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Author Topic: Corruption in Government  (Read 15051 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Corruption in Government
« on: July 18, 2014, 03:36:59 pm »
PART 2 OF 2 PARTS
Quote
As Chris Hedges recently pointed out, violence today only assures the survival of the most violent, criminals of one sort or another, petty or international. Beyond that, the state now has the technological capability to inflict the most violence in every case, and therefore win. Realistic thinkers say aloud that what is so far advanced can no longer be stopped or turned around by revolution, violent or otherwise. Most other thinkers on the subject secretly suspect the same.
Mr. Popularity and the marmot
The rest of the country is oblivious, lost in the anxious clamor for an economic "recovery." The voice of the state defines recovery for them as a return to former levels of the unsustainable superheated capitalism, and increased indebtedness of the populace. "Oh when, oh when will the bankers loosen the credit markets so we can again buy things?" As if their debt slavery were a great gift! The banksters simply do not issue more credit to people they know are dead broke -- because they broke 'em, they will continue to make more money by letting the people wail, and taking the people's money directly from the state as bailouts. Stretched out over the coming years, we will see more of them. It should give us chills.
President Obama at some point asked himself if bailouts for those who caused the collapse will truly result in an end to the "current crisis" (a term calculated to make our slow inevitable collapse look temporary). How does getting the masses to accept more debt add up to anything but worse crisis later? Obama is a smart fellow, smarter than George Bush, which is what got him elected, right? (Of course after Bush a marmot could have run on the "smarter than Bush" ticket and looked good). So he must have asked that. And like any highly educated (indoctrinated) American politician who has interiorized the capitalist system -- you do not become a presidential candidate without interiorizing capitalism lock stock and barrel -- his first reflex was: "The system must be saved at all costs!" Members of Congress, whose butts arrived in the Washington through the same processes as Obama's, agreed. That cost us all plenty.
Obama is himself a commodity, the most telegenic political commodity since Kennedy. One that suits American style capitalism best this particular historical political moment. He is a useful illusion, the same as George W. Bush was a useful illusion. What is the difference between George Bush managing the country through media performances and Obama doing the same? Both are telegenic, which is everything today, but in different ways. One was stupid but radiated virility and manly appearance; the other is attractive for his intelligence and so smart he's stupid. Both lives are absorbed in "appearing to be" in the Great American Hologram of appearances. We are a nation following the appearance of national leadership.
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It is cold comfort that we are not alone in this ultimate folly. Globally, it is estimated that the economic crisis has seen at least $50 trillion in financial assets -- approximately equal to the value of the entire global GDP -- wiped out. Given the bullshit "science" that is economics, and that economists serve the purposes of the money masters of their particular age, and that money is always in motion, it is very doubtful that anyone really knows the global GDP. But the illusion that someone does is necessary in preserving and controlling perceptions of the present system. Otherwise the concept of money itself would have to be reexamined and changed to fit the world reality. Better to proclaim a "crisis" and scare the **** out of the peasantry, than give them an opportunity to question the new feudalism of credit cards, mortgages, car loans, educational loans and general debt slavery. The word crisis scares people, flogs them into anxious submission, lest some **** socialist come along and ask, Why don't you take charge of your own lives and destiny? Do you really need these people?
The "crisis" was set in motion by institutions lending each other non-existent money none of them can pay back. Consequently, the masses are once again expected to produce enough material value in the world to make the funny money real, and shore up the system one more time. To "raise the money" to do this will require generations of future productivity shoveled into the furnace of corporate capitalism's banking machinery. There was nothing left to steal, so extorting the future was the only option left. Assuming the skimmers and the scammers manage to extract enough public monies to pump up corporations one more time, there will be another and bigger disaster not far down the road. We don't need the Oracle of Delphi to predict this. Capitalism is unstable as hell, like an unbalanced dreidel that keeps tilting ever more wildly off center until it falls over or eventually hits the wall. We can now see the wall from here: Massive ecological collapse and species extinction. "Economic downturn," even "crisis," does not quite describe that approaching wall. All of America hopes we will miss that wall at least one more time.
