Philosophically speaking, if we all agree that every human being should be entitled to live in dignity on a safe land, that assumption implies that one should be able to benefit from a decent salary in exchange of his labour. This belief has represented a fundamental part in the industrial revolution and honest capitalism – a fair monetary transaction on work. Therefore, it also implies that when productivity gains increase, the company should share profits with the working force via increase in wages, stock options… Doing so, an ethical behaviour is preserved. If I earn more, you earn more because the very principle of any advanced civilization recognizes that a human being should never be considered as a means, but always as an end. In this respect, the Mosaic Law (love your neighbour as yourself), the great philosophers of the eighteenth century (Kant’s first universal law “Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law of nature.”) as far as Emmanuel Levinas’ humanist vision “To receive or give to alterity means exactly: have an idea of infinity” all sketched the virtuous form of relationships within an ideal or post-modern society. However, should an economic ideology suddenly decide that companies would be better off delocalizing their productions in countries with low labour costs in order to increase profits, then what happens? Could rob Peter to pay Paul ever be a clever option? Each time a state power behaves like a shareholder, the nation is in danger. The only way such an agenda could work would imply a virtuous planetary system of governance. Are the nations of the world ready for it? Are the Islamic countries willing to embrace brotherhood? One thing is to chant it. Another one is to fight against concrete evidence proving you actually do anything you possibly can to ensure this aim is not completed.
For decades, “to reduce the gap between rich and developing countries until the point to which they are able to boost global growth” has served as best narrative to voodoo ultraliberalism and globalization. Over the years, the result of a disguised selfishness has turned into a predictable nightmare. Within the rich countries, a political-corporate oligarchy became richer, greedier, more avaricious for others, whereas an increasing number of workers lost their jobs or suffered drastic reduction in their standard of living. Combined with increasing technical efficiency and robotized innovations, the phenomenon went nastier. As J.M. Keynes put it in “Economics possibilities for our grandchildren” some 87 years ago: “The increase in technical efficiency has been taking place faster than we can deal with the problem of labour absorption. This creates technological unemployment due to our discovery of means of economizing the use of labour”. So yes indeed, the political-economic establishment was much aware of what would occur in the end, for the excellent reason it is the nature of capitalist development to expel labour from production in both the capital and consumer good sectors. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy said, “If men have the talent to invent new machines that put men out of work, they have the talent to put those men back to work.” Two years later, a committee of scientists and social activists sent an open letter to President Lyndon B. Johnson arguing that “the cybernation revolution would create a separate nation of the poor, the unskilled, the jobless, who would be unable either to find work or to afford life’s necessities”. As the system continues to render labor increasingly superfluous to production, let’s face reality and accuracy, instead of narratives.
IF FACTS ARE STUBBORN, CAPITALISM GREEDINESS IS EVEN MORE
Since the 1980s, to substitute capital for labour through automation has become increasingly profitable. As a result, owners of capital have captured ever more of the world’s income, while the share going to labour has drastically fallen. At the same time, even in so called egalitarian and brotherly places like France, inequality among the employed has risen sharply, with the share going to the highest earners soaring. When interviewed, David Graeber, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics noted quite outspoken: “Much of modern labour consists of stultifying ‘bullshit jobs’—low and mid-level screen-sitting that serves simply to occupy workers for whom the economy no longer has much use. Keeping them employed is not an economic choice; it is something the ruling class does to keep control over the lives of others”. Among several others, brilliant Boston MIT and Oxford university reports objectify that an average between 40 to 60 % of occupations existing today will be completely redundant over the next 5 to 15 years, as artificial intelligence continues to transform businesses. In the field of industry, experts believe that the new industrial model of fully robotized plants will drastically amplify in the near coming future, although managed and supervised by a very small amount of skilled workers. Furthermore, in the sector of services, a revolutionary shift in the way workplaces operate could put millions of people’s livelihoods at risk, as customer work, process work and vast swatches of middle management will simply disappear. In other words, the pace of technological advancement in the last 20 years has been unprecedented, and that pace is likely to continue for the next 20 years. Berkeley’s Department of Economics researchers calculated that 60% of the actual working population without a college degree is unlikely to find another job. Furthermore, it emphasizes on a paradox: Although more people are pursuing higher education, the real wages among recent