i shouldn’t have assumed that readers would understand this graph produced by goldman sachs. or, that it is actually a graph produced by that globally preeminent bank. it is. so, i’m attempting to make recompense for that now: originally it was used in a video called, failed states, by a radical group called, webcam automaton. and the images of the graph i’ve presented here are screen shots from their video. they altered it aesthetically as part of their overall presentation, and perhaps that was a bad choice. perhaps they aestheticized it and devalued its significance to make it less believable.
i interpreted it oppositely – that webcam automaton tried to make a cold graph developed by mathematicians at the service of the managerial CEO’s of GS, palatable enough to be viewed by a general audience, as an image. but perhaps i was too permissive. i probably assumed that anyone who took a look at the graph would understand how to read a graph. that ‘up’ means ‘increase’ and that ‘down’ means ‘decrease’. and that the horizontal line means history – from 1990 to 2050.
my second unacceptable assumption was that reader-viewers would read-see the title of the graph – ‘Peak Growth in the World Middle Class Still Ahead’ – and draw the obvious consequences. so i have to admit that i’m an arrogant son-of-bitch for making such assumptions, because i had enough education in my first year of high school to know how to read a graph, and falsely, and arrogantly, assumed everyone over the age of 15 could too. [btw: that was in the 70s and i came from the working class… so i’ve just assumed every working class kid like me could read a graph]
“What that practice has taught me fundamentally, is that I am “them.” I have the same capacity for judgement, stupidity, greed, hatred and rage as the people I rail against and consider “other.” peter coyote, see below
but since then, i’ve come slowly to recognize that others with phds, like myself, can’t read or see very much at all. and that what ‘we’ read/see is largely entirely meaningless. but not always entirely. so back to the graph, and particularly to the significance of it’s title: ‘Peak Growth in the World Middle Class Still Ahead’. Every single word in this title is both surprising, and horrifically political.
- peak growth: a massive bank like goldman sach [GS] recognizes that capital will have a ‘peak growth’ moment – that is a recognition of karl marx
- GS recognizes that that peak moment is dependent on a global scale commensurate with the global economy – also a recognition of karl marx
- that GS recognizes and literally ‘plots’ its profits to its own advantage relative to the economic ‘health’ of the middle class, over time.
- that GS recognizes that the fate of the middle class is doomed over time, globally, and so recognizes that its own profits will fall as the middle class decreases in size
- or, recognizes that friedmann’s ann rand economics is the only way to continue its own profit making,
- by privatizing everything public possible – which means – profiteering on the public coffers – taxes – the so called ‘social welfare state’.
- this means that neoliberal global economics is ‘socialized’ for the benefit of the less than 1%, and at the extreme disadvantage of everyone else.
- which has led directly to the election of trump.
- the 1930s all over again.
- what ‘liberals’ want to believe is that this is all accidental. that it’s a matter of accident and ‘mistakes’, rather than a purposeful plan.
- so here’s the last of my interpretations of GM’s graph: they used, graphically, the term, ‘middle class.’ for anyone conscious of class politics this will be no surprise. but among my leftist friends, i suspect that the significance of the fact that GM used the term, ‘middle class’ in their graph, will still escape them.
- GM acts according to a theoretically ‘marxist’ game plan, in order to support Capitalism, while recognizing their time to maximize their profits is quickly running out – sometime long before 2050 – probably around 2020…