Mylene Doublet O’Kane, first published Jan 31, 2017.
Philosophically speaking, if we all agree that every human being should be entitled to live in dignity on a safe land, that assumption implies that one should be able to benefit from a decent salary in exchange of his labour. This belief has represented a fundamental part in the industrial revolution and honest capitalism – a fair monetary transaction on work.
Therefore, it also implies that when productivity gains increase, the company should share profits with the working force via increase in wages, stock options… Doing so, an ethical behaviour is preserved. If I earn more, you earn more because the very principle of any advanced civilization recognizes that a human being should never be considered as a means, but always as an end.
In this respect,
- the Mosaic Law – love your neighbour as yourself…
- the great philosophers of the eighteenth century – Kant’s first universal law demanding to “Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law of nature”
- as far as Emmanuel Levinas’ humanist vision “To receive or give to alterity means exactly have an idea of infinity”
all sketched the virtuous form of relationships within an ideal or post-modern society.
However, should an economic ideology suddenly decide that companies would be better off delocalizing their productions in countries with low labour costs in order to increase profits, then what happens?
Could rob Peter to pay Paul ever be a clever option? Each time a state power behaves like a shareholder, the nation is in danger.
The only way such an agenda could work would imply a virtuous planetary system of governance. Bottom line is : Are the nations of the world ready for it? Are the Islamic countries willing to embrace brotherhood? One thing is to chant it. Another one is to fight against concrete evidence proving you actually do anything you possibly can to ensure this aim is not completed.
For decades, “to reduce the gap between rich and developing countries until the point to which they are able to boost global growth” has served as best narrative to voodoo ultraliberalism and globalization. Over the years, the result of a disguised selfishness has turned into a predictable nightmare. Within the rich countries, a political-corporate oligarchy became richer, greedier, more avaricious for others, whereas an increasing number of workers lost their jobs or suffered drastic reduction in their standard of living. Combined with increasing technical efficiency and robotized innovations, the phenomenon went nastier.
As J.M. Keynes put it in “Economics possibilities for our grandchildren” some 87 years ago:
“The increase in technical efficiency has been taking place faster than we can deal with the problem of labour absorption. This creates technological unemployment due to our discovery of means of economizing the use of labour”.
So yes indeed, the Establishment was much aware of what would occur in the end, for the excellent reason it is the nature of capitalist development to expel labour from production in both the capital and consumer good sectors.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy said :
“If men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work.”
Two years later, a committee of scientists and social activists sent an open letter to President Lyndon B. Johnson arguing that :
“the cybernation revolution would create a separate nation of the poor, the unskilled, the jobless, who would be unable either to find work or to afford life’s necessities”.
As the system continues to render labor increasingly superfluous to production, let’s face reality and accuracy, instead of narratives.
IF FACTS ARE STUBBORN, CAPITALISM GREEDINESS IS EVEN MORE
Since the 1980s, to substitute capital for labour through automation has become increasingly profitable. As a result, owners of capital have captured ever more of the world’s income, while the share going to labour has drastically fallen. At the same time, even in so called egalitarian and brotherly places like France, inequality among the employed has risen sharply, with the share going to the highest earners soaring.
When interviewed, quite outspoken David Graeber, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics once noted :
“Much of modern labour consists of stultifying ‘bullshit jobs’—low and mid-level screen-sitting that serves simply to occupy workers for whom the economy no longer has much use. Keeping them employed is not an economic choice; it is something the ruling class does to keep control over the lives of others”.
Among several others, brilliant Boston MIT and Oxford university reports objectify that an average between 40 to 60 % of occupations existing today will be completely redundant over the next 5 to 15 years, as artificial intelligence continues to transform businesses. In the field of industry, experts believe that the new industrial model of fully robotized plants will drastically amplify in the near coming future, although managed and supervised by a very small amount of skilled workers.
Furthermore, in the sector of services, a revolutionary shift in the way workplaces operate could put millions of people’s livelihoods at risk, as customer work, process work and vast swatches of middle management will simply disappear.
