Friday, October 10, 2008

Who Would Have Thought....

....that the supremacy of the United States would be shaken by the very characteristics that built that supremacy?  Never mind whether Marx is dancing in his grave, for all we know, explanations for the financial crisis that rocks the world could include manipulation by Bin Laden sympathizers.

Although the Russian stock market closed yesterday, Russia responded affirmatively to Iceland's distress call.  That NATO ally got the cold shoulder from its pairs in the European Union, and Russia rode to the rescue.

Obama, brilliant, compelling, passionate about doing what is right, is becoming a barn door - elected after the damage has reached irreparable proportions.  His strongest advantage over all his competitors had been his understanding of the world of tomorrow, as opposed to the world of yesterday. But tomorrow has turned into a another era.

We know he would have had to be extraordinarily deft to scrape a modicum of reform from the power brokers: now he will be expected to fix a broken system while being denied the necessary tools: he would need to be able to nationalize the financial institutions that have caused the mess and institute currency controls.  Can you imagine any president being allowed to do that?

It would be funny, if it weren't tragic, that a century of anti-socialist propaganda has made both financiers and the man in the street so afraid of regulation that it has led to the collapse of the most powerful country the world has ever known.  While we - and those who imitated us - flounder, Venezuela has plenty of money with which to ride out the crisis, even with oil prices falling, because the government has controlled the wealth.

As a recent press report stated: "Venezuela has suffered little direct effect from the market chaos because Chavez nationalized the most important companies that once traded on the minuscule Caracas stock exchange and because, like a number of other countries, he has implemented exchange controls."

American workers have been tamed to the point where the likelihood of a classical revolution is nil.  But the factors that, under other circumstances, could lead to revolutions, have instead lead to economic collapse.  Nothing ever happens in ways that can be foreseen.

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