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[OPIRG-EVENTS] Fwd: And Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall
Heads up folks ... dc
Subject: WHAT MATTERS-99: And Humpty Dumpty Had a Great Fall
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 19:26:59 +0200
From: Boudewijn Wegerif
WHAT MATTERS-99 September 24, 2002
And Humpty Dumpty Had A Great Fall
Dear list members,
As the plutocrat rulers of the most indebted nation, the U.S., follow
warrior inclination to secure world domination for the armaments, oil
other industries in which they have vested interests, the currency of
intransigence, the dollar, teeters on the brink of a great fall - like
Humpty Dumpty in the nursery rhyme.
Below I draw from five sources to underscore how, when the dollar falls
it will, all the bombs thrown at Afghanistan and Iraq, and all the
economists of the plutocrats will not be able to put it together again.
The five sources are:
1. A Look Under the Surface of U.S. Capitalism
2. An Interview with Dr Kurt Richebächer
3. The End of Empire by Walter Greider
4. Secret Blueprint for U.S. Global Domination
5. Russian Comments on Situation Since 9.11
I agree with the Russian strategic analyst General Leonid Ivashov that
U.S. has "come to the climax of her military-power adventures for
power over the planet" and that the "peak will be crossed in 1 1/2 to 2
years, after which the USA will retract from its positions as a result
We will then see the rapid disintegration of nation states, world-wide,
accompanied by extreme famine, I believe. I have and will continue in
E-letters to encourage work now for a post-capitalist world, made up of
small to large, rural to city cooperative economies.
Here let me add, I recognise that I was rather carried away by planning
in part four of the four-part essay, For An Ubuntu Economy in Southern
Africa, posted at http://www.whatmatters.nu/ubunteco.html.
It was a useful exercise, to set down an economic model that I had been
thinking about for many years, and it was appreciated by several list
members. However, for love to rule in community, there must be a greater
openness to and longing for love and its rule than is possible in an
of such abstract complexity as I portrayed in the essay.
I will write more about this in my next E-letters, and will open the way
E-letter 100 with an extract from Power and Sex-A Book About Women, by
Scilla Elworthy, a director of the Oxford Research Group, which she
in 1982 to find out how and by whom nuclear weapons decisions are made.
Those of you who have been following recent developments in my life
may deduce, and rightly so, that my interest in this remarkable book on
nature of power is related to my marriage to Helena in South Africa in
August. I have now rejoined Helena in Johannesburg and will remain here
until we have permission for her to be with me in Sweden.
What Matters Programme
Folkhogskola Vardingeby **
PS: Power and Sex by Scilla Elworthy was first published in Great
1996 by Element Books Limited, Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 8BP
A LOOK UNDER THE SURFACE OF U.S. CAPITALISM
Debts grew by $2 trillion in the U.S. last year; that is almost as much
debt in one year as the total debt of the low and middle income
which 85 percent of the people of the world live. The growth in the
debt was more than ten times faster than the growth in national income,
The debt burdened U.S. economy is in serious trouble. True, there has
5.8 percent annual rate growth in economic activity - the GDP - in the
quarter of 2002; but this is thanks to a big jump in government
its war on terror and its own planned acts of terror in the Middle East.
"Defence outlays are growing at a 20 percent annual rate," according to
The real barometer of capitalist virility, corporate profits, is at its
lowest level in the post-war period. In the 1960s, corporate profits
percent of GDP. At the nadir of the recession in 1991 they had plummeted
percent. Currently, they are less than 3 percent of GDP, according to
Michael Roberts in an article, US Capitalism: Digging a Deeper Hole.
Here is a short excerpt from the article, posted on June 10 at
The bubbles of the New Economy and the stock market burst in
year. In 2002, the bubble of dollar supremacy is also bursting. The
is diving against other currencies as foreign investors stop buying US
companies, shares and bonds. In 2001, net inflows of capital into US
equalled $44 billion each month. But in each of the first three months
this year, only $25 billion came in. Foreigners own 39.5 percent of the
Treasury bond market and 23.8 percent of the US corporate bond market.
levels of ownership are at record highs. And foreigners also own 12.7
percent of the US stock market.
One of the largest sources of dollars was from foreign companies
US companies or setting up production facilities in the US. In the
1990-95 average annual European dollar flows from mergers and
was only $10 billion. But in 2000, Europeans invested over $600 billion
the US. Taking away US investments in Europe it was a net $214 billion
the advantage of the US. That alone financed half of the huge US trade
deficit. Now European purchases of US companies has dropped to just $7
billion. So the dollars dominance over currency markets is slipping and
trade deficit is starting to spook the capitalist economists.
- - - If the past is any guide, an empire's successes are inevitably
followed by humiliating defeats. Financial progress is always trailed by
national bankruptcy and the destruction of the currency. And the good
of a decent people is soon replaced by a malign megalomania, which
the whole bunch to complete ruin. A great empire is to the world of
geopolitics what a great bubble is to the world of economics. It looks
omnipotent at the outset, eventually it is a catastrophe.
