Empires die as history has shown us but never has such a global event destroyed the whole of mankind in the process. Now this has definitely changed – super-capitalism and globalization has created a monster that is totally out of control that devours everything in its path. In this respect the march of corporate consolidation goes on relentless and where presently a very small number of corporates control the global economy.
Many of these super-powerful corporates have economic turnovers far greater than nations. Indeed presently a mere 2,000 corporations (Forbes Global 2000) have a combined greater GDP than the economies of the USA, the EU, Russia and South Korea all put together. Therefore although nations make laws, the corporations have the economic clout to forge a nation’s laws behind closed doors – and this is humanity’s greatest problem for its sheer survival. For as corporations are not living organisms made of skin and blood et al, they have no empathy with human sustainability. Indeed it is all take and no give back.
Indeed, coming out of the epoch changing ‘recession’ in 2009, inequality increased significantly, the complete reverse of what was the case when the Great Depression of the 1930s ended some eighty years earlier. What was the reason for this?
According to French economist Thomas Piketty in his new book Capital in the Twenty-First Century, when investment returns exceed economic growth, the rich get richer, increasing inequality. As Piketty is an economist recognized for examining incomes reported from tax returns over the 20th century, he is a man who knows what he is stating. Therefore more wealth is flowing to the few than at any other time in the history of the world and through ‘globalization’. Considering this fact globalization is doing nothing but being a regressive step for the majority of mankind. For the facts speak for themselves.
In this respect last year’s Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse stated that a mere 0.7% of the world’s population controlled 41% of the world’s wealth and the top 10% controlled 86% of the world’s wealth leaving a mere 14% of the world’s wealth for the remaining majority of 90% of the population of the world. This inequality that is in fact growing by the year, is a clear recipe for eventual Agamemnon if common sense is to be used and a level head. But things will get far more acute for the 90% of the world’s people as natural resources run out to sustain human life over the next hundred years or so.
For what is happening is that the world’s natural resources (that cannot be replaced and where several elements have already disappeared forever from planet Earth through over-extraction) are being extracted at an alarming rate of knots that is exhausting humankind’s capacity to support themselves. And all in the quest of greater year-on-year profits and shareholder value. Unfortunate there will come a time when shareholder value will be worthless, as the market will systematically collapse over a mere few decades and which will have been caused directly through the wealth of the masses not being able to support the markets.
This is why the constantly widening gap in inequality is so shooting the corporation in the foot as when there are not sufficient punkers, they will also be destroyed. Sheer madness really but greed blinds the truth. For once the majority have not the wealth to support the markets, shareholder value and companies will fail completely.
What has been happening for the past 40-years is a consolidation in all markets that has successively fallen into the hands of fewer and fewer super-corporations and where this will go on indefinitely until in theory, just one company owns all the world’s economic turnover. But where this process of placing more economic power into the hands of the very few creates a world of the ‘majority’ have nots. For this system is a ‘chain reaction’ of continual events of the haves and the have nots and where this ultimately ends up growing into a critical mass of unstable destructive markets, total economic collapse and progressive unsustainability for the whole planet – we are seeing this materialise by the year and where this stage is being reached very quickly now but no-one appears to be aware of this in ‘high’ places.
But all the above predictions are not just a personal assessment, but what major global think-tanks have predicted for humanity and for the world’s dire future also on its present ‘take and not give back’ trajectory.
Indeed the Royal Society (RS), the most eminent and oldest scientific institution in the world and where their Fellowship is the pre-eminent scientific minds, has said that it will not be 100 years before all is lost but in a mere 25 years. The RS assessment in their ‘evidence’ based report ‘People and the planet’, was bleak and where global disintegration would happen over a relatively short period of time with a complete collapse. Indeed the report states at the bottom-line, ‘The current trends of global population growth and material consumption and the concomitant changes in the environment are unsustainable’. The apocalyptic assertions of the RS should not be ignored as complacency is what has brought all empires down ultimately (making hay whilst the sun shines but fiddling at the same time while Rome burns) but where now it is the whole planet that is at a catastrophic risk…an era never before known to mankind with such devastating outcomes that threats, far more destructive than even world wars.
But to show how the sheer greed of the few and powerful corrupt the whole basis of humanity’s being, according to OXFAM, it would take just 0.2 per cent of global income to pull more than a billion of the world’s poorest people above the poverty line. It never happens as greed is the greater driving force and where there is no empathy within the super-rich’s thinking for the wellbeing of the majority.
But adding to the Royal Society’s conclusions, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the most prestigious technology university in the world, predicted very similar conclusions. In this respect a study from researchers at Jay W. Forrester’s institute at MIT stated that the world could suffer from “global economic collapse” and “precipitous population decline” if people continue to consume the world’s resources at the current pace. They predicted a mere 20 years for this happen.
But the big problem with those who are in charge of the decimation of planet Earth and the human experience, are only interested in self-wealth on a colossal scale and do not consider what harm it does to the rest of the world’s population – up to 90% of the people anyway. Indeed the Horizon programme series entitled ‘Are you good or evil?’ identified that there are many psychopaths running major corporations and where many political leaders also are only interested in power and control. Put these two inhuman components together in more and more people who control the global system and you have a recipe for Armageddon in future times. It is therefore these people, who for short-term gain whilst they live and breath on this planet, are destroying humanity and where in little more than a few decades the human experience will be no more. For as inequality grows (what happened before all empires were totally decimated and were no more), wars are inevitable as the struggle of the have nots (the vast majority) rise up. This common sense thinking is the only outcome and as China et al elevate their nation to the no.1 economic power over the next few years, the dynamics of survival will kick in and the world will be set on fire.
Not a prediction but a certainty and where even the most eminent science and technology institutions are saying this now.
This is no good of course for the people of the EU, the USA or any nation for that matter, as we are all on a present road to our ultimate demise. Therefore for even governments and their institutions, it is something that requires their primary consideration. If not even they will not exist in a mere few decades from now.
Ultimately, there has to be a new realism that our planet’s resources are running out and that it is in all our interests to control our use of these so that the human experience can continue. But if we take no notice of what is happening to our planet we might as well say goodbye to all future generations as there simply will not be the resources left to support human life. This unfortunately is a truism of the first order and if we do not adhere to what common sense dictates, we as the only so-called intelligent life in the universe to press, will have only ourselves to blame for our extinction. But to achieve this sustainable state, the majority will have to force our political masters and the powerful corporations to see sense no matter what that takes, whether it is by peaceful means or by intelligent revolutions.
For we are only saving our own skins and even those who have created this ultimate problem for humankind’s very existence through their sheer greed. Indeed even psychopaths understand that they are not immortal or if they do, they are certainly mad and that is the biggest problem that all sane humans have to overcome. For intelligence states that the ultimate quest of humans is their survival and where we are not born for short-term gain to the total detriment of the vast majority – just what we have now and which ultimately will be the death of us all, including all the billionaires.
Dr David Hill
World Innovation Foundation
1. Global GDPs of nations
2. Revenues of the world’s largest corporations in terms of the equivalent of GDP
3. The Royal Society’s Report People and the Planet (2012)
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Simulation by the Jay W. Forrester’s institute, MIT (2012)
5. Limits of Growth – Club of Rome (1972)
6. New Scientist – Earth’s Natural Wealth: An Audit (2007)