Archive for June, 2010

Plutocratic Depression

June 29, 2010

 

IT’S A DEPRESSION, FINANCE AND ITS OBSEQUIOUS SERVANTS CAUSED IT.

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Abstract: I am happy to report that Paul Krugman is adopting my Great Depression III title and (a few of its) ideas (February 2009). But since I am not a seriously paid economist, I expect gratification only with further ideas, as follows.

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The US Supreme Court has decided Americans ought to bear arms. Riffles and guns at home. Considering the deteriorating economy, this may become interesting.

Worst month on record since records exist:

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Let’s put it in a way that even Francophobic Americans will understand: the housing starts in the USA (population: 310 million) are fewer than in France (population 65 million). Does that mean France is five times more capitalistic than the USA? Just asking, with all due respect.

Why is the economy so bad? The runaway military budget has a lot to do with it. Why that war? Oh, first of all, because it is easy: it reminds me of the story of the drunk who searched for his keys exclusively below the lamp post, because it was easier. It’s the cheapest way to run an eternal war.

I am writing a long essay on how World War Two started, and the respective roles of Britain, France and the USA, during the first few years. I am motivated, after getting personal insults for suggesting that Britain and France, who started the World War on September 3, 1939, won it on May 8, 1945. OK, Britain and France did not do the entire war alone: Hitler helped them out, by attacking his two most important allies.

By January 1942, no American aircraft carrier had fought, but five British carriers had already been sunk in combat. Allied losses, of soldiers alone, were in the hundreds of thousands killed. Millions of civilians had died. But some Americans still insist that nothing was going on. Worse, some, like the despicable Pat Buchanan, insist that all the problems of the world came from having made war to Hitler. As Buchanan, a famous, respected editorialist, richly paid by General Electric, one of the most powerful corporations in the world, said: "why would Hitler want war when, by 1939, he was surrounded by allied, friendly or neutral neighbors, save France?"

This attitude, this mental block, this refusal of examining the past correctly, as I hold, is directly related to what is going on now, namely, more of the same basic infection, deep down inside. That infection is control of thinking itself by unchained greed. On TV channels such as Fox News, advertizing of the most plutocratic or militaristic type jumps at you. It’s all about being saved by war contractors from the enemy out there. It’s more than depressing; this is the USA today.

I have insisted for years that the present economic degeneracy is a depression, not a recession. My primary factual reason was that long time averages, say 15 year slices, are already looking worse than those of the so called "Great Depression". This has been obvious since 2008. For example median real income is in a worse slump than at any time around the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Paul Krugman wrote an editorial "The Third Depression" (June 27 2010) where he did not use my preceding argument, yet (but it will come!) First he confined himself to useful generalities:

"Recessions are common; depressions are rare. As far as I can tell, there were only two eras in economic history that were widely described as “depressions” at the time: the years of deflation and instability that followed the Panic of 1873 and the years of mass unemployment that followed the financial crisis of 1929-31.

Neither the Long Depression of the 19th century nor the Great Depression of the 20th was an era of nonstop decline — on the contrary, both included periods when the economy grew."

I am monitoring closely the progress of influential student Krugman. He has finally integrated a notion familiar to those who read these pages: "… this third depression will be primarily a failure of policy. Around the world — most recently at last weekend’s deeply discouraging G-20 meeting — governments are obsessing about inflation when the real threat is deflation, preaching the need for belt-tightening when the real problem is INADEQUATE spending."

I have been saying this all along. That notion is obscure in the USA, but, in a country such as France resisting inappropriate spending, while promoting appropriate spending, is the proclaimed policy (whether the appropriate pharaonic projects are actually implemented is something else!) Appropriate spending is also the main axis of British PM Cameron’s new economic and social policy in Great Britain. And Germany will insist that it is what it has been doing for at least 10 years, with a succession of austerity plans, while subsidizing renewables generously.

Misappropriate spending is where the major problem with civilization always lay. Spending is economic activity, hence determines what people do. In a plutocratic regime, all the activity is about servicing the rich, which is DEPRESSING to the rest of the public. Depressing, like in economic depression, and mental depression. So most of the population is content with just surviving. Since wealth rules, meaning it takes all the decisions (see "Government Sachs" in the USA, for 3 decades running), the people does not just survives, it is despondent.

Blocking plutocracy is why Western Europe has a tradition of rebellions. Those rebellions were all over: Italy, Germany, France, Britain, and everywhere in between. Although there were wars, much of the time, it was to divert the energies of the rebellious people away from throwing out their lords. And the lords themselves were not always of the highest lineage: the mother of Guillaume Le Conquerant was a commoner, a business woman who cleaned animal skins.

The tradition of rebellion came from the Germans. It certainly did not come from the meek and submissive trains of thought having originated with Socrates! Starting under Constantine, the Franks, a pair of confederations of Germans, became the elite of the Roman army, and they revolted much and often.

In the first enormous rebellion, the overall commander of the Roman imperial army named some Roman intellectual, emperor, and decided to do away with Christianity. He went to battle emperor Constantius II, son of Constantine, but was unexpectedly defeated in a closely run battle. A few years later, revenge was granted as the philosopher Julian, with his Franks, took control of the entire empire (he was unexpectedly and mysteriously killed in Mesopotamia).

The same story happened again in 387 CE, when the Frank Argobast, under the rabid Christian Theodosius, became more powerful than the emperor himself. Emperor Valentinian, who succeeded Theodosius, tried to get rid of Argobast, so he was smothered in his pillow, and Argobast put Eugenius, who had been a school master, on the emperor’s throne.

Argobast himself took the highest position next to the emperor, calling himself "Mayor of the Palace", a title promised to a great future. In 394 C.E., Argobast, who was a pagan, like all Franks, before they decided they could be Catholic too, led the emperor’s forces to battle against the Christians in Gaul. A battle went wrong, and one had to wait another generation before Childeric, Clovis’ father, finally wore the purple (for all we know, Merovee may have worn the purple too).

The constant rebellions in Europe, deeply misunderstood in much of the planet, especially the USA, are the source of European genius, because they insure that plutocracy never smother civilization. If rebellion is a duty, submission is a fallacy. (Yes, double meaning! but with a deep historical reality.)

Presently, the root cause of the depression is the growth of the vampirical financial sector, which sucks the economy dry, as using prestidigitation, it has the impudence of producing bads and disservices, ever more, while starving real goods and services.

