Has the Global Caste War Begun?

This is a follow-on to my article The Caste War for the Dregs.

cartoon by Fergus Boylan

In my recent article, I suggested that there is an intuitive but broadly-felt sense that our civilization is on its last legs, and that a war between castes is underway for the dregs, before everything — notably food, water and energy — runs out.

A recent article by Marxist journalist Nick Beams articulates the degree to which this caste war has already begun. But almost no one seems ready or willing to call it a caste war, or even a class war. The staggeringly incompetent Liz Truss administration, with its bald, desperate give-away of the last remnants of the insolvent British treasury to her rich friends and benefactors, broke the silence about this being a caste war so plainly that her administration was toppled by an ‘inside coup’ after just six weeks. Of course the top caste is hoarding and appropriating from the lower castes as much of our collapsing economy’s wealth, land and resources as it can. But it’s just not on to admit this is happening.

Instead, the top castes are pretending, and trying to tell the lower castes, that the current fatal malaise in our economy and society is the fault of insane, evil communists bent on world domination, and that the current war is between ‘us’ good guys (Euro-America), versus ‘them’ bad guys (every country not under the control of the Euro-American Empire’s ruling caste).

The Euro-American proxy war against the Russians in Ukraine, and the war they are trying to foment against China in Taiwan, are ploys to tell the under-castes that they’d better choose sides or face the consequences. There are two elements to this:

  1. People in ‘neutral’ nations (most of Latin America, Africa and Asia) are being threatened with sanctions (or worse) if they don’t fall into line with the current attempt to isolate, weaken and bring about regime change in Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, and other nations ‘hostile’ to the Euro-American Empire.
  2. People in Euro-American countries who are not part of the ruling castes are being inundated with propaganda about these ‘hostile’ nations, while factual information about these ‘hostile’ nations is being brutally censored by the ruling castes and their complicit media. Those daring to question the ruling castes’ narrative about the Global Caste War are being censored, blocked, vilified, imprisoned, and killed.

This sounds rather harsh and extreme, but it actually makes enormous sense. Most of the essential resources that will be needed to have even a chance of surviving economic and civilizational collapse are in these ‘neutral’ and ‘hostile’ nations. It is therefore essential to the top castes that the ‘neutral’ nations be coerced (economically and politically) to align themselves with the Euro-American Empire, and join the battle so that the ‘hostile’ nations can be destroyed and their resources confiscated for the top castes.

This isn’t a global, coordinated conspiracy. This is the way alpha mammals behave under extreme stress, when they know that the alternative to attacking, and hoarding from, the subordinates, is death and suffering for all, including the alphas. As the Liz Truss debacle has demonstrated, while media, political and economic dominance allows them to orchestrate the oppression and theft of the lower castes to some degree, this is largely a disorganized, chaotic social devolution. The alphas are fully prepared to cut each other’s throats if they think it will save their own.

But first, they need to wrench power and control over the remains of the planet’s dwindling resources from non Euro-American Empire nations. The best way to do that is to propagandize the current pre-nuclear crisis as a necessary war between good and evil. They did this during the gulf wars, and they have done this again during the current manufactured crises — the intractable war against Russia in Ukraine and the planned war against China in Taiwan. They cannot afford to allow the lower castes to see the current situation in any other way. They especially cannot afford to allow it to be seen that this is just an attempt to grab the rest of the world’s power, wealth and resources for the benefit of the top Euro-American Empire caste, in preparation for TSHTF — economic and then civilizational collapse.

So magazines like the Atlantic and the New Yorker, and newspapers like the Guardian, have been largely transformed into mouthpieces for the deception that the anti-Russia, and coming anti-China and anti-Iran wars are good-versus-evil wars. And any publication that dares to question this narrative is either attacked as conspiracy theorists or censored and shut down. And when Biden or any of the other highly-visible top caste members accidentally admits that these wars are actually aggressive regime change wars to enable ‘hostile’ nations to be destroyed and plundered, they are quickly silenced and the top castes’ thought police and propagandists quickly go to work to deny the admissions and restate the good-versus-evil narrative.

