Oligarchy, Or Plutocracy?

USING THE CORRECT WORDS MATTER.

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Abstract: Very Serious People trying to describe the socio-economic situation in the USA, and the world, like to use the word “oligarchy”. The rule of the few. However, according to their own discourses, they ought to use the word “plutocracy”. Plutocracy, in conventional semantics, is the rule of wealth.

Plutocracy is what we have in Libya, under the crazed dictator. It is not just the rule of wealth. It is the rule of Pluto. As I was saying in the last essay, at some point only force works against Pluto.

See below an otherwise excellent editorial of the unfortunate Paul Krugman, dragged below as exhibit number one: a purring kitten when a giant roaring saber tooth tiger is needed.

All Very Serious economists such as Simon Johnson, or Stiglitz do this. Describing plutocracy, and then calling it “oligarchy”. However something has to be said about understatements.

Understatements and euphemisms can be a form of lying. For example when Jews started to disappear from Germany, the authorities claimed they had been removed for their safety. They explained that the Jews caused the world war, and had been sent east, to protect them, since people wanted to exact vengeance. Most Germans decided that was good enough an explanation.

A related form of lying is to always present as equally valid points of view, as long as they are opposed to each other. In the end, that absolute equanimity is a denial of judgment, and thus of justice. After an insane maniac has killed a few people because he did not like the way they dressed, are we going to present his point of view as equally valid? As CNN’s Anderson Cooper concurred with Jon Steward, there is something as the truth (I am paraphrasing). One cannot give a lie equal time, just because it’s opposed to the truth. And then claim to be “fair and balanced”.

Obama is one euphemism further removed from reality. He does not even dare to use the word “oligarchy” (presumably because then the question would naturally arise of why he himself is not ruling, since he was elected to do that).

So Obama uses the expression “special interests“. That’s what the French would call talking with a “wooden tongue”. Because “special interests” says nothing. We all have “special interests’, except those of us who really have no interests, and are nothing special. Or does that mean that Obama is nothing special, and has no interests? So he finds quite remarkable that some people have “special interests“?

The debate is not only semantic. Without a precise vocabulary, there is no precise thinking. False semantics breeds false thinking. If plutocracy there is, those who are in charge ought not to call it specially interesting, as if they were visiting a museum somewhere.

After giving some outrageous examples of the frasques of plutocrats, I let Krugman talk, as he describes plutocracy quite well, while calling it something more acceptable to the powers that be. And why so? Because plutocrats commandeer much more of the resources of the planet than people expect. It’s not just Maria Carrey and Beyoncé who sing for those who ought to be in jail. Intellectuals, let alone politicians, know how to find the right notes to seduce those who have it all, because they stole it. And that corrupts us all, deep inside.

I also claim that the semantics of the word “plutocracy” have to be taken in full, and seriously, since therein the ultimate warning.

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PLUTOCRATS DO AS HADES DOES:

In Libya, Khadafy pursues his criminal insanity, as he has for 41 years, claiming it’s a revolution. To get on NATO’s good side, he briskly asserts that the country is at risk of becoming a new Afghanistan. However, he is proud in his boots, while he assassinates thousands of who he claims are drugged out youth under the order of bin Laden (he has got to believe that NATO is even dumber in Afghanistan than it already is). He also called protesters “greasy cats and rats“.

To help in his rule, Khadafy uses African mercenaries (paid a fortune in oil money). Khadafy used to fight a war in Africa against France, him using African mercenaries, and the French using everything, even supersonic jets, decades ago. So this is nothing new. Each time Khadafy’s sons offered millions to sexy Western pop stars, ostensibly to sing a few songs in their Caribbean palaces, that was good for business, said the West.

The New York Times gave egregious examples of the plutocracy in Libya, complete with one of the many sons of the “Guide” requesting 1.2 billion from an oil company to establish his own private army. The New York Times calls such acts “exploits”. I don’t think that irony is either cute, or appropriate. Use irony with Obama, if you wish. But, with blatant criminal insanity in plain sight, where thugs kill thousands while corrupting the world, irony is self defeating. Shall we be ironical about Auschwitz? How does that feel?

I call Khadafy’s sons antics, international criminality similar to what happened under the worst of fascism, in the first part of the Twentieth Century, and if we don’t react in a timely manner, it will end up the same.

Not only is international plutocracy in business with these people, but learning to tolerate their monstrous behavior, teaches us to respect monstrosity, and, thus, to find our local plutocrats loving. In the USA the word “philanthropists” is used as a replacement for  the word “plutocrats”. It does not just sound Greek, thus democratic and learned; it is the first word American plutocrats hide behind. The irony that man eating tigers are also “philanthropic”, in a rather similar sense, is lost on the mesmerized population. So far.

What is Khadafy’s clan fortune? 30 billion in liquid assets were quickly found by “The Telegraph”. More thorough accounting show at least 120 billion. One of the world’s richest families. Not coincidentally, made of some of the most nefarious sadistic killers in the world.

In Kosovo, the new president is an extremely wealthy man who once restored the Kremlin (he got the contract for the restauration of the vast seat and residence of the Russian government)… and was examined unsuccessfully for corruption by the Swiss authorities. He wanted to become the self described “Berlusconi of the Balkans“.

Berlusconi is another extravagantly rich multibillionaire directly in power, rumored to have long befriended the Mafia, by making its laundry (money laundering, that is). Is the Kosovo president the one suspected by the UN and the EU since 2003 of killing people to sell their organs? No that’s Hashim Thaci, Kosovo’s brand new prime minister and the former head of the Kosovo Liberation Army. I am not making these things up, no need: the truth is more alarming than the imagination. Plutocrats everywhere, doing whatever it takes to further their dark arts.

In Wisconsin the just elected republican governor cut the taxes on the rich, in his bankrupt state (he gave 140 million in tax cuts to friends and corporations). Cutting taxes on the rich: another way to help the economy, say the rich. According to Reaganomics, the more one gives to the rich, the better the economy.

Then the governor decided to make collective bargaining of government employees unlawful (to save money he said, as if talking was expensive). Being employed by the government of Wisconsin would be like joining the army: Mussolini, here we come!

How do such people haters get elected? How did Mussolini and Hitler get elected? Simple; you gather some of the hyper rich together, present your plan, and, if they accept it, voila! The money is sent where it counts, or where it hurts, or where it impresses, or where nobody knows it irrigates the reasonings. And soon the people is persuaded that its tormenters are its saviors. (Governor Walker is indeed financed by the rich billionaires, the Koch brothers, and, indirectly, by many other billionaires.)

Mesmerizing people with money is particularly easy to do in the USA, where not much of an attempt to separate politics and money has been made. So the hyper rich buy the TV, and the masses do as they are told. (A sneaky way to do that is to run advertisements for the erroneous ideas themselves, so that people are then persuaded that lies are truths, and truths are lies. That works well because people do not understand that which ideas get elected is more important than which puppet gets to implement them.)

Studies have shown that, in the USA, the candidate who spends the most money is elected in 94% of the cases.

The governor wants to prevent collective bargaining with the unions, which often has to do with working conditions, or augmenting efficiency. Saving some money will allow to give more to the rich, since the rich are the economy. But mostly it demolishes some more an example of what I call ‘democratic institutions’ (see Krugman below).

There were protest demonstrations. Representative Paul Ryan, the sort of creature who passes for a star in the republican party, made a singularly apt comparison: “It’s like Cairo has moved to Madison.” Indeed. Complete with one of Mubarak’s little helpers, stealing from the poor to give to the rich, and forbidding people to organize themselves to resist.

In New York, the Libyan delegation rebelled, and condemned the tyrant Khadafy as a “war criminal“. Khadafy is indeed a war criminal: his regime has no democratic legitimacy whatsoever, beyond killing people.

Khadafy’s children are known for being filthy. One beat up his wife in London. She was advised to claim to the Brits it was not what it looked like.

Another son beat up a maid in Geneva, so he was arrested by the local police. Libya, to compensate for that outrage, took Swiss citizens hostages. Switzerland soon capitulated.

