NEUROHORMONAL CHANGE NEEDED.
[Neurohormones are chemical substances secreted by the brain, which allow it to become a higher dimensional object, the way I look at it; for a more thorough and conventional description of neurohormones see: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/410635/neurohormone]
CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN: OUT WITH GREED!
Abstract: The first year of Obama’s presidency has been an unmitigated disaster. Ironically, the fundamental reason has to do with the essence of Mr. Obama’s character, which led to his selection by the true bosses of the USA (Warren Buffet, Jamie Dimon, etc.).
However, if Mr. Obama understands that he has been played like a violin, precisely because he was a sort of Candide, he may be able to change his neurohormonal balance, towards the combativeness necessary to great politicians, intellectuals, and philosophers. Even fishes have come to that conclusion.
A good first step will be for Obama to get rid of some of his closest advisers, who have been judge, party and perpetrator to the economic disaster visiting the world.
BLAHBLAH COMPLETELY LOST IN THE BUSH:
Is it Obabush, or is it Bushama? Would Bush have been as bad? Obama is still stuck in his Oblahblah phase (described by Scientific American in the December 2009 issue as “Obama’s verbiage”). Obama is floundering mightily in his oil pan, mystifying the People with lofty verbiage and spastic strategy, claiming to be cooler than ever, while everything falls apart since none of the problems has even started to be addressed.
Trillions of dollars were sent to the individuals who destroyed the world economy. The White House will tell you that it was only a few hundred billions: they lie, or, worse, they understand too little. In any case, the point is that they sent nearly all the money that could be found, in the present, or the future, or in China, and then asked for nothing in return, as they gave it to the “banksters“.
And anyway, what was the idea there? To give to the destroyers the means, again, to keep on destroying the world economy? The USA has the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression; the U6 rate is roughly at 17.5% (it reached 25% in the Great Depression of the 1930s). However, the hit on real median per capita income, over ten years, is just as bad as during the 1930s.
No health care improvement is to be had, the latest pretext from the White House being the election of a telegenic white guy, from the other party that Obama tries to seduce, and who, like Ms. Palin, used professional sex appeal to get started in life. Obama could have signed an executive order or two, improving Medicare’s financial situation, while opening it up. Clearly the power elite did not want to improve health care, because they love to be lobbied by the present corrupt health care industry.
Obama did not give any relief on the home front, either. There are eight million homes in various states of foreclosure, plus at least 4 million homes in inventory (some realtors say 20 million homes are unoccupied!). Obama could have made it so that principals on homes would have been reduced swiftly, so that homeownership became affordable again, and construction starts again.
Instead, Obama let the banks keep on using imaginary valuations in real estate, while allowing said banks to still send all the money to the derivative universe, where banks create fake profits that made them so rich (that paradox is the beauty of derivatives, as far as the power elite and plutocracy are concerned).
It seems that a job program for the average Joe will have to wait until the sea reaches the White House lawn.
This is, at first sight, weird: just on the environment, there is plenty of work for all Americans, should the president decide the crash program needed for purely environmental reasons.
So why is nothing being done? As I have argued in the past, there is a single underlying reason: corrupt White House officials, corrupt power elite, and degenerate plutocracy intend to keep on cashing on the banking, financial and economic systems AS THEY ARE, just as they have cashed on it in the past. They preserve their cash cow, while blahblahing the other way. Oblahblah, oblahblah: such is their program, like magicians in a circus.
For example, Summers, Emanuel, Geithner made a lot of money from banks and derivatives. The right hand man of Obama made 16 million dollars in two years from a bank, while knowing no finance or economics. He was also made a director of Fannie Mae, another lucrative position for which he had no formation.
Summers, the architect of America’s disaster for 30 years running, made more than eight million dollars “working” for a derivative business, just as he was advising Obama, in his evil way. Other “work” of Summers consisted in advising foreign powers on how to better fleece Americans. There are a lot of American sheep, the “work” is never done, as far as Summers and his ilk are concerned.
