Hope At Last?

The 99% were told that they were culprit of the ways of high finance. The 99% were told that, they profited from the financial crisis, and had to be restrained with “austerity” (now that all the money had to go to the bankers and other richest people in the world, to save those towering pillars of society from ruin under which we would otherwise be crushed).

That the 99% were culprit of the high leverage of the financial system, thanks to heavy “investing” in financial derivatives such as Credit Default Swaps, was an absurdity: most people had no idea, and still have no idea, that much money creation by bankers, head that way, towards planