Document:The Next Crisis – Part three

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The present crisis of financial capitalism and world governance is not over yet - towards a world turned upside-down

Disclaimer (#3)Document.png article  by David Malone dated 2014/09/29
Subjects: Globalisation
Source: Golem XIV - Thoughts (Link)

Part 3 of 3

Wikispooks Comment

A series of three articles explaining the real nature of the ongoing global crisis of financial capitalism and how it is likely to develop. The author considers it a certainty that the elites who dominate the current system will do all in their power to retain the benefits of vast wealth and power it endows them with. Based on this belief and his own considerable experience in senior financial management positions, he offers a plausible scenario of how things may develop.

Author's Note

At this point I would like to make it clear that just because I have suggested the Global Over Class are likely to have thought ahead to what they will need to achieve before the next crisis arrives and have outlined some of what I think their Manifesto might contain, does not mean I think they will succeed. I am merely saying watch out for them trying. If we know what to look out for we are in a far better position to stop them. You can’t defuse a bomb if you don’t know how it works. Moreover, I do not think their position, for all that they strut and pose at their meetings and offer endless, dire warnings and stern advice to our leaders, is in any way secure. I think they and their paper wealth are as precariously at risk as they were when Hank Paulson threatened the US Congress with anarchy if he and his friends were not bailed out. He didn’t quite say it like that of course but that is what it amounted to. Nor do I think people should despair at what the Over Class calls, and sincerely hopes is, voter apathy. People are not apathetic. One look at the Scottish referendum tells you that people will engage and vote in their droves, when there is something worth voting for. I want a tee shirt which says “Give me something worth voting for!” and on the back it will say, “And I’ll vote for it”.

It is true that there is a palpable despondency in the air. But I believe it is more from shock than despair. People, I think, have been genuinely sickened and slightly stunned by how massively they have been betrayed. There is something which leaves you feeling winded for a moment, when someone betrays you. People feel violated. But this moment of stunned silence is passing. And what might follow frightens our Dear Leaders and the people they work for – the Over Class. And in my opinion they have every reason to be afraid and we have reason for hope.
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The World Turned Upside Down

So now we come to the heart of it:

Items 6 and 7 from the Manifesto for the 1%:

6. Effective ways must be found to convince people that democratic rule is no longer sufficient to protect them.
7. An alternative to Democracy must be introduced and praised. That alternative must be the Rule of International Law as written and controlled by the lawyers of the 1%.

It would seem a hard thing for me to argue, that the rulers of the West, who never cease extolling the moral superiority of Democracy and who go to war with increasing regularity to impose this superiority, should be at the same time trying to discredit it – or at least tell you it isn’t enough. And yet when you look there is a veritable industry devoted to it. So how do you discredit that which you extol? Well the answer, is to by subtle degrees gradually change what the word means even as you use it. Which means it is imperative that we have our own very clear understanding of what Democracy means.

So what does Democracy mean? I suggest there have always been two core parts to Democracy. There is the ‘Will of the People’ part (the old ‘of the, by the, for the’ notion), which is the radical, sometimes even revolutionary side, saying as it does that there is no God anointed ruler or privileged class. If God anointed anyone then it is the people equally and together. So that the ultimate authority in a Democracy is The People and only they can grant power for others to use until such time as it pleases the people to withdraw it. But there is also the ‘Rule of Law’ part which is the normative aspect which says that in a Democracy there will be no arbitrary use of power or force because all power has to obey the law. Of course what this means is that as the Law grows it begins to assume a permanent power of its own. It comes eventually to be like the thousand little cords which tied Gulliver to the ground. And there is always a tension between these two sides. Without the Will of the People part there would not have been any English, American or French revolutions and therefore no Democracy at all. It is the side which has the power to overthrow systems when they are corrupt. Whereas the normative Rule of Law part is what protects not only the people from arbitrary abuses of force, but the system as well – sometimes from the very Will of the People who set up the law in the first place.

The Law is to Democracy what Lucifer was to God. The most powerful servant who can, though overweening pride and arrogance, chose to turn the power given to him, against his creator. That, I argue is what is happening in our democracies today. The priesthood of the Law is intent on emphasising the unruly, dangerous aspect of the “Will of the People” and claiming that only the Rule of law can, and must, protect us from it…from ourselves.

And the way they are doing that is to shift what pops in to people’s minds when they think of the populist, Will of the People part of democracy. And the word Populist is their chosen starting place. Because“Populism” can easily be given a strong connotation of crowds of protestors led by power-seeking demagogues. Populism can then be graded over into a selfish and ignorant “Tyranny of the Majority” (the tyrannous majority in question being, of course, the "envious, undeserving and ignorant poor") and from there it is but a rhetorical flourish to re-brand of "the Will of the People" as nothing more than the Rule of the Mob. And what and who can protect us from this danger? Well only the law and those who serve it.

As a quick side note, the Arab Spring will, I think, come to serve this purpose for the Over Class rather well – once the well-paid and tenured apologists for our system get a chance to re-brand it. It will become, I suggest, a cautionary tale told by the over class, to us, the various under classes, of naive high hopes dashed and perverted because the democratic urge was left in the hands of well intentioned mobs of people gathered in squares shouting slogans – who are all too easily controlled by the wily, and perverted by the shadowy; the high hopes of Tahrir square leading to the Muslim Brotherhood or worse.

That is, I argue, the plan. Is there evidence? Yes

I cannot do more than touch upon the vast literature devoted to neutering and domesticating, even demonizing democracy, and replacing it with a much more amenable and toothless look-alike. So I have chosen just two articles which give you a feel what is underway. The first is by a man called Jan Paulsson. Mr Paulsson is one of the elite group of 15 arbitrators who handle the largest arbitration cases where corporations sue nations. Recently he has been arbitrator for ConocoPhilips [1] helping it sue Venezuela for $30 billion. Mr Paulsson spent 20 years at the vast international law firm Freshfields. Freshfields is not known for its pro bono work for environmental causes or labour rights or social issues. It works for the over class – their banks and their corporations – and advises governments who need ‘professional advice’ (see part 2). Mr Paulsson is a triple national of Sweden, France and Bahrain. He was based in London but just this year moved to the United States. Where he founded his own boutique law fim, Three Crowns LLP, [2] specializing in arbitration, and also joined the University of Miami as a “Distinguished Scholar”. You can read his CV which gives you an idea of what real international power and influence look like. [3]

In 2009 Mr Paulsson wrote an article for the Kluwer Arbitration Blog which is a forum for International arbitrators and experts to discuss how they think things should be. His article was entitled, “Repudiation of International Arbitration Agreements and the Public Interest.” [4] As you might imagine Mr Paulsson takes grave legalistic exception to international agreements being repudiated just because to do so might be in the interest of the people. I recommend the article because it reveals the prejudices and thinking of a whole group of people who already hold power over you and plan to take more.

I will quote extensively from it because it seems better to let Mr Paulsson make my argument for me. The article begins by setting up a straw man, a leader whom he calls Rex.

Rex has recently installed himself as the benevolent dictator of a resource-rich country where many live in poverty. He took power from a government he accuses of having distributed national wealth in a grossly unfair manner. He proclaims a policy of redistributive justice, and enjoys passionate popularity among the vast disadvantaged segments of the population. He accuses foreign business interests of having colluded with formerly powerful national elites.

So is Rex an example of the revolutionary aspect of the Will of the People or a dictator? It is easy to, and Paulsson hopes you will, see Rex as Chavez of Venezuela or Castro. But take away what Paulsson labels him, “benevolent dictator”, and look at what Rex has done, and the genuine support he has, and how far away, really, is the description of Rex from George Washington? Both Rex and Washington over-turned an existing set of laws and treaties by force. Revolutionaries make people uneasy but we all owe everything we have in the way of freedom to them.

Certainly you might think stopping the corrupt looting of a previous government and then redistributing the wealth in a fairer manner would make Rex one of the good guys. Not in the world Paulsson represents.

In pursuit of his policies, Rex will naturally find it convenient, as he sees fit, to abrogate treaties, laws, and contracts. His political majority will support him – and so will the legislators and judges he has put in office.

And here Paulsson starts his work. Rex may be doing good – Paulsson allows him that – BUT in order for Rex to achieve what he wants, he has to tear up some of the treaties, laws and contracts his predecessor had agreed. He is over-turning the rule of Law. Given that some of these agreements were what codified and made ‘legal’ the looting, you might think this a reasonable way forward. Especially since the majority of the people support him. But for Paulsson any good Rex might do, is outweighed by the fact that Rex has “abrogated treaties” and “put in office” new legislators and judges. Of course it does not seem to have struck Paulsson that it was the previously agreed treaties and laws that gave away the nation’s wealth and that it was the old judges and legislators, the ones Rex has replaced, who legislated for, and gave legal approval to, the grossly unfair distribution of the nation’s wealth. It doesn’t take a genius to know that with the old laws and treaties, legislators and judges all left in place, no change was going to happen. What would Paulsson have Rex do? Presumably get in to power on a wave of popular support but then achieve nothing in the face of entrenched interests in the old legislature and judiciary. Did Washington leave the taxes that led to the Boston Tea Party in place? Did he replace any of King George’s judges with those loyal to the new order? Of course he did. He broke the law. Not only broke it but re-wrote it.

