We are facing the biggest inflation since 1993. Inflation, even in world history, has been a factor that has led to fundamental social and political changes. Can we expect something like that here?
I fear that inflation is the least of many evils. We talk about it a lot now because the other things are yet to come. Unemployment, a dramatic deterioration in the security situation and a severe decline in the quality of state services, especially health care. Virtually all analyses agree that unemployment has dramatically worse effects on people’s lives than inflation. I would like to be wrong, but I fear that remains to be seen.
But I don’t expect it to bring about social and political change. It tends to be the case that when popular discontent grows, a counter-elite can take advantage of it to take power and bring about the necessary changes. But we don’t see any such counter-elite at the moment. There is no bourgeoisie to overthrow the rule of the aristocracy. There is no Communist Party to overthrow the rule of the factory owners.
So let us rather count on impoverishment, tightening of screws, suicides, deterioration of human relations and the occasional irrational outburst of anger. These outbursts will be understandable and justified, but they will not solve anything.
And can’t some counter-elite still emerge?
Logically, it could be the local oligarchs. They should be interested in rebelling against the globalist elite. But so far we don’t see any movement there. Some have effectively moved on to providing services to global corporations, so they have no particular reason to be interested in the plight of the locals. Others are keeping a low profile, trying to protect their assets and not get involved.
If the oligarchs don’t bring change, is there any other option?
Another possibility is that there will be a layer of what I privately call the “cognitive middle class.” That is, a middle class not in the sense of wealth or access to media, but a middle class in the sense of ability, education, organization, and the ability to influence their surroundings. In the new Enclosure Breached, which will be on the shelves in a few weeks, I urge readers to work on just that. I argue that it will bring about change far more than political activism. When there is no social force behind political activity, it is only the desperation of the hungry. It may bring short-term destruction, but the ruling elite will organize again.
A future dictator (in the good sense of the word) or other agent of change could then lean on such a social layer.
How can people work on this?
I make twenty points in the book. They are things like subsistence farming, studying the sciences, improving physical health, supporting local crafts, building friendships across social strata, creating paper libraries, and so on. I show there that these things ultimately lead to a change in the distribution of power. And I stress that it is important to support such things even if they are done by neo-Marxists.