What is this fourth industrial revolution? I started this series with The Fourth Industrial Revolution: World Economic Forum (Part 1), where I covered the organization and drive of the World Economic Forum (WEF). If you haven’t already, I recommend reading that piece before this one. In this post, I cover the WEF’s definition of the next revolution, their vision from what I can tell, and the history that brought us here.
According to Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the WEF, the fourth industrial revolution is opaque; “characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.” In one word, I believe that he is talking about transhumanism, a concept based on “the belief that humans can and will be enhanced by the genetic engineering and information technology of today, as well as anticipated advances, such as bioengineering, artificial intelligence, and molecular nanotechnology.”
You can follow the link above for more information, but the general idea is that we can and will overtake natural biological evolution by genetic modifications, wearables and implantable technologies that artificially expedite our evolutionary process. In Covid19: The Great Reset (July 2020) by Klaus Schwab and Thierry Malleret, the first line reads: “Since it made its entry on the world stage, COVID19 has dramatically torn up the existing script of how to govern countries…” The table of contents outlines three levels of reset. The Macro reset includes (a) Economic reset, (b) Societal reset, (c) Geopolitical reset, (d) Environmental reset, and (e) Technological reset. The Micro reset includes Trends and Industry. The Individual reset includes redefining our humanness, mental health and well being, and changing our priorities.
My first impression of Covid19: The Great Reset is the authors want us to believe that Covid19 is an opportunity for our future. Is the Great Reset part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution or is the Fourth Industrial Revolution part of the Great Reset? Or are they interchangeable terms for the same thing? The Fourth Industrial Revolution is perceived in the construct of three previous ones (mechanized production with water and steam, mass production with electricity, and automated production with electronics-digitization-technologies). At first glance, it would seem logical that the fourth revolution would be some sort of progression along the same “production” line. But I don’t think that’s what it’s all about. History tells us there’s a lot more to our evolution than three previous revolutions, and history is always the best tool for understanding the big picture.
Let’s start with the history of economics as far back as we can go. The hunter gatherers did more than eat a paleo diet, they produced and consumed what they needed to survive. Most of their time was spent working and there was no such thing as leisure. As time passed, and people became more comfortable with each other, cooperation led to leisure. Leisure inspired specialization. And specialization led to surplus and trade. I am being very general here, but there is obviously a lot more to this history.
Initially, surplus was not produced for profit, but stored for times of scarcity during droughts or after natural disasters. If you wanted rations from the collective stores, you bartered your labor. Larger families with more bodies for labor, and subsequently more barter power, started accumulating their own surpluses. These large family surpluses led to trade expeditions in search of animals, land, materials, and exotic goods.
These same large families who accumulated things from their trade expeditions figured out how to generate exchange profits at home. A hypothetical example of this profit-making strategy would be if you from Location A could exchange 10 cows for a shekel of gold in Location B, and then return home to Location A and sell your shekel of gold for 100 cows. This was an easier way of generating wealth; less work for more surplus.
These exchange profits led to a few very powerful families acquiring large amounts of land and private property. It was land that made these families noble. Lords (the nobles who owned land) then allowed vassals to live on their land and benefit from military protection in exchange for labor, service, and a share of produce. At some point, two of the noble family members were crowned king and queen, and feudalism came into its full form with monarchs at the very top.
By the 13th century, Europe’s economy became less agrarian and more material. The act of trade itself was creating an easier way of life for the noble families, which led to more civil projects and more prominent classism. A new system called mercantilism, accumulation of positive trade balances (trade surpluses), came into existence. Mercantilism called for stronger protectionism and never-ending civil projects, offering food and other goods in exchange for labor in public works. This is how industry grew, and how cities and nations eventually rose into powerful empires.
The aim of mercantilism was to increase domestic self-sufficiency, labor through slave trade, and production of goods that could be exchanged for a profit. The goal was therefore to maximize net exports in order to build national prosperity. For several hundred years into the 19th century, mercantilism’s trade surpluses were universally monetized through bullionism, whereby a nation’s “wealth” became measured by the amount of gold it had stockpiled either through purchase, excavation, or conquest.
During this period, wealth such as land and gold were either taken unfairly by military conquest, excavated through hard labor, purchased through international mercantilism, or secured through trade. By far, military conquest was the quickest way to wealth and power, and the most attractive for many greedy kings. While mercantile trade was facilitated by precious metal coins (stores of value), risky credit vehicles, and usury, the late 17th century ushered in a new funding model to manage the emerging lucrative business of kings, otherwise known as colonialism.
Colonialism came with very high operating costs and great financial risk to creditors. If a king decided to engage in colonialism, then state bankruptcy and military defeat was a real possibility, which could destroy its mercantile commercial activity. But kings will be kings, and they refused to decide between trade and war. This stubborn refusal led to the downfall of many prosperous mercantile states and destroyed many people’s wealth. As a result, lending dried up, and kings couldn’t continue to conquer the world as they otherwise would.
If wealthy elites wanted to conquer the world, they needed another better way of funding their wars. This desire gave birth to investing as we know it today, under the auspices of capitalism. Capitalism is a war funding model that rose out of the union of mercantilism, colonialism, and bullionism, whereby the risk of investment was not borne by entrepreneurs and their creditors, but instead spread over a society through the deployment of fiat currency which was loosely connected to a fractional reserve banking system.
