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"If you can't buy food, people will just start helping themselves. It'll be anarchy. I'm serious!" - Gordon Brown Oct. 2008

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tony blair
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Sep 22 2013 13:48
"If you can't buy food, people will just start helping themselves. It'll be anarchy. I'm serious!" - Gordon Brown Oct. 2008

Interesting stuff from The Independent on how close the world came to 'anarchy' during the financial crash five years ago:

'Gordon Brown considered putting troops onto the streets and enforcing a curfew as the severity of the banking crisis began to sink in, his former spin doctor has revealed.

Mr Brown's fears came in anticipation of the public becoming aware of just how serious the financial crisis was.

Damian McBride said the then prime minister was preparing for "anarchy" from across the country if banks shut their doors and stopped people from using their bank cards.

His consideration of such drastic measures arrived in the days following the collapse of Northern Rock in 2008, and the night before he announced his public bailout of the banks, fearing a "total meltdown of the financial system of the Western world".

Mr McBride added that it was "extraordinary" to see him "gripped by the danger of what he was about to do".

In an extract of his book, serialised in the Daily Mail, Mr McBride quoted Mr Brown as saying: "You don't understand...If the banks are shutting their doors, and the cashpoints aren't working, and people go to Tesco and their cards aren't being accepted, the whole thing will just explode.

"If you can't buy food or petrol or medicine for your kids, people will just start breaking the windows and helping themselves. And as soon as people see that on TV, that's the end, because everyone will think that's OK now, that's just what we all have to do.

"It'll be anarchy. That's what could happen tomorrow. I'm serious, I'm serious... We'd have to think: do we have curfews, do we put the Army on the streets, how do we get order back?"

He feared panic from other countries could spread to Britain, exacerbating public unrest further.

But McBride added that Mr Brown was "convinced that decisive action" had to be undertaken immediately and said he later thought his actions were comparable to President John F Kennedy and his advisers during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the Cold War.

The former special advisor to Mr Brown was forced to resign in 2009 after revelations of plans to create a smear campaign against Conservative ministers were leaked.'

martinh
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Joined: 8-03-06
Sep 22 2013 18:46

Not on the same scale, though. A small proportion of shops looted in the cities is not the same as would have happened had the banking system crashed.

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boozemonarchy
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Sep 23 2013 14:08

I've got an anarcho-liberal friend who always goes on and on about "the impending collapse of capitalism". I'm pretty skeptical of any "collapse" that doesn't include workers seizing economic control and abolishing the government. Any other "collapse" is just a money making scheme. Has 08' not taught us a thing?

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boozemonarchy
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Sep 23 2013 14:12

Well, thats another thing I hear all the time. Wouldn't that barbarism just be capitalism (or some other exploitative social relation) cut down to size for the sake of continuing its wretched existence?

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boozemonarchy
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Sep 23 2013 14:33

I'm not talking about something like "The Road", collapse ala some sort of fucked up environmental thing. Sure, I agree, thats just post-capitalist barbarism.

Rather, I'm thinking of some sort of just falling apart of the system sort of on its own accord. Like, I think that "collapse" isn't the right word, I think these are just the convulsions of a poorly thought out system and don't equal collapse. I think my anarcho-liberal friend sees these convulsions as something special. I guess I just don't.

factvalue
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Sep 23 2013 23:28

The latest round of capitalist crisis were certainly important but I think people round here would say that the events in Tottenham were more immediately related to long term tensions between residents and the local branch of the state. I prefer the nice cool-headed approach taken by George Caffentzis' in his slant on The Apocalypse that Steven posted a wee while ago:

http://libcom.org/library/workenergy-crisis-apocalypse-george-caffentzis

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Tyrion
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Sep 24 2013 03:09

Certainly a revealing article, and reflective of the fact that the bourgeoisie often seem to have a keener sense of the vulnerability of capitalism than the working class does. It reminds me a bit of the worry that some bankers apparently felt in the US during the initial rise of the Occupy business which, for all its flaws, did experience an absolutely meteoric explosion across the US.

