Friday, July 30, 2010

Musings on Steve Meyers' Latest Report

Thanks to Jesse again for bringing this to my attention. It makes for interesting listening. I recommend all ten minutes of Steve Meyers’ jaded diatribe.

Two quick things: First it’s not really Global Perspectives, as the company hosting the analysis calls itself, but American. Without exception—and this is no surprise—nation states look to protect themselves. The institutions with which an idea like the Nation State is made manifest and functions, can of course do no other thing than protect their own operating, stay alive and perpetuate that which they are. But what they are is already broken beyond repair. Not in the sense of a broken arm or sick stomach, such things require a fix, or at worst an amputation. No, the nation state and it various constituent parts, plus the corporate structure, plus ‘free’ market economics, plus money etc., are systemically joined and broken. The paradigm which gave birth to the nation state—of control over nature—is out of creative juice, can no longer power civilization forward as it once so spectacularly did. The noises of desperation and despair emerging now from many quarters will remain desperate and despairing. No solution within the paradigm can be of any use. Too much has changed. And this is no sudden, unpredictable ailment, fallen upon us out of clear blue skies because of Wall Street, or Larry Summers, or Robert Rubin, or any other single factor. We are going through the closing phases of a process which has its origins in deepest antiquity. What we are going through is inevitable, is hard-coded into the scarcity-based thinking that got us here. Its opposite, abundance, is the way forward.

Second, I long for the day when mainstream commentators realize the above, despite what that will mean. The status quo is defunct, a zombie, a sac of poison leaking into society and bringing it to its knees. We are all infected, all sick, all more or less blind to the depth and breadth of the sick state we are in. There is no escaping this, no corner of earth, no ‘precious’ metal or other commodity in which our money can find refuge. The status quo, in its entirety, has to go before meaningful change can begin. Swapping out Larry Summers for Bill Black, for example, would have only a short term benefit. We must relearn value itself, redefine growth, initiate a deep revolution in education, labour-for-wage, politics, law, money, and even science. Western Civilization is rotten from top to bottom. We must let it down as gently as we can, rescue the good and the beautiful (a very painful process for sure) then start building the new.

5 comments:

Edwardo said...

I thought of you when I heard the interview. I agree completely that the analysis from Mr. Meyer's of where we are and how we got here leaves a great deal out.

From a practical standpoint I'd like to offer that capitalism has never really been terribly beneficial or functional except for the small group who controlled the capital. In any event, for a few reasons, that I will not labor over-no pun intended- it, more or less persisted deep into the 20th century.

The entire edifice is now in a state of collapse and being literally and figuratively papered over. The next leg down in the great global unwind is already underway, and, I suspect, that by late summer and early fall it will become unmistakable as such to the remaining folks who are still operating under the premise that the party isn't over.

Toby said...

Do you think the mainstream will start to voice misgivings about the great capitalist system itself during the obvious manifestations of the next leg down? Are you surprised by the unsurprising inability of commentators to recognize the inevitability of what is happening? I'm still surprised, and yet know I shouldn't be. I guess I'm like a child expecting his parents to stop arguing and start enjoying their time together, when there is literally zero evidence that such change is possible.

I think of capitalism as inevitably cancerous, but because the almost real illusion of ownership is very much part of the program, and that 'control' of nature emerges from this almost real illusion, believe too that its path has been necessary. Without its pain and destruction we could not have been presented with an opportunity to grow up and truly appreciate, both instinctively and culturally, what a wonderful world this is which gave birth to us and all we do.

Nice to know you think of me sometimes. ;-)

Edwardo said...

"Do you think the mainstream will start to voice misgivings about the great capitalist system itself during the obvious manifestations of the next leg down? "

Hard to say. The idiocy and powers of denial of the so-called mainstream can't be underestimated. Some number will plead the case that capitalism was fine, it was only the stewards of capitalism that failed the system. I hear that quite a bit, and essentially it undergirds the thinking of folks like Steve Meyer's. That view is, of course, rubbish, as any reasonably critical examination will make clear. Yet such is the mind(less)set of far too many. Part of their dogma involves the idea that China is about assume the mantle still being worn-if only just- by the U.S.A. They can't accept that the gigue is up without exceptions.

Rupert said...

Often wondered where the word 'gig' originated. Thanks Edwardo.

Debra said...

Um... what you see really depends on WHERE you look, now, doesn't it ??
It's too late for me to check out the Meyers' report, I will look at it tomorrow, maybe.
In W.S. Smith's bookshop at Heathrow, I saw TONS of books on... the monarchy in the U.K.
HUH, you say ?
Yup, that's what I said.
Lots of historians dusting off the monarchy.
Enough to fill several empty spaces at Heathrow's airport.
We are in a period of soul searching.
So.... what are we doing ?
What we have always done.
Back to the drawing board.
Looking back.
Dusting off some of the old institutions.
(Like the Catholic Church, Edwardo... I can hear you go "yipes" already...)
Like the monarchy too.
Things are getting interesting for the people who are bothering to dig up details about their past.
And... history books are selling pretty well too.
It all depends on where you're looking, right ?
Maybe... watching Stever Meyers latest is NOT THE BEST PLACE to be looking ??