Our Impotent Self Glorifying “Leaders”

I was watching Barack Obama in San Francisco, explaining that shootings of civilians by civilians, racist or not (“this sort of incidents”), does not happen with the same frequency in any other countries.  Obama talked angrily. He was at the sea cliff mansion of a billionaire, the Pacific on one side, the Golden Gate bridge on the other. But his anger was not just directed at the gun lobby. Reading his face, one could tell he had strong doubts about the BS splashing so vigorously out of his oral cavity.

Who Am I? What Do I Think? What Happened? Something Is Going On, But You Don’t Know What It Is, Mister President

Who Am I? What Do I Think? What Happened? Something Is Going On, But You Don’t Know What It Is, Mister President

Had Obama just doubts that what he was saying could bring any progress? Obviously Obama knew that we know that, whatever he says, makes no difference. A sad state of affairs. Mr. Skin Color President is taken seriously by nobody. But he still gets to use the big jet, so what’s the big deal? Since when did he care about anything else?

As Obama was denouncing the frequency of shootings in the USA, one was happening in Oakland (three wounded). Obama declared that it was “not enough to grieve”.  Indeed. But it has become so American, to just grieve. More and more, the rabble is into incantations, and little else besides. And the reason is in plain sight.

It was Obama’s 20th trip to San Francisco. To listen to him, one had to pay $33,400. Then one could get access to one of the various mansions of some of the wealthiest people on Earth Obama visited that day.

$33,400: more than half the median family income.

$33,400: does Obama feel the violence? It’s not Liberty-Equality-Fraternity, but Liberty-Inequality-Obscenity.

Does Obama feels he has power, because plutocrats and their little children give $33,400 to see his face? They would give the same money to whomever is president next. Its pocket change to them, and Obama is just the bus boy serving them, because somebody has got to do it. Obama was not born in Kenya, but his spirits sure died under a regime similar to the one colonial Kenya enjoyed.

Obama says the mood of the country has to change about guns. But 90% of the USA want tighter regulations about guns, 69% want to crack down on CO2. So why it’s not happening? Because the people who can afford $33,400 to see Obama in person are all who matter. And those people have very different priorities: they make money from fossil fuels, they need private armies to defend themselves, inequality is what feeds them, and the more, the better, they are happy that We The People Is NOT in power. And the first line of this, is that We The People’s opinion does not matter.

Is it why Obama looked so nervous and culprit? Maybe he stumbled on the truth? Did he finally realize he became… nothing? Nothing important?

The truth is that, during his entire presidency, Obama did nothing positive (besides killing Osama Bin Laden), and a few very negative things (letting banksters and the CIA get away with murder).

Why was Obama so ineffectual? Because he did not take one tough decision, and imposed it. Obama is not feared by anyone. And without fear, the Prince cannot rule, as Machiavel, having studied pope Rodrigo Borgia and ex-cardinal Caesare Borgia from very close, pointed out.

We are not living in democracy. Athens had a democracy, we don’t. Democracy means direct democracy, where the Demos has the Power (Kratos).

Instead what we have is a political system where immense powers go to a few individuals, and only to them. That way the system headed by Putin, Xi, or Obama are no different. The rest of the population, the 99.9%, is left without power whatsoever. (Seriously: studies have shown that what people want they don’t get. More than two-third of the citizens of the USA want something done about the CO2 crisis. Yet, federally, nothing is done.)

That’s why the population cling so avidly to their guns. At least they have the power of holding onto a self-destructive device which can turn them into god for a few seconds.

Obama did not understand any of this. Or he did not understand what it meant. He seemed to have really believe he was in a sort of democracy among his peers, and he could debate things, get to a consensus, and advance things this way.

Not so. When President Eisenhower imposed desegregation in public schools, he used the military. It was dangerous, and dangerous for Ike. But Ike was a soldier. He ordered to proceed with D Day during a lull in a major storm. Ike was tough.

When Lyndon Johnson imposed the “Great Society” reforms, he forced lawmakers to sign on, by using all sorts of unsavory means, thanks to presidential powers.

And President Roosevelt said: “I welcome their hatred” speaking of bankers. And hated he was: after all, he had started his presidency by closing all banks for four days (selected few were re-opened later). Then he outlawed gold possession, devalued the dollar (thus defaulting on US debt). And so on.

Obama thought he could keep on leading a charmed life, seducing everybody, and be a good president. But being a good president mean, leading people where they did not want to go. All the preceding presidents took hard decisions, even Nixon and Carter (Nixon founded the EPA, HMOs, pulled out of Vietnam, admitting defeat, etc.; Carter, at the very least named the hawkish Paul Volcker at the head of the Fed, to crush inflation, bring a recession, and cost Carter’s re-election).

The present political system is nasty. To get any positive result, any positive progress, one has to be nasty. Nastiness has to be carefully measured.