Americans are hope fiends. We always see hope somewhere down every road, chiefly because honestly looking at the present situation would destroy just about everything we hold as reality. Personally, as I often state and catch readership hell for, I do not like hope. When Obama ran it up the flagpole for us to salute, and so many saluted, my blood chilled. Made me feel that we were all in deeper **** than I had supposed (Nevertheless, I reluctantly voted for Obama. At the time it seemed It was either Obama, or continuing war, debt, and diminishing civil liberties. Ha!) Hope is magic thinking, believing that somehow, some larger unknown force is in motion to set things right.
The world is what it is, and its injustices are set right by peoples and nations morally intact enough to challenge its malevolent forces.
Hope is political pabulum for an infantilized nation.
A shot at economic justice (gets you shot at)
On those rare occasions when I do see nations take concrete steps toward liberation, the heart is cheered at having at least some reason for reality based optimism. After more than a century of taking it up the shorts from autonomous capitalism, Latin America is moving toward alternatives to the free trade cowboy capitalism that has so long raped them.
One step is ALBA (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América). ALBA is aimed solely at meeting human need instead of profit. Bartering and mutual economic and material aid outside of so-called free trade agreements. Out of the reach of global banking. For example, Venezuela gives Cuba over 100,000 barrels of oil daily at production cost. In exchange Cuba has sent 20,000 state-employed doctors and medical staffers. And if Venezuelans' medical problems require higher medical specialism, they may travel to Cuba for specialized care free of charge. No profits allowed. Take it or leave it.
The takers are lining up. Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba, Saint Vincent , the Grenadines , Dominica, Honduras, Antigua and Barbuda, Nicaragua and Bolivia. ALBA nations are in the process of introducing a new regional currency, the SUCRE. (Sistema Único de Compensación Regional, or Single Regional Payment Compensation System) to replace the U.S. dollar. Now a common virtual currency, it is scheduled to become a hard currency.
Countries such as Argentina are experimenting with an economy based on worker self-management and balanced job complexes. Venezuela is developing community owned and directed banks. A common goal is to develop an economy not dependent, as is capitalism, on limitless exponential growth, but on consuming fewer resources, operating without debt, and using less or none of the global banking system's money. When the IMF and the world's banksters dubbed these nations "developing countries" (a fine example of Newspeak, that both renamed miserable poverty, and suggested that the international bankers' robbery was benefiting those countries), this is not the kind of development they had in mind. This is pure wide-open socialism based on the universal socialist and democratic socialist vision. The stuff of capitalist nightmares.
The traditional answer to such challengers to autonomous capitalism has been simple. Kill 'em. And we do our best. The U.S. has always had its provocative agents and hit squads working in those counties. Castro has survived or foiled some 638 assassination attempts, one every few weeks of his long presidency. Attempts on Chavez are so common the Venezuelan press no longer bothers to report them. After all, besides being old hat, they don't seem to be working anyway. Which means we will be forced to bomb the **** out of Venezuela and Cuba at some point. But they will have to get in line behind Iran.
By the way, a Latin American country does not have to be socialistic to get hammered by capitalist interests. Even Mexico, governed by corrupt capitalist and business overlords of the first order, men who have consistently sold their country out to foreign capitalist interests both before and since its revolution, is a target for covert action and sabotage -- from Israel of all places. In October 2001, a month after 9/11, two Israelis, MOSSAD agent Salvador Guersson Smecke and another Israeli who slipped into the country covertly, were arrested inside the halls of the Mexican congress, while posing as two rather lumpy looking photographers. The lumps turned out to be nine hand grenades, a dozen sticks of dynamite, detonators and detonator wiring and two Glock 9mm automatics. Immediately following the arrest, Ariel Sharon sent a top envoy, who sprang them, following strong pressure from Israeli government. They were whisked off, leaving Mexicans to wonder, What in the hell was THAT all about?" One neighbor here in Mexico says wryly, "That must have cost the Israelis millions in bribes." (*see footnote)
Born with the disease?
