Greed Is The Only Currency That Matters In 21st Century Capitalism.
The insatiable rapacity of the wealthiest 1% and their determination to dispossess the poorest and destroy the planet by accumulating more should be a matter of grave concern to us all.
We live in extraordinarily perilous times; Our politicians aren't pretending to care anymore about anyone, never mind the most vulnerable, the volatility of the capital markets continues unabated, the gulf between the wealthy and the rest of us, is ever widening and the damage being wrought to our environment, stemming from extreme ecological capitalism is rising, every where you look and turn.
And yet, contrary to conventional wisdom, the accumulation of wealth by the dispossession of the poor isn't an exclusively western problem - It's very much a global malaise.
In Brazil, under the anti-LGBT, climate change and Covid denying President Jair Bolsonaro, the amazon forest is being destroyed by the wealthy farmers who voted him into power. The Congo, Indonesian together with the amazon forest, currently represent 3% of the world's ecosystems that is still intact. That over 360,000 people have been killed thus far, in a country of 200 million people, during the pandemic has meant very little to a world leader, who continues to deny the existence of the virus.
In England, six football clubs, including the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal have elected to form the European super league, thus removing all restraints to what they have always sought to accomplish - greater profitability.
Also, in the United Kingdom, vast swathes of the National health service, which has served generations of Britons, since 1948, are being privatized to the market leaders of asset stripping - silicon valley. It's not unusual to have Covid testing kits, put together by Amazon, and being delivered to your address, by, you've guessed it - Amazon!
The presence of the European union, acting through the court of human rights (ECHR), which for a very long time, functioned as a restraining force against the excesses of private organizations, has now been fatally undermined by Brexit.
In Nigeria today, all Uber drivers and other service providers are going on strike to protest the egregious wages of =N=65 ( far less than 20 cents), per ride, to =N=100 (still less than 40 cents) per ride. Another major issue of concern, is the notion of the all powerful business owners such as Dangote, who have consistently treated their staff like trash, hiring and firing at will, with very little regard for employment law. It's fair to say that there is no such thing as employment law, in Africa's largest economy.
In the United states of America, the efforts of workers to unionize, to help neutralize, the unrestrained power of Amazon, has hit the buffers. Traitorous employees voted two to one against forming a union. This means that the power to exploit humans and treat them as soulless machines lie with the omnipresent and omniscient Jeff Bezos.
The only currency that links the wealthy farmers of Brazil, Nigerian Oligarchs, Tech giants of silicon valley and English football team owners is - greed.
The insatiable greed to seek to acquire more wealth, to create new channels of exploitation, to undermine the social contract, often at the expense of those with very little at the bottom of society.
In the past, these channels of exploitation, included selling insurance to gay man with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), opening liquor stores in the most deprived African American neighborhoods, advertising sugar laden drinks to children from the poorest areas and prescribing anti depressants, Ritalin to misdiagnosed children and adults alike.
In recent times, what we have had is the subprime mortgage crises and the use of credit default swaps - a financial instrument -by Wall street, to bet against the very instrument that they have created in a process called 'shorting' to amass several billions of pounds, much to the detriment of the poorest in our midst. It's near impossible to go online today, without being bombarded by gambling adverts, pay day loans and hair growing medication and in some extreme instances, male genital enlargement!
In my previous article, " The poorest in society are not worth saving", I wrote about a report commissioned by an investment bank, in 2006, long before the pandemic that global inequality was set to rise, in ways unseen, understood or unheard of, in human history.
Since February 2020 till date, we have seen the fortunes of Jeff Bezos($177bn), Elon Musk ($151bn), Mark Zuckerberg ($97bn) Warren Buffett ($96bn), Bill Gates ($124bn) go up by several billions, which has shown that global pandemics, which have wreaked havoc for millions of people across the world has been a phenomenal business opportunity for the wealthiest players.
Right before our very eyes, the middle class is being destroyed, jobs are disappearing and global unemployment has risen inexorably since 2020. Given what we know about the methods and strategy of the wealthiest 1% in the world, we need to start pushing back in the strongest way imaginable.
Push back to protect our environment, push back to protect the most vulnerable, push back in fighting for fairer wages, push back in fighting the insidious elements who are forever demonizing and gaslighting the immigrants and the asylum seekers among us. Push back against the right wing governments across the world, who are in cahoots with the oligarchs, in dispossessing the poorest and push back against the bigots.
For the wealthiest, the only currency that matters is greed and we owe it to our yet unborn grandchildren to fight for an equitable and fairer world.
Thanks very much for reading.
Done by Jacques Peretti
The guardian UK.