The US wanted Russia to attack Ukraine. So says Robert H Wade, professor of Global Political Economy at the London School of Economics. And then it brought in its wide-ranging sanctions regime in response. According to renowned investigative journalist Seymour Hersch, the US subsequently blew up the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
The result is that Europeans are experiencing an energy crisis, and Germany in particular faces deindustrialisation. The Ukraine situation is not just a NATO proxy war with Russia. It is also a trade and energy war inflicted by the US on Europe.
Although the impact of the war is acutely felt by Europe, inflation continues to increase across the Western countries, including the US, and their economies are in crisis.
While the sanctions and war are having an inflationary impact, they serve as convenient cover for the effects of a massive increase in ‘quantitative easing’ that occurred in late 2019 and in 2020. The US Federal Reserve created almost a fifth of all US dollars ever created in 2020. According to economist Professor Richard Werner, central banks around the world also pumped more money into their economies during this period. He concludes that central banks are largely responsible for the inflation we now see.
Financial markets were collapsing in October 2019, and the crisis reached a head in February 2020 with a massive crash. Prior to COVID and then under cover of this bogus public health crisis, trillions of dollars were pumped into the economy and lockdowns were imposed to prevent an immediate hyperinflation shock. The global economy was shut down.
Much of the inflation currently being experienced is a result of this. COVID lockdowns were not a cause of economic collapse. They were a symptom of it. A temporary band aid for an imploding neoliberalism that now requires a radical restructuring of economies and societies.
And that restructuring is brutal. Neoliberalism has been on life support for some time and has resorted to various strategies (expansion consumer credit, speculative finance, debt, etc) to keep it alive. But these strategies have to a large extent run their course.
In response, we are witnessing a controlled demolition of large parts of the economy and a shift towards authoritarian governance to deal with the growing resentment and dissent that governments fully expect. While lockdowns can be regarded as extraordinary monetary policy measures for addressing short-term inflation risk, they also did much to accelerate the restructuring of economies, not least by closing down small independent businesses.
The effects of the current sanctions regime on Russia may be regarded as an extension of this restructuring. We must not assume that the people implementing the sanction policies were too ignorant to see what the outcome would be for the Western economies.
So, for ordinary people, what’s the end game?
Soaring inflation means your money will lose value. Your savings could evaporate. And rising interest rates will intensify hardship – both for ordinary people and for businesses. Increased interest rates in a debt-ridden economy could well precipitate economic collapse.
Enter central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). It seems likely that these will eventually be brought in as part of a new monetary system. When people have lost almost everything (the WEF mantra – own nothing and be happy), many might well be desperate enough to want a (programmable) digital universal basic income from the government.
But this – in the longer term – would lead to a digital prison: your carbon credit score and social credit score linked to your ability to use your digital currency, your freedom of movement and so on.
The fiat currency system is dying. De-dollarisation is now underway and the US’s longstanding partner – Saudi Arabia – is turning to China and accepting non-dollar payment for oil.
The world is increasingly trading in currencies other than the US dollar. Global US hegemony rests on the dollar being the world reserve currency. This is coming to an end.
What CBDCs will base their value on remains to be seen. A return to a gold standard perhaps. But the strategy appears to involve a process of economic restructuring (or demolition) leading to the impoverishment of populations then the rollout of CBDCs.
COVID was an accelerator that saw entire populations cajoled into submission thanks to a crisis narrative. Integral to the plan is the eventual imposition of digital IDs.
Whether it is immigration, war, food shortages, fear of pandemics, potential cyberattacks, climate emergency or some other crisis narrative, one way or another, circumstances will be manipulated to engineer the introduction of digital IDs – precursors to CBDC servitude. A servitude linked to ‘smart’ city surveillance technology, net zero ideology and 15-minute de facto lockdown cities.
Can this be prevented? What can ordinary people do?
We can, for instance, grow our own food (if we have access to land), use farmer markets, boycott the retail giants and cashless stores, use cash whenever possible, create our own credit unions and so on. But to act in unison, it is essential that we come together and do not feel isolated in a world in which division is encouraged.
Many instinctively knew from the start that there was something seriously amiss with the COVID narrative and the lockdowns. But the vast majority of people – at least at the beginning of the COVID exercise – went along with the narrative. Dissenters tended to feel isolated and came together online. As the weeks passed, they began to attend protests in person.
At these gatherings – the speeches aside – it felt uplifting simply to be in the company of like-minded people. But after the protests, many returned home and were again surrounded by friends, family and colleagues who still kept faith in the narrative and the relentless media propaganda.
COVID might have receded into the background at this point, but the end goal is clear. That’s why it remains important to continue to stand together – in person, in solidarity. From small acorns, movements grow.
With this in mind, Fifi Rose, who helped initiate the A Stand In The Park movement in the UK, describes as a non-hierarchal people’s collective of autonomous groups, tells an inspiring story on a recent edition of the Locked & Loaded podcast with Rick Munn on TNT radio.
The podcast shows how one man’s resistance – which involved standing alone in a Sydney park for weeks on end – helped create a growing global movement based on face-to-face interaction.
Colin Todhunter specialises in development, food and agriculture and is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization in Montreal. You can read his “mini e-book”, Food, Dependency and Dispossession: Cultivating Resistance, here.
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