college graduates have fallen by 7.7 percent since 2000. True, top qualified foreign engineers will always be able to find a job in the Silicon Valley, but what will be left for the rest? The apparently attractive option of becoming a self-entrepreneur- over promoted by presidential candidate and French former Minister for Economy Emmanuel Macron for instance- might be a dream hiding a nasty reality: the law of the jungle which will throw millions belonging to the same sector of activity in a fierce competition, if not recurrent precariousness. In clear, big companies would be able to capitalize on a tremendous pool of talents, while reducing their labour costs in the very same way as they play the stock market. At this point, several crucial questions emerge. What do we do with millions of untrained among the youth? How can we manage to get them back to school, whereas it’s easier to sell drugs, guns or fall into a radical ideology? How can we finance a free and non-politically oriented education? In France, Higher education is free indeed, but students end up with a biased partisan narrative instead of developing a critical thinking. What do we do with workers, once robots replace the repetitive tasks? How do we deal with reskilling workers, as hundred fields of employment disappear? How do we reskill mature age workers? True, Humans can do much more than trot, carry and pull. But the skills required in most offices hardly elicit our full range of intelligence. Most jobs are still boring, repetitive and easily learned. According to Oxford study, each is highly susceptible to automation. Besides, if technology will create some jobs, the creative half of creative destruction is easily overstated. Nine out of 10 workers today are in occupations that existed 100 years ago, and just 5 percent of the jobs generated between 1993 and 2013 came from high tech sectors like computing, software and telecommunications. Our newest industries tend to be the most labor-efficient: they just don’t require many people. It is for this precise reason that the economic historian Robert Skidelsky, comparing the exponential growth in computing power with the less-than-exponential growth in job complexity has stated: “Sooner or later, we will run out of jobs”. The many challenges are significant enough—and the consequences disruptive enough—that we owe it to ourselves not to start lying to each other. The increase of jobs’ scarcity objectifies that Obama’s belief in private consumption and exports – as growth re-starters – was unrealistic. Soon before being sworn into office as Head of former President’s Council on Jobs and competitiveness, General Electric’s CEO, Jeffrey Immelt reminded the Detroit Economic club that “we all know that the American consumer cannot lead our recovery. This economy must be driven by business investment and exports”. When saying this, he was endorsing that the magnitude of wage reduction-perceived by elites as a necessity in a global neoliberal economy- would be massive, as well as limitless. Conceptually, the United States could have become a leader in world trade again, but as politics and philosophy brilliant Professor Alan Nasser has recently put it: “this would be founded upon having created a Nation of low-wage and in debt peons”. Decades of neoliberal policies finally created a vicious circle. Firstly, the international banking system -which is mainly fueled with gigantic Islamic monarchies’ sovereign or private funds – can only admit a permanence of indebted consumers. In this respect, wages inflation is the worst. You are not supposed to be able to pay cash, but to acquire more debt. Therefore, whereas massive public investment in employment-generating project is possible- and product-market inflation preferable- the financialization of both the domestic and global economy leads to perpetual financial bubbles which are exclusively profitable to the wealthiest and in the end, to Islamic countries that disregard human’s rights, when not periodically financing radical Islamic terrorists. What’s wrong with Asset inflation versus product-market inflation? Actually, asset inflation demands secular stagnation (near zero interest rates). Besides, it can generate unsustainable bubbles and increases inequalities. In other words, unsustainable bubbles are not created by secular stagnation. It’s the other way around. Regarding unemployment concerns over the years, while technological advances and innovations have gradually reduced the costs of goods and rendered net investment obsolete, competitiveness has encouraged big companies to relocation and worsened the politics of austerity. Combined with low border taxes, the mechanism has methodically shrunk small businesses, while constrained households’ purchase power has boosted foreign goods coming from countries with low-cost wage. The reason for the amplitude of the damage is mere simple: insatiable greediness. In fact, net investment is hardly re-injected in real economy, but profusely making its way into financial speculation and increasing shareholders’ dividends. The consternation and anger are immense. Due to automation and digital revolution, huge corporate savings – which have become unnecessary to productive investment – could have potentially been available to increase living standards and consumption by raising wages and initiate public investment in various crucial sectors (Education, health care, infrastructures…). Have these funds been under federal control, these contemptible wrongdoings could have been avoided. Not only did Obama and his predecessors make empty promises, but they behaved like casual shareholders, although their first mission was to protect their own people .
