“We are being asked to take even larger doses of a medicine that has proven to be deadly and to undertake commitments that do not solve the problem, but only temporarily postpone the foretold death of our economy.” – Hieronymos II, head of Greece’s Orthodox Church
While EU banks have borrowed more than $600 billion at rock bottom rates (1 percent) for up to 3 years with no-strings-attached, eurozone finance ministers are threatening to push member-state Greece into default over a paltry 325 million euros. A German-led coalition within the Eurogroup has set a 6-day deadline for Greece to agree to additional budget cuts or the struggling country will be denied 130 billion euro loan. Absent the bailout, the Greek government will run out of money sometime in late March and default. This appears to be what many in Berlin secretly seek.
Aside from the 325 million euros of cuts, Greek coalition party leaders will also be forced to make a written commitment that the terms of the agreement will be followed whether general elections are held or not. The troika (The European Commission, the IMF, and the ECB) wants to be sure that it is repaid regardless of a change in government.
Naturally, these developments have infuriated the Greek people. It’s no longer uncommon to see German flags set ablaze at demonstrations in Athens or posters of Merkel in full Nazi regalia. This latest humiliation will only add to the seething resentment that is fueling the massive labor strikes and sporadic street violence across the country. George Karatzaferis, leader of the LAOS party, (who has already said he will oppose the additional cuts) urged other countries in the European Union to challenge what he described as Germany’s domination of the union.
“We can get by without being under the German jackboot,” Karatzaferis said in a press conference following the announcement. “Like all Greeks, I am very irritated …. by this humiliation. They have stolen our pride. I cannot tolerate this. I cannot allow it, even if I have to starve.” (“Greek coalition party to oppose austerity measures”, AP)
Greece has already withstood five consecutive years of economic contraction with no sign of improvement. Unemployment has soared to a new high of 20.9 percent, the debt-to-GDP ratio is rising, and capital continues to flee the country. All of the troika’s so-called “rescue” efforts have failed. The country remains mired in a semi-permanent slump brought on by austerity measures. Greece is in the middle of a policy-generated depression.
On Thursday, all three Greek coalition party leaders agreed to accept deeper cuts to public spending in order to win approval for 130 billion bailout. The new austerity measures are a straightforward attack on working people and retirees. As The Athens News notes, it is “the most violent devaluation of labour pay during peacetime.” The provisions include “a 22 percent cut to the minimum wage, new restraints on collective bargaining, severe cutbacks on social insurance, and a 22-40 percent cut to real wages and bonuses. Also, 150,000 public workers will be sacked, and 400 million euros will be cut from public investment programs. The social safety net is being gutted while the banks are raking in billions on the carry trade–the purchasing of high-yield government debt with money they borrowed from the ECB.
Working people and pensioners are being asked to shoulder a disproportionate amount of the burden for a crisis that was precipitated by financial elites and their political lackeys. The Troika wants Greece to cut the minimum wage to less than 600 euros a month (poverty level) and abolish holiday allowances altogether. They’re also demanding that supplementary pensions be cut by 35 percent. This same war on working people is being waged in every country hit by the crisis. The agents of big finance have replaced democratically-elected leaders in Greece and Italy and launched a full-blown assault on organized labor. Here’s an excerpt from an article by Peter Schwarz titled “The looting of the Greek working class”:
“What the financial aristocracy is doing to Greece is what they intend for the whole of Europe. A social counter-revolution is taking place which was barely conceivable a few years ago. Broad layers of the population are being condemned to poverty, unemployment, sickness and even death to secure the profit demands of the international financial aristocracy.” (“The looting of the Greek working class”, World Socialist Web Site)
Greece is also being asked to surrender its sovereignty by allowing an EU budget commissioner to oversee public spending. The new commissar will see that future tax revenues will be used to pay off foreign lenders “first and foremost” before providing money for vital social services. In the event of a national emergency, lenders and bondholders will be paid before funds are allocated to help disaster victims. This is what “greater eurozone-integration” looks like in real time.
Greece’s deep structural reforms and privatizations are supposed to “increase competitiveness and growth” and to “bring the fiscal deficit to a sustainable position”, but, of course, it’s all a pipedream. The Greek economy is in worse shape now than it was two years ago when the bailouts began. And, as Der Speigel notes, the latest bailout package “will not save the country…it will only delay a Greek insolvency — and serve to create new hardships for the country’s population…”
Here’s more from the same article:
“If the country is to lastingly reduce its mountain of debt and, at some point, be able to borrow money on the capital markets again, then it needs a comprehensive debt haircut…..
Of course, things wouldn’t stop there. The euro-zone states would also have to build a bigger firewall around the remaining crisis countries in order to prevent contagion. They would have to help some banks that get into trouble as a result of a debt cut. And they would have to provide Greece with a real opportunity to get back on its feet and start growing under its own steam — in other words, a kind of Marshall Plan.” (“It’s Time To End the Greek Rescue Farce”, Speigel Online)
But EZ policymakers and central bankers don’t want “a comprehensive debt haircut”, because they’re afraid that the speculative bets made by financial institutions (CDS and sovereign bonds) may cause losses that will crash the banking system. So, they’ve put their agents in positions of power to extract as much wealth as possible from working people without precipitating a default. It’s all part of the calculation.
25 of 27 countries in the EU have also agreed to a balanced budget provision that will limit the ability of national parliaments to conduct counter-cyclical fiscal policy or reduce soaring unemployment by expanding government deficits. The so called “debt brakes”–which are strongly supported by German chancellor Angela Merkel– will lead to additional cuts in social spending and welfare while–at the same time–paving the way for deeper and more protracted recessions.
Meanwhile, the banks are held to an entirely different standard than EZ member states. Banks that are unable to procure funding via the capital markets (because no one trusts the condition of their balance sheets) are given “limitless” loans on collateral that wouldn’t fetch a bid at a flea market.
When the banks tapped into the ECB’s deep pockets for 489 billion euros in late December, they were not required to cut staff, slash bonuses, lay off workers, curtail health care or pension benefits, or appoint a budget czar to oversee how the money was spent. They were given carte blanche, even though the money they borrowed hasn’t been used to extend credit to consumers and businesses (as it was supposed to), and even though the loans merely conceal the vast losses on their stockpile of toxic bonds. This is how the ECB perpetuates the illusion of “solvency” in the eurozone. It’s all a fraud.
So, why does Greece have to grovel for $130 billion loan when the banks can just snap their fingers and get as much money as they want? And why does the IMF have one policy for Europe and another for China? This is from the Wall Street Journal:
“China should be prepared to sharply stimulate its economy if Europe’s growth falls more than anticipated, the International Monetary Fund said, adding to expectations that Beijing could turn to spending if conditions significantly worsen.
In its China economic outlook report released on Monday, the IMF urged China to run a deficit of 2% of GDP rather than looking to reduce the country’s deficit as planned, given the uncertainty in the global economy.
If Europe’s problems turned out to be worse than expected, China should hit the fiscal gas pedal harder. In that case, “China should respond with a significant fiscal package” of about 3% of GDP, the IMF said…
However, the IMF warned that Beijing should execute any fresh stimulus through its budget rather than the banking system. China used a four trillion yuan, or about $635 billion, stimulus package in 2008 to help blunt the impact of the financial crisis, in large part through bank lending.” (“IMF Urges Beijing to Prepare Stimulus”, Wall Street Journal)
So, it’s thin gruel and hairshirts for Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland, but lavish doses of fiscal stimulus for China? Why is that? And notice how the IMF even stipulates HOW China’s stimulus should be implemented–not through the “banking system” (monetary stimulus ala Helicopter Ben), but the old fashion way; Keynesian fiscal stimulus mainlined into the central bloodstream via the budget.
But doesn’t this just go-to-show that Troika policymakers really know that all this austerity bunkum is just nonsense?
So much written about the Occupy Wall Street is pure BS. If this street theater was a spontaneous and independent movement, where is the outrage towards the high priest of monetary manipulation, George Soros?
From the outset, civil disobedience is the most sincere method of dissent. Breaking All the Rules is based upon a healthy and judicious resistance towards all levels of false authority and systemic corruption. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart, that the careerist organizers and front groups for the establishment sweep away the noble intentions of earnest radicals. Those enablers and facilitators of fraudulent financial institutions makes a mockery of authentic protection.
Long ago, the glory of tangible free enterprise was destroyed under the boot of State Capitalism. When the confused populace rails against demonstrations and defend the crooks that perverted economic M A R K E T S, it becomes clear why the public has a habit of losing money with brokerage houses. In order to take the going broke out of the “so called” investments, one had better learn early that paper assets, often come with future liabilities, when entrusted to the establishment.Occupy Wall Street is smeared as extreme by those who benefit from a diversion away from their own wrongdoings. Once upon a time, a stock exchange functioned as a clearinghouse medium for raising capital. The investment funds financed new ventures that would produce useful products and employ labor. This bygone era was the engine of creating true wealth. Today, gambling is the primary activity conducted under a rigged casino wheel.
How much history do you recall? The incompatible Antony C. Sutton documents in Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution how the monopolists of finance funded Lenin. George Soros plays the Schiff role in this modern day version of a Goldman Sachs impersonation of Kuhn, Loeb and Company. If you do not know this pesky fact of the last century, one cannot be expected to make sense out of current events.A simple comparison between OWS and TE (The Establishment) is in order.
Blame Wall Street for Economic Woes
Make OWS the Issue to Deflect Scrutiny
Gain Media Attention for Misdeeds of the Rich
Shift Public Outrage to OWS – Protect System
Argue that 99% vs. 1% is Unjust and Immoral
Use Class Warfare to Demigod OWS Radicals
Demand Redistribution from the Wealthy Rich
|Champion Benefits of Capitalism of the Few|
Call for Bigger Government and Intervention
Strict Regulation for Benefit of Big Business
Abolish Market System – Expand Socialism
Expand Collectivism – More People Control
During the Old Regime under the reign of Louis XVI, the aristocracy lost their heads under the guillotine. In the 21th Century, the masters of the universe, spread breadcrumbs by way of food stamps to a society relegated to systemic government poverty and dependency. The only cake consumed these days requires a hedge fund account to pay for the icing and toppings.
French Libertine Tradition
What realistic likelihood is there for a people’s revolution to replace the titans of finance, when the robber barons are playing CHOPIN : Marche Funèbre for the occupied nation? What chance is there for a replay of the French Libertine Tradition to play out when the theme of anti-clericalism, anti-establishment and eroticism have had their run and the establishment just gets more bold and powerful?A novel counter approach to guns and pitchforks is the video camera that documents the police state. Deplorably the ordinary exploited bystander is characterized as an extremist and soon will be incarcerated into internment camps, built by the Uber Elite. What many naive observers see is not the brutality of the Gestapo police, but the disrespect of the unclean protestors of the Capitalist kingdom.
Most Americans refuse to face the facts of their enslavement and rather condemn the social rebel. Bringing true social justice to an economic system that has eliminated all vestiges of real Free Market enterprise is viewed as a betrayal.
When that hideous dinosaur of establishment journalism, Time Magazine, wraps the symbolism of the protestor in the garb of a terrorist, the message is clear for even the most brain dead striver for more government largess.
Time distorts the significance with more deflection and confusion.
“Massive and effective street protest” was a global oxymoron until — suddenly, shockingly — starting exactly a year ago, it became the defining trope of our times. And the protester once again became a maker of history.
The Washington Post adds to the illusion.
“In this year’s report, Time pieced together what all these revolutions have in common, why they protest, and what the legacy of the year’s protests will be. The magazine profiles a citizen journalist who started the live stream for Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park.”
What both Time and the Washington Post want you to accept is that these protests are composed of radical inspiration and democratic design. No doubt, many demonstrators believe they are acting out of pure intentions, but most are so deluded by inept viewpoints, absent of any consistent or comprehensive philosophy, that they are clueless about goals, objectives and have no viable substitute economic system.
Wall Street only uses money accumulation for keeping score. The underlying objective of the power elite is to control the political process and write all the rules. Nothing has changed from the days of installing Marxist ideology in Russia to the present stage of completing the task of instituting totalitarian collectivism in our country. Another establishment media purveyor of disinformation is MSNBC. In an article by the perennial social outlaw and opportunist, Jesse Jackson compares the global anti-capitalist movement to the U.S. civil rights struggle, the battle against apartheid in South Africa and the fight for Indian independence.
“Jesus was an Occupier, born under a death warrant, a Jew by religion, born in poverty under Roman occupation,” the two-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination told a crowd near Saint Paul’s Cathedral. “Gandhi was an Occupier, Martin Luther King was an Occupier, (Nelson) Mandela was an Occupier.”
Coming from an extortionist posing as a minister of faith, this charlatan plays a bit role in the overall scheme to destroy the legitimate foundations of raising capital for worthwhile business endeavors. He insults the significance of Jesus’ ministry and Gandhi’s example. His role is to lead more people into even greater mental confusion.
The establishment refines the elements of mass propaganda and psychological indoctrination to create image campaigns that the system is a moderate and stable force, and must be maintained. As with most left or progressive oriented mindsets, the articulation of social wrongs and injustices are often well stated. However, when it comes to providing meaningful alternatives, the peasants just demand a larger sliced of bread because they are unable to learn the skills to bake their own cake.
Until society embraces the insight that the establishment is behind most radical social movements, they will just keep falling into a dark coffin, designed for them by the very elites that they protect. Economic conditions and business endeavors are on the mind of everyone, especially those who are on the edge of survival. OWS will never provide moneymaking guidance for the average citizen. Even so, do not condemn all forms of protest. Actually genuine resistance accompanied with practical time proven principles of monetary and business wealth creation is the desired option.
In order to explore the nature of financial alternatives and present rational choices for a replacement of the corporatist system of monetary tyranny and transnational globalism, BATR will be starting the Negotium series of weekly business columns.Blending functional economics with political realism is the mission of this endeavor. The overriding principle to achieve a prosperous society requires building upon a solid foundation of Western Civilization and traditional heritage. Understanding the extent that the establishment is willing to go and the degree of deceit that bonds the various corrupt institutions is an essential goal for this collection of essays.
Appreciating the need for extreme encounters with the moderate establishment is a concept that some will challenge. However, given the current state of economic ruin, the plights of the former middle class will only deteriorate at a faster pace under the rule of the Wall Street banksters.
There is an alternative, and you are invited to join the spontaneous rebellion of the real America. Someday the OWS proponents may mature and gain the wisdom to know who is benefiting from their manufactured and controlled protests. Until that time, the task resides with you. Register your opposition to the Wall Street enslavers who stage-manage righteous outrage as an opportunity to misdirect legitimate rebellion. Time is short, act soon.
7 Things About The Monolithic Predator Corporations That Dominate Our Economy That Every American Should Know…
Right now, there is a lot of talk about the evils of “capitalism”. But it is not really accurate to say that we live in a capitalist system. Rather, what we have in the United States today, and what most of the world is living under, is much more accurately described as “corporatism”. Under corporatism, most wealth and power is concentrated in the hands of giant corporations and big government is used as a tool by these corporations to consolidate wealth and power even further. In a corporatist system, the wealth and power of individuals and small businesses is dwarfed by the overwhelming dominance of the corporations. Eventually, the corporations end up owning almost everything and they end up dominating nearly every aspect of society. As you will see below, this very accurately describes the United States of America today. Corporatism is killing this country, and it is not what our founding fathers intended.
The following is the definition of “corporatism” from the Merriam-Webster dictionary….
the organization of a society into industrial and professional corporations serving as organs of political representation and exercising control over persons and activities within their jurisdiction
Corporatism is actually not too different from socialism or communism. They are all “collectivist” economic systems. Under corporatism, wealth and power are even more highly concentrated than they are under socialism or communism, and the truth is that none of them are “egalitarian” economic systems. Under all collectivist systems, a small elite almost always enjoys most of the benefits while most of the rest of the population suffers.
The Occupy Wall Street protesters realize that our economic system is fundamentally unjust in many ways, but the problem is that most of them want to trade one form of collectivism for another.
But our founding fathers never intended for us to have a collectivist system.
Instead, they intended for us to enjoy a capitalist system where true competition and the free enterprise system would allow individuals and small businesses to thrive.
In an article that was posted earlier this year on Addicting Info, Stephen D. Foster Jr. detailed how our founding fathers actually felt about corporations….
The East India Company was the largest corporation of its day and its dominance of trade angered the colonists so much, that they dumped the tea products it had on a ship into Boston Harbor which today is universally known as the Boston Tea Party. At the time, in Britain, large corporations funded elections generously and its stock was owned by nearly everyone in parliament. The founding fathers did not think much of these corporations that had great wealth and great influence in government. And that is precisely why they put restrictions upon them after the government was organized under the Constitution.
After the nation’s founding, corporations were granted charters by the state as they are today. Unlike today, however, corporations were only permitted to exist 20 or 30 years and could only deal in one commodity, could not hold stock in other companies, and their property holdings were limited to what they needed to accomplish their business goals. And perhaps the most important facet of all this is that most states in the early days of the nation had laws on the books that made any political contribution by corporations a criminal offense.
Our founding fathers would have never approved of any form of collectivism. They understood that all great concentrations of wealth and power represent a significant threat to the freedoms and liberties of average citizens.
Are you not convinced that we live in a corporatist system?
Well, keep reading.
The following are 7 things about the monolithic predator corporations that dominate our economy that every American should know….