But what Paulsson sees in Rex is just a dangerous populist who is removing people like Paulsson from positions of power and putting the Will and Interests of the People, above the Rule of Law.

Yet Rex has a thorn in his side: international tribunals. Rex insists that he respects the rule of law. In particular, he affirms adamantly that he abides by international law. But by “law” he means the rules that need to be put into place to further his policies, proclaimed to be in the national interest. He finds it intolerable that an external authority should be allowed to determine what is lawful, or that international obligations accepted by his predecessors should be given effect.

Now we are coming to Paulsson’s solution to the threat of Rex. In Paulsson’s view, if Rex can sweep aside the old system within his nation on the say so of the people, then there MUST be an external authority which is given the power to declare any or all of Rex’s actions to be unlawful internationally and have the means to enforce this judgement. In other words the Will of the People is to be made subservient to a higher and external authority. And wouldn’t you know it, that authority is what Paulsson holds. Fancy that! The system of Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) – which is the Tribunal system Paulsson is a part of – is the teeth inside all Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) and Trade Agreements such as NAFTA, the TPP and TTIP – and gives exactly this power of veto over sovereign laws and provides the means for enforcing that veto.

An international tribunal may reject a discriminatory law because it contravenes a treaty signed by Rex’s predecessor (which therefore is part of the national law),

In other words you can have any new law you like and replace any old law you don’t like but if your actions are challenged in a Tribunal the arbitrators who sit in the tribunal (men such as Paulsson) will simply declare your new law invalid (it will be an ‘unlawful enactment’) and your nation will lose. And you will be forced to pay billions in damages.

In this sense, an unlawful enactment may be seen as a species of denial of justice: an attempt to subvert the legal process by the deployment of purported laws which are contrary to the law.

Rex may pass a new law but the arbitrators will decide if it is a ‘good’ law. If it is not, because in their opinion it violates some previous agreement, then it is void no matter what the people think.

But of course there’s no need to panic this is only in the case of “Rex” the populist dictator in the third world. And they always seem to start as saviours and end as presidents for life. So perhaps ‘their’ democracy should be overseen by nice white lawyers working for the corporations of Europe and America? But wait... ,

Let us leave aside the subject of the tyranny of the majority within a nation, which has occupied political philosophers for a very long time. Let us instead consider the consequences of Rex’s options as he seeks to escape external limits to his authority.

What? Wait. Stop! Did I hear someone mention “the tyranny of the majority”? Of course it was just a throw away line wasn’t it? Well actually international lawyers don’t usually indulge in throw away lines. Lawyers write carefully. So if Paulsson writes this line it is because he wants his readers to understand he DOES mean Rex to stand for the tyranny of the majority without having to be explicit about it. And here is the rub. Almost any Democratic decision taken anywhere, can be seen by someone as a Tyranny of the Majority. And so the goal posts move from democracy as a danger when it is 3rd world populism, to when it is the Tyranny of the majority. But when is ‘good’ democracy, the kind Paulsson no doubt loves with all his heart, in danger of becoming a tyranny of the majority?

Now bear in mind that Paulsson wrote his article in 2009 at the worst point of the financial crisis. How many of us felt then and feel even more so now that the political stagnation and economic cronyism in our own countries for the last 7 years has become systemic and unmovable, completely impervious to the Ballot box? And this, I suggest was not far from Paulsson’s mind when he wrote his piece. Rex could be Chavez, but he could equally be some as yet to rise popular leader who manages to focus opposition to the entrenched interests of our own elite, Over Class. Imagine such a person getting elected on a platform of repudiating those Trade Agreements, or setting up a debt commission to see which debts and bond holders the nation should pay and which should be repudiated and not paid. Such a leader could go direct to the people and give them a referendum on each question. And that is what really worries the Paulsson’s of the Over Class.

Remember when the Greek government of Mr Papandreou who suggested the Greeks might have such a referendum? Just three days after offering the Greeks a vote Papandeou was gone. Would such a vote have been the democratic expression of the Will of the People or the Tyranny of the Majority? Don’t worry you don’t have to decide. You’ve already been saved from that one.

