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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

$49.86; Dollar down; Economic collapse as the least-worst option

The April light crude oil contract is flirting with $50. And the dollar is dropping quickly:
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. dollar was under siege on Tuesday after reports overnight that South Korea's central bank may sell some of its U.S. currency reserves triggered a wave of dollar selling against the major currencies.

U.S. currency traders returned from a three-day holiday to find the euro more than 1.1 percent higher on the session, trading lately at $1.3206.

The dollar traded at 104.18 yen, off 1.2 percent, marking the large one-day fall for the dollar-yen since October.
I've read and heard many lefties suggesting various ways out of our current dilemma, that being the complete takeover of our government and media by insane militarists intent on destroying this country and the world. Some say we need to abandon the Democratic party, others say we need to reform it, others suggest we should do both. Some say we should write to Congress, write letters to the editor, talk to our neighbors, protest in the streets.

I'd suggest we should probably try all of these things, but I'm not sure any of them will work. The Bushies apparently won't be brought down by our outrage. But I think there are two things that will bring them down. One is for their wars to be brought home on a massive scale, either through a draft and huge numbers of casualties, or huge terror attacks which make September 11 look like February 21 in comparison. The other is a general economic collapse.

Neither possibility is at all appealing, but I consider economic collapse to be far and away the preferable of the two. Here are my reasons:
  • Economic collapse seems inevitable anyway, given the huge budget and trade deficits, the approach of peak oil, and the general trashing of the US economy through outsourcing that has happened in the past twenty years.
  • Our capitalist economy is destroying the world as it is through global warming, resource extraction, pollution in general, and the ever-growing exploitation of cheap labor. While keeping it afloat for the next decade or two might make life more pleasant for many of us during that time, the damage done will make the consequences for the future that much worse.
  • A collapse, while it could easily lead to violence in many ways, offers the possibility of derailing the neocons' imperialist war agenda. Having the war come home in a big way before economic collapse would likely lead to such a collapse anyway. So I think the unsavory possibilities we face are either economic collapse, or total war with economic collapse.
At the moment, I feel fairly powerless to affect the large-scale flow of the world. Whatever happens is likely to happen no matter how much blogging I do, or letters I write, or signs I carry, or causes I support. But, as a cheerleader, I'm kind of pulling for economic collapse as the least-worst possibility, and trying to prepare myself for it as best I can. In the most immediate sense, high oil prices and a falling dollar may be the signs that the surgery needed to rid us of the malignant Bush cancer is coming.