This clear and present cancer had not metastized to that extent in the 1930s, on the territory of the USA itself. The worst financial and corporate actors in the 1930s tended to invest with their creature, Adolf Hitler (some of the plutocratic worthies supporting Hitler were German, many were Americans, and the Americans were much more enabling). Anti-monopoly laws in the USA (gift of Teddy Roosevelt), and FDR and his Banking Act (separating speculation from banking) blocked the financial and corporate sharks in the USA, so they concentrated overseas, on manipulating Germany, a more hospitable environment that they had themselves created (I am out Buchaning Buchanan, except it’s the truth, which is of course worse.)

So what to do now? Clearly appropriate spending ought to be implemented. Obama’s real "stimulus" was no more than 200 billion dollars, as I have argued in details at the time, making it proportionally smaller than the French real stimulus. Now Obama wants to spend more, while the Europeans have started an austerity program that Obama, Krugman (and Geithner, etc.) whine about.

They can whine, because those influential worthies claim not to understand a major technical point. Many of the EU major governments have government spending around 45% of GDP (or a bit more, France is at least at 50% of GDP!) So that those governments want to reduce government spending is understandable. They want to free the animal spirits. The automatic stabilizers are still in, refurbished or not.

But the case of the USA is completely different. In the USA, government spending is around 33% of GDP. Moreover, the US military spending is baffling in its enormity ($750 billion with the "intelligence" agencies, and counting). Hence the real government spending stimulating the CIVILIAN economy in the USA is just a FRACTION of what Britain-France-Germany spend, stimulating their civilian economy. So as Britain-France-Germany reduce government spending, they come down from a huge mountain with flowing streams and rich towering forests, whereas the USA civilian sector is a low lying desiccating desert where little grows, besides hot air.

Hence let Barack rises in his thermal of hoped for spending, preferably by others overseas. Barack had the chance to embark the USA on a Very High Speed electric train network construction program, but he decided to not even try that. Better to listen to Dimon, Buffet, Goldman. The Deameon Gold Man had a Buffet, while Sacking everybody, indeed. Whereas many countries, including China and gigantic Russia have such Very High Speed train programs, using West European trains and technology transfers. Instead, Obama made it so that the Too Big To Flail Banks made huge profits again, using the derivative universe. Some may not know calculus, but they know derivatives, or so they think. It’s a great comedy, it has not turned to great tragedy yet. Just more than 5,000 US soldiers killed in the Middle East, for no good reason (and I will not bore anyone with dead indigenes).

Far in the distance of the American desert of the civilian economy, an inner Afghanistan, the green mountains of Europe laugh in the coolness of the fresh humid air of their rich fields. For example French non financial companies are more indebted than their competitors in the USA, because they have plenty of great projects. They will deliver them with the help of the lower Euro. Instead in the USA, we have ridiculous spectacles like Tesla, a company of the connected plutocrat Musk, selling car for hyper rich people (more than $100,000 for a two-seater!) which get enormous subsidies from the government. Why? Because Musk looks good, and he walks by the side of Barack. Barack also finances, through NASA, Musk’s ridiculous replacement-NASA-by-myself amusing adventure. Besides being young, tall, lean, and neat, does Musk have musk? Like the influential Murdoch, he is not even American, just playing one at the plutocratic trough.

In Rome, in the Third Century, we had the barrack emperors: several dozens emperors, all military, in a few years. Unrelated, except in the arbitrariness of empire gone mad, and the same sorts of sounds.

What’s the way out? Is there a way out? Well, what about a bit of central planning? Not necessarily Soviet, or Chinese style. That would make laugh most serious people in the United States. Indeed they know that the money is with Goldman Sachs. Only fools would not be obsessed that way, many good Americans have learned to feel. But central planning would help to compensate for the Goldman Sachs guys who have ruled the White House for decades. Actually, come to think of it, France has had a very official "Commisariat" of the plan, since 1946.

The root of the present crisis is income inequality. Plutocracy in the making, in other words:

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The economic rise of Europe in the Middle Ages was caused by the domination of independent, or quasi independent cities, loosely overviewed by political power. This is well known with Italian republics (Florence, Genoa, Venice, etc.), or with the Magna Carta in England, but is also true throughout the Alps, Germany and much of France (especially Southern France, where, after the Crusade against the Albigeois, the cities were pretty autonomous, since the representative of power was often an officer of the distant king, and not local potentates). These cities were pretty much democracies and republics onto themselves.

Before the Mongols rolled in, independent cities were found all the way to the republic of Novgorod, in Northern Rus’. All the Rus’ cities were submitted to the Mongol yoke, though, and, when the invaders were chased out three centuries later, it was to be delivered by the fascist Grand Duchy of Moscow, the Mongols’ obsequious but perfidious servant, just prior.

Much of that independence of the commons was obtained through revolts, some massive: Cathars, Magna Carta, French jacquerie (1358 CE), etc. The creation of England itself, by French lords was a revolt of smaller lords against bigger lords. And so it was again when French lords, many based in England, decided to go to war against their overlords in Paris. Those revolts were transmutated into definitions of human rights. Or the independence, of Switzerland, the Netherlands, or, as I said, England. Spain’s reconquista was a rebellion.

Money is an abstraction of power. Much money, much possessions, much power onto others. When all the power is in a few hands, so are most decisions, and intelligence in the commons is useless. Not only does society, overall becomes stupid, but the commons actually have interest to become stupid, so that they make no waves, and suffer less, since the animal without a brain suffers less. Economic activity is then reduced to survival. Such was the difference between Western and Eastern Europe until modern times.

Survival of serfs in the East, with its attendant paucity of intellect, contrasted with the wealth of intellectual, and thus economic activity in the West. Some will scoff, and extol the greatness of Russian literature, science and music. Sure. But most of Russia, with its enormous population, was illiterate and more or less still in serfdom. Empire building was the main diversion from their sorry fate.

Ultimately Russia bled during the First World War with Germany, and the losses were so enormous that the Bolsheviks came to power, just because they were ready to capitulate to Germany. This was a direct consequence of plutocracy and decerebration. If not for the catastrophes after August 1914, Russia would have 300 million people now. Instead it has 140 million, shrinking by 800,000 a year. Still bleeding, because its culture has been unable to find mental balance (Putin has set up a carefully planned circle of national and nationalized companies headed by people close to him, in an effort to get an economy which can produce something real, instead of just having the entire country being a northern version of Venezuela; we will see…)

Some will say that the USA is not Russia, and not exsanguinous yet. Sure. But the USA has been playing a very dangerous game with India and Pakistan, by helping to arm both sides, with nuclear weapons. Even Russia does not play this sort of games anymore. And the USA is weakening itself by spreading itself militarily as no power has ever done, ever. While the plutocracy leads away from greater opportunities for all, towards ever more power for itself.

