Austerity and the Wall Street Bounce


It makes you wonder whether anyone would have jumped off the roof back in 1929 if they had known that the ‘Wall Street Crash’ was actually only the first movement of the ‘Wall Street Bounce’, and that the kook religion of Capitalism was not about to be brought down by mere worthlessness.

How could they have guessed that its spirit guides were so out there as to believe that it could still be kept alive by selling off the actual reserves whose worth their bits of paper were drawn on? How could they have predicted any other of the string of ever more desperate subterfuges that would ward off inevitable collapse and continue to shore up the fairy palace for the greater part of a century?

The year 2015 is 86 years on from the ‘crash’ – a suggestive number in itself.

If it only took so long for the initial collapse to occur when the market was backed by genuine resources, how long can worthlessness beget worthlessness before the stage props give way under the strain?

As the energy is drained from what looks like the final bounce, the latest effort at appeasing capital is to sell it its own shares at a knock down price on credit. Now, not only is the cupboard bare, the piggy bank emits not a rattle, and the stocks won’t cover the credit card bill.

Groucho’s Finance Minister:  ‘Don’t be scared, you’ll get it back. I’ll give you my personal note for 90 days. If it isn’t paid by then, you can keep the note.’

The only trick the whole flim flam still has up its sleeve is scarcity.

This planet is not lacking in food or resources.

There is no overpopulation.

Austerity is not forced upon people or governments by prevailing conditions.

It’s a policy, a scam, another subterfuge.

Scarcity is the root and the life blood of capitalism. Something scarce – like the gold that your money no longer represents – is valuable by definition.

Not now having much left in the way of real assets, capitalist corporations are reduced to stealing common assets and holding them to ransom to restore scarcity and value.

Nestlé is entitled to charge for pumping, purifying, bottling and delivering water, but it is stealing the natural and common resource that is the water itself. Monsanto is trying to patent common vegetables, so they become its property, and has already misappropriated seeds that only exist because poor farmers shared them for free in the past.

Both are essentially creating scarcities from which they can continue to profit on paper despite decades of staggering economic doltishness and hysterical blindness to the outcome of those 86 years of mendacious manoeuvring and fiduciary folly.

Whatever the other justifications and implications, blasting whole nations ‘back to the stone age’ is also one hell of a way to create scarcities, as well as being the most desperate of all acts of denial.

If communism is generally agreed to have self-destructed in the 80s, corporate capitalism hit the pavement with grim finality 50 years previously, its very lack of merit the true raison d’être for unrelenting wars and campaigns to prove itself against all ideological contradiction – even down to its present efforts to attack and marginalise those who genuinely built everything of value in western societies, often in defiance, rather than as a result, of parasitic, profit for nothing, ‘investments’ of paper money.

Like so-called political ‘bail-outs’, those investments are nowadays even more theoretical, the only actual value being in the interest paid by the bailee. It’s Groucho’s promissory note, which is never honoured, but the payments become due all the same.

Maybe, if the stockbrokers and bankers of 1929 could see what was coming, they would have jumped anyway. If they could have known how many people would be homeless and dependent on food banks at home, how many around the world killed or denied a peaceful existence, how many countries embroiled in cooked up wars, just to try and convince everybody – and especially the faithful themselves – that capitalism isn’t the bust all the evidence clearly shows it to be.

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Dave Randle is a British author and journalist with 30 years experience in print and online media. His latest book, Blinded with Science, is published by Bank House Books and is available from all major retailers. He can be contacted at daverandlemcij@aol.com

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