In other words, the pace of technological advancement in the last 20 years has been unprecedented, and that pace is likely to continue for the next 20 years.
Berkeley’s Department of Economics researchers calculated that 60% of the actual working population without a college degree is unlikely to find another job. Furthermore, it emphasizes on a paradox:
- Although more people are pursuing higher education, the real wages among recent college graduates have fallen by 7.7 percent since 2000.
- True, top qualified foreign engineers will always be able to find a job in the Silicon Valley, but what will be left for the rest?
- The apparently attractive option of becoming a self-entrepreneur- over promoted by presidential candidate and French former Minister for Economy Emmanuel Macron for instance- might be a dream hiding a nasty reality:
the law of the jungle which will throw millions belonging to the same sector of activity in a fierce competition, if not recurrent precariousness.
In clear, big companies would be able to capitalize on a tremendous pool of talents, while reducing their labour costs in the very same way as they play the stock market.
At this point, several crucial questions emerge.
- What do we do with millions of untrained among the youth?
- How can we manage to get them back to school, whereas it’s easier to sell drugs, guns or fall into a radical ideology?
- How can we finance a free and non-politically oriented education? In France, Higher education is free indeed, but students end up with a biased partisan narrative instead of developing a critical thinking.
- What do we do with workers, once robots replace the repetitive tasks?
- How do we deal with reskilling workers, as hundred fields of employment disappear?
- How do we reskill mature age workers?
True, Humans can do much more than trot, carry and pull. But the skills required in most offices hardly elicit our full range of intelligence. Most jobs are still boring, repetitive and easily learned. According to Oxford study, each is highly susceptible to automation. Besides, if technology will create some jobs, the creative half of creative destruction is easily overstated.
Nine out of 10 workers today are in occupations that existed 100 years ago, and just 5 percent of the jobs generated between 1993 and 2013 came from high tech sectors like computing, software and telecommunications.
Our newest industries tend to be the most labor-efficient: they just don’t require many people. It is for this precise reason that the economic historian Robert Skidelsky, comparing the exponential growth in computing power with the less-than-exponential growth in job complexity has stated:
“Sooner or later, we will run out of jobs”.
The many challenges are significant enough—and the consequences disruptive enough—that we owe it to ourselves not to start lying to each other. The increase of jobs’ scarcity objectifies that Obama’s belief in private consumption and exports – as growth re-starters – was unrealistic.
Soon before being sworn into office as Head of former President’s Council on Jobs and competitiveness, General Electric’s CEO, Jeffrey Immelt reminded the Detroit Economic club that :
“We all know that the American consumer cannot lead our recovery. This economy must be driven by business investment and exports”.
When saying this, he was endorsing that the magnitude of wage reduction-perceived by elites as a necessity in a global neoliberal economy- would be massive, as well as limitless.
Conceptually, the United States could have become a leader in world trade again, but as politics and philosophy brilliant Professor Alan Nasser has recently put it:
“this would be founded upon having created a Nation of low-wage and in debt peons”.
Decades of neoliberal policies finally created a vicious circle.
- Firstly, the international banking system -which is mainly fueled with gigantic Islamic monarchies’ sovereign or private funds – can only admit a permanence of indebted consumers.
- In this respect, wages inflation is the worst. You are not supposed to be able to pay cash, but to acquire more debt.
- Therefore, whereas massive public investment in employment-generating project is possible- and product-market inflation preferable- the financialization of both the domestic and global economy leads to perpetual financial bubbles which are exclusively profitable to the wealthiest and in the end, to Islamic countries that disregard human’s rights, when not periodically financing radical Islamic terrorists.
What’s wrong with Asset inflation versus product-market inflation?
Actually, asset inflation demands secular stagnation (near zero interest rates). Besides, it can generate unsustainable bubbles and increases inequalities. In other words, unsustainable bubbles are not created by secular stagnation. It’s the other way around.