Just as the USA and France had capitulated earlier, after the bombing of their jumbo jets, and various other attacks; Reagan had shown some apparent resolve, and bombed Khadafy, but the result was the death of some innocent child… So Gaddafi said. He did not explain why, alerted by some traitor in NATO, had fled his compound, with all his entourage, in a timely manner, and never explained why he left a child behind, as if she were a goat left for a tiger. (A French bombing once in the desert in Chad nearly killed Gaddafi, long ago, but that’s another story.

Khadafy’s son, his heir apparent, the intellectual Seif Al Islam, warned of a holocaust, should the protesters keep on protesting. By the way, Seif Al Islam purchased a PhD at the London School of Economics. OK, many Anglo-Saxon universities are for profit organization, and the plutocrat Soros had been instrumental in the granting of the PHD, written by some eminent Harvard professors for Mr. Seif Al Islam Kadaffi. However, since PhD means Philosophiae Doctor, should not they strip him from it? What’s philosophical about preaching mass murder?

Notice that the young, Senegalese born Secretary to Human Rights in France, Yama Rade, courageously protested the coming of Khadafy to France. She got in very hot waters from her boss, the plutocratic friendly Sarkozy (he then cancelled the position she held). Sarkozy is not a plutocrat, but many individuals in his closest family, let alone countless friends, are. Fate is a most miraculous thing.

Notice also in passing that (Hilary) Clinton and company (Obama?) acted very well in the Arab revolution, because, in total contrast with their attitude with WikiLeaks, the USA taught young protesters how to use the Internet to implement a revolution (yes, some of those the Department of State helped also worked for WikiLeaks, and a lot of the horrors revealed on many of the nasty regimes came, trough WikiLeaks, from the US Department of State! Maybe the anti-WikiLeaks rage was all an act…)

Libyan Air Force pilots fled, with their French made supersonic jets, to Europe. The war criminal has been using jets to bomb protesters. Why does not the EU and the USA issue a warrant of arrest against Khadafy for on-going war criminality? And a no-fly zone? (Since I wrote this, the UN made some hesitant steps in that general direction; but a freeze on anything pertaining to the Khadafy clan ought to have long been in force.)

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CALLING LIONS LIONS HELP IN NOT BEING EATEN:

Concepts such as “Satan”, “Evil”, and “Pluto” were invented for occasion such as these: when personal madness disguised as self-love kills thousands, for no other reason than self expression. Khadafy ought to be arrested on sight. When he bombed American and French jumbo jets, killing nearly 500, he was forgiven. Who gave Western leaders the authority to forgive him? It was a crime against mankind, and there is no forgiveness for that. Khadafy was recently received in Paris and Rome as if he were the messiah.

It would probably take only a small fraction of the armed forces of any one of the three leading armed democracies (USA, UK, France), and just a few days, to do away with the murderous Libyan thug. View it as realistic training. That would be good, especially for the Italian army.

Or shall we do as with Auschwitz, wait until the heat subsides, and the ovens cool, and decision makers can whine that they would have done something, had they know? The truth is, our politicians love his oil, his money, and the established order, worldwide plutocracy, that the Libyan dictator belongs to.

It is not just that Libya, with 3% of the world oil production, a lot of it “Light Sweet Crude” necessary to Europe, is an important piece of the set-up. Khadaffi helps keep the principle of dictatorship honorable, the People down, and it does not hurt that his enormous portofolio of 150 billion dollars keep many a Western bankster happy.

The comparison with Auschwitz is not outrageous. First, before it got real big, Auschwitz, and the like, started small. After a few years, it got real big. Of course, Libya is small in population (7 millions). But to leave huge outrage in Libya alone will encourage others, much bigger, to become outrageous too, and much more outrageous, since they are so much bigger.

Second, the comparison is not outrageous, from my point of view. I have important family reasons to have that point of view, since my direct ancestors engaged Nazism in combat, on both maternal and paternal sides, and those born in Europe moreover engaged in the resistance, sheltered the hunted in secret rooms, and barely escaped with their lives.

They were saved from the Gestapo by a traitor inside the Gestapo (!) and by US GI, while chased across the countryside, so any claim of primary anti-Americanism against this site have to be taken with a grain of salt, since, without GIs, there would have been no author; thus American GIs are objective accomplices to whatever is going on here. Also claims of primitive anti-Germanism don’t hold water either.

I had an uncle with the inner German and Nazi story, as he had married in the very highest reaches of the German military-industrial complex (he knew some of the plots from inside, thus was never allowed to visit the USA, although a most famous astronomer). This background made me a Nazi expert. By the age of 6, I had already a few iconoclastic theories I still subscribe to today, and were plenty enough to irritate a beloved, older cousin with (who defended conventional wisdom, as she meekly claimed the Germans had been abused just by Hitler; I knew better from the other side of the family!).

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WHEN NAZIS WERE REVERED IN PLAIN VIEW:

From my point of view, Nazism was pushed by hyper wealthy financiers and industrialists, not all of them German. Many were based in England and the USA. It is ironical, and I guess part of a general cover-up, that the movie “The King’s Speech” talk so much about the difficulty someone had in reading a discourse of Churchill (OK, I did not see the movie yet).

On second thinking, maybe it’s not surprising. The preceding King, his brother, had been thrown out, ostensibly, for wanting to marry a woman, who was to divorce several months later, thus putting her in the position of marrying him. Her picture is part of the handsome threesome below.

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The truth: ex-king with co-conspirator in 1937.

Wallis received roses daily from the Nazi foreign minister Von Ribbentrop, apparently slept with him, and kept on leaking secrets to him (the FBI was told). It helped that the very rich Von Ribbentrop, a wine merchant, had an extremely expensive residence in London. The influential network Ribbentrop had set-up in England led to a de facto alliance of the UK with Hitler in 1935 (this alliance then proceeded to violate the Versailles Treaty; this explains why France did not attack Hitler in 1936: no matter what, France was not going to contradict Great Britain).

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HIGHEST TREASON IMAGINABLE STILL UNCONDEMNED:

In truth Edward VIII was thrown out for being part of a vast pro-Nazi conspiracy throughout British upper society. Similar cleansing was needed in the USA, but never happened. Instead the American pro-Nazi conspiracy headed what one ought to call the Nazi reconversion movement, after the war.

When are we going to see a movie on that much more interesting subject, namely when all too many leaders of the West, stabbed democracy in the back, by becoming Hitler helpers, or even enablers?

The pro-Nazi British conspiracy was not finished after the abdication. The best was yet to come. The ex-Edward VIII stayed powerful and influential, especially in Portugal, and Spain. But he liked France best. So he was naturally named Inspector General of the British Forces, with the rank of major general, and, as such, had a full month to inspect the French lines in 1940, when France and Britain had been at war against the Nazis for more than six months.

And this, well after the German ambassador to the Netherlands had warned, in February 1940, that the ex-king had leaked to the Nazis the Allied war plans (the German ambassador thought the Nazis were crazy).

Hey, why should the armed forces fear a man who declared about their enemy: “In the past 10 years Germany has totally reorganized the order of its society … Countries which were unwilling to accept such a reorganization of society and its concomitant sacrifices should direct their policies accordingly.” (Edward VIII, 1940).

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True love: ex-king Edward VIII reviewing a squad of towering SS, with Robert Ley, head of the German Labour Front. Ley hanged himself in 1945 to escape further Allied punishment.

Ley was the head of the Nazi trade union busting effort (for further trade busting, see Wisconsin above). It helped that Ley was of a poor, socialist and trade union background. Ley was indicted at Nuremberg on three counts. Count One: “The Common Plan or Conspiracy to wage an aggressive war in violation of international law or treaties”. Count Three:”War Crimes, including among other things, mistreatment of prisoners of war or civilian populations. Count Four: Crimes Against Humanity – murder, extermination, enslavement of civilian populations; persecution on the basis of racial, religious or political grounds”.

