by ELENA PONOMAREVA
The real goal during the final debate on Oct. 19 was to win the hearts of anyone left who is still entirely unacquainted with the concept of «electioneering». Clinton brought up every talking point that is a hot button for Americans of ordinary means or even perhaps living in poverty, while Trump, who is certainly no champion of the middle or lower classes, is prepared to fight for the interests of Republicans. It’s no wonder he’s called «the last hope for white America».
This is a country with one of the world’s highest levels of inequality, and in this environment the weak and the unsophisticated will go to the polls ready to «vote their consciences» – a principle with which all Russians are familiar. This will mean the majority of Americans. And no one will be able to convince them that that vote, which is made with the heart but without the head, is going to have devastating consequences.
But as soon as reason is brought to bear, a deadly «dog fight» can be seen in every facet of the US election campaign, including the debates. And this is not merely a question of clashing personalities – this election has stripped bare a fierce showdown between three major groups of power and influence. (Some political analysts prefer to talk about a «Cold Civil War» in the United States). The fact is that the US today is a mash-up of at least three different Americas. First there is the America of Wall Street and the bureaucrats in Washington, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
This is the United States of the one-percenters, the America of «banksters» – the lords of the securities marketplaces, banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, and investment houses. These are the merchants of smoke and mirrors in whose hands vast financial resources are concentrated. The real global economy (including the service sector) is worth $80 trillion in monetary terms, but the global financial market has a price sticker of $ 800 trillion, and when you add derivatives to that equation – $ 1 quadrillion. And the vast majority of these funds are managed and allocated by US banks. Hillary Clinton is the spokesperson for the America of «interest rates».
The second America is the post-deindustrialized America, or the America of the «corporatocracy», consisting of the representatives of transnational corporations that were spawned by the second industrial revolution. They are the owners and senior executives at primarily non-financial and non-high-tech companies such as manufacturing firms. Donald Trump is their representative. He is predominately backed by the capital at work in the manufacturing, construction, and service sectors, as well as by the vast majority of Americans of predominantly European descent who have thrown in their lot with him. This is what is known as good ol’ white America.
The third America is the «cognitariat» faction that has emerged over the last 40 years (from the Latin «cognito» or «learning» and a play on the word «proletariat»), the America of figures, algorithms, and «geekonomics». This segment of the US has not put forth a candidate – they do not yet command the necessary resources. Recently the RAND Corporation, University of Tokyo, and the European Centre for Technology Assessment issued a report, titled Technology Outlook 2025. It reached a remarkable conclusion: 24 critical technologies exist in the world.
Those who possess all of these technologies will be able to kick off a new technological revolution and launch a new economy. The Americans currently enjoy 21 shovel-ready technologies, the Japanese – 17, and the EU – 14 (how many there are in Russia is anyone’s guess). In other words, the hour has not yet come for the «netocrats» (of the «netocracy»). But that’s not all that has compelled the «knowledge elite» to distance themselves from the 2016 election.
An analysis of statements made by the owners of and consultants to the largest IT companies and the firms associated with critical technologies leads one to the conclusion that they do not merely expect, but are confident that in the near future the US and the world as a whole will be hit with a massive crisis that will make the events of 2007-2009 seem like a «historical blip». Therefore they do not wish to shoulder the burden of power – the burden of responsibility – at a critical moment. A more logical plan to use the crisis to weaken and eliminate the financial elite. But they’re not just waiting around. An alliance is already coalescing between «geekonomics» and the most progressive element of the corporatocracy in order to stand up to the banksters. Time and technology are working against the latter. They have nowhere to retreat, so the full measure of all their resources in the US and worldwide are aimed at tipping the scales in favor of their protégé – Clinton.
This «elite» war, although it is a cold one, is not a war for life, but for death. A wide variety of tools, instruments of leverage, and myths are being utilized. One of these toolkits now consists of the banksters’ myths about the «Russia factor». On one hand, this is indirect confirmation of the fact that for some time now Russia has been a powerful figure in the global equation. On the other hand, this is evidence of «the dying wail of a class over whom the wave of progress is about to roll» (Barrington Moore Jr.). If the Democrats, with Hillary Clinton at their helm, cannot win over the undecided except by demonizing Russia and Putin, it means the America of the financiers, despite its vast resources, is not confident of its victory.
But the US is a land of surprises. Anything can happen here, from impeachment to the resignation or assassination of a president (Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot in 1865, followed by James Garfield in 1881, William McKinley in 1901, and John F. Kennedy in 1963).
Despite all the benefits of a rational assessment of the current election campaign in the US («using the head, not the heart»), one cannot rule out the possibility of the reappearance in this country of that extraordinary «black swan».