The Financial Jigsaw – Part 2: 'Localisation' as an Alternative to the Authoritarian, WEF Vision of the 'New Normal'
This lightly edited article is by renowned author Colin Todhunter who specialises in development, food and agriculture. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) in Montreal. The author receives no payment from any media outlet or organization for his work. If you appreciated this article, consider sending a few coins his way: email@example.com
If you have been following my articles you will know that I have been banging on about my Plan B upon which my book, The Financial Jigsaw – Part 2 is based, which I am serialising here, and is a plan for a localised economy to emerge out of the chaos created as centralised systems fail. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/358117070_THE_FINANCIAL_JIGSAW_-_PART_1_-_4th_Edition_2020 My solution is based on the proven model of UBUNTU - promoted by Michael Tellinger but which nevertheless aligns with the following essay.
It is therefore pleasing for me to re-publish this prescient article from Colin Todhunter whose vision is consistent with my Plan B. ‘World Localization Day’ will be celebrated on 20 June 2022. Organised by the non-profit https://www.localfutures.org/ this annual coming together of people from across the world began in 2020 and focuses on the need to localise supply-chains and recover our connection with nature and community and by this I mean, in essence, cooperation not competition. Local Futures.org offers three routes to a stable, happier and more productive future:
· Rethink: Why doesn’t endless economic growth make us happier? What can we learn from non-Western cultures? What do we mean by “progress” and “growth”?
· Resist: Speak out against the global market that widens the gap between rich and poor, devastates ecosystems and separates us from each other and the Earth.
· Renew: Celebrate a way of life that respects Nature, justice and real democracy. Rebuild local economies & communities, and restore cultural & biological diversity.
If you want a taste of what the 'Emergent New Economy' might look and feel like, described in Chapter 13 of my book Part 1, then reading the following book provides a wonderful insight into how a local economy worked in 1754! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Diary-Thomas-Turner-1754-1765/dp/0952451603 It was a time before local banking when cash was actually an embarrassment, so find out how they managed.
The stated aim is to “galvanize the worldwide localization movement into a force for systemic change”: https://worldlocalizationday.org/
is endorsed by Professor Noam Chomsky (which is good enough for me) – here's what he says: https://worldlocalizationday.org/noamchomskyendorsement/ "Over the past four decades, the world has faced mounting crises on all fronts. Wages have stagnated, workers’ rights have diminished, poverty, desperation, depression and addiction are all on the rise, [not to mention suicides]. The gap between rich and poor has grown to unprecedented extremes, and the political establishment is virtually owned by the 1%. Rampant resource-use and mega-industry, linked to a global consumer culture, have set us on track to ecological catastrophe and unforetold suffering."
This is what Colin Todhunter says: "Local Futures", founded by Helena Norberg-Hodge, urges us to imagine a very different world, one in which most of our food comes from nearby farmers who ensure food security year round and where the money we spend on everyday goods continues to recirculate in the local economy. We are asked to imagine local businesses providing ample, meaningful employment opportunities, instead of our hard-earned cash being immediately siphoned off to some distant corporate headquarters.
Small farms would be key in this respect. They are integral to local markets and networks, short supply chains, food sovereignty, more diverse cropping systems and healthier diets. And they tend to serve the food requirements of communities rather than the interests of big business, institutional investors and shareholders half a world away.
If the COVID lockdowns and war in Ukraine tell us anything about our food system, it is that decentralised, regional and local community-owned food systems based on short(er) supply chains that can cope with future shocks are now needed more than ever.
The report 'Towards a Food Revolution: Food Hubs and Cooperatives' in the US and Italy offers some pointers for creating sustainable support systems for small food producers and food distribution. Alternative, resilient food models and community supported agriculture are paramount.
Localization involves strengthening and rebuilding local economies and communities and restoring cultural and biological diversity. The ‘economics of 'happiness’ is central to this vision, rather than an endless quest for GDP growth and the alienation, conflict and misery this brings. It is something we need to work towards because multi-billionaire globalists have a dystopian future mapped out for humanity which they want to impose on us all – and it is diametrically opposed to what is stated above.
The much-publicised ‘Great Reset’ is integral to this dystopia. It marks a shift away from ‘liberal democracy’ towards authoritarianism. At the same time, there is the relentless drive towards a distorted notion of a ‘green economy’, underpinned by the rhetoric of ‘sustainable consumption’ and ‘climate emergency’.
The Great Reset is really about capitalism’s end-game. Those promoting it realise the economic and social system must undergo a reset to a ‘new normal’, something that might no longer resemble ‘capitalism’.
End-game for capitalism: Capital can no longer maintain its profitability by exploiting labour alone. This much has been clear for some time. There is only so much surplus value to be extracted before the surplus is insufficient.
Historian Luciana Bohne notes that the shutting down of parts of the economy was already happening pre-COVID as there was insufficient growth, well below the minimum tolerable 3% level to maintain the viability of capitalism. This is despite a decades-long attack on workers and corporate tax cuts.
The system had been on life support for some time. Credit markets had been expanded and personal debt facilitated to maintain consumer demand as workers’ wages were squeezed. Financial products (derivatives, equities, debt, etc) and speculative capitalism were boosted, affording the rich a place to park their profits and make money off money. We have also seen the growth of unproductive rentier capitalism, stock buy-backs and massive bail-outs courtesy of taxpayers.
