On the whole, most countries during this period of ultra-capitalist paganism represented not the citizens but an infinitesimal smattering of manipulators bent upon leaching from the world populous every drop of power, pleasure, and income. Suffice to say, the entire planet was shrouded within a cloak of darkness that hid the true condition of the vast majority of people. It was a darkness that was effusive, seeping into every crevice of human relations tingeing all with an amorality that was the unwavering foundation of this Darwinian contrivance called globalization that was controlled by a few lords of commerce. Governments of all types were eventually co-opted into what became a network of corruption, distortion, contrivance, and massaged manipulation whose primary objective was to further the interests of the highly connected club of political & business elites.
Legions of well-paid propaganda disseminators or "media parrots" were fed carefully stilted 'information' used to build up a wall of illusion that reinforced the power of omnipotent lords of privilege. These agents of distortion immediately vaporized any 'bright spots' of reality that broke through the wall. If by chance some spec of the real world penetrated this constantly patrolled illusory boundary, it would be attacked by the 'antibodies' of twisted logic until it was subsumed into the demonic organism. Undistorted ground truth facts were therefore very precious rarities in such a highly controlled world of happy delusion.
When the lives of the general population continued to deteriorate in this cage of dishonesty, the frequency of disinformation increased to the point of complete saturation. No thought or action based entirely on realistic conditions was allowed unfettered access to the hearts and minds of the corralled global citizenry.
Being carefully tamed docile sheep indifferent to every injustice committed against them; the people never rose above the level of supplicants because they were always lured to latch a hold of false hopes. Maybe, just maybe this year will be better than the last even though evidence to the contrary suggested that each year was infinity worse than the preceding one.
Many lives were lost under the crushing wheel of labor servitude. Once the wages of the laborers could no longer be 'milked' to support the life styles of the "rich and famous" and their political servants, another means of extending the extortion of the public interest was sought.
A powerful few used their levers of corruption to provide the endless stream of income they needed to feed their greed addiction. If the economic system that they contrived could not continue to deliver the most income from the least paid they were determined to explore other forms of more direct pilferage of their worldly kingdom.
The powerful found to their dismay that their political & media puppets were having an increasingly difficult time passing boldfaced lies off for truth. So these intellectually insignificant leaders of humanity decided to by-pass their standard rouse generation outlets in favor of direct holdup of the governments that they owned for the cash they needed to support their addition.
Why even attempt to delude the masses into believing it was in their best interest to suffocate under this tyranny of labor slavery? The powerful resolved to just start taking without even providing a rudimentary explanation. Their reasoning was simple, if the general public had allowed them to virtually eliminate their freedom, work them harder for less, and take away their representative governments they were reasonably certain that they could heap any injustice upon such a 'spineless' disorganized rabble. So the decision was made at the highest levels of the ultra-capitalist machine to raid the Treasury's of every nation-state that was linked into their web of corrupt income mining.
Mining is the most apt description of what the business & political elites were engaged in for it involved colluding into well-formed groups across the entire spectrum of global society for the express purpose of extracting the most wealth within the shortest period of time. Tomorrow never figured in their calculus of the "here and now" for their decadent lives revolved around satisfying every pleasure imaginable with the least amount of effort.
No matter that millions of honest hard working citizens around the world toiled under conditions that provided them with no voice to improve their lives. For the club of privilege viewed these people as inferiors. They reasoned; they were unwilling to lower themselves to the level of the beast so they must be lacking the intellectual prowess required to succeed in their system of unlimited greed and corruption. This fact, the exclusive club members reasoned, gave them the right to enslave their fellow human beings under corporate directed governments.
History is replete with examples of intolerance, injustice, and downright genocide being committed by groups of individuals aligned to a philosophy of superiority. The inferiors would always begin to "feel the boot of their masters" pushing them lower - such is the necessity of maintaining a position of power at any cost at least in the eyes of those who maintain power under a false pretense.
The inferiors were open game for those superior few who'd climbed up the slimy back of the devil for a ride upon his shoulders. An anything goes attitude pervaded their ranks from the least capable newly minted manager (dreaming of the day he'd be given the opportunity to scale that same slimy path) all the way to the well-heeled tyrannical elite already well versed in debauchery.
Most inferior in the eyes of the elite were the workers; unquestioning drones that would get up every day unwind a portion of their lives for wages (and benefits) that were dropping faster than a meteor. They were the slaves that were relegated to the dungeon of society to be left in utter isolation by their inability to organize themselves into powerful groups of their own. In some countries under the claw of demonic ultra-capitalism laborers weren't even afforded the right to form unions.