It would be nice if we could neatly lay all the blame on the nasty monolith of autonomous capitalism as an outside malignant force of its own. A systemic pathogen that somehow infected a decent and unsuspecting America. Looks like I just did, in fact.
Nevertheless, America and its national character were founded on the purest greed. From the beginning the people who came here wanted more of the material world. Sure, there were some religious dissenters (of which too much has been made for propaganda purposes). But the English and Dutch stock companies that established the first colonies came looking for profits. And the common people who came here were looking for "a better life," which to them was, above all else, becoming as wealthy as possible. America was its own self-selecting process.
Read Tocqueville's description of earlier Americans' relentless buying and selling fever. Everything and everyone was always up for sale from the start. Read about the greed and stinginess of the "refugees from religious persecution," such as slave owning Quakers, Presbyterians and Methodists. Read about how the founding fathers ripped off the Revolutionary War veterans for the IOU script they so patiently held for many years in payment for fighting, buying it up for pennies on the dollar, then passing legislation to pay up on the script. Or how not only the business class, but also the supposedly bucolic and wise heartland American farmers cheered as the government troops shot down hungry striking miners, burned out their families, lest they disturb the order of the Republic of commerce.
There were the exploited working masses then, just as there are now. And there was always the petty bourgeoisie, more than happy to do the dirty work of the most elite owning class, in hopes of currying its favor. Always happy to sanction the "wet jobs" on the Italian, Polish, Chinese and Irish immigrant laborer. You could then, and you can now, depend on the true middle class, that 15% or so, capitalism's commissars, to crush the working class. They will do anything to remain in a more privileged zone of consumption, the boundaries of which are maintained by agreement of state authorities. From their petty perches, they have deemed themselves "the middle class." In reality they are the mitigating class, the petty anointed whose job it is to obscure class awareness in America.
Shut up and let the green stuff talk
An awareness of class makes clear who is **** whom. That's why American capitalism's official line is that we area "classless society." Denying the existence of class, deeming all Americans (excepting a few too-obvious-to-be denied cases, such as inner city blacks and the poorest of immigrants), "middle class" was one of American capitalism's great strokes of genius. It blurred the line between workers and capitalism's middle class commissariat -- the petty business, mid-management, teaching and owning class managing the rest of us for the elites.
And just in case that line was not blurred enough, the bourgeoisie, particularly the academic institutions, successfully wrote the labor and the working masses out of American political history as taught in the public schools. We workers now have no continuous organic chain of memory and experience from which to draw.
The owning/business class has always been institutionalized as the state and the custodians of the entire American social and political process. History as we learn it in school is the owning class' version. Despite what we were taught, America's Constitution is mainly a property rights document, and those with the most property are naturally ascendant at all times in this country. Generation after generation of this ascent was bound to lead to what we see now. The ultimate triumph of property and money. A Supreme Court that, without the slightest hesitation, declares that money is speech and as such, will do most of the talking from here on out. The autonomous economy now has a tongue.
We can well imagine its future admonishments, its smug edicts, proclamations of terror afoot, more need for surveillance camera eyes, oil pipelines for its circulatory system. The autonomous economy not only has the bullhorn of the national media. It has a voice capable of drowning out what little of the people's voice remained, replacing our small national dialogue with soulless monologue. The bourgeoisie will listen closely though, for opportunity, a buck to be made in Kevlar, or perhaps the next new antidepressant for a demoralized, passive and discouraged republic.
In all honesty, I am sick of thinking about it, tired of burning up unrecoverable hours at the end of my 63-year old candle writing about it. So are many of my colleagues in cybernetic left-space.
Distance and solitude seem the only refuge. Which is why I am "aging Mexican," and almost monastically absorbed in the small daily rituals of sustenance these days. I do not kid myself that it is permanent or a real solution to the unbearable ugliness of the American condition.
But at the moment, four AM, a cricket chirps in the orange tree by my window, and my tortillas are perfectly lovely.   
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

 

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