Right now we are in crisis. On TV and radio and in the papers they all talk nonstop about what is considered to be the worst economic crisis since the 1929 downturn. What they say is surely true, but it would also be nice if they could talk about the positive side of things to give us all a bit of hope, otherwise, we will end up believing that the end of the world is upon us.
Many people find it hard to gauge how the crisis will affect them, although it will bring many changes to western society and the world in general on both qualitative and quantitative levels. However, in reality we could see this crisis coming and we should not be surprised about what has happened and is going to happen. You don’t have to be a prophet to predict the future, you just need to open your eyes and wait for this economic tsunami to reach the shores of western economics, as it has done.
For too long now we have prioritised speculation above all else. The principal aim was to get rich as quickly as possible, and yet there were limited means with which to increase earnings. To achieve this goal, investments must be made, these investments must be speculated, then add a spoonful of financial magic and, hey presto, you get immediate results. In many cases these results have not contributed anything to society, they did, however, scandalously increase the contents of some peoples’ bank accounts.
Economics has always been a science that requires real daily effort. Normally a group of men and women with entrepreneurial abilities work each day to provide society with a necessary good. In payment for this effort they expect to gain a profit that will enable them to take on new projects and access the resources they need to live a decent quality of life. It is true that in this way personal profit is made, but society in general will also benefit.
Speculating is like entering into the world of virtual reality, or illusion, and I believe that nowadays we are living in a time when society is fascinated by virtual reality. This is what has created a culture of speculating for the sake of speculating, where huge amounts of capital are moved around at excessive speeds in order to increase the value of investments. It doesn’t matter where the investments are moved to nor if they are present or future investments nor if they are of any benefit to the country. In the virtual world everything is a game. A game where the losers are never people, just numbers or graphs on a computer screen.
Those people who up till now depended on accumulating profit for their living lived in an unreal world without realising that by not investing in peoples’ real needs they were building a society that sooner or later was bound to self destruct. Founding society on speculation was like building on sand, without foundations.
This virtual society was probably nothing less than a mirror of speculatory society that found within financial mechanisms the tool that seemed as if it would turn everything it touched to gold.
However, another magical space had to be added to this context of virtuality for things to work: “privileged information”. Having this made it possible to achieve these goals more quickly. If anything has opened up in the last few years it has been huge information highways. The Internet is another of these mechanisms because it has enabled everyone to believe that they can make their dreams into reality from the comfort of their own homes. They are lying to us when they try to make us believe that fantasy is better than reality.
The current crisis is a great opportunity to change these financial fallacies quickly, because we must strengthen the real economy, one that generates products to satisfy current needs, that builds bridges between all the countries in the world. And that creates a real network between people, and not just a virtual global one. The path of the economy, the financial economy included, should be directed towards the concerns of a multitude of men and women, who, when it comes down to it, are the ones who end up suffering the consequences.
We can only consolidate our society by working on the basis of reality, of what really exists. If the economy responds to peoples’ real and possible needs it will become an excellent tool that serves humanity.