, injustice, exploitation, war, manmade environmental disaster, the very consequences of capitalism on grand scale. Opponents to globalisation have had their views and values dismissed because of their ‘ignorance of (trickle down) economics’, they’ve been belittled and ignored because they’re from affected distant countries, they’ve been beaten down and hidden by walls of police.

But loss of jobs, homes, hope and land don’t just affect people in the Third World as multinationals move on in. Hopelessness, alienation, inequality, middle class poverty, are all being felt as consequences of global capitalism, and rejected, in western democracies too. The election of Trump, the Brexit vote, the rise of far right and populist politics across the developed world, are all consequences of global capitalism and a distrust of the establishment and contemporary economic solutions.

So while opponents of global capitalism who adopt radical tactics to express their discontent, attack weaknesses in the edifice from without, angry middle class voters in the US, the UK, France, Italy and beyond, use the ballot box as a way of being heard from within, with further economically destabilising results. Globalisation has led to alienation, alienation to instability. Instability further undermines the economic project though it’s already seriously wounded from its own contradictions and limits. The reactionary path of protectionism, closed borders and nationalism further breeds isolationism and fear. Global problems like climate change, migration, the crisis of capitalism and the need for system alternatives, have no national solutions. But global capitalism with its concentration of wealth and power, with its control over access to work, a home of ones’ own, its attack on human dignity, is no sustainable solution either.

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23 Comments

  1. WILD KATIPO says:

    OK , – so lets call global capitalism a toff in tails complete with balled cane and top hat , – you know – the old 19th century cliche… so what brought that era to heel ?

    Was it not the advance and establishment of organized Trade Unions?

    Rather simplistic I know , as there were other factors such as WW1 that broke up the British Empire etc… but that one example shows a certain thing : organized unity.

    Whereas riots and people getting bashed by Police are all good news storys, yet the key is having all that energy go some place. That energy needs to be harnessed correctly to finally bring excesses of capitalism to heel.

    What did people do in the past when confronted by runaway exploitation and poverty ?

    I guess they voted, didn’t they , something that we as a populace are guilty of not participating in enough. We are also guilty of just accepting things until they get out of hand. And we are also guilty of generally lacking unity and not becoming organized.

    Its a symptom of the neo liberal age .

    Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s was the heyday of the liberals – these days they call themselves ‘ progressives’.. and yeah – they also had their big public demonstrations , but they also had their underground press, pirate radio and magazines… The Vietnam war was raging so it was easy to have a focal point, well , we have our ‘ Vietnam’s’ right now…

    So this thing goes back full circle to ‘ what has happened to our Left party’s ‘ ?

    Thatcherism and Blairism. That’s what.

    And the answer?

    Demand they change.

    And to do that we need to be organized .

    Not just make a lot of noise in the street and get bopped over the head with a Police baton and then that’s the end of it.

    These politicians are nothing but the front line stage actors protecting the global banks and cartels etc – so there’s a weak point of entry right there…

    • John W says:

      The principle is sound .
      The American War in Vietnam was reported here as a great triumph of democracy over communism and NZders swallowed it hook line and sinker. Our politicians ( National ) and newspapers along with business NZ made sure of that.

      A few respected academics spoke out and Jack Shallcrass toured telling public meetings the other side of what was happening including the history and current events all of which never appeared in the MSM.
      Jack was an intelligent but brave man who was alarmed at public attitudes despising the victims of US mass murder of innocent lives.

      Kirk publicly challenged Holyoke to a debate at Victoria university and the well worn homilies of “Kiwi Keith” were torn to pieces by Kirk in a systematic and rational laying out of facts and actions of the NZ govt supporting American brutal adventurism in Asia.

      Information filtered through from Australian journalists and books they had written on the Vietnam based debacle. Bit by bit the public became more aware of the crimes of US, Ozzie and NZ. Demonstrations were suppressed but grew larger. Protesters were jailed. Time has shown they were our leaders.

      Matters of principle matter. The casualty of truth is an everyday epidemic.

  2. CLEANGREEN says:

    “The self-selected ‘cabal’ of ‘Caesars’ meeting at the G20”

    GREAT WORDS CHRISTINE ROSE,

    But you have hit the nail on the head.

    These super rich are so disconnected from reality and need to get real ans live as we do to see the forest through the trees.

  3. Historian Pete says:

    The interesting thing is that the capitalists just can’t help their insatiable GREED. Warren Buffet, the second richest billionaire in the world, has called on his fellow oligarchs to practice restraint in the conspicuous consumption of their ill-gotten riches. But they cant help themselves.And this has been the pattern throughout History. It happened in Greece, Rome,France, Britain , and is happening in particular to the U.S. Empire as we speak . Karl Marx talked about Capitalism containing the seeds of its own destruction. Greed is the Achilles heel of these greedy sons of bitches. Well ,we are coming for your obscene wealth Oligarchs.! Bill Gates and his One Percenters need to be divested from their billions .Why should John key have fifty million dollars [or probably one hundred million by now] while citizens live in cars in car parks in Takanini? Enjoy your filthy lucre while you can, for wealth confiscation is a necessary tool in what is to come. I can feel the birth pains of a new world order stirring. What will you do as a midwife to enable this egalitarian revolution ???

  4. Iain Mclean says:

    Christine;

    Thank you for yet another excellent analyisis.

    Yes. The day of reckoning for Globalisation is nearly upon us.

    There is a crises in Europe with the volumes of immigration that we just not get
    to hear about.

    Not only is Italy facing the brunt of all this but there is a particular crisis now happening inside the Vatican.

    In an astonishing poll, 71% now want a military take over.!!