Regarding unemployment concerns over the years, while technological advances and innovations have gradually reduced the costs of goods and rendered net investment obsolete, competitiveness has encouraged big companies to relocation and worsened the politics of austerity. Combined with low border taxes, the mechanism has methodically shrunk small businesses, while constrained households’ purchase power has boosted foreign goods coming from countries with low-cost wage. The reason for the amplitude of the damage is mere simple: insatiable greediness.
In fact, net investment is hardly re-injected in real economy, but profusely making its way into financial speculation and increasing shareholders’ dividends. The consternation and anger are immense.
Due to automation and digital revolution, huge corporate savings – which have become unnecessary to productive investment – could have potentially been available to increase living standards and consumption by raising wages and initiate public investment in various crucial sectors (Education, health care, infrastructures…). Have these funds been under federal control, these contemptible wrongdoings could have been avoided.
Not only did Obama and his predecessors make empty promises, but they behaved like casual shareholders, although their first mission was to protect their own people .
Why is that ? Blame it on the free circulation of capital. In a tickling of an eye, State leaders stepped down only to be replaced by global corporate players and private bankers. This is the ‘great’ achievement of the 1980s. From that moment forward, this tragic change of power would orchestrate a silent coup against every people within the western developed countries.
TRE CYNICAL TRAP
Why did Donald J Trump win the American presidential election? An anti-system candidate was never born out of the blue. Observing the history of the 1930s in the U.S., the U.K. and Europe, Keynes believed that :
“An extended crisis under Capitalism would breed either a socialist revolution or fascism”.
However, the kind of fascism he was thinking about was certainly not the one that has been implemented in the western countries, while simultaneously disseminating a humanist narrative.
- In France, in 1981 and 2012, respective socialist Presidents François Mitterrand and François Hollande promised a change. It’s never happened.
- Actually, the people were twice lied to and the system rapidly curbed back onto austerity and neoliberalism.
- In the early 1990s, the European Commission became the jailer of the European peoples.
- The ECB and the Treaty of Maastricht took away their respective monetary sovereignties, while imposing an austerity only profitable to the persons with a great deal of capital.
- The Treaty of Schengen took away their border sovereignties, only to accelerate the free movement of goods, services and capital.
- But from that moment forward, every time it was going to the nitty gritty of whom was willing to pay for the implementation of an effective European security; the task was cowardly redirected to the United States and their second jail : NATO.
Why? Let’s get to the heart of the issue.
- NATO was created to protect the European countries against Communism and potential USSR’s invasion.
- Then, if USSR died some 25 years ago, why hasn’t NATO reconfigure in the sense that it could have been able to face the new first tricky threat, which soon happened to be radical Islamic terror?
- Why has the old Stalinism dictatorship’s narrative continued to be developed and spread within the so called “free world”, as far as today? Why does Russia still represent the perfect scapegoat?
- The reason is as dark as can be. Under neoliberalism – but it actually all started from the combination of President Richard Nixon’s actions to end dollar convertibility to gold in 1971 in order to fight a temporary domestic inflation and the first oil shock of 1973 – the ever closer global integration as well as the surge in capital mobility have rendered the international financial system a super-power stronger than any state power.
- In taking increasing shares into systemic private banking activities (Bank of America….), Sunni Islamic countries gradually became key players. Over decades, this gigantic capital was thoroughly used for major takeovers on firms in the sense that those countries have become unavoidable partners for global players and industrialists lobbies. The Iran gate and U.S. embargo didn’t allow the same kind of dependence to develop with Shia Islam until very recently, when irresponsible President Obama decided to enforce a crazy nuclear deal.Then, why did he do that?
- Was he hoping for profitable new partnerships after a return to ‘normalized’ relationships with Tehran ? Was it his particular way to punish Saudi Arabia after his administration had found out as soon as the end of 2011 that SA was actually financing terrorist organizations all around the globe ? Did the CIA itself help sunni terrorists organizations jeopardize the Shia crescent with a view to put a hold on oil and gas resources ?
- If we refer to what once wrote iranian theological leader Ayatollah Khomeini about Islam, we would point at a totalizing vision :
“Islam is political, or it is not”.
