When the eXile began publishing in 1997, we had a mission. We were miserable, and the rest of the world was happy. They spoke of progress while we were in permanent decline. That had to change. We couldn't go down alone while the rest of the world succeeded. We had a plan: to ruin the entire world, taking revenge for every insult or sexual humiliation we had ever suffered by destroying the global economy, culture and environment.
It was a tall order. Many so-called experts laughed at the notion that a small band of American malcontents sulking in Moscow could possibly wreck the planet in only six years. Few of us remember just how good things looked back when the eXile began its struggle against peace, prosperity and tolerance. To understand how great the task the eXile set itself really was, we have to go back and look at the lost, golden world of 1997. In 1997 only 5.3% of Americans were without a job, and hard-eyed investors would have bet the townhouse that unemployment would drop even lower, all the way to 3.9%. And they were right. It was the safest country in the world, the standard by which all was measured, the goal for every nation to strive for. Americanization was a good thing. And much of the world believed that it benefited right along with America.
Asia was booming, a model for the Third World, just as Argentina was a model for Latin America and the IMF's poster child. Globalization was a positive word that went unchallenged. Michael McFaul was the hardest-publishing man in academia. War was declared a thing of the past. History itself had ended.
But just as history ended, the eXile began. In just six years, the eXile's tireless efforts paid off. The American economy, along with the world's, is today in ruins, and peace is a thing of the past.
Ours was a two-pronged plan: first, destroy the emerging markets of the world, then push for the election of George W. Bush.
That's right, we officially endorsed him in the summer of 2000 in an effort to bring misery on all of America. It may well be that the 550 votes that Gore lost by in Florida were all cast by eXile readers. We don't fuck around, folks. We install leaders, and remove them when things get too good. Now look at America. Unemployment is up 50%, and new pinks slips are winging their way to modest homes and trailers across the land. Misery has at last taken root in the motherland.
The worldwide figures are even more impressive. In 1997, capital was flowing freely into new labor markets and tens of millions of young citizens of developing countries were finding gainful employment. The situation now is very different. In the past two years more than 20 million workers around the world have lost their jobs. The total number of unemployed in the world has reached 180 million, with more joining the vast army of losers every day.
Our Plan has also managed to undo the slow, insidious improvement in living standards for the working poor across the world. In the past six years, the trend has reversed completely, and there are now more than 550 million workers earning less than $1 per day. That means 550 million people identifiably more poor and more miserable than we are, or in other words, 550 million reasons to feel less shitty about ourselves.
The 666 plan started close to home. Moscow was our base, and it was in Moscow that we began chipping away at peace and prosperity. As usual, nobody thought we could do it. When we started in 1997, Russia was the hottest investment around. Apartments you could once have had for a bottle of vodka were selling for $100,000 per square meter. The smart money was pouring into Russian stocks, the market rocketed 1000%. The price of whores had reached obscene heights. The good times looked set to stay. Only our eXile salaries remained miserably low. Then the crash came. A crash down to our level. August 1998 saw the biggest loss of wealth in Russia's history.