The ex-Edward VIII informed Hitler where the weak point of the French defenses was. Hitler then took enormous risks (and big losses), to mass all his armor through one tortuous road in the Ardennes mountains. Nazi armor was seen by a Spitfire pilot, but he was not believed.

Hitler then broke through the weak point, thanks to a pounding by the entire Luftwaffe, and suicidal charges by explosive laden engineers. In a mystery unexplained to this day, giant French guns in the area did not fire. The second rate French reserve division which was in the way of the entire Nazi army panicked, and the rest is history. Dozens of first rate French (and some British) divisions, and nearly all the Franco-British armor were north, in Belgium and the Netherlands, punching in a vacuum.

Although vastly superior to Nazi armor, the French and British divisions were cut from behind. The American plutocrats were on the other side of the Atlantic, not counting their chicken, since they were not hatched yet.

Desperate efforts by courageous Canadians and the remaining French army were not enough to insure the safety of French aviation (which may have regained air superiority), and a coup and associated cease fire followed, before the proposed Franco-British common nationality could be implemented (because a government needed to represent and protect the French, and the only remaining government was in London, headed by Churchill).

Charming scenes followed, such as Hitler giving, with his entourage, the Nazi salute to a bigger than life portrait of the ex-Edward VIII, in his castle in Sologne. Or when the ex-Edward VIII ordered the Nazis to put guards at his residences in France (even on those on the Riviera). And the Nazis did! Hey, one would not have wanted one of these crazy French to make the ex, and future, Edward VIII uncomfortable.

Finally an exasperated Churchill ordered the treacherous ex-king to return to British soil, lest he be court-martialed (and probably condemned to death, for high treason). He was exiled to the Bahamas.

There Edward VIII had to live among Jews and “negroes”, and he did not like it. As he said about the most prominent editor in the Bahamas: “It must be remembered that Dupuch is more than half Negro, and due to the peculiar mentality of this race, they seem unable to rise to prominence without losing their equilibrium.”

Edward VIII knew about equilibrium: he was half Nazi, half British. No wonder his brother stuttered.

Edward VIII would stay rich, influential, and unpunished thereafter. The plutocracy knows how to take care of its own, and rein in the unruly. Never mind that Edward was an important contributing factor in the death of 50 million (the defeat of France and Britain in 1940 happened because of an extraordinary confluence of amazing events; in theory, the Nazis did not have a chance against the combined strength of the French and British empires, plus the British Commonwealth; the defeat happened because of many factors the reigning oligarchy has shown no enthusiasm to explore, as many keep on going in the present world, as strong as ever).

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IF IT’S THE RULE OF MONEY, MONEY-RULE, PLUTOCRACY, DON’T CALL IT JUST “OLIGARCHY”:

The Nazis would have recognized immediately that what the governor of Wisconsin is trying to do is a beautiful, and necessary thing. The Nazis themselves, in spite of tremendous efforts, were unable to subdue totally the unions and guilds.

The Nazis were the original believers in trickle-down economics, although they hid it below a “nationalist” and “socialist” discourse (although many Nazis were genuinely nationalist and socialist, the smaller group around Hitler was neither: it was just predatory, and self obsessed, and directed from not so far, by their plutocratic sponsors, because that’s where the money was).

As Nobel Prize Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times [February 20, 2011]: “What Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to do is to make Wisconsin — and eventually, America — less of a functioning democracy and more of a third-world-style oligarchy.”

Said oligarchies are ALWAYS characterized by immense wealth, and the wealth is used to rule. So they are more than oligarchies, they are plutocracies.

As I have long insisted, democracy cannot work without institutions; democratic institutions answer the objections of the Platonic Socrates against democracy.

(By the way, this implies that if the West, namely the USA and the EU, want to help democracy in democratizing lands, they should help the building of democratic institutions, and not even hesitate to do this before the one-man one-vote thing, which the Greeks viewed, correctly, only as part and parcel of a democratic society.)

Socrates whined that anybody voted about anything and for anybody, and that one ended with unqualified people leading the City. But Socrates’ reasoning is weak, because he shows no specific examples. He was judge and party in the matter, having educated, enlightened, bedded, dined, feted, loved, admired, celebrated and begged many of the controversial principals (his lover Alcibiades, the “30 Tyrants”, etc…). Those later led the anti-democracy movement in Athens. They were all members of a would-be plutocracy of Athens, and they all, at some point, were active dictators, or first class traitors. (Hence the accusation against Socrates of “corrupting the youth“, and hence Socrates philosophically smelling like a rotten fish. At least on that subject.)

However, corrupt Socrates’ mind was in the matter, his core objection is valid, and the European Middle Ages worked to answer it over a period of 15 centuries.

15 centuries? When the Middle Ages finished is a matter of serious controversy. Philosophically, 1945 CE could be advanced, and not just as a half joke. What Hitler did was similar to what Justinian did, and exactly what the European Union was designed to prevent, namely the return of holocaust driven fascism. So the FINAL break with philosophical traditions started under the fascist theocratic Roman empire happened after 1945, not before; last point: some of those traditions that came to be typical of the Roman empire, were antinomic to the principles of the early Roman republic.

In my chronology of meaning, the Dark Ages got rolling when Roman plutocracy started to dictate policy, around 146 BCE; it was then just a matter of time before everything decline and fell. Amusingly, that came in blatant evidence as Marcus Aurelius, who was dabbling in philosophy behind closed doors, put his biological son in charge (making him an early version of Khadafy; although Marcus Aurelius was much less plutocratic, differently from his rotten son).

By the same token, regimes giving prominence to a particular superstition are part theocracies, thus partly stuck in the Middle Ages (that’s an allusion to Muslim regimes).

The Middle Ages invented many institutions to allow expertise in a democratic context. An important type were the self governing cities (some under the theoretical supervision of some distant king).

Another important type of institutions, invented in the Middle Ages were the guilds. They still exist today. Many are called unions. the Nazis tried to break them, and they failed. Let me quote Krugman in extenso, since he brings some fuel to keep my fire burning.

…”contrary to what you may have heard, public-sector workers in Wisconsin and elsewhere are paid somewhat less than private-sector workers with comparable qualifications, so there’s not much room for further pay squeezes.

So it’s not about the budget; it’s about the power.

In principle, every American citizen has an equal say in our political process. In practice, of course, some of us are more equal than others. Billionaires can field armies of lobbyists; they can finance think tanks that put the desired spin on policy issues; they can funnel cash to politicians with sympathetic views (as the Koch brothers did in the case of Mr. Walker). On paper, we’re a one-person-one-vote nation; in reality, we’re more than a bit of an oligarchy, in which a handful of wealthy people dominate.

Given this reality, it’s important to have institutions that can act as counterweights to the power of big money. And unions are among the most important of these institutions.

You don’t have to love unions, you don’t have to believe that their policy positions are always right, to recognize that they’re among the few influential players in our political system representing the interests of middle- and working-class Americans, as opposed to the wealthy. Indeed, if America has become more oligarchic and less democratic over the last 30 years — which it has — that’s to an important extent due to the decline of private-sector unions.”

One is often condemned to repeat some ideas, until most people in the target audience get it, and revolution can click. In this case the audience is the world, with its seven billion people, augmenting quickly, and using the planet’s resources as if it were 50% larger than it really is, time is of the essence.

Michel Bréal introduced the word sémantique in 1883, from the Greek semantikos “significant”, from semainein “to show, signify, indicate by a sign“. Semantic is an integral part of any logical system. Exactly how that works has not been figured out yet, in my opinion (I am aware of the “Semantic Theory of Truth” of the famous Polish(-American) logician Tarski, or later pertinent objections by the US philosopher Davidson).

Basically the logic gives cooking recipes, semantics tells you what the ingredients are, allowing you not to prepare your Coulis de Framboise with red mercury, or trying to use frozen nitrogen for fuel. Precise logic needs precise semantics. Euphemisms pollute semantics.

A good example is the habit of using “oligarchy” where one truly means “plutocracy”. This clearly what Krugman means above, as he gives a near textbook definition of plutocracy, without giving its name (God used tio be the one with “no name” in the old Hebrew religion).