It does not take many exploding nuclear devices to ruin a good civilization. Considering how nervously the USA reacted to 9/11, just one nuke may be sufficient to institute a fascist regime. After all, many characteristics of an authoritative regime are already in place. Maybe a nuke or two exploded in anger is all what the plutocrats are looking for. No wonder they can’t find bin Laden.

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Patrice Ayme

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Technical explanation; for more than 2,100 years of the history of empires and strong regimes in the West, all the way back to Jugurtha, there was never a case of a major rebel eluding capture, as bin Laden has done, so far. The only case would be Hannibal, who, 2,200 years ago, evaded the Romans by fleeing to the Middle East. But he was no rebel, but an enemy general. Osama bin Laden was in American employ (as king Jugurtha was in Roman employ, before he used corruption and other means to betray the Romans). Not having caught bin Laden is a strong indication of the weakness of the USA. But is it real, or deliberate?

Way Out Of Afghanistan, Version 2010

June 23, 2010

 

THROWING ROCKS AT A CHRYSTAL HOUSE.

Abstract: General Stanley McChrystal, a former chief of the U.S. military’s secretive special forces, and US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, has been recalled to Washington, as US strategy there has collapsed, while his staff talked too frankly about the clowns they take orders from. American theatrics in Afghanistan, after the unopposed selection of Karzai as "president" are now going from gross to grotesque.

Instead of accusing generals for trying to do the impossible that they were ordered to do, I propose a completely new strategy. OK, it’s too smart, so I plead guilty on all counts.

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The armies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization cannot win in Afghanistan. This is a philosophical truth. The essential force of the army of democracy is philosophical correctness, and, in particular, moral correctness. There is neither in the Afghan war.

The present stage of that war has lasted nine years, 50% longer than it took for France and Britain to defeat Hitler (3 September 1939- 8 May 1945). World War II was won, because it was philosophically and morally correct, so the West could go all out in all ways. WWII started with the two leading democracies, France and Britain, having declared war to Hitlerian fascism which, financed by Americano-German plutocrats, fed by Texaco and Standard Oil, had attacked Spain (1936). Unfortunately, crucially supported by evil American corporations, Hitler succeeded to conquer Austria, Czechoslovakia, Spain (February 1939), and then Poland (Fall 1939). Hitler immediately started the physical elimination of the Polish population (destroying flour mills and opening Auschwitz to this effect; the holocaust of Poles preceded the holocaust of the Jews by a full 20 months).

The democracies made unconditional war to Nazi Germany: their aim was the total destruction of Nazism, with no negotiations whatsoever.

With Imperial Japan the concession was made, at the last moment, to keep the war mongering hypocritically fish collecting emperor in place as figurehead. In a smart counterpart, emperor Hiro Hito stepped to the plate, and courageously forced Japan to surrender. Hiro Hito, meek and feeble looking, faced a massive rebellion from the top generals and admirals, who were firmly committed to suicide all of Japan. Instead they finally realized that they, and not Japan, had failed their Lord, and committed Hara Kiri, as they had to. Thus Hiro Hito, with his amazing act of last minute, but drastic courage, redeemed himself in the eyes of history.

Will Obama redeem himself in the eyes of history?

Obama’s rescue of the malevolent Big Bank managers, and lenders, paying the thieves, instead of expropriating them, all Americans, and actually all of NATO, pay for every day, as the Western economy teeters on the verge of utter collapse. Since the thieves got back to what they do best, stealing everybody, ignoring the economy, fostering social destitution of the multitudes, in brazen violation of their fiduciary duties, BP style..

Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan is just as ill conceived. Even the arrogant and ignorant George Bush had too much brains, culture, and even, let’s say it, honesty, for extending that ill conceived war. G. W. Bush knew the Afghans, and even its Taliban, had not started that war, and that the official US discourse on it was deeply misleading. Other alien creatures had pulled the strings, and they came from another continent.

As I said countless times, the Constitution of Afghanistan, as stupidly decided by the manipulators in Washington, is Islam (it was not always so in the past). Thus NATO is fighting for a literal interpretation of the Qur’an, and that is a total violation of the basic principle of Western democracy, which is secular. (In spite of Obama evoking God 17 times in one small speech from the Oval Office.)

Now, the Taliban is also fighting for radical Islam. So what is the difference between NATO fighting for radical Islam and the Taliban fighting for radical Islam? Well, the Taliban is made of Afghans, they die at home. NATO’s army is made of boys dying very far from home. That is why Canada and the Netherlands will pull out their combat troops soon. The Canadian government is conservative, but it campaigned for the pull out during the last elections.

Americans, perhaps ignorant, like George Bush, of the rest of the world, often make a show of making fun of their NATO allies.

However, Canada’s fighting personnel suffered 148 killed in Afghanistan, proportionally 50% more than the USA.

The war, as it is, is lost. Karzai government is one of the world’s most corrupt (otherwise why would it support this charade?). To survive, in Afghanistan, one needs to be bipartisan: half Taliban, half corrupt. Obama should know: he desperately wants to be bipartisan, although it is just to please money and power. In Afghanistan, being bipartisan saves lives of those who are. And their families.

For NATO to win, one would need to re-build a correct theory of the philosophical battle at hand.

But, to do that, a serious revisitation of history is in order. Indeed the war in Afghanistan is war against Pakistan’s Inter Service Intelligence, the ISI, by proxy. They are the ones feeding the Taliban. Just like bin Laden, the ISI is a creature of the USA. But the ISI has thermonuclear weapons. In any case, the USA is fighting its own malevolent creatures in AfPak, and the creatures not only have good reasons to be irked, but there are fighting their master, the American plutocratic-military complex, and they know it well. They know what makes American plutocracy tick.

Technically NATO is in Afghanistan because of 9-11, the first attack ever against a NATO member. But it has got seriously long in the tooth. What used to be a justifiable war years ago has turned into something straight out of George Orwell’s "1984".

At this point it is tempting, as general McChrystal pointed out, for politicians to contrive to make it appear that the US Army lost the war. Whereas, of course, the politicians are 100% responsible. They ordered the generals to fight a war that had been already lost philosophically.

In the history of the West, there is not one case that a war was fought for religion, and won.

When Obama insist that NATO is in Afghanistan to fight Al Qaeda, he is either ill informed, or not genuine. Why not be more genuine and claim to be in Afghanistan to fight the CIA? After all, the CIA created Al Qaeda (maybe not under that name, and maybe a lot through the ISI, but in the financing, men and the methods). It was American policy, since 1945, to use fundamentalist Islam first mostly against the imperialists, France and Britain. That worked well for the USA, procuring vast quantities of oil and influence, until nowadays, when said Muslim Fundamentalists have discovered they were played like violins. So now they play for themselves, with their own violins. In the next step of their enlightenment, they will use Islam as the Franks used to manipulate God, as something one does not really believe in, but which is most convenient to conquer with.

