Globalisation-A Meditation at Christmas
A Meditation at Christmas 2017.
Jesus the Nazarene was born into a globalised world. Dominated by a Multinational it was very similar to our world today . His country Palestine, riven by debt, credit crises ,destitution and official brutality, was situate in an imperial system terrified of local revolts, terrorist activity and border tensions. This Empire was governed by a tiny elite, its Life President the Emperor and the Senate of 600 Billionaires, who through their client kings and local establishments sucked away the wealth and assets of their subject populations. The ferocious brutality of Roman rule is very much expressed by the horrendous experience of Boudicca, her daughters and the British population at the time of her revolt.
Both Boudicca and Jesus, two very intelligent and committed people, would recognise the distribution of wealth and power we see in our own world. They would identify the similarity that Roman Globalisation has with our modern globalised economic system. Their world was controlled in the interest of 600 Billionaires and those who serviced their exploitation.
The similarity between us in 2017 and them is absolutely startling !
Our Planet Earth contains and should sustain its 7.5 billions of inhabitants and the communities in which they exist. But hese people do not control their local and national wealth or the ground resources their communities inhabit.
So who does ?
In stark contrast to those Billions of people, 85 individual persons own and control half of the entire wealth of our world. They are part of a group of 6000 others who own and control 89% of the world’s total assets. These are the power brokers who rule the world. Made up of Chief Executives, Partners in Hedge Funds/Private Equity, Media Barons and some National, Military, Political and Religious leaders they control Finance , oil, energy ,intellectual property, technology and the Mass Media.
We all see Capitalism as an enormous plethora of hundreds of thousands of financial, industrial and commercial companies functioning worldwide. This is Globalisation .Its sheer massiveness alone makes it difficult to comprehend ! But as in ancient Rome with its 600 billionaires, in our own day we discover that 85 people and their 6000 colleagues are very much in command!
Utilising a network of 147 Corporations, their control of 1318 other organisations cascades entirely throughout the industrial/commercial world through which these 85/6000 control 80% of all Transnational operations ! Through this network they forcefully and forcibly drive the decisions of this multiplicity of enterprises world-wide and all the personnel working within them.
Thus Globalisation is the reality that:
85/6000 people control our Global resources at the expense of the other 7.5 billion people inhabiting our Planet Earth. Their control of the world’s capital assets is what we call Capitalism and their control of that Capital is what we call Globalisation !
Wealth captures governments’ policy- making. Their collective/individual power,funds and persuasion can control and subvert elected politicians ,relentlessly squeeziing resistance blocking their exploitation of local and national resources world -wide
Roger Altman, former Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury described the North Atlantic Ruling Class and their world wide allies as the most powerful force on earth The fact is they are the Rulers and the rest of the population are their subjects.
Such distribution of wealth and power has been a problem through-out the history of humankind.
Recent analysis explored the interaction between Predator and Prey populations. Apply that analysis to the Billionaire Class and the other 7 Billion of humankind ! The Predator faces peril when it assaults or destroys the economic survivability and social/physical health of the Prey ! The oncoming disaster of Climate Change, caused by their predation, is a major risk to the viability of the subject populations.
Describe our Billionaires as an Oligarchy, then ancient Greece, provides the example as to how the ‘ Rulers ‘ the Oligarchs control the ‘Ruled’
The Ruled must be divided, so divided that they cannot challenge their oppressors. The Oligarchy uses persuasion,, coercion and co-option to keep Democracy at bay. They use their ‘ collaborators’, their politicians to legitimise the Regime and their Mass Media outlets to powerfully influence the mindset of the People. In the modern age our own politicians , here and world-wide, can become subservient to the dictates and needs of the Billionaire Class! They become responsive to their donors and the interests of people like the Murdochs and the Koch brothers of the world.
It is not only the ancient Greeks who can teach us about oligarchy and power.
2.2 billion of the world’s population are Christian. 1.2 billion are Catholic of whom
40% live in a Latin America much in the grip of the Oligarchs and their subordinate classes . The advent of Liberation Theology there has had enormous impact on the Christian approach to Capitalism. Liberation Theology regards Jesus as a revolutionary, executed as a subversive because of his opposition to the mal-distribution of wealth and consequent misery in his day. Mary’s Magnificat is a revolutionary prophecy of social justice .Its Greek text was also modelled on Hannah’s song in 1.Samuel referring back to the ancient Hebrew concepts of justice ;
He has shown forth strength with his arm, Scattered the proud in their conceit, Casting the mighty from their thrones, Lifting up the lowly he fills the hungry with good things and the rich he sends away – Empty !
Jesus’ statementsfollows his mother’s manifesto ; it is today, here and now that the world must be organised to deliver daily sustenance to its people. The Lord’s Prayer is a bold political and economic declaration, a concrete commitment to end hunger in a world of inequality. Forgive us our Debt is a statement about avaricious and destructive money lending. Distributive justice is the essential message. Thus theology adopts the ‘preferential option for the poor ‘ and has been recently reinforced by the South American Jesuit Cardinal, now Pope Francis
“ As long as the problems of the Poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of the Markets and financial speculation and by attacking the causes of inequality no solution will be found for the world’s problems and for that matter to any problems.”
He dramatically attacks “those ideologies which defend that absolute autonomy of the Markets and Finance ! In terms of this essay that is the power of the 85/6000. or in Jesus’ time ,the power of the 600 who controlled the finance and assets of the Roman Empire