Bloomberg recently covered a Credit Suisse report on the concerns of international investors in the US, in Europe and in Asia. What they found was very interesting – that their concerns were entirely economic. They just couldn’t care less about politics – and especially who gets elected in which country.
Their main concerns were decreasing foreign exchange reserves, a reduction in global economic growth, notably in China and the effectiveness of quantitative easing – and I’m sure those things are keeping you awake at night too.
But apparently they care not one jot about the refugee crisis, Russia’s activities in Syria, who leaves or stays in the EU, whether Jeremy Corbyn, Jeremy Kyle or Jeremy Clarkson leads the Labour party or whether Scotland, Catalonia or Norfolk become independent.
Their attitude was (and I’m paraphrasing): ‘Why should we care who gets elected and where? There is not the slightest chance that they will introduce policies that will alarm us, or go against our interests. If they do, we will move our money out of their country to punish them, and they will reverse their policies. Furthermore, I know that the corporations that I am investing in have spent billions of dollars in the political process of any country with a political process worth buying, and that they have a massive lobby industry, with the extra temptation for politicians of jobs on the board when they leave office. There is nothing in international politics that interests or concerns us. Vote for whoever you like – it won’t touch us’.
There was some concern about ‘hostile politicians’ – i.e. politicians who might be anti-corporate, but ultimately they believed that without global co-ordination it would be very difficult for them to raise taxes (for example) unilaterally in one country.
Phew, that’s OK then.
Now of course I’m only mentioning this because it highlights what I’ve been saying for a long time about where power really lies in global capitalism – with money, of course (the clue is in the name). To make our political systems really mean something, we will need to break the grip that money has on power. And I suggest that that is totally impossible within corporate capitalism. Note that I’m not saying anything about the free market. The market within corporate capitalism is anything but free. It is entirely rigged in favour of global corporations and their shareholders.
Whether allocation of resources should be via the market at all will have to wait for another article – but a step in the right direction might be an economy that doesn’t have a global stock market / casino at its centre, and that doesn’t allow banks to lend and charge interest on money they never had. This is a recipe for ecological catastrophe and the prevention of democracy. Let’s instead base our economy on independent, co-operative, community-owned, peer-to-peer and open source initiatives. And that means thinking about where you get the essentials of life and where you spend your money.
See here for more about where to spend (or save) your money.
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