Sean Stinson’s article The Great Reset: The end of Capitalism as we know it does a service by reminding us of what we can learn from Marx in the current crisis — but also what we cannot.
As the headline implies, he argues that we are no longer in capitalism and thus cannot be in a crisis of capitalism.
We are rather in a technocracy that lacks the familiar transactional indicators and mechanisms of price discovery such as a functioning stock market and a relationship between asset prices and reality.
Soon the technocrats plan to do away with credit, private ownership and above all any autonomous determination of the price of labour, the last redoubt of the worker and his union.
He notes that “Marx was absolutely correct when he said that the crises of capitalist production are due to under-consumption.”
The fear of over-production is the theme that unites the archetypal capitalist with the finance capitalist. Instead they seek to ensure scarcity, in which they determine the social hierarchy; wealth and power being identical.
Capitalism is being shunted off to the scrapyard. That began, however, more half a century ago. What we’re looking at is simply the narrative.
No president wants to be the first to tell the people that they no longer get to live better than the rest of the world’s population. Or that the U.S. dollar no longer commands a greater spending power than other currencies.
There has to be something to blame. The people may rebel so the government needs an excuse to militarize the police and remove constitutional rights.
For a while it was Climate Change that demanded the root and branch reform of society. Then it was joined by the War on Terror.
In reality, as I have written for more than a decade, governments were just searching for a scapegoat. Eventually Climate Change was junked as the rationale for an economic reset because, like any prophesy, it loses its edge when repeated forecasts of apocalypsis come and go.
What remains of Climate Change is the Carbon Trade because that was always the profitable aspect of the cult.
All cults require the faithful to fork over their assets, preferably as regular monthly payments or tithes, so that the gurus can amass Rolls-Royces or the current fashion for yachts or space rockets.
The Carbon Trade does the same by vastly increasing the cost of fuel through price and tax which is handed over to the gurus in the form of subsidies for their “net-zero carbon” boondoggles or Elon Musk’s “reusable” vehicles.
THE INNER PARTY
Like financial wizardry the wording must be impenetrable to the masses. They are just told to “save carbon” and as in an insurance scam they won’t find out they’ve been had until the perpetrators have made off with all those monthly payments the workers struggled to pay.
There is a collectivist, party character to The Great Reset if only because so many of the bankers and tech billionaires identify with the Democratic party.
Of course it’s just a vehicle — any will do — but they sit astride a political bulldozer that pursues deregulation and anti-competitive practices, and clears the path by which the bankers and tech billionaires amass their wealth.
To this extent the oligarchy constitutes a party as much as any back in the early days of European parliaments and assemblies.
The fact that so many of them are tied to the Chinese experiment also leads many to reach for the word socialism. It’s important to note that Rockefeller was active in China long before the communists.
Corporations have created profitable new niches for the State under the guise of privatisation and shrinking government.
Two thirds of the surveillance state is privatised, while military corporations rely almost entirely on the government for their contracts, making them effectively state enterprises… except that the profits are privatised, the losses are socialised.
This form of corporatism operates just as easily in a nominally capitalist state as in a communist one. Many of the same corporations traded with the Soviet Union throughout its existence, just as they did so in Nazi Germany and in China.
State corporatism is the model, or monopoly capitalism. It never has subscribed to the Adam Smith public relations of market competition.
The oligarchical collectivists see competition as far less profitable than sitting down with government bureaucrats and signing a non-competitive contract for products that the population is then forced to buy.
Precisely this process is paraded before our eyes with Big Pharma and the injectables being pushed under the guise of “jjab”.
The drug companies even admit many of these cocktails do not provide immunity but merely suppress symptoms. And then they publish lists of side effects which curiously parallel the symptoms of the disease.
Only the vicious monopoly power of the State could do this. A scam on this scale would be unlikely to survive in a competitive market or successfully raise finance if capitalists were putting their own money at stake.
This is a one-party state with a rigged stock market in which the senior cadre of bureaucrats move smoothly into well-paid corporate jobs and vice versa.
This nomenclatura is the social contruct we should be worried about! Instead of imagining biology or gender to be social constructs and mulling the layout of lavatories in schools we should address how the structure of society is changing.
THE OUTER PARTY
Where are the social scientists, where are the psychologists, where are the real economists?
No, not the mathematical modelers and monetary fetishists preparing reports-to-order for government to provide the pseudo-rationale for pre-planned policies and outcomes. We know what happened to our academics.
They were bought and paid with research grants from tax-exempt foundations that operate as profit-seeking arms of corporations owned by those self-same oligarchs that use government as a tool for private profit.
Technocracy was a movement that developed BEFORE the Great Depression and owed its roots to the same fork of the Enlightenment that brought forth the Fabians.
In a sense the New Deal swamped the technocrats before the progressives turned their admiring eyes towards Mussolini.
Elon Musk’s grandfather, a founding member of the Technocracy movement, was chased out of Canada by a government that feared, probably unfairly, that he was a fascist.
It all became a bit messy. Technocracy became moot as the pseudo scientists such as Trofim Lysenko had their day.
Though Lysenko contributed to the Soviet famines of the 1930s, it was not until the 1950s that he finally was dethroned… having sent a generation of real scientists to the GULAG.
So he paralleled perfectly the rise of Rockefeller’s eugenicists, though they outlived him and are still with us today.