Bush’s last defense budget was 537 billion US dollars. That was already plenty bad enough. Obama boosted the defense budget to 625 billion dollars. Then he tripled the number of troops occupying Afghanistan. Then he received the Nobel Peace prize, thus demonstrating that the influence of the plutocracy extends all the way to Norway.
Now, of course, the war in Iraq is not finished, and the USA will never win in Afghanistan, for the good and simple reason that the USA has not enough interest, and probably not the capability, to pay the immense price that would have to be incurred to do so.
Paul Krugman, astounded by the meek surrender of Obama on health care, after losing one US Senate seat, puts it this way in: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/20/he-wasnt-the-one-weve-been-waiting-for/ : “I’m pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in.”
Well, Obama has shown you that he can fight, and kill people, as long as they are out of sight and out of mind. That is why he uses robots. What Obama does not like is real face to face confrontation. As he faced the defeat of his health plan, he said:”I would advise that we try to move quickly to coalesce around those elements of the package that people agree on.” Apparently, in his mind, Obama is only an adviser. So, question: who is Obama advising, who is really leading America?
SUMMERS: FOR 3O YEARS FLEECING THE USA:
Larry Summers already pulled the strings under Reagan, before joining Harvard as a full professor at the grand old age of 28. Plutocracy (Harvard included!) has long seen Summers as their top operator. His influence extended worldwide. The person most responsible for the financial and economic disaster gripping the planet is Larry Summers, for his work in the Clinton administration as Under Secretary and Secretary of the Treasury. Summers and company destroyed the mixed economy of the USA, and tried to extend that “work”, the rise of plutocracy, worldwide. They have been succeeding, so far.
Let me remind everybody that the disaster of the collapse of the American financial system spread worldwide. Because of securitization, investors, worldwide, found that the quasi governmental US rating agencies had grievously lied, in cooperation with the biggest US banks. They presented products that were bound to fail, as AAA (the highest rating). This affected the reputation of the USA so much, it can be viewed as an attack against national security.
Because of the derivative market, the taxpayers of the USA found themselves paying billions of dollars to French banks and many other foreign banks. For example, more than ten billion dollars had to go from US taxpayers to the giant French bank Société Générale. Not that I am saying that money should not have been paid. Differently from Goldman Sachs, which had set up the AIG system, Société Générale did not necessarily know that it was victim of a scam.
The real scandal is that Larry Summers was directly responsible of all this, because he refused absolutely to regulate the sort of derivatives AIG was selling, and, in particular insisted that it should not be checked whether provisions had been made to honor the contracts. When officials under Clinton tried to do something about it, a sexist screaming Summers blocked the lady who had proposed to look into the matter (and who led the appropriate board). Obviously, Larry Summers thought that the US taxpayer would be the payer of last resort, not AIG, nor Goldman.
GET RID OF SUMMERS!
On the face of it, it’s all very simple: Obama will stay in his Oblahblah phase as long as he does not get rid of the pernicious influence of the very creature who caused, nearly singlehandedly, the financial and economic disaster that struck the entire world economy. Of course Summers is himself just an agent of the plutocracy, but arguably its main agent, 30 years ruling (!) How can one fight a fire, having as fire chief the guy who keeps setting the worst fires?
Summers is a danger to the entire planet. That is actually his role, to endanger as much as possible, while hiding his causal influence. Summers’ role is to make a bad situation way worse: with a bit of luck, fascism will have to be called to the rescue, we are just in a transition phase, as far as the operators of Summers are concerned. Fascism is the ultimate stage of plutocracy. At least, that is what history shows.
That Obama named Summers the de facto Treasury Secretary is testimony to his financial ignorance, and, or, that he has been operating under the influence of the top plutocrats. Since Obama called many of the top plutocrats his personal “friends”, one can only assume that his “friends” told him what to do, on a “friendly” basis; let see how long Buffet stays friendly as he gets taxed as he deserves!
Obama, so far, has behaved as the greatest agent plutocracy ever had. Was it all a conspiracy? Or is there something more subtle at play?