So what is the way out? Certainly not to accuse US generals: they tried their best, but they did not have a chance. The correct way out is to review the entire effort from scratch, and propose an alliance with the Taliban…

Obama talks as if Al Qaeda was a problem. But it’s not much of one. Muslim Fundamentalists tried to crash a jumbo jet on Paris in 1996, French commandos killed the six terrorists, and all passengers were rescued. Israel and France have known for decades of the crash-jets problem, and have had active counter measures in place, for decades. The USA was taken with its pants down in 2001, because American politicians were arrogant. There was not even an armed air patrol in the air (which both France and Israel have on a constant basis).

The real problem is next door: the dozens of militarized thermonuclear rockets in Pakistan, hidden below the world’s highest mountains.

The Taliban may be tempted to accept a peace proposal, because not only could one make an offer they could not refuse: send over the lithium and niobium, we will develop you to the max. Honest Afghans have known for a long time that their problems start with Pakistan. With Pakistan and its ISI.

To make a NATO-Taliban alliance would be a bit delicate, since the main supply route of NATO goes through Pakistan, and since it would involve the dismantlement of Pakistan. But Pakistan is a bad idea whose time should not have come. And its nukes will have to go, and it better be nicely.

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Patrice Ayme

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P/S: 1) Pa in Pakistan is for Pashto (presently cut in half by the AfPak border). That is why Pakistan may not survive, a considerable nuclear improvement.

2) The tactics used in Iraq by Bush, on a small scale, was to do just the preceding, since an alliance was proposed to the Suni resistance. It seems that effort was headed by general Petraeus. So he would be a natural to “design and lead our new strategy” in Afghanistan (as Obama put it, looking pretty much the Chief, for a considerable change, ;-)!)

Small People

June 18, 2010

 

POWER TRAMPLES "WE THE SMALL PEOPLE".

Abstract: There are great people who are simply grand (Obama, the CEO of BP, Goldman Sachs, Warren Buffet, Jamie Dimon, top bankers and their alter egos, hedge fund managers, etc.)

And then there are "small people", the ones the grandees "take care of". Those can be killed at will, US citizens, or not, for something nefarious such as running an irritating website. (I mentioned this before; Jon Stewart has it, with picture and some humor, in http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-june-15-2010/respect-my-authoritah).

We have seen this contempt for most of the People before: it is known as the end of the Roman republic. Later it happened again, and it was called the Middle Ages. The genuine contempt is mixed with smoke, mirrors and distractions to dissimulate the collusions and conspiracies between self declared grandees of a sputtering democracy drowning in oil, empire, and plutocracy.

The truth is that the government of the USA was amazingly competent with drowning in oil the Gulf of Mexico. As usual the government made the point that it has been making since Nixon’s reform of US health care. Non elected grandees (BP, Goldman Sachs, etc.) know best, rule best, get away with anything, especially smoke, mirrors, lies and empty promises.

From Afghanistan (initially loaded by the USA grandees with civil war, bin Laden and Taliban, decades ago) to diverting money creation by Banks Too Big to Fail into derivatives bets with each other and other plutocrats, to the… well, the problem with that well, the one that it is not doing too well.

So the Gulf of Mexico is turning into the Gulf of Bitumen. The massacre is not hidden on the other side of the Earth this time. embarrassing. The plundocracy is so exposed for what it is, that even average Americans may get irked to the point of doing something. That would mean taxation. Taxing fossil fuels. As they do in Europe. Big time. But Obama did not utter the word.

Instead he stuck to the same platitudes as his eight predecessors on the same subject. He did not dare utter the one thing that made him different from them: creating one more market for Goldman Sachs (in Chicago, of course!) When the going gets tough, more plutocracy! So far Obama’s energy plan has consisted into an elaborate conspiracy with Goldman Sachs in Chicago, to make Goldman Sachs and associated plutocrats richer. Goldman Sachs will wear a cap, and then trade.

In his first Oval Office speech, Obama complained about the lack of research of the oil companies (which is curious, considering their giant research budgets, arguably the largest in the world).

In truth Clinton dissolved the Bureau of Mines, which conducted research that the USA now needs. So admirers of Reagan such as Clinton had a good time, cutting into the bones, and now People can swim and drink oil in the Gulf.

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USA oil made USA great. United States oil production peaked in 1970. By 2005 imports were twice the production. The debacle in the Gulf of Mexico will accentuate the drop off. So the USA has turned to coal: damn the CO2 to hell. The correct attitude is to turn to conservation, or, better said, efficiency. But small people are not that smart. Anyway, they do not decide what to think.

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Here it is in a nutshell. The Chairman of British Petroleum, a tall, not to say majestic guy, grandly declared after meeting with President Obama at the White House: "He is frustrated, because he cares about the SMALL PEOPLE." (June 16, 2010.) At some other point the Chairman insisted, on the White House grounds: “We care about the small people!”

Ah, Obama and his alleged "frustration". "Small people" can be so frustrating, indeed, as one tries to health care for them. They are in the way of "bipartisanship". There are the worthy people, the "savvy businessmen", those with "talent", who need to be "rewarded", as Wall Street puts it, And then there are the small people. That is the way the Middle Ages came to be: a few great aristocrats on top, small people below. One could not be without the other.

[Chris Ison/Press Association, via Associated Press]

The yacht of the CEO of BP, left, sailed in the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on Saturday, June 19, 2010. See P/S. notice all the “Small People been taken of” on deck.

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The Chairman of BP promised to the president a 20 billion dollars fund, for the small people (he has a bigger yacht than the CEO). Whatever. For how good promises are, see the clip of Jon Stewart above. As the BP Chairman talked, one could not see his eyes. They were like slits on a blockhouse. It was obvious he was lying through and through. His eyes were hiding behind the slits. He kept on at it, with his slit eyes, for several minutes. Maybe he has some brain disease: dissimulitas maxima.

The Middle Ages did not start with an aristocracy, it was a progressive phenomenon. Initially there was a meritocracy, and kings were elected, such were the Germans who took over (Franks, Goths, Lombards).After a while only the Franks were left, with their queens, and laws against slavery. Rich Franks put their money in monasteries and their libraries. After the Muslim invasion of Europe, the Franks reorganized on a military model, and, for technical reasons (heavy cavalry) a military aristocracy came to be. The "best" ("aris") were on top, and then ever smaller people, scurrying below. Since the small ones were eating fewer proteins, they indeed became physically smaller.