Just as Ley could not utter the word “war criminal” about himself (instead he stuttered so much, the word never came out), the honorable Krugman, Johnson, Stiglitz, do not dare utter the word “plutocracy” about the USA. So how come the private bankers got 5 trillions in the USA alone (trillions in Europe too)?

(OK, Krugman has claimed that giving money at 0% to the private banks so that they could place it with the same government at 4% was not a subsidy, because one was short, and one was long, a distinction without a difference if there ever was one! So what one sees here is that a reluctance to call plutocracy plutocracy, that is calling a cat a cat, leads to view a cat’s meal as a short term phenomenon, even, when, long term, one shares the same cage, and there is no place to go, except between those teeth …)

The (contemporary) Greeks have to suffer because rich private European banks, and the likes of Goldman Sachs, conspired to lend money to the government, which could not be paid back. How did that happen? Because the rich private banks greased the paws of the cats and rats (to recycle Khadafy’s poetry). So why not prosecuting those who got greased and those who greased? Well, because this society of deciders is a plutocracy, not an oligarchy: money rules, and that means many got greased, so many that they form a class, a solidarity, an union of the malfeasant, and they demonstrate their determination every day more, as they not build further fortune, but work to escape justice, and thus jail and restitution. As Madoff said, there is no way the banks did not know.

Of course they knew, but they were doing the same, exploiting a pyramid scheme, so they were not going to denounce pyramids, especially tiny ones. (Madoff’s pyramid was about 60 billion, the banks’ pyramid is in excess of 10,000 times bigger: such is the size of the derivatives’ markets, more than 600 trillions, and don’t believe anything the banks say about it; the only thing you need to know is that last time they went down because of derivatives, and they are the main investors’ therein.)

Thus, in an important sense, the plutocracy works precisely because it’s not the rule of the few. But, instead, it is the rule of the many who have money, so precisely plutocracy works because it’s not an oligarchy.

An oligarchy is the rule of the few. A plutocracy is usually defined as the rule of the wealthy. Hence, usually, the rule of the few. Thus any plutocracy is an oligarchy. Except when the corruption has spread so far, and  wide, and deep, that it is a matter of the many. That is what we have now. That is why there was no prosecution of the persecution.

This has happened many times in the past. The Persian empire that Athens fought was such an international plutocracy.

Here is another famous example. As Edward Gibbon observed in his “Decline And Fall Of the Roman Empire”:

“The lands of Italy, which had been originally divided among the families of free and indigent proprietors, were purchased or usurped by the avarice of the nobles; and in the age which proceeded the fall of the republic, it was computed only two thousand citizens were possessed of any independent substance.”

Well these people, mostly of the senatorial class, were often immensely rich. they used their wealth to manipulate Roman society. They could field private armies, like Adolf Hitler in 1923, or the sons of Khadafy, in 2011.

Cutting taxes on the very wealthy augments quickly the possessions of the hyper wealthy because of the nature of the exponential function. So the present policies, in the spirit of Reagan’s “trickle down” may start with an entire class profiting, but will end up (or down!) with plutocracy where only very few are maximally profiting.

Knowing this, since the beginning of the neolithic, sustainable societies have taxed the wealthiest enough to insure that the exponential function would not take over. Societies which did not do this were not sustainable, and left little behind.

I understand that many economists of note prefer to use the word “oligarchy”, to sound less controversial, and not irritate the masters, as the word “plutocracy” no doubt would.

However, why is all happening? Out of not just the will to Power, but also the Will to Mayhem. When speculators make money out of food stuff, and people die from the resulting famines and troubles associated to them, we are talking about the worst behavior mankind is capable of.

Killing others out of hatred is terrible. Killing others out of greed is worse.

And this is happening now, and those perpetrators wear the most expensive suits. Shall we call them “special interests”, and wear an expensive suits too? And then read whatever they put on the teleprompter?

Those who impose the rule of money are not just doing that in a vacuum. In Greek mythology, the universe had been divided between Zeus, Poseidon, and Pluto underground (another name for Hades). The great philosopher Heraclitus made the keen observation that: “If they did not order the procession in honor of the god and address the phallus song to him, this would be the most shameless behavior. But Hades is the same as Dionysos, for whom they rave and act like bacchantes.” This reminds us of the source of the Ganges, of the Shivling, and Shiva, the supreme Hindu god, which has a wild, crazy, and destructive side. And indeed Shiva and Hades are related: the Greeks and Hindus communicated big ideas to each other, and that is one of those which went through. The worst part of that Hades-Pluto-Shiva is that it is, not all bad, and, thus, much more seductive.

Mythology, like semantics, did not grow out of the blue, but out of time honored wisdom. The world of plutocracy is also that of craziness, bacchantes and destruction. So plutocrats are motivated by evil, and they serve evil. That is why those “oligarchs” need to be called by their true name, plutocrats. Pluto is their master. And the word “plutocracy” should be generalized to mean the “rule of Pluto”, not just the rule of wealth.

The plutocrats do not just want us to venerate the Golden Calf. They want to crush us with it. It is the oldest instinct. But we, the seven billions, have better alternatives than the time honored holocausts they propose, once again. Shiva destroys, Shiva creates. But this time, Shiva, after destroying will have run out of a world. Einstein used to say that the fourth world war would be fought with sticks and stones. But that was wildly optimistic, since it supposed a breathable atmosphere would still be around.

Evil is sourced in the most noble necessity of sustainability. But we can find a better god. We are that clever. And have no choice in the matter. It’s this, or extinction of all we hold dear.

***

Patrice Ayme

***

Note1: The importance of semantics. In a way, mathematics is more about semantics than about logics. As the great mathematician, physicist and philosopher Henri Poincare’ put it: “Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things.”

*

Note2: So when can one use correctly the concept of “oligarchy”? Well, when the few who are ruling, are not using money to rule. A military junta, when it is still materially poor may qualify (not the Khadafy clan, though, since it became immensely rich as seen above).

Indeed an army can function as a democratic institution (as it claims to want to do in Egypt, now that it has seen the blinding light). But since it holds the big guns, it is always tempting for generals to stray. The situation is a peril in any democracy. Even in France and the USA generals have come close to high treason a few times, and hanging an admiral occasionally as Great Britain did in the 18C, maybe a good way to remind the military of whom it is supposed to get its orders from.

Plutocracy is all too often hiding. Just as the mythological Pluto is often invisible, so it is with money. The USA is crisscrossed by “foundations”, “institutions”, “think tanks”, and “research centers” which are well financed and pose as Very Serious sources of ideas, when in truth they are just propaganda outfits. One could talk of a socio-economic oligarchy servicing the plutocracy.

***

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43 Responses to “Oligarchy, Or Plutocracy?”

  1. m2smith Says:

    Fantastic bit of research – I found your blog while trying to be more precise with my words and was searching “plutocracy vs. oligarchy.” While on that search I found a new word to me that you might find useful – “Plutonomy”

    http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/plutonomy.asp

    That Citibank coined it is all the more amazing – Keep it up!

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear m2smith: thanks, I will keep it up, because of encouragements such as yours. I improved the essay in the meantime. There were a few places in need of some refurbishing.
      Yes, Citibank was at the top of arrogance then. It was their top economist who promoted the word. At least that had the merit of honesty: we don’t have an economy, we have a plutonomy. Managing the house is not anymore, we just manage Pluto. I am going to insert that in the essay…
      PA

  2. multumnonmulta Says:

    Cher Patrice, when will/would you take your thoughts to internet-radio/tv?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Cher Multumnonmulta:
      OMG… Thanks for suggesting! I appreciate the compliment. But some of my thoughts are on the Internet… Besides, Descartes was completely wrong: As I discovered, long ago: I think, therefore I am not
      I sort of experience myself as president of the united states of thinking. Considering several unfortunate social experiences, of the near-fatal type, I intent to keep firmly as deep a subterranean existence as possible, under the pretext of studying Pluto. Say… Moreover, thinking hard takes a lot of time, and I have other time absorbing duties, many of them gravitating around my 16 months daughter. Another reason to keep as low a profile as possible.
      PA

      • multumnonmulta Says:

        “Besides, Descartes was completely wrong” Does this mean you put your money on Huet? ;-)

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          I meant Descartes was wrong on his “I think therefore I am”. Wittgenstein also made fun of it, along the lines of:”I think, therefore it rains”. A better one would be:”I am doing better when I think”. Descartes’ works are enormous, and his discovery of algebraic geometry is for the ages. However some of Huet’s objections to Descartes’ pride and hubris were spot on (but of course Huet’s superstitious background, as bishop of Avranches, and his true agenda, was worthless). Another French cleric, soon discovered (a well thought reason for) the inverse square law, as I mentioned previously. Descartes could have done this. But he did not. And the fact he did not is no accident.