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plasmatelly
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Sep 24 2013 10:10
iexist wrote:
I meant like the economy tanking. How is it that a bunch of coked up banker sociopaths haven't just f-ed up the whole deal with Some drug induced bad trading. The economy is run by the top .0001 percent of humanity these are a small group with human failings sand massive egoes usually this leads to mistakes and mistakes up there mean massive collapse.

Not sure if you're saying this, but it sounds like the capitalism works but fails because of human error stance that supporters of capitalism wheel out.
The markets are intact, as they were in 1929, the only observation is we're getting fucked over harder than before. Trickle down is a fallacy

factvalue
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Sep 24 2013 12:51

Jim, you probably spotted the link over on theory anyway but the whole Caffentzis collection of which that peice is a part is here (and it's lovely writing):

http://fadingtheaesthetic.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/in-letters-of-bloo...

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sometimes explode
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Sep 24 2013 19:48

I quite like this comment from Steve Aylett on that problem, although I don't share its ahistorical absoluteness:

"There'll never be another revolution in America or England, because people are scared it’ll scratch their DVDs".

zcfvxzcv
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Sep 28 2013 13:40

This article, unfortunately, misses out one of the best bits from panicking Gordon:

‘The whole bloody thing could collapse. I’m serious! The whole bloody thing.... We’ve just got to get ourselves ready in case it goes wrong tomorrow. And I mean really wrong...'

The full quotes and context were first published in The Daily Mail: HERE

This evidence of the ruling classes panic 5 years ago is backed up by Alastair Darling's recent claim that that 'we were on the brink of a complete collapse of the world's financial system'. And, of course, by Ben Bernanke's famous statement: 'If we don't do this [the US bailout] tomorrow, we won't have an economy on Monday.'

This Simon Rawnsley Guardian piece is also of interest: HERE

S. Artesian
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Sep 28 2013 14:02
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
Well a collapse isn't always a money making scheme, could lead to barbarism.

Barbarism is a money-making scheme. And money-making schemes lead to barbarism. That's the point.

S. Artesian
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Joined: 5-02-09
Sep 28 2013 14:05
zcfvxzcv wrote:
This article, unfortunately, misses out one of the best bits from panicking Gordon:

‘The whole bloody thing could collapse. I’m serious! The whole bloody thing.... We’ve just got to get ourselves ready in case it goes wrong tomorrow. And I mean really wrong...'

The full quotes and context were first published in The Daily Mail: HERE

This evidence of the ruling classes panic 5 years ago is backed up by Alastair Darling's recent claim that that 'we were on the brink of a complete collapse of the world's financial system'. And, of course, by Ben Bernanke's famous statement: 'If we don't do this [the US bailout] tomorrow, we won't have an economy on Monday.'

This Simon Rawnsley Guardian piece is also of interest: HERE

Or as Bush 2 put it back here in the old USA, "The whole sucker could go down."

Still, it's not over. 2014 will be a very very difficult year.

baboon
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Sep 30 2013 16:32

I agree that the coming period remains very difficult for capitalism and we are certainly not on the "cusp of an upswing" for the system, however desperate the bourgeoisie are in claiming evidence of a recovery.

I saw reports of a second near-collapse of the system and the emptying of cash machines in Britain that necessitated the immediate transfer of massive dollar guarantees in order to keep the British banking system going. I'm not sure how useful such a collapse would have been for the class struggle at the time given the general levels of combativity and consciousness among the workers generally. It would have produced spectacular some straw fires but I don't think that it would have been the best circumstances for the workers to struggle in.

At any rate the system did not collapse and the bourgeosie managed a certain amount of cooperation and international organisation in order to keep the cash machines dispensing. But who'd have thought it - the trotskyists dream - the whole of the western banking system virtually nationalised overnight.

How much the bourgeoisie can continue to cooperate from a system based on competition is a moot point. Already, since 2008, we see greater tendencies towards protectionism (a la 1930's) and Britain and Japan have implemented a policy of blatent competitive devaluations.

