the dollar, freedom and the change train

Essay by Bea Garth
copyright 2009

Do any of us want to look and see what is starting to happen overseas to the dollar?? Ouch! It seems several countries just met in Yekaterinburg: Russia, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrghyzstan and Uzbekistan, with observer status for Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia  for trade discussions. The so-called BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China —  may no longer want to play. The hegemony of the U.S. dollar is now extremely vulnerable due to the interplay of the bond market and increasing reluctance of foreign central banks to accumulate more dollar reserves.

This is a big deal. U.S. bonds replaced the gold standard since the early seventies. The U.S. is  used to dominating the economic plate without having to tighten our belt like the IMF has insisted others do. Now those others want some of their own back. They are starting to plan to create their own trade with each other with local rather than  US dollars–behind closed doors (i.e., no U.S. financial representatives or IMF types allowed).

It seems the BRIC nations  are worried that the U.S. doesn’t have the resources to back all those trillions of dollars that are being furiously printed to back our bank etc. bailouts and expensive war economy. They don’t want to be forced to keep backing what are becoming  increasingly less valued U.S. bonds!

While the above story has largely been ignored, the general press has instead focused on the frenzied electoral situation in Iran.

Whereas much of the press and various governmental officials have  lead us to believe  the Iranian presidential election was rigged, I read elsewhere that this is likely false.  Two award winning independent pollsters who were in Iran collecting information just before the election indicated the Iranian election would turn out just as it did.  Its one thing to not like Mr. Ahmadinejad and its another to say his re-election was illegitimate. And certainly up through the election a majority of Iranians did seem to like him.

Middle East pollsters, Ken Ballen of the nonprofit Center for Public Opinion and Patrick Doherty of the nonprofit New America Foundation, describe their poll of the Iranian election in an op ed piece in the June 15 Washington Post:

“Many experts are claiming that the margin of victory of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the result of fraud or manipulation, but our nationwide public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin — greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday’s election…”

The poll, conducted in Farsi, was funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Ballen and Doherty often work for ABC News and the BBC in the Middle East.

Black Ops scare me; like many I would like to think our government is not still up to its dirty tricks. However  part of me can’t help but agree with those that think  some branch of the US government is  likely to have  had a hand in creating electoral distress in Iran — as well as helping to manipulate the news in America and Britain.

Nevertheless officially at least  the Obama administration seems to be trying to stay neutral while the political situation in Iran is  spiraling beyond  anyone’s control.  Now its a question of appropriate human response as that country reels from governmental violence perpetrated against the protestors.  Whether they won the election or not, the protestors are winning the hearts of their fellow Iranians who, as the above pollsters Ballen and Doherty  found, want free elections and a free media as a priority whether they supported one candidate or the other.

The danger is the US making use of this situation to create fodder for intervention, thus furthering the old Bush agenda. Of course reason says that the one thing our economy  doesn’t need is yet another arena for war. But when has reason shifted the powers that be to do the right thing?

Fortunately so far the Obama administration does appear to be unwilling to take sides in this developing situation in Iran. Though with Bush’s cronies still running much of the war effort in neighboring Iraq (now spread more fully  into Afghanistan plus  Pakistan), it gives one pause.

Meanwhile the drive to continue funding the spiraling war  at the cost of  trillions of dollars while the fabric of our real economy languishes sorrowfully does not encourage me to think the best of our current administration. Greed left over from the Bush era and a desire not to rock the boat in the Obama camp seem to be heading us  towards a dismal economic future.  For those who thought Obama might by himself do more to bypass it, think again. He might want to, however he doesn’t seem to know how. He seems to want to please too many people to be able to do it effectively.  Further it is my observation that his Achilles heal is that he may be too easily deceived by whomever he surrounds himself with.

To make real progress radical changes to our system would have to be made; and radical does not  seem to be where the Obama administration is at.  It may well boil down to historical forces making “we the people”  take action,  despite our collective reluctance so far to do so. The change train seems inevitably coming towards us whether we want it or not. No one leader is going to save us.