Capitalism is actually a very clever funding strategy because losses in fiat currency don’t jeopardize a nation’s real wealth stockpiled in physical gold and traded under the radar of the populace. Fiat is based on perception and is fueled by deception. It depreciates perceived exchange value without putting at risk a nation’s real sovereign assets, which can at any time be revalued in fiat by those who control it. Debt is allowed to accumulate while gold reserves are kept in trust. This ever-increasing debt fuels inflation, which theoretically passes the bill along to the populace who absorbs the debt within the ever-growing supply growth of fiat currency.
Capitalism isn’t the opposite of communism, as we are taught to believe. The United States isn’t practicing capitalism while China and Russia are practicing communism. Through government-issued fiat currency, a global reserve currency, and central-bank-issued credit, the entire world is operating on an unnatural profit-generating model that has traditionally been used by governments to fund war and grow their wealth and power. The slippery-sloped process behind this funding model is financialization and it works by gaming government-issued fiat and bank-issued credit for profit. In an essay titled Financialization and the Road to Zero, the author offers a few definitions of this term…
“A pattern of accumulation in which profit making occurs increasingly through financial channels rather than through trade and commodity production.”
“The fusion of the interests of domestic and foreign financial capital in the state apparatus as the institutionalized priorities and overarching social logic guiding the actions of state managers and government elites, often to the detriment of labor.”
“Financialization refers to the increasing importance of finance, financial markets, and financial institutions to the workings of the economy.”
The slippery slope is that fiat and credit are less and less connected to production of goods, and the profit-generating capitalistic machine is more and more dependent on war to manufacture profits out of thin air and keep the artificial economic machine running smoothly. With interest rates finally at zero, and no way to artificially raise them again or grow the half-dead economy in a health way, this financialization process now rises above all other functions of the economy and is “ultimately regressive, dehumanizing, and will not lead to a better collective tomorrow – rather, it will serve as an evolutionary societal dead end for the bulk of humanity.”
According to the logic of history, China is the world’s greatest empire from the vantage point of mercantilism, because it has the trade surplus. The United States is currently the world’s greatest empire from the vantage point of bullionism, because it officially has the most gold and the greatest protectionism (military). But from the opaque vantage point of today’s interdependent world, through the lenses of capitalism and financialization, there can be no longer national powers working against each other. We are all on the Titanic, so to speak, and we are all going to drown if we don’t find a solution soon. Hence, that Great Reset!
Think about it. If you take the time to understand how capitalism and financialization work, there can only be one world power that is built on the empire of fiat currency. It is a small group of people who have accumulated most all of the fiat wealth. Their wealth is run by a network of central bankers, corporations, and governments collaborating behind the scenes. In the current system, those who have the most fiat wealth are those with the most power. How can I be mistaken about a one world government behind the practice of financialization? There is no other road to take. Eventually, the artificial funding model falls apart because the massive debt can no longer generate the illusion of something from nothing.
It is the wealthiest families in the world who own the vast majority of corporations, institutions, governments, and people. If you are living the good life in their system, then you are dependent on their wealth, which is supported and generated by financialization. They are “stakeholders” in not what is a better world for all of us, but for a world which keeps them on top, no matter what. Take the 2008 financial crisis as a prime example. The fiat prices of homes went far higher than their true unmanipulated value. Loans were based on the fiat price, but when the fiat prices collapsed, the banks who doled out the loans took our homes and got bailed out by the government too. This “capitalism” is not what it seems. It’s crony and its credit is a trap.
Much like the lords and vassals of the Middle Ages, the elites and semi-elites are working together in pyramid fashion to keep the crooked system alive. At the point where the system is likely to collapse, these stakeholders have most likely already figured out how to transfer their massive wealth and power into the new system. This is how I see The Great Reset, which they have been talking about for awhile. It most benefits the biggest stakeholders of the current system. By bringing the most powerful corporations, institutions, and governments together, from all over the world, the WEF is “think tanking” this process and disseminating the carrots and incentives for us to buy into it.
So far, financialization has been keeping us alive, but will it continue working forever? Mechanically speaking, we have huge stock and bond markets holding gobs of fiat wealth. We have crypto currency markets doing the same. And we have this pandemic which is slowing trade between nations and causing supply and labor shortages. When there is too much fiat currency in the world relative to real commodities and goods, we get big bouts of inflation. It looks like the cost of everything is going up, but what’s really happening is the value of the fiat dollar is dropping. It’s the law of supply and demand; too much currency to too few goods and services. Because all the fiat currencies are coordinated with each other in a giant fiat capitalist financialization-fueled system, it looks like they are stable. They are not!
But there’s more to consider than the supply and stability of fiat currency. How is income being generated for creditors with zero percent interest rates? Does it make sense to lend money to the government in the form of treasury bonds when you aren’t getting paid to do so? Or even worse, when you have to pay the government to borrow your money? (negative interest rates) Artificial manipulation seemed wise to our stakeholders in 1913 when they created the Federal Reserve, but was it really? In 1947, the world entered into an agreement with the Bretton Woods international monetary system (gold backed dollars which backed currencies). But 50 years ago in 1971, Nixon detached gold from the dollar and trashed that world monetary system. It was supposed to be temporary, as Nixon said in his speech, but as you can see, it was not.
Where does it leave us today? With almost $300 trillion in debt that can never be repaid, ask yourself who has the most to lose if the world monetary system collapses? Who has the most to benefit from a managed reset? And what will government and society look like in the future? A few other events are converging with this sovereign debt crisis: powerful nano technology and DNA manipulation, climate change, increasing natural disasters, diminishing resources on Earth (i.e. oil), and a human population explosion. From the beginning of the 19th century, the population has grown from 1 billion to almost 8 billion today. This is concerning, as some elites have pointed out in their publications. I will be covering these converging events in my next post, part 3. Stay tuned for more.