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    In general discussions of the global financial system and to what extent TSR members felt compelled to change it a common theme emerged; many posters felt that so long as their quality of life remained roughly the same, democracy and the fate of other individuals in society or around the world was not of their concern.

    Personally I find this attitude psychopathic and sociopathic, but putting that aside it was largely agreed that social change was unlikely to originate within or be strongly supported by the middle classes so long as their quality of lives remained good.

    This is true, and previously in history it has been from the poorer strata of society that major social change has originated, only usually backed by a minority of liberal intellectuals and artisans when it occurs.

    However this is ignoring an important fact about the current economic crisis; more than ever it threatens to eliminate the middle class in which we are all included.

    What follows will be a quick breakdown of how and why this is occurring, using the US as the primary example, however Europe and the rest of the developed world is as usual following close behind.

    For starters it's important to understand the global economic environment in which this crisis was able to occur. The world made a slow transition from feudal and aristocratic mercantile economies to a nominally capitalist plutocracy. Following the end of the second world war the United States emerged as the primary economic superpower of the world, holding 50% of all wealth, largely generated through huge manufacturing industries.

    Following the opening of the former Soviet Union and China to world markets after the end of Cold War, cheap labour sucked manufacturing jobs out of the western world and into those regions. In response, the developed world, lead by the US, transitioned to "financial services" as it's primary source of profit generation. Soon after this transition, the operation of these financial businesses was deregulated by western governments in order to allow risky loans and unconstrained speculative profit generation in order to maintain growth rates and satisfy the incredible greed of those companies CEOs and boards.



    The consequence of this has been periodic recessions triggered by the mass defaulting of dodgy loans resulting in enormous losses from the world's biggest banks and insurance companies. Their political clout, bought or secured through members or former members of their boards being present in the cabinets and advisory panels of many of the develop world's governments (not least the United States'), allowed them to use public money to pay off their losses and maintain their businesses and enormous wealth at the expense of society.

    The eventually results are then huge deficits. In a ingenious two-birds-with-one-stone stroke this prompts governments to privatise public services such as health, education, infrastructure and even the military to quickly pay off those deficits, thereby also opening those sectors up to private profit generation at the expense of equal access and quality of service to the community.

    Governments and the business community know that the middle class must at all costs be kept in line. Rebellion within domestic populations is the primary threat to the continuation of their exponential profit accumulation, with the world's working class largely too miserable, impoverished and violently repressed to pose a threat at present.

    Through propaganda, employment slavery and the deployment of security forces if necessary, quality of life for the middle classes is maintained only as high as it needs to be in order to assure their collaboration with the system.

    However, there is one factor in the whole system that undermines the intentions of this ruling elite; they are actually not particularly intelligent. These individuals are often pathologically incapable of feeling guilt and the finger of blame is always pointed at others or the "complexities" of the system. Everybody involved wants to believe n the convenient myths that they painted for the people below because no matter how irrational they may be, they otherwise have no reason to believe that they can maintain this game forever.

    And indeed, they can't. The global financial crisis beginning in 2006 has continued to spiral deeper than their own predictions to the point that multiple developed nations are now at risk of bankruptcy and whole currencies are on the brink of collapse.

    The consequence? The continued wealth of the ruling elite is unquestionable, to alter that would be to alter the very basis of the global economy, and so it is the maintenance of the quality of life of the middle classes which is and will continue to decline.

    Examples:

    The rise in US house prices



    The rising rate of US foreclosures (Note: this destroys families)



    The rising costs of health insurance in the US (Note: this is projected to cause an economic crisis dwarfing the current one with massive social ramifications within the next few years)



    The increasing personal debts of US citizens



    The corresponding rise in working hours in attempt to pay off this debt



    Rising unemployment (note the time scale)



    For the first time since the Great Depression, the next generation of Americans born have less access to education, health care and a lower disposable income than the generation before them.

    And all this despite:



    All this in the early stages of what is set to become the deepest financial crisis in history, and with each recession since the deregulation of the banks increasing and no real effort to reverse these trends (in fact many of the perpetrators of this crisis sit in government and the boards of the top financial businesses bailed out remain as wealthy as ever), these trends can only be expected to increase.

    And this is, of course, all according to plan:



    The end of the middle class may genuinely be on the horizon. For that to occur is not necessary for social change, as said before, it is largely from the world's working class whose labour is so grossly exploited in order to pay for all of this where true revolution usually begins.

