The periodic crises or disruptions that we see in the accumulation and concentration of capital – that is to say in the process of the unfolding of capital's fundamental dynamism – of capitalism itself – always find solutions. Whether they are good solutions or bad solutions depends upon ones class position. For the 1%, it is usually a good solution. For the 99%, it is usually a solution that imposes more austerity and misery, and often war. Wars destroy excess populations, excess capacity, and makes space for more production of goods for the 99% and accumulation of capital for the 1%.
Today's crisis however is different. Neoliberalism (privatizations, outsourcing, austerity, debt, etc) was the solution to the 1970s disruption in the accumulation and concentration of capital. Starting in the 80s and 90s in the “third” world, it has now come home to the “first” world. Did 9/11 derail the solution of neoliberalism or aid it? What will the new solution to the current crisis be?
The conflict among the Saudi ruling classes between privatizing its oil resources and not privatizing them was expressed with the 9/11 attacks. But the “war on terror” has been a boon to the military contractors, the makers of surveillance equipment, a perfect excuse to militarize our societies, and as we now know the perfect cover for a US-led attack on Iraq.
If “business as usual” continues, which the elites seem determined to continue by their refusal to take climate change seriously and end the extraction of as much oil as possible, then we can only conclude that an ecological catastrophe is what they want, and that more war is part of their solution to the crisis in the accumulation process.
We must demand a liveable solution. There are four steps: 1) cancel the debt; 2) stop all wars; 3) redistribution of the wealth; and 4) green the world and the economy. Any other solution is a death certificate for our world.
Betsy Bowman, Ph.D. is President of the Center for Global Justice.