EUGEN OVIDIU CHIROVICI
Past Grand Master, National Grand Lodge of Romania
Honorary Director, MASONIC FORUM Magazine
The Great African Rift took shape millions of years ago and is the result of the geological modifications which formed the black continent and the entire Globe’s geography. The same modifications led also to the apparition of one of the greatest lakes of the world, Tanganyika. What relationship may exist between the evolution of this expanse standing water and the actual world crisis? An extremely interesting one, in my oppinion.
The scholars established that along its history, due to the succesive glaciations, the lake was divided into several fragments, as a consequence of the water’s general level decrease on Globe. At the end of the last glaciation, about 12000 years ago, the fragments united again and the lake took nowadays shape.
As a consequence of the fragmentation, the fish of the lake woke themselves isolated some from the others for long periods.
It is interesting the fact that these groups grew completely differently. In other words, there was not a single acclimation „strategy“ in the (new) environment, according to the laws of evolution. Even more interesting is instead what happened after the fragments united and the species – initially similar, now very different – saw themselves in the situation to share again the same ecosystem. The result was a not contiguity on the path of evolution/survival. The groups continued to remain different, but they addopted what the biologists name „avantage tactics“.
A group went so far that it appropiated the other’s figure to itself, in order to approach to this one without rousing defense reactions, and to eat it.
Well, but what ties exist between this phenomenon and the world economy, in general, and the global crisis, in particular?
Let us imagine the world economy as a „Tanganyika Lake“, fragmented since the end of the 40’s into several smaller „lakes“.
One was what from a political point of view was called „free world“, and from the economical point of view the „capitalist world“ (USA and Western Europe).
One other was the communist camp, ruled by USSR. One another was China, which though communist, did not accept the Bolshevik guardianship and developed its own vision on economics.
Another lake, virtual from a geographical point of view, is the one formed from the former colonies of the defunct European empires, from the huge India to the African and Latin-American states.
A lake in itself appeared in the Arab area, politically independent and enreached, as a consequence of the immense oil reserves discovered and exploited after WW II.
Similar to the little fish in Tanganyika, the economical subjects from these „fragments“ adopted extremely different survival and evolution strategies. Except that at the end of the last century’s 80’s something happened.
That something was the collapse of the communism, on one hand, „the level increase“ in many others, on another hand, like India, China or Latin America and, not at last, the unprecendently developement of communications, due to internet.
All was tantamount, as an effect, to the end of the glaciation for Lake Tanganyika, the „fragments“ united, and the „little fish“ which meanwhile grew very differently were urged to live together in the same economical, social, political ecosystem.
And the unavoidable „adaptation crisis“ began.
The western „little fish“, for example, launched themselves in the conquest of the East, a „fragment“ to which they had a very limitted access so far. On their turn, they saw thernselves attacked by China’s „little fish“, much more adapted to limited resources consumption, with maximal results.
Only one example: the apparition of NAFTA and the attack of the speculative „little fish“ from USA on the fragile mexican market caused the crisis of the pesos in 1994.
The Soros „sheatfish“ type began to have access to the global waters more than anytime in history and to wolf down the „little fish“ and the „little crabs“ that crossed him.
Imagine a tiger at zoo, which suddently the cage’s gate is opened where the „gazelles“ are and they are only told: „this is it, survive“.
Something like that happenned when China was accepted in World Organization of Commerce (former GATT). How a „little fish“ who pays his workers with 2000 dollars a month will resist to another „little fish“ who pay with 20 and doesn’t invest a cent in environment, no one said. Initially, everybody considered themselves advantaged by the new state of facts. After two decades, it is clear that there exist defeated and winners.
Well, it is clear that an expanding China, for example, wolfed down entire industries and millions of jobs in the West. But where is the direct tie to the so-called global crisis?
We are back to the little fish of Tanganyika.
The moment a group of „invaders“ get sudden access to the resources reserved so far to only a group, this has only three posibilities. The first: to banish them. The second: to exterminate them. The third: to willingly – not willingly accept to share the resources with the newly comers and to diminuate automatically its own ratio of resources.
The Asiatic or Latin American „little fish“ – which turned into big „sheatfish“ – were neither banished from West Europe or, evidently, exterminated. It was accepted as an axioma the fact that the global economy must be „integrated“ and nobody must remain outside the game.
Or, the whole human experience demonstrates that such „integrations“ produce only through crises. A „crisis“ –
economical, political, cultural, human after all – was also was called colonization, that is „the gathering of same fragments of lake“, since then isolated one from another. The natives from America were almost exterminated.
The indigene population from Hispaniola Isle (Haiti and nowadays Dominican Republic) was entirely exterminated and the colony was populated with slaves from Africa.
The „little fish“ which crunched the resources of a nature or another made this, evidently, against another „little fish“. These adapted to the new reality or perished.
The West neither banished the „invaders“ or exterminated, hence. But nor they diminuated the consumption. So, they started to accumulate debts, and thence consummed more than the new „ecosystem“ permited.
In this way the explosive increase of sovereign debts started in the last decade. And now the painful operation of diminuation of the consumption, named „austerity“. What is happening now is not properly a crisis. It is the equivalent of a acclimation mutation.
In the sense that it will not return to what was before, as it happens at the end of some crisis. In situations of this kind, things change definitively. A new political, economical, social, cultural order is brought to birth.
Starting with the 90’s, the dramatically different „little fish“ were obliged thus to swim in the same planetary „aquarium“.
What we call „crises“ are efforts of acclimatization to this new way of living into a globalized world, where the power ballances change inerently, where there are defeated and winners on the „evolution“ scale, and where the fight for resources became increasingly harsh and will become even harsher in the future.
Within the interval 1990-2010 – there were more great economic crises than during all WW II. They do not cease until a new ecosystem will settle into shape for some interval of time. And most probably, the great problems are just beginning.
Vainly Germany try, for example to declare defunct the multiculturalism they encouraged for six decades. The foreign „little fish“ already swim resultfully in his „aquarium“. A new „glaciation“ to separate again the „lake“ into smaller fragments can not be provoked, not even through war.
All the „little fish“ will have to acclimate to the new realities, even some of them will become food for others or will turn into dominated from dominants. But, at last, in the entire history of the humanity do things not work like this?