In addition, they grew wealth and global power from questionable countries.
TRE CYNICAL TRAP
Why did Donald J Trump win the presidential elections? An anti-system candidate was never born out of the blue. Observing the history of the 1930s in the U.S., the U.K. and Europe, Keynes believed that “an extended crisis under Capitalism would breed either a socialist revolution or fascism”. But the kind of fascism he was thinking about was certainly not the one that has been implemented in the western countries, while simultaneously diffusing a humanist narrative. In France, in 1981 and 2012, respective socialist Presidents François Mitterrand and François Hollande promised a change. It never happened. Actually, the people were twice lied to and the system rapidly curbed back onto austerity and neoliberalism. In the early 1990s, the European Commission became the jailer of the European peoples. The ECB and the Treaty of Maastricht took away their respective monetary sovereignties, while imposing an austerity only profitable to the persons with a great deal of capital. The Treaty of Schengen took away their border sovereignties, only to accelerate the free movement of goods, services and capital. But from that moment forward, every time it was going to the nitty gritty of whom was willing to pay for the implementation of an effective European security; the task was cowardly redirected to the United States and their leader command’s role within NATO.
Why? Let’s get to the heart of the issue. NATO was created to protect the European countries from communism and potential USSR’s invasion. Then, if USSR died some 25 years ago, why didn’t NATO reconfigure in the sense that it could be able to face the new first tricky threat, which soon happened to be radical Islamic terror? Why is the old Stalinism dictatorship’s narrative still developed and spread within the so called “free world”, as far as today? Why did Russia represent the perfect scapegoat? The reason is as dark as can be. Under neoliberalism – but it actually all started from the combination of President Richard Nixon’s actions to end dollar convertibility to gold in 1971 in order to fight a temporary domestic inflation and the first oil shock of 1973 – the ever closer global integration as well as the surge in capital mobility have rendered the international financial system a super-power stronger than any state power. In taking increasing shares into systemic private banking activities (Bank of America….), Sunni Islamic countries gradually became key players. Over decades, this gigantic capital was thoroughly used for major takeovers on firms in the sense that those countries became unavoidable partners for global players and industrialists. The Iran gate and U.S. embargo didn’t allow the same kind of dependence to develop with Shia Islam until very recently, when irresponsible President Obama decided to enforce a crazy nuclear deal. First, the pro-globalization believer was hoping for profitable new partnerships, after a return to normalized relationships and the lifting of economic sanctions. Second, he wanted to give a lesson to several Gulf monarchies. As soon as Nov 2011 (although many different sources insist that it was long before this date), the U.S. Administration gathered concrete evidence proving that those countries were actually being financing Islamic terrorists groups in the shadow. At the end of the day, Obama will go down in history as the president who allowed Iran to be stronger and richer than ever. This said, Islamic terrorism was not born two or three decades ago. Actually, it most like emerged around 1928 in Egypt, under King Fouad I. At its early beginning, the “Muslim brotherhood” was a pacific religious organization whose goal was to instill the Quran and Sunnah as the “sole reference point for ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community and state”. Its mottos included: “Believers are but Brothers. Islam is the Solution. Allah is our objective. The Quran is the Constitution. The Prophet is our leader”. After Nasser’s coup in 1952, the group would work to grow Nasser’s influence on the Egyptian population, but once it grew too popular, it became a threat. The leader Sayyid Qutb ended up in jail, where he wrote “Ma’alim fi al-Tariq” (Milestones), in which he justified why Quran would allow Islam believers to use violence as a means to reach the pre-cited goals. Among Islam believers, it is widely assumed that Prophet Muhammad wrote the Quran and died on the Jewish Temple Mount in Jerusalem, in 632. The first half of the sacred book is constituted of pacific verses preaching humanism and brotherhood, while the second half, written when Muhammad was a more mature man, preaches the conquest of the world via “Jihad” (Holy war), barbaric methods, religious conversions to the Law of Sharia, eradication of Jews, apostates and miscreants… In one word, what the radical Muslims call the “Kuffar”. After his death, the ones who elected Ali –Muhammad’s cousin- as exclusive lineage were finally called Shia Muslims (15% of the present Muslim population). The rest are Sunnis. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Muslim Brotherhood members were trained to terrorist methods by a mercenary and former Nazi member of the Werwolf unit – a resistance force created in 1944 by Himmler which would operate behind enemy lines. In 1966, Sayyid Qutb was finally convicted of plotting the assassination of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and was executed by hanging. Over the next decades, similar radical groups developed, sometimes used in their respective countries to help Muslim dictators keep control over their populations. Behaving like charity organizations, they were socially active, while inciting the citizens to a return to a stricter religiosity. Whenever reaching too much popularity, the dictators would send them abroad to help their Muslim brothers on various war fronts. During the cold war, they would serve and fight for American or Russian interests, depending on whom was their country’s current ally (ie: USSR-Afghanistan war ). They slowly developed as “Mujahidins of Allah” (Soldiers of Allah). Al Qaeda, I.S… pursue the concretization of the ultimate commandment of Islam, an anthropological conquest to a mankind level. Ayatollah Khomeini once declared: “Islam is political, or it is not”. Radical Islamic movements insist that “Jihad (Holy war) is our way; death for the sake of Allah is our wish”.
