The Looming Transnational Battlefield

Economically speaking, in today’s world of nations-without-borders, an extraordinarily potent Transnational Capitalist Class, with no allegiance to individual nation-states, determines the fate of society at large.

However, in order to keep their “house in order,” these transnational capitalists may want to consider supporting quasi-socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, aka: “The Bern.”

He could help bail them out, as the next financial tailspin will likely need some cushion, considering a populace which may revolt at the first sign of another torpedoing of the economy, as happened in 2008 when financial derivatives popped like firecrackers in July.

Alarmingly, as of today, derivatives are much larger in scope, namely $633 trillion looming over world GDP of $80 trillion, as well as considerably more threatening than 2008, by a long shot! Derivatives shift financial risks from party to party, until the music stops! That’s when risk becomes a hot potato.

Haughty Transnational Capitalists may need safety harnesses for the next financial tailspin, which some mainstream, as well as dissident, economists believe is “in the cards.” It’s only a matter of when. Meanwhile, money is turned into sand castles as central bankers max-out printing presses hot as Hades Jalapenos. Trillions upon trillions upon trillions of freshly minted money has been finding a home for years now, almost exclusively on stock exchanges. Still, economies are not built on trading floors.

As it happens, the Transnational Capitalist Class is a driving force of economic-social-political affaires bound together as an elite cadre of free market capitalists (neoliberalism in spades), the heartbeat of a worldwide network that thrive off profits and wealth creation. Their nonpareil world order is driven by money, which equates to success, power, collegiality, and topped off by an irritating strain of arrogant egomania.

The notion that a company or corporate executive or wealthy entrepreneur is bound by an allegiance to their country of origin is passé. The elite capitalists of today are bound to one another, not to countries.

They meet at the same conferences, like the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, or the The Bilderberg Group annual geopolitic forum, or in Asia it is the Boao Forum on China’s Hainan Island each spring, or the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival, or Herb Allen’s Sun Valley gathering for media moguls, or the Google Zeitgeist conference, all defining the characteristics of today’s plutocrats; they are forming a global community, and their ties to one another are increasingly closer than their ties to the multitudes back home.

Moreover, as this new world order of collective wealth coalesces into the most formidable economic-politico entity in the history of humankind, democratic nation-states lose the legacy of the Age of Enlightenment, which played such a major role in the French Revolution (1789-99) and the American Revolution (1775-83), contributing to the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the U.S. Bill of Rights (1791).

Nowadays, nation-state identity is stripped away by blazing wealth creation that knows no borders, no boundaries, and no allegiances outside of their closed network, an exclusive clique that exists above and beyond loyalty to any nation-state, leaving the middle class out in the cold, outside looking in.

It’s little wonder that presidential candidate Feel the Bern attracts so many newbies into the fold, as he exposes the “land of opportunity trap,” which laces Republican and Democrat platitudes of American greatness and opportunity, but it’s bogus for the disaffected middle class; i.e., America’s version of the bourgeoisie or the Third Estate (fr).

Looking ahead to 2016, The Bern’s socialistic tendencies may unwittingly serve as part and parcel of a framework for continual empire building. His words ring bells with the disaffected. People react with favorable ratings. After all, inclusiveness is what the great American dream is modeled upon, and Bern Talk espouses a prototype of survival in the fanciful land of opportunity.

Conceivably, and ironically, The Bern could bail out the capitalists by showing the way forward for the 90% or 99%, assuming his platform (free college education, single-payer universal health care, a $15 minimum wage, a 90% marginal top tax rate, worker-owned cooperatives) in part or in whole, placates the masses, a very tall order indeed.

After all, in the aftermath of the biggest swindle in modern history; i.e., taxpayers bailing out the Wall Street financial district in 2008-09 without anybody going to jail and no revolt in the streets, somebody needs to come to the rescue before the public wise up and really, truly do something unexpected.

After all, consider how fittingly the “almost total” financial collapse of ’08 serves as fodder for influential public speakers like Chris Hedges, who is calling for unconditional revolt.  He speaks to standing room only crowds. So does The Bern. By default, Transnational Capitalists need at least some part of The Bern’s wherewithal to save the good ship Lollipop.

Whereas, according to Chris Hedges:

We live in a revolutionary moment. The disastrous economic and political experiment that attempted to organize human behavior around the dictates of the global marketplace has failed. The promised prosperity that was to raise the living standards of workers through trickle-down economics has been exposed as a lie. A tiny global oligarchy has amassed obscene wealth while the engine of unfettered global capitalism plunders resources, exploits cheap unorganized labor, and creates pliable corrupt governments that abandon the common good. ((Chris Hedges, Calling All Rebels: The Moral Imperative to Revolt, September 20, 2015.))

