What media calls ‘the economy’ is really just a graph of rich people’s feelings. It’s the end of the world as we know it, and they feel fine. They also have another word for the actual economy, that people live in. The real economy.
This real economy — where real humans, animals, and the Earth live — is literally not accounted for. A mother hugging a child has zero value according to GDP. Polar bears have no investment value, so they can fuck off and die. The Earth is just an endless fount of ‘free’ resources, used to make a line go up. Everything that really matters, it literally doesn’t count.
As Bobby Kennedy said a few months before he was shot:
As you can see, these are not original warnings. Forget the ’60s, ever since the first corporations started raping the world in the 1600s, people have been saying “uh, this sucks.” The trouble is that at every turn real people have lost and rich people’s feelings have won. And so, in the end, we lose it all.
What was once an academic debate is now a scientific certainty. Capitalism doesn’t just regularly crash the real economy, it crashes the real world we live on. As a recent IPCC report (an increasingly futile exercise) says, “economic growth is a main driver of emissions.”
The constant drive for profit and wealth far in excess of human needs is leading to us far exceeding planetary limits. We live at a time when rich people’s feelings are not just hurting working people, they are robbing every generation yet to be born.
Indigenous people have been saying this every since joint-stock companies severed them at the joints. Prophets have been saying this forever, but the rich worshiped the golden bull market instead. Marxists have been saying this for centuries, but they just get laughed off. As Marx said 170 years ago:
He said “In every stock-jobbing swindle everyone knows that some time or other the crash must come.” As Jeremy Irons said in the movie Margin Call, about the 2008 crash: