Revealed: the capitalist network that runs the world – New Scientist


I recently wrote "If you think "ruling elites" are a fantasy…think again" and have been boring regular readers about complexity and the threat of excessive complexity, particularly when the inter-connections are "closely coupled" (see below). Amongst others, the World Economic Forum have attempted to highlight the issues.

Financially “influential” firms SHOULD BE, as they have historically been, sources of “systemic resilience”. Instead, in a turbulent, debt-laden, global economy they can, effectively, act as “superspreaders”…hubs of systemic risk:

The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy. Superconnected companies are red, very connected companies are yellow. The size of the dot represents revenue <i>(Image: </i>PLoS One<i>)</i>AS PROTESTS against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters’ worst fears. An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.

The study’s assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable.

….Concentration of power is not good or bad in itself, says the Zurich team, but the core’s tight interconnections could be. As the world learned in 2008, such networks are unstable. "If one [company] suffers distress," says Glattfelder, "this propagates."

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If you think "ruling elites" are a fantasy…think again


Now I am not suggesting that the US is representative of the rest of the world but I would certainly be curious to know how the UK picture looks! According to Michael Moore circa 400 families in America have more money than the other 300 million!

Hopefully, the “apathy” that allowed this situation to develop is a thing of the past. We were all too busy buying into the consumerist myth of “financial independence” (that was really the DEPENDENCE that fuelled individual (ego) and institutional greed)  So, unless “the 99%”, quickly, rediscover the power of INTERDEPENDENCE and utilise the communication tools at our disposal, life in the post-critical society i.e. after the next financial collapse, will make austerity measures look positively appealing! Read more of this post