WHY DID THE BOSSES SELECT OBAMA?
Some have written that Obama executed a “bait and switch”. But something else may be at work. After all, Obama was selected by the bosses well before he became a US Senator; the top leadership of the democratic party sent their top operative, Axelrod, adviser of Kerry during his presidential run, to Obama, when Obama was still a total unknown representative in an unknown state legislature. Then of course Goldman Sachs went all out for Obama, and the rest is history (disclosure: I and my family sent what was for us a giant amount of money to Obama; we had very personal reasons to believe in him).
It is not much of a stretch to suppose that Obama was selected for his highly compliant character as far as the bosses were concerned. It does not take many interviews with the gentleman to figure out that strength of personality is not is forte.
So here we have Obama, politician. A new type of politician: cool and lofty, like an iguana perched on a tree.
There have been many types of great politicians. Some such as Churchill, Clemenceau, Lincoln, or Cicero: rocks against fascism. Some like Pericles, or Caesar: grand, but too great by half as they were rendered dangerous by hubris (French and British history have a few of these, too).
Some great politicians are like Henri IV of France: grand and good, all over.
But all great politicians all have something in common: extremely strong characters, towering personalities, rebellious natures. This extends to women: Queens such as Bathilde (who outlawed slavery, circa 660 CE), Isabelle of France, or Elizabeth I of England had extremely fierce personalities (the enslaved Bathilde fled her owner, one of the richest men; Elizabeth refused to marry, and welcomed the Spanish armada in armor, on a cliff, at the head of her army).
The two Roosevelts of the USA were probably the best presidents the USA had in the twentieth century, because they had the courage to curb seriously the plutocracy. 21 centuries ago, Polybius explained that plutocracy was a recurring threat, part of a cycle, the way he saw it.
Plutocracy was always a threat for civilization. The Romans, the Maya, the Yuan, and countless others fell to plutocracy. The threat of too much capital gathering in too few hands is driven by pure mathematics, and the law of compounded interest (which is just the exponential in disguise; the richer one is, the easier it is to get richer; even herdsmen have figured that one out… but not the Reagan style economists).
Being a grand, or great politician is driven by more than thoughtful behavior. It is no accident that many great politicians, such as Henry VIII, Henri IV, JFK, even Roosevelt or Ibn Saud never ran out of skirts to chase. Ibn Saud, great warrior and founder of the country named after him, confessed that nothing beat lying on top of a woman. Muhammad himself was just the same, even stealing wives from his closest associates (a subject of deep scandal in Islam to this day!)
GREAT MEANS FORCE, HENCE NEUROHORMONAL FORCE:
When the leader of a school of some species of fish dies, another male dominant fish becomes him. So doing he becomes completely different in aspect, size, and strength, as supremacy hormones take over (or, more exactly a supreme hormonal cocktail takes over). If there is no dominant male available, a female undergoes all the transformations, and becomes the dominant super male. While not as dramatic, there is plenty of direct evidence that, even in human beings, although hormones direct behavior, the converse is also true, and an amplifying feedback system exists (and not just for sex, but also for the more esoteric stuff, the point of this essay).
The reason for such passionate characters dominating and leading is hormonal and neurological. Great things done with minds are those requiring the most force. Mental force is mental, sure, but it is still force, and, of all the forces, it is the force with the most force there is.
Evolutionary speaking, mental force has been driven by ferocity, for want of a better word. The ferocity of the human species has made the planet into our garden. Yes, well, this is very far from Rousseau’s platitudes, and it puts a somewhat sinister foundation to Voltaire’s final injunction in Candide: “Il faut cultiver notre jardin!” (one must cultivate one’s garden). But as Deng Xiaoping said:”It does not matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice!” To cultivate the garden well, one needs to eradicate the pests.
The point is that Homo Sapiens is a cat who, whether it be black, or white, or big or small, was, overall, capable of catching mice. And also all big cats (Big cats are suspected to have had the greatest mass of land animals, until fairly recently).
