Polycrisis is the new cant of well paid academics in the United States. But the Polycrisis of the 99% is the gilded age of the 1%
Mathew D. Rose is an Investigative Journalist specialised in Organised Political Crime in Germany and an editor of BRAVE NEW EUROPE
This commentary originally appeared In the BRAVE NEW EUROPE newsletter for its donors
Recently the term Polycrisis came to dominate economic and political discussion. Purportedly we have reached a new quantitative and qualitative spike with regard to a deteriorating political and economic world situation, whereby the whole is more overwhelming than the sum of the parts. Well something like that.
There is however a problem with polycrisis: crisis is in the eye of the beholder. For us Europeans the war in Ukraine is well and truly a crisis – an existential one. For the United States it is a boon. Putting aside the discussion if the US didn’t seek the war, it has been exceptionally beneficial for the US Americans. They are waging a war with Russia without any boots on the ground, which means no US casualties. They have gained geopolitical hegemony over Europe. Should it come to a limited nuclear exchange, this would be far away across the Atlantic. The US arms industry is celebrating a renaissance. The US fracking and fossil fuel industry are booming as they have imposed dependency upon Europe. Its agricultural sector is doing brilliantly thank you. So where is the Ukraine crisis in the world’s most powerful nation?
Then there is the climate emergency. For many this is already or becoming life threatening. For the financial sector it is a gold mine as it offers to solve this problem if given enough public money and opportunity for profit. At the same time it is already cashing in with various fraudulent climate change funds, as are multinationals grabbing billions in government subsidies to develop technologies to reverse climate change that objective experts are agreed will never be viable. Climate change is not a crisis for them.
With regard to pandemics, this is certainly a threat for many of us and a major inconvenience for many others. But as we have seen, for the pharma industry and the political class (via corruption) it has been a jackpot.
Increasing inequality may be a crisis for most, but for those whose incomes and fortunes are increasing in this redistribution of wealth, it is the best of times.
There is a saying that capitalism never lets a good crisis go to waste. When so many economists and political scientists ignore this caveat, well, it does not reflect terribly positively on the academic community. Thus BRAVE NEW EUROPE has pretty much ignored the discussion of polycrisis, leaving it to professors in well endowed US elite universities who are financed by those Not in Crisis and their epigones.
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