The majestic BP Chairman, earning millions, prefers to enjoy his yacht on the pristine waters of the Pacific, we are told. A man of wealth and taste. He needs small people to serve his yacht, when he comes on shore, or his private jet, when it needs service. At the White House, it’s all about caring for the small people.

What is going on there, psychologically? Those who head the great conspiracies, I mean the great corporations, are, increasingly, in another world. Their incomes have augmented so much, that they identify psychologically with the plutocracy, rather than with the small people, those who labor below, in their own organizations. The BP CEO in Congress made it clear that he had no idea what his small

That was the whole idea of paying the CEOs, and celebrities that much: for them to champion the plutocracy, by joining it. Done. The word "plutocracy" is not used lightly:

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[USA statistics from Business Week (1990-2004) and the Wall Street Journal (2005).]

BP has hired Goldman Sachs as an adviser. Curious, on the face of it, because Goldman Sachs is not a law firm, but a financial shark group (made into a bank from one minute to the next, by the fiat of Paulson and Geithner, so as to tap into taxpayer money, up to 60 billion dollars of it… Another case where the plutocrats walked all over the "small people").

Big people care about small people as they care about feeding the birds. As far as they are concerned, small people are losers, that’s all they need to know, and they keep away with promises never meant to be.

When watching some of the clips in Jon Stewart’s work, above, characteristic lying seems in evidence; something about the entire face not following the discourse. Cold eyes, the way Carter used to do it: laser cold eyes above, devastating smile of the great white below. Let alone reading from a teleprompter, because one’s heart has nothing to say, and even emotions have to be learned by rote. "I am furious" says Obama, and, as many commentators pointed out, he was not furious, he just knew he was supposed to say that. Hard, for him to be angry, without the teleprompter.

Representatively elected people, not only get votes, and money to buy those votes, but, as they get the money, they network with the plutocracy. Thus they get ready to walk all over the "small people".

This game worked fine, as long as it was hidden in Iraq and Afghanistan. But now the pathetic show is in full view. In the Gulf of Mexico. The incompetence of the government of the USA has been blatant. Said government found natural to be the ward of a private, foreign company, because it was headed by big people. Big people breathe together (con-spirare).

The incompetence of the USA government has been nearly beyond comprehension. Local authorities ought to have been given full powers to close the passes of barrier islands. Instead, they have been threatened with jail. The Commander in Chief ought to have accepted, as a matter of principle, the help of all and any countries (there is supposedly a law against it, but since massive violations of the Constitution are ongoing, what’s the big deal?)

Truth is, this is the worst oil spill ever, and that was obvious as soon as giant flames, as tall as a skyscraper, towered above the drilling platform for days. No need to have a Nobel Prize to understand that. Truth is, some people need a teleprompter to think.

Truth is there were known problems with the Blow Out Preventer, and BP, Beyond the Pale, ordered to keep on going.

Truth is the USA government ought to have ordered at least three relief wells on day one (relief wells can fail). Hence the interest of putting the military in charge on day one: generals would have read the statistics about relief wells, and acted accordingly.

There are only two relief wells now, and the first one was started 12 days too late.

Truth is, the oil spill could get way worse. Because what is passing through the BOP is a high pressure (2,000 pounds per square inch of pressure gradient through the BOP) of a scorching mix of oil, methane, sand and other rocky debris. The blow Out Preventer is eroding. Truth is, the Top Kill and cutting the pipe antics have made the situation worse. (Rumor has it that Dr. Chu displaying common sense, ordered BP to stop Top Kill, which was obviously eroding the pipe, one could see it happen on video.)

Meanwhile the disasters in finance and Afghanistan pursue their ways, unchallenged, eating through treasure, economic opportunity, lives, while reinforcing ever more the plutocracy and its conspiring agents.

The mission in Afghanistan is a contradiction, but small people do not understand that. instead they are told to respect Islam (since when are wars about religions?). Why? NATO defends the Afghan Constitution, which is the Holly Qur’an. Just like the Taliban! So NATO itself does not differ ethically from the Taliban. It’s Taliban against Taliban, one born there, the other wanting all the good lithium in Afghanistan. Ah Lithium. Another thing small people don’t understand, as they crave for electric everything.

We are being told that mining Afghanistan is worth trillions of dollars. A modern reason for killing Afghans has been found at last. Better than the Qur’an. Just as with the invasion of Iraq, the good journalists at Fox News explain that now Afghanistan will be able to pay for the war imposed on it. See the article in the New York Times:"US Identifies Vast Minerals Resources in Afghanistan" .

As far as the grandees are concerned, contradiction is good: it confuses the small people, it makes them doubt their own ability to think, and it makes thinking a painful exercise, discouraging it. Thus average US citizens tend to think only losers engage in big thinking (although this is changing from the likes of the Tea Party, Fox News and Glen Beck, who try to think out of the box, however erroneously much of the time).

Obama himself is exceptional at fostering contradiction: in the video above, June 15, 2010, Jon Stewart, of the Comedy Channel, runs old Obama clips from before 2009, comparing them with the policies of the Obama government. They tend to be exact opposite of each other. In some important ways, Obama is doing worse than Bush. It’s not about reading emails without warrants anymore, it’s about killing citizens, a right the kings of France and Britain did not have before their revolutions.

Mr. Steward concluded that Obama’s complete change of politics has everything to do with power. Obama just does what it takes, when he must, in his power moral system, because, as many before him, he is persuaded that he can be entrusted with power . As I already said, what Stewart put together is worth watching:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-june-15-2010/respect-my-authoritah

Presidents of the USA are so surrounded by the trappings of power, going around with a veritable army all the times, that they get drunk on it. Never mind that this power is not any more real than the inebriety caused by alcohol; the important thing is that they believe in it, and so do the People. It is important to the plutocracy that the People and its representatives play like children: this way, they will not get to know reality.

Small people are becoming nothing quickly. As Stewart puts it, the president can sit, stroking a cat, and order small people killed at will. It does not matter if those small people are Pakistani or US citizens. Initially they were Pakistanis: that was for practice, to establish a precedent. Now the practice is accepted by all Americans, so it can be turned against US citizens.

No need to bother with a conspiracy. No, it can be done in full sight. It has to be done in full sight: after TARP, Transferring Assets to Rich Plutocrats, things are done in plain sight, people have to learn that new submission they have accepted to be submitted to. After all the survival of the plutocracy is at play. Plutocracy is a bit like a rocket taking off now: a delicate moment. All this power unleashed onto the small people, but something could go wrong, as it is cranked up. (In imperial Rome, the victory of plutocracy looked complete and absolute, and it was pretty much for two centuries, until Septimus Severus, an African born general who founded the Severian dynasty; then the army took control; after that generals fought generals. The Senate and the plutocracy was thereafter increasingly sidetracked, while more and more brutal and uneducated, barbarian generals reached ever higher, until they made an alliance with God Himself, and plutocracy got into the mix.