Some men become leaders, because their natural ferocity and mental strength drove the extermination of enemies and the accomplishment of great tasks. Not all men can be leaders. The same can be observed with lionesses: not all are leaders, and great huntresses. Others just follow along, opportunistically: they feed on the kill, but they systematically do not work as much for it (evolutionary theorists have worked on that intriguing subject).
KENNEDY HAD BALLS, IN OTHER WORDS, THE CORRECT NEURO HORMONES:
In 1962, president Kennedy confronted the biggest steel companies: “The simultaneous and identical actions of United States Steel and other leading steel corporations increasing steel prices by some six dollars a ton constitute a wholly unjustified and irresponsible defiance of the public interest.” Kennedy was a real warrior, and authentic war hero. He went on the offensive in the next three days:
1) The Defense Dept. announced plans to review steel contracts and switch to lower-cost suppliers. Defense Secretary McNamara placed an order for three submarines with Lukens Steel, which had not raised its prices; the contract would normally have been split among different suppliers including U.S. Steel.
2) The Justice Department initiated an investigation as to whether the near-simultaneous price increases were a form of monopoly subject to anti-trust laws. Attorney General Robert Kennedy explicitly included the question of whether U.S. Steel “so dominates the industry that it controls prices and should be broken up.”
3) The President went on the air to tell the press and the public why the steel companies’ actions were not in the public interest, and against the “MIXED ECONOMY OF THE USA”.
Now of course neither the Reagan brain washed public or professional economists have any idea about what a MIXED ECONOMY is, and, a fortiori that the USA had one when it was the greatest. All the public and the economists know is that it has got to be something rather French, and, therefore, suspect.
Now what we have, ever since Reagan, is an attempt to get a purely plutocratic economy, where everybody would be a servant to a private very rich individual, or a powerful oligarchy. We had that before: it was called (plutocratic) Rome. It failed. The Middle Ages, instead, were characterized by the rise of guilds, in other words, unions. Unions of workers, fraternal, proud of work in general, and their work in particular. The USA that won the Second World War, and that Kennedy inherited, was a republic of engineers (that is why it won WWII). It was not the plutocratic republic Rome, or the USA, turned into.
Kennedy concluded: “My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now.”
I THINK MORE, THEREFORE I WELCOME THE FIGHT:
The difference between someone such as Roosevelt or Kennedy and Obama has been, probably, so far, at the very least, neurohormonal. Different neurohormones are produced by, and lead to, different brains. The brain of a lackey is different from that of his master. Masters lead, lackeys “advise“.
Forging ahead in the mental world requires great gusto, great heat, unstoppable force, just the qualities Obama seems to believe are not characteristic of the intellectual he claims to want to be.
But Obama knows his history too little. He does not even seem to know, that THINKING IS FIGHTING. Although many intellectuals pushed that notion explicitly during the twentieth century: Camus, Hemingway, etc. Camus named his newspaper “Combat”.
Just in France, in a particular short period, intellectuals such as De Beauvoir (yes, a woman), Joliot-Curie (yes, another woman), Sartre, Camus, Foucault, Aron, even as they talked peace and progress, were not only extremely gutsy, but also enthusiastically at each others’ throats.
Their fights were something that, far from demeaning it, fostered world intellectual progress. The passion provided –literally- with the energy inside the brains to melt the old mental structures, and replace them by more sophisticated ones.
The all-consuming passion those intellectuals had for thinking better, helped in all sorts of ways. In the 1950s, the Soviet Union representative, in a world intellectual meeting, called Sartre a “dactylographic hyena”. Irene Joliot-Curie stormed out, with the entire French delegation that she led. After that, intellectually compromising with Stalinism was definitively on the way out in Europe.
NO GUTS, NO BRAINS:
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt loudly boasted of the “hatred” that bankers had for him. Hate can be an excellent motivation. Passion is good: such is the difference with the passivity of Buddhism, or Confucianism, and that is why China, after millennia of soporific “Eastern” philosophy, is standing up, ever since she adopted Marxism, a typically passionate Western European philosophy in the best tradition of Western European democratic rebellion.
