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The Yin and Yang of Economic Growth and Power

Politics / GeoPolitics Sep 16, 2014 - 09:25 AM GMT

By: Raul_I_Meijer

Politics

These are dangerous times. The dangers come from places hardly anybody ever thought to look for them. And that is a danger in itself.

The world has become an amalgamation of centralized blocks of power on the one hand, and a move away from these blocks on the other. The latter happens for good reason. Not that any such reason should be required. The plain and basic human right to, and desire for, freedom and self-governance should be enough. It isn’t, though, as we shall find out soon enough.


The centralized blocks have been able to gather far too much power, politically, socially and militarily, all concentrated in the hands of far too few people. And because we are who we are as a species, once you arrive at that sort of power concentration, it is inevitable that the people who go look for it, and obtain it, are the last ones who should have it. That is, from the point of view of all the rest of us.

It takes a certain mindset to want so much power over others, and if you don’t end up with outright psychopaths holding the reins, you’ll get something very close to it. Nevertheless, on the other hand, the process of increasingly concentrated powers is a natural one.

But then so is the move away from that concentration, the urge to break away from the huge entities and into smaller ones. It’s as yin and yang as it gets. Still, we all understand where the problem lies: those who have accumulated all that power in their few handfuls of hands, will be extremely reluctant to give up even a few crumbs of it.

They will instead look for more and more. Which will clash with the, again, entirely natural movement elsewhere in society towards the dilution of this massive power centralization. And guess who holds the arms, which in today’s setting are the most devastating ones in human history by a factor of a thousand, or a million, or more.

The drive away from condensed power is fed by deteriorating economic circumstances, even if those are not immediately clear to all (just about everyone’s still talking about, and believing in, a ‘recovery’).

The power blocks have served their purpose, which was the concentration of wealth, and have now overstayed their welcome. This is most evident in blocks such as NATO and the EU, but it applies just as much to the US, China and the Russian empire.

Our choices then are clear. We can at this moment choose to prepare a smooth path towards de-centralization, or we can prepare to fight a thousand bloody battles over it. There are no other flavors available.

What is more evident than anything else is that we live in a failed economic model. And recovery from that failure is a mere pipedream. We will need to come up with different answers than that. Before people in America and Europe start dying by the side of the road again. If we wait until they actually do, we’ll be too late.

You will hear from many sides that independence movements such as Scotland’s and Catalunya’s are founded on populist sentiments. But that’s nowhere near the whole story. People have the right to govern themselves, if they so choose. And if you try to stop that, if you let these sentiments fester, without giving them room to breathe, they may indeed well manifest in nasty ways.

If it takes a populist leader to channel the desire for independence, chances are such a leader will emerge. To prevent such things from happening, the ‘free’ world needs to assemble something akin to a blueprint for situations in which peoples express their desire for self-determination.

The absence of such a blueprint equals a surefire way towards trouble, unrest, and worse. It can’t be that 2 million Catalans take to the streets of Barcelona, and old school soldiers issue threats to kill them, or the Madrid government declares the entire movement illegal. ‘It’s against the Spanish constitution’, they proclaim. Well, then it’s high time to change that constitution, because it violates UN charters Spain has signed up to.

Self-determination is not illegal. And that should be expressed very clearly by all nations and all leaders, through the UN, but also in EU and US law, so nobody is in doubt any longer, and the path towards independence is clear for everyone to see.

The main problem of course is: how do you make a change such as this happen when all incumbents, all those who hold power, are on one side of the divide?

We could start off by realizing that presenting de-centralization as some sort of ideological drive misses the point entirely. What we’re looking at is a wholly natural sequence of events. But nature has no edicts or laws that decide against violence and bloodshed.

That’s where we come in. We can pass international agreements that ban violence against peoples who seek to become independent. Not one inch of it will come easy, but we don’t have much of a choice if we don’t want to live in some kind of ongoing war situation for years to come.

The demise of the communist block has presented a number of examples of de-centralization, some peaceful, some incredibly bloody. There are lessons in there for us to learn.

Scotland is a timely reminder of things to come. It won’t be the last, it’s in fact only the vanguard. The more it become obvious and inescapable that our economies will not recover, because they are too deep in debt and they don’t have sufficient access to cheap fossil fuels anymore, the more the call for independence will gather momentum and volume. And it will be contagious.

We have a narrow window left to regulate the process. Before countries start pulling out of international bodies because these no longer serve a purpose for them. Before the power brokers and holders sense too much threat to their acquired positions, and decide it’s time to call in the cavalry.

There’s no way we can prevent mayhem in every single case, there’ll simply be too many of them, and they will all have their very different and unique characteristics. But we still can do a lot.

Or we can close our eyes and wait for the recovery our masters will keep on promising until they pull the plug on the whole mirage.

By Raul Ilargi Meijer
Website: http://theautomaticearth.com (provides unique analysis of economics, finance, politics and social dynamics in the context of Complexity Theory)

© 2014 Copyright Raul I Meijer - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.
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