#1 Corporations not only completely dominate the U.S. economy, they also completely dominate the global economy as well. A newly released University of Zurich study examined more than 43,000 major multinational corporations. The study discovered a vast web of interlocking ownerships that is controlled by a “core” of 1,318 giant corporations.
But that “core” itself is controlled by a “super-entity” of 147 monolithic corporations that are very, very tightly knit. As a recent article in NewScientist noted, these 147 corporations control approximately 40 percent of all the wealth in the entire network….
When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 percent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 percent of the companies were able to control 40 percent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.
Unsurprisingly, the “super-entity” of 147 corporations is dominated by international banks and large financial institutions. For example, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America are all in the top 25.
#2 This dominance of the global economy by corporations has allowed global wealth to become concentrated to a very frightening degree.
According to Credit Suisse, those with a household net worth of a million dollars or more control 38.5% of all the wealth in the world. Last year, that figure was at35.6%. As you can see, it is rapidly moving in the wrong direction.
For a group of people that represents less than 0.5% of the global population to control almost 40 percent of all the wealth is insane.
The dominance of corporations is also one of the primary reasons why we are witnessing income inequality grow so rapidly in the United States. The following comes from a recent article in the Los Angeles Times….
An economic snapshot from the Economic Policy Institute shows that inflation-adjusted incomes of the top 1% of households increased 224% from 1979 to 2007, while incomes for the bottom 90% grew just 5% in the same time period. Those in the top 0.1% of income fared even better, with incomes growing 390% over that time period.
You can see a chart that displays these shocking numbers right here.
#3 Since wealth has become concentrated in very few hands, that means that there are a whole lot of poor people out there.
At a time when technology should be making it possible to lift standards of living all over the globe, poverty just continues to spread. According to the same Credit Suisse study referenced above, the bottom two-thirds of the global population controls just 3.3% of all the wealth.
Not only that, more than 3 billion people currently live on less than 2 dollar a day.
While the ultra-wealthy live the high life, unimaginable tragedies play out all over the globe every single day. Every 3.6 seconds someone starves to death andthree-quarters of them are children under the age of 5.
#4 Giant corporations have become so dominant that it has become very hard for small businesses to compete and survive in the United States.
Today, even though our population is increasing, the number of small businesses continues to decrease.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006. Today, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million.
This is the exact opposite of what should be happening under a capitalist system.
#5 Big corporations completely dominate the media. Almost all of the news that you get and almost all of the entertainment that you enjoy is fed to you by giant corporations.
Back in 1983, somewhere around 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the United States.
Today, control of the news media is concentrated in the hands of just six incredibly powerful media corporations.
#6 Big corporations completely dominate our financial system. Yes, there are hundreds of choices in the financial world, but just a handful control the vast majority of the assets.
The “too big to fail” banks just keep getting more and more powerful. For example, the “big six” U.S. banks (Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo) now possess assetsequivalent to approximately 60 percent of America’s gross national product.
#7 Big corporations completely dominate our political system. Because they have so much wealth and power, corporations can exert an overwhelming amount of influence over our elections. Studies have shown that in federal elections the candidate that raises the most money wins about 90 percent of the time.
Politics in America is not about winning over hearts and minds.
It is about who can raise the most cash.
Sometimes this truth leaks out a bit in the mainstream media. For example, during a recent show on MSNBC, Dylan Ratigan made the following statement….
“The biggest contributor to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is Goldman Sachs. The primary activities of this president relative to banking have been to protect the most lucrative aspect of that business, which is the dark market for credit default swaps and the like. That has been the explicit agenda of his Treasury Secretary. This president is advocating trade agreements that allow enhanced bank secrecy in Panama, enhanced murdering of union members in Colombia, and the refunding of North Korean slaves.”
Later on, Ratigan followed up by accusing both political parties of working for the bad guys….
“But I guess where I take issue is, this president is working for the bad guys. The Democrats are working for the bad guys. So are the Republicans. The Democrats get away with it by saying, ‘Look at how crazy the Republicans are; at the Democrats pretend to care about people.’ BUT THE FACT IS THE 2-PARTY POLITICAL SYSTEM IS UTTERLY BOGUS.”
Wow – nobody is actually supposed to say that on television.
Today, most of our politicians are bought, and most of them actively help the monolithic predator corporations accumulate even more wealth and even more power.
In fact, as I wrote about recently, the big Wall Street banks are already trying tobuy the election in 2012.
Fortunately, it looks like the American people are starting to wake up. According to one recent survey, only 23 percent of all Americans now trust the financial system, and 60 percent of all Americans are either “angry” or “very angry” about the economy.
Unfortunately, many of them are joining protest movements such as Occupy Wall Street which are calling for one form of collectivism to replace another.
The American people are being given a false choice.
We don’t have to choose between corporatism and socialism.
We don’t have to choose between big corporations and big government.
Our founding fathers actually intended for corporations and government to both be greatly limited.
The following is a famous quote from Thomas Jefferson….
“I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
Unfortunately, things did not turn out how Jefferson wanted. Instead of us controlling the corporations, they now control us.
This next quote is from John Adams….
“Banks have done more injury to the religion, morality, tranquility, prosperity, and even wealth of the nation than they can have done or ever will do good.”
But who dominates our economy today?
The big banks.
Perhaps we should have listened to founding fathers such as John Adams.
Lastly, here is another quote from Thomas Jefferson….
“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
How prescient was that quote?
Last year, over a million American families were booted out of their homes by the big banks. The financial institutions actually now have more total equity in our homes than we do.
Unemployment is rampant, but corporate profits are soaring. The number of Americans on food stamps has increased by more than 70 percent since 2007, and yet the incomes of those at the top of the food chain continue to increase.
We need a system that allows all Americans to start small businesses, compete fairly and have a chance at success.
Instead, what we have is a corporatist system where the big corporations have most of the wealth, most of the power and most of the advantages.
We need to get the American people to understand that corporatism is not capitalism.
Corporatism is a collectivist system that allows the elite to accumulate gigantic amounts of wealth and power.
The answer to such a system is not to go to a different collectivist system.
Rather, we need to return as much power as possible to individuals and small businesses.
Our founding fathers intended for us to live in a country where power was highly decentralized.
Why didn’t we listen to them?
Source: The American Dream
Britain these days is more and more starting to resemble that famous old PBS series, “Upstairs Downstairs”. Shades of Queen Victoria! For example, Britain currently has all these posh folks in the drawing rooms of Knightsbridge and Mayfair drinking tea with their pinkies held out — while their used-and-abused servants downstairs in the slums of London and Manchester slave away for shite wages and no respect. And, in the background of all these modern strict divisions along class lines, Britain’s colonial empire still stretches from Afghanistan to Libya.
The only difference between 19th-century Britannia and today’s 21st-century Albion seems to be that the downstairs servants no longer know their places. The recent London riots proved that.
But the “Upstairs” contingency is still carrying on with a stiff upper lip, still imagining that scullery maids hang on their every word and that the London rioters were merely criminal thugs.
As for the new British Empire? Afghanistan in the 19th century and Afghanistan now? 200 years later and not much has changed. Colonialism. Shock-and-Awe.
And then there’s Libya. Sure we all hate Gaddafi — just like we all hated Saddam. Iraq folded and was plundered. And now Libya has become part of the White Man’s Burden too.
Have things changed at all from Queen Victoria’s day? Not so much.
PS: Who cares about Britain? Not me. I’m much more worried about the USA. With 5% of our population now owning 95% of our wealth, we’re obviously becoming all “Upstairs Downstairs” here too — only with a twist. Instead of lords and ladies only taking advantage of “the help” economically, American overlords are now taking total advantage of our working class — hearts and minds, body and soul. Over half of all freaking Americans these days seem to be almost begging to be exploited and abused.
Unlike what happened during Queen Victoria’s time over in Britain, what is starting to happen here in the United States today is entirely new. Our American working class isn’t just being economically used and abused, even though the easy availability of cheap labor does seem to be one of the goals of America’s new corporatist aristocracy. But from what I can tell, America’s corporatist leaders also have a dictatorship in mind as well as just a convenient new source of butlers and maids. Think banana republic. That’s never happened here before — or even happened in Britain before either. Or at least not since the days of Prince John.
And the truly sad part of this new trend toward allowing corporatist Top Bananas to take over our federal and state governments is that no one seems to be willing to stop this from happening. And I see Libya as a pivotal turning point here. Now that a majority of countries in the Middle East are under the sway of U.S. corporatists, these new “Upstairs” lords have nailed down a strong position to suck more and more power and more and more wealth out of both America and the Middle East — and thus become stronger and stronger. And who is left to stop them now? Not the American “Downstairs”. They just sit back, go to tea parties and think that they also are holding their pinkies out — but are actually just bending over. We’re screwed.
American corporatists have traveled the world (on our taxpayers’ dime, BTW) and taken over all-too-many of its countries, adding one dictatorship at a time to their list of scullery maids. And Israel was the first to fall under their malevolent influence in the Middle East. No, it was Saudi Arabia. Or was it Iran, first given to the evil Shah with no strings attached?
Then the corporatists replaced do-able Iraqi leaders with Saddam, who started to exhibit a mind of his own and so then was replaced by various “provisional governments” who knew their place — downstairs. Afghanistan also became another American corporatist colony. And now Libya has just fallen to Exxon and BP via a dreary repeat of Iraq’s Shock-and-Awe.
And will America be the next country to go “Downstairs” — in every sense of the word? We have already entered our “Colonialism” phase. Will Shock and Awe be coming next — after having been touted as necessary in order to ”protect civilians”?
The future of America is now at a crossroads. In another few years, the corporatists and oligarchs will have become too entrenched and too dangerous to ever overthrow at the ballot box. Think Hitler at the 1938 Olympics, gloating happily over how he had usurped power from all those gullible Germans. If we ever want to see a return to democracy, we must act now before the corporatist python’s hold on us gets too strong — and we wake up to find our kids out rotting away in “Downstairs” gulags in Ohio and Arizona and Chicago and New York. Shock-and-Awe. Colonialism. ”Protect civilians”.
So. What to do to stop being swallowed alive by the oligarchy of “Upstairs”? Participating in the upcoming October march on Washington might be a start. If 20 million people show up, who knows? An American spring?
Eliminating electronic voting machines would be good. They have clearly been hacked. And let’s also either vote out or impeach every congressional representative or Supreme Court justice or president who supports war and/or Wall Street. Demand better healthcare, better schools, more jobs or else. Return manufacturing to the USA. Demand high tariffs. Bring our troops home and make them defend US, not corporatists profits. We’ll never see a dime of all the oligarchs’ spoils of war.
Next, let’s stop the so-called “privatization” of our resources, buildings, labor pool, national parks, education, prison work force, hospitals, banks, Social Security, etc. That’s all just one big corporatist scam to steal what is rightfully ours. Would you let a thief steal stuff from your home? No. But everyone seems to be all willing and even eager to bend over backwards so that corporatists can steal stuff from our government.
Also, there are currently many perfectly good laws on the books in our country that can and will defend our rights. Isn’t it time that these laws apply to the rich as well as the poor — to say nothing of the pure pleasure to be found in persecuting blatant war criminals. Did we or did we not have Big Fun at the Nuremberg trials?
Our very futures, our very lives and our children’s very lives are dependent upon what we are going to do in the next few years — while we still have a chance.
PPS: What do Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya all now have in common? Of course they have all suffered Shock-and-Awe. And colonialism. That goes without saying. But they have also become sources of incredible wealth for corporatists — and money pits where American taxpayers go to die.
According to economist Samer Araabi, “To continue to ignore the democratic aspirations of millions [in the Middle East], in the interests of misguided short-term strategies, is to doom U.S. efforts in the Middle East for decades to come.” http://rightweb.irc-online.
Guess what, Araabi. You are wrong. What will really happen here at home is that America and Britain will continue to become more and more like the dictatorships and anti-democratic figureheads that they support in the Middle East — until both America and Britain, as well as all the various world-wide satrapies that they have already painstakingly created, will completely come to resemble “Upstairs Downstairs” at its worst.
Colonialism. Shock-and-Awe. ”Protect civilians.”
PPPS: Americans know from first hand experience what it it like to be colonized — and yet they (not me!) are still ready, willing and able to do it to others. What ever happened to the Golden Rule in this country? Long gone.
On his Facebook page, Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian bomb attacker and shooter described himself as a Christian conservative, but police reported that he posted on nationalistic Christian fundamentalist sites.
A fundamentalist is anyone who has quit thinking and there is nothing Christian about that nor is there anything Christian about nationalism!
His lawyer said that Breivik admitted to last Friday’s shootings and “believed the actions were atrocious” but “that he wants a change in society and in his understanding, in his head, there must be a revolution.” 
Richard Ayers, a former U.S. intelligence officer now based in London, said that Breivik might have decided to strike back at the government for allowing increased Muslim migration into Norway, “And that’s what he did, he struck at the government.” 
As a Christian Anarchist, fiscal conservative and political progressive, I agree with the need for revolution and I also understand that we fight a spiritual battle that must be fought in the political realm and that no religion owns God and no church owns Jesus Christ.
Christian anarchism combines anarchism and Christianity and we believe that there is only one source of authority and that authority is God as embodied in the teachings of Jesus as laid down in the Sermon on the Mount.
Christian anarchists believe that “earthly” authority, such as government, do not and should not have power over them and we are pacifists who oppose the use of all violence-no matter who wears what uniform or how noble they believe their cause, because how can you kill when it is written in God’s commandment: “Thou shalt not murder!”
Anarchy is best understood as Rebellion against UNJUST laws.
The Yang/male force of anarchy resists authority and causes disorder and is socially and politically incorrect by the norms of the status quo for it seeks the higher ground of justice.
The Yin/feminine force of anarchy births a new order out of the chaos and chaos is creativity in action.
Christian anarchists know inner freedom comes by way of doing the teachings of Jesus for Christianity is more than a religion; it offers a new vision of life and a wide awake way of living it!
Christian anarchists are critical of all outer authority, be it Church or State.
Good and evil cut through every human heart and all Free Will means is that we get to choose which rules.
All individuals have free will and thus all are free to choose whether or not to also seek and knock on the door of our own heart that Jesus stands behind and that is the door of Conscience!
Jesus envisioned a society based on love and tolerance, which is completely incompatible with war and all violence.
When Jesus was mocked, whipped and nailed to a cross and remained NONVIOLENT he was over throwing the status quo of violent retaliation and eye-for-an-eye mentality.
Not many of his ‘followers’ have been able to drink from that cup of The Prince of Peace, which is another name for Jesus Christ who commanded his followers to LOVE all people and to forgive ones enemies in order to be forgiven-NOT bomb, shoot at, torture or militarily occupy them!
Tolstoy understood that the command “Thou shalt not murder” meant that all governments who wage war are directly affronting the Christian principles that should guide all life-and shouldn’t being pro-life really be about honoring the sacredness of every life that already is?
Tolstoy wrote to separate Orthodox Russian Christianity, which had merged with the State, for it left behind the true message of Jesus Christ, as contained in the Gospels, specifically the Sermon on the Mount.
Tolstoy understood that NONVIOLENCE was the solution to nationalism whose very essence reeks of superiority and that is NOT Christian.
Tolstoy also critiqued the heresy of the church of his time, “Nowhere nor in anything, except in the assertion of the Church, can we find that God or Christ founded anything like what churchmen understand by the Church.”
The Kingdom of God Is Within You was banned in Russia and was first published in Germany in 1894. It is the culmination of thirty years of Tolstoy’s meditating-meaning thinking about the Christian life. He offered a new organization for society based on a literal interpretation of what Jesus said and when Christianity is lived rightly it looks a lot like anarchism.
What follows are a few excerpts [emphasis mine] from Tolstoy’s THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU: CHRISTIANITY NOT AS A MYSTIC RELIGION BUT AS A NEW THEORY OF LIFE
“You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”– John 8:32
I do not believe, and consider as mistaken, the Church’s doctrine, which is usually called Christianity. Among the many points in which this doctrine falls short of the doctrine of Christ [is] the principal one the absence of any commandment of non-resistance to evil by force.
The perversion of Christ’s teaching by the teaching of the Church is more clearly apparent in this than in any other point of difference…I knew what had been said on the subject by the fathers of the Church – Origen, Tertullian, and others – I knew too of the existence of some so-called sects of Mennonites, Herrnhuters, and Quakers, who do not allow a Christian the use of weapons, and do not enter military service.
There are many reasons why Christ’s teaching is not understood.
But the principal reason, which is the source of all the other mistaken ideas about it, is the notion that Christianity is a doctrine that can be accepted or rejected without any change of life.
Christ’s teaching is not only a doctrine that gives rules that a man must follow, it unfolds a new meaning in life, and defines a whole world of human activity quite different from all that has preceded it and appropriate to the period on which man is entering.
The life of humanity changes and advances, like the life of the individual, by stages, and every stage has a theory of life appropriate to it, which is inevitably absorbed by men. Those who do not absorb it consciously, absorb it unconsciously. It is the same with the changes in the beliefs of peoples and of all humanity as it is with the changes of belief of individuals. If the father of a family continues to be guided in his conduct by his childish conceptions of life, life becomes so difficult for him that he involuntarily seeks another philosophy and readily absorbs that which is appropriate to his age. That is just what is happening now to humanity at this time of transition through which we are passing.