          Generally, I do not believe that logic is as systematic as Descartes believed. I believe logics jump, like Quantum Physics (and for related reasons).
          PA

  3. multumnonmulta Says:

    Oh well, I hear you. The increasing need for time and attention of a growing child is also a fact. Moreover, quality thinking takes its own time, which is different from mass-media time.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thought with deep pretentions also takes its own considerable energy and motivation. I have actually withdrawn, for a few years now, from many social and income gathering activities, so that I could be my own monk of thought. Differently from normal monks, I do not have too many colleagues. The little one has forced me into intense human interactions (she leaves me no choice! ;-)!), but she pays back handesomely, philosophically speaking, as she is inspecting the entire universe to see what’s worth of her attention, and thus re-orders all values in front of my believing eyes…
      But she has an extremely strong personality, and she is presently determined to smother me with a book, lest I read it…
      PA

  4. keith Says:

    Congratulations Patrice — maybe its some effect you are having or perhaps its as in the old tale of the “1000 monkeys” (who on distant and separate islands supposedly all somehow discover the truth or a new technology somehow or other) — but your semantics are taking hold! The front page of the internet issue of Mother Jones magazine was “Plutocracy Now” !! (I hope not as a subliminal imperative):

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-labor-union-decline?page=1

    Kevin Jones run down of the split in US labor of the 60’s and 70’s is not bad.

    I’ve longed shared the view you’ve just expressed that plans to wipe out the earth’s population have long been on the drawing boards. The British have already acknowledged plans to bring down their Island’s population to 32 million or so by 2150 or so.

    The maniacs will have some serious logistical problems though, one might estimate. Some scientists evidently are convinced that were the global haze to suddenly disappear (seen with surprise for the uninitiated from an airplane after one has flown into an apparently clear blue sky) due to quick emission reductions, this loss of reflective cover would heat the earth much too quickly. No doubt they will have plenty of cities to burn to make up for this. And they will no doubt thank us for all our hard work on their behalf, just to provide them with our corpses and ruins. Of this I have no doubt.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Keith: Thanks for telling me about that article: I was totally unawares… when I was living in the wilds of Africa in my zeroes, I christened myself as chief baboon (in the local language). So I hope the 1,000 monkeys out there show some respect. Yes, I have noted that the concept of “plutocracy” seems to be winning the war, and that is why I have been writing so much about it in recent quarters (I used to obsess more about fascism, not just a political, but also a mental phenomenon too, an instinct, for want of a better concept…)

      I noticed with even more satisfaction a critique of Islam, in connection with Arab politics, coming from ElBaradei in Egypt, which sounded straight out of my conceptology.

      As far as wiping the population out, some will say it’s crazy to think that some people would entertain the idea. But they do. They entertain ideas leading there, or entertain situations which would lead to ideas leading there, etc. it’s all the same. Clearly, the Nazis, or nearly all of them, did not intend to have the holocaust of WWII happened the way it did, with more than 10% of the Germans killed, or even two-thirds of the Jews assassinated, and 15% of Poland massacred, plus 28 million Russians killed or murdered. No, they did not intent, but it was all the same, because such was the logic of it all.

      The Nazis had self hypnotized into believing that France and its British bulldog would not go to war. Hitler was flattened by the fact that Great Britain had suddenly reverted what he had viewed as an alliance, and aligned itself on France, and declared war. But of course, it was highly predictable. Lloyd George himself had recognized that the war against revolutionary France in 1792 had been a huge mistake and catastrophe, and, after Napoleon took his nap in the South Atlantic, it has been the most fundamental of British and French policy that civil war between them would never happen again.

      So ideas rule, but so do erroneous ideas.

      Those who are civilized are happy with seven billions, but it’s going to require a lot of good ideas to pull it off.
      PA

    • multumnonmulta Says:

      “The British have already acknowledged plans to bring down their Island’s population to 32 million or so by 2150 or so.”

      The question is what will take us there, the result of sustained plummeting birth rates, or some Malthusian mechanism? To complicate matters, to each place on earth its own dynamics.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Dear Multumnonmulta: I don’t know who this “The British” are, I was afraid to ask, and I doubt that the average furious British student agree with the notion. Cameron has to worry about what said student thinks.

        Indeed, past demographics in Europe are surprising. Especially striking was the collapse of the French population. France used to be the China of Europe. Then that became Russia. meanwhile the English population tripled relative to the French. Then Germany’s population exploded. Now several Mittel Europa countries and Scandinavia, or Britain, or Spain, are growing because of immigration solely. France is the other way around: the growth of population, the largest of a white population anywhere (OK, some will sneer it’s not that white) is mostly indigenous. because it’s nearly impossible to immigrate to France.

        The past faltering of France was a combination of condoms (already in wide use in the middle Middle Ages), fascism, religious wars, the grotesque Louis XIV, the even more ridiculous and nearly as atrocious Napoleon, and then of course the anti-fascist wars of 1870-1945. Present metropolitan France would have more than 85 million, without the anti-fascist wars (an argument Poland has used loud and strong against Germany in recent debates about intra-EU voting weights; curiously it came more at the detriment of France, which could, but did not, use the same argument). And that does not count regions where the real Franks actually came from, or Belgium, where Caesar’s Belgiae thrived, and they were viewed as the fiercest and most troublesome of the Gauls (Belgium was created to weaken France, post Napoleon).

        Right now Russia is losing population quickly, at least half a million a year. And the USA has ballooned up quickly (+ 27 million in ten years!), mostly from immigration and reproduction withing of immigrants, quite a few not legal. This explains, and is related to, a lot of the trouble of the USA, in my opinion.

        If we don’t fix the climate and fascist problems quickly, there will be war, though, and that changes demographics fast.
        PA

      • multumnonmulta Says:

        “If we don’t fix the climate and fascist problems quickly, there will be war, though, and that changes demographics fast.”

        Patrice, let’s try a little counterpoint. Other than being able to grow Ponzi-schemes round the welfare state schemes, why would there be a need for growing population in peace time?

        Alright, that could be too much to ask, so let’s restate: What’s a sustainable growth rate?

        Is the above rate somehow a function of the level of technology?

        What growth-analogies from nature can we think of?

        Can we extend the ‘management’ curse to demographics? In other words, is it something people can manage, and if so, how’s the manager and what are the criteria?

        And last but not least, are we employing demography as a proxy for power, nationhood, (local-)hegemony, etc.?

        Probably these are enough questions for a lifetime research agenda. My position is also that we hurt because of the kind of immigration the US has practiced. However, had it not been for some functional need, the plutocrats would have brought it to a halt already. How else can we keep the house prices from plummeting? Bring in new waves of semi-literates who won’t come anywhere close to questions like these for at least one generation.

        You write War, but we’ve been at wars for a long time. Considering how Bush got reelected, or he fact that we are still bleeding in Afghanistan/Iraq, we may not ‘succeed’ until some British-like imperial collapse, that is, according to some.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Multumnonmulta: Many interesting questions and observations you made. Can I give some of my idiosyncratic answers in an essay?
          P

  5. ANt. Says:

    Wow !!!