    “Two days ago, Luigi Di Maio, Italian MP for the Five Star Movement, made the staggering claim that his nation was “alone” as the biggest migrant crisis in recent history, that continues to grip the continent, and Italy has taken in more than 85,000 refugees and migrants only this year, making it the main point of entry into this nightmare called Europe.”
    http://leozagami.com/2017/07/08/pope-francis-tweets-once-again-his-insane-demand-on-immigration/

    “Pope Francis said to Scalfari: “I’m afraid there are very dangerous alliances between powers which have a distorted view of the world: America and Russia, China and North Korea, Russia and Syria’s Assad in war”.
    http://leozagami.com/2017/07/08/pope-francis-declares-he-fears-trump-and-loosing-control-of-the-nwo/

    “The refugee invasion continues non stop in Italy, and patience is wearing thin for the Italians that seem to now want a Military Coup, after the ex-foreign Minister and Bilderberger, Emma Bonino, confirmed that Italy accepted this invasion willingly to protect the interest of the Italian Democratic government.”
    http://leozagami.com/2017/07/07/70-of-italians-now-want-a-military-coup/

    And for the first time in history, an American President has given the green light to the law inforcement agencies to try and put an end to the huge multi-milion dollar human trafficking industry. All bubbling away underneath the radar.

    Cheers.

    SOURCE:
    http://leozagami.com/ (read his bio.)

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      Interesting 3 links, and clearly we see the footfalls of the globalist in this Jesuit ‘ Pope’.

      Interesting that H.Clinton was involved in ‘ piloting ‘ and advancing the mass immigration into Europe – Italy in particular – with her destruction of Libya , which was regarded as the ‘ cork ‘ holding back the tide .

      Interesting also that this Jesuit ‘ Pope’ also bluntly states he wants to see a united Federal government for Europe and the abolition of the national governments of individual country’s. What is that if not more proof of the globalists plan for what George Herbert Bush coined ‘ the New World Order’ ?…

  5. countryboy says:

    NZ’s one of those countries that has the rare privilege of being able to tell them to get fucked. It’s just that someone with enough bottle should tell them that on our behalf, instead of selling us out to the fuckers.

  6. John Stroh says:

    Technically speaking, this highlights the crisis of neo-liberalism not of capitalism.

    • John W says:

      100%.

      When state banks replace private banksters and the sole issuers of new money and debt are state controlled institutions belonging to the state and people, then capitalism will bow its head a lot lower.

      Our NZ laws that make it legal for private banks to issue new money out of thin air for their own profit plus interest on the new money they generate through loans.
      We Have allowed this but don’t talk about it.
      It is called fractional reserve. The biggest racket globally giving power to the investor state who run banks and our Govt.

      It took the guts and clear thinking of Jim Anderton to push Labour to form the statutory body controlling KIWIBANK.
      Since it has been shifted to include quasi shares from other quasi state based institutions which makes it vulnerable to privatsation by stealth.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiwibank

      • Iain Mclean says:

        John W / others. Modified 22-7-17&24-7-17 All in the Public Domain.

        “GIVE ME CONTROL OF A NATION’S MONEY AND I CARE NOT WHO MAKES THE LAWS”
        Quote: Mayer Rothschild.

        http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote/mayer_amschel_rothschild_quote_8bed

        Under section 22.1 Central Banking in the link below; (approx 40% down cursor column)

        “The first and most important question that arises with regards to central banks is:

        “Why is a privately owned and run banking institution issuing and controlling the currency of my country?”

        “It is interesting to note that within the very large Reserve Bank of New Zealand coat of arms, located on the wall to the rear of the reception area of said central bank, you will see a red shield. As we know, in old German, red shield translates to Roth-schild (red-shield).” (PHOTO)

        http://www.wakeupkiwi.com/The-Conspiracy-to-Rule-the-World-2.shtml

        22.2 The Federal Reserve System

        Underneath that is a picture of John Key and a brief background of
        before he was sent back to NZ.

        As stated here, the 100yr contract has expired;
        “The Federal Reserve System of the United States probably has the highest profile of all of the central banks. It is highly influential in the central banking hierarchy. (Interesting point of note is that Fed’s 100 year agreement from 1913 expired recently – it now comes under the US Treasury Department).”

        If there is a Global Financial Collapse,The Trump Administration may well move on the Fed.

        Dr. Steve Pieczenik,PhD has stated the ‘Fed Families’ have well and truly recovered their investments, along with plenty of interest.
        (A crippling effect long term)

        There was once a time when the Church itself labeled this leverage a
        great sin.

        Like Canada, the laws to print our own money might still be on the
        Statute Books.

        Cheers.

        A Quote from Dr. Steve Pieczenik,PhD;
        “This model of Globalisation has fallen, along with the MSM.!!”

  7. chris McMahon says:

    The Catholic church has worked for the reunification of Europe since the end of the Roman Empire. Like it or lump it. No news there.

    • WILD KATIPO says:

      Perhaps Cardinal Pell and his fellow Jesuits may beg to differ about the domino effect about to start happening all around them and their networks ,.. however…

  8. Marc says:

    Fuck the police, anarchy:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VP3tClyL-3I

    Resist the BS system we have

  9. Marc says:

    Globalisation? How and which way? FFS
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8437JUSekE

  10. Marc says:

    People may not get it:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPvN5o2aRNs

    It is BS anyway

    Just a taste of german anarchy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuNHsoJVjTE

  11. Marc says:

    Only this message will get it across:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F_9FEx7ymg

  12. Marc says:

    There is a kind of idiocy here, we cannot allow ANY private property, except perhaps very basic items, to be allowed for persons to own ore possess. Anything else is total BS.