“It is unreasonable,” says the socialized man, “to sacrifice my welfare and that of my family and my country in order to fulfill some higher law, which requires me to renounce my most natural and virtuous feelings of love of self, of family, of kindred, and of country; and above all, it is unsafe to part with the security of life afforded by the organization of government.”
But the time is coming when, on one hand, the vague consciousness in his soul of the higher law, of love to God and his neighbor, and, on the other hand, the suffering, resulting from the contradictions of life, will force the man to reject the social theory and to assimilate the new one prepared ready for him, which solves all the contradictions and removes all his sufferings – the Christian theory of life.
And this time has now come.
We think today that the requirements of the Christian doctrine – of universal brotherhood, suppression of national distinctions, abolition of private property, and the strange injunction of non-resistance to evil by force – demand what is impossible.
The time will come – it is already coming – when the Christian principles of equality and fraternity, community of property, non-resistance of evil by force, will appear just as natural and simple as the principles of family or social life seem to us now.
Humanity can no more go backward in its development than the individual man. Men have outlived the social, family, and state conceptions of life. Now they must go forward and assimilate the next and higher conception of life, which is what is now taking place.
This change is brought about in two ways: consciously through spiritual causes, and unconsciously through material causes.
Humanity has outgrown its social stage and has entered upon a new period. It recognizes the doctrine that ought to be made the basis of life in this new period. But through inertia it continues to keep up the old forms of life. From this inconsistency between the new conception of life and practical life follows a whole succession of contradictions and sufferings that embitter our life and necessitate its alteration.
One need only compare the practice of life with the theory of it, to be dismayed at the glaring antagonism between our conditions of life and our conscience.
Our whole life is in flat contradiction with all we know, and with all we regard as necessary and right. This contradiction runs through everything, in economic life, in political life, and in international life…we do the very opposite of all that our conscience and our common sense require of us.
We are guided in economical, political, and international questions by the principles that were appropriate to men of three or five thousand years ago, though they are directly opposed to our conscience and the conditions of life in which we are placed today.
Men of ancient and medieval times believed, firmly believed, that men are not equal, that the only true men are Persians, or Greeks, or Romans, or Franks. But we cannot believe that now. And people who sacrifice themselves for the principles of aristocracy and of patriotism today don’t believe and can’t believe what they assert…we know and cannot escape knowing the fundamental truth of the Christian doctrine, that we are all sons of one Father, wherever we may live and whatever language we may speak; we are all brothers and are subject to the same law of love implanted by our common Father in our hearts.
Whatever the opinions and degree of education of a man of today, whatever his shade of liberalism, whatever his school of philosophy, or of science, or of economics, however ignorant or superstitious he may be, every man of the present day knows that all men have an equal right to life and the good things of life, and that one set of people are no better nor worse than another, that all are equal. Everyone knows this, beyond doubt; everyone feels it in his whole being.
The more delicate a man’s conscience is, the more painful this contradiction is to him. A man of sensitive conscience must suffer if he lives such a life. The only means by which he can escape from this suffering is by blunting his conscience, but even if some men succeed in dulling their conscience they cannot dull their fears.
The men of the higher dominating classes, whose consciences are naturally not sensitive or have become blunted, if they don’t suffer through conscience, suffer from fear and hatred. They are bound to suffer.
A man must suffer when his whole life is defined beforehand for him by laws, which he must obey under threat of punishment, though he does not believe in their wisdom or justice, and often clearly perceives their injustice, cruelty, and artificiality.
The antagonism between life and the conscience may be removed in two ways: by a change of life or by a change of conscience.
Christianity cannot, as its Founder said, be realized by the majority of men all at once; it must grow like a huge tree from a tiny seed.
If we feel no astonishment at the contrast between our convictions and our conduct, that is because the influences, tending to obscure the contrast, produce an effect upon us too. We need only look at our life from the point of view of that Indian, who understood Christianity in its true significance, without any compromises or concessions, we need but look at the savage brutalities of which our life is full, to be appalled at the contradictions in the midst of which we live often without observing them.
We need only recall the preparations for war, the machine guns, the silver-gilt bullets, the torpedoes, and – the Red Cross; the solitary prison cells, the experiments of execution by electricity – and the care of the hygienic welfare of prisoners; the philanthropy of the rich, and their life, which produces the poor they are benefiting.
And these inconsistencies are not, as it might seem, because men pretend to be Christians while they are really pagans, but because of something lacking in men, or some kind of force hindering them from being what they already feel themselves to be in their consciousness…We are so accustomed to the inconsistency that we do not see all the hideous folly and immorality of men voluntarily choosing the profession of butchery as though it were an honorable career. [end Tolstoy]
Humankind has suffered too many unnecessary, fruitless agonies much akin to the throes of birth pangs for humankind has resisted the simple truth that only “the truth shall make you free.”
If I had to choose to pursue only one passion in my life, it is to speak truth and seek to bring in the kingdom of God.
And the kingdom of God comes from above and it comes from within.
The kingdom of God is a kingdom of justice ruled by love and “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with THE TRUTH! It always protects, it always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.”- 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
20th century Christian Anarchist, Peter Maurin penned:
“The world would be better off if people tried to become better, and people would become better if they stopped trying to be better off. For when everyone tries to become better off nobody is better off. But when everyone tries to become better everyone is better off. Everybody would be rich if nobody tried to become richer. And nobody would be poor if everybody tried to be the poorest. And everybody would be what he ought to be if everybody tried to be what he wants the other fellow to be [and] it is about time to blow the lid off.”
This 21st century Christian Anarchist blows the lid off the Sermon of The Mount this way:
About 2,000 years ago, when Christ was about 33, he hiked up a hill and sat down under an olive tree and began to teach the people;
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”
In other words: it is those who know their own spiritual poverty, their own limitations and ‘sins’ [the only 'sin' is selfishness] honestly and trust God loves them in spite of themselves who already live in the Kingdom of God.
How comforted we will all be, when we see, we haven’t got a clue, as to the depth and breadth of pure love and mercy of The Divine Mystery of The Universe.
God’s name in ancient Aramaic is Abba which means Daddy as much as Mommy and He/She: The Lord has said, “My ways are not your ways. My thoughts are not yours.” -Isaiah 55:8
Christ proclaimed more: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
The essence of meek is to be patient with ignorance, slow to anger and never hold a grudge. In other words: how comforted you will be when you also know humility; when you know yourself, the good and the bad, for both cut through every human heart.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, they will be filled.”
In other words: how comforted you will be when your greatest desire is to do what “God requires, and he has already told you what that is; BE JUST, BE MERCIFUL and walk humbly with your Lord.”-Micah 6:8
“Blessed are the merciful, they will be shown mercy.”
In other words: how comforted you will all be when you choose to return only kindness to your ‘enemy.’
“For with the measure you measure against another, it will be measured back to you” Christ warns his disciples as he explains the law of karma in Luke 6:27-38.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they see God.”
In other words: how comforted you will be when you WAKE UP and see God is already within you, within every man, every woman and every child. The Supreme Being is everywhere, the Alpha and Omega, beginning and end. Beyond The Universe -and yet so small; within the heart of every atom.
“Blessed are The Peacemakers: THEY shall be called the children of God.”
And what a wonderful world it would be when we all seek peace by pursuing justice; for there can be none without the other.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires, theirs is The Kingdom of Heaven.”
And one fine day the lion will lie down with The Lamb and man will make war no more; and thus create the Kingdom of God on planet earth.
And I pray: GODSPEED on it!
One way to look at the artificial conflict over the debt ceiling theater is in terms of Gypsy Rose Lee doing the striptease fan dance. The beltway burlesque script is designed never to solve real problems. Give the public a glimmer of desire by way of a glimpse of fantasy. The dream of financial sanity and government responsibility is as remote as integrity from the political class. At the core of the two-step is a fundamental dishonesty about changing much less reforming the way business is conducted in the age of totalitarian collectivism. Now, this is entertainment if the dire consequences were not so profound.
The abdication of Congress as a co-equal branch of the central government monolith is complete. It took decades for the timid clan of the 535 to capitulate to the “so called” most powerful person on the planet. No one will ever confuse House or Senate clones with the brave warriors of Thermopylae. The current Xerxes may go by the name Obama, Bush or Clinton; but their Immortals in the executive branch number in the millions. Not exactly a fair fight! The 300 Spartans only had 10,000 elite storm troopers to defeat. Treachery is the coin of the realm in this imperium, as long as the basic structure of the empire remains intact.
The Reid and Pelosi DemocRATS are proven traitors to the Republic. The jubilation from their loss of the House in the last election cycle gave encouragement to the innocent and inexperienced. The hope of a bona fide Tea Party revolution in Congress is hitting a brick wall. No one should be surprised. The Republican leadership can always be counted upon to let victory escape, when they have the votes to force significant restructure.
Obama is a prima donna in a cheap suit. Some say his presidency is the Jimmy Carter second term. If only it was that good. Barry Soetoro is the real persona of the counterfeit president. He is a deep seeded Marxist as was his father. Wall Street selected him to do their bidding and continue the crony collectivism that George Bush championed. Communism is the great invention of the Khazar global banksters, used as the capitalist tool to consolidate their grip on the corporatist global gulag.
Raising the debt ceiling or delving into default is another false choice presented on a bed of emotional hysteria. The true resolution of endless deficits is self-evident; STOP the Spending. The criminal syndicate that masquerades as elected representatives just continue their schemes of deceit and subterfuge. Look no further, than the sophistry of tax crook Charles Rangel. He is an insult to every real American. The noteworthy lesson is that his latest re-election speaks volumes about the hideous standards of his district’s constituency. Main Street with a Harlem address loves the welfare society. A sequel to the movie American Gangster, has Charlie Rangel as the real “Frank Lucas” and would be a good project for Denzel Washington.
The public has a very short memory. Many are mere programmed dimwits of the political propaganda. Do you remember the real cause of The Last Shutdown? “The last time the federal government was shut down occurred from Dec. 16, 1995 until Jan. 6, 1996, after President Bill Clinton vetoed spending bill passed by the Republican-controlled Congress.” The Lessons from the great government shutdown of 1995-1996 demonstrate that spending cuts are the ultimate taboo for the political careerist.
“The government shutdown took place in two phases. The first lasted five days in November 1995, until the White House agreed to congressional demands to balance the budget within seven years. But talks on implementing that agreement failed, and the second shutdown lasted 21 days, from Dec. 15, 1995 to Jan. 6. 1996. (Then a blizzard struck Washington and local federal workers could not get back to work for days after that.)
The sticking point was the GOP demand that Clinton agree to their version of a balanced budget. In months of negotiations, Clinton had actually given a far amount of ground, infuriating Democrats on the left. He agreed to a balanced budget over seven years, to tax cuts, to changes in mandatory spending programs such as Medicare. But the two sides were remained far apart on the pace of spending cuts — and even further apart on the policies behind those cuts.
Clinton’s trump card was the veto. Under the Constitution, Congress must muster a two-thirds majority to overcome a presidential veto. So Gingrich had loudly proclaimed that he had a tool to confront the veto: the government shutdown.”
Do you remember the ancient history experience under President Reagan? The article, Time to Correct Reagan’s Biggest Mistake, illustrates the reality of the futile “Great Society“.
“They must correct Ronald Reagan’s mistake of agreeing to $1 in tax increases in exchange for $3 of future spending cuts from the Democratic Congress. Thirty years after Reagan made that deal, we are still waiting for those spending cuts to materialize. The federal budget was approximately $500 billion when Reagan agreed to that promise in 1981; the federal budget in 2011 is close to $4 trillion. Enough is enough.”
Today RepubliCANT Senator Mitch McConnell just proposed the “Pontius Pilate Pass the Buck Act of 2011.”
“In a nutshell, the President would get to raise the debt ceiling three times in the next year at several billion bucks a pop without making any spending cuts unless two-thirds of both houses of Congress disagree. In his press conference, McConnell says he would not give the President “unilateral authority to make spending cuts on his own,” but this plan would allow the President to raise the debt ceiling pretty much automatically.”
You can just hear “The Gipper” saying: “Well, here we go again!”
McConnell’s proposal is a pivotal constitutional betrayal that seals the final doom of a weak Congress. If the imperial emperor is granted the power of the purse, Congress becomes entirely irrelevant. After renouncing their legal and constitutional responsibility to declare war, the brave aristocracy of Capital Hill reverts to their natural status of rubber stamp flunkies.
This country needs a symmetric upheaval to stop the unimpeded march for total power by the office of the Presidency. A government shutdown is a positive requirement. The cowards in Congress are so absorbed by their own careers, reelection and retirement perks that they eagerly cooperate with the authoritarian enemy to destroy the balance in the federalism formula and states rights sovereignty.
The Tea Party freshmen were sent to Congress to put an end to the shenanigans of the scoundrels. McConnell’s duplicitous proposal can circumvent the GOP remnant with Pelosi’s mush in the House and Reid’s muscle in the Senate. Only House Speaker John Boehner stands at the gates, but will he fight like Leonidas or become the next Ephialtes?
Your Congressional representatives need to feel the heat. Demand a confrontation that rejects any compromise that shifts more power and influence to the executive branch of the federal monster. The world will not end if an increase in the debt ceiling elapses. On the contrary, the financial markets, as reflected in the loss of confidence in the reserve currency role of the fiat dollar is really a rejection of the entire Federal Reserve debt created monetary system itself.
If the whining parasites and government dependency crowd are so selfish that they are willing to trade their liberty for a meager check, they deserve to perish under the boot of a despotic dictator. Obama’s handlers are quite willing to consolidate their grip over this country using a puppet and a security risk asset. Once the empire is officially recognized, the formalities of general elections and Congressional legislation will be ignored altogether. An arrangement of inexhaustible executive orders works well for the elites and their managed central commissars.
The high priest and NeoCon, Charles Krauthammer, and infiltrator of genuine conservatism writes in Human Events, Call His Bluff.
“If conservatives really want to get the nation’s spending under control, the only way is to win the presidency. Put the question to the country and let the people decide. To seriously jeopardize the election now in pursuit of a long-term small-government Ryan-like reform that is inherently unreachable without control of the White House may be good for the soul. But it could very well wreck the cause.”
This is exactly the kind of advice that prevents an all out battle with the Statists. The go along to get along mindset popularized the capitulation culture. Does anyone really believe that Federal Reserve alumni Herman Cain or Bilderberg choice Governor Rick Perry will restore financial sanity? Only the Ron Paul platform and philosophy offers an alternative to the globalists. No candidate can be the savior. It will take a grassroots revolution to tame the predatory central government hydra. Without significant cuts and entire department eliminations, any deal on raising the debt limit is a sham.
Since the Federal Reserve is now monetizing the debt, the dollar is inevitably doomed. So what is the point with this political dance? It is time to strip off the costume and bare the Realpolitik to the bone.
What once was a mercantile world has become a global playpen for moving hot money to squeeze out the highest return on investment. Replacing nation states with international capital is now sport. Undermining the sovereignty of countries by an elite club of financial manipulators is the purpose for the grand game. Illustrating this fact, David Callaway writes in Market Watch. “The sale of the New York Stock Exchange to Deutsche Boerse this week underscores the lack of historical antipathy for Germany, the world wars not withstanding, but also something more significant. The deal officially slammed the door on the surge of protectionist overreaction that sprang from the global financial crisis”. The conquest of the NYSE by German economic dominance is ironic, since so much of the financial funding of the Third Reich came out of Wall and Broad Street.Money is the ultimate leveler. The dilemma is that capital is not democratic. If you have money, you have options. If you do not, you are at the mercy of the transnational system of financial bondage. All too often people equate capitalism with free enterprise. Nothing could be further from the truth. Crony Capitalism destroys genuine free market competition. Wealth creation is the nature of authentic commerce. Command and control is the objective of cabal moguls. Entrepreneurship is the business plan for prosperity, while systemic usury is the formula used by banksters to enrich favored cohorts in crime.
The current article in Rolling Stone by Matt Taibbi asks a key question, Why Isn’t Wall Street in Jail?“Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world’s wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people”.
Sensible citizens want an answer. Justice demands accountability. Yet, few people fully comprehend that the supra-capitalists of the imperial cult of the money-world, ignore the rules of nation states. Above the fray, these Illuminati live in a sublime existence of self-established privileged. The reason that they can get away with murder is simple. They are the rulers and the designers of the laws. Countries adopt policies, follow instructions and shield the controllers of counterfeit money creation. Jails are for renegades, not for capital deities. Influence routinely bought, prepares the way for more mergers of Wall Street exchanges. The protected few are not subject to the same standards that destroy any ordinary transgressor.
A true hypocrite socialist, who masquerades as a prophetic filmmaker; Michael Moore, brings this lesson home. His latest project, Capitalism: A Love Story is available for viewing. He depicts Wall Street as financial whores effectively. However, his alternative for a paradise on earth reveals the lunacy of this buffoon in all his psycho glory. Two reviews of the movie offer substantial criticism.Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore Movie Review and Michael Moore Mistake in “Capitalism: A Love Story” on FDR’s Second Bill of Rights?
From the Mises Daily, Michael W. Covel in Michael Moore Kills Capitalism with Kool-Aid provides insight and the text for the brave new world of Democratic Socialism.
