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Crisis is Business as Usual (New Poster from CrimethInc.)

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We've just finished a new poster about the economic crisis, perfect for wheatpasting in neighborhoods with a lot of foreclosures.

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CRISIS IS BUSINESS AS USUAL

Economic crises are not natural disasters. They are brought about by the actions of bankers, officials, and developers, not to mention ordinary folks struggling to get by in a world we didn’t choose. They appear beyond our control, but they are not inescapable facts of life.

For all the talk of collapse, capitalism itself is as healthy as ever. The fundamental relationships remain unchanged: employers and employees, politicians and voters, police and policed. Our masters may loan us cars or houses to pacify us, but we still lack control over our own lives.

Crises like this are part of the protection racket that keeps them in business. They profit on the industries that heat up the earth’s atmosphere, and when hurricanes destroy our neighborhoods they replace them with condominiums and sell us energy-saving light bulbs. They profit on the invasions that secure more resources for the economy, and also on the occupations in which our friends and relatives die. They profited from the subprime mortgages that contributed to the latest disaster, and now they’re profiting from the bailout.

Imagine another kind of crisis, one that could really pose a threat to their precious market: neighbors defending each other from eviction, workers seizing the goods they need, people building communities based on cooperation and self-determination. Imagine a world in which we’d never be vulnerable to the whims of the market again.

As far as we’re concerned, it can’t come soon enough.


A LITTLE MORE BACKGROUND

Everybody knows that you’ve got to have money to make money, and never is that more true than in a speculation-driven economy. As the stock market reached unprecedented heights, its connection to the nuts and bolts of the economy became more and more illusory, making a “correction” inevitable–and profitable, for some. Gambling on the correction became a money-making scheme in its own right, and continues now after the collapse, without regard for the fact that such late-game betting assures that the recession will be all the more severe. Institutional investors can afford to play this game because, for them, a collapse of the stock market just means an opportunity to gamble on bonds or currency or whatever other financial product which might benefit from the disappearance of trillions of dollars in artificial value.

But if the value lost in the stock market is artificial, the consequences for human beings are very real. The ranks of the unemployed are rising by the hundreds of thousands every month. Inflated prices for consumers goods will largely stay inflated, even as earnings decline and homes are repossessed. And while the ultra-wealthy will ride out the recession in a riot of luxury and consumption, everyone else will be faced with a new, harsh reality—one in which the means of subsistence are increasing hard to achieve.

So for all the media’s obsession with stunned stockbrokers and disgraced corporate tycoons, their suffering is distinctly abstract: paper losses to be pondered during a long and comfortable early retirement. The rest of us will be forced to wonder why the most basic needs of our lives—food, shelter, medicine—are tied to the whims of a marketplace designed for collapse.


FURTHER READING


A brief introduction to the sources and implications of the economic crisis

A glossary of terms for the crisis

Prescient discussion of the crisis before the media even acknowledged it


See also the Center for Strategic Anarchy generally.


This opportunity to fight back in the class war brought to you by www.crimethinc.com

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