The sunni aims corroborate this statement in trying to expand and convert the world to the Sharia law. Two methods. 1/ The terrorist option. 2/ Use gigantic sovereign funds to fuel the world banking system, thus the real economy as well as tons of international institutions, charitable foundations, NGOs, political parties, identity and anti-zionist movements, universities, research centers…
For over three decades, the U.S. have favored sunni Islam. As a nasty consequence, the Russians were pushed away from their own Jewish Christian / european civilization on U.S. imperialistic grounds, even after Communism collapsed in 1991.
He who doesn’t want to face the reality as it is cannot understand what’s happening today. The Russians were basically quarantined and forced to organize partnerships with Shia Islam. In the meantime, generations of U.S. and European military officers were born and fed with the Russian hatred and the ‘Cold war’ myth. The rest is about literature and narratives.
Today, the scarcity of oil and gas energies forces the U.S. capitalistic vision to questionable tricks, instead of a clear vision. What do you want to prioritize?
The preservation of the Jewish Christian civilization ?
Or, your obsolete imperialistic economical policy for a global class of Happy few, including suspicious sunni monarchies which cherish a totalizing agenda ?
You cannot have it all. The second has to be declared obsolete to save the former. Logical reasoning rather than fabricated evidence and/or narrative help remaining credible in the eyes of rational people who happen to be the majority in the world. You cannot precipitate the old continent and its wisdom into a cynical trap.
- In 2003, George Bush carried out a war in Iraq on false evidence. Iraq was the wrong pick.
- In 2011, the CIA (part of the ‘Deep State) then Barack Obama destabilized Syria. Syria was the wrong pick.
- Why would you successively destabilize Afghanistan, Iraq then Syria, if the biggest threat for peace in the Middle East was Iran all along ? Why not going straight to the point?
Logical and obvious answer is :
- Because you would need to make peace with Russia.
- Because you would need to stop the insane narrative of : ‘The Russians did it’.
- Because you would need to admit that the ukrainian Kiev’s coup was orchestrated by the US Neocons and the CIA with a view to discredit Valdimir Putin in the eyes of his own people, put Russia under european economic sanctions and thus weaken its influence in the Middle East.
- If you would ever want to save the Jewish Christian civilization and its humanistic values, it would implies that you are willing to set Europe and Asia free from a foreign imperialism, and the U.S. were never ready to such concessions.The so called ‘global governance’ is the fierce trap ever.
- From 1991 forward, to live on the old Yalta’s partition of the world decided in 1945 has been convenient for a U.S. globalist agenda. Not for its own average people in the end. Not for the other peoples within Europe at the end of the day. NATO was the first american jail for Europe. The single euro currency was the second.
- A market of 500 + million inhabitants seems to be more important than the preservation of the Jewish Christian civilization. A massive planned immigration has helped increase the figures for energy investors.
- This is the reason why immigration was decided in 2015. This is the reason why the US-led coalition has turned a blind eye on Turkish President Erdogan delivering sarin gas to IS ( former ISIS, ISIL) in Syria, while allowing the terrorist organization transit oil from Syria-Turkish border.
- President Bachar Al Assad had to be neutralized to allow energy pipelines transit toward Europe as well as to prevent Shia lebanese Hezbollah from receiving iranian weaponry.
- Meanwhile, in removing Assad while helping regional terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda or IS might be the most dangerous move. Will Israel prepare and launch missile strike in order to provide artillery support to Al-Qaeda terrorists in the coming future to secure the Golan heights?
- Will the plan include Afghanistan’s integration to NATO in order to isolate Iran between two Sunni countries?
- Will the plan include a dispersion of the Russian forces on their borders close to North Korea, while creating chaos in Afghanistan ?
- We tell you what. To remove Assad while isolationg Iran could result in a ‘Balkaninization-like’ geography of the entire region with Shia communities more determined than ever in their effort to threaten Israeli northern and eastern borders. To create a diversion with North Korea is more than expected. If a clear vision with the Russians isn’t achieved before any reckless military action is taken on Syria or elsewhere, the core question will remain :
Do you want to save the Jewish Christian world or global particular interests including Sunni Islam praising the Sharia Law? You cannot secure both.
