In sum, the two core aims or motives behind why the ‘Bretton Woods’ system which was created shortly after World War II ended up getting replaced by the ‘Washington Consensus’ of the 1970’s was to remove all the major regulations on capital and private wealth and to remove all the controls and constraints over capital flows around the world, in addition to allowing currency exchange rates to float. And what businesses and corporations are now realizing is that the consequences and effects of the ‘Washington Consensus’ of the 1970’s – with a major one being the capital-income ratio that emerged from this arrangement – has led to a downturn in both consumption and productivity amongst the general public. A general downturn in consumption and productivity does not bode well for creditors and producers, but the shortsightedness and myopia of the ‘Washington Consensus’ meant that the consequences and long-term effects of their system or scheme went unaccounted for.
In turn, what the last couple of decades amounted to was nothing short of a looting spree, and people got killed and tortured in the midst of all of it for no good reason whatsoever. As I mentioned to certain individuals, looting and hoarding is one thing. But to use religion and the demonization of one of the world’s major religions and the marginalization of billions of people in order to loot and hoard is what angers some of us.
What the current administration in Washington must keep in mind is that the killing, torture, hedonism, and looting of the last couple of decades is what prompted the credibility and legitimacy crisis that the current administration in Washington is experiencing at the moment, perhaps through little fault of their own. A just redistribution of resources, democratic accountability, transitional justice measures, and the reversal and negation of the fear and censorship which has blanketed and overwhelmed some of us researchers and writers and journalists over the last couple of decades must all be addressed by the current administration in Washington in order to compensate for what has occurred.
And as I have said on a number of occasions, some of us have seen this movie before. And coincidentally, overcoming a recent history which has largely been defined and shaped by corruption and war and experiencing a culture and society which has had corruption and war define and shape its recent history make up both dimensions and sides of my personal identity as an Afghan-American. It is both unfortunate and beneficial, and it is both a gift and a curse per se, to have these experiences and to have seen this movie before. Certain public figures and leaders are calling on folks to not “relitigate the past” and so forth in order to avoid doing what is necessary to overcome the adverse and negative effects of a recent history defined by corruption and war.
But as I have argued before, there is no easy way out of our current crisis and there are no shortcuts in doing what is necessary and required in order to overcome what has emerged and what has surfaced as a result of about two decades of corruption and war. And if we were to take shortcuts and if we were to avoid doing what is necessary, then perhaps it means the writing is already on the wall per se.