    In fact the last time the middle class was destroyed we saw the rise of this:



    And so my message to the so called "egoists" and "libertarians" out there who refuse to care about these issues is this: perhaps you will soon be unable to sit back and enjoy the handouts previously granted to you by the ruling elite, and if that happens and you are forced to engage in future upheavals in our societies, perhaps you should attempt to reconnect with your sense of morality and human dignity less you facilitate the repetition of an even more catastrophic stage in human history.
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    Yeah, I read that post.
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    (Original post by Grenville)
    Yeah, I read that post.
    It's interesting you should say that, because one of the things big business relies on to avoid a popular backlash is the inability for the public to understand what exactly it is that they are doing.

    In other words, the more the public adopts a tl;dr attitude, the more likely that we will allow ourselves to sleepwalk into a catastrophe.
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    Thanks, it was only meant to be a joke though. I'm sure you are making a valid point but I just can't be bothered to read such a long post.
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    That's an interesting post. We are seeing the stagnation of the middle class in places like the United States - where wages have fallen for the middle classes when adjusted for inflation; and vast amounts of wealth have been transferred upwards from normal earners to the top 1 - 2%. In addition, social security in a lot of countries is slowly being eroded (in both the EU and the USA). In places like the UK and the USA - many young middle class people are looking at the prospect of unemployment/underemployment - which hasn't been seen for decades in these previously flexible labour markets. If you google "middle class america" http://www.google.de/search?q=middle...ient=firefox-a you can see a huge number of intersting articles about this phenomina.
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    That's way too much info for a TSR post. Who's gonna bother with all that?
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    (Original post by Tristano)
    That's an interesting post. We are seeing the stagnation of the middle class in places like the United States - where wages have fallen for the middle classes when adjusted for inflation; and vast amounts of wealth have been transferred upwards from normal earners to the top 1 - 2%. In addition, social security in a lot of countries is slowly being eroded (in both the EU and the USA). In places like the UK and the USA - many young middle class people are looking at the prospect of unemployment/underemployment - which hasn't been seen for decades in these previously flexible labour markets. If you google "middle class america" http://www.google.de/search?q=middle...ient=firefox-a you can see a huge number of intersting articles about this phenomina.
    The worrying thing is that instead of grappling with injustice in the global economy and seeking to remove the class system that has put it in place, they turn to Daly Mail scapegoats like immigrants and small time benefit thieves.

    That's why I think that in the event of a future collapse of the middle class, huge efforts need to be put into building working class solidarity and anti-classist ideology in order to avoid the fallout of the Great Depression; the rise of fascism.

    ^ I don't necessarily think that Britain would be the country to first go that way, or the US, actually it's probably Russia that would be the most likely; there's already rising racism, anti-semitism, far right ideology and just like Germany had the humiliating losses of world war 1 to stir up resentment in the middle classes, so does Russia have the catastrophic destruction of the Soviet Union resulting in massive unemployment and poverty. Russia is an absolute time bomb imo.
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    (Original post by Ciaran88)
    ^ I don't necessarily think that Britain would be the country to first go that way, or the US, actually it's probably Russia that would be the most likely; there's already rising racism, anti-semitism, far right ideology and just like Germany had the humiliating losses of world war 1 to stir up resentment in the middle classes, so does Russia have the catastrophic destruction of the Soviet Union resulting in massive unemployment and poverty. Russia is an absolute time bomb imo.
    Yes, our friends to the East are not in good shape. I wouldn't underestimate the potential for huge unrest in China (which is one of the most unequal societies in the world) when their economic growth slows - which it will do. I think that Chinese social problems are kept under a lid by the impressive annual growth rates, but these will not last forever. Regards Western inequalities - most are a result of the neo-liberal policies started in the 1970s and 1980s - in places like Finland and Norway we haven't observed the same phenomina that has happened in the USA/Russia etc (i.e. the transfer of wealth). There have been huge protests in India about these types of issues, and massive protests in Israel as well - again largely by an insecure middle class - worried about jobs, housing and eroding public services.
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    (Original post by Ciaran88)
    The worrying thing is that instead of grappling with injustice in the global economy and seeking to remove the class system that has put it in place, they turn to Daly Mail scapegoats like immigrants and small time benefit thieves.