So we have had Rex as populist demagogue and benevolent dictator, and now Rex is to be understood as the tyranny of the majority - AKA democracy as you know it.

It is my contention that this brings us to the threshold of international lawyers and particularly arbitrators going one last step and arguing that if a law can be judged bad by an ‘impartial body of arbitrators’ why not a whole government? So the people may elect a government but the arbitrators and lawyers will declare if that government can be ignored and … and then what?

Of course if this was just an isolated opinion we could ignore it. But it isn’t. It is already under way.

In one of the quotes given above Paulsson derides Rex when Rex claims to respect the law because,

by ‘law’ he means the rules that need to be put into place to further his policies, proclaimed to be in the national interest.

My question is whose policies and interests should he be trying to further in Paulsson’s opinion, if not those of the nation? And why does Paulsson sneer at the justification that Rex’s policies are in the national interest?

American Task Force Argentina. Advert in the London Financial Times, 25 September 2014

I think the answer is not far to look. Here is a full page ad. taken out in the FT a few days ago on the 25th of September 2014. It is an advert paid for by - look carefully at the small print at the bottom – Follow the link and you will find a whole web site telling you what a terrible person the Argentine president is and how she is wholly and terribly in the wrong to default on her bonds. It does not mention that Argentina was not going to default on its bonds. It had in fact agreed with most of its bond holders to a restructuring in which they would get back some but not all of their money. Such restructuring is wholly within international law. But a small group, led by Paul Singer’s Vulture funds Elliot Managment Corporation and NML (also owned by Paul Singer), would not agree to any restructuring and have thereby forced a default. None of this is mentioned at possibly because, though it does not say so on its web site anywhere I could find – is founded and funded by…NML.

Perhaps these are the interests that Mr Paulsson felt Rex was ignoring and in fact dismantling. Are these the interests that would be far better served if national governments, populist ones, even wholly democratic duly elected ones like Argentina’s, were overseen by Arbitrators? Certainly in the case of Argentina the President has been trying to put the interests of her people – the people who democratically elected her – above the profits of the Vulture funds.

The advert is full of claims about the need to value the rule of law and how every nation must not “fail to meet it’s international financial and legal obligations.” It is Paulsson’s argument in action, in black and pink – the primacy of international financial and legal obligations over and above any merely democratic interests or obligations. No mention of democracy at all. No mention of the will of the people let alone their needs, just legal and financial obligations. No matter than the Argentine President is not a dictator but an elected representative of her people.

No, one of that matters because, perhaps, she is guilty of being the face of the tyranny of the majority. And the wealthy minority are not going to stand for it. How long before it is mooted that a government judged to be illegitimate does not have the same rights as those judged legit?

The second article is from The Journal of Democracy and there are two reasons to look at it. First because of who sponsors the Journal and its rather Orwellian role in promoting certain interests, and second because it introduces much of the language that I think will be used in the next few years. Every political force needs its own terms and definitions as the way of explaining and justifying the new order it wants. And part of its success depends on getting its terms accepted as the new and correct way to frame thinking and to help people forget the old way of thinking. Control the terms of the debate and you have already won.

The Journal of Democracy is an academic looking publication but one largely funded by and, as it says in its web site, [5] actually a part of the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Lots has been written about NED. I shall quote from William Blum’s book Rogue State. This web page [6] contains a lengthy excerpt about the NED.

You may not like Blum on the grounds that he has been a fierce critic of the CIA’s off-book activities and as such is sometimes accused of being anti-America, He’s not. In my opinion he is simply an agitator for truth and accountability.

The NED was set up in the early 1980s under President Reagan as a response to all the revelations in the late 70′s about how the the CIA overturned, ousted or simply got rid of elected governments and leaders it didn’t like. The idea was that the NED would find more peaceful and less obvious ways for the ideologues in US government to meddle in other countrys’ affairs and softly engineer regime change. As Blum writes,

Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, was quite candid when he said in 1991: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

Officially the NED,

... meddles in the internal affairs of foreign countries by supplying funds, technical know-how, training, educational materials, … and so on, to selected political groups, civic organizations, labor unions, dissident movements, student groups, book publishers, newspapers, other media, etc. NED programs generally impart the basic philosophy that working people and other citizens are best served under a system of free enterprise, class cooperation, collective bargaining, minimal government intervention in the economy and opposition to socialism in any shape or form. A freemarket economy is equated with democracy, reform and growth, and the merits of foreign investment are emphasized.