So knowing that, my question will be the following one: If Europe has cowardly preferred to fraternize with the enemy, since both Shia and Sunni Islam finance Islamic terrorist groups (Shia Hezbollah, Sunni Hamas, IS, Al Qaeda…), is President Trump behaving like a fool when signing travel bans and ordering extreme vetting? In Europe, Syrians blew themselves up in Paris in Nov 2015. An exhaustive list of Islamic terror attacks would be too long to write down. A month later, Syrians among other Muslims raped young German girls on New Year’s Eve. These Muslims were refugees welcomed in Cologne, yet soon behaving like animals. If no essentialism should be tolerated, is it allowed to speak the truth? If there do exist millions of pacific Muslims, Khomeini himself gave the definition of Islam: not a religious, but a political agenda. Are the American people willing to try the thrill?
Furthermore, He who controls the cash controls the politics. From the mid-1980s forward, a subtle narrative of a “happy diversity” living in a “small village” started to develop. Gradually, islamisation made its way into America and Europe. Or to put it different, islamisation of the western world was the other side of the coin born from a lucrative deal of reciprocal interests. On the one hand, there was political Islam. One the other hand, you could find progressive liberals, Republicans, banks, Wall Street, industrialists owning the mainstream media, the movie industry, the publishing sector… In a nutshell, a neoliberal agenda got along with a political expansion of Islam. Yet, how to hide best? When dealing with the western world, the equation is simple to solve: Play on the sensitive strings of peace, Jewish-Christian beliefs in love, compassion and solidarity. Merge identity, racial and religious issues in the same salad bowl. Feed two or three generations with utopias, fit brains into a unique mould and wait until the initial plot is dissolved into a single ideology claiming the world out there is looking for peace. If so, then why did Obama bar immigration from Libya for six months? Why did his administration come up with a list of 7 countries, the names of whom precisely fall under President Trump’s temporary ban? Why did 1.5 million British citizens sign a petition against his forthcoming visit to the U.K, while over the past decade, the U.K. has repeatedly forbidden its Channel border, asking France to quarantine 6.000 asylum seeker refugees in “Calais’ Jungle”? These refugees didn’t want to settle anywhere else except in Great Britain. Some even had family. They finally got dispatched in various French areas. So before you stand up and want to speak out, make sure you’re irreproachable. Why are the Australians protesting, when they have dispatched and parked refugees on various surrounding islands? Why is Angela Merkel suddenly going vocal, after she finally admitted that her open border policy in sept 2015 was a mistake? Indeed, after a tormented past, it is good to demonstrate German people can show some heart. It’s even better to prove they can be sensible. As for France’s protest, it is simply irrelevant, as the country gathers the highest Muslim community within Europe, thanks to decades of collusion with Islamic monarchies. The fear of a civil war and political leaders’ rampant hypocrisy is appalling. But there’s worse. How dares former President Obama speak out, while he participated in the widest enterprise that sank his own people into poverty, ideological indoctrination and Islamic terror attacks? The international oligarchy which is corrupted by Islamic financial manna is only looking forward to creating what Keynes was able to foresee: “a prolonged dissatisfaction could merge into unorganized resistance and greater social dislocation”. This is precisely what political Islam has been waiting for, since World War II ended. The bond between Nazism and political Islam was great. Both ideologies would share in common an equal hatred for the Jewish people as well as a hegemonic agenda. Both called for the eradication of ‘sub-races’. The Nazi implemented a racial hierarchisation and a total submission, while enforcing a vital space. Radical Islam was pursuing the ultimate commandment under the Sharia Law: the conversion of the world with an occasional status of dhimmitude. Adolf Hitler and the Great Mufti of Jerusalem- the highest religious distinction for both Sunni and Shia Muslims – were