The following is a transcript of a speech given on April 16, in Oakland, CA, by By Peter Phillips
A Socialist Action Public Forum: “Donald TRUMP and Co. Incipient Fascism in the U.S. today?”
Neo Fascists, racists, and misogynistic people, always present is American society, are finding new voice with the Trump presidency bid. This is nothing new overall, but it is propelled by economic downturns for many millions of working class folks unable to find employment or salaries that reflect the gains of their parents in the 1950 & 60s.
Wealth inequality is peaking with the global 1% holding more wealth than a vast majority of the worlds populations and the bottom 3.5 billions people living on these than $3 a day.
Globalization of trade and central banking has empowered private corporations to positions of power and control never before seen in human history. Under advanced capitalism, the structural demands for a return on investment require an unending expansion of centralized capital in the hands of fewer and fewer people. The financial center of global capitalism is so highly concentrated that less than a few thousand people dominate and control some $100 trillion dollars of wealth
These few thousand people controlling global capital amount to less than 0.0001 percent of the world’s population. They are the Transnational Capitalist Class (TCC) who, as the capitalist elite of the world, dominate nation states through international treaty agreements and transnational state organizations such as the Work Bank, Bank for International Settlements, and the International Monetary Fund. The TCC communicates their policy requirements through global networks such as the G-7, G-20, and various non-governmental policy organizations such as the Word Economic Forum, Trilateral Commission, and the Bilderberger Group.
A Project Censored research team decided to identify the people on the boards of directors of the top ten asset management firms and the top ten most centralized corporations. Because of overlaps, this is a total of thirteen firms, which collectively have 161 directors on their boards. We think that this group of 161 individuals represents the financial core of the world’s transnational capitalist class. They collectively manage $23.91 trillion (2014) in funds and operate in nearly every country in the world. They are the center of the financial capital that powers the global economic system. Western governments and international policy bodies work in the interests of this financial core to protect the free flow of capital investment anywhere in the world. Add a few thousand to this 161 and you find $100 trillion/ half the wealth in the world managed by this small concentrated set of the TCC.
The TCC represents the interests of several hundred thousand millionaires and billionaires who comprise the richest people in the top one percent of the world’s wealth hierarchy. Ironically, this extreme accumulation of concentrated capital at the top creates a continuing problem for the TCC, who must continually scour the world for new investment opportunities that will yield adequate returns (7-10%).
War is one use for over-accumulated capital. A permanent war on terror offers a unique opportunity for the TCC to loan capital at a profit to governments for military actions, and to participate in rebuilding efforts made necessary by war. The collection of taxes on working peoples’ incomes to pay for permanent war results in increasing pressure toward neo-liberal governmental austerity measures, which further impoverish the 99% and transfer yet more wealth to the global one percent.
The TCC are keenly aware of both their elite status and their increasing vulnerabilities to democracy movements and to unrest from the teeming masses. The US/NATO military empire serves to protect TCC investments around the world. Wars, regime changes, and occupations performed in service of empire support investors’ access to natural resources and their speculative advantages in the market place.
When the empire is slow to perform or faced with political resistance, private security firms and private military companies increasingly fulfill the TCC’s demands for the protections of their assets. These protection services include personal security for TCC executives and their families, protection of safe residential and work zones, tactical military advisory and training of national police and armed forces, intelligence gathering on democracy movements and opposition groups, weapons acquisitions and weapon systems management, and strike forces for military actions and assassinations.
As a result of these class insecurities, the TCC works to protect its structure of concentrated wealth. Protection of capital is the prime reason that NATO countries now account for 85 percent of the world’s defense spending, with the US spending more on military than the rest of the world combined. Fears of rebellions motivated by inequality and other forms of unrest motivate NATO’s global agenda in the war on terror.
NATO is quickly emerging as the police force for the transnational capitalist class. As the TCC more fully emerged in the 1980s, coinciding with the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO began broader operations. NATO first ventured into the Balkans, where it remains, and then into Afghanistan. NATO started a training mission in Iraq in 2005. Superclass use of NATO for its global security is part of an expanding strategy for US military domination around the world, whereby the US/NATO military–industrial–media empire operates in service to the TCC for the protection of international capital anywhere in the world.
The cencentration of global capital, permanent war, and deliberate destabilization of economies is designed to pit working people against each other and protect global capital. The Trump presidency bid is just another opportunity for the global power structure to creat choas and disorder. The ultimate goal of capital is the building of a privatized neo-feudal police states, where individual countries are populaton containment zones and capital is free to go unrestircted anywhere in the world.
Democracy Occupy Movements are emerging as a counter to centralized global capital. French democracy occupation and youth for Bernie are part of an emerging global social justice movements. Berine is not enough to stop the TCC, but he is a step towards resistance that needs to be profoundly encouraged by us all. Even if Bernie wins we will need to collectively seek solidarity with working people worldwide in an unrelenting movement for democarcy, human rights, peace, and equality.
Peter Phillips is a Professor of Political Sociology at Sonoma State University and President of Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored.
Speech based on research studies published on line at: