As the summer progresses, tensions in the world are rising. This should concern us all. The fact is that in every single case the fuel feeding the tensions is global income inequality. Whether it is the demonstrations in Gaza or the children streaming across the Mexican border, the theme is the same. People are seeking to escape crushing poverty. The oligarchs are noticing and beginning to fear the end game here.
What we all should be aware of is that THIS inequality will spill into every community and how we react is going to be very important to the nature of our future. We should all be aware of the inevitable backlash and we should exert our influence to insure two things. First, that we do not get fooled into allowing the elite to direct forces to suppress these outbreaks at the cost of our liberties. Enough of that has already occurred. Secondly, that we, as a people, begin to show compassion with those who are so sorely oppressed and exert our political influence to begin to address the obscene inequality that exists.
First, the facts about how severe the income inequality has gotten, especially since 2008:
From Occupy.com comes the real truth about the growing global inequality. Pogge noted that almost half of humanity – roughly 3.5 billion people – lived on less than $2.50 a day, and that all of these people could be lifted out of poverty with an expenditure $500 billion, which is roughly two-thirds of the annual U.S. Pentagon budget. Officially in 2008, the top 1% owned approximately 40% of global wealth while the bottom 60% of humanity owned less than 2%. Every year, approximately 18 million people – half of whom are children under the age of five – die from poverty-related causes, all of which are preventable. The 100 richest people in the world made a combined 2012 fortune of $240 billion – enough to lift the world’s poorest out of poverty four times over. By early 2014, Oxfam released a report revealing that the world’s 85 richest individuals had a combined wealth equal to the collective wealth of the world’s poorest 3.5 billion people – approximately $1.7 trillion. In the last 20 years, the world’s richest 1% increased their income by 60%.
A former chief economist for McKinsey & Company published data in 2012 for the Tax Justice Network that reported the world’s super rich had hidden between $21 and $32 trillion in offshore tax havens – a trend that has been increasing in the past three decades to reveal that inequality is “much, much worse than official statistics show. The world’s top 1% own roughly half the world’s wealth, at $110 trillion. Oxfam noted: “This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a significant threat to inclusive political and economic systems… inevitably heightening social tensions and increasing the risk of societal breakdown.”
Now let’s look at how real the danger is from this gross inequality:
Where there is great inequality, there is great injustice and where there is great injustice, there is the inevitability of instability. This relationship, between inequality and instability, has not gone unnoticed by the world’s oligarchs and plutocratic institutions. The potential for “social unrest” has gotten especially high since the onset of the global financial and economic crisis that began in 2007 and 2008. The top-ranking U.S. military official and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, commented that the global financial crisis was a greater security concern to the U.S. than either of the massive ground wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.
In November of 2008, the U.S. Army War College produced a document warning that the U.S. military must be prepared for the possibility of a “violent strategic dislocation inside the United States,” possibly caused by an “unforeseen economic collapse” and/or a “purposeful domestic resistance” and the “loss of functioning of political and legal order.” Under “extreme circumstances,” the document warned, “this might include the use of military force against “hostile groups” inside the United States.” This means soldiers fighting pissed off citizens. In 2009, the British spy agency MI5, along with the British Ministry of Defence, were preparing for the potential of civil unrest to explode in Britain’s streets as a result of the economic crisis, [noting] that there was a possibility the state would deploy British troops in major cities.
In the EU this week, they are preparing for the use of their combined military against their own citizenry. The EU creates a legal framework for Europe-wide deployment of police and military units . At the same time, the EU Commission is working intensively on the creation of a single EU police unit as well as an EU public prosecutor (more here ).
The use of the “European Gendarmerie Force” (EUROGENDFOR) is made possible by the “solidarity clause” as Heise reported. At the unit, headquartered in Vicenza, Italy, all EU Member States are involved, the Gendarmerien, so police forces with military status are used. One of the founding countries of the EUROGENDFOR include Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and the Netherlands. We provide our services to the police unit of the EU, NATO or the UN.
“The ‘solidarity clause’ is redundant, since the EU already has mechanisms for mutual assistance in case of disasters. Secondly, the clause amplifies the course to a militarization of domestic politics, since upon request military can be used in another Member State.
The adoption at the General Affairs Council took place in secret: the point was not mentioned on the agenda of the meeting. The press was not informed. Yet this is one of the most controversial clauses contained in the EU treaties. That is precisely the reason why agreement on the details of the solidarity clause was postponed to a later point at the time of the signature of the Lisbon Treaty.
The ‘solidarity clause’ boosts the role of the two intelligence-service-style EU situation centers. But it also creates the legal framework for deployment of the special police units of the ‘ATLAS network’ being developed by the Commission. From Germany, the GSG 9 is involved; last year this Federal Police Special Forces unit was able to head a large-scale ATLAS exercise encompassing several countries for the first time.
Never has humanity – collectively – faced such a monumental challenge: a combination of a massive global economic crisis, growing levels of poverty and hunger, tens of millions dying from poverty-related causes every year, massive global land grabs, high-tech police states and surveillance societies, murder by remote control drone terror campaigns, a more distanced decision-making apparatus than perhaps ever before, and an ecological crisis of such proportions that it threatens the very survival of the human species, let alone all other life forms on Earth.
What is needed now is RESTRAINT in two forms. First, while there is an absolute need to end this gross inequality, and it is apparent that our collective governments are usurped and non-responsive to the reality of the suffering on a global scale, we must use restraint in taking back our governing institutions without destroying ourselves in the process.
Secondly, we must appeal to the very people who will be used to enforce “protection” of the oligarchs. That is, the police and military. Here we must appeal to these brave men and women who are the best of our civilization. They are the ones who risk their lives on a daily basis and are willing to pay the ultimate price for our freedom and our safety. To these outstanding people of our society we must say: THINK about what you are ordered to do in the name of maintaining civil order. While it is your responsibility to uphold your various constitutions and oaths, firing on your family and friends IS AN ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL ORDER! Do not do it. At the point of decision to fire a weapon, YOU are the one in control. Ask yourself if what you have been ordered to do is the truly honorable thing to do. Without you, those few who have taken so much from so many do not prevail. Ask yourselves the question, “Am I protecting the people or am I enabling criminals and greedy sociopaths?”
We all must be awake to the fact that we are in a very serious point of our history. While the reality is we will “correct” this situation, the question is, do we really have to destroy all of institutions to achieve that goal? We think not. We believe that a combination of calm determination on the part of the people of the world to end this inequality coupled with the unwillingness of police and military to enforce “control”, the game is quietly over and we can once again begin to create a fair and just economic and political reality globally.