As I sketched in the case of Napoleon, Napoleon was way nastier than he needed to be, in the end, although he got there from the invasion of France by nasty plutocrats, and, first of all the British army and navy. That invasion lasted years. For years, Napoleon’s homeland, Corsica, was officially a possession of the English crown, because the king of England said so. That would infuriate any Corsican, republican patriot.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, Angela Merkel, and her French poodles, having saved the bankers from their profitable perfidy, wants the Greek rabble to pay with dear lives. Seeing her business meanness and military impotence, inspired by Obama’s lack of balls, Putin has moved, and keeps on moving. Not afraid, as Xi in China, to take dangerous decisions.

Something Is Going On, But You Don’t Know What It Is, oh great leaders of the West.

Rome had started as quasi-Direct Democracy Republic (not as direct as Athens, much more direct than we have now). Six centuries later, this was not even a memory: Rome had become an unsavory mix of military dictatorship, plutocracy and theocracy. The ancient Republican structures, such as Roman law, were crushed underneath. Political power had lost sustainable legitimacy.

In 381 CE, emperor Theodosius (initially a Spanish Roman general) passed a number of laws which launched a “war against the philosophers”. The lack of thinking bore fruit quickly: the empire became so impotent that, by 400 CE, the Franks were put in military control of Gallia, and the Germanias. In 406 CE, the legions were withdrawn from Britannia.

This was the bitter and of the (Roman) plutocratic austerity program. And its motivation was the same as now: the plutocrats did not want to pay taxes. By then, most plutocratic families, or “nobles” as they called themselves, had a bishop in their family, giving them moral authority (this was the age of the “Founding Fathers of the Church”; Saint Jerome even made emperor Theodosius bent to his will).

If one wants moral authority, or just the ear, and presence of power, it’s simple nowadays: no need to pretend that one loves god. Just fork over $33,400, and the president is yours. Let drones and bullets fly. Pay lip service to violence. Amen

Patrice Ayme’

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8 Responses to “Our Impotent Self Glorifying “Leaders””

  1. Ken Says:

    I think you come down to hard on Putin He is a man of his country for his country, Russia does not invade but is invaded https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_invasions Gorby was a joke of a leader just as much as George the second was for America Obama as well. Russia and for that matter china are NOT trying to surround America with military bases. It is NATO that is parking tanks on Russian borders and aircraft carriers in the south CHINA sea. Maybe we just need to pay attention to our own little section of the world. After all the USA is only 5% of the worlds population but wastes/uses 25% of the worlds resources. That which is unsustainable will fail. We in the west have had nothing but empty headed men in suits for the last 30 year.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Too hard on Putin? A man of his country for his country? So Russia is a country made to be Putin’s personal property? “HIS country”?

      Putin is not Napoleon. Napoleon did wrong, by becoming France’s dictator. But Napoleon, and Napoleon’s country, suffered years of abuse, and invasion. Russia is not being invaded. It’s the world’s largest country, 17 million square kilometers.

      Anyway, may be I answer you with a short, very short, essay. With all due respect, you make the usual mistakes the people of the principled left make. Empty headed men are selected because they are not the one truly in command. I could see it clearly on Obama’s haunted face Friday. He realizes he has been played, he was just a toy, an empty suit, who, in the end, did nothing when he could have done so much, as I told him six years ago. Now it’s done, it’s dead. Obama’s presidency, barring a war with China, or a North Korean attack, would have achieved nothing significant.
      PA