Earlier Nietzsche, said of his book Ecce Homo that “one has to have guts merely to endure it”. That is the point: one needs guts just to endure some thoughts.
One actually need guts just to produce the most advanced thoughts, at any stage of human progress.
A practical example: Obama obviously cannot endure the thought that his hyper rich friends who were so tender and respectful of him, obviously preparing for him the best of futures, are just sleazebags burying the world under their filth and dementia. There is only that much that one can take when one’s guts are too delicate. The best American presidents, Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lincoln, the Roosevelts, Eisenhower, JFK, all had lots of guts.
BACK TO BASICS:
Politics is practical philosophy. Politicians who forge new politics forge, or use, recent philosophy.
“Philo-sophy” means love-wisdom. But, of course, everybody loves wisdom. So what is really meant by philosophy, or a philosopher, is someone who loves wisdom much more than average people do (and, implicitly, does it better). And what does “much more” means? It means that one will fight more readily, that one has more passion for the cause, a cause, some cause. Better mental combat capability, more aggressive neurohormones.
All great philosophers, and all great politicians, those who have durably changed the world’s thought system, were all great fighters. If one does not have the passion to sustain the fight, one cannot even think, let alone act. Being cool and superficial depicts oneself as just a pawn of higher powers.
In the USA, right wing politicians have dominated for thirty years, because they have the fire of passion for their (perverse, and self defeating) causes. If Clinton let Rubin, Summers, Greenspan (yes, I know the Fed is supposed to be independent) and company lead him by the nose, it was, fundamentally, because he worried mostly about himself, and that the passion for doing great things was with the plutocrats.
Some will argue that nothing has changed, that we have in Obama another figurehead, mostly fascinated by himself, and doing whatever the higher powers want him to do. But there is hope.
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WAY OUT:
Precisely because Obama was ignorant, obviously embarassingly so, of how evil and incompetent Larry Summers, and most of his corrupt advisers were, therein WHAT COULD SAVE HIM.
Obama can now turn around, and say that he was misled to an immense extent, and that these people need to be punished all the more, since not only they misled the American People, but they even misled him, Obama. A good occasion for Obama to show how intelligent he really is. Intelligence is adaptation, and the teleonomic selection of the fittest behaviors. Intelligence, thus, means change. Not change one can believe in, but change allowing to find the fittest behaviors, and thus, survive.
It could all turn out to be very cathartic. Of course Geithner, Bernanke, etc, should also go, but they are just little soldiers, relative to Summers who has presided over the destruction of the USA ever since he served Reagan thirty years ago (bringing destruction of FDR’s work, deregulation and thus the failures of the Saving and Loans industry, to start with).
All the big bankers should be examined by the justice department under RICO, the anti-Racketeering Act, as I advised to do a while ago (http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2009/02/24/time-for-rico/).
If the conspiracy between Goldman Sachs and AIG was not racketeering, I wonder what is.
So there is hope. As long as Obama uses this catharsis to change himself. And that should start with recovering some dignity with the help of anger. Someday, though, we will need a political system that depends upon more than one king, however elected he is. And certainly not selected by the self serving Warren Buffet. About the later plutocratic boss, see for example: http://blogs.reuters.com/rolfe-winkler/2010/01/21/buffett-lets-public-down/?source=patrick.net.
We need to start to elect ideas, not people. And certainly not puppets.
Annex: direct democracy has been used in Switzerland for a long time, with good results (except for the occasional craziness such as the Minaret interdiction, which should be struck down by some European court). In California, a partial direct democracy exists, but without enough constitutional guarantees: prop 13 sucked out too much taxation income to leave enough to operate the state, to the glee of the plutocracy, and the increasing sorrow of everybody else). Thus direct democracy can work, but only in a carefully constructed constitutional context still to be determined. Polling opinions is the ersatz presently used.