Voices from Russia

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Late “Epiphany” For Financial Elites


It seems that Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum, learnt some basic tenets of Karl Marx’s economic theory. In particular, he learnt about the widening gap between the rich and the poor. In an interview with Financial Times Deutschland he said, “In its current form, capitalism no longer fits the world around us”. At the same time, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) happened to make the same discovery, the growing gap between the “cream” of society and ordinary people proved to be an unpleasant shock. Many times, analysts warned that there was a stark imbalance in the distribution of wealth. The rich and powerful tried to stay silent on the issue, but now it looks like “the levee has broken”. Today, even currency dealer and billionaire George Soros has joined the critics haunted by apocalyptic nightmares, which he confessed in an interview with Newsweek magazine. Chaos grips Europe, and there are protests in the USA. Furthermore, there’s a spectre of a repressive governmental actions as a reaction of the rich and mighty to the attempts of the impoverished to deprive them of their fortunes.

The explosive contemporary situation, which is terrifying the world’s “powers that be”, didn’t come about yesterday or even the day before yesterday. It has built up for decades. So, why did the élites wake up so late? We asked Ruslan Grinberg, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the head of the Institute for Economic Studies, who told us, “In the period of 1950-70, the Western world adopted ‘capitalism with a human face’, thanks to its standoff with its rival, i.e. the Communist bloc. For the first time, the struggle was on to make life better for everyone. When our system collapsed, it turned out that we had gone back to Adam Smith’s theory of market self-regulation. However, as Karl Marx once said, market forces bring about a situation when the poor find themselves on one end and rich people on the other. Today, Obama speaks out against the rich. In the US, they worked out that the very rich pay only 15 percent of their income in taxes. That’s atrocious. I recall Kennedy’s statement, “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable”. All these warnings made by Soros and the OECD are symptomatic. Either you start sharing your affluence with others or you’ll get what Soros has warned you about, i.e. street revolts, and, then, dictatorship. That’ll be bad for everyone; there are too many discontented and completely unhappy people. In the last 25 years, credit policy hid the imbalance in the distribution of income, but, now, all of a sudden, all this has come to the fore”.

There’s an ancient saying, “Fate leads the willing and drags along the reluctant”. Maybe, some will find comfort in Mark Twain’s aphorism, “Not everybody gets rich, but most people remain human”. Yet, given there are one billion people on Earth who are struggling to survive on 2 dollars a day (61 Roubles. 1.50 Euros. 1.25 UK Pounds), according to a report by the OECD, and the hundreds of millions of those who find themselves in a dead-end situation, there’s little comfort in it. Besides, Soros admits that the financiers who triggered the crisis weren’t merely mistaken; they did evil.

25 January 2012

Sergei Guk

Voice of Russia World Service


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

18 January 2012. A Point to Ponder…


Undeniably, Americans cherish their economic freedom and respect the men who helped make America great, inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, and industrialists such as Henry Ford. However, they don’t revere the men who make millions and billions at the big casinos of capitalism. They don’t admire a George Soros for winning his billion-dollar bet shorting the British pound. They believe that a man’s professional, as well as his private, life should be guided by a conscience. Moreover, just because they recoil from the teachings of Karl Marx doesn’t mean that they embrace the values of Ayn Rand. Let-the-devil-take-the-hindmost capitalism, economic Darwinism, is neither conservatism nor Americanism.

Who said it?

Pat Buchanan… who woulda thunk it? It does tell you about the Radical Right Teabagger Republicans, though… even the old-line GOP rightwingers gag on the noxious pabulum dished out by the New Republicans. Read n’ heed… and vote this November… that’s the ticket.


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