“What is his solution? Tugging on your idealistic heartstrings of course! Moore ends his film with recently uncovered video of FDR talking to America on January 11, 1944. Looking into the camera, a weary FDR proposed what he called a second Bill of Rights — an economic Bill of Rights for all — regardless of station, race, or creed — that included”.
the right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
the right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
the right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
the right of every family to a decent home;
the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
the right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
and the right to a good education.
The context of this pious pontification of the patrician Franklin Delano Roosevelt needs to be seen for what it is, his true religion – the supremacy of the Federal Government, at the cost of the destruction of free enterprise. Moore, a modern day charlatan is an apt surrogate for the Roosevelt legacy of Totalitarian Collectivism. Wall Street is no friend of ‘Merchant Class’ business. Only the speculator and the monopolist have a love affair with the financial culling that takes place in the rigged markets.Moore’s delusory faith in a communal democracy is a paternal insult to the underclass that follows a pied piper into perpetual servitude that rests upon a one person, one vote equality myth. The film glorifies dysfunctional creatures, who behave as if they are in the formative stages of just learning to walk. Most demonstrate they are better at crawling on all fours. This kind of marginal human society will never rid the world from the scourge of international capitalism.
The inescapable result of herding illiterates into democratic camps of welfare subsistence cannot create actual wealth. The crowd that raves the Michael Moore remedy will be prime targets for extermination, when the inevitable bankruptcies of governments explode. Who or what will fill the void. One person’s white knight is often a demon to another.
The portrait of a triumphant Napoleon Bonaparte by Jacques-Louis David has the General Crossing the Alps at the Saint-Bernard Pass. This famous image symbolizes the historic pattern of a strong leader taking charge during a political debacle. It happens, either by a forceful takeover or by an anointed selection from the ruling class to be the next puppet. Seldom are there successful libertarian revolutions that limit the influence of the banking syndicates.The emperor attempted the enforcement of the Continental System which was a blockade aimed at denying the British any trading access to ports in Europe, theoretically destroying British trade and denying them the money they needed to fund Napoleons enemies on mainland Europe. The United States was able to acquire the Louisiana Purchase because of Napoleon’s need to finance his wars. The House of Rothschildwas the major financier of the British and greatly multiplied their wealth during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte observed, ”When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes… Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.”
If the full weight of the Old Guard and Napoleon’s Grande Armée was at the mercy of the banking loans, how can usury interests be tamed by a FDR second Bill of Rights? Any rational and moral person cannot believe that this kind of modern social contract can liberate inventive economic wealth creation. The Jacobin Club was the inspiration behind the implementation of the Reign of Terrorduring the French Revolution. The anti-cleric and aristocracy purge by the Committee of Public Safety sounds like a natural fit for the proponents of a FDR/Moore final solution.
The Wall Street elites are the real closet Jacobins of the international capitalist plantation. Their objective is to create a permanent “Sansculottes” underclass. During the late 1790’s they were the ‘shapeless, mostly urban movement of the laboring poor, small craftsmen, shopkeepers, artisans, tiny entrepreneurs and the like’. Today the wretched dispossessed is the middle class. They are hanging on by a thread. Yet, they reject the absurdity that rights come from society and are dispensed by government.The only love affair for Wall Street plutocrats has a populist revolutionary cheer. Not off with their heads, but strip them of all their cash. The French mob, demonstrators, rioters and the constructors of barricades, demanded blood. Now, the working oppressed is in the perplexing position of engaging in a necessary revolt in order to survive.
The financial exploitation today is at such an obscene level, that saneness requires courage and action from citizen heroes. Another famous painting is of the Singer Chenard, as a Sans-Culotte. Waiting and placing your fate in the hands of a Bonaparte has its risks. Rally to the flag of an authentic, Declaration of the Rights of Man. Intrinsic natural rights, not arbitrary state authority, are the only valid standard. The banner of traditional Christian values and sound money practices is the way out of the dead zone. The global Illuminati financial House of Rothschild creates the present ongoing terror. Confiscation of their ill-gotten gains from their universal pillage is far more effective than relying on a socialistic redistribution of wealth to the masses. America needs to rebuild a crippled society.
A successful Thermidorian Reaction that establishes a true accountable Republic, which strives to attain liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression, is the proper goal for all citizens. Scriptural principles of economics and free markets are the foundation of lawful entrepreneurship, which would lead to national prosperity. Wall Street has betrayed those functions and needs a total reorganization before the peasants storming the citadel, becomes unavoidable.
An essay authored by Patrick Martin, and published at the World Socialist Web Site on October 13, 2010, revealed some interesting findings regarding the approval ratings of Democratic and Republican members of Congress. Martin’s piece was titled Demagogy and Duplicity: The Democrats in the 2010 Elections. He cites data from a Zogby International Poll of independent voters which found that “only 13% gave a favorable rating to congressional Democrats and only 5% to Congressional Republicans.” Considering that the U.S. is the most conservative developed nation on earth, these are astonishing revelations.
Poll after poll indicates that voters have lost faith in the Democratic and Republican Parties, whose respective approval ratings have fallen to historical lows. The Zogby findings indicate a repudiation of right-wing politics by those who are not wed to either of the major political parties.
No one associates liberalism with the Republicans; however, it is equally clear that the Democrats do not have a functioning left-wing either. The electoral choices are between right-wing candidates in the Democrat and Republican parties, despite the offerings of political parties and organizations operating outside of the mainstream. As a result, all of the contests are between pro-corporate candidates who occupy the extreme right of the political spectrum. The only message that reaches the public ear is that of the ruling class. Thus the continuity of results is assured.
The paradox is that while independent working class people have overwhelmingly rejected right-wing policies, the country nevertheless continues to lurch further to the right. This happens when people mistake people like Obama for a liberal or a Socialist. Conservative and liberal working class people should be philosophically and ethically opposed to any political party that undermines their social and economic interests.
Almost inexplicably, conservatives continue to identify themselves with Republicans and liberals with Democrats. Traditional conservatives and traditional liberals, while still in existence, are politically extinct. Neither conservatives nor liberals are organized into a viable political force. They are fighting one another while the super-rich are looting the public treasure and privatizing the public domain. Traditional conservatives and traditional liberals were replaced by neoconservatives and neoliberals, which are entirely different animals. We behave as if the terms ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ and the parties they were traditionally associated with continue to exist and function the way they did in the past.
Liberalism no longer finds articulation in the Democratic Party. Cynthia McKinney may have been the last truly liberal Democrat. McKinney, like the liberal wing of the party itself, was abandoned when the party sold out its liberal base to pursue corporate bribes in order to compete with the Republicans. As a result, the left continues to ineffectually grope for political expression.
The trouble is that the people do not comprehend who or what the real enemy is. Let me clarify it for them: The enemy is the ruling class, its social, financial, and political institutions, and the capitalist system that spawned them. Its enemy is the corporate state and the commercial media in its various forms of expression.
It is irrational, if not delusional, for working class people to support candidates and polices to which they are philosophically opposed. And yet that is what they are doing. As recent polls make clear, neither conservatives nor progressives want to have their social security benefits cut. They do not want to see their retirement benefits reduced, or their Medicare and Medicaid payments slashed. The unemployed do not want their unemployment checks cut or eliminated, as some Republican members of Congress advocate. Workers do not want the retirement age raised. They do not want to see college tuition priced out of reach to all but the wealthy.
The working class consists of liberals and conservatives. It encompasses the devoted followers of Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh. However, Beck, Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and all of the other right-wing crackpots support such policies, as do most Democrats, including President Obama. Why would any working class person, Democrat or Republican, support any of these charlatans?
Why would they support a social and economic system that exploits and subjugates them? Clearly they do not understand that system or the alternatives that are available to it.
The answer is that Americans are too indoctrinated to see clearly. The majority exists in a media-induced state of false consciousness. To them, up is down and down is up. Brown is white and white is brown. The people are confused and disoriented. They are misled and lied to. They are looking for quick and easy fixes to complex problems that were long in the making. For the reasons outlined above, voting cannot cure what ails America. The game is fixed. The appearance of choice is an illusion, an utter hoax.
Political and media demagogues portray liberals (progressives & Socialists), which continue to be miscast as democrats, as the enemy of the working class. Working people do not comprehend that the benefits they are fighting to preserve were the result of progressive policies, many of them stemming from Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. Conservatives, neoconservatives, and neoliberals have always opposed these policies and have fought to end them since the day of their inception. Let us not forget that FDR was accused by one of his adversaries of being “a traitor to his class.”
It would be a mistake, however, to confuse FDR for a genuine progressive. Certainly he was no socialist. It was his Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, a Democratic Socialist, not FDR, who was the principal architect of The New Deal. It should be noted, too, that The New Deal excluded most blacks. It was essentially affirmative action for whites. Spooked by the social unrest engendered by The Great Depression, FDR, an avowed capitalist, perceived these policies as the only way to save capitalism from the socialist threat of his time. Roosevelt was correct in his assessment. It would have been better for the nation in the long run if FDR did not enact The New Deal. If he had not, it is likely that massive social upheaval would have ensued, and Socialism may well have supplanted capitalism as the dominant paradigm.
Before any of my readers point out the failure of Soviet Socialism, particularly under the murderous Stalin regime, let me state that this was not Socialism as Marx, Engels, and Trotsky envisioned it; it was state capitalism.
Similarly, if President Obama did not bail out America’s financial institutions with public funds, global capitalism would have collapsed. Predicated upon greed and exploitation, these institutions should have been allowed to fail, bringing down the global capitalist economy. If Adam Smith’s much ballyhooed, ‘invisible hand of the market’ actually existed, the world today would look very different than it did a few short years ago. We might actually be in recovery. Now we are waiting for the next onslaught.
History demonstrates that free (deregulated) markets, the Holy Grail of Milton Friedman’s capitalism, do not actually exist. They never have. Free market capitalism is an ideological myth that is reified in our culture. Markets are always manipulated by elites for the sole benefit of elites. Otherwise the global economy would have fallen like a row of dominoes two years ago. What we witnessed was Socialism (public funds) propping up capitalism (privately owned financial institutions). All of the benefit, to the tune of $13.8 trillion, went to the financial institutions and to the elite. Working people were rewarded with government-imposed austerity. This has occurred not only in the U.S. but elsewhere in the world.
The international financial aristocracy is laying the foundation for global governance. The public domain is being privatized. The poor are no longer part of the social and political discourse.
As a result of these policies, there is social turmoil in every capitalist nation on earth, except the U.S. Compared to the rest of the world, Americans are comatose, which is the result of so many people being informed by Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and other wealthy demagogues working the airwaves on behalf of the ruling class. Most Americans are informed by ideology, not by facts.
This is what Friedrich Nietzsche meant by conviction. Reality pales before the shadow of belief and false hope. Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” comes to mind. Fantasy becomes the norm. Capitalism would not long endure in the presence of collective true consciousness. It exists by deceit.
First of all, we are suffering the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And why? Because the financial industry was permitted to run amok.
Under the relaxed regulations of the Reagan and Clinton administrations, the banks did not prove themselves trustworthy to do the right thing for the economy and for the customers they served. They only cared about profits. Alan Greenspan himself admitted that he had “put too much faith in the self-correcting power of free markets and had failed to anticipate the self-destructive power of wanton [i.e., unregulated] mortgage lending.”
Nevertheless, the wealthy ruling class of Wall Street, largely unpunished, is doing just fine with its multi-million-dollar bonuses. But middle-class and working-class Americans continue to suffer through home foreclosures and long-term unemployment. And small businesses can’t get loans to stay afloat.
As if that’s not enough, with the ongoing BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico we’re now watching the greatest environmental disaster that the U.S. has ever seen. And why? Because the oil industry was permitted to run amok.
BP and other oil companies have a long record of thumbing their noses at safety regulations. For example, it seems that a safety device was available for $500,000 which could have prevented the BP oil disaster. This acoustic switch would trigger an underwater valve to shut down a well in case of a blowout, like the one that recently happened in the Gulf. BP, however, decided that $500,000 was too much to spend on safety, despite the fact that its 2009 profits totaled some $14 billion. So BP spent its money instead on working with Dick Cheney to block regulations that would have required the use of this and other safety precautions.
As a result, not only is the environment suffering, along with the coastal wildlife, but so are the livelihoods of everyone who works in the fishing and tourism industries in the Gulf Coast region.
But don’t worry. Even if BP were to go bankrupt as a result of the disaster, as some have speculated, the oil industry in general won’t likely suffer any more long-term setbacks than the bankers have. If it’s not BP drilling off our coasts, it will be Exxon or Shell.
And don’t forget about the coal miners who have died due to relaxed safety standards, and those who will likely die in the future for the same cut corners.
These days, the corporations are calling the shots. And, now that the Supreme Court has given corporations the unlimited “right” to buy and sell elected officials, I can’t see it changing any time soon.
So they’ll be fine, even if we won’t.
The banks will continue to do whatever it takes to make profits, even if ordinary Americans and small businesses must suffer as a result.
The oil companies will continue to do whatever it takes to maximize their own profits, planet be damned.
Coal miners’ families will worry each day until their loved ones come home.
And, sadly, given the status quo, I don’t think there is anything we can do about it.
Unless, of course, we the people can find a way to overturn the wealthy and powerful status quo.
Meantime, I suspect that our Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves. After all, they warned us about this. As Thomas Jefferson once said, “I hope we shall crush … in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
“A morally corrupt country such as ours doesn’t succumb easily to attacks of conscience, and certainly a video – no matter of what – isn’t going to lead to a moral awakening. The corruption is too deep, the routine too ingrained: what it will take is an aneurysm, a sudden glitch in the system that leads to a breakdown, not a lack of will but a lack of means, e.g. national bankruptcy.” Justin Raimondo (see and read here)
The Twenty-First Century has brought an increase in potential government oppression. President George W. Bush often lauded Democracy while he was busy passing laws that could destroy it. Though twice elected by a clueless electorate he left office with abysmal ratings. President Obama is conducting his presidency in the same manner; disregarding his campaign promises and ignoring the will of the people while establishing the framework of despotism.
At the turn of the century efforts to change government policies and energize the Christian Church were popular. Now, it is apparent that both the government and the church have and will fail to address the dark cloud of evil and oppression that hovers over our nation.
We have been manipulated deep into the abyss of fascistic, oligarchic government. The Constitution has been ignored and the light at the top of the vortex grows dimmer as a terrifying darkness threatens.
World domination has been a quest of evil men since the beginning of civilization. God squelched it at Babel but as His created beings spread across the globe other power mongers, in varying degrees, succeeded in efforts to subjugate the land and the people. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire Military conquest was the prime instrument of empire from the beginning of history. But when the Industrial Revolution brought us mass production and the world social order changed from agrarian to mechanical, families moved from land to urban settings where they supported themselves by selling their physical and mental abilities to a new aristocracy that owned the means of production. They no longer created a product that could sustain life and limb but were now engaged in creating products for others in return for a medium of exchange called money. As the Industrial revolution progressed it was not long before wise men understood the strategic importance of money and learned to control it. In 1790 Mayer Amschel Rothschild said “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.”
When money mongers began to understand the potential of their power it became apparent that military conquest might be archaic. Control of money offered control of both governments and people. From that time on control of money became a method of conquest. In the United States Presidents Lincoln and Jackson successfully fought off the banking cartel but in the early Twentieth Century the battle was lost and the Federal Reserve was legally installed. Wars were no longer fought to defeat and conquer geography but were created to allow wealth to be transferred to the suppliers of munitions. The United States was involved in numerous military conflicts during the Twentieth Century; all were accompanied by massive transfers of wealth, centralization of power, and expansion of financial control over defeated nations. When the fog of propaganda lifted, money and power had been transferred but the nation had gained nothing.
“The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank…sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.” Carroll Quigley
As we enter the Twenty-First Century most of the world is controlled by financial oligarchs. Remaining independence is centered in Muslim nations that conduct their governments by the immutable laws of Islam. The military might of the United States is now being used to subdue these obdurate governments. This final armed conflict is serving several purposes: One, it is transferring massive wealth to the elite power mongers; two, it is subduing the stubborn Muslim nations; and three, it is bankrupting and enslaving the United States making it ready to join the new world order.
Propaganda has become so much part of our society that few recognize its pernicious nature. National Public Radio recently ran a Saturday afternoon program about a course http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/06/nyregion/06cadets.html at West Point entitled “Winning the Peace” http://aworldofpossibilities.org/program/winning-the-peace-from-west-point-to-war-zones. (click and listen – excellent information) Interviews were aired with graduates of the program experienced with duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan it was with Lt. Ronalee Baylog who said she believed the citizens of Afghanistan did not consider United States soldiers imperialistic invaders. She said the mission was expected to take years since the culture would be difficult to change. The male Captain Mark Boyle outlined the difficulty of combining nation building with military domination. http://audio.aworldofpossibilities.com/audio/boyle24kb20100218.mp3 Both officers seemed convinced that peace at the point of a gun provides benefits to those in the sights.. The army does not question morality. Laurence Vance addresses this problem http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance199.html .
