Mike Whitney – The Unz Review March 2, 2021
Why is Vladimir Putin standing up to the richest and most powerful men in the world? Why is he bad-mouthing their “pet project” Globalization and trash-talking their “Great Reset”? Does he really think these corporate mandarins and “silver spoon” elites are going to listen to what he has to say or does he realize that they’re just going to hate him more than ever? Why is he doing this?
Here’s what’s going on: At the end of January, Putin was given the opportunity to address the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland (online). The WEF is a prestigious assembly of political leaders, corporatists and billionaire elites many of who are directly involved in the massive global restructuring project that is currently underway behind the smokescreen of the Covid-19 pandemic. Powerful members of the WEF decided that the Coronavirus presented the perfect opportunity to implement their dystopian strategy which includes a hasty transition to green energy, A.I., robotics, transhumanism, universal vaccination and a comprehensive surveillance matrix that detects the location and activities of every human being on the planet. The proponents of this universal police state breezily refer to it as “The Great Reset” which is the latest make-over of the more familiar, “New World Order”. There’s not a hairsbreadth difference between the Reset and one-world government which has preoccupied billionaire activists for more than a century. This is the group to which Putin made the following remarks:
“I would like to speak in more detail about the main challenges ..the international community is facing…. The first one is socioeconomic….. Starting from 1980, global per capita GDP has doubled in terms of real purchasing power parity. This is definitely a positive indicator. Globalisation and domestic growth have led to strong growth in developing countries and lifted over a billion people out of poverty….Still, the main question… is what was the nature of this global growth and who benefitted from it most…..
… developing countries benefitted a lot from the growing demand for their traditional and even new products. However, this integration into the global economy has resulted in more than just new jobs or greater export earnings. It also had its social costs, including a significant gap in individual incomes…. According to the World Bank, 3.6 million people subsisted on incomes of under $5.50 per day in the United States in 2000, but in 2016 this number grew to 5.6 million people....
Meanwhile, globalisation led to a significant increase in the revenue of large multinational, primarily US and European, companies…In terms of corporate profits, who got hold of the revenue? The answer is clear: one percent of the population.
And what has happened in the lives of other people? In the past 30 years, in a number of developed countries, the real incomes of over half of the citizens have been stagnating, not growing. Meanwhile, the cost of education and healthcare services has gone up. Do you know by how much? Three times…
In other words, millions of people even in wealthy countries have stopped hoping for an increase of their incomes. In the meantime, they are faced with the problem of how to keep themselves and their parents healthy and how to provide their children with a decent education….
These imbalances in global socioeconomic development are a direct result of the policy pursued in the 1980s, which was often vulgar or dogmatic. This policy rested on the so-called Washington Consensus with its unwritten rules, when the priority was given to the economic growth based on a private debt in conditions of deregulation and low taxes on the wealthy and the corporations….
As I have already mentioned, the coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated these problems. In the last year, the global economy sustained its biggest decline since WWII. By July, the labour market had lost almost 500 million jobs…. In the first nine months of the past year alone, the losses of earnings amounted to $3.5 trillion. This figure is going up and, hence, social tension is on the rise.” (“Session of Davos Agenda 2021Online Forum, Putin Addresses World Economic Forum, Jan 27, 2021)
Why is Putin telling his elitist audience these things? Does he think these fatcats don’t know how the system works or how it was originally set up? Does he think they are unaware of the glaring flaws in a system that shifts all of the profits to obscenely wealthy corporations and scheming elites while working people slip further into debt and desperation?
Putin knows how globalisation works, just as he knows who it was designed to benefit. It’s no secret. Check out this quote from the Russian president in a speech nearly 5 years ago:
“Back in the late 1980s-early 1990s, there was a chance not just to accelerate the globalization process but also to give it a different quality and make it more harmonious and sustainable in nature. But some countries that saw themselves as victors in the Cold War, not just saw themselves this way but said it openly, took the course of simply reshaping the global political and economic order to fit their own interests.
In their euphoria, they essentially abandoned substantive and equal dialogue with other actors in international life, chose not to improve or create universal institutions, and attempted instead to bring the entire world under the spread of their own organizations, norms and rules. They chose the road of globalization and security for their own beloved selves, for the select few, but not for everyone.” (President Vladimir Putin, Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club)
“To the victor belongs the spoils”? Isn’t that what Putin is saying, that Washington figured its Cold War triumph entitled them to create a system whereby they could pillage and loot the rest of the world with impunity?
