For the last three decades a vicious war, the Fourth World War, has been waged on the people of the world by the global political and corporate elite[i]. They have unleashed a whole array of economic weapons, from trade liberalisation to privatisation to financial liberalisation, to enrich themselves at the expense of the vast majority of people. As part of this onslaught, welfare systems have been attacked, workers rights have been undermined, and environmental legislation has been savaged. The aim of all of these measures was to spread capitalism into every aspect of people’s lives. Everything, including culture, social relations, the environment, water and even air were turned into commodities to be bought and sold. While the richest 400 people on Earth used this system to amass vast amounts of money (more money than the poorest 3 billion people combined), over 18 million people died every year for the last 20 years because of poverty[ii]. When people protested that all of this inequality and deprivation were unfair – and demanded that people should be provided with quality education, quality healthcare, food, and clean water; they were told by the elite not to be ridiculous. In fact, people were simply told that no-one had the money to provide such ‘luxuries’ as food, quality healthcare and quality education. Yet, when some of the largest companies got into trouble in the last 20 years, states have rushed to bail them out. For instance, when the savings & loan debacle erupted during the Bush Snr years, the US government spent at least $ 200 billion in public money bailing out some of the corporations involved[iii]. At very the same time, Bush Snr and then Clinton were working hard to attack the poor through cutting welfare. Such is the world we have come to live in. It is a world where profits have been privatised for the rich, while losses and misery have been socialized for the poor – a world of the Fourth World War.
It is the elite that have caused the crisis
Of course, the policies that have been pushed by the global elite also created the space for the current financial crisis to occur. Financial liberalisation was implemented by states across the world to assist corporations to find new ways of making money. By the 1970s, profits in the manufacturing sector were declining, the economy was stagnating, and the elite wanted more profitable ways to make money that didn’t require hiring much ‘troublesome’ labour[iv]. Corporations of every kind used financial liberalisation to limit their investments in manufacturing and begin speculating on anything and everything[v]