The use of power to dominate is an increasing phenomenon in our society. Soldiers have always accepted the use of blunt force but citizens of the United States have generally been opposed. Increased use of power is evident all through the culture. Policemen now demand complete and immediate acquiescence. http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime/combative-motorist-fatally-shot-during-early-morning-scuffle-541651.html Mercy or mitigating circumstances are no longer considered. They actively look for violations and if they are granted permission to enter an automobile or a home they will snoop to find violations. They are allowed to lie to citizens and once they have gained their confidence turn on them with prosecutions. Tazers, batons, and ninja cops with shields and automatic weapons are common. The police must now be regarded with suspicion. At the national level the government has been busy creating a legal code that allows almost unlimited power. Detailed information on individual citizens is now routinely demanded by government agencies and data bases are being constructed. Posse Comitatus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act was breached at Waco and Habeas Corpus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habeas_corpus by holding “enemy combatants” since 9/11. TSA in the airports is giving fliers a practical experience of Martial law which could now be expanded at any time. Obama now wants a private army http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKmJwm9nSLU. Directions on how to survive in dire emergencies have become popular fare on the internet.
The recent passage of the Healthcare Bill has granted the government another lethal power. Senior citizens are being targeted with a system of dollar related genocide. Their savings are being depleted by inflation and stock market manipulation, their incomes are being restricted by unnaturally low interest rates, and now there are plans to commandeer their retirement accounts. http://newt.org/tabid/102/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/4797/Class-Warfares-Next-Target-401k-Savings.aspx This coupled with the liberal mindset that the sick and aged are not worth the cost of medical care places seniors in mortal danger.
The enslavement of the world will not be stopped through human effort. The battle over abortion has been going on without progress for decades. In spite of righteous resistance homosexuals gain social status year by year. Christian leaders and sincere citizens have been working for a couple of generations to redeem government but their efforts have been in vain. The enemy remains unknown and unchallengeable. Newspaper reporters are not told to control the content of their reporting but since they know the agenda of the owners they do not report challenging news. Our elected government officials know that they must vote for certain legislation if they expect to maintain their position and gain congressional power; they vote accordingly. The entire system caters to an invisible power structure with tentacles around all pockets of power.
A dark age has come upon us because we have failed to adhere to God’s overarching immutable legal system. Instead we have remained silent and ignorant while evil men have encoded evil laws and even when we knew we have supported their re-election. In the name of patriotism we have supported illegal wars; in the name of tolerance we have allowed foreign gods to flourish in our midst; in the name of church growth we have failed to confront error with truth; in the name of bi-partisan politics we have consistently voted for evil; in the name of love we coddled crime; in the name of patriotism we support murder; in the name of veneration we support a Constitution; and, in the name of honor we respect our Founders to the detriment of our Creator We are a sinful people deserving of the coming captivity.
There is an arrogant pride afloat in America that is very difficult for our citizens to comprehend. One writer believes the average American “thinks the rest of the world is “ganging up on us” when our country (with Israel) is outvoted 172 to 2 in the United Nations.” We seem to believe that patriotism means we believe and brag about the superiority of our nation whether it is right or wrong. This attitude is not only apparent to foreigners but to the God we profess to worship. National repentance is unthinkably demeaning to most Americans. Though we complain about the government under it all is the assumption that our system is still the best in the world and all that is needed is some human tampering. We are in denial and have not yet accepted the fact that United States of America is a morally and financially bankrupt nation with a massive, oppressive military establishment and that we, as citizens, must bear a large part of the responsibility for its fall from grace.
Most of us have some underlying concern about our nation engaging in pre-emptive war but our gullible ears tell us there is a real enemy out there and all the evil conspiracy theorists should be ignored. A proper assessment of the results of previous wars evades us and we assume that millions of innocent civilians killed by our armies somehow deserved their fate. The thought that any of us might be hesitant to support our troops because we cannot support their actions is appalling and our arrogant pride continues to keep us far from the humility that would seek forgiveness for our own and our nations blatant sins.
There are powerful human beings with well thought out agendas behind the American saga. They seek an ever increasing control over nations and individuals. Their motives are avaricious. They want peace and are aiming their guns at those who might prevent it. Their objective is a life of opulent luxury and leisure on a pristine planet.
Their mindset can best be understood by a statement attributed to David Rockefeller http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Rockefeller at a 1976 Tri-lateral commission meeting, “public schools are helpless people yielding themselves to our molding hands.” His 2002 book “Memoirs” http://www.pariswoman.com/entertainment/rockefeller.htm affirms his commitment to a new world order and confirms his opinion that he and his ilk are well qualified to wield Messianic power over the world.
The judgment of God did not result from disobedience to the Constitution. There is no reference to a Constitution in the Bible. The standard was always God’s Law – obedience brought blessing; disobedience brought cursing. Captivity was punishment for disobedience; freedom was a reward for obedience. The standard applies to the Nation and to its People.
United States is on the brink of serious oppression – monetary oppression, military oppression, and now medical oppression. Oppression is a result of God’s judgment. Judgment begins with the Church. Christians need to take another look at this oft quoted verse from 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. Key words in this Scripture are “humble” and “turn”. God will not hear our prayers until we become humble (“having or showing a consciousness of one’s defects or shortcomings; not proud; not self-assertive; modest”). Proud people cannot comprehend their sins and even humble people must understand that turning from our wicked ways involves acknowledging and turning from specific personal and national sins. God does not deal in generalities and we cannot please him with empty phrases. We must determine the specific sins that have brought God’s judgment upon us.
Christians in the United States are far from humility and far from obedience. Perhaps God will use oppression to help us see ourselves more clearly.
“Anything important is never left to the vote of the people. We only get to vote on some man; we never get to vote on what he is to do.” Will Rogers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Will_Rogers
How pathetic. President Obama sat at a table surrounded by super rich bankers, pleading with them to lend money to small businesses and workers. The media mislabeled Obama’s groveling as “encouraging,” “imploring,” and “pressing,” but a man who refuses to take action is powerless; and powerless people can only beg.
This disgraceful meeting happened shortly after Obama got “radical” on national TV, calling the bankers “fat cats” and other tough words. But words are only that.
In reality, Obama’s sudden attitude with the banking aristocracy is a shallow attempt to re-brand himself, since the American public now sees him for what he is: a willing tool of the banks, military, and the super-rich in general.
Congress, too, tried to re-cast its image with the banks recently. Like the White House, most American workers now understand the two-party system to be an extension of corporate America. Congress was thus pushed to act. What little pushing was done was quickly pushed back by the banking lobby.
The House of Representatives passed a tough-sounding but toothless banking regulation bill, which was watered down with $300 million plus in lobbying [bribing] from the big banks.
The passage of the bill in the House barely startled Wall Street, but there is still more bribing to be done in the Senate. The Chief Executive of a powerful banking lobby, Timothy Ryan, told the Wall Street Journal that “we believe there can be additional improvements in the Senate.” (December 12, 2009).
In reaction to Wall Street’s blatant purchasing of Congress, Obama’s chief economic adviser, Lawrence Summers, play-acted the best he could: “For $300 million to be spent on lobbyists trying to gut serious efforts at financial reform is not how this country should be operating.” Well, of course. But nothing is going to be done to stop this legalized buying of legislation. Nothing is going to be done to change anything.
A number of U.S. academics have sharply denounced the incredible corruption operating inside of the White House and Congress. They correctly view the banking industry as having an iron grip on American politics — a grip that needs to be smashed. A professor of economics, William Black, was recently quoted in The New York Times railing against the banks:
“To end the plunder we must break the systemically dangerous institutions’ [banks] power and the culture of fraud and impunity that supports it. This is sound economics, criminology, law, political science and ethics — and Americans support this policy.”
Well said. But how?
It should first be noted that the Obama administration is supporting an incredible myth that is boosting the banks’ image with the public. The media claims that, because some banks are re-paying the TARP bailout money, they should now be able to do whatever they want — including paying executives millions of dollars, buying Congressmen, hoarding, speculating, not lending to the public, etc.
The TARP bailout program is only a small portion of the entire bailout funds, which continues to be administered by the FDIC and Federal Reserve through taxpayer money. This larger bailout program — which could amount to trillions of dollars — is being done in complete secrecy. Recent legislation to audit the Federal Reserve has stalled (lobbyists again). The banks continue to wallow in public money that they use to further enrich themselves. Meanwhile, public officials do nothing but chat.
But action is needed. American workers would easily support a heavy tax not only on bank bonuses, but bank CEO’s, and especially the bank shareholders (owners). Taxing this group at 90% would give billions for a national jobs program, while helping to reduce the national deficit. It would also show the bankers who’s boss.
However, if they still refuse to lend money, additional measures could be taken. The government could take over the banks and run them as public utilities. The only losers here would be the billionaire shareholders.
The winners would be the hundreds of millions of people who would benefit by having their home and credit card loans re-negotiated; the small businesses who could be given cheap loans; and the unemployed, who could have a real jobs program — which includes not only investments in earth-friendly energy investments, but a rebuilding of America’s infrastructure.
Finally, another big lie must be addressed. It is false when Obama claims that, “ultimately in this country we rise and fall together; banks and small businesses, consumers and large corporations.”
American workers have seen shareholders make billions of dollars as wages have steadily lowered. Banks have also made billions of dollars off student loans, credit card bills, and shady mortgages, only to be bailed out by taxpayer money. We are not “in this together.”
A tiny portion of the American population has gotten incredibly rich off the backs of America’s workers and poor. This fact must be the basis for any solution to the present crisis. Those who’ve made billions before the recession, and continue to profit off the broken economy that they helped destroy, must be forced to relinquish their power so that the majority of working people can democratically decide to fix it.
If this isn’t done, then American workers and the unemployed will continue to pay for the crisis. Social services — Medicare, social security, unemployment benefits, public education, etc. — will be gutted. Wages will continue their downward spiral. This is the solution promoted by the super-rich and their loyal representatives, the Democrats and Republicans.
It’s us vs. them. So it’s time to shift into high gear, organize ourselves, and demand that the government start operating in our interests.
“We live in a world captured, rooted and upturned by the titanic economic and techno-scientific process of the development of capitalism, which has dominated for the past two or three centuries. We know that it cannot go on ad infinitum. The future cannot be a continuation of the past, and there are signs that we have reached a point of historic crisis. The forces generated by the techno-scientific economy are enough to destroy the environment, that is to say, the material foundations of human life… Our world risks both explosion and implosion. It must change… If humanity is to have a recognizable future, it cannot be by prolonging the past or present… The price of failure, the alternative to a changed society, is darkness”. Eric Hobsbawm
Hobsbawm is a Marxist but his observation is more accurate than most church sermons. A similar assessment should be on the lips of every Christian and blaring from the pulpit of every Christian church. It should be fleshed out with accurate information and clear Godly alternatives.
Communists promote a humanistic religious outlook bent on creating revolution through pitting one class against another. They have succeeded in enslaving vast portions of the world and murdering millions. Christians have allowed secular Communists to attain great power by failing to preach and teach a full Gospel.
Unlike Communists, Christians are working to bring freedom, peace and prosperity to everyone; the aristocracy, the bourgeoisie, and the proletariat. The formula for these blessings is clearly outlined in God’s Word and it is the duty of every Christian to seek to bring it to the world by learning, teaching and supporting it.
When we speak of a Christian worldview we are making a political statement. If Christians would stop seeking power for themselves and allow God and His Law-Word to provide loving restraint to the evil forces of the world, Christian politics would bring freedom, peace, and prosperity to God’s creation.
Every Christian should be a politician but none should embrace the label Republican or Democrat. Partisan politics is double-minded, secular and evil. Christians need to understand what is meant by Christian government and what God seeks for His people.
There is only one true King and he has only one immutable Law, the only standard for a free, orderly and properly nourished culture. Christians are to eschew pragmatism standing instead on the unchanging truth of God and His Word. Bi-partisan politics and negotiations with the Devil should have no place in the agenda of ambassadors for Christ.
The Gospel has always involved obedience; not the spooky pietistic obedience of those who claim to have conversed with the Savior but a disciplined adherence to God’s Commandments. There is no other way to win the world for Christ!
Our God should be our King. When His creatures sought human oversight they did so in rejection of their creator and to the detriment of their own freedom. “Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations…And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.” Some of the Old Testament Kings pleased God by following His Commandments, most did not. In spite of the fact that some human Kings pleased God, their presence was not God’s first choice.
God’s Law is indispensible to righteous government. Human law is sinful. God’s Law is righteous. Without righteous immutable standards the arbitrary evils of mankind will exacerbate the secular barbarities responsible for the slaying of millions during the past century.
What seems right to the human mind is often an abomination to God. There can be no compromise with human reason. The goal must be to properly interpret and apply God’s Word.
Christianity seeks individual freedom for every citizen, sound family structures, clear and understandable legal standards and judicious, merciful enforcement. Marxists seek tyrannical human control through revolution and fear. Marxist rebellion has not only become popular but is the main instrument behind world government.
God’s Christian Churches are to be His instruments of instruction. They are not ordained to govern, but are vested with the responsibility of critiquing righteousness. Government is not an arm of the church, but an agent of the Creator that is expected to function under His Laws.
In our time Orthodox Christianity has been virtually wiped out by the minions of Dispensationalism. Obedience has been replaced with a flaccid emotionalism. This flawed theology will not support an offense and is responsible for a noisy but ineffective defense.
Humanism is a totality; it addresses the entire social order. Humanist laws are the product of secular power centers where they are imposed on the weak at the whims of the powerful. The goal is hegemony and those seeking it are the gods of the society. Humanism has won the battle in the United States which is now a secular nation governed by secular law. Little by little every vestige of God’s Law is being removed from the culture.
Islam has Sharia law. Much to the chagrin of the secular humanists, Dispensationalism has not robbed Muslims of their legal system. Sharia law is the target of Western hordes who seek to impose an arbitrary secular tyranny over the Middle East. Their aim is to wipe out Sharia law and replace it with the tyrannical secular codes of the West.
Without God’s Law Christians are helpless to redeem the culture. Every law should be tested against His commands. If it does not conform it should be discarded.
The success of the heresy of Dispensationalism is not the sole responsibility of its promoters. Western Christians embraced an emotional spiritualism that neutered their religion. The Pilgrims and Puritans lived under Godly legal standards but Unitarianism offered an easier religion more compatible with man’s sinful quest for power. The New World offered asylum to heretics from Europe and Arminianism thrived. When Darby, Scofield, and Moody came offering a lawless Christian theology, Americans jumped at the chance to accept the Christian label without commensurate responsibility. Orthodox Reformed Christian scholars who thought through and rendered the platform for Christian theology were thrown aside in the rush to embrace a more popular religion. The Seventeenth Century Synod of Dort and the Westminster Assembly would have rejected Darby, Scofield, and Moody as quickly as they would have diagnosed and condemned the willingness of our ancestors to encroach on God’s dominion.
Dispensationalist doctrines have found their way into the theology of several major seminaries and the ministry of most of our major leaders. Christian Zionism is so pervasive that U. S. Christians are as detached from real Christianity as they are from reality.
The political involvement of Christian leaders like Dobson, Robertson, Graham, and the late Jerry Falwell has been nothing short of disastrous. They have consistently supported evil regimes and failed to support candidates that promised to advance righteousness. They have been unable to present specific plans for change because the difference between secularism and righteousness is wrapped in law. When they fail to support God’s Law these men are double minded and unstable. They are critical of secular law but because they are bereft of a replacement they are unable to provide a cogent solution.
Preachers evade confronting the impending disaster by using expository or topical formats. Determining whether the message should be expository from a particular text or topical is a useless determination. Preaching that is not related to action is not only useless but quickly forgotten. Whatever text is used it should be related to the entire Bible and every sermon should provide specific actions that would fulfill God’s Will as it relates to the subject being taught.
Recently, I received an email describing a vision. In the vision, Christians walked in “holiness, righteousness, obedience, brokenness and utter submission” to God’s Will. I responded with this question: Exactly what behavior would constitute “holiness”, how about “righteousness”, “obedience”, “brokenness”, and “submission”? I did not receive a reply.
The use of religious verbiage that is not properly defined may provide an aura of holiness but is useless in effecting the behavior of listeners. When preachers are critical of homosexuality or abortion they are using God’s Law as a basis for their critique. When they are Arminian and Dispensational they are mixing God’s Law with the heresy of their theology putting the critique on an unstable platform and failing to provide a convincing solution.
The ultimate goal of every Christian should be to create a righteous culture where God’s Commandments are widely known and obeyed. The sermons coming from every pulpit should be in support of that goal; teaching the specific actions needed to return the culture to God’s dominion.
Individual Christian maturity is important but obedience should always be the dominate issue. Every Christian should understand exactly what it means to be obedient. This should be the goal of every Christian leader.
When and if our church leaders begin to do their job properly, every Christian will become a politician seeking a government that protects the family, enforces the Law and functions within the boundaries set forth in the Bible.
The perennial battle is to prevent God’s creatures from usurping God’s power. All power must remain in the hands of the Creator and His Law. Obedience is the primary duty of every Christian. Obedience will provide righteousness and God will provide blessings.
At the 23rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday Celebration in San Francisco attendees were asked to answer the question, “What would Dr. King want to say to Barack Obama?” But Dr. King actually provides the best answers to this question in his book, “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” For example, in chapter 3 he states:
“The Washington Post has calculated that we spend $332,000 for each enemy we kill. It challenges the imagination to contemplate what lives could transform if we were to cease killing. The security we profess to seek in foreign adventures we will lose in our decaying cities. The bombs in Vietnam explode at home; they destroy the hopes and possibilities for a decent America.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
But this is data from 1967. Has anyone performed more recent calculations with regard to Iraq, Gaza or Afghanistan? With his great interest in “transparency”, perhaps Barack Obama has already posted these statistics on his Web site. How many American jobs does it cost to kill one “enemy” in Iraq? How many American homes does is cost to kill one “enemy” in Afghanistan? Has anyone checked? I haven’t yet. But this does promise to be a very interesting study in terms of — “free trade”.