    That's why I think that in the event of a future collapse of the middle class, huge efforts need to be put into building working class solidarity and anti-classist ideology in order to avoid the fallout of the Great Depression; the rise of fascism.

    ^ I don't necessarily think that Britain would be the country to first go that way, or the US, actually it's probably Russia that would be the most likely; there's already rising racism, anti-semitism, far right ideology and just like Germany had the humiliating losses of world war 1 to stir up resentment in the middle classes, so does Russia have the catastrophic destruction of the Soviet Union resulting in massive unemployment and poverty. Russia is an absolute time bomb imo.
    But Russia is perceived to be racist for a long time and after all it wasn't Russia who said that multiculturalism has failed it was Merkel, Sarkozy, Cameron et al.

    If it were to happen, I don't see the US go first imo
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    I disagree with you on one point, and it is that point I am responding to because it's late and to be honest, TL;DR.

    But the lower classes have only ever been the engine for change in forms of Quasi-Socialist revolution, and nearly always led by someone of Middle or Upper class origins. In terms of social change in democracies the Middle Class are a massive influence, and certainly in changes of governance and method and so forth it is arguabley the Middle Class that hold sway.
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    (Original post by Steevee)
    I disagree with you on one point, and it is that point I am responding to because it's late and to be honest, TL;DR.

    But the lower classes have only ever been the engine for change in forms of Quasi-Socialist revolution, and nearly always led by someone of Middle or Upper class origins. In terms of social change in democracies the Middle Class are a massive influence, and certainly in changes of governance and method and so forth it is arguabley the Middle Class that hold sway.
    Not always but you're very right that it's usually manipulated by disaffected members of the aspiring upper-middle class, the French Revolution being a classic example. There are plenty of exceptions though.
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    Well I DID read your post in full, and tbh it was not a huge surprise to read the self-applied "Marxist" label in your sig- you sound just like a modern re-writing of his manifesto, albeit in a different style of rhetoric. What I did find hilarious was the "nationalist" label you've also given yourself, which is totally at odds with Marx's wish to abolish nationalist sentiments. But that's by the by.

    I'd put it as simply as this: Marx said the same things that you're saying now in 1848, that the system would collapse under its own weight and that eventually the oppressed proletariat would begin to see the true nature of their oppression (which ironically Marx described as being much more obvious in comparison to say Medieval oppression...) and rise up to create a Communist society. And although I can't say the same thing to you as I would have said to Marx were he still alive to day, what I did think after finishing the manifesto was "well, over 200 years have passed and the "system" is still going as strong as ever". And indeed since he wrote the manifesto, quality of life has improved vastly, human lifespans have increased rapidly and the world is, I genuinely believe, a better place. Whether this is thanks to Capitalism I'd rather not say as I'm not actually sure, but I am certain that if things were really as "on the cusp" as both you (now) and Marx (in 1848) have proclaimed them to be, I wouldn't have seen any evidence supporting my claims that life is pretty darn good if you live in a developed country.
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    dude are you studying economics?
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    A level students across the country will be using this as their coursework now.
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    (Original post by The Cornerstone)
    But Russia is perceived to be racist for a long time and after all it wasn't Russia who said that multiculturalism has failed it was Merkel, Sarkozy, Cameron et al.

    If it were to happen, I don't see the US go first imo
    Just open the border, just for some days please. And you'll get the taste of Moscow
    multiculturalism at London metro.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=244N8IfF17c
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    (Original post by Bobo1234)
    Well I DID read your post in full, and tbh it was not a huge surprise to read the self-applied "Marxist" label in your sig- you sound just like a modern re-writing of his manifesto, albeit in a different style of rhetoric. What I did find hilarious was the "nationalist" label you've also given yourself, which is totally at odds with Marx's wish to abolish nationalist sentiments. But that's by the by.

    I'd put it as simply as this: Marx said the same things that you're saying now in 1848, that the system would collapse under its own weight and that eventually the oppressed proletariat would begin to see the true nature of their oppression (which ironically Marx described as being much more obvious in comparison to say Medieval oppression...) and rise up to create a Communist society. And although I can't say the same thing to you as I would have said to Marx were he still alive to day, what I did think after finishing the manifesto was "well, over 200 years have passed and the "system" is still going as strong as ever". And indeed since he wrote the manifesto, quality of life has improved vastly, human lifespans have increased rapidly and the world is, I genuinely believe, a better place. Whether this is thanks to Capitalism I'd rather not say as I'm not actually sure, but I am certain that if things were really as "on the cusp" as both you (now) and Marx (in 1848) have proclaimed them to be, I wouldn't have seen any evidence supporting my claims that life is pretty darn good if you live in a developed country.
    None of my post had any reference to marxism.