On the one hand you could say, “how generous and kind to help.” Except that this help is always in favour of one kind of group, with one kind of political outlook. If a radical consumer group springs up, the NED makes sure a much more corporate friendly/corporate staffed group gets far more funding and gets far more access to decision makers. If a pro-worker union is organized the NED makes sure a compliant or even a corrupt one is better funded. The NED consistently undermines the very democracy it says it is in favour of by stifling any sort of pluralism or real debate. That, Blum and I and many people agree, is its job. Destroy any real, possibly radical democracy in favour of a debased and empty kind. Blum goes on,

The Endowment maintains that it’s engaged in “opposition building” and “encouraging pluralism”. “We support people who otherwise do not have a voice in their political system,” said Louisa Coan, a NED program officer. But NED hasn’t provided aid to foster progressive or leftist opposition in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua or Eastern Europe-or, for that matter, in the United States even though these groups are hard pressed for funds and to make themselves heard. Cuban dissident groups and media are heavily supported however.

NED’s reports carry on endlessly about “democracy”, but at best it’s a modest measure of mechanical political democracy they have in mind, not economic democracy; nothing that aims to threaten the powers-that-be or the way-things-are, unless of course it’s in a place like Cuba.

Exactly the kind of vetted and neutered democracy Paulsson might find agreeable I think. And now NED and its mouthpieces like the Journal of Democracy are turning their attention to us and our democracy. Not directly, not yet. But they will provide the means by which new concepts, new definitions, new arguments are given currency and legitimacy.

The NED article I have in mind is another which is ostensibly about South America but is, I think, more aimed at us. It is called “Latin America’s Authoritarian Drift: The Threat from the Populist Left”. [7] In it the author, Professor Kurt Weyland argues that left wing populist leaders have done far more damage to Democracy than those of the right. How have they done more damage? Well:

Self-styled socialist leaders command more solid, durable support, use growing economic interventionism to boost their power , invoke nationalism as a shield against foreign democracy promotion , and act as a coordinated group in suffocating democracy. [8]

Well there’s litany of crimes if ever I saw one. They have durable and solid support. Terrible! Use economic interventionism? – means they re-built state enterprises and take back ownership and control of vital services and sovereign resources from private hands. You may not like the idea but it’s not a crime to chose it. They invoke nationalism against foreign democracy promotion – meaning they point out to people that organizations like the NED are not neutral and are not trying to promote democracy but are agents of a foreign government that has a very long track record of disliking and trying to kill off other people’s democratic choices.

Weyland’s article is fabulous. In it you will learn a whole new vocabulary of doubleplusgood terms designed to denigrate any kind of democracy other than the one we have now – which, as you are aware, is working so very well. Weyland seems not to have noticed this however. Maybe he doesn’t get out much. We have “plebecitarian or participatory democracy” which is awful because it involves the leader asking the people directly, as in a plebiscite or referendum such as the Scottish just had. And to make it worse,

Chavez and friends have claimed to institute a new participatory – and hence qualitatively better – form of democracy and to promote social equity and national independence. (p.19)

obviously anyone advocating this sort of thing must be branded a populist dictator.

Then there is Discriminatory legalism – which is when the incumbent uses laws to, {{QB| …limit debate, strike at opponents, and drastically tilt the electoral playing field…Their brand of soft authoritarianism violates basic principles of democracy by placing controls on the media and the opposition while the government electioneers using state resources, Even when presidents command high popularity, as left-wing populists often have, contests held under such profoundly unfair conditions cannot count as democratic. Where parameters of political choice are so badly distorted, majority support cannot compensate for serious infringement of pluralism and competitiveness. (P.23)

Now I an mot going to claim these things do not happen under Chavez et al. They do. Nor am I going to claim they aren’t bad. They are. But I am going to point out that every ones of these things happens in our countries under our apparently wonderful system. In the UK we have the recently passed Gagging Law which makes it illegal for NGO or charities to run campaigns or even pass comment on subjects or issues that will be part of the electoral campaign for a year prior to the election. The government and other parties can of course party away but none of us, no other groups at all can be heard. In the US we have the law which allows corporations to pour as much money as they like in to the campaign of the person and party they prefer. There is also the vast industry of lobbying from monied interests of all levels of government. None of this, of course, tilts the playing field or distorts political choice. Not at all.