OK, I have to say this again: This is not a global, coordinated conspiracy. This is the realization by the top castes that we’re fucked, and that they have to grab everything they can as fast as they can before full-on collapse broadens. The top castes are well-educated and informed. They know how to use power and wealth to get what they want. And what they want is what we all want — a comfortable life without pain and suffering. And when there’s not nearly enough to go around, especially in a world in the early stages of all-out ecological and climate collapse that will make economic collapse that much more brutal, they know that this collapse is going to be ghastly. They know their only hope is to take all the resources they can grab, and run before the lower castes realize what’s happened.

As Nick’s article makes clear, all the economic bailouts, tax cuts for the rich, and subsidies to giant corporations that have been instituted since the Reagan/Thatcher years have been to one end — to enrich the top caste and protect them from loss.

So: All of the economic ‘growth’ that has occurred over the past 40 years has accrued to this tiny top caste, mostly located in the Euro-American Empire. And that 40 years of economic ‘growth’ has more than doubled the damage we have done to our ecological systems, and eviscerated any hope of avoiding total, permanent, global, economic, ecological and civilizational collapse. Not deliberately or maliciously; the top caste were only looking after their narrow self-interest, and would undoubtedly prefer to avoid the horrors of collapse this is leading to.

At the end of his article Nick calls for the working classes (the lower castes) to rise up and replace the entire capitalist system through a socialist restructuring of society. I don’t need to tell you what I think the chances of that happening are, or, were it even possible, what difference that would make.

Nice idea, though.

Thanks to John Whiting for the links, both to Nick’s article and to Fergus’ cartoon.

PS. If you want to get a sense of the lengths the ruling caste will go to to maintain its hold on wealth and power, watch these two fascinating interviews with Jeremy Corbyn. I suspect one day we’ll hear a very similar story from Bernie Sanders.

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5 Responses to Has the Global Caste War Begun?

  1. Joe Clarkson says:

    It would interest me to have you explain why these “resource wars”, which you insist have been promulgated by the wealthy caste, have resulted in the exact opposite of what the wealthy caste supposedly wants. Europe is looking at severe energy scarcity, oil prices are much higher than they were before the Ukraine invasion and the resulting inflation has forced the central banks to drive major economies into recession and resulting asset price collapses. All of this is bad for business and bad for the capitalists that own them. This can’t be what they want.

    For the wealthy, everything has been going swimmingly for the last 40 years. Oil and gas have been flowing into western economies at low prices, asset prices were on a tear, and the private jet fleet is expanding rapidly, yet somehow the powerful and well-to-do are intent on upsetting this applecart with multiple wars with nuclear powers? Get a grip.

    I’m not very sympathetic to the wealthy caste and agree that the global market economy is bad for the earth and should never been allowed to exist, but it’s always a lot easier for the wealthy to use their connections to buy the things they want than to try and take them by force, especially when they must be taken from countries with powerful militaries. If the wealthy want another country’s resources, all they have to do is subvert that country’s ruling class with money and walk off with the goods. They don’t need to start a war and they know it.

    And even though I don’t hang out with the ultra-rich and have no personal experience with their attitudes toward the impending collapse, I doubt that the percentage of the rich who are collapse-aware is any higher than that of the population at large. That percentage is just barely above zero.

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    A lot to unpack here Joe.

    The crisis in Europe has occurred because the military made a massive strategic error with anti-Russian sanctions, believing that they would quickly bring Russia to its knees and cause internal strife there that would topple Putin. It was a colossally dumb move, but if you follow US/NATO military history, this is not at all uncommon for them.