Meanwhile, I must confess to a recent error in suggesting Obama’s commitments lie outside the democratic process.  While it is true that Obama’s choices don’t seem to align with the interests of most Americans (or most other life forms), this does not indicate he is operating outside the democratic process. Such misinterpretations are quite understandable, and as outlined below I appear to be in good company. After all, we’re constantly taught to believe that we live in a democratic society — and to some extent we certainly do. The problem is that more than 99-percent of the US population is deliberately excluded from active daily participation in the democratic process.
“Through two centuries, a continuous indoctrination of Americans has separated people according to mythically superior and inferior qualities while a democratic spirit of equality was evoked as the national ideal.” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 
Though typically aimed at racial segregation, most of Dr. King’s observations also extend to the more general problems of economic and political segregation. King’s ultimate goal was racial equality to be achieved through the eradication of global poverty. His obvious ability to organize the masses in this regard, his suggestion of a Basic Income Guarantee and his vocal opposition to the Vietnam war seem the most likely reasons Dr. King was assassinated by his own government. He connected the dots between war and poverty and he was able to effectively organize the masses against both — so they shot him. 
What does this tell us about our democratic system? What does this tell us about our government’s agenda? What does this tell us about Dr. King’s approach to “democracy” versus Barack Obama’s? Peace activist Cindy Sheehan suggests Obama is “a sell-out in opposition to King’s legacy, not a fulfillment”:
“Besides filling his cabinet with militarists and members of the white establishment, he has selected very few persons of color. His support for a trillion dollar bailout of Wall Street shows that he has sold out himself, and the nation’s poor to be a tool of the bankers. Obama’s devotion to war (‘I am not against war, I am against dumb wars’) is not only demonstrated by his words, but by his actions, as well. While pledging to withdraw ‘combat troops’ from Iraq, he also promises to dramatically increase troop level in Afghanistan and also increase overall troop levels by almost 100,000 warm bodies. Obama recognizes Israel’s right to ‘defend’ itself by bombing the prisoners of Gaza.” 
Regarding Obama’s first 100 days in office, John Pilger concurs:
“Many Americans also believed he was the heir to Martin Luther King’s legacy of anti-colonialism. Yet if Obama had a theme at all, apart from the vacuous ‘Change you can believe in’, it was the renewal of America as a dominant, avaricious bully. ‘We will be the most powerful,’ he often declared… In his first 100 days, Obama has excused torture, opposed habeas corpus and demanded more secret government. He has kept Bush’s gulag intact and at least 17,000 prisoners beyond the reach of justice. On 24 April, his lawyers won an appeal that ruled Guantanamo Bay prisoners were not ‘persons’, and therefore had no right not to be tortured… All over the world, America’s violent assault on innocent people, directly or by agents, has been stepped up… In Pakistan, the number of civilians killed by US missiles called drones has more than doubled since Obama took office… In Afghanistan, the US ‘strategy’ of killing Pashtun tribespeople (the ‘Taliban’) has been extended… Perhaps the biggest lie is Obama’s announcement that the US is leaving Iraq… According to unabashed US army planners, as many as 70,000 troops will remain ‘for the next 15 to 20 years’…” 
As a result, Pilger says a growing number of Americans believe they have been “suckered” — especially as the nation’s economy has been entrusted to the same fraudsters who destroyed it. Sheehan describes Obama as a “sell-out”, and geniuses like me suggest that he’s committed to forces “outside the democratic process”. But Americans have been suckered for much longer that a mere 100 days. It’s actually been more like 230 years. If we think of democracy as a distribution of decision-making power, we see that the democratic process is alive and well in the United States and that Barack Obama tends to operate well within its boundaries. But the democratic process in the US is also monstrously skewed in favor of wealth derived from the passive ownership of capital.
So, as Noam Chomsky suggests, most Americans are passive spectators (“ignorant and meddlesome outsiders”) in the democratic process.  It’s no coincidence that those same people are also the most active daily participants in the economic process of generating wealth — for somebody else. The passive claimants of all that wealth are the owners of capital — and it’s no coincidence that those people (less than 1-percent of the US population) also happen to be the most active daily participants in the democratic process. Moreover, the interests of workers and the interests of passive ownership are directly opposed.  After more than 200 years “Americans” are finally beginning to see that something is terribly wrong with this picture.  But it’s not a new problem. This is actually a manufacturer’s defect.
The United States was not founded on the principle that “all people are created equal”. It was founded on the principle that “all MEN are created equal”. The term “men” denoted white male property owners. The term “property” denoted land and slaves. Much like a factory recall, the American Civil War eventually replaced slavery with capitalism as a new and improved way for passive ownership to siphon wealth and income away from the active participants (workers) who produce it. Black slaves were literally tossed to the wolves as the exploitation of labor was extended to every human being who was not an owner of capital.
Meanwhile, the right to vote in the US is controlled at both the state and federal levels, and its history is replete with legislation intended to discriminate against certain (especially ethnic) groups. But in general, only white male property owners (about 10 to 16 percent of the US population) had the right to vote at the time the US Constitution was written. By the beginning of the Civil War, the property-ownership requirement had finally been dropped, and most white male citizens could vote. Women and Native Americans achieved the right to vote in the 1920s, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 finally guaranteed blacks the right to vote in the United States without racial discrimination.  
But the right to vote in no way guarantees either the right or the opportunity for active daily participation in the democratic process. As Dr. King laments, the laws have changed, but the democratic process hasn’t improved at all. In fact, the exclusive control of US democracy has shrunk from 10- to 16-percent of the population in 1787 to less than half of a percent today. So despite our many historic struggles for the right to vote, our democratic process is now more heavily skewed than ever before in favor of property ownership and wealth accumulation. The decisions that most deeply affect our daily lives are being made for us by others. According to Dr. King, “someone or some system has already made these decisions for me, and I am reduced to an animal”.  David Chandler’s “L-Curve” is the best graphic representation I’ve found for illustrating the aggressive assault on US democracy: 
“The horizontal spike [on the curve] has the votes. The vertical spike [on the curve] has the money. Who wins, when it comes to electoral politics? Who has influence? Whose interests are being represented in Washington? Can democracy meaningfully exist where the distribution of wealth, and thus the distribution of power, is this concentrated? We recently went through an economic boom where people on the horizontal spike showed little if any improvement in their condition while those in the vertical spike showed huge gains. Can this be considered “prosperity”? Do we really want to gear up our national policies to repeat this performance?” 
Less than half of a percent of the US population are passive economic claimants and active political participants. The rest of us are active economic generators and passive political spectators. Does this suggest that Barack Obama and his corporate puppet-masters are operating outside the “democratic process”?
No. In fact we, the people, are imposters in our own democratic system — deliberately excluded from an economically skewed distribution of “democracy”. The good news is that this problem can be corrected. The bad news is that correcting the problem involves something called “cooperation”. Dr. King calls it “cooperative alliance”, and it is the very foundation of genuine democracy: “For an alliance to have permanence and loyal commitment from its various elements, each of them must have a goal from which it benefits and none must have an outlook in basic conflict with the others.”  Thus, the antagonistic relationship between workers and passive ownership cannot exist in any truly democratic society. While Dr. King’s work might have helped make it possible for a black man to become President of the United States, Barack Obama is in no way a fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream. To “normalize” our democratic process, the extreme influence of unearned income derived from passive ownership must be removed from the distribution.
Here’s more from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr:
Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?
Excerpts from chapter 3:
Since the institution of slavery was so important to the economic development of America, it had a profound impact in shaping the social-political-legal structure of the nation. Land and slaves were the chief forms of private property, property was wealth and the voice of wealth made the law and determined politics. In the service of this system, human beings were reduced to propertyless property. Black men, the creators of the wealth of the New World, were stripped of all human and civil rights. And this degradation was sanctioned and protected by institutions of government, all for one purpose: to produce commodities for sale at a profit, which in turn would be privately appropriated.
It seems to be a fact of life that human beings cannot continue to do wrong without eventually reaching out for some rationalization to clothe their acts in the garments of righteousness. And so, with the growth of slavery, men had to convince themselves that a system which was so economically profitable was morally justifiable. The attempt to give moral sanction to a profitable system gave birth to the doctrine of white supremacy. Religion and the Bible were cited and distorted to support the status quo. Logic was manipulated to give intellectual credence to the system of slavery. Academicians eventually climbed on the bandwagon and gave their prestige to the myth of superior race. Even natural science, that discipline committed to the inductive method, creative appraisal and detached objectivity, was invoked and distorted to give credence to a political position. A whole school of racial ethnologists developed using such terms as “species,” “genus” and “race.” It became fashionable to think of the slave as a “species of property.” It was during this period that the word “race” came into fashion.
Generally we think of white supremacist views as having their origins with the unlettered, underprivileged, poorer class whites. But the social obstetricians who presided at the birth of racist views in our country were from the aristocracy: rich merchants, influential clergymen, men of medical science, historians and political scientists from some of the leading universities of the nation. With such a distinguished company of the elite working so assiduously to disseminate racist views, what was there to inspire poor, illiterate, unskilled white farmers to think otherwise? Soon the doctrine of white supremacy as imbedded in every textbook and preached in practically every pulpit. It became a structural part of the culture. Virtually all of the Founding Fathers of our nation, even those who rose to the heights of the Presidency, those whom we cherish as our authentic heroes, were so enmeshed in the ethos of slavery and white supremacy that not one ever emerged with a clear, unambiguous stand on Negro rights. Morally Lincoln was for black emancipation, but emotionally, like most of his white contemporaries, he was for a long time unable to act in accordance with his conscience. But Lincoln was basically honest and willing to admit his confusions. He saw that the nation could not survive half slave and half free.
With all the beautiful promise that [Frederick] Douglass saw in the Emancipation Proclamation, he soon found that it left the Negro with only abstract freedom. Four million newly liberated slaves found themselves with no bread to eat, no land to cultivate, no shelter to cover their heads. It was like freeing a man who had been unjustly imprisoned for years, and on discovering his innocence sending him out with no bus fare to get home, no suit to cover his body, no financial compensation to atone for his long years of incarceration and to help him get a sound footing in society; sending him out with only the assertion: “Now you are free.” What greater injustice could society perpetrate? All the moral voices of the universe, all the codes of sound jurisprudence, would rise up with condemnation at such an act. Yet this is exactly what America did to the Negro. In 1863 the Negro was given abstract freedom expressed in luminous rhetoric. But in an agrarian economy he was given no land to make liberation concrete. After the war the government granted white settlers, without cost, millions of acres of land in the West, thus providing America’s new white peasants from Europe with an economic floor. But at the same time its oldest peasantry, the Negro, was denied everything but a legal status he could not use, could not consolidate, could not even defend. As Frederick Douglass came to say, “Emancipation granted the Negro freedom to hunger, freedom to winter amid the rains of heaven. Emancipation was freedom and famine at the same time.” The marvel is, as he once said, that Negroes are still alive.
In dealing with the ambivalence of white America, we must not overlook another form of racism that was relentlessly pursued on American shores: the physical extermination of the American Indian. The South American example of absorbing the indigenous Indian population was ignored in the United States, and systematic destruction of a whole people was undertaken. The common phrase, “The only good Indian is a dead Indian,” was virtually elevated to national policy. Thus the poisoning of the American mind was accomplished not only by acts of discrimination and exploitation but by the exaltation of murder as an expression of the courage and initiative of the pioneer. Just as Southern culture was made to appear noble by ignoring the cruelty of slavery, the conquest of the Indian was depicted as an example of bravery and progress.
Thus through two centuries a continuous indoctrination of Americans has separated people according to mythically superior and inferior qualities while a democratic spirit of equality was evoked as the national ideal. These concepts of racism, and this schizophrenic duality of conduct, remain deeply rooted in American thought today. This tendency of the nation to take one step forward on the question of racial justice and then to take a step backward is still the pattern.
The civil rights measures of the 1960s engraved solemn rights in the legal literature. But after writing piecemeal and incomplete legislation and proclaiming its historic importance in magnificent prose, the American Government left the Negro to make the unworkable work. Against entrenched segregationist state power, with almost total dependence economically on those they had to contend with, and without political experience, the impoverished Negro was expected to usher in an era of freedom and plenty. When the war against poverty came into being in 1964, it seemed to herald a new day of compassion. It was the bold assertion that the nation would no longer stand complacently by while millions of its citizens smothered in poverty in the midst of opulence. But it did not take long to discover that the government was only willing to appropriate such a limited budget that it could not launch a good skirmish against poverty, much less a full-scale war.
There is a tragic gulf between civil rights laws passed and civil rights laws implemented. There is a double standard in the enforcement of law and a double standard in the respect for particular laws. With all of her dazzling achievements and stupendous material strides, America has maintained its strange ambivalence on the question of racial injustice. The value in pulling racism out of its obscurity and stripping it of its rationalizations lies in the confidence that it can be changed. If America is to respond creatively to the challenge, many individuals, groups and agencies must rise above the hypocrisies of the past and begin to take an immediate and determined part in changing the face of their nation. As a first step on the journey home, the journey to full equality, we will have to engage in a radical reordering of national priorities.
Are we more concerned with the size, power and wealth of our society or with creating a more just society? The failure to pursue justice is not only a moral default. Without it social tensions will grow and the turbulence in the streets will persist despite disapproval or repressive action. Even more, a withered sense of justice in an expanding society leads to corruption of the lives of all Americans. All too many of those who live in affluent America ignore those who exist in poor America; in doing so, the affluent Americans will eventually have to face themselves with the question that Eichmann chose to ignore: How responsible am I for the well-being of my fellows? To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it.
Without denying the value of scientific endeavor, there is a striking absurdity in committing billions to reach the moon where no people live, while only a fraction of that amount is appropriated to service the densely populated slums. On what scale of values is this a program of progress? In the wasteland of war, the expenditure of resources knows no restraints; here our abundance is fully recognized and enthusiastically squandered. The recently revealed misestimate of the war budget amounts to $10 billion for a single year. The error alone is more than five times the amount committed to antipoverty programs. If we reversed investments and gave the armed forces the antipoverty budget, the generals could be forgiven if they walked off the battlefield in disgust. The Washington Post has calculated that we spend $332,000 for each enemy we kill. It challenges the imagination to contemplate what lives could transform if we were to cease killing. The security we profess to seek in foreign adventures we will lose in our decaying cities. The bombs in Vietnam explode at home; they destroy the hopes and possibilities for a decent America.
A considerable part of the Negro’s efforts of the past decades has been devoted, particularly in the South, to attaining a sense of dignity. For us, enduring the sacrifices of beatings, jailings and even death was acceptable merely to have access to public accommodations. To sit at a lunch counter or occupy the front seat of a bus had no effect on our material standard of living, but in removing a caste stigma it revolutionized our psychology and elevated the spiritual content of our being. Instinctively we struck out for dignity first because personal degradation as an inferior human being was even more keenly felt than material privation.
But dignity is also corroded by poverty no matter how poetically we invest the humble with simple graces and charm. No worker can maintain his morale or sustain his spirit if in the market place his capacities are declared to be worthless to society. The Negro is no longer ashamed that he is black — he should never have permitted himself to accept the absurd concept that white is more virtuous than black, but he was crushed by the propaganda that superiority had a pale countenance. That day is fast coming to an end. However, in his search for human dignity he is handicapped by the stigma of poverty in a society whose measure of value revolves about money. If the society changes its concepts by placing the responsibility on its system, not on the individual, and guarantees secure employment or a minimum income, dignity will come within reach for all.
Meanwhile, any discussion of the problems of inequality is meaningless unless a time dimension is given to programs for their solution. It is disquieting to note that President Johnson in his message to Congress on the Demonstration Cities program stated, “If we can begin now the planning from which action will flow, the hopes of the twentieth century will become the realities of the twenty-first.” On this timetable many Negroes not yet born and virtually all now alive will not experience equality. The virtue of patience will become a vice if it accepts so leisurely an approach to social change. Conflicts are unavoidable because a stage has been reached in which the reality of equality will require extensive adjustments in the way of life of some of the white majority. Many of our former supporters will fall by the wayside as the movement presses against financial privilege. Others will withdraw as long-established cultural privileges are threatened.
What is freedom? It is, first the capacity to deliberate or to weigh alternatives. “Shall I be a doctor or a lawyer?” “Shall I be a Democrat, Republican or Socialist?” “Shall I be a humanist or a theist?” Second, freedom expresses itself in decision. The word “decision,” like the word “incision,” involves the image of cutting. Incision means to cut in, decision means to cut off. When I make a decision I cut off alternatives and make a choice. The existentialists say we must choose, that we are choosing animals, and that if we do not choose, we sink into thinghood and the mass mind. A third expression of freedom is responsibility. This is the obligation of the person to respond if he is questioned about his decisions. No one else can respond for him. He alone must respond, for his acts are determined by the totality of his being.