But unions over the last few years of illusory democracy were easily incorporated into the plutocratic societal superstructure of ultra-capitalism. They no longer represented the interests of their members but their own well paid corrupted interests - for they had also given in to the lure of the free ride on the devils back. Most of their leaders would regularly placate workers (on behalf of business or government) to wait for better wages, conditions, and more effective representation. The wait stretched into decades of promises that were never fulfilled.
A great depression came like a plague. The illusory economic framework collapsed under the stress of dried up revenue streams. Workers and average citizens the hosts of a parasitic global economic society were about to expire from extreme income deprivation. There just wasn't any more income left for the juicy lipped elites to suck. Their governments had already raised taxes beyond a level that could be reasonably supported by their citizens in order to allow the business masters to continue to perpetuate the illusion of a functioning economy just a bit longer. The businesses had already cut expenses to the bone laying off millions of workers, further reducing already paltry wages, and slashing benefits to zero.
Whole neighborhoods reverted back to their true owners, the banks. Mortgages, credit card debt, second mortgages, and a myriad of other accounts owed to these 'company stores' of the ultra-capitalist society could no longer be paid by the income starved citizenry.
The government borrowed heavily by floating Treasury bills that communist China bought with ever-greater rapidity. This infusion of money from the coffers of this totalitarian state shored up the U.S. Treasury to the point that they could start supporting the true masters of the government - the business elite. Financial institutions were the first businesses to receive more than two trillion dollars in aid from the federal government. Never mind that average citizens were losing their homes to foreclosure at record rates and their jobs; the government concluded they were only obligated to support their master's businesses - most were frightened that if they didn't they might lose all the cash that flowed into their hands from lobbyist middlemen. These lobbyist bound legislators felt that it was far too important to reinforce their lucrative relationships with the privileged elite than assist the citizenry of the country.
Propaganda 'fountains' gushed with reports that the citizens of the once economically powerful United States had spent themselves into a hole. The powerful elites had to shift blame for their addictive greed onto some other group - the obvious candidate was the defenseless lower and middle classes. It was this segment of the population that through their unquenchable desire to acquire more 'things' (so it was 'parroted' in the business controlled media outlets) brought the economy to its knees.
Only a few rays of clear realism penetrated this onslaught of lies perpetuated by those wishing to maintain power at all costs. Facts and figures reported by those not connected or influenced by the business elite clearly showed that the productivity gains of the American workforce for more than thirty years never translated into higher wages. In fact, the opposite resulted: real wages over this period of time declined. Feeding the income monster at the top of the pyramid became the responsibility of the laborers who sacrificed wage gains so that the business elite (CEO's, other executives, and wealthy shareholders) could continue to expand their income by 300 - 500% yearly.
Struggling to maintain their standard of living, low to middle class citizen's languishing in an income no where's land accessed more money in the form of debt from the business elite company stores; the financial institutions. Easy credit in the form of credit cards, second mortgages, and other forms of credit were made available by banks more than happy to create a class of debtors that they could milk income in the form of exorbitant fees and interest.
The political & business elite liked the leverage they now held over a good percentage of the populace. This majority class of debtors was now more easily manipulated and controlled since they now were tightly leashed to maintain their accounts with these banks and it didn't help that laws were enacted by the federal government that made it prohibitively expensive (legal fees) to declare personal bankruptcy.
Further dissuading those from releasing their shackles to these modern day company stores was the stigma attached to declaring personal bankruptcy.
But by far the best form of intimidation used to keep this indentured class of laborers compliant to the wishes of the dominant business class was to refuse to offer employment to anyone who had filed for bankruptcy. Even though record numbers of previously hard working citizens were falling into destitution through no fault of their own from escalating layoffs and wage income that never increased; their business masters remained firm - those who didn't continue to pay tithes to the castle would be thrown over the castle wall into the crocodile infested mote. Cries of "Send that family into homelessness - seal that foreclosed home so the bank can reclaim it without trouble" could be heard coming from judges that upheld the business influenced legal code.
With this mindset of privilege set in a concrete of social mores, beliefs, and ideals that continued to perpetuate a dysfunctional ultra-capitalist economy no dramatic change to a more equitable, reasonable, sustainable economic system founded upon a decent society ever materialized. The die was set; there was no turning back to a more companionate society (obviously no utopia) that had existed for a blink of an eye in the 1950's and 1960's. Totalitarianism was just around the corner; the screws had been turned down upon a compliant, agreeable, deceived population of sheep that readily accepted their place in this new caste based culture.
State and local governments ceased to exist. They'd lost ninety percent of their revenue from property, income, and sales taxes that now 'dripped' in from the dried up income reservoir. Even essential services like fire, police, schools, and the minuscule number of public supported medical services were cut with a sharp budget axe.
The end game had arrived with a fiery hot flame that would vaporize everything in its path.