Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Encountering Difficult Terrain


Assumptions are; to join the club of the rich, (OECD), poor countries must imitate what they did. Unfortunately this supposition is encountering formidable obstacle. Given the way things are stack today, tracing the development trajectories of the rich will be a futile exercise. For a start; energy, which is the most critical factor for all-rounded development, economic or otherwise, is no more cheap, i.e. it won’t be easily available. Without a doubt, it was this negligible cost of energy (up to the 1960s) that allowed the West to attain a standard of living hitherto unknown in human history. Many of the schemes that flourished in the era of cheap energy, petro-agriculture, petro-transport, petro-production, etc cannot be sustained henceforth. Therefore, poor countries are better off discounting such highly energy dependent schemes from their developmental calculus. Like many things in our global reality, however, this is easily said than done!
Situations are; there is chronic paralysis when it comes to pointed analysis to help indicate the way forward. The reigning global institutions of economic governance, (IMF,WB,OECD, Central Banks, WTO, etc ) and the reigning global operators, the multinational corporations, have adamantly refused to open up the debate on alternatives, especially if these alternatives potentially harbor constructs that are capable of deconstructing the thinking and doing of the global status-quo. In the meantime, as these entrenched interests procrastinate, the beast including the well fed ones (the human mass in OECD) is refusing to accept whatever is thrown at it by these dominant interests. The beast is now devising all sorts of clever tactics, on its own, to counter the systematic offensive that has been directed against it.
Indications are; institutions of higher learning/teaching/research, etc (all over the west and their imitators elsewhere) are also playing their assigned role of blocking out rational inquiry into the underlying foundation of the prevailing global economic system and its attendant frequent crisis. Rich economic history that could have informed sensible policies was discarded in favor of vacuous mathematical manipulations. As these institutions are under the custody of powerful interests, they have difficulty coming up with meaningful propositions, particularly if such recommendations are deemed to offend the politicos and their underwriters.
Facts are; the whole global economy that is propped up by phony finance (fractional reserve banking, fictitious currencies, et al) is resting on very shaky ground, nay, on quick sand. See Ron Paul’s article next column. So far, the global financial system has been protected from collapse by the injection of massive liquidity, compliment of the various central banks. Again this liquidity was/is created out of thin air. This is the scheme that is being employed (by central bankers and their cabals) to save bankrupt oligarchs, bankrupt corporations and bankrupt governments! In the last four years alone, these institutions, in one form or another, have managed to pump over USD 50 trillion into the global system, again mostly through the banks, trying to save the unsaveables. The figure translates to about 90% of the total world GDP! This is the major reason why poorer countries were hit with hyperinflation a year and half ago. Since prime pumping has not stopped in the OECD countries, it would be wise for the poorer countries to devise mechanisms to mitigate this ongoing inflation. Even with all these efforts, however, there is still no light at the end of the tunnel, notwithstanding the rhetoric of paid experts and paid media.
Times are; the global beast is in no mood to remain silent in this game of destruction. It is vigorously refusing to be trampled upon by the psychopath grabbers of the world that have run the economy aground. The global elites that meet once a year in the Swiss resort of Davos to deliberate on the fate of all humanity, (even though many of them are not even elected by their people) are visibly scared by what is unfolding on the ground. They fret not only about their failed economic model, ’crony capitalism’, but also about the impending and chaotic global transformation (economic, social, political, etc) that is becoming increasingly palpable. The uprisings in North Africa, the Middle East as well as in the countries of the rich are only previews of things to come.
Lessons are; what is witnessed during the last three years, as a result of economic/financial crisis and the concurrent popular uprisings cannot be wished away, however hard we wish. Popularly inclined thinking institutions/individuals must brave the challenge of addressing the protracted problems of our world, not superficially, but radically! History is full of unsustainable economic/financial flirtations that ultimately collapsed and we can benefit from studying them. To assume those who have benefited from the system will genuinely want to transform it, is at best preposterous. As the prolific writer and social critic once said: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” Upton Sinclair. Good Day!