AN INTERVIEW WITH DR KURT RICHEBÄCHER
I had already put together a compilation of extracts on the impending
collapse of U.S. ruled capitalism and its mighty dollar, when I received
E-mail from folk singer Maireid Sullivan with a piece on The Looming
Disaster by Dr Kurt Richebächer, the respected international banker,
economist and author. I want to include excerpts and do not want to hold
posting the improved E-letter while I get the source references; if you
that information and/or the complete piece, please write to Maireid
Here are the excerpts that I want to share:
- - - irrespective of the stock market's slide, official mantra and
public opinion in America remain in flat denial of the tremendous
dislocations that the egregious credit excesses of the past several
years have inflicted on the U.S. economy and its financial system.
- - - Careful analysis of the potential destructive forces suggests
when the dollar's plunge develops in earnest, it will - in contrast to
steep decline in the 1980s - be brutal for the U.S. financial markets,
which have become hostage to massive foreign capital inflows.
For a long time, we have been warning that the dollar's strength is
bubble strength. Gross illusions about the U.S. economy's health and
strength have for a few years engendered capital inflows of fantastic
unsustainable scale. Like all bubbles, it is bound to burst. The
dollar will spell doom for the U.S. financial markets, both bonds and
shares. In fact, such a collapse is the single greatest risk for the
- - - For us, in fact, the developing bust of the U.S. bubble economy
only two comparable precedents in history. One is the American
bubble-and-bust experience of the 1920-30s, and the other is Japan's
equivalent experience since the late 1980s.
Yet, despite many similarities, there is one difference of supreme
importance between America's present imbroglio and those two earlier
episodes. In the 1920s, America was the world's leading creditor country
running a chronic surplus in its current account, and the very same has
and remains true for today's Japan. The inherent implication for such
countries is a fundamentally strong currency, warranting full autonomy
This time, however, the U.S. economy is slumping against the backdrop
the most adverse external conditions. Today's United States is the
greatest debtor country. It runs a preposterous, chronic current-account
deficit from which an ever more preposterous foreign indebtedness
Intrinsically, the monetary policy of such a country is hostage to the
willingness of foreign investors and lenders to finance its spending
excesses. They may force it to raise interest rates even when the
Earlier we noted that the chronic U.S. annual trade gap and chronic
current U.S. capital outflows add up to around $900-1,000 billion,
needing accommodation through capital inflows. For us, it is a
compelling conclusion that future capital flows into the United States
are bound to fall considerably short of these outrageous sums. Never
before has a deficit country also sent such massive amounts of capital
abroad for foreign investment. It is an unprecedented experience in
economic history. Manifestly, this is testament for extremely loose
Considering all circumstances, we think that an outright dollar
disaster, far worse than the crash in 1985-87, is inevitable.
THE END OF EMPIRE BY WALTER GREIDER
William Greider, a prominent political journalist and author, and former
editor of Rolling Stones and the Washington Post, has written an
article, The End of Empire, in which he spells out how the growing trade
deficit will lead, inevitably, to the U.S. being stripped of its
In the article, published in The Nation Magazine September 23 issue,
writes: "The US economy's net foreign indebtedness - the accumulation of
decades of running larger and larger trade deficits - will reach nearly
percent of US GDP this year, or roughly $2.5 trillion. Fifteen years
was zero. Before America's net balance of foreign assets turned
1988, the United States was a creditor nation itself, investing and
vast capital to others, always more than it borrowed. Now the trend line
looks most alarming. If the deficits persist around the current level of
$400 billion a year or grow larger, the total US indebtedness should
$3.5 trillion in three years or so. Within a decade, it would total 50
percent of GDP. Instead of facing this darkening prospect, Bush and team
regularly dismiss the worldviews of these creditor nations and lecture
condescendingly on our superior qualities. Any profligate debtor who
his banker is unwise, to put it mildly."
Here is a further excerpt from the article, which can be read in full at
- - - US ambitions to run the world . . . are heavily mortgaged. Like
debtor who borrows more year after year with no plausible way to reverse
trend, a nation sinking deeper into debt enters into an adverse power
relationship with its creditors -- greater and greater dependency.
- - - For their own reasons, the major trading partners are reluctant
disrupt the status quo. The current arrangement allows them to have it
ways -- gaining a greater share of markets under the shadow of US
Privately, they recognize that the US economic position is steadily
But it seems wiser to let the Americans keep their delusions for now.
space for self-interested maneuvering is much greater if the United
carries the burdens and costs alone. Despite occasional whining, Japan
Germany are not eager to claim a prominent share in global leadership
once had a go at running the world and it ended badly). Far better to
up the United States financially without forcing awareness of the
Their reluctance resembles the American attitude early in the last
century, when it was the ascendant economic power but did not wish to
a 'Great Power' itself, with responsibility for maintaining world order.