    Patrice,

    Thank you so much mentioning Wisconsin in:

    http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/oligarchy-or-plutocracy/

    I live here in Wisconsin. Things are kinda crazy.

    Would you object to me posting this around?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Anthony:
      Post , and re-post as much as you want. I am running an open operation here. It’s not just the open society (Pericles), but the open mind. Plutocracy is kinda crazy, because it’s antinomic to democracy. So plutocracy is a coup, and not such a silent one (as Simon Johnson has it). It is a giant, very loud coup, which resonates around the world.

      Once, long ago, I was bombed by some fascists. The most striking thing was the silence, and the disembodied sensation. I could not tell what happened to the universe, what it was all about. Fortunately, I could still see, but all the other senses had shut down, for several minutes. This is roughly what is happening now to civilization, as plutocracy is trying to take over. People have taken leave of their senses.
      PA

  6. keith Says:

    Patrice: My sincere and deepest apologies for not citing some sources and inadvertently sounding conspiratorial.

    On the UK pop. issue here is from March, 2009 in The Sunday Times (UK):

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article5950442.ece

    >>UK population must fall to 30m, says Porritt
    Jonathan Leake and Brendan Montague

    JONATHON PORRITT, one of Gordon Brown’s leading green advisers, is to warn that Britain must drastically reduce its population if it is to build a sustainable society.

    Porritt’s call will come at this week’s annual conference of the Optimum Population Trust (OPT), of which he is patron.

    The trust will release research suggesting UK population must be cut to 30m if the country wants to feed itself sustainably.

    Porritt said: “Population growth, plus economic growth, is putting the world under terrible pressure.
    >>

    So you can search on OPT an so on. There were several pdf files circulated, from what I can recall, all sounding as though they had prominent backing and professionally think-tanky as can be.

    Counterintelligence? Labour planning a comeback with tales to outrage? No doubt something to consider. But some of the stuff coming out of the British ruling classes is remarkable in this regard. The views of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on this are well known and quite extreme.

    This in itself is maybe hard to take too seriously, but when I read some of the things people who I otherwise highly respect such as James Lovelock (Gaia hypothesis) have to say on these things, and also the very prominent author, columnist and long time Professor at the London School of Economics John Gray (who you no doubt know from his writings on globalization), I come away tending to at the very least see a prominent current of thought in play in high circles, with all sorts of ambivalence expressed as to be expected, but which seriously contemplates intentional reduction of the earth’s population. I take this seriously, perhaps too much so, because these are brilliant and influential people.

    Certainly you are aware of fairly serious eugenic movements within the Non-Nazi world Prior to WWII ? And I don’t mean to pick on the British at all in this regard in some singular way, they had fantastic activists who with great effort took down (eventually) Belgian King Leopold’s awful crimes in his rubber colony. But they also had staunch advocates of ‘eugenics’ such as G.B. Shaw, H.G. Wells and of course the notorious Nazi sympathizer King Edward the VIII,( who Churchill had to remove) within the highest elements of their society. Eugenic theory origins may have been more American than anything else, — especially prior to WWII when the Nazis made the whole notion very politically incorrect, to say the least. But lets not forget Nobel Laureate Watson (DNA) recent embarrassing statements at Cold Spring Harbor, for example.

    Here’s an amazon.com search which will show some results worth being aware of concerning eugenics and its roots elsewhere and earlier than in European fascism, necessarily. The books of Black and Lombardo were the only ones I have had the time to read:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=eugenics&x=0&y=0

    My apologies for in any way fouling things up on your site.

    “This is roughly what is happening now to civilization, as plutocracy is trying to take over. People have taken leave of their senses”.
    -PA

    One of your finest perceptions, amongst so many jewels, and it shocked me abruptly into an awareness of how little I have thought about the degree and ways in which ‘their senses’ have left the new ‘elites’, who you, as H.L Mencken also refrained from doing in his day, call ‘plutocrats’ as did he, not wishing in any way to confuse them with more elevated notions such as ‘aristocracy’ or other conceptions.

    Again, my sincere apologies for my vagaries and laziness in not citing sources.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Keith:
      Thanks for this flood of information. I am reasonably aware of the eugenic movement, prior to Nazism. However some of the characters you mention I have never heard of. And I don’t know what the good Duke thinks. But i want to know more. First I will try to answer some of Multumnonmulta various questions.

      You absolutely do not “foul” my site, never have, and not mentioning sources is OK with me. When I write I am very rarely operating directly off sources. I check sources only when I am not sure. I know very well one can know something, and not know a source for it. What’s the source for 17 + 2 = 19? One can get paralyzed my not showing emotions, and being obsessed by sources. Let alone the fact that the conventional emotions, and conventional sources, may both be contaminated by the heavy metal of old rusted reason.
      Anyway thanks for all your contributions, including the ones above. Of the people above the only controversy I am aware of is Watson, and his assertions about intelligence and race (which were not supported by reason or evidence, as far as I heard).
      PA

    • multumnonmulta Says:

      Without any details, the piece in question reads like something The Onion would put out.

      Blaming it on carbon emissions is offensively naive; indeed, the BRIC-like countries have most nominal impact, halving the population of some developed country cannot cut it. Bonus for trying gets the one who’s transferring clean emission technologies free of charge…

      Before becoming PM, Mr. Brown had been the equivalent of secretary Paulson in this country, so why would I give a darn about his (advisors’) opinions?

      You want to see the problem in the developed world? Take a look at the 2nd edition of ‘The Jobless Recovery!’ It may be more germane for generating thoughts about the need to control the masses of underemployed (under-skilled, under-etc.), yet economically overpaid, westerners.

      If such idea were to gain currency, I’d say, let’s go after the top richest folk first! I know I wish that were the case, because sure enough, we’ll be called into some war or another lest we wake up.

      BTW, the demonstrations in solidarity with the Wisconsin public employees are a first in so many years…

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        M: Nice point about Brown, indeed. Except Paulson headed Goldman Sacks, and bought himself an island, with five hamlets on it. A real plutocrat.

        Brown was offensively anti-European, and persuaded an all too easily swayed Blair to stay off the euro. Which is nice in a way, because we can now compare… unsurprisingly, the plutocratic principle in play threatens the unity of the UK, because to use the advantage of the Pound and financial markets (i.e., financial plots), London is given ever more means (at the cost of the rest). The Economist itself is starting to take a jaundiced opinion of it all, calling it “Londonism”.
        PA

  7. keith Says:

    Dear multumnonmulta:

    Here’s a nice piece to look at about an epidemic of deadly radiation administered in hospitals all across the USA — in particular very poor children in NYC are systematically having their reproductive organs quite unnecessarily exposed, assuming any of it is to be taken at face value:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/28/health/28radiation.html

    What do you think? As worthy as quoting ‘The Onion?’

    I mean I guess its pretty random, right? Nothing to back it up, just a link. And anything at all can be printed in the press sans legal consequences — right? So even though for instance the London Times article mentioned the OPT, and the OPT apparently might and probably does exist (maybe not though — could be a well timed pre-planted spoof, and don’t forget the publications listed in the amazon search about eugenics may very well have been published and funded by people who are all part of the same deceptive scheme whose aim is some sort of deception and or misdirection– yes, this has to be considered: and in wartime is not at all remotely far-fetched at all in the least bit, actually) and promotes itself and has publications, I guess I should be considered, as you imply, even more irresponsible for citing it than having not done so in the first place — right?

    Make anything out of the number 26 occurring more than once? Is 1:35 at all curious as a time? (In the article linked).

    Yes, WI is very disturbing unto despair and severe depression. Why the consistent animus against me, or at least anything I say here?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Keith: There is no animus, sorry you got that impression. When I said I was unawares of the Duke of Ed., Lovelock, etc. saying dangerous things about populations, I was confessing my ignorance. I indeed read rumors of outrageous statements, and I will be interested to know more.

      And for Multumnonmulta: Here are the countries with more than 70% of the world’s total emissions in CO2:

      1 China 6,538,367.00 22.30%
      2 United States 5,830,381.00 19.91%
      – European Union (27) 4,177,817.86 14.04%
      3 India 1,612,362.00 5.50%
      4 Russia 1,537,357.00 5.24%
      5 Japan 1,254,543.00 4.28%

      So few countries emit most.
      PA

      • multumnonmulta Says:

        Thanks, Patrice!

        Assuming that we can make a valid case about the mechanism surrounding CO2 emissions, including its effects and such, we have to consider its sources. Could it be the (western) type of growth attracting people in from everywhere? How many young [any poor nation]-kids aspire to get stuff like they see those westerners on TV? Could it be then that halving the west would only temporarily reduce the emission problem until the others get their share of stuff under the sun?

        I bet nobody wants to find out the answer to the above, so I’d go back to the authors of the British opinion piece to question their agenda.

        The problem as I see it is with our institutionalizing unsustainable growth. Some point to the carbon emissions, I prefer to look at things that are not as contestable. One of those would be the fact that beyond a point, growth is an all destructive illusion. In the west, the illusion might have started in the ’70s; we got a break in the late ’90s in the US, and the West Europeans got it upon enlarging the EU.

        P.S. Check out BaselineScenario.com for an entry on a recent public position Geithner took about the big US banks… depressing realpolitik.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          M: I rarely go to the Baseline scenario anymore, because the nature of the debate, even in finance, is too restricted. The CO2 emission thing is controversial in the USA, thanks to various billionaires such as the Koch brothers and company. In matter of CO2, the USA is by far the greatest perpetrator, especially considering how much USA production is in China. The maximum efficiency of energy usage in the USA is not even half of the EU (which runs at 80-90% of the theoretical maximum, a bit less than Japan). The USA will have to spend (capital) to improve, but is short in capital and willingness to spend. The Mother Jones article on the unions explained quite a bit what happened.
          PA

      • multumnonmulta Says:

        I have skimmed only now the Mother Jones review of the labor movement, will have to return for a more thorough read. The author there seems to make it all about cultural clashes, e.g., “They were animated not by workplace safety or the cost of living, but first by civil rights and antiwar sentiment, and later by feminism, the sexual revolution, and environmentalism. They wore their hair long, they used drugs, and they were loathed by the mandarins of organized labor.”

        What I am suggesting is that one has to follow to money, which has affected by now even the class-consciousness so necessary in sustaining any social and economic justice movement. We might have had it easy for too long.

        I hope my writing has not indicated I’d be against putting money in CO2 emission reduction, it’s the idea of halving the population that I reject. I take it that your daughter is the only child in your family, which means you are already there; the same here and in many other places, excluding the natural growth of the immigrants. However, people internalize and adjust to whatever socio-economic pressures on their own, not because some bureaucrat told them so.

        I had known little of the named Koch bros until Krugman revealed few days ago how they’d have been the beneficiaries of the Wisconsin governor’s scheme amounting to a discretionary sell-out of state utilities. That really took my blood close to the boiling point… Are they also behind CO2 ideological schemes? I’d have thought the bankster-plutocrats would be all for this due to the fees it generates. Moreover, check out the fraud involved in CO2 permits/trade in the EU.

        P.S. When I learned that Richard Perle had a house in S France, I understood why some don’t give a rat’s ass for pollution and other similar types of negative externalities to our myopically suicidal capitalism.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          M: The Koch have been behind the pro-CO2 propaganda for years. They have direct interest in polluting as much as possible.
          I agree with you that the author of “Plutocracy Now!”, on second analysis, may have not realized that the union bossess themselves were manipulated by big money into using the ‘cultural clashes” into too much of an excuse.
          Perle is among a vast panoply of super hypocrites. BTW, Bush II did not go to Geneva 2 weeks ago, because he was told he may be arrested as a war criminal. Then Polansky got four “Caesars” for the scathingly anti-plutocratic, anti-establishment, anti-Harvard, anti-Blair “Ghost writer” at the French academy awards…
          PA

      • multumnonmulta Says:

        I watched Polansky’s film with high hopes–nice cinematography, interesting sketches of deconstructing Bliar (sic)/the British power machinery, but it failed miserable with the story line. All in all, without knowing what the Caesar’ jury had in mind, not even the notion of Caesar is not what it used to be…

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          M: What was wrong with the story line? To this day, Bliar stays a lunatic who beams with pride to have invaded something with as big a bad plutocrat, with a splendid pedigree from hell, and Auschwitz, as they come. This being said, Brown was even worse in some important ways. Notice that I am not attacking Cameron (a man of wealth and taste). Not that I am approving Cameron’s crazy student tuition scheme, which is going to lead to some of the same problem as in the USA, namely corruption of thought by money. Besides the injustice.

          Anyway, I am no movie buff, and I have never seen the movies Polanski is famous for. I was happily surprised by the courage of exposing the ties between the loftiest US universities and the empire. He attacked Harvard, which is the biggest spider, but I know well two other extremely prestigious universities which are quite a bit the same. As far as I am concerned, I witnessed corruption on a de-legitimizing scale (namely I don’t take those universities as the temples of thought they ought to be, and they believe they are).

          Ms. Rice became chief at Stanford when she was barely in her thirties, obviously because she thought as the masters wanted her to think, and she was the right color. That she deliberatedly manipulated herself into the manipulation is irrelevant. It’s not about people who serve, it’s about ideas which serve. Reverse racism, manipulations: just the tip of the iceberg. Admissions and retributions are played just so: the Sword Of Islam, Saif al Islam, got his PhD from the London school Of Economics, for the same reason that the daughter of the coming Chinese dictator is at Harvard. I saw stuff like that with my own unbelieving eyes.

          Well, now we have the internet, and we don’t need those who aspire to be interned in prestigious institutions (although they obviously have to, when they need a lab… but a lab means a bit more veracity, as the real world is brought to bear…)
          PA

      • multumnonmulta Says:

        Patrice, moving into films humanizes us, for we cannot be all about what our blogs are :-)

        The story line failed the film most miserably when Ewan McGregor’s character was saved by the political enemy of his boss. How did the savior know and how was it possible for him to come from London on such short notice?

        We had exchanged comments here about the corruption of the US academic system. Those who could not make it on Wall Street or the Congress, let alone come up with an actual idea and implement it, discovered their ally in the feudal structure of the academic universe and at the service of the latter. Tend tend to congregate in social sciences, and the computerization of statistical techniques has been the best thing after cardio-exercising.

        Ms. Rice, just like Mr. Powell before or Mr. Obama now, show that we should indeed lose sight of color when evaluating the person!

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Multumnonmulta: I guess I don’t take story lines in movies too seriously. I tend to concentrate on the aura the film provides with.

          I listened to the astounding pro Nazi (“Venerate the Fuerer!”) declarations of Francoise Dior, niece of Dior, a classical aryan like beauty, in 1963 (she was an improved look alike of Catherine Deneuve). The video just surfaced. Were those declarations made today, she should certainly be prosecuted, as John Galliano (Dior’s stylicist, another Hitler self described “lover”) is presently by the French authorities.

          Evaluating Obama was difficult, in light of the alternatives. (I had a personal bias, too.) Also Obama did not reveal what his enormous bias towards plutocrats was going to be. This being said, I was often called a racist, just because I did not agree with his collaboration with the “masters of mankind”.
          PA

      • multumnonmulta Says:

        It’s so sad that we have to watch films as proxies for truth in the public space…

        I saw the clip with Galiano on youtube. People act up surprised at him, or with Sheen jr., yet we somehow miss the larger point of how these characters could have become so important in the first place. What does it say about us, our society, and value as measured and determined by money and fame?

        I had been all for Obama, as early as Jan-Feb 2007! I didn’t see color, but I could hear everything right in what he said, ranging from education, to banks and R&D. He’s got no excuse, like ignorance in the case of Bush the lesser. Also, he’s not being played by the elite, he signed up to play us on behalf of the elite.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          M: Obama’s run looked straight out of the blog of his not so humble servant. My personal problem is that I know maybe 20 people, friend or family who underwent a transformation similar to Obama’s. It’s in the mood of the times. It’s in the mood of the entourage. The outrage of the entourage.

