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"Historically, the financialization of society has always been a symbol that a nation's economic position has entered a phase of deterioration." - William Wolman & Anne Colamosca, The Judas Economy, 1997
In their 1968 book Lessons of History, Will and Ariel Durant wrote (Chapter 7 :Growth and Decay): "History repeats itself, but only in outline and in the large. We may reasonably expect that in the future, as in the past, some new states will rise, some old states will subside, that new civilizations will begin with pasture and agriculture, expand into commerce and industry, and luxuriate in finance." As they saw it in the histories of Spain, Netherlands, England to name a few; we seem to witness it in the history of the United States.
From Plymouth Rock, .the early Pilgrims and subsequent generations of immigrants came and began to pasture, establish agriculture and accelerate to the manufacturing industries; all these development under the so-called modernity and progress and all in, historically speaking, relatively short period.
The logic of capitalism drives a business enterprise to grow and pursue growth. the bottom line being maximized profits. It drives the company/corporation to expand, to buy/merge, i.e. kill, competition, under supposedly a synergy or just simply, "bigger is better." Slowly, since the early 1970s the corporation grew by eating like a PacMan, horizontally and vertically into a conglomerate -a humongous transnational/mulitnational company; to gobble up more, to include native businesses of other countries and easily those of poor countries (as happened in our homeland).
The supreme profit motive drove and still drive US manufacturing corporations, including those of other advanced nations, to move from one cheap country to another without a blink; most by now settling in China making the latter the "world's manufacturer." With a quickly vanished industrial manufacturing, the sine qua non for attaining and maintaining a majority middle class, America has become dominated by its financial service sector, boosted by the astronomical foreign debt that puts the country literally in deep shit, amounting to what may be the Third Worldization of America.
The only effective but very difficult solution, if not unrealizable, seems to be for the American citizenry to withdraw from its highly individualistic orientation, merry consumerist ways, etc. and to spend more of its leisure time to learn and know, to understand the whys, whats and hows of the present predicament and decide therefrom to act.
[NOTE: Nationalist Filipinos know and understand what a humongous foreign debt did and still does to the homeland, but unfortunately their analysis and suggested actions were/are not heeded; therefore the ever-worsening predicament to our native majority and national sovereignty. All these impoverishment and misery thanks to the IMF and WB programs and transnationals via the World Trade Organization (WTO) rules agreed into by the mendicant, traitorous governments of Marcos and successors Aquino, Ramos,Estrada and now Arroyo and their Americanized technocrats .]
Kevin Phillips (a true conservative -the Barry Goldwater-type, not the now too powerful neoconservatives variety) wrote early this year about the dominant moneymaking enterprises , i.e. financial service sector comprised by FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate). His article follows.
"The recent quantum leap in the ability of transnational corporations to relocate their facilities around the world in effect makes all workers, communities and countries competitors for these corporations' favor. The consequence is a "race to the bottom" in which wages and social conditions tend to fall to the level of the most desperate." - Jeremy Brecher, historian and author
" What we have is not a market economy. It is a corporately planned and controlled economy. We have a world in which a handful of corporations, detached from any link to any place or community, have extended their power beyond the reach of most governments.
.. The political system ... [is] enormously expensive. The only way you can raise the money to win an election is by appealing to corporate interests, which then means you're in their debt and have to focus on their agendas." - David Korten, economist and internationalist
The Destructive Rise of Big Finance