    They actually tried what you suggested by buying off the clueless drunk Yeltsin — getting post-USSR Russia to opt for massive capitalist privatization so they could swoop in and buy a lot of Russian assets dirt cheap, which they did. But most of the wealth was stolen by Russian oligarchs, so they now have to try again to topple Russia to get their hands on Russia’s resources. The buying-them-off strategy has worked in most of the world, but not in Russia or China. Buying up Russian assets after Soviet collapse didn’t work, sanctions didn’t work, so now they have to fall back on dangerous military strategies, and hope that a long expensive war in Ukraine will cause Russians to overthrow Putin, put the rest of Russian assets up for grabs, and prevent the top caste in Russia (the oligarchs) from keeping them for themselves.

    But at least bombs and tanks are good for the US economy, so I don’t think the top caste is particularly averse to endless warfare, as long as it doesn’t get out of hand.

    I agree that the top caste is not particularly collapse-aware, but they do know two things: (1) Climate change is real and presents a huge threat to their wealth (as the Davos gnome surveys reveal), and (2) The current global economy is horrifically overextended, and the debts can never be repaid, so when it becomes clear that simply rolling over the debts forever will not work, especially at higher interest rates, it’s going to be a matter of not being the last player in the Ponzi scheme.

    And the problem for the top caste is that, when stock markets and real estate markets collapse, there will simply be no safe place for them to move their money. Even their New Zealand mansions are going to plummet in value. I think the top caste is plenty aware of this, which is why they’re so desperate to grab more than they need, so they have a buffer for economic collapse, and then ecological collapse.

  3. Paul Heft says:

    Joe, you remark that “Europe is looking at severe energy scarcity, oil prices are much higher than they were before the Ukraine invasion and the resulting inflation has forced the central banks to drive major economies into recession and resulting asset price collapses. All of this is bad for business and bad for the capitalists that own them. This can’t be what they want.”

    Energy prices are high: big profits for some capitalists. Moving into recession: business consolidation and depressed wages will benefit the largest capitalists. Asset price collapses: Dangerous, but smart investors will keep assets that will bounce back, such as many large companies and much real estate.

    They should not be afraid of upsetting the apple cart, because it’s not staying upright in any case. The prosperity of the last 40 years cannot continue: profit rates have been falling, energy prices will be increasing, and debt repayments are becoming less reliable.

    The wealthy elites can afford some losses, and they have plenty of money to avoid the pains of inflation, shortages, or war. What they are probably most afraid of is (1) shrinking markets due to competition, such as US competition with Europe and China; and (2) power or wealth grabs, especially by other nations or in revolutions.

    On the other hand, you may also be correct: their strategies may be poorly thought out or even irrational–tough luck for us who are worried about nuclear war. I don’t agree with Dave about Russia, I think rather than an asset grab it’s more along the lines of the conflict with China, Iran, etc.: the US elites want Europe and poorer countries to be a US playground, they want to retain hegemony. The more that other nations act independently, the less latitude US corporations have to make big profitable deals abroad and the less relative value the dollar will retain in world markets.

  4. FamousDrScanlon says:

    Here’s collapse writer Tom Lewis basically saying the exact opposite.

    “In our culture, the urge to believe that someone, somewhere is directing everything is pervasive. It may have been the urge that drove early man to invent a Higher Power in his image, vested with a multitude of superpowers, to then be implored for help.

    The fact is that communities, countries, economies, and wars, are far too complex to be fully understood, let alone managed, by any individual. Believing that someone is in charge is not a belief, really, it’s a way of avoiding the hard work of achieving situational awareness and taking responsibility for our own actions.”


  5. Dave Pollard says:

    It doesn’t matter how many times I repeat that this caste war is completely uncoordinated, that no one is in control, and that this is just the desperate anarchic save-yourself behaviour of individual alpha and lower-caste rats in a grossly overcrowded and precarious cage — I guess someone will read into it that I’m saying an elite coordinated group is conspiring to crush everyone else.

    I’m kind of fed up with writers like Tom Lewis who glibly charge people, all of us doing our best despite pretty horrific and chronically stressful circumstances, with “avoiding the hard work of achieving situational awareness and taking responsibility for our own actions”. I’m long past arrogantly and patronizingly blaming people for not “doing the work”. And this guy’s “situational awareness” is among the shallowest and most misinformed I have read.

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