vendredi 5 juillet 2013

Charles Hugh Smith : la prochaine révolution américaine

Charles Hugh Smith, qui pense comme moi que le système va mourir à la grecque, sans un bruit, comme un pet dans le vent, par une sortie progressive de la population du système salarié/marchand, par simple arbitrage...

The Next American Revolution
Of two minds, Charles Hugh Smith, 04/07/2013 (traduire en Français texte en anglais )
→ lien
Some July 4th thoughts on revolution as a process rather than an event.

The next American Revolution will not be an event, it will be a process.
We naturally turn to the past for templates of the future, but history has a way of remaining remarkably unpredictable. Indeed, all the conventional long-range forecasts made in 1900, 1928, 1958, 1988 and 2000 missed virtually every key development--not
just in the distant future, but just a few years out.

The point is that extrapolating the present into the future fails to capture sea changes and developments that completely disrupt the supposedly unchanging, permanent Status Quo. The idea that the next revolution will take a new form does not occur to conventional forecasters, who readily assume the next transition will follow past critical junctures: armed insurrection against the central authority (The first American Revolution, 1781), civil war (1861) or global war (1941).

I submit that the next American Revolution circa 2021-23 will not repeat or even echo these past transitions. What seems likely to me is the entire project of centralization that characterized the era 1941-2013 will slip into irrelevance as centralization increasingly yields diminishing returns.

Everything centralized, from the Federal Reserve to the Too Big To Fail Banks to Medicare to the National Security State depends on the Federal government being a Savior State that must ceaselessly expand its share of the national income and its raw power lest it implode. All Savior States have one, and only one trajectory--they must ceaselessly expand and concentrate wealth and power or they will fail.

They are like the shark, which dies once it stops moving forward: the Savior State must push forward on its trajectory of expansion or it expires.

Stasis is not possible, nor is contraction; the promises made to the citizenry cannot be withdrawn without political instability, but the promises cannot be kept without fatally disrupting the neofeudal financialized debtocracy.

You see the dilemma: The Savior State cannot stop expanding, but the financial system that generates its revenues can no longer support its vast machinery of debt and phantom collateral. This is why I suggest all the centralized concentrations of wealth
and power will either implode or fade into irrelevance.

If all the phantom wealth and collateral vanishes in a market clearing event, the Federal Reserve will simply become irrelevant to the vast majority of people. A handful of nimble speculators may well benefit by picking over the carcass of financialization and centralized omnipotence (i.e. central banking), and perhaps the 1/10th of 1% will still have enough assets influenced by the Fed to care, but
the forces of disruption will replace centralization with decentralization.

Here is another example: Medicare may not cease to exist, but it will become increasingly irrelevant to most people because it will not longer function. The remaining doctors willing to treat Medicare patients will be working 13-hour days for sketchy pay, and as each one burns out and leaves the system, the system contracts. Eventually it contracts to the point of irrelevance.

The revolution will be in work and social innovations enabled by technology.
The conventional view is that technology will magically enable the permanence of the present; this will be proven incorrect, as what technology enables is not the waste, entitlement and centralization that characterize the present but social innovations, some of which are already visible.

If we sought to summarize the profound transformation ahead in one sentence, it would be this: wages are no longer an adequate model for distributing the surplus generated by the economy.

The current Savior State model responds to this by increasing taxes on the dwindling minority with fulltime jobs and increasing entitlement payments to all those without government or private-sector jobs. This model will collapse, politically, socially and economically, as no society or economy can squander half or more of its productive labor force while increasing the burden on the dwindling cohort of productively employed. The inevitable result of this dynamic is a destabilizing Tyranny of the Majority.
Tyranny of the Majority, Corporate Welfare and Complicity (April 9, 2010)

Technology is not just disrupting old industries and companies, it is disrupting the entire Savior State/cartel-capitalism model. The disruption has barely begun, but it will pick up speed over the next decade.