And then there is profound brand of discriminatory legalism which underpins the entire edifice of International law. Lawyers like Paulsson always love to refer to the law as neutral and unbiased. Yet the lawyers themselves pick and chose which bits of international law they will laud and which bits they will ignore. For example there is the Calvo Doctrine [9] which says,

jurisdiction in international investment disputes lies with the country in which the investment is located.

Or to put it another way, nations can and should always judge matters within their own courts NOT at international arbitration. This principle is far older than the johnny-come-lately notion of nations being judged by panels of arbitrators sitting behind closed doors. Yet the lawyers pretend the Calvo doctrine never existed and never mention it.

Or there is the long established legal right of a sovereign to default (just like a company) and to restructure its debt. Not to mention the right of a sovereign nation to set up a Debt Commission which has the power to judge which debts were taken on for the good of the people and which were fraudulent or odious and will be repudiated. This idea is part of international law and has been done. Yet the whole set of rulings in favour of the Vulture funds deny there can be any default and restructuring and ignore the idea of a debt commission entirely.

International law is not neutral at all. It is discriminatory. When lawyers like Paulsson talk of the sanctity of international law they mean only the laws which benefit those who pay the lawyers the most.

Weyland warns of the damage done to pluralism and choice. Would anyone tell me how much choice, real choice, we have in any of our political systems? Is there any party which offers a real alternative or has a different set of assumptions from the others? It is interesting that when Weyland and others ask how did these left-wing ‘outsiders’ rise to power, they say it was because of a crisis of the old party system where none of the parties and the elites who controlled them could or would offer solutions to the on-going problems of inequality, poverty and exclusion. And they cannot see how this applies more and more in the west?

This is Weyland one last time. He is referring to Latin America. But apply it to us and see if it fits.

Left wing populists…base their appeal on structural problems. They highlight…longstanding social deficits, especially widespread poverty and inequality. While the established political class looks self-serving and beholden to privileged elites, left-wing populists project concern for common citizens and start generous social programs that - despite frequent administrative problems stemming from politicization – significantly increase benefits, alleviate destitution, and bring symbolic recognition as well. Left-wing populists claim to be the first chief executives to embrace a preferential option for the poor. Their social programs embody this commitment but cannot quickly overcome longstanding structural deficits….Thus, activist social policies further cement identity-based political loyalties. These bonds give left-wing populism more reliable political sustenance than neoliberal leaders can command and allow left-wing populists to do graver damage to democracy.

If the global Over Class cannot see how their own analysis of Latin America applies increasingly to us then they are lost. And if the only conclusion they can come up with from that entire analysis, is that ‘this allows left-wing populists to do graver damage to democracy’, then truly their ideas are as bankrupt as their banks.

The Over Class have no solution other than to continue the looting till the last moment and to subvert democracy as fully as they can in order to do so.

If they have any ‘positive’ vision at all it is a corporate version of spaceship earth. But the spaceship will be a private craft where we must pay our way as passengers. They will own. We will work our passage down in third class away below decks.

If any of you have seen Titanic then you know how the story will end and what care those on the upper decks will have for you when the ship starts to sink.


To me this conclusion and the whole traducing of democracy that I hope I have shed a little light upon is as Orwellian as it gets. Is there hope? I think there is more hope now than at any time in my life.

The Over Class is already scared and is forcing ever more draconian measure upon and ever more angry populace. It takes an ever more militarised and violent State to do it They require ever more hysterical scar-mongering, ever more foreign enemies and ever less regard for the ideals they claim to champion. The Over Class have no answers to any of the global systemic challenges. We know it, they know it, even their supporters who continue to support them more out of fear than hope, know it.

So where is my hope?

I go back to a far older writer than Orwell, to Gerrard Winstanley, one of the great leaders and heroes of the English revolution. He wrote that “Freedom is the man who will turn the world upside down.” Since Winstanley’s time this idea of turning the world upside down has been used to frighten people in to rejecting any idea of radical change. It has been used to cow them in to listening to the priests of “The Rule of Law über alis.” Yet Winstaley was speaking of something our leaders have forgotten. What Winstanley knew was that the people of his time felt their lives had already been turned upside down long before the revolution. And when your life has already been turned upside down and your hopes already ransacked then what do you have to fear from radical change? Nothing.

Winstanley was as ordinary as you or me. Yet he helped start a revolution which is ours to take up. We have unfinished business. And the time is now.

And that is what Paulsson and the Over Class are beginning to sense and fear. And it is why they will lose and we will win.