Friday, 12 October 2012

Inversion of the First and Third Worlds

We, across the globe, are currently witnessing an inversion of the first and third worlds - or perhaps an integration of the two to a more even economic playing field.

This may sound outlandish, or, indeed, even impossible based on what we have been taught in first-world schools for decades, but reality tends to be stranger than fiction. One need only look at the deteriorating situations in Europe and the North America for an allusion to the disastrous times that are upon us - and the resulting repayment of the Karmic debt we have accrued in our lack of compassion and caring for the formerly less-fortunate nations across the globe.

European economies are falling like a house of cards (or dominos, if you prefer that particular simile) - exactly what can be expected from Ponzi schemes like that of the Euro. France, Germany and the UK (not part of the Eurozone, but in a tumultuous category all its own with its double-dip recession and edging towards a triple-dip in the coming months) are heading quickly into the toilet, which is in the final stages of being completely flushed of the waste that was deposited by the PIIGS countries and their co-opted and technocratic governments - and, of course, their Troika overlords.

Spain is in dire straights. People have lost all shreds of confidence in their political system. Their banks require between €70-105 billion of capital injections in order to stay afloat - nevermind the €412 billion they already owe for their Troika-sponsored bailouts. They are plundering the economy as the people take to rioting in the streets.
The Spanish housing situation is even more catastrophic than it was 3 years ago. The lower-and middle-classes have been almost entirely decimated, and the contagion is spreading now to the former upper rungs of the ladder. 60% of home foreclosures in the country are on homes of formerly affluent families. An astounding one-fifth of foreclosures are on those of loan guarantors - usually the parents of foreclosed-upon citizens who put their own houses up as collateral in order to help their children to purchase homes.

What happens when the kids' homes are foreclosed upon? They move in with Mom and Dad to try to get back on their feet. Unfortunately, since Mom and Dad were guarantors on the now-foreclosed homes, their homes are taken by the lenders, as well. Not only that, but the values of the homes - having dropped immensely since the original housing collapse in 2008 - is not enough to cover the debt owed to the banks. As such, the parents' pensions are looted, and any wages they make are garnished in order to recoup the shortfall.

In Greece it appears as though they will be allowed more time (probably another two years) to meet the requirements of their previous bailout. While this may seem good on the surface, as they have been given more time to strategize, the reality is that even with additional time given Greece still has an enormous shortfall of money, and as such no amount of time will make up for the amount of money that they owe. What strategy exists in order to repay debt when you require money from the creditors to pay back your existing debts?

GDP is projected to decline 0.4% in 2013, recently revised from a flat (+/-0%) outlook previously - and probably with further revision incoming. They are losing 1000 jobs a day as the country's businesses go bust in the face of overwhelming and insurmountable debt. The biggest business in the country, Coca-Cola Hellenic, is officially throwing in the towel and relocating to Switzerland. This company accounts for roughly one fifth (20%) of the Athens stock exchange - from which they are withdrawing altogether in order to re-lost on the London stock exchange. Another devastating blow to an already downtrodden economic region.

Unemployment has topped 25% in the country, with youth unemployment at an astounding 54%. Historically, 30-40+% unemployment rates (and currency debasement) have resulted in bloody revolution. Bringing it full-circle, give Greece those additional two years and - with or without another capital injection into the banks and perfidious politicians' bank accounts - I think we can safely say that threshold will have been more than crossed. Even more disturbing (but not remotely surprising) is the fact that the Troika refuses to write down anything, ensuring Greece's debt level remains at an all-time high and growing.

The United States is getting exponentially worse. Basic rights and freedoms are almost non-existent now - look no further than the NDAA being upheld for proof (really, please do look further - this is the tip of the iceberg). The dollar is being constantly debased, and buying power is being decimated. Even the millionaires are losing money, while the billionaires are lapping it all up as it flows out of their bank accounts. Sands through an hourglass, moving from one side to the other, eventually leaving one side depleted and the other with everything.

Detroit is a war zone, and according to its own police force they can't protect you if you decide to visit. Municipalities have collapsed and been cheated out of billions of collective dollars through bid rigging - and more go bankrupt seemingly every month. Jobs are flowing out, real unemployment astronomically high, while the 'official' numbers are manipulated for political gain.

Freedom of speech is only for those who care to speak hatred, not dissent. People are being rounded up for political views and thrown in jail. Surveillance invades your basic privacy at every turn - both on the ground and in the air. It's even cross-border in Canada - with government approval of US drones surveilling, sharing of information between military and police forces North-America-wide. Indeed, our dictatorial Harper government even authorized - for the first time in history - US military detention of Canadian citizens last year.