To understand this we must abandon false dichotomies. We must not perceive distinctions where there are none: such as the left and right wings of the same dodo; or progressives versus populists.
These inexact comparisons are a waste of our energy and they fail to identify the protagonists.
BANKERS AND BARONS
A ruling power, whether it be an organised criminal enterprise or a coterie of ruling families as in Tudor England or Renaissance Venice, will buttress its power and cloak its hand behind a cohort of retainers.
It becomes a class in Marx’s sense when it acts as an oppositional force in a historical context. The influence of the tax-exempt foundations in shaping the modern world largely meets that definition.
If capitalism is dead, so is the capitalist class. Indeed the rise of finance capitalism is a sign of this for it has a transient connection to industry.
If this class no longer consists of industrialists, it has no need of workers. If no need of workers, then perhaps it no longer needs consumer markets.
We are confused because we are told this capital was built through industry but banking is not industrial any more than the rentier.
Even Standard Oil gained its wealth and power not through pumping oil from the ground as from cornering the market and putting rivals out of business.
While the heirs of J.D. Rockefeller still pump oil, their accumulated wealth and power is sheltered in tax-exempt foundations.
Finance capital is concerned, through the corporation as a psychopathic individual legal entity, only with amassing further power to itself. This is more easily achieved by hoarding wealth, cornering markets and driving up scarcity value.
The Rothschild-Rhodes-De Beers creation of the diamond markets is a textbook example but today finance capital is more likely to buy up agricultural land and water rights or to pursue regime change in order to capture minerals and rare earths.
ARTISANS AS INDUSTRY
Post-industrial is not the point. Industry was always the province of the artisan who invented the machinery that increased the scale of production.
At a later date industrialisation would go exponential through the enclosure of resources previously held or exercised in common: land, water and labour.
First, however, capital must be amassed beyond what was possible by controlling nodes on the Silk Road or hand-building fleets of ships.
First the Enclosures and then the rise of the State as a tax authority would provide bankers with their partner in organised crime.
Mass-industry turns out to have been a temporary phenomenon, required to build cities and infrastructure for ruling as much as for living.
The Great Reset, the World Economic Forum assures us, will do a lot less manufacturing as humans will play a different role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This supplants industry with Big Tech. There is nothing industrial about Twitter or Facebook.
Even Amazon is a universalniy magazin, a Soviet one-stop shop. Its purpose is to put small business out of business and return power to the barons. How much product stocks the shelves in the Brave New World is yet to be seen.
BACK, FURTHER BACK
The proximate cause of The Great Reset is a crisis of finance capitalism and specifically of bankers.
It is the logical outcome of the looting of treasuries and endless bailouts of the richest and most powerful institutions that have brought the monetary system to collapse. What’s happening is that the bankers have a small window to put together another monetary system.
The banks have been insolvent since the financial crash of 2008 and if they move fast enough they can shift their liabilities to a new digital currency before the whole house of cards comes down.
They will use the debtors and those who accept government stimulus as the vanguard to get the system up and running. This represents a quantum leap in theft and appropriation of resources.
The aim is to move from fiat currency (paper to you and me) issued as financial credit to a new monetary system of social credits issued under threat of dispossession and exclusion. Event Covid is simply the cover for an unprecedented transfer of wealth and power.
Maybe power returns to basics over millennia. Much of what passes for social philosophy is perhaps an engaging distraction while social constructs tend towards entropy. State-run schooling plays a supporting role to the State, justifying force and providing the rationale for regulations.
For this reason academia is ill-equipped to perform constructive social criticism. Academics traditionally have worked in fortresses, oblivious to the work of other disciplines that could inform their work.
The Internet has raised the profile of revisionist historians and alternative archaeologists bringing belated recognition to those who, like Jacques Cinq-Mars, were demonized as the universities in their cloisters sang their hymns to uniformitarianism.
Those who avert their eyes from uncertainty, risk and catastrophe, insist that development is largely linear, bar a few distruptions. Like all religions this is pock marked with meteorites but insists that the present is a guide to the past.
I suggest this is the wrong way around and encourages an unreasonable faith in linear progress. Like all religions, adepts have a habit of springing from the sublime to the ridiculous.
We were taught at school that after the withdrawal of the Roman Empire, Europe fell into the Dark Ages when essentially the bosses went home and the plebs didn’t know what to do. This defies common sense.
The great architects of the Roman roads may have withdrawn but that does not mean people lost the ability to trade, write contracts with each other, build houses and otherwise conduct business on a local rather than imperial scale.
If we choose, we can head into a similar phase of history. This time the barons are enclosing not land or the Commons but the information that forms the synapses of our lives.
This is valuable because it is personal and the appropriation is doubly personal because they would sell it back to us in the form of access to the product of our own labour.
The technocracy plans by this caper not only to hoard existing resources but to create new ones — if you believe the patents held by Billy Boy and Microsoft — through ‘monetizing’ humans themselves.
Whatever the technical imaginings of Gates and the promoters of transhumanism like Edge.org, this is likely to lead to a society based on the panopticon and the prison.
Technology will provide the 24/7 surveillance and a cohort of thugs will intervene and suppress the population where necessary — in return for slightly more food and a couple more credits at the company store.
If we allow it, we shall return to the pre-capitalist, feudal mode of production. Or we resist and take command of the next truly great reset.