Already those forces of change may be inspiring the struggle in Iran. Something beyond who actually won that election seems to be bursting forth.  The question of freedom and respect and right action towards the electorate seems to be on the plate in one of the oldest and most authoritarian countries in the world.

Meanwhile as said before, the forces of change are making countries like China and Brazil  think about going off the dollar when trading with each other simply to protect their own interests; a maneuver more of us may eventually have to take — much as some communities are doing in hard hit areas of America’s North-East.

As more countries and communities do this, of course, the change train will come barreling in even faster. But what choice do any of us really have but to flow with the needs of the times? War mongerers will continue to try to stave off those changes, but it  is a dying absurdist act against the inevitable.

It is a truism that times of great change bring great suffering;  it seems it can’t be avoided — however unfortunately.  Nevertheless with spirit, humility,   self awareness  and a desire to help each other we can learn to use these difficult times as an opportunity  to transform and co-create  a  more intelligent and beautiful  stewardship of the world.



Categories: blog commentary by Bea Garth, social and political commentary by Bea Garth

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4 replies

  1. Yeah well, Erik, we already have a one world currency–the dollar! The problem is that the dollar may drop as a result of a whole variety of reasons, including and especially greed creating a host of problems for its future (as in over-inflating very few real assets as was done with the housing market) . The very likely hood is that the dollar will drop in value in any kind of real whole world sense.

    The fundamentalist Christian theorists/promoters you mention really don’t seem to understand much of anything about politics and economics very clearly in my opinion. Its like going under-water on some kind of drug trip, for the most part everything seems sideways and askew.

    These fundamentalists seem to be very conservative at core, so its no wonder they won’t take a crack at anything that benefits making big money by the corporates. They seem to want to preserve their chance at the money game too. So much for spirituality or objectivity, eh? Unfortunately too many of them also go on a fear trip, though they aren’t the only ones.

    I am pretty certain that if Christ were alive today he would take a very different view of our current economic and political situation–and probably would be thrown out of many churches these days–esp. Christian fundamentalist ones.

    Bea

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  2. I just read in Salon.com that there’s a whole sub-culture of Christian conspiracy theorists who have been saying that a “One-World Currency” is a prerequisite for the End of Days. I’m sure I’d read about this years ago in “The Late Great Planet Earth.” A lot of that book’s ideas of the Anti-Christ’s One-World Order were pretty bogus– it attacked John Lennon for his song “Imagine” (about the only writer who ever did!) as a blueprint for the One-World Order. And I think this book was pretty much the basis for the Right’s antipathy to the United Nations. But the Christian fundies never complained about the WTO or GAFF or NAFTA or any other global conglomerate that has more power than nations. I never understood that.

    Anyway the Christian Conspiracy Theorists (CCT?) are apparently equating BRIC with the Anti Christ. They’re also aligned with 9/11 Truth. I can’t take it!

    Read: The Craziest Thing You’ll Ever Read! by Alex Koppleman, http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2009/07/06/speidi_jones/index.html

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  3. Hmm–Hi Erik! looks like I really need to hook up my sound system again to appreciate the video link–will do when I have a moment!!

    I can’t comment on HG Wells’ vision though certainly there is some correspondence between the so called artistic class and say the common person which, as Graeme Jones calls it, is representative the Inner Self and the warrior class or the elite owning class, also as GJ calls it, representative of the Egoic Self.. GJ says looks at Marx and Jung and even Schiller for a clearer view.

    The US has a Sun in Cancer square Saturn in Libra. Thus we as a nation can be all sentimental on the one hand and royal alienated assholes on the other; but interesting assholes since we are constantly remaking ourselves in a continuing quest of trying to figure out who we really are. The thing is, we have to decide if that quest will go towards the light or towards destruction, confusion and darkness.