The immorality of segregation is that it is a selfishly contrived system which cuts off one’s capacity to deliberate, decide and respond. The absence of freedom imposes restraint on my deliberations as to what I shall do, where I shall live or the kind of task I shall pursue. I am robbed of the basic quality of manness. When I cannot choose what I shall do or where I shall live, it means in fact that someone or some system has already made these decisions for me, and I am reduced to an animal. Then the only resemblance I have to a man is in my motor responses and functions. I cannot adequately assume responsibility as a person because I have been made the victim of a decision in which I played no part. Nothing can be more diabolical than a deliberate attempt to destroy in any man his will to be a man and to withhold from him that something which constitutes his true essence. 
 King, Dr. Martin Luther (1968). “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos Or Community?”. New York, NY: Beacon Press, pgs 80, 86, 99, 151. ISBN 0807005711
 Kendall, David. (April, 2009). “Dr. King Spanks Obama: Part 1″. Oped News. http://www.opednews.com/articles/Dr-King-Spanks-Obama-Par-by-David-Kendall-090412-92.html
 Douglass, James W. (March 15. 2000). “The King Assassination: After Three Decades, Another Verdict”. Christian Century. http://www.precaution.org/lib/09/prn_king_assassination_another_verdict.000315.htm
 Sheehan, Cindy. (January, 2009). “The Legacy of Dr. King”. Workers Action. http://www.workerscompass.org/mlk_sheehan.html
 Pilger, John. (April, 2009). “Obama’s 100 Days: The Mad Men Did Well”. World News Daily: Information Clearing House. http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22514.htm
 Chomsky, Noam; Carlos Peregrín Otero. (2003). “Chomsky on democracy & education”. Routledge. pg 249, ISBN 0415926327.
 Kendall, David. (2009). “Natural Adversaries”. Oped News. http://www.opednews.com/articles/Natural-Adversaries-by-David-Kendall-090324-854.html
 Chandler, David. (2009). “Tour of the US Income Distribution: The L-Curve”. David Chandler. http://www.lcurve.org/
 infoplease. (2009). “U.S. Voting Rights”. infoplease. http://www.infoplease.com/timelines/voting.html
 Wikipedia. (2009). “Right to vote: History of suffrage in the United States”. Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_vote#History_of_suffrage_in_the_United_States
 King, Dr. Martin Luther (1968). “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos Or Community?”. New York, NY: Beacon Press, Excerpts from chapter 3. ISBN 0807005711
There is No Force Opposing Financial Polarization…
Interview with Michael Hudson
“Our tax laws have shaped the marketplace to favor the debt-financed buying and selling of real estate, stocks and bonds rather than new direct investment. Advocates of this financialization of saving and investment depict it as a viable mode of wealth creation, but the effect is simply to de-industrialize the United States. And this is the tragedy of our economy today.” Michael Hudson
Mike Whitney: Before John Kennedy took office, anyone making an income of over $200,000 was taxed at a rate of 93 per cent. Corporations also paid a much higher percentage of the total tax burden than they do today. The higher tax rates on the wealthy never hurt Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which was consistently over 4% during these years, and the middle class flourished in a way that was unprecedented in world history. Why don’t we return to the “redistributive” policies which worked so well in the past? Do you think “progressive taxation” is crucial for maintaining democracy and establishing greater equity among the people?
Michael Hudson: I think you’re framing the tax problem too narrowly. At issue is not simply the tax rate on the income that’s being taxed at present, mainly wages, followed by profits. Classical economists focused first and foremost on WHAT should be taxed. From the Physiocrats through Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill to socialists such as Ferdinand Lasalle and America’s Progressive Era reformers, they concluded that the main source of taxation should be unearned income, defined as land rent, monopoly rent, other forms of economic rent (income extracted without playing a necessary role in production) and capital gains on these rent-yielding assets, mainly land sites.
As matters stand today, you could raise the income tax to 100% and still not capture the actual cash-flow revenue of real estate, monopolies, and multinationals who use transfer pricing to manipulate their income and expense statements to show no reportable taxable income at all. So the first concern should be what kind of revenue to tax. Owning a real estate rental property is like owning an oil well in the days of the depletion allowance. In addition to charging off interest as a tax-deductible expense (rather than a financing choice), owners pretend that their buildings are depreciating, despite the fact that property prices have risen almost steadily.
So in most years no taxable income is reported at all. Real estate owners don’t even have to pay a tax on capital gains what Mill called the unearned increment if they plow back their sales proceeds into buying even more assets. And this is just what the great majority of wealth-holders do. They keep on trading and accumulating, tax-free. The situation is much the same with companies taken over by corporate raiders. Paying interest to junk bond holders absorbs what formerly were taxable earnings paid out as dividends. This is what really is crippling the U.S. tax system and de-industrializing the economy.
When Kennedy became president, one of the first things he did was to pass the Investment Tax Credit. This gave industrial companies a credit for making tangible capital investment. Real estate got in on the ride too, but the idea was to use the tax system as an incentive to spur investment and employment so as to keep industrializing America.
Fast forward to today. The tax system favors speculative gains and absentee ownership. Ironic as it may sound, really wealthy people prefer not to make any income at all. They prefer to focus on total returns, which they take in the form of capital gains. This is why hedge fund billionaires pay a much lower tax than their secretaries. Real estate is still our largest sector most of its market price consisting of the land’s site value rather than industry and other means of production. Given the existing loopholes, I would prefer not to tax corporate profits or even income at all, if the government could tax the free lunch of economic rent at its source. The discussion of WHAT to tax therefore should take precedence over how highly to tax the scant income that wealthy people are obliged to declare from the FIRE sector finance, insurance and real estate.
Perhaps the best way to frame the issue is to call this a re-industrialization discussion. Obviously, the more regressive the tax system is, the more poverty and inequality there will be. And as Aristotle said, democracy is the political stage immediately preceding oligarchy. That’s what the economy is now evolving into.
MW: Why are Democrats so squeamish about taxing the people who have benefited most from our system? Do you see any sign that liberals will join the fight against the far-right ideologues who have dominated the economic debate for 30 years?
Michael Hudson: The short explanation as to why Democrats haven’t taxed wealth is the power of lobbyists whom the special interests hire and the public relations think tanks they employ to promote Junk Economics. Most wealth is gained by special tax privileges these days, and the financial sector is the largest contributor to political campaigns, followed by real estate. The Democrats traditionally have been based in the large cities. As Thorstein Veblen pointed out in Absentee Ownership, urban politics is essentially a real-estate promotion project.
A century ago the tax issue was at the forefront of American politics. Reformers fought hard to enact the income tax just the opposite of today’s attempt to abolish it. The reason was that the first income tax fell mainly on the wealthy, and specifically on real estate, mining and monopolies, which were the main sources of wealth then, just as they are today.
The deep problem is an absence of economic philosophy of how the economy works as an overall system. Without distinguishing what kind of investment and wealth-seeking we want, it’s hard to define a fiscal policy. The idea of a flat tax, for instance, is that all income is equally worthwhile except that the flat tax avoids taxing property or cash flow that FIRE-sector lobbyists have managed to get the IRS to counts as costs. So it is not only value-free, it is explicitly anti-labor. You can find it applied most purely in the former Soviet countries such as the Baltic States.
I don’t see the tax issue being discussed by Congress, except by anti-government tax cutters. And I don’t see a realistic discussion beginning until people define just what progressive taxation means. It has to start with defining some kinds of income and investment as more economically productive than others. This would end the tax subsidies for debt leveraging and financial speculation.
MW: How should Obama approach the issue of “debt relief” for the victims of the housing boondoggle who are now losing their homes in record numbers? African Americans were particularly hurt by the subprime fiasco. Is there a way to minimize the losses of people who were trapped in a banker’s scam?
Michael Hudson: Foreclosures are an age-old problem, so there is a broad repertory of ways to deal with them. In my mind the most effective law is New York State’s law of Fraudulent Conveyance. On the books back when New York was a colony, it was retained when New York joined the United States. The problem was that rapacious English creditors sought to grab New York’s rich upstate farmland. Their ploy was to lend mortgage money to farmers who pledged their land as collateral. Then they would foreclose sometimes before the crop was in and farmers simply lacked the liquidity to pay. Other lenders would lend too much for the borrowers to pay back when the loan was suddenly called in as could be done back then. So New York passed a law ruling that if a creditor made a loan without having a realistic idea of how the debtor was to pay it back, the transaction would be deemed to be fraudulent and the debt would be declared null and void.
In the 1980s, companies brought this defense against corporate raiders using junk bonds as their weapon of choice. Targeted companies claimed that they would be forced to downsize radically or even have their assets stripped to the point of bankruptcy. I thought that Third World countries that borrowed from the large New York banks should have raised this defense, as the only way they could pay was by either borrowing the interest, or (as matters turned out) stripped their assets by privatizing their public domain to raise the dollars.
Today, fraudulent bank loans such as Countrywide is accused of making would be prime examples of junk mortgages that should be annulled. But the mayor of Cleveland went further. He brought public nuisance charges against banks whose mortgage lending has led to foreclosures leaving homes vacant. They’re being stripped by robbers and used as crack houses. Junk mortgage lenders should be liable to pay the clean-up costs of the debt pollution they’ve created.
MW: That sounds pretty radical.
Michael Hudson: But that’s where the law itself is moving. Just last week, on June 26 after attorneys general in California, Illinois and Connecticut brought fraud charges against Countrywide, the Wall Street Journal quoted a California law professor spelling out that if the states can persuade the courts to grant restitution, it could be a staggering blow against Countrywide, requiring it to give back its profit on all those loans and conceivably give back houses on which it has foreclosed. Financial fraud is a serious matter. The remedies have long been on the books.
MW: Is there a less radical way to keep people in homes which may be too expensive for their incomes or should we be looking for other alternatives?
Michael Hudson: The answer depends on how you define homes as being too expensive. If you’re talking about the mortgage’s interest-rate jumps and amortization payments being too high to be afforded, then one way to keep them there is a partial write-down of the mortgage loan. Treasury Secretary Paulson already has endorsed a step that remains market-based: to assess what a realistic market price for the property would be, and write down the mortgage to that price.
The problem comes from homes that are WAY too expensive. This might be the result of a sudden expensive health problem, in which case they probably will have to move, as the United States doesn’t have European-style health insurance and prefers to blame the victim for having gotten sick or injured. But if the lender knowingly made a bad loan in the first place and the buyer does have to move because their income is insufficient to begin with, they should get some relocation compensation at the very least, and the full legal remedy for fraud at best.
MW: Is their a viable alternative to “free trade” or will American workers continue to face persistent job losses, lower living standards and a “race to the bottom?
Michael Hudson: The reason U.S. labor has lost its competitiveness is not simply a race to the bottom. To see why U.S. exports are being priced out of world markets, you need to look not only at the take-home pay of workers, but also at what employers are not investing to raise capital productivity, and what they don’t get from government in the form of basic infrastructure support.
One reason why employers have not invested as much in raising the productivity of their plant and equipment is that they are saddled with having to pay out more of their cash flow as interest to bondholders and banks, and dividends to assuage shareholder activists, the new euphemism for financial raiders.
U.S. corporate philosophy has been more driven by knee-jerk ideology than by enlightened self-interest. General Motors has pointed out that it has to pay enormous health care costs that its foreign competitors don’t. Some sixty years belatedly it’s finally discovered that socialized medicine is more efficient that health care privatized by predatory financial and insurance operators. Government services don’t build in interest rate costs, dividends, exorbitant management remuneration, stock options and legal fees. All this absorbs a big part of the corporate expense for its work force without raising labor’s living standards in the process.
Meanwhile, educating doctors, dentists and nurses is much less costly abroad. Here, they emerge from medical school with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and then have to take on more debt to set up their offices, then they need to buy expensive liability insurance. Once they get on an HMO schedule, they usually have to wait for a year or so to actually get paid. Meanwhile, they have to hire their own full-time bookkeepers just to deal with the HMOs. Doctors, dentists and nurses are being put on rations.
Most of all, the price of labor reflects the high cost of housing here mainly the cost of carrying a home mortgage plus non-mortgage debt. Labor doesn’t benefit from these costs. And as matters have turned out, industry hasn’t benefited either. It’s the price the U.S. economy as a whole is paying for having become financialized and privatized in a dysfunctional way.
MW: You have said that the financial crisis is analogous to a “boa constrictor wrapping itself around the economy and slowly strangling it.” Would you elaborate on that?
Michael Hudson: I was referring to debt deflation. As the debt overhead grows exponentially, it siphons off more and more money from being spent on production and consumption. For the financial sector, this is applauded as being the miracle of compound interest. The volume of loans keeps on growing by purely mathematical principles, without much regard for the economy’s ability (or inability) to generate a large enough surplus to pay. More and more wages, corporate profits and tax revenues have to be earmarked to pay creditors. These creditors then turn around and lend out their flow of debt service to yet new borrowers. This involves finding more and more risky markets, while the debt becomes heavier and heavier.
To pay the carrying charges on these debts, wage earners cut back consumption while debt-wracked companies cut back on new capital investment, research and development. State, local and federal governments also pay interest on their deficits by cutting back on spending to maintain infrastructure or improve services. These cutbacks shrink the domestic market, leading to lower investment and hiring. All this is applauded as the magic of the marketplace in allocating resources. But it’s the financial sector that is doing the applauding, not industry.
MW: Does that mean that there will be sudden jolts to the system like a major bank–perhaps Citigroup or Merrill—keeling over and sending the stock market crashing?
Michael Hudson: The economy reaches a Ponzi stage where banks lend their customers the interest to keep payments current. More and more mortgage loans have been structured this way in recent years. When creditors stop making these loans, there’s a break in the chain of payments and defaults spread, crashing markets.
MW: Is the dollar doomed, or can the US lower its dual-deficits (fiscal and trade deficits) and continue to attract foreign capital in the future? And if the recession takes hold, business slows and unemployment rises, would that strengthen the dollar?
Michael Hudson: I assume that by doom you mean that the dollar will continue to sink against foreign currencies, while price inflation eats away at what wages will buy. The idea that a worse economy will be self-curing is IMF anti-labor ideology and Chicago School propaganda. This is indeed what Nobel Economic Prizes are given for, I grant you. But it’s Junk Economics. A falling dollar threatens to become self-reinforcing. For starters, dollar-denominated stocks, bonds and real estate are worth less and less in terms of euros, sterling or other harder and foreign currencies. This doesn’t provide much incentive for foreigners to invest here. And if we go into a recession (not to speak of depression), there will be even fewer profitable opportunities to invest.
Meanwhile, U.S. import dependency will continue to rise as the economy de-industrializes that is, as it is further financialized. U.S. overseas military spending will throw yet more dollars onto the world’s foreign exchange markets. So a weak economy here does NOT mean that the dollar will strengthen; it means we have a bad investment climate! Austerity will make us more dependent on foreign countries. For a foretaste, just look at what has happened when the IMF has imposed austerity plans on Third World debtors. And remember, last time when Robert Rubin was given a free hand, in reforming Russia under Clinton, the result was industrial collapse and bankruptcy.
MW: Wouldn’t it be better for the world if there were no “reserve currency” at all and the value of money was simply dependent on economic strength and balanced budgets? As long as there is an “international currency,” like the dollar, there will be an Empire, because the paper money of one country (US) dominates all others. Is democracy really possible without greater parity between the world’s currencies?
Michael Hudson: Exchange rates are independent of political systems. That being said, oligarchic economies tend to go bust as a result of shifting the tax burden off real estate, monopolized and privatized infrastructure, and onto labor and industry. This makes them uncompetitive. For instance, the military-industrial complex operates on a cost-plus basis rather than a cost-minimizing basis. The question therefore is whether they can extort foreign tribute from other countries by enough to compensate. Spain couldn’t do this from the New World after 1492, and Rome earlier simply destroyed Asia Minor and other imperial appendages.
Can the United States succeed better today? Dollar hegemony looks like the only way it can pull it off. By definition, a reserve currency is a loan from one government to another. This ends up becoming taxation without representation. It’s inherently inequitable.
There are two reasons for central banks to hold dollars. One is for stabilization purposes to prevent currency raids such as occurred in Asia in 1997. The other is that keeping dollar receipts in the form of dollar-loans back to the United States holds down the price of their own currencies, and hence the price of their exports. This effect also could be achieved by imposing a floating tariff against imports from countries whose currencies are depreciating, with the money provided as a subsidy to exporters. But foreign countries aren’t yet ready for this great a quantum political leap out of the American financial empire.
Regarding tax policy, there’s not really a need for balanced budgets. Starting with the greenbacks during the Civil War years, the United States has demonstrated that governments don’t have to raise taxes to spend money. They can simply print it. That’s what the commercial banking system does, after all. In either case, the money is created spontaneously. The Treasury and Federal Reserve created $1 trillion in bailout credit for the financial sector in April alone while making the hypocritical asymmetrical claim that Social Security will be broke in 40 years because of ITS trillion-dollar deficit. Iraq added another trillion or so.
The moral is that economic strength consists of the ability to create credit that fuels economic growth. But the privatized banking sector is crippling this strength in the United States these days. Instead of creating credit to fund industrial capital formation, the banking system is lending to bail out bad financial pyramiding.
MW: Do you see the growth of the financial sector as a positive development, or not?