Killing some citizens in full violation of the US Constitution will frighten small people into submission. Thus power speaks. Power is, power just goes, crushing everything in its way, when it is greater. It can even tunnel through where it ought not to go. This is the lesson of (quantum) physics. Power dominates all.

Some will say that this is not true, that the US presidency is weak, and so is Congress. Some will say that the bureaucracies in state, defense, intelligence agencies, etc are the real sources of power. However, it is true that the Senate can easily block everything, because many senators are from very small states, and they can easily be bought by the plutocracy, and they are. Ultimately it is the plutocratic-political complex that is the greatest source of power. (Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex, and Nixon’s health care-industrial complex, and Reagan-Summers financial-industrial complex are portions of this greater whole).

The American Constitution as it is practiced now is a grotesque imperial show. The respect for the Supreme Court (which selected Bush as president, and recently declared corporations to be persons who can give as much money as they want to their political pets), or for presidents who violate blatantly human rights (Bush with torture, Obama with extra legal executions of US citizens) is where the problem lays. Those violations are in plain sight. Probably because they are supposed to create precedents, legal or otherwise.

That is why matters got worse under Obama: Bush’s work, dismantling the spirit of the US Constitution, is acting as a precedent for Obama. Why the grotesque imperial show? Because it instills fear and awe in the population. Both in the USA, and worldwide (if the US army gets beaten in Afghanistan, the fear will be replaced by rage, though: a non linear effect, to be fought at great cost). It also distract the population away from whom really pulls the strings, namely those with serious money.

The US president, the US Congress pose as the cause of it all. They wrap themselves into authority , and they insist: respect-my-authoritah. Thus they hide that they are at the beck and call of the plutocracy.

It can be seen all over. The same representatives who gave trillions in tax breaks to the hyper wealthy become spastic when extending jobless benefits for a few billions. Why? Because all they do is to please the hyper wealthy, in the hope that, when they graduate from their political careers, they will be rewarded. And they are. They do not want to be small people. And they are not. Corruption is a dynamical system, with a strange attractor.

***

PA

***

P/S: June 19, 2010. A BP spokeswoman says BP chief executive Tony Hayward is attending a yacht race off the Isle of Wight in southern England. So not only the Chairman of BP has a yacht, but so does the CEO.

Hayward took time off his duties handling the oil spill catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico to see his boat "Bob" participate in the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race on Saturday. Hobnobbing with millionaires, plutocrats and their yachts is fundamental to tightly knit the plutocracy together. It’s the next step above golf.

Let Pluto Be Are No Words Of Wisdom

June 10, 2010

 

IF IT’S TOO HOT TO KEEP COOL, SIMMER!

I received personal messages telling me I was too mean to Obama.

And the well leaks, straight from the underground, an appropriate image for the Obama presidency. Underground is where Pluto thrives. Pluto is the ultimate savvy businessman, and he is friendly.

All my critiques about Obama are constructive, and thus friendly, too. I have criticized his choice of advisers, some being the worst of the worse, and even his choice of emotions, or logics, let alone knowledge.

Declarations such as on June 8, 2010 on NBC’s “Today” show, when he informed us that:

“I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answer so I know whose ass to kick.”

… Reveal that, even to pick up a fight in the schoolyard, as if, somehow, it were his role, Obama needs a committee of experts. Such comments tend to show his emotional system as coming short, a trait further accentuated by his preferred emotion, frustration. I got so frustrated by Obama’s alleged frustration, that I wrote an essay on frustration, coming soon.

Frustration is the top kill of all emotions. It matters. One thinks with emotion, and Obama, in the imperfect democratic system we have, is the leader. He thinks for us, his decisions can bring Armageddon. Or, at least turn the Gulf of Mexico into a vast lake of bitumen, something genuinely black, brought to you by the serious people, in the oligarchy.

Obama ought to have put the US army in charge of the leaking oil well, on day one. He did not. Even what I view as the risky cutting of the riser was decided by BP alone, with a cheering audience from the White House (Dr. Chu Chu, a Nobel, but not necessarily the most noble at all times). A bend riser slowed the flow down, cut, it augments, and no seal will long resist the vibrations (which could bust the whole BOP). Of course, the oil could be ultimately recovered by a sort of funnel, but, to say the least, plans could have been explained: it’s a public, not private problem, at this point, and the People have a right to know. 

Obama is a man who wanted to become everybody’s daddy, and now he is. Maybe that was presumptuous on his part, but he desperately wanted the job, and millions helped him, including the author, believing what he let us hope, believing what he led us to hope. We have a right, and a duty, to criticize daddy back. Such is the fundament of representative democracy, imperfect as it is, to ponder how and why Obama thinks. And that means what and why he emotes.

Obama has been immensely wrong about the financial crisis, as he paid the owners and corrupt managers of the bank holding companies, under the pretense of keeping the economy going, as if those “savvy businessmen”, as he put it, had not just ruined it. Obama literally called Mr. Jamie Dimon "savvy", and his "friend", apparently because Mr. Dimon implemented CDOs, one of the main derivatives which ruined the world.

Thus the financial thieves were given back what they had stolen before, and the People was asked to pay the thieves, and told pontifically that so it had to be. And this, as if the People had not just paid for the banks, and thus, logically and capitalistically, ought to own them. Obama just pursued faithfully Bush’s policies there, even keeping his crew (Bernanke, Geithner).

Obama, has been abysmally wrong about Afghanistan, even refuting the foundations, not just of Western Civilization, but even of the State of Law, by doing so, the way he did. In that too, he just pursued Bush’s demolition work of 4,000 years of progress. Bush’s grandfather was one of Hitler’s most important collaborators (!), it was family business. What is Obama’s excuse?

The mental blaze of philosophy against these civilization class outrages will go on, as long as Obama does not change policies. If he did not want this scrutiny, he ought to have stayed a private person, something no politician can be, in representative democracy.

The very limelight on the leaders of any democracy allows us to practice psychological dissection and deconstruction on those individuals who have decided to come to the fore, and lead. Thus the president is not just master and commander, but guinea pig and lab rat, as events are brutally visited on his mind, and he scurries about.

Pericles, Athens elected leader, was advised by some of those who were viewed as the best philosophers, in his time. His funeral oration stays a monument of democratic and open society glorification, to this day. Pericles did not advocate the abrogation of the State of Law, and Pericles did not work for an oligarchy. However, Pericles and his philosophical advisers, made huge mistakes with hubris and a lack of respect for the principle of precaution. Those mistakes may have set civilization back by a millennium.