Where Hedges calls for revolt, Bernie calls for appeasement by preaching like a televangelist the sins of capitalism, plain and simple.  People are getting ripped off like never before by an itsy-bitsy class of wealthy moneygrubbers.

Not only that but unequivocally, the hard facts support his position. As things stand today, the ship of state’s assets for the common good tilts heavily starboard (right), like the leaning tower of Pisa almost tumbling over, top heavy from mountains of richness for a few.  No wonder it is tipping so much.

By now, everybody in America knows the catchy 1% slogan, which should be as poisonous for America today as Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité was for Louis XVI of France (18th century) when aristocratic heads rolled in the streets by the thousands. Speaking of which: What if a facsimile of the guillotine resurrects? The symbolism would be excruciatingly, but fascinatingly, devilish, causing all kinds of handwringing on Capitol Hill, what to do? What to do? Well, there’s always the army.

Today’s faux era of good feelings only rings bells at the pinnacle. How else account for 44 million people on food stamps? Chris Hedges knows this; the trickle down theory has been exposed as a lie.

Furthermore, the food stamp trend is dangerously unwieldy, 39 million people in 2009 compared to only 17 million in 2000 and 44 million today. As such, the food stamp program surged by over 100% under the Bush presidency and another 13% under Obama. Holly Mackerel! The Republicans preach Supply Side trickle down economics, exposed when capitalism hits a pothole, which quickly brings to light a very dark and deep underbelly of impending systemic failure, leading to the brutal realities behind a looming battlefield.

The Civilian Labor Force is the sum of civilian employed and unemployed, not members of the Armed Services, and who are age 16 years or older. America’s total population is 320 million, but economically, as of March 2015, the Civilian Labor Force is 157 million. ((BLS and Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.))

Here’s the rub: The equivalence of 28% of the labor force (very similar to the 25% unemployed number of 1933), or 44 million people, survive on food stamps, which is a flashback to the 1930s with soup kitchen lines extending for blocks.

Eureka! Today the old-fashioned soup lines of the 1930s are invisibly tucked away in pocketbook SNAP-EBT cards issued to 44 million people. Thereby, conveniently eliminating circa 1930s soup lines extending for blocks.  Just imagine the TV images today!

If all the SNAP-EBT cardholders lined up at Wal-Mart stores, then 14,588 people would be lined up at each Wal-Mart store each and every day. That’s several blocks lined with hungry people.

It’s not that people do not want to work; many families have two jobs but still qualify for SNAP-EBT cards as working poor, including middle class working poor householders that cannot meet their bills. The trickle down is not trickling, not even close.

After all, only 17 million people were on the dole 15 years ago when the Civilian Labor Force was 143 million. Therefore, over the past 15 years the working force population increased 9.8% while food stamps jumped by 160%.

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (Shakespeare).

The Bern is on to something when he talks about inequality within America’s fountain of economic democracy, as 10% of Americans own 75% of the nation’s wealth.  Meanwhile food stamps skyrocket. The trickle down is upside down. Likewise, in fairness to uncovering all of the relevant facts, oligarchies, like Russia, have 10% owning 85% of the wealth. Hmm. ((Credit Suisse Research.))

It’s not only wealth but income too, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”): “After taking taxes and transfers into account, the U.S. has the second-highest level of inequality, behind only Chile,” a plantation-run economy that is a darling of neoliberalism.

“The 1970s brought a screeching halt to the expansion of the American middle class.” ((“Thirty-Five Soul-Crushing Facts About American Income Inequality”, Salon, July 15, 2015.)) That’s when neoliberal policy, favoring the 1%, started taking root.

Without regurgitating bunches of numbers, suffice it to say that 80% of America’s counties show real median income (adjusted for inflation) lower today than 15 years ago even though corporate profits have doubled and stocks are off the charts to the upside.  At the same time, real median income is 9% lower than 1999. Trickle down? Yes, wages are trickling down.

Meanwhile whistling along on cruise control, the Transnational Capitalist Class is doing just fine, in fact, better than ever since as far back as the laissez faire “Return to Normalcy” days of President Warren G. Harding (1920s) whose Teapot Dome Scandal (1921) eventually reverberated 80 years later with a Wall Street darling named Enron in 2001 (both oil related), unbelievably true both cases saw top echelon people go to jail. It happens!

Worldwide, from Tokyo to Beijing to Brussels to NY, sand castle economics, aka: printing mucho money, has resurrected the Transnational Capitalist Class from utter despair only a few years ago as newly printed electronic moola finds a comfy home in stocks, like bees to honey stock markets scream upwards alongside an astonishingly powerful surge in food stamps, eerily akin to Depression Era soup kitchens.

Robert Hunziker (MA, economic history, DePaul University) is a freelance writer and environmental journalist whose articles have been translated into foreign languages and appeared in over 50 journals, magazines, and sites worldwide. He can be contacted at: Read other articles by Robert.