Indeed, that is precisely what he’s saying. And he knows what he’s talking about, too. Putin has followed developments in global trade for over 20 years. He knows the system is rigged and he knows who rigged it. And now he’s telling them in no uncertain terms that they are responsible for the mess the world is in today. “The world is in crisis, because you fu**ed up.” That’s what he’s saying. It’s not a subtle message, he’s simply laying it on the line. Check out this blurb from an earlier speech by Putin where he shows that he’s not just a capable leader but also an astute critic of social trends linked to globalization:
“It seems like elites don’t see the deepening stratification in society and the erosion of the middle class…(but the situation) creates a climate of uncertainty that has a direct impact on the public mood. Sociological studies conducted around the world show that people in different countries and on different continents tend to see the future as murky and bleak. This is sad. The future does not entice them, but frightens them. At the same time, people see no real opportunities or means for changing anything, influencing events and shaping policy. As for the claim that the fringe and populists have defeated the sensible, sober and responsible minority – we are not talking about populists or anything like that but about ordinary people, ordinary citizens who are losing trust in the ruling class. That is the problem…. ” (President Vladimir Putin, Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club)
In this one brief comment, Putin shows that he has a better grasp of ‘what is going on’ in the west than any of the numbskulls in congress today. And notice how he ignores the hype about “racial justice”, BLM, “white supremacy” and the other “racialized” bunkum that’s propagated in the media today. He’s not hoodwinked by that nonsense. He knows it’s just another diversion promoted by the cadres of dirtbags who use race and identity politics to conceal their role in the ongoing class war. That’s what’s really going on. The men that Putin is addressing in his speech are the very same men who are doing everything in their power to eviscerate democracy, skewer the middle class and grind America’s working population into dust. It’s plain old class war dolled-up to look like racial unrest. Here’s more from Putin:
“…During the past 20 years we have created a foundation for the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution (AKA–“The Great Reset”) based on the wide use of AI and automation and robotics. The coronavirus pandemic has greatly accelerated such projects and their implementation. However, this process is leading to new structural changes, I am thinking in particular of the labor market. This means that very many people could lose their jobs unless the state takes effective measures to prevent this. Most of these people are from the so-called middle class, which is the basis of any modern society.
…. The rise of economic problems and inequality is splitting society, triggering social, racial and ethnic intolerance. Indicatively, these tensions are bursting out even in the countries with seemingly civil and democratic institutions that are designed to alleviate and stop such phenomena and excesses.
The systemic socioeconomic problems are evoking such social discontent that they require special attention and real solutions. The dangerous illusion that they may be ignored or pushed into the corner is fraught with serious consequences.” (Putin, WEF)
Putin understands that the Covid-related lockdowns and closing of “non-essential” businesses is merely prelude for the massive societal restructuring project elites have in store for us. They’ve already put millions of people out of work and expanded their surveillance capabilities in anticipation of the social unrest they are deliberately inciting. Putin thinks this futuristic strategy is unnecessarily reckless, disruptive and fails to account for intensifying social animosities and widening political divisions that are bound to have a catastrophic impact on democratic institutions. But Putin also knows that his appeal for a more cautious approach will be brushed aside by the billionaire powerbrokers who set the policy and call the shots. Here’s more:
“Society will still be divided politically and socially. This is bound to happen because people are dissatisfied not by some abstract issues but by real problems that concern everyone regardless of the political views that people have or think they have. Meanwhile, real problems evoke discontent.”
This is a recurrent theme with Putin and one that shows that he has a deeper understanding of what is really happening in both the United States and Europe than any of his peers. Populist candidates, like Trump, have not gained momentum due to thier abilities and charisma, but because the financial situation of millions of Americans continues to deteriorate forcing them to seek remedies outside the establishment candidates. The economic distress is real and widespread and, as Putin notes, it is expressing itself in outbursts of discontent, frustration and rage. Here’s more:
“So, the key question today is how to build a programme of actions in order to not only quickly restore the global and national economies affected by the pandemic, but to ensure that this recovery is sustainable in the long run, relies on a high-quality structure and helps overcome the burden of social imbalances. Clearly… economic growth will largely rely on fiscal incentives with state budgets and central banks playing the key role.
Actually, we can see these kinds of trends in the developed countries and also in some developing economies as well. An increasing role of the state in the socioeconomic sphere at the national level obviously implies greater responsibility and close interstate interaction when it comes to issues on the global agenda.
Calls for inclusive growth and for creating decent standards of living for everyone are regularly made at various international forums. This is how it should be, and this is an absolutely correct view of our joint efforts.