Pericles’ mistakes were subtle. Many of the mistakes made by American oligarchy presently, are not subtle at all. Now, of course, one could say that the European oligarchies are making the same mistakes too, for example in asking the People to sacrifice for the rescue the plutocratic banking system we have presently. True, but the USA is leading this grotesque show.

The banking system, as it is, is funded by the public, in several ways. Thus it is a public institution. However, most of its profits go to a very small elite, which is in bed with the elected ‘representative" elite, itself bought and selected by the plutocrats in various ways. That system is now so biased in favor of these elites it ruins not only the standards of living, but even the environment (CO2 problem, Gulf of Bitumen, formerly of Mexico, perpetual wars eroding everything, etc.)

(I have supported Obama massively, in all ways, costing me treasure, time, and energy, getting personally nothing in return but dedicated antagonism, and the satisfaction of thinking well done. And I would do part of this again. It was a particular pleasure to see how a whiff of power corrupts absolutely those with a weak mental constitution.)

But that does not mean that, when I see Obama turning Western civilization upside down, as he did all too long in Afghanistan, and Pakistan, or in finance, or with health care, I should stay silent as an oyster in love.

PA

P/S: What happened with Athens? It lost the war with Sparta, but, in spite of horrendous mistakes (Syracuse expedition, also caused by hubris), ultimately the defeat was caused by Persia. Persia financed the Spartan fleet. So Pluto and its subterranean ways grew. Pluto is a mood, an anti-ethical, anti-progress mood.  As it grows, democracy shrinks. Next Thebes beat Sparta, but Macedonian fascism rolled over Greece, and Alexander annihilated Thebes, doing to it, what fascism had failed to do to Athens. Plutocratically, and somewhat democratically armed, Alexander swept all the way to Persia, eliminating a greater evil than himself. However, the point was that Pluto’s influence had grown enormously, and would favor the rise of the Roman republic, a lesser evil, before it got contaminated too, and so on… The good side of Christianity, that of unconditional love, would roll Pluto back later, helped by the fundamentally rebelliously democratic spirit of the Franks.

“Where I Was Wrong”

June 6, 2010

 

UNCLE TOM’S HOUSE?

“Where I was wrong,” said President Obama at his press conference on a Thursday in May 2010, as he mulled over the oil spill, “was in my belief that the oil companies had their act together when it came to worst-case scenarios.”

Instead what deference to oil companies brought was an utter disregard to laws, and the worst oil spill in history. Oil companies fear the governments and laws of Brazil, or Angola. But not of the USA. (There is massive deep water drilling off these two, among many countries).

This seems to be a pattern with Mr. Obama. He seems to have been in the "belief that those who are presently in power had their act together when it came to worst-case scenarios".

This is especially true with the so called "financial industry". "Industry" means, etymologically, to build inside. People in finance do not build anything, but they have captured the vocabulary of those who do, insisting that they introduce new "products" as part of "innovation", a way to drone people with the sound of new new new, when all they do is concentrate ever more power around themselves, the old fashion way. Power, that is property, people, and even hope.

But it is also the approach of Mr. Obama in Afghanistan. Obviously there, some day, Mr. Obama will pontificate about it, too. He will say: “Where I was wrong, was in my belief that the military-intelligence complex had their act together when it came to worst-case scenarios.” Mr. Obama’s tactics in Afghanistan are deeply flawed. Americans now use illiterate warlords, with divided loyalties to reign over there, some making fortunes from US taxpayers.

clip_image001

Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

A security post on the road controlled by Matiullah Khan in southern Afghanistan. He leads a private army that earns millions of dollars guarding NATO convoys. See NYT, for a very revealing article.

***.

Divided loyalties seem to be the way, with Mr. Obama and his government. Just as Mr. Obama is bipartisan, he finds natural to rest his tactics in Afghanistan on warlords who are bipartisan, half Taliban, half corrupt.

The strategy I advocate in Afghanistan is the exact opposite: a clear philosophical choice, by supporting only dedicated secular forces. (And if that cannot be done: out; but Afghanistan used to be secular, so it can be done).

The hope you can believe in is that those who are good to the hyper wealthy financial "industry" will be well rewarded later. See Clinton, Rubin, Summers, Geithner, and countless other critters, we don’t even bother remembering the names of, whose wealth profited from past goodness to the so called financial "industry". Rubin’s and Clinton’s fortunes are now in the hundreds of million dollars. Serious money. Clinton is still playing a political and public relation role, as he provides the sympathetic face plutocracy needs.

As Mr. Blow, an editorialist of the New York Times pointed out :"With all due respect to the president, who is a very smart man, how is it possible for anyone with any reasonable awareness of the nonstop carnage that has accompanied the entire history of giant corporations to believe that the oil companies, which are among the most rapacious players on the planet, somehow “had their act together” with regard to worst-case scenarios."

Mr. Blow is very Afro-American, let it be said in passing, to neutralize all silly accusations of racism some of the simple ones are bound to brandish, as they read the stunning punch line of this essay. I find Mr. Blow’s editorials generally cogent, courageous, and not caught in the racial obsession with the color of the skin, many others have, or think political to have. (As Mr. Obama does, since born from a white mother, and brought up by white grandparents in a non racist, although pluri-ethnic, but certainly non "black" society, he now defines himself as "black", although he is brown, something any African in good standing such as myself will immediately recognize.)

clip_image002

Charles M. Blow is The New York Times’s visual Op-Ed columnist. His column appears on Saturday.

Mr. Blow joined The New York Times in 1994 as a graphics editor and quickly became the paper’s graphics director, a position he held for nine years…

***

Frank Rich in an excellent editorial in the New York Times points out that: "It turns out there is something harder to find than a fix for BP’s leak: Barack Obama’s boiling point. The frantic and fruitless nationwide search for the president’s temper is now our sole dependable comic relief from the tragedy in the gulf… We still want to believe that Obama is on our side, willing to fight those bad corporate actors who cut corners and gambled recklessly while regulators slept, Congress raked in contributions, and we got stuck with the wreckage and the bills. But his leadership style keeps sowing confusion about his loyalties, puncturing holes in the powerful tale he could tell.

His most conspicuous flaw is his unshakeable confidence in the collective management brilliance of the best and the brightest he selected for his White House team — “his abiding faith in the judgment of experts,” as Joshua Green of The Atlantic has put it. At his gulf-centric press conference 10 days ago, the president said he had “probably had more meetings on this issue than just about any issue since we did our Afghan review.” This was meant to be reassuring but it was not. The plugging of an uncontrollable oil leak, like the pacification of an intractable Afghanistan, may be beyond the reach of marathon brainstorming by brainiacs…"

Verily, all over history, common sense has always beaten expertise. Why? Because experts are infeodated to power, they owe everything to it. So experts are clever, as long as Power is clever. Experts play a support role to Power. If they contradict it, they are nothing.

