The most powerful institutions on the planet, global financial markets and the transnational corporations that serve them, are institutions of Empire dedicated to growing consumption and inequality. They convert real capital into financial capital to increase the relative economic power of those who live by money, while depressing the wages of those who produce real value through their labor. These institutions respond to environmental and social crises with palliatives that side step the need to reduce overall consumption and reallocate resources from rich to poor. To do otherwise would be contrary to their legal and financial imperatives. We cannot expect the institutions that got us into the crisis to get us out of it.
We might wonder how such self-destructive injustice could happen in a world governed by democratically elected governments. The answer is simple and alarming. Our world is not governed by democratically elected governments. It is ruled by global financial institutions in the service of financial speculators who exchange trillions of dollars daily in search of instant unearned profits to increase the fortunes — and the power— of the richest people on the planet. They bring down governments that displease them, and buy and sell the largest corporations like commodities.
It is stunning to realize that the behavior of the governing institutions to which we give the power to set our priorities and our collective course fits the psychological profile of the psychopath. Yet neoliberal economists celebrate these institutions with the claim that they maximize the beneficial allocation of society's resources.
By design and law the defining priority and obligation of these governing institutions is to generate financial profits to make rich people richer, in short to increase inequality in a world in desperate need of greater equity. To this end, the corporations that rise or fall at the pleasure of the speculators, assault our eyes and ears with advertising messages intended to get those of us who are already have more stuff than we need — to buy more stuff.