          As Obama likes to crow:”Look where I am!” Well, he is like the guy in the circus, looking down. For those who have higher values, sitting up on the throne means nothing. Put that down to my Christian roots.

          Bush II knew well what he was doing, like Dior’s niece. That’s why he did not travel to Geneva: he knows very well that he is a war criminal, by the “quaint” standards that he wants to obliterate, and he is, thanks to his helper, Obama (because Obama did not prosecute, thus letting the USA say that torture was OK, just as the president immediately before Lincoln said that slavery was OK).

          Something everybody is missing is that the Libyan “guide” is a plutocrat. A WESTERN PLUTOCRAT. He has 140 billion dollars… INVESTED IN THE WEST. Don’t ask who the plutocrats are, admit they guide you already.

          When you go the swankiest places in Europe, nearly none of the locals can afford them. So? Well, the plutocrats (and those working for them) have the money, the people(s) do not.
          PA

      • multumnonmulta Says:

        Hmm, you seem to know something from within Obama’s closer circles–their “transformation” and such. Maybe someday you can document that for the benefit of hard-to-cure idealists like me…

        In fact, when I did some work in L.A., soon after Obama was elected, I said I’d like to make/see a movie some day documenting a process whereby an otherwise honest political candidate gets quickly transformed, upon winning his/her party primaries, by the contact with the POWER of the land. What horror stories must such a person be told so that they see no alternative to the status qvo, once they get within winning distance from the Oval Office?

        Someday, maybe we’ll connect and work on such script–though you say you don’t care for films.

        Your take on Bush II makes some sense, but allow me to think he had also been way out of his depth. In fact, no-one is prepared for that office, except that a Clinton runs a meeting until well into the night, calling all specialists he can think of, to get to the bottom of a problem. Nixon might have been a similar league, though we still get too noisy of a signal about him, even after all these years.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          M: I do care for films. I just could not make one. Same for novels. Don’t even have the time to read those nowadays. I am too much into trying to understand more ideas. Civilization progresses that way.

          Gorbatchev brought down the USSR (no, that was not Reagan), and he has been clear on the short comings of the present leaders. However, he got the top decoration from the president of Russia today. Progress… The Bush family cannot have decent depth, or it would have to do public contrition and retribution, which is significantly well beyond what most people can do. Clinton could work 36 hours a day, but, in the end, it was all for plutocracy. There he went beyond the call of duty, and, that way, he was just as bad, if not worse than Bushh II. What else did he do?

          Clinton’s philosophy was Clintonism, characterized by maximizing the good graces of the plutocracy (that is, among others, the Bush family). I would love to not believe that about Obama.
          PA

      • multumnonmulta Says:

        …Gorbachev and the Soviet super-elite who wanted to join the US world system.

        I agree with you assessment of (the) Clinton(s); I didn’t like the guy one bit and thought he only harvested the (R&D) seeds planted in the Cold War plus the peace dividend. As well, he was a maximizer of his own interest, and so are many of his generation, here or elsewhere.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          M: Just like countries have moods, and then produce characteristic minds, so do the ages. The best example is Rome which degenerated completely in the head well before it started to fall apart in all possible ways. Fish rots by the head. BTW, Gibbon had no picked this up. Fanatical Xtianism was just a distant consequence, a symptom of a deep mental cancer. And so is the admiration for Clinton(s).
          PA

  8. multumnonmulta Says:

    “Why the consistent animus against me, or at least anything I say here?”

    Keith, I’ll try to keep this in mind.

    No, I don’t have anything even remotely close to “constant animus” toward a fellow blogger. People may say/comment/cite about whatever they think, and we all make our points as persuasively as we can. It’s just that the British opinion piece not only fails to persuade, but makes me contest its not openly-shared assumptions. In other words, my reply was mainly directed at its authors, or anyone who’d just as simply come and state we ought to halve the population.

    At this point I recall our gov’t secret medical experiments on those at the bottom of the ladder, so I cannot simply refute what seems to be the suggestion of your reply. However, if I had thought that were the case, I’d do something about it, one way or the other…

  9. Joseph Says:

    I have no doubt that, if the nations of the world are again to be regarded as mere shares to be bought and sold by those international money and finance conspirators, then these plutocracts, which is the real guilty party in this murderous struggle, will be saddled with the responsibility. I also believe that this time, not only would millions of children starve, not only would millions of grown men meet their death, and not only would millions of women and children be burned or bombed to death in the cities, but that the real culprit would atone for his guilt, even if by more humane means.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Joseph: Plutocrats are a worldwide infection, indeed. Everybody found normal that the French foreign minister flew around in private jets of a plutocrat associated to the reigning plutocrat families in Tunisia (fortune; at least 7 billion dollars). Meanwhile the French Prime Minister was doing something similar in Egypt, at the invitation of Moo-Barack (fortune; 70 billion dollars). That was over Xmass 2010/2011.
      The Libyan leading family made no difference between its personal finances and that of Libya, although the former is evaluated at 120 billion dollars.

      Of course Clinton and Obama travel in style, thanks to the ever so generous American taxpayers, they don’t need to go begging to the local potentates, as the French do. When Sarkozy got his own jumbo jet recently, he had to sell some of the preceding short hop jets, and teeth were grinding in France (because of all the spending). However the French spending in the plutocratic style by its leaders pales relative to that of the American potentates: the memory of the Bastille is still strong.

      Well, what we need, and we are increasingly getting, is worldwide Bastille.
      PA

  10. Steven Ingeniouselixer Says:

    In an older post, Patrice said that: “To create public money, the money everybody uses (be it cash, electronic transfers, swaps, whatever) we use a private system, with proprietary money creating devices inside (say subprime, or derivatives). Civilization has never worked this way before, as the state previously was careful to stay the one and only money creator.”
    What Patrice ignores here is that the State “creates” nothing. And I do not support “private” monopoly of money either.What I would like to entertain is the ability for a true free market (one in which we do not have) to explore competitive money, and yes, privately issued by competing banks. But that these banks would not operate on fractional reserve. They would largely operate their monies on a commodities basket reserve system. Not just precious metals, but multiple commodities as well.
    At any rate you can learn more on this by reading F.A. Hayek’s “Good Money”pts. 1 & 2. Also I recommend spending some time at The Von Mises Institute online, great insights and education from an Austrian perspective on these matters.

    I like your post, but find a few flaws in the argument. My main point here is that civilization has failed throughout history to keep the State under control and not allow state controlled money monopoly. Fiat currencies have failed miserably throughout history and are doing so again. We have some serious learning lessons coming our way…again.

    Just want to expand on what I said about the State not creating anything. How can they create when the monies the receive are largely from coercion as well as monopoly? Therefore any “creation” by the State is at the expense of industry and freedom. Hence the need for a limited government.
    I also recommend watching “Corporation Nation” on youtube. It’s pretty long and supports with verifiable evidence the depths our government has reached into fascism.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Steven appreciates, but he does not understand. It seems to me that he repeats like a machine the main points the plutocracy always make, the so called Tea Party ideas. (Actually his site, Ingeniouselixer.wordpress.com, was mysteriously deleted “by its authors”.)

      I have an answer for every single one of them, mechanical points of the Tea Party, in details, and probably already gave them all over my site. I wish I could write a full essay, but I probably do not have the time.

      One point: having no more fractional reserve, and no bank leverage, would shrink the money supply by more than 90%. So it’s not an option.

      Another thing: talking about the “Austrian” school is funny. what else was going on in Austria at the time? Although Hayek and company were in disagreement with the Nazis on some important points, but in full agreement on others. Something to meditate. Economically speaking, Hayekism has been tried already: it was called Nazism. No need to repeat the performance.

      One does not live off tea alone. Partying is good, thinking is better.
      PA

  11. ako Says:

    Cheers for the brilliant content contained throughout your site. What follows is a small test for your blog viewers. Who actually proclaimed the following quote? . . . .Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far.

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