    It's also entirely uncontroversial, none of this is embellishment it's just history.

    Thirdly there is a big difference between nationalism and Nationalism, between cultural revival and an ideology of state, Marx knew that, anyone with 2 brain cells knows that. I also don't dictate my opinions according Karl Marx, I am interested in what is practical and accurate and that's it.

    Finally, Marx wrote about capitalism, we don't live in a capitalist economy, some of what Marx thought would lead to the collapse of a capitalist economy is still present in ours but others are new and unique to this "plutonomy". Incidentally, it is not the left that created that term, but big business itself. Between private corporations, third world manufacturing, the financial services industry and massive state intervention in the economy by western nations you can paint a pretty clear picture of the world we live in, it is one that has employed every protectionist and exploitative means it can to maintain the status quo but each crisis is deeper and longer than the last. I said myself, it could be this crisis, it could be the next, or it could be 20 years from now but the trend is towards the erosion of the middle class and market insecurity. People who ignore trends tend to suffer the consequences.

    If you're going to be condescending at least be coherent; that was embarrassing, frankly.
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    Is most of this influenced by Adam Curtis, by any chance? If so, bravo, he's a legend.
    If not, also bravo. A very intelligent formulation of a social prediction!

    What I disagree with, is the mention of morality in a purely economic post. There has never been and will never be social morality, only social necesity.

    OP, your post could even be published in a magazine, it's brilliant.
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    (Original post by Ciaran88)
    None of my post had any reference to marxism.

    It's also entirely uncontroversial, none of this is embellishment it's just history.

    Thirdly there is a big difference between nationalism and Nationalism, between cultural revival and an ideology of state, Marx knew that, anyone with 2 brain cells knows that. I also don't dictate my opinions according Karl Marx, I am interested in what is practical and accurate and that's it.

    Finally, Marx wrote about capitalism, we don't live in a capitalist economy, some of what Marx thought would lead to the collapse of a capitalist economy is still present in ours but others are new and unique to this "plutonomy". Incidentally, it is not the left that created that term, but big business itself. Between private corporations, third world manufacturing, the financial services industry and massive state intervention in the economy by western nations you can paint a pretty clear picture of the world we live in, it is one that has employed every protectionist and exploitative means it can to maintain the status quo but each crisis is deeper and longer than the last. I said myself, it could be this crisis, it could be the next, or it could be 20 years from now but the trend is towards the erosion of the middle class and market insecurity. People who ignore trends tend to suffer the consequences.

    If you're going to be condescending at least be coherent; that was embarrassing, frankly.
    Firstly, I didn't say you embellished any of the statistics, and nor do I think Marx did, although you both used the rhetoric of fear-mongerers when talking about workers "trapped in the system" and such like. And when I referenced MArx in my post, I was talking mainly about your sig, and the traces of Marxist ideology present in your OP.

    You discuss trends exactly as Marx did, albeit from a modern perspective, and again when society ignored Marx's "prophecy" they did just fine, just as they will if they ignore yours, in my opinion. My point bout nationalism was a side note, but I still disagree with you on your point there, because the whole idea behind Marx's illusion of solidarity was that nationalism got in the way, and the best way to create a nation-state ideology is through national culture and heritage, which are the most obvious aspects which set one nationa apart from the next, so supporting either nationalism or Nationalism rather defeats Marx's aims. Anyway none of this matters, as you don't dictate your opinions according to Marx, apparently.

    Finally, if you think there were inconsistencies in my last post, please feel free to point them out.
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    (Original post by C_B_C)
    Is most of this influenced by Adam Curtis, by any chance? If so, bravo, he's a legend.
    If not, also bravo. A very intelligent formulation of a social prediction!

    What I disagree with, is the mention of morality in a purely economic post. There has never been and will never be social morality, only social necesity.

    OP, your post could even be published in a magazine, it's brilliant.
    I actually hadn't heard of Adam Curtis, just googled him now and this has gone straight on my to-watch list.
 
 
 
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