Cabot Square, Carary Wharf, London. Photo by Diliff.
Private debt and asset prices are ballooning all over the world. After these debt bubbles burst, predicts Grace Blakeley in the New Statesman, the next bubble to burst will be the carbon bubble, and money plowed into fossil fuel assets will soon be rendered worthless. Blakeley says public banks must be established to weather the coming crisis:
“Today, it is quite clear that only a radical break with the past will deliver us from the post-crisis malaise and the climate crisis that has emerged alongside it. … A public banking system must be established as part of this in order to direct capital away from speculation and towards productive, sustainable investment. These plans must be accompanied by greater state and worker ownership so that the returns from growth are not monopolised by a tiny elite. Such a plan would represent a rupture with the economic orthodoxy of the last 40 years. But faced with the threat of another recession, climate breakdown and the rise of the far right, the radical is starting to look ever more sensible.”
Blakeley says radicalism is the world’s only hope:
“It is worth bearing in mind that many political revolutions – like those that rippled throughout Europe in 1848 – have not occurred during moments of crisis, but times of ongoing stagnation. While crisis creates fear and a desire to return to “normal”, steady decline encourages people to look beyond the status quo. … The far right would have the rich world fortify its borders and forcibly exclude all those who they do not define as legitimate citizens. … The only way to respond to the radicalism of the right is with a radicalism of the left.”