Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lords of Capital Versus The Planet

"The corporate mega-criminals are all pleading not guilty to speculating the price of oil into the stratosphere, while their servants in the Bush administration rush to appear as character witnesses for the perpetrators. Oil prices have multiplied seven-fold in the last seven years of Bush-Cheney rule - a time of unceasing American wars and threats of war in oil producing regions. That alone should have pushed oil prices far beyond peacetime levels - and it has. The U.S. Congress pretends it's trying to find out what's behind the ever-escalating price of crude oil and gasoline at the pump, even mustering up the courage to make threatening noises at Wall Street's Lords of Capital. But it's all a front to appease desperate and angry consumers, who are urged by the U.S. Secretary of Energy to put the blame on the uppity and unworthy Chinese and Indians, who insist on trying to catch up economically with the Americans and Europeans after suffering so many centuries of white Western colonial and imperial rule.

But even such political insanities cannot begin to account for the price madness of recent years. Only concentrated, organized capital, relentlessly distorting economic realities as it moves through international markets - much as gravity bends space and time - can wreak the havoc we have witnessed in oil trading. The tracks of the criminals are clearly seen, leading straight back to Wall Street.

However, the current oil price crisis should be viewed as an episode in a much larger saga. Over a generation ago, finance capital, which produces nothing, won its long struggle against productive, industrial capital. The Lords of Finance rule. They make money through manipulation of markets, or even by compelling the governments they control - like the U.S. government - to print money for them. They scheme and conspire to create artificial wealth - and in the process hem in and hold back the world's productive capacity. A group of European luminaries including former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt issued a warning against what they called "fictitious capital... that does very little to improve the human condition...." Actually, it's worse than that. The Lords of Capital and their accomplices have drowned the world in non-productive, "fictitious" money that is constantly bet on one non-productive proposition or another - including betting that something horrible will occur very soon to halt the flow of oil."


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