Instead, the United States propped up Britain for many years as the
empire sank into unsustainable debt. British power was fundamentally
eclipsed in 1914, but the United States provided the financial nurture
keep it upright, as a kind of dummy leader in world affairs, until after
World War II. Washington decisively pulled the plug in 1956, when
(along with France and Israel) invaded Egypt to capture the nationalized
Suez Canal. It was the last gasp of British colonialism, and Washington
disapproved. By withholding an IMF loan to London, the United States
the pound, forced Britain to withdraw from war and its prime minister to
resign in disgrace. The Brits were finally relieved of their delusions.
- - - The Bush warriors' reckless American unilateralism can only
the day when the creditors' conclude that they must assert their
over us, perhaps in order to defend peace and stability in the world.
will Americans react when they discover that 'U-S-A' is a lot less
than they were led to believe? - - -
SECRET BLUEPRINT FOR U.S. GLOBAL DOMINATION
The recklessness of the Bush administration has been long-planned,
to reporter Neil Mackay in an article in The Sunday Herald (Scotland) on
September 15. He writes:
A SECRET blueprint for US global domination reveals that President
and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure
'regime change' even before he took power in January 2001.
The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday Herald, for the creation of a
'global Pax Americana' was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice-
Donald Rumsfeld (defense secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy),
George W Bush's younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of
staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses:
Forces And Resources For A New Century, was written in September 2000 by
neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC).
The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of
Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says: "The
States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf
security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate
justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the
Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."
The PNAC document supports a "blueprint for maintaining global US
pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping
international security order in line with American principles and
This 'American grand strategy' must be advanced for "as far into the
future as possible", the report says. It also calls for the US to "fight
decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars" as a 'core
The report describes American armed forces abroad as "the cavalry on
new American frontier". The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document
written by Wolfowitz and Libby that said the US must "discourage
industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a
larger regional or global role".
For the rest of the article, go to
RUSSIAN COMMENTS ON SITUATION SINCE 9.11
In a recent round table discussion organised by the Russian
intelligence-linked weekly 'Zavtra', the renowned television commentator
Michael Leontyev, who is close to 'Russian oligarch' interests, opined
the economic and social crises in the U.S. "reminds us of the crisis of
Soviet Union at the beginning of the 1980s."
Leonid Shebarshin, a former high-level KGB official, supported this
thinks the U.S. might "stumble" in its attack on Iraq, and this could be
beginning of a total collapse. "Everything could disintegrate, just as
Soviet Union disintegrated, when in just four days, the whole state
The five men participating in the round table discussion on the world
situation since 9.11 seemed to be agreed, in the words of strategic
General Leonard Ivashov, that "September 11 was an internal operation in
"It is necessary to recognize two forces operating in the U.S that have
different conceptions on using the military power of the U.S. to create
world empire," General Ivashov argued. "The first... wants the U.S. as a
powerful nation. The second, the world financial elite ... considers
the U.S. must be subjugated to the world empire, whose time has come....
is not an accident that many Western commentators speak of Sept 11 as an
attempted coup d'etat... The force that gave the order [for the
believe, is connected with the world financial mafias, having
representatives in the power structures of the USA, including the
intelligence and special
services. It is also no accident, that parallel with the investigation
the Sept. 11 attack, investigations are going on concerning the
of a number of other structures, including the Mossad, within the U.S.
intelligence community.... I believe the ongoing events in the U.S. will
develop out of the conflict between these two forces."
"What unites them, is the necessity to use the military power of the
to crash down the boundaries of sovereign states.... Why the hurry?
firstly, China is growing, secondly, the Arab occident is consolidating
itself, thirdly, a rather powerful development is going on in Southeast
Asia. Russia's position is very unclear....
"The present state of Russia satisfies these U.S. interests, but what
will be tomorrow, is not clear.... Thus, the U.S. is now at a transition
point. She has come to the climax of her military-power adventures for
grabbing power over the planet. I think this peak will be crossed in 1
to 2 years, after which the USA will retract from its positions as a
of economic problems. I think the attack on Iraq will occur. I think
will be drawn into the confrontation, and it should not be excluded,
Israel will participate.... After that, U.S. policy will disintegrate
the influence of the economic and social-political collapse inside the
One has the feeling, that the financial oligarchy in power on this
are not interested in maintaining the U.S. population at its present
standard." - - -
A fuller transcript of the discussion between the Russian commentators
be had from Angie Carlson - email@example.com. See also
http://english.pravda.ru for Russian attitudes to world developments.
This E-letter is posted at
** The What Matters Programme is an initiative by Boudewijn Wegerif, to
spread information about what is happening in the world today, and how
things could be, given a schooling at all levels to free the self and
world from debt/guilt oppression and money madness - a schooling for
The trustees of the What Matters Programme are the collegiate of
Folkhögskola Vårdinge By, an adult education residential college south
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