brothers in arms during the first world conflict. During the second, the pious man payed a visit to Berlin with the pacific idea to build concentration and extermination camps for Jews in Palestine, as soon as the third Reich’s victory is final. As for Iran, the Shah was seriously considering the supply of petroleum to Hitler, if the British didn’t stop him. Once, Hitler publically declared: “The only religion I respect is Islam. The only prophet I admire is Muhammad”. In my book, I have mentioned the worst irony of it all. Seventy five years later, many European millennials draw a perfect analogy between Zionism and Nazism. Islamic funds pour on so many associations, organizations; identity movements that they have finally managed to gather and manipulate all the causes. When for decades, a twisted narrative reverses logical paradigms and pushes sanity the other way around, you end up with what you can see happening in various cities around the so called free world : millions of people running in circles into the same fitted box of insanity. President Donald J. Trump was the last chance for America before decay. He was the last chance for our Jewish-Christian civilization to survive. Radical Islam doesn’t recognize these values like their owns. A sin is natural. Evil is chanted. Hypocrisy and trickery are praised. Murder is blessed. If Islam can be described as a religion of passion and Mystery, radical Islam embraces the darkest vision of a schizophrenic sacred book. The first part praises humanism, while the second caresses an apocalyptic chaos. Here has come the time when a country has to unite and observe the tragedy happening in Europe. Don’t walk that way. Eight decades ago, the European chancelleries behaved like cowards and didn’t stop Hitler. Today, astronomical Muslim countries’ sovereign funds dictate a feigned progressive narrative. Once, the Europeans were chanted Universalism. They opened their arms wide. They were paid back with slaughters, sufferings, blood and tears. Extreme vetting and yes, sometimes bans, are highly recommended. This is the only reason why my country has survived.
Challenging Capitalism and existing paradigms
I will finish this article paying tribute to President Trump’s decision opting for a smart protectionism and bilateral trade deals. J.M Keynes could not agree more. Now that you’ve unveiled who was hidden behind globalization and neoliberalism, the choice makes even more sense. You may also understand better why energy independence is crucial. It is a time when a courageous and smart President needs your full backing. Of course, people will criticize my book and this present writing. Hopefully, philosophers don’t give a damn about their reputation. You can destroy a man, never his ideas until AI takes control. Raise border tariffs, reduce both companies and households taxes, start a reconstruction plan will offer many jobs opportunities and will restore small businesses. Meanwhile, no remedy can last forever. Although the idea is-at least- as old as Thomas More’s satirical novel Utopia (1516), philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists along with non-partisan economists in Switzerland, France, the U.K., Finland, the Netherlands, Denmark, the U.S… have started to challenge the existing paradigms. The idea of a universal or basic income has emerged. Sir Tony Atkinson, Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and Fellow of Nuffield College has been a pioneer in defining basic income as a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all, on an individual basis, without means-test or work requirement. In the coming decades, a full Basic Income could replace some existing social policies. If so, nothing would be revolutionary. In France, the socialist presidential candidate Benoît Hamon proposes the idea of such Basic income (roughly €750 monthly) starting with the 18 to 25 years old. He calculated that 600.000 current students were working while studying. In the case they could perceive this allowance, 600.000 jobs offers would thus be available for the unemployed. But more substantially, he came up with the idea of a tax on robots, as the digital replacement will increase in the coming future. Mere utopian dream? Only fair? Decide for yourself, but definitely refreshing. The only reason why Hamon cannot be a great president : a perpetual denial of the islamic issue in France.
©Mylene Doublet O’Kane, Jan 31, 2017.