This is a small bakery blog so I try not to regurgitate too much current affairs type stuff. In a way, baking organic bread in a wood fired brick oven – or buying a loaf of the same – is a way to avoid all this nonsense. And yet…
And yet the very reason I am doing this, and the reason some of you buy it or are interested in reading about it, is partly because of the state of affairs, and those state of affairs directly effect the form and function of the bakery. For example, if we didn’t have an over-corporatized world system, there would be far more local bakeries and groceries and farms and far fewer supermarkets run by only 2-5 companies in most cities. Or put another way: I cannot sell my bread into the supermarkets because they never carry local produce; in fact part of their role is to destroy local producers and to replace them with large distant mechanised producers, ship the long-lasting, denatured imitation foods and nutrition-deficient produce in, pay minimum wage or close for people to move the boxes around and man the cash registers and bake sub-par bread that everyone is now used to and which is unhealthy to boot (!), and people like me are rare and find it hard to survive.
Without them around, I could take over Bernie’s Bakery in the Pier – which has been offered to me – and hire 4-10 people, and make a real go of it. But as it is now, that is impossible and Bernie’s remains empty; one of the largest brick ovens in North America and no-one is using it because of how the supermarket system works.
OK, so here is today’s article:
Notice how the interviewee, John Perkins, is someone who knows what he is talking about because he used to be one of the bad guys, what he calls ‘economic hit men’. This is how the world works today: ‘predatory capitalism’. If you want to understand why your local economy is not working, or why the food is not really good or why this or why that, stop blaming the local or regional politicians who have no power or influence any more, although more of them could be gutsier and speak out, but if they did, they would be replaced pronto. In any case, this article, short and simple as it is, in some ways explains all any of us need to know about the modern world economic and political system.
RB: We are confronted daily with so many crises that are global in nature yet appear separate and unrelated. Isn’t the crisis now—including all its political, economic, environmental, and other aspects—a crisis of the global capitalist system itself as opposed to merely a financial crisis or a sum of multiple systemic crises?
JP: What we have seen is that we are going through the throes of a failed global economy. I do not think that the depression or recession that we, and so many countries around the world are experiencing today, is temporary. It reflects a structural problem that we have around the world with the current form of capitalism. And I call this current form of capitalism predatory capitalism. I think it is a mutant viral form of capitalism that really took hold in the 1970s and has been spreading ever since. As expressed by famous economist Milton Friedman, it is based on a single premise, a single goal, and that goal is to maximize profits, without taking into account social and environmental cost. In essence every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan has bought into this idea, and supported it, Democrat and Republican alike. The big businesses of the world, the multinationals, really have embraced this concept and they hire highly paid lobbyists and others to make sure that laws are written in a way that will support the goal of maximizing profits regardless of the social and environmental costs. They have been able to control politicians and the laws they implement, legally, and they achieve this through campaign financing. The people that run the corporations which I call the corporatocracy control the mainstream press. Specifically they own the media outlets or if they do not, they control its message through media advertising. Thus they have used their tremendous power to create a global economic system that is unstable, unjust, and rather insane. It is a wholly inefficient system in that it doesn’t work for anyone except the very wealthy, in which case the system works beautifully. Even in times of recession, due to the power which they wield, all parties that make up this corporatocracy are able to be bailed out of their failed gambles.”
Just ask the guy ZeroDay on the Bitcoin forum who had over $700,000 lifted from his business cash account (for payrolls and ongoing delivery contracts) last week by these kleptocrats. You can wonder if it was his bank, the Cyprian Govt, the EU govt or whatever, but ultimately it doesn’t matter: the system as described by Perkins in this article is responsible; and it is working just fine. They are taking 20-40% or more of our money all the time, just quietly through bogus taxes and inflation, so we don’t notice and don’t get angry. But basically it’s all the same system and with the same result: local economies and cultures are collapsing all over the developed world.
So please buy my bread at the Farmers’ Market!! For both of our sakes! Because making things locally and selling them locally and buying them locally is one of the only ways we can fight back. Put another way: if we all actually did that, their system would collapse. But because we all work at Wal Mart and shop at WalMart – along with many other such businesses including government agencies etc. – the system keeps going. If we stopped using their credit and services, they would collapse. Think about that when you shop in the big box stores. Of course we all do it, we sort of have to, but do we have to as much? Are there things we can buy from local people? Instead of a junk fast food outlet, could we go to a local non-chain restauranteur? Fix our clothes with a local tailor rather than buying new crap from a discount outlet joint. Buy Canadian/American machinery vs Chinese? Or pay a little more for even better quality German vs Chinese (whose factories are financed by these Big Boys)
OK, that’s enough of that!