The West rots in a crazy political crisis propelled by carefully engineered ignorance, misunderstanding and herd like behavior. It has drastic economic, social, and even ecological consequences. None of this is an accident. Instead, it’s the expression of a will. And no, it’s not just a Will To Power, as Napoleon and Nietzsche would have it, in their simplicity, and general lack of cynicism.
Before taking flight above the morass of commonality, let’s roll out Krugman in “Build We Won’t” (07/ 3/ 2014):
“You often find people talking about our economic difficulties as if they were complicated and mysterious, with no obvious solution. As the economist Dean Baker recently pointed out, nothing could be further from the truth. The basic story of what went wrong is, in fact, almost absurdly simple: We had an immense housing bubble, and, when the bubble burst, it left a huge hole in spending. Everything else is footnotes.
Krugman pursue, playing naïve: “And the appropriate policy response was simple, too: Fill that hole in demand. In prosperous times, public spending on roads, bridges and so on competes with the private sector for resources. Since 2008, however, our economy has been awash in unemployed workers (especially construction workers) and capital with no place to go (which is why government borrowing costs are at historic lows). Putting those idle resources to work building useful stuff should have been a no-brainer.
But what actually happened was exactly the opposite: an unprecedented plunge in infrastructure spending. Adjusted for inflation and population growth, public expenditures on construction have fallen more than 20 percent since early 2008.an almost surreally awful wrong turn.
And it’s about to get even worse.”
Krugman explains that public spending is evil, because that would increase the deficit. Deficits are evil, when there’s a Democratic government that can borrow at incredibly low interest rates. We can’t raise gas taxes: that would be a tax increase, and tax increases are even more evil than deficits. So public infrastructure can decay.
Krugman does not know if this is politics or madness: “If this sounds crazy, that’s because it is. The collapse of public investment was, therefore, a political choice. how self-destructive that political choice has become. It’s one thing to block green investment, or high-speed rail, or even school construction. But everyone. thinks we need good roads. Yet the combination of anti-tax ideology and deficit. means that we’re letting our highways, and our future, erode away.”
In simple terms:
Trillions of dollars are sitting idle, a huge amount of work needs to be done, around 40% of the working age cohort is not employed. Crazy? Not at all. It’s the logic of the plutocratic phenomenon. Gut the People. We have seen this before, when the Roman empire entered its terminal decay (which took more than two centuries).
Here is my explanation:
Public investments are those made for the common good, because they are too large, or too much about public property, or too unprofitable, short term (fundamental research in science and philosophy).
No capitalist can buy the air, for example. The air is a public good. No private individual ought to be allowed to possess the atmosphere. Thus it’s public investment that has to take care of the air.
And so on.
Of course, civilization has decided that what is the most precious: free will, freedom, life, cannot be owned any more. They used to be, at occasional, crazy points of history, never sustainable: in this country, nearly four centuries ago, slavery was reintroduced, and human beings, and their children could be owned, and abused (the slave trade was unlawful in the Empire of the Franks since 655 CE, in the Seventh Century, the great conceptual, and technical break with Greco-Roman Antiquity).
As the most precious cannot be owned, and traded privately, they can only be taken care of publicly. By cutting down on public investments, the powers that be have decided that what was the most precious was not worth investing into.
So the economy, society, and civilization itself go down.
You may wonder: what usage are the powers that be pursuing, by smothering the most precious values? Are they not suffering too? Well, by making ever more life into a living hell, the plutocrats who lead our politicians feel ever more at home.
Who needs roads, or trains, when one can private jet around? This is exactly the reasoning that was made when plutocrats destroyed the tax base of the Roman Empire: plutocrats did not need roads, they could live in their villas. They did not even need a public army: they had their own private armies. Nor did they need public schools, they had private schooling. It is the same now!
What drives this Will To Destruction?
Something deep in the genus Homo. The Will of Homo To Destroy. Homo.
This is what the plutocratic phenomenon taps into, that Will To Destruction. It is its reason of being.