2022-08-26 Stephen Barlow - permanent system change

Stephen Barlow (@SteB777): What we're seeing in the UK, and the rest of the world with energy price rises and the cost of living crisis, "maybe" the start of total systems collapse, from which the present system may never recover; i.e., it will lead to permanent system change.

Please discuss? 1/🧵

The UK government's strategy, and from what I can see most other governments, appears to be that the current cost of living/energy crisis is just a temporary set back from which the system will recover, and energy/food cost/supply, will eventually return to normal 2/

I see no good reason for this belief at all, and it seems to be wishful thinking and unfounded faith in the current system, rather than any credible evidence. All the analysis I see, is of prices rising for the foreseeable future, along with supply constraints. 3/

This is very different than the 2008 financial crash and 2009 food shortages and energy price rises. This was always a blip, whereas the current situation looks like it is going to get much worse. 4/

The rather obvious climate crisis and global extreme weather/heatwaves of the last few years, along with other environmental impacts/declines, make thoughts of a return to a global boom, fanciful and wishful thinking. 5/

There are lots of other indicators, not just the situation in Ukraine triggered by the Russian invasion, but China's sabre rattling over Taiwan, and their internal problems. Not to mention the pandemic and other pandemics on the horizon. 6/

I'm not claiming any insight into the exact way this could unfold, aside from I don't see a realistic chance of recovery, and it is going to seriously shake public confidence in the current system to protect their needs. 7/

People, the public, have turned something of a blind eye to the climate and ecological crisis, and massive increase in the wealth and power of billionaires, because this corrupt and unsustainable system was allowing for increasing consumption. 8/

The main argument and justification for free market ideology and capitalism was that it ensured low prices and a reasonable standard of living for ordinary people, so the self-evident problems were ignored. 9/

However, this is no longer the case and there are falling standards of living, and every sign that essential commodities are starting to, and may become unaffordable. This was always a foreseeable Achilles heel for extreme free market ideology. 10/

Although in the interim, free market ideology might seem to deliver low prices, it was always obvious that if demand outstripped supply, prices may spiral, making basic commodities like food and energy, unaffordable to many. 11/

For many years I have been baffled by the failure to foresee this eventuality. I have long warned that the climate crisis could trigger system collapse, through food and other commodity shortages, which would create spiralling prices. 12/

Really, it has always been a crazy system, where food shortages, could trigger spiralling prices, making essential commodities unaffordable to many. The moment this happened, it would create social unrest that threatened political and economic infrastructure. 13/

Yes this has been amplified by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but this was not the initial cause of spiralling prices, which were happening and forecast prior to the invasion of Ukraine. The system always was unsustainable, and this was ignored for too long. 14/

As I say, the public have turned a blind-eye to the unsustainable system, AS LONG AS IT PROVIDED LOW PRICES ETC. But it is failing and people could lose faith in the capitalist, free market economy, if it creates increasing hardship for them. 15/

I think we are going to see major perception change as regards the ability of the capitalist, free market, neoliberal economic paradigm, to provide for the perceived public need and the ability of this system to sustain them. 16/

It's a dangerous scenario because mainstream politicians are not keen to even discuss the need for system change. However, their arrogant way of trying to constrain demands for action, may trigger a huge backlash against politicians etc, trying to maintain the status quo. 17/

In other words, things could get out of hand very quickly if politicians fail to heed public alarm about the cost of living crisis, and it could trigger a strong public backlash, that may get out of control. 18/

To enable the neoliberal agenda, selfishness and the tendency to lay violent blame on others has been encouraged to create division and to enable it. But these are the very worst traits if the public gets angry about the situation. 19/

@GeorgeMonbiot @JKSteinberger @novaramedia @AyoCaesar @PeterStefanovi2 @eiecampaign @ExtinctionR

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