The US economy is still so fragile that it has had to continue with its policy of quantatative easing despite knowing that it has to give up this drug at some stage. According to some reports, which I don't have to hand, for every $8 dollars of quantatative easing only one goes into real production with the vast majority going to pay of previous debts and the rest going into further speculation.

crwydryny
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Oct 3 2013 14:48

from what I've heard from both sources in the finance industry and from friends in america, america is on the brink of collapse, with several states already considering breaking from the US, and goverment agencies at the point of break down. as well as that the dollar is starting to weaken to the point that other countries (including china) are considering calling in their debts from the US before it offically collapses so as not to suffer a major loss, and countries around the world are already moving away from the dollar standard instead investing in other country's currencies in the event that it does go under.

and if the US does go under it's going to have shock waves the world over due to the large number of companies that are based in the states. so we may be close to the end for capatalism depending on what happens in the following months to a year.

gamerunknown
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Joined: 10-10-13
Oct 12 2013 16:32

Quite similar to the piece Money Week did on debt this quarter. I found the caption of this picture absolutely hilarious.

factvalue
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Oct 12 2013 18:01

It's interesting to read Money Week's welfare-debt theory of the apocalypse in the context of commentaries such as David Graeber's in The Greek Debt Crisis in Almost Unimaginably Long-Term Historical Perspective:

'In the corporate media, the Greek crisis is usually represented almost as a revolt of spoiled children: a population living beyond its means, rising up in a tantrum when forced to face the fiscal discipline it has for so long, and so unrealistically, resisted. This seems rather an extraordinary condemnation for a nation with one of the least developed welfare states in Europe, but it is the only narrative the corporate media really has to tell. After all, is not debt simply the rational measure of fiscal morality? And in geopolitical terms, is there any other morality that really matters? A nation in debt must have done something wrong, just as a nation with surpluses must be doing something right (no one seems to notice that you cannot have one without the other, so that for a German, for instance, to chide a Greek for his country’s supposed fiscal irresponsibility is the equivalent of a heroin dealer chiding his client for having become addicted in the first place). Curiously absent from these discussions is the one area where the Greek government, so penurious with its health and pension policies, seems remarkably open-handed: that is, in matters of military spending, or anything, for that matter, connected to what we like to call the “security services.”'

waring
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Joined: 23-10-13
Oct 23 2013 16:27

Damien McBride's claim in his book, Power Trip (p381ff), that Gordon Brown "saved the world by giving every other country a template of how to rescue their banking systems" is not too far from the truth. Brown really did perform social-democracy's historic role of saving capitalism from itself.

In the book, Mcbride then goes on to say that, if Cameron and Osborne had not blocked Brown's application to become head of the IMF, he would now be spending "every waking moment since trying to engineer a coordinated soft-landing for China, India, Brazil and other emerging economies ... Just as in 2008, he would be trying to stop a potential world recession turning into global socio-political meltdown, even more so given the militarist and revolutionary leanings of many of the emerging market economies at risk."

My guess is that these sentences come from Gordon Brown himself. Despite his arrogance, Brown is no dummy. And the fact that he fears a "revolutionary" outcome to the present crisis should give us hope!

aidrocsid
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Joined: 27-10-13
Nov 13 2013 13:55

This is why its important to start learning to grow your own food, make water filters, put up some extra ammunition etc in case of emergency.
Being self sufficient is also a good way to fight capitalism. The more you can do for yourself the less you depend on external systems of control, and become less of the problem. The systems depend on you to, stop participating and they might go away.
Have some food and water handy in case they do smile

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Chilli Sauce
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Nov 13 2013 22:19

aidrocsid, I know you're a new poster and I feel slightly bad that you're about to get the hell downed out of your post, so I feel like a bit of explanation is in order.

Basically, this is a communist website. We recognise that all wealth is produced by the working class. Our objection is not too that wealth, but to the fact that we don't control it and that's it's not used for the benefit of society.

The politics of most regular users of the site are steadfastly opposed to the notion of dropping out. Instead we focus on organising at work and in communities to defend working class living standards now and to build to the sort of power and consciousness to undertake revolutionary action in the future.

We'd also have a pretty huge critique of the idea of 'self-sufficiency'. All wealth is socially produced, so the idea that anyone can drop sustain themselves without recourse to capitalist products is basically laughable.

vicent
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Joined: 21-03-13
Nov 13 2013 22:52

"We'd also have a pretty huge critique of the idea of 'self-sufficiency'. All wealth is socially produced, so the idea that anyone can drop sustain themselves without recourse to capitalist products is basically laughable."

Oh yeah?