When president Franklin Delano Roosevelt separated banking from financially speculating in the "Banking Act of 1933" ("Glass-Steagall"), he was acting as the son of privilege who wanted to exert power, by beating plutocracy into submission, to give power back to the rule to the People. Roosevelt had been born a plutocrat, he wanted to achieve more than his class could provide.

The counter-attack of privilege came after Johnson’s Great Society of the 1960s. Starting with Nixon and Reagan, public money and power were subverted to give ever more private power to a small oligarchy. Nixon created the HMOs on the public dime, and Reagan helped by geniuses such as Lawrence Summers started to remove the barriers between banking and speculation (that caused the immediate failure of thousands of "Savings and Loans").

One has to understand that banks, all banks are publicly funded and guaranteed. That makes banks, all banks into public institutions. That is why Goldman Sachs rushed to become a bank in 2008 (instead of an “investment bank”, which was actually a speculative private bank). This way Goldman Sachs could access the public money spigot.

Summers, as Clinton’s economic boss, would finish destroying the Banking Act of 1933, and as Obama’s economic guru, he makes sure that it cannot be reborn from the wreckage: the White House is presently trying to block attempts at a cleaner separation of banking and speculation in derivatives, as the Senate has proposed ("Volcker’s rule").

The establishment gave everything to Obama, so Obama gives everything to the establishment. Gratitude, and the sheepish hormonal bath it comes from, is why great revolutions are never the work of insiders. To invent, and lead where no mind has been before, one needs rage.

It can be very dignified rage, such as that of Socrates, Cicero or Boethius, but it is still rage. (These three rambunctious philosophers were executed by fascist power exasperated by their free spirit; I could give Twentieth Century example, but readers would not know their names; although some day they will be widely known.) The implicit recognition of that mental mechanism, the importance of creative rage, is why the mythical Jesus threw the merchants out of the temple, and why Jesus made rather sinister death threats against unbelievers (which no philosopher in good standing will stoop to do, since philosophers kill ideas, not their carriers.)

Creativity always entails destruction, be it only of inappropriate neurology. That is actually why anger was invented. To foster the melting of erroneous neurological circuitry. That, and scarring the enemy.

So let’s recapitulate. Clinton was bought.

After his nomination as candidate, Clinton was told Rubin, head of Goldman Sachs, would be his boss, and then, moreover, that the even more extreme Lawrence Summers, Reagan’s aide, would help to do what was necessary, namely to dismantle FDR’s work.

Clinton was aghast. He asked Rubin the rhetorical question "You mean to tell me that the success of the economic program and my re-election hinges on the Federal Reserve and a bunch of fucking bond traders?"

(One has to understand that the Federal Reserve is mostly a system having the appearance of objectivity, but mostly independent of democracy, being a creature of the banks that it itself feeds with public money, without any oversight of what it truly does, since it is secret. Thus one does not really know how much public money was given to Goldman Sachs in the last two years. It may have been above 60 billion dollars, some counted; but everybody knows 60 billion dollars was provided to General Motors, because there is oversight for that; GM makes things, Goldman Sachs causes trouble, and builds a new aristocracy.)

The president wanted to be "transformative". The essence of the economic and financial crises is the publicly financed, privately managed fractional reserve system itself. More globally the incest between Power and the elected representatives that our present form of democracy uses has caused the rise of various undemocratic powers.

The military industrial complex a retiring president Eisenhower saw as the greatest danger. Let him speak in his farewell address:

" A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction…

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together."

(In the penultimate draft of the address, Eisenhower initially used the term MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL-CONGRESSIONAL complex.)

One may start with the same premise, with, say, the fossil fuel industry. After all it is also a vital element in keeping keeping on. Thus the oil energy representatives ended, literally, in bed with officials of the supposedly democratic government (Obama is talking as if he wanted to change this, but, when the lady directly in charge was fired, he had not heard about it, a particularly telling moment; who is the boss, really?)

F. A. Hayek mentions in his 1944 book "The Road to Serfdom" the danger of a support of monopolistic organization of industry from WWII political remnants:

"Another element which after this war is likely to strengthen the tendencies in this direction will be some of the men who during the war have tasted the powers of coercive control and will find it difficult to reconcile themselves with the humbler roles they will then have to play [in peaceful times]".

Although Hayek is viewed as very deep by most American neo-conservatives, from my point of view, inasmuch as the preceding remark is correct, he is also quite naïve.

The war of 1914 was launched directly by military men, But not WWII. Indeed, the military effort of the war itself resulted from men who knew, all along, a greater "coercive control", namely those who, in Anglo-Saxon countries and Germany, used Hitler as an all too willing pawn. Hitler was fabricated. Hayek did not want to understand that, because he was a follower of his "master mind", de Mandeville (early 18C). Hayek was a co-creator of shadowy organizations (Pan European Union, Mont Pelerin) which helped put in power Hitler, Thatcher and Reagan, and the members of which were amply rewarded with wealth, power and honors.

Hitler himself talked as if he could out-maneuver his wealthy sponsors, and spent a lot of his time decrying them.

(This connects to his attack on the Jews, because, after all, the Rothschilds, initially German Jews, vociferously decried much earlier by US presidents, were behind the monopolistic powers of the public-private fractional reserve system, used, as early as the 18C, by England to leverage itself against larger France). In the end Hitler committed suicide, and some of his wealthy sponsors and managers such as Prescott Bush, or Dr. Schacht ended on top, and wealthier and more powerful than ever (having escaped prosecution).

Obama is a creature of compromise between many things. His usage of "transformation" may have been just a word the uttering of which would allow to vaccinate against the concept it nominates. Why would Obama have otherwise chosen the advisers and aides he did? To use them as a cover-up, and then manipulate them subtly to achieve the transformations they were supposed to prevent?

All we can hope , at this point: to believe in Obama’s inner fiber, by making him really angry.

So let him show us that his presidency is not just about a little brown boy in a big White House, obsequiously serving his masters.

***

PA

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/

***

P/S: I proposed, long ago, to use the anti-organized crime law for the Too-Big-To-Fail finance industry. In preparation to this, and to assuage some just rage, it may be good to practice RICO on BP. It is obvious that there was a deliberate, organized effort to scuttle normal laws and regulations on the part of the giant corporation known as BP (20 billion dollars profits a year).