Moreover, in capitalism, there is also a tendency for the general rate of profit to fall over time. And this has certainly been the case according to writer, Ted Reese who notes it, and which has trended downwards from an estimated 43% in the 1870s to 17% in the 2000s.
The 2008 financial crash was huge. But by late 2019, an even bigger meltdown was imminent. Many companies could not generate enough profit and falling turnover, squeezed margins, limited cashflows and highly leveraged balance sheets were prevalent. In effect, economic growth was already grinding to a halt prior to the massive stock market crash in February 2020.
Fabio Vighi, professor of critical theory, describes how, in late 2019, the Swiss Bank of International Settlements, BlackRock (the world’s most powerful investment fund), G7 central bankers, leading politicians and others worked behind closed doors to avert a massive impending financial meltdown. [This was the famed Repo Crisis of September 2019]
The Fed soon began an emergency monetary programme, pumping hundreds of billions of dollars per week into financial markets. Not long after, COVID hit and lockdowns were imposed. The stock market did not collapse because lockdowns occurred. Vighi argues lockdowns were rolled out because financial markets were collapsing. [And Event 201 rather supports his contention, as does Larry Fink of BlackRock] viz:
"We wrote in August 2019 about the nearly exhausted monetary policy toolbox and the challenges it poses for dealing with the next downturn. This has now come to the fore – and that’s why it is time to go direct with policy support. Simply using up the limited monetary policy space remaining – interest rates, forward guidance or even quantitative easing – could quickly put the macro focus on the lack of tools left and thus backfire. The only way to address this is to add further lines of defense and make fiscal policy an explicit part of the crisis response toolkit." https://www.blackrock.com/corporate/insights/blackrock-investment-institute/publications/coronavirus-policy-response Translation: GloboCap will take over government policy and economic interventions such as lockdowns.
Closing down the global economy: Under the guise of fighting a pathogen that mainly posed a risk to the over 80s and the chronically ill seemed illogical to many, lockdowns allowed the Fed to flood financial markets (COVID relief) with freshly printed money without causing hyperinflation. Vighi says that lockdowns curtailed economic activity, thereby removing demand for the newly printed money (credit) in the physical economy and preventing ‘contagion’.
Using lockdowns and restrictions, smaller enterprises were driven out of business and large sections of the pre-COVID economy were shut down. This amounted to a controlled demolition of parts of the economy while the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Meta (Facebook) and the online payment sector – platforms which are dictating what the ‘new normal’ will look like – were clear winners in all of this.
The rising inflation that we currently witness is being blamed on the wholly avoidable conflict in Ukraine. Although this tells only part of the story, the conflict and sanctions seem to be hitting Europe severely: if you wanted to demolish your own economy or impoverish large sections of the population, this might be a good way to go about it. However, the massive ‘going direct’ helicopter money given to the financial sector and global conglomerates under the guise of COVID relief was always going to have an impact once the global economy reopened.
Similar extraordinary monetary policy (lockdowns) cannot be ruled out in the future: perhaps on the pretext of another ‘virus’ but possibly based on the notion of curtailing human activity due to ‘climate emergency’. This is because raising interest rates to manage inflation could rapidly disrupt the debt-bloated financial system (an inflated Ponzi scheme) and implode the entire economy.
Permanent austerity: Lockdowns, restrictions or creating mass unemployment and placing people on programmable digital currencies to micromanage spending and decrease inflationary pressures could help to manage the crisis. ‘Programmable’ means the government determining how much you can spend and what you can spend it on. How could governments legitimise such levels of control? They are preaching about reduced consumption according to the creed of ‘sustainability’ [UN Agenda 2030 and climate change]. This is how you would ‘own nothing and be happy’ if we are to believe this well-publicised slogan of the WEF:
But like neoliberal globalization in the 1980s – the Great Reset is being given a positive spin, something which supposedly symbolises a brave new techno-utopian future. In the 1980s, to help legitimise the deregulated neoliberal globalisation agenda, government and media instigated an ideological onslaught, driving home the primacy of ‘free enterprise’, individual rights and responsibility and emphasising a shift away from the role of state, trade unions and the collective in society.
Today, we are seeing another ideological shift: individual rights (freedom to choose what is injected into your own body, for instance) are said to undermine the wider needs of society and – in a stark turnaround – individual freedom is now said to pose a threat to ‘national security’, ‘public health’ or ‘safety’.[Thus the emerging biosecurity state]
A near-permanent state of ‘emergency’ due to public health threats, climate catastrophe or conflict (as with the situation in Ukraine) would conveniently place populations on an ongoing ‘war footing’. Notions of individual liberty and democratic principles would be usurped by placing the emphasis on the ‘public interest’ and protecting the population from ‘harm’. This would facilitate the march towards authoritarianism.
As in the 1980s, the messaging is being driven by economic impulses. Neoliberalism privatised, deregulated, exploited workers and optimised debt to the point whereby markets are now kept afloat by endless financial injections.
The WEF says the public will ‘rent’ everything they require: stripping the right of personal ownership under the guise of ‘sustainable consumption’ and ‘saving the planet’. Where the WEF is concerned, this is little more than code for permanent austerity to be imposed on the mass of the population. [Read further about Collin's description of "head-in-the-clouds" Zuckerberg with his 'Metaverse' and 'Green Imperialism:'] https://www.globalresearch.ca/localization-local-futures-alternative-authoritarian-new-normal/5778602