Worst of all, the banks own pretty much everything. Indeed, the Fed is moving towards truly owning all real-estate property in the country through unlimited purchases of mortgage-backed securities with their magic printing press and QEternity. The private corporation - Fed - "government" and international entities are flooding the elite with free money, which is being hoarded by those elites rather than injected back into the economy. Really, what incentives do banks have to put money back into the economy through lending, with interest rates so low and debt levels so enormously high? I should clarify; the free money is not being completely hoarded - some of that money flows into the pockets of the politicians to keep them subservient to the will of those institutions. Soviet Russia (among other historical examples) comes to mind, and not in the traditional facetious manner so common across the Internet these days (a la Yakov Smirnoff).

$600 billion+ were sucked out of that economy when it finally collapsed, and the oligarchs fled to the city of London - where many of them still reside, untouched for their financial crimes due to complete collusion between state and the criminal banking sector. We have proven and widely acknowledged cases of drug cartel money laundering, LIBOR manipulation and many more - yet no one has gone to jail. Not. One. Person.
What we are seeing is essentially an inversion of the first and third worlds, where the first world is regressing to a point of disaster that will see it in the same situation the emerging economies of the world have found themselves in for centuries - repressed and oppressed, with no hope in sight, and no alternative for bloody revolt. This doesn't have to happen, of course, but becomes more likely every day that goes by. The trouble is, the first world is the portion of the planet that has significantly contributed to the growth in other regions. If the first world goes down the growth in other regions will stall.

The difference between the Westernized world and the developing nations in this particular predicament is that the rest of the world is already used to what's happening. The developed nations have not experienced this type of overt oppression for generations. How quickly we forget; inevitable when placing value on material goods rather than knowledge and academia. Look at Eastern Europe as one example. They have lived in the midst of civil war for decades, and at this point are used to the cronyism that has infected the political and financial landscape in their countries. The western world is grossly unprepared and is being caught with their metaphorical pants down.

As such, those who have lived in this story line for decades are far better equipped to come out ahead. We in the west have become seemingly dependent upon the very system that oppresses us. In reality we have every ability to be self-sufficient and self-confident; we simply choose not to be. When the turmoil in isolated areas in Europe spreads to the rest of the world, people will realize that in this world almost nothing is isolated. Butterflies' wings can be powerful things, after all.

People in the West fail to realize that the oppression never went away, in spite of the wars fought and won in the name of "freedom" - it was just cleverly disguised in a veil of economic and material prosperity. It was coupled with a forced view of high quality of life being that of money and power. People tend to forget that money and power corrupt; or rather, they tend to think they are immune to the corruption that accompanies such things. 

And so is the demise of the West: Priority placed on happiness found in materialism and skewed societal values, thrust upon them by an elite class ruling from the shadows through formerly discreet emotional and psychological manipulation. Of course, another key variable in the equation is the overall apathy of the masses to what's happening to them. Many of them know, but, in feeling powerless and inferior compared to those who aren't, they reject it. They excuse their lack of action and control over their own destinies by copping out and self-justifying that there's nothing they as an individual can do.

This, of course, is a compete fallacy. Our strength lies not necessarily within ourselves as individuals (although for some this is a key factor), but rather our common connection and bond with our fellow human beings. The path to obliteration could be avoided if we took cues from countries (ie. Iceland) that have opted for supporting their people instead of the corrupt leaders and elitists at the top. And, if history has taught us anything, it is that the ruling class tends to fall hard in the face of revolt from those they are ruling over. There is something you can do as an individual: Make the choice to stand up with your fellow humans!

The ruling classes of the world rule through a divide and conquer mentality, and it seems to me that as of now they are winning out in many ways. However, I can also see that people are slowly becoming more wise to the true threat that the ruling class poses to us - particularly, the banks. "Banker bashing" has become both a common phrase and a common iteration of frustration - I myself being guilty of it. And it really is justified. Hanging the bankers - as is likely to happen in Europe - would be justified, but what would it really bring us?

Would a more powerful message not be to jail them? To punish them for their trespasses against humanity through non-violent means? As much as the justified anger exists overwhelmingly, are we not more intelligent than an animal who can't control it's own emotions? Even if we rounded them all up and eliminated them, it still would not eliminate the underlying issues that cause the mentality and pathology behind these evils.

In the end we are many, and they are few - people just need to refocus their attention away from fear and towards love - including compassion for those who show absolutely none to us in turn. We must turn away from selfishness and social anxiety and towards unity. We may have individual differences, but we all share a common vision of a better future for ourselves and our children. It is up to us - the oppressed, the manipulated, the swindled and violated - to change this inversion of the divided worlds to an integration of them - to create a better world for all of us.

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