The New Depression by Martin Jacques from New Statesman 17 February 2009 We are living through a crisis which, from the collapse of Northern Rock and the first intimations of the credit crunch, nobody has been able to understand, let alone grasp its potential ramifications. Each attempt to deal with the crisis has rapidly been consumed by an irresistible and ever-worsening reality. So it was with Northern Rock. So it was with the attempt to recapitalise the banks. And so it will be with the latest gamut of measures. The British government - like every other government - is perpetually on the back foot, constantly running to catch up. There are two reasons. First, the underlying scale of the crisis is so great and so unfamiliar - and, furthermore, often concealed within the balance sheets of the banks and other financial institutions. Second, the crisis has undermined all the ideological assumptions that have underpinned government policy and political discourse over the past 30 years. As a result, the political and business elite are flying blind. This is the mother of all postwar crises, which has barely started and remains out of control. Its end - the timing and the complexion - is unknown.
Thursday, 19 February 2009
Below is a good account of the global economic crisis by Martin Jaques of the New Statesman. He raises some possible global political consequences which are worth considering. Though Jaques is silent on the likely emergence of an international grassroots movement demanding more fundamental changes to the system than the bankers, corporate politicians and business elites will want. The outcome of this coming global confrontation between masses of ordinary people and the mega-rich elite will determine what the world is going to look like in a decade or so. The RAM Plan http://www.ram.org.nz/pdf/the_ram_plan.pdf, which represents the combined thinking of activists and social movements in New Zealand and internationally, has some good common sense ideas for establishing a rational human-centered society. Check it out.