Michael Hudson: Its behavior has become antithetical to the development of industrial capitalism. 19th century reformers inspired by Henri St. Simon in France sought to reorganize finance from debt financing to equity financing. But today’s economy is going in just the opposite direction. It’s replacing stocks with bonds and loans by banks and buyout funds, creating debt that is not being used to build up the productive capacity to pay back this debt with its interest charges. The result is what classical economists called unproductive debt.
MW: The financial sector seems less inclined to lend to develop useful products and enterprises. It prefers to repackage other people’s debt (like mortgage-backed securities) and market them to gullible investors. Are the investment banks responsible for the massive expansion of credit and debt presently destroying the middle class and ruining the country?
Michael Hudson: That’s what’s happening. But a major reason why savings are flowing into these banks because the tax laws make it more profitable to debt leverage than to invest in industrial capital. The tax system has shaped a market where it pays more to speculate than to invest in building up new means of production. The financial sector has been deregulated on the logic that whatever makes the most money is the most efficient. The product that banks are selling is debt, and help in corporate takeovers, mergers and acquisition. Credit is a product that’s almost free to create. Its main cost of production is the lobbying expense to buy Congressional support.
MW: So we’re back to politics. What do you know about Barack Obama’s economics advisors? Should we expect a repeat of Bill Clinton’s “Rubinomics”, where Wall Street got everything they asked for and American workers got NAFTA, currency deregulation, the repeal of Glass Steagall and other “trickle down” policies? Is there any hope that Obama may chart a new coarse and move in a progressive direction? What policies should President Obama enact to rekindle the American dream and breath some life into the battered middle class?
Michael Hudson: I’m not in any position to speak about what Mr. Obama will do. As for, economic advisors, their role in a political campaign usually is not so much to shape policy as to mobilize their constituency to support the candidate. The role of Mr. Rubin and his associates, at least at present, is therefore to round up Wall Street support. What influence such advisors will have after next January is yet to be seen. It probably will depend on the circumstances.
I can only hope that Mr. Obama will not pull a Tony Blair New Labor turnabout and revert to Clinton’s pro-Wall Street, anti-labor type of policy. If that really were to happen, it would cause such disillusionment that it could fracture the Democratic Party irreparably.
I hope the opposite will happen, and I’m doing what I can to help bring that about. But regarding politicians, I can only speak for my friend Dennis Kucinich. He has asked me to organize a Roosevelt-type Brains Trust of economic and political advisors to develop a program to re-industrialize America and save it from succumbing to the kind of polarization that was known as the Spanish Syndrome after the 16th century, and the Roman Empire syndrome before that: an economy where the wealthy magnates made themselves tax-free, shifted the burden onto labor and industry, and withdrew into their estates as economies lapsed back into localized subsistence production.
So all this has happened before, again and again. There is no automatic guarantee of progress. It has to be steered. Right now the only parties steering it are the large financial institutions on behalf of their wealthy clients. Hardly by surprise, their attitude is anti-labor.
I think economic circumstances will help impel Mr. Obama to make a swing back toward more classically progressive economic and tax policies. And I can’t think of any other candidate who is in as good a position to force Congress to go along with his reforms. He can come out and back candidates willing to oppose the more recalcitrant Democratic Congressmen and Senators.
MW: On CBS “60 Minutes”, Alan Greenspan admitted that he supported the invasion of Iraq. That’s hardly surprising, since it is difficult to imagine that a nation can trudge off to war without the support of the banking establishment. How much of a role do the major financial institutions and corporate giants actually play in determining foreign policy? Is there something particular to our economic system (or our financial institutions?) that drives us to war over and over again?
Michael Hudson: I don’t think the invasion of Iraq was a result of a financial sector decision. As for Mr. Greenspan, he’s a public relations specialist, not a global strategist. I think that banks just try to maneuver as best they can in any given political system. But as a sector, they rarely support wars.
When I was at Chase Manhattan in the mid-1960s, Wall Street was not pushing the Vietnam War. Chase’s CEO, George Champion, said it was fiscally irresponsible. It set in motion an inflation that led to a steady 35-year downturn in the bond market.
Think of it. Thirty-five years of rising interest rates, from
1945 to 1980, pushing down bond prices. Bonds always have been the key more than stocks. The rise in interest rates meant that the price of existing, lower-rate bonds went down steadily. And that was the result of the war’s balance-of-payments deficit and Pres. Johnson’s guns and butter approach encouraged by Junk Economics at the hands of faux-Keynesians such as Gardner Ackley, Johnson’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.
The moral is that you can’t really have a grab for empire and the wars that go with it and at the same time have a booming economy.
Something has to give, as we’re seeing now. The remarkable thing is that people are not relating America’s attempt to create a unipolar empire with the spreading economic polarization and financial squeeze that’s going on. Industry for its part is losing out to finance, but simply has sought to make money by financializing itself.
MW: Paul Harris wrote a terrific article in the UK Guardian, “Welcome to Richistan, USA” in which he discusses the huge wealth-disparity in America today. He says:
“America’s super-rich have returned to the days of the Roaring Twenties. As the rest of the country struggles to get by, a huge bubble of multi-millionaires lives almost in a parallel world. The rich now live in their own world of private education, private health care and gated mansions. They have their own schools and their own banks. They even travel apart – creating a booming industry of private jets and yachts. Their world now has a name, thanks to a new book by Wall Street Journal reporter Robert Frank which has dubbed it ‘Richistan’.
In 1985 there were just 13 US billionaires. Now there are more than
1,000. In 2005 the US saw 227,000 new millionaires being created. One survey showed that the wealth of all US millionaires was $30 trillion, more than the GDPs of China, Japan, Brazil, Russia and the EU combined. The rich have now created their own economy for their needs, at a time when the average worker’s wage rises will merely match inflation and where 36 million people live below the poverty line.”
So here’s my question: The middle class is being squeezed like never before while the chasm between rich and poor gets bigger and bigger. Do you think we are we approaching a crisis phase in this inequality gap, or am I being an alarmist?
Michael Hudson: For a crisis to occur, there needs to be at least two opposing forces or trends. The worst problem about America’s present quandary is that there seems to be no force opposing financial polarization. Without a counterforce, without an opposition to the financial Counter-Enlightenment that’s taking place, economic horizons will continue to shrink here.
We’re indeed entering a Two Economy society. John Edwards picked up the theme and almost the same wording that British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli made popular in the late 19th century. He created Britain’s Conservative Party in its modern form, recruiting compassionate conservatives known as Young England. Much like the socialists decrying the unfairness of the market economy in the brutal form it took in Britain. Their dream was to make industrialization compatible with a more socially minded morality. Disraeli’s major political adversary was not socialism but liberal free-market ideals that urged nations to compete by lowering their wages what today is called a race to the bottom. His welfare legislation was highlighted by the public health system introduced from 1874 to 1881 and promoted under his motto Sanitas sanitatum, Health, all is health. Compare that to today’s conservatives!
In 1845, three years before the Communist Manifesto and the revolutions that swept across Europe in 1848, he addressed the horrors of unbridled laissez faire in a novel, Sybil, or The Two Nations. The subtitle referred to the rich and the poor, two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy, and Š who are not governed by the same laws. Although Disraeli placed his hopes in a morally regenerate aristocracy, he assigned the loftiest ideals to Sybil, the daughter of a factory worker. And when the novel’s protagonist, Egremont, asks about conditions in British cities, a young stranger, dressed modestly in black, explains that although
In 1845, three years before the Communist Manifesto and the revolutions that swept across the European continent in 1848, he addressed the horrors of unbridled laissez faire in a novel, Sybil, or The Two Nations. The subtitle referred to the rich and the poor, “two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy, and . . . who are not governed by the same laws.” Although Disraeli placed his hopes in a morally regenerate aristocracy, he assigned the loftiest ideals to Sybil, the daughter of a factory worker. In the following passage the novel’s protagonist, Egremont, asks about conditions in Britain’s cities. A young stranger, dressed modestly in black, explains that although
“men may be drawn into contiguity, they still continue virtually isolated. . . . In great cities men are brought together by the desire of gain. They are not in a state of co-operation, but of isolation, as to the making of fortunes. . . Christianity teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves; modern society acknowledges no neighbor.’
‘Well, we live in strange times . . . society may be in its infancy,’ said Egremont . . . ‘but, say what you like, our Queen reigns over the greatest nation that ever existed.’
‘Which nation?’ asked the younger stranger, ‘for she reigns over two. . . . Two nations; between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each others habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets; who are formed by a different breeding, are fed by a different food, are ordered by different manners, and are not governed by the same laws.’
‘You speak of—’ said Egremont, hesitatingly.
‘THE Rich and THE Poor.’”
Disraeli depicted financial interests as the villain (popularizing the myth of the Jewish banker). His major political adversary was not socialism but liberal free-market ideals that urged nations to compete by lowering their wages – what today is called a race to the bottom. The Conservative Party’s economic compassion, however, was limited by the fact that it also was the party of landowners, above all those in the House of Lords who blocked the Liberal attempt to tax groundrent in 1909.
The dichotomy is not merely between an elite and the masses, or between the vested interests and the downtrodden, the cultured and the great unwashed. It is something much more specific. These two nations, two cities, actually are two economies – Economy #1 (production and consumption) vs. financial and property-based Economy #2 which controls the economic surplus in the form of savings and investment. And the different characteristics of these two economies go far beyond the merely economic dimension.
I cite this example to show what a true compassionate conservatism might be. It would be a good framework in which Pres. Obama
might present his policies in ways that would maximize support from groups that used to be called liberal Republicans. Much of the business community might come on board if he balances his program well. In fact, it was a British Conservative banker, Geoffrey Gardiner, who drew my attention to Disraeli’s novel.
Charles Dickens Tale of Two Cities expressed the same idea of cities divided between the idle rich and those who had to work for a living. It is hard to imagine any politician writing such a novel today, although the socialist Michael Harrington popularized the theme in the 1960s in The Other America, and Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Edwards campaigned in 2004 on the two Americas theme.
What is missing today is a specific critique of the financial interests which Disraeli depicted as the villain (popularizing the myth of the Jewish banker). The dichotomy is not merely between an elite and the masses, or between the vested interests and the downtrodden, the cultured and the great unwashed. It is more specific. These two nations, two cities, are indeed two economies Economy #1 (production and consumption) vs. financial and property-based Economy #2 which controls the economic surplus in the form of savings and investment. And the different characteristics of these two economies go far beyond the merely economic dimension.
MW: How do we turn this trend around and push for changes to strengthen the middle class while providing a safety net for those who have slipped through the cracks? Do we need to rethink how we deal with people who are stuck in a cycle of grinding, unrelenting poverty?
Michael Hudson: The left wing focuses on people who have slipped through the cracks, the poor and the homeless, and ethnic and racial minorities. But the most serious problem lies at the economic core. Failure to restructure it and take control of finance will lead to excluding more and more people from participating in what you call a middle-class life.
As the Roman Empire polarized, the economy and its political wrapping were beyond saving. All that Christianity was able to do was provide charity on an individual basis. It could deal only with symptoms, not root causes. When the point has been reached where you can deal only with people who have slipped through the cracks, the long-term game is lost.
The problem is that the economic system as such is broken. So we’re back to the beginning of this interview: What is needed is an alternative to the post-classical economics of the Chicago Boys and their fellow financial lobbyists.
Michael Hudson is a former Wall Street economist specializing in the balance of payments and real estate at the Chase Manhattan Bank (now JPMorgan Chase & Co.), Arthur Anderson, and later at the Hudson Institute (no relation). In 1990 he helped established the world’s first sovereign debt fund for Scudder Stevens & Clark. Dr. Hudson was Dennis Kucinich’s Chief Economic Advisor in the recent Democratic primary presidential campaign, and has advised the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Latvian governments, as well as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). A Distinguished Research Professor at University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC), he is the author of many books, including Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (new ed., Pluto Press, 2002) He can be reached via his website, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Whitney is a regular columnist for Novakeo.com
Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: email@example.com
Super class is a concept in sociology that refers to the group of people at the top of a social hierarchy. Members of an Super class often have great power over the allocation of resources and governmental policy.
Speaker: David Rothkopf
Carnegie Endowment for Peace
Ron Paul was the natural icon for what we now know as The Revolution. His candidacy for president in 2007 was, for him, another opportunity to take the message of freedom to the people. It hit the bullseye for millions; providing a focus and goal to the growing unease and dissatisfaction of people everywhere. Events, technological developments, and ideas meshed.
Ron Paul had, for his entire life time, been the Champion of the Constitution. For most of that life he had felt that no one was listening. In 2007 that changed. His straight talk went right to the hearts of those who heard him, bringing hope where there was only fear and despair as people looked into the future.
As the wave of enthusiasm rose Ron received donations from across the world; people flew in at their own expense just to volunteer. The Ron Paul Revolution became a focus for millions of people around the world. Executives in Fortune 500 companies left their jobs to hit the road as full time Paulists.
The ‘establishment,’ comprising the confluence of corporations and government, began to shred. They became desperate to maintain power. No one alive today was there but we have all seen the images.
The people were making themselves heard. They redoubled their efforts. Moved by his record, his life, and by the ideas of freedom individuals began to discover their own power and take action. That power that each of us takes for granted today had been denied and legislated into nonexistence by those who placed themselves in control; the people had come to doubt its existence. They found it.
They came to the Ron Paul Revolution eager, ignorant of politics and organizing but they were prepared to learn and they did. Over and over again those who ‘knew’ told them it was impossible. Over and over they proved the experts wrong.
Ron Paulists came from every ideology, every viewpoint, every race, every segment of a society that had been divided to keep them silent. That movement, that we call The Revolution, changed the face of the world.
It started as a political campaign; it evolved to encompass every part of our lives.
Through the Ron Paul Revolution America realized the vision of a people who govern themselves. Local government returned to something closer to the original town model, familiar to the Colonial Period of New England. People found what worked for them depending on persuasion and consensus. Financial Institutions and the monetary system became tools of local economy, cooperating with others.
No one expected it. No one planned it. It happened, to be later explained by economists, historians and anthropologists as a demonstration of the Principle of Spontaneous Order because their need had met opportunity in the form of the Knowledge Commons, made accessible to nearly everyone through the Internet, though that was just the beginning. Everything became a tool in their hands. The components had been coming into existence for decades, of course.
The larger Freedom Movement of the early 20th Century had, at its foundation, the idea that knowledge belonged not to any one individual but to all people for all time, a common heritage for humanity. Now it is obvious; if the people know then they choose wisely, each for themselves.
The conflict between Linux and Microsoft, typified that conflict and its eventual resolution, lead to the open source world of today and to the focus on increased understanding and enriching art and insight instead of the previous focus on consumption and material possessions.
When people have access to knowledge and the tools they could do it themselves. By 2007 the conditions existed so that this could take place. Confronted by the need to elect Ron Paul as president, something he himself thought impossible, activists looked about them and innovated, using the information available and the tools provided by the Internet. In a shorter time than anyone believed possible they changed how the world perceived politics, government, media and corporations.
Today we live in the world of their making.
Instead of experiencing the future they faced, bound together against their will in one global village, they freed themselves using the Knowledge Commons and the Internet.
In their innocence they refused to accept that change was not possible; therefore they ignored conventional wisdom. The multitude of approaches to the problems they faced, including that of the honest ballot, how to return control to the local level, feeding themselves when the dollar died, how to power their homes, how to provide transportation without oil, and how to rebuild their local economy, how to restore the Earth, each of these problems were solved using the same open source tools and minds that did not accept limitations imposed from the past.
In that way we became a globe of villages, linked through knowing each other and knowing where and in whom we could invest trust. They reestablished our understanding of community, something anthropologists now explain in terms of our inherent, cognitive capacities.
They freed us. Today we take the richness of our lives for granted. Each of us enjoys a diversity of interests that occupy our time that was impossible to our grandparents. Only the wealthy could have been so occupied then.
The steady implosion of organizations constructed to create wealth for those in control through limiting access to knowledge continued into the second decade of the 21st Century. Now the idea that anyone can limit access to knowledge is strange, then it was simply accepted.
The Age of the Authority ended with the Age of Collectivism. Today’s recognition of excellence is based strictly on demonstrated accomplishment. Fewer of us use formal institutions of learning; nearly all of us keep learning all of our lives.
Collectivism, in its many forms, was displaced, freeing us to actualize unlimited personal horizons within the security of our communities.
As it turned out, it was also a spiritual revolution. We came together, realizing in an unexpected form, the Christian vision of becoming One through Christ. Seeing past our differences we found each other. For this, we should remember to thank those Revolutionaries. The world was very different for them.
When you understand the future that confronted them you understand their desperation and the real sacrifices they made so willingly. Everything that mattered to them hung in the balance.
The projections of starvation enforced by policy by those who ruled them, drawn from the least ethical, had used their own wealth to enslave them. They had little; they did it anyway, setting themselves, and us, free.
Today we remember them and thank Ron Paul for being that point of hope on the horizon that inspired those many, many revolutionaries to fight that battle against impossible odds to set us free.
Melinda Pillsbury-Foster is a regular columnist for Novakeo.com
Melinda Pillsbury-Foster hosts a radio program weekly at BBSradio.com. The program is titled, The Spiritual Politician and examines how government can be brought into alignment with the spiritual goal of decentralizing power and localizing control.
She is also the author of GREED: The NeoConning of America and A Tour of Old Yosemite. The former is a novel about the lives of the NeoCons with a strong autobiographical component. The latter is a non-fiction book about her father and grandfather.