  2. EugenR Says:

    Dear Patrice, your blog of frontal attack on plutocracy exposes a certain political phenomena present everywhere, and the time came to explain what plutocratic phenomena means. To my understanding it is all about the rule off the few, who happened to accumulate economic wealth (capital) and political power. As contrary to it, the French revolution, and similarly the Russian revolution was about giving the chance to the people to take over the leadership. As it happens, none of these political systems was successful to secure decency, integrity, righteousness and fairness to the quiet majority of the society, those called the middle class. My definition of the modern middle class is “professionally skilled people, with no access to capital”.
    As to the post revolutionary regimes in France or Russia, (but also Iran, Chine, South east Asia etc.), the failure of these political experiments was so colossal, that there is no need to speak about it in this forum. On the other hand, the “liberal-democratic” political system, introduced since WWII to the “West” is a different story. While still under the threat of Soviet dominance, it nourished the well being of the middle class, (more in Europe and less in US). But then with the collapse of the USSR, there seemed to be no alternative to their political system (Fukuyama, End of history). But the plutocratic forces immediately had loosen their previously self imposed reign. The result is a process of impoverishing of the middle class. With the new technologies, with its capacity supplementing most of the highly skilled work, the middle class lost its negotiation position against the ruling elites. The natural ruthlessness and plutocratic tendencies of the ruling elites, left out the self-imposed restrain from their political process. Very soon the impoverishing of the middle class started, with the international corporations practices of, tax sheltering, out sourcing of work to China and India, and introduction of modern technologies in many new professional jobs, previously occupied by highly skilled engineers and equivalently educated people, who in the one hand did not reach the top of the ladder in their profession, and on the other hand did not succeed to accumulate capital.
    In the heart of this process are the international corporations, with publicly traded shares, that in one hand lost their connection to majority share holders, and are ruled by dominant minority stake holders and their emissaries, who exploit the position they gained, and stopped to play a fair play. Let me remain you that laissez-faire is not only about free trade, no government regulations, etc, but it means; “let it be fair”. So without fairness, meaning with monopolization of financial and political power, the so called capitalistic system is destined to be doomed. The 2008 economic collapse, was a direct remainder of what it can mean.
    But the 2008 collapse resulted re-allocation of financial resources and change of capital flow within the capitalistic system. But there are other more major threats that put in danger the whole global social and economic system due to the collapse of postcolonial state-hoods in most of the Muslim countries, and Africa. These countries more than quadrupled population since their independence and their population still continues to grow. This happens when they are not able to create politically, socially and economically functioning statehood. The result is, population at such a despair, that parts of it are ready to endanger their and their children’s life to escape the misery in their homeland. Yet when reaching the secure shores of Europe, they bring with them the same cultural values, that brought their communities and states to this despaired situation. As this young, hungry population settles, it is in natural conflict with the wealthy older original European population, who holds most of the wealth and has cultural values so different to this largely Muslim immigrants. Yet these values enabled them to create the successful post WWII Europe.
    On the other hand these new emigrants, continue to live according to their inherited culture, fueled by religious mysticism and conspiracy theory fairy tales. They are ignorant about the European history, cultural values, social and political arrangements. Add to it the destructive tendencies of degenerating the woman position in family and their right for education and equal social position to that of man, the conflict is inevitable. Si they start actively to oppose the cultural values of the European population and try to crumble their society. But these European cultural values of endorsing rationality, mutual social guaranty, moderate solutions to political conflicts, are necessity to maintain the European welfare state. Without it we would see the same political phenomena that is destroying the political-social fabric of the Muslim and African world. Let me remain you, that the pre-WWII Europe, in spite of its achievements in science and technology, politically was not very different from the today’s Muslim world, even if got rid of the religious and traditional social values. So these destructive tendencies (fascism, communism, nationalism, etc.) still strongly prevail among many of the original Europeans.
    To add to the problem of population dislocation due to the failed statehood in the Muslim and African countries, a new wave of ecological emigrants is expected, from the regions destroyed by the political in-activism in the environmental issues.
    On the other hand, humanity is on the threshold of many technological breakthroughs, that will bring us to the point of singularity, when the superior position of the humans on the globe is not automatically secured. It is easier than ever to imagine, that a transcendent being will take over the globe, to prevent from the humans to destroy all what they had culturally achieved.
    Human existence came to a crossroad, where choices have to be taken.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks to the very long comment, Eugen, it requires a long answer. Unfortunately, I have to run, figuratively, and literally. The time has come for the weekly, mind changing nature extravaganza, potentially complete with the horror of the day…

      I do not believe the “post revolutionary” experiments were all negative. China, at this point, is the greatest success, relative to China’s history, since the Tang, about 13 centuries ago (a time of empresses). Right, Xi is playing at least two dangerous games supposed to balance each other. But accidents happen.

      The Soviet Revolution was plutocratic in character (that is, satanic). That’s why the Kaiser supported Lenin (Plutos of the world unite!) So it could only fail. Lenin launched concentration camps and extermination, and when he saw Stalin was a complete wacko (he could have guessed before), syphilis was already eating his brains.

      The French Revolution was not a failure: its principles spread worldwide and are the backbone of the United Nations. Nearly all of today’s regimes have more to do with French 1789 than with the Plutos who opposed French 1789. Liberty-Equality-Fraternity is the official doctrine pretty much everywhere, even among racists. (Simply the notions of “brothers and sisters” vary… Netanyahu does not want to fraternize with Hamas).

      “Revolution” has become such an esteemed term, that even an arch conservative god crazy, middle age regime like Iran’s proclaims it proudly!
      PA

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Another point: the French Revolution was very complicated. There were monarchists, Montagnards, Jacobins (Napoleon was an active Jacobin; the Jacobin represented a sort of hard core left), the “Enrages” (the left of the left), and so on. These many parties were represented in Parliament, basically until Napoleon established his dictatorship, thus for a decade. According to fortune, and various decapitation, they came in and out of power.

      Ultimately, after Napoleon’s first defeat the thoroughly plutocratic of the extremely fascist brother of Louis XVI, Louis XVIII, was brought to power by the united plutocracy of Europe. It was set-back all the way back to before the reign of Louis XVI, so nearly 45 years of setback.

      The Russian, Bolshevik Revolution was nothing like that. From the outset, it was a “dictatorship of the proletariat”. So it started the way Napoleon finished. The proletariat at the time in Russia was a tiny minority.
      PA

  3. EugenR Lowy עוגן רודן Says:

    […] Answer to PatriceAym https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/our-impotent-self-glorifying-leaders/ […]

  4. indravaruna Says:

    Obama work for the jews like every American politician, is that simple.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Obama works? Hmmm…. He is playing golf with his old buddies from high school (none of them Jews).

      Explaining humanity with just one notion, whatever it is, makes a parody of intellectual fascism. A mark of simplicity gone nuts.

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