    The gist of it as I see it is that an economic and political meltdown is inevitable. Obama can only do so much and seems to not have that actually in reality be much despite his fine speeches. He is in the words of his own staff a “raging minimalist” who talks big but actually acts and asks for too little. This might be OK in a different time situation but now we need acting big since our problems as a nation and as part of the world economy and stewards of planetary health etc. are huge. A president now must be willing to piss some people off, especially the powers that be, but that is not something Obama seems to know how to do. Look at the recent Harpers magazine article on Obama as Hoover for more illumination.

    Ironically I think the meltdown actually might save our asses in the long run. It may be the only way to get people off their collective asses for instance. Thing is to not let the “powers that be” become so totally fascist we can’t organize and learn to help one another. But it will be a close call. Thus what links we can make now with each other really do count. Being human in a good way is really IT as far as I see it despite all our individual imperfections.

    I agree with you that interior work is essential. One needs to deal with one’s demons so one can deal with the eventual probability of having to deal with outside demonic forces. I say this without being a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or whatever denominational faith though I do believe in a higher power of which we all are a part.

    In my view I agree with Graeme (and the daunting Astrological aspects for the next 15 plus years) that this upcoming period of time will likely be hard but not impossible. We will be challenged big time but we can as a race (called Humanity) do it if we have the will.

    This will be in many ways like just before the French Revolution eventually, so gird your loins! and do deal with those inner demons to make yourself strong. And, if you can, learn to become more and more gracefully and effectively interconnected with ourselves and each other and what it is that makes us human rather than just money and meaningless work machines.

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  4. Eos;
    There was a video that circulated a couple of years ago — Robert Newman’s History of Oil, which claimed that in 1971, OPEC decreed that oil anywhere in the world could only be bought or sold in U.S. Dollars. In 2000, Iraq announced it would start trading oil in Euros instead of dollars, and Iran, North Korea and Venezuela offered to follow through. It has been said this is the real reason for the war in Iraq, to punish them for even thinking this. But, as it happened, America may have only forestalled the inevitable, breaking our bank in war spending before the BRIC currency transition totally wipes us out.

    So, Bea, there have been other voices out there saying what you’re saying. But how is it that the US Press doesn’t whisper a word of this?

    When I watched the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, among my many observations was that America had become a profoundly bi-polar society. Like the Morlocks and the Elois in the distant future of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, America has separated into a class of Warriors dedicated to protecting us, and a class of Artists dedicated to enriching us. A meta-contract has been made; you provide Beauty and Vision for us, and we make it safe for you. Only now when suddenly the protective barrier around America was breached, the Artistic Eloi class suddenly confronted a hyped-up and exaggerated global nihilism that scared the shit right out of our little tushies. So we ran to the Morlock Warrior class, not noticing that somehow they had allowed the breach to happen in the first place, and we BEGGED them to make us safe again.

    Bea, you’re the astrologer, not me, but I read a long time ago, maybe in the Mountain Astrologer, that America born under the sign of Cancer the Crab on the Fourth of Joo-lye, embodies that potential split between the Warriors and the Artists: the crab is soft and juicy on the inside, and protected by a tough exoskeleton on the outside. Is it true, that Cancer contains the potential of polarizing its creative and protective elements? Because it sure seems to me that that is exactly what America has done. And where I made an inner pledge, on watching the WTC building burn on NHK news, to integrate and de-polarize the Creative with the Martial, most Americans have gone the other way, it seems to me, betraying the creative and spiritual for the sake of American security.

    So I agree with the prophets of EOS. The delicate balance of the American Crab has been sundered. The impervious exoskeleton has been breached, and its a long way down. But this is an opportunity for us to reintegrate ourselves, for each of us to take the pledge and become both warriors and artists, and become something new, something that was only a potential since the days of our founding; to be a nation of Warrior-Artist Crabs.

    Thank you

    here’s the URL for Robert Newman’s History of Oil. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5267640865741878159

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