It is clear that the world cannot continue creating an economy that will only benefit a million people, or even the golden billion. This is a destructive precept. This model is unbalanced by default. The recent developments, including migration crises, have reaffirmed this once again.” (Putin, WEF)
Putin’s recommendations, of course, are going to be dismissed with a wave of the hand by the men in power. The last thing these sociopaths want is “inclusive growth.. and decent standards of living for everyone.” That’s not even on their list, and why would it be. After all, they know what they want. “They want more for themselves and less for everyone else.” (George Carlin) Which is why the system works the way it does, because it was constructed with that one solitary goal in mind.
Putin also acknowledges the need for greater state intervention in the economy to counterbalance the more destructive effects of “smash and grab” capitalism. And, while he rejects the swift and far-reaching structural changes (The Great Reset) that would precipitate massive social upheaval, he does support a larger role for the state in providing essential fiscal stimulus, employment and a more equitable distribution of the wealth. This does not imply that Putin supports state socialism. He does not. He merely supports a more regulated and benign form of Capitalism that veers from the “scorched earth” model backed by powerful members of the WEF and other elitist organizations.
With that in mind, Putin makes these specific recommendations:
“We must now proceed from stating facts to action, investing our efforts and resources into reducing social inequality in individual countries and into gradually balancing the economic development standards of different countries and regions in the world. This would put an end to migration crises.”
The focus of this policy aimed at ensuring sustainable and harmonious development are clear. They imply the creation of new opportunities for everyone, conditions under which everyone will be able to develop and realize their potential regardless of where they were born and are living
I would like to point out four key priorities, as I see them.
First, everyone must have comfortable living conditions, including housing and affordable transport, energy and public utility infrastructure. Plus, environmental welfare, something that must not be overlooked.
Second, everyone must be sure that they will have a job that can ensure sustainable growth of income and, hence, decent standards of living. Everyone must have access to an effective system of lifelong education, which is absolutely indispensable now and which will allow people to develop, make a career and receive a decent pension and social benefits upon retirement.
Third, people must be confident that they will receive high-quality and effective medical care whenever necessary, and that the national healthcare system will guarantee access to modern medical services.
Fourth, regardless of the family income, children must be able to receive a decent education and realize their potential. Every child has potential.” (Putin, Davos)
What does it mean that the current president of Russia is now throwing his weight behind a program that is nearly identical to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s economic Bill of Rights? Doesn’t that seem a bit odd? After all, Putin is a devout Orthodox Christian, a strong proponent of the traditional family, a self-avowed social conservative, and a hardscrabble survivor of the failed Soviet state. Who would have thought that such a man would support a program that provides a decent standard living to every member of society regardless of their circumstances?
But it makes sense, doesn’t it? Putin is pushing for a return to the heavily-regulated “Heyday” of 20th Century capitalism, when workers’ wages were still on the rise, when college tuition and health care were still affordable, and when the American Dream was still within reach of the average guy. People were happier then, because they felt that if they applied themselves, worked like hell, and stashed their savings in the bank; they’d eventually reach their goal. But that’s not true anymore. People are much more pessimistic now and no longer believe that America is the land of opportunity.
Putin wants to rekindle that optimism. He wants to avoid social unrest by implementing programs that provide a more equitable distribution of the wealth. This isn’t a return to Communism. It’s sensible way to soften the harsher effects of unrestrained capitalism, which is presently ravaging the West. Here’s Putin again:
“This is the only way to guarantee the cost-effective development of the modern economy, in which people are perceived as the end, rather than the means…. A strategy, also being implemented by my country, hinges on precisely these approaches. Our priorities revolve around people, their families, and they aim to ensure demographic development, to protect the people, to improve their well-being and to protect their health. We are now working to create favourable conditions for worthy and cost-effective work and successful entrepreneurship and to ensure digital transformation as the foundation of a high-tech future for the entire country, rather than that of a narrow group of companies.
We intend to focus the efforts of the state, the business community and civil society on these tasks and to implement a budgetary policy with the relevant incentives in the years ahead….” (Putin, Davos)
Imagine a political leader who actually put the needs and well-being of his people before the special interests of his deep-pocket donors and shady corporate buddies. Imagine a leader who stood eye-to-eye with the big money guys and told them that their system “sucked” and that they were taking too much for themselves leaving nothing for anyone else. Imagine a leader who invited more criticism, hectoring, demonizing and punitive sanctions for “speaking truth to power” in order to stand on the side of ordinary working people, pensioners, cast-offs and the other victims of this globalist rip-off system.
The reason Putin spoke out at the WEF confab and put himself at risk, was because Putin is one of the “good guys” who actually believes that everyone deserves a shot at a decent life. And that’s what sets Putin apart from the other leaders in the world today. He doesn’t just “talk the talk”, he also “walks the walk.”