The international oligarchy which is corrupted by Islamic financial manna is only looking forward to creating what Keynes was able to foresee:
“A prolonged dissatisfaction could merge into unorganized resistance and greater social dislocation”. We are asserting today that it could merge into a third International of the third Millenium merging social disatisfaction and militant Islam forces as the best liberal and democrat globalists’ hidden weapon.
Is that why Donald Trump was elected for?
President Donald J. Trump was the last chance for America before the global governance takes control once for all. The coming months will tell whether he was a man of his word.
Challenging Capitalism and existing paradigms
We will finish this article paying tribute to President Trump’s decision opting for a smart protectionism and bilateral trade deals, as long as they are truly implemented on fair basis. J.M Keynes could not have agreed more.. It is a time when a courageous and smart President needs to understand that he’s been elected on its own people’s aspiration for saving the Jewish Christian civilization and values, the truth rather than discontinuing ‘Russia did it’ narrative . The old tricks and partition of the world constitute the last wall that needs to be atomized. No insane imperialism can last forever. In the very same way, an ever growing western Peoples’ resentment against a U.S. imperialism is worst than any acid. To free Julian Assange and wishtleblowers who have bravely contributed to the emergence of the truth is crucial. As for capitalistic ambitions, it clearly appears that Capitalism is a failed ideology at the dawn of the third Millenium, considering simple demographics, cultural and environmental aspects. This is the scientific point of you:
Although the idea is-at least- as old as Thomas More’s satirical novel Utopia (1516), philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists along with non-partisan economists in Switzerland, France, the U.K., Finland, the Netherlands, Denmark, the U.S… have started to challenge the existing paradigms.
The idea of a universal or basic income has emerged. Sir Tony Atkinson, Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and Fellow of Nuffield College has been a pioneer in defining basic income as a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all, on an individual basis, without means-test or work requirement.
In the coming decades, a full Basic Income could replace some of existing social policies if the goal is to ensure everybody is treated as an end and never as a means, according to Kant’s vision of universalist humanism inherited from the Jewish Mosaic law and therefore, according to the U.S. constitution. Bill Gates’ idea of a tax on robots may not be considered as a mere utopian dream, but rather as a fair way to go back to Karl Marx and Keynes’s common philosophical vision .
Marx’s observation that soaring productivity under capitalism “makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow,
‘to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner”
was echoed by Keynes in Economic Possibilities For Our Grandchildren (Collected Writings, vol. IX, 321-332).
Under productively mature capitalism,
“a point may soon be reached, much sooner perhaps than we all of us are aware of, when [basic economic] needs are satisfied in the sense that we prefer to devote our further energies to non-economic purposes.”
What makes this feasible is that heightened productivity reduces the time it takes to produce the requirements of a decent and just standard of living.
“In quite a few years – in our own lifetimes I mean – we may be able to perform all the operations of agriculture, mining, and manufacture with a quarter of the human effort to which we have been accustomed.”
That workers will be able to produce the value of living-wage goods in one quarter of the time formerly required was regarded by Keynes as
“the greatest change which has ever occurred in the material environment of life for human beings in the aggregate.”
It enables us to sieze the day by liberating workers from having to devote most of their waking hours to laboring.
“[W]e shall endeavor to spread the bread thin on the butter – to make what work there is still to be done to be as widely shared as possible. Three-hour shifts or a fifteen-hour week… For three hours a day is quite enough to satisfy… most of us!”
It is the nature of capitalist development to expel labor from production in both the capital- and consumer-goods sectors. As Keynes put it in Economic Possibilities,
“The increase in technical efficiency has been taking place faster than we can deal with the problem of labour absorption..”
Therefore, this creates : “technological unemployment due to our discovery of means of economising the use of labour outrunning the pace at which we can find new uses for labour.”
Capital’s productive power has never been more prodigous than it is today, as the system continues to render labor increasingly superfluous to production. Think it over. Progress for manking might be there.
©Mylene Doublet O’Kane, Jan 31, 2017.