I suspect the next American Revolution will begin in the 2015-16 timeframe. A series of interlocking crises will lead to reforms that preserve the Savior State/cartel-capitalism for another few years, at a lower level of consumption, i.e. burn rate.

But the process of revolution will be far from complete; this initial response of the centralized neofeudal debtocracy will buy time for the Status Quo, and every conventional onlooker will be infused with optimism and hope that the system established in the Great Depression, World War II and its Cold War aftermath--the secular religion of consumerism (i.e. aggregate demand), permanent war footing and the National Security State, and universal dependence on the Savior State and its ceaseless expansion of concentrated wealth and power--will continue.

But this Springtime for the Savior State/cartel-capitalism partnership will be brief, and by 2018-19 all the systemic flaws and disruptive trends will reassert themselves with renewed vigor.

The entire current model of governance, social order and the economy will be revolutionized not by overthrow but by the process of irrelevance. What will become relevant will no longer be in the control of the Savior State or its partner, financialized cartel capitalism.

Those currently holding all the concentrated power and wealth cannot believe they will become irrelevant, but that's the result of projecting the present as if it is permanent and immutable.

The new system will be better, more humane, more flexible, more transparent, with more opportunity, for it will be everything the current corrupt, sclerotic, parasitic and exploitive system is not.

4 commentaires:

  1. Je suis totalement d'accord avec lui sur les prémisses, mais pas sur la conclusion.
    Et si, justement la révolution, c'était de ne rien changer alors que tout le monde sait que tout doit changer ?
    Pour l'instant, ce qui domine, malgré que nous savons TOUS que tout est pourri, c'est le statu quo.
    D'où une théorie peut-être trop méconnue : rien ne changera parce que personne ne veut que tout change, et que TOUT LE MONDE LE SAIT ET, DANS LE FOND, L'APPROUVE.
    Hegel est niqué : tout ce qui est réel n'est pas forcément rationnel...

  2. Ztong a sans doute raison, mais il faut que tout change pour que rien ne change...
    donc on fait du cosmétique, on change les décors, les pantins changent de masque mais les ficelles restent les mêmes.

  3. Vous oubliez un petit détail :
    Plus le temps passe plus nous brûlons nos hydrocarbures.
    Plus le temps passe, plus nombreux nous sommes à vouloir en consommer de part la croissance démographique mondiale.
    Plus le temps passe , plus les réserves disponibles d'hydrocarbures se tarrissent vite.
    Plus le temps passe, plus le transfert de consommation des vieux pays riches vers les brics s'effectue.

    Nous assistons à un magnifique effet ciseau qui induira une importante réduction de la population mondiale, seule variable d'ajustement possible dans l'équation.
    La seule question est quand.
    Mais une chose me semble certaine, c'est pour dans pas trop longtemps compte tenu de l'accélération actuelle.

    1. Tu oublies toi aussi un petit détail, nous vivons dans une société de surconsommation, on pourrait très facilement consommer moins d’énergie sans perte de confort notable.

      L'effet de ciseau, c'est surtout que ceux qui ont un peu de moyen (financier et intellectuel) pourront :

      1. habiter proche de leur lieu de travail,
      2. isoler leur logement,
      3. lampe LED, pompe à chaleur, cheminée pour les jours de pointe,
      4. véhicules électriques (vélo, auto, scooter) pour les déplacement quotidien avec prise dans le garage.

      Les autres vont s'en prendre plein la tronche :
      1. frais de déplacement dom-travail,
      2. frais de chauffage dans logement mal isolé,
      3. chauffage obsolète, fioul ou grille pain électrique,
      4. vieux véhicule qui consomme et le même break pour les trajets quotidiens que pour partir en vacances.

      Sans oublier la volonté de consommation des plus pauvres alors que les bobo gaucho en sont revenu et apprécie la frugalité.


Si votre commentaire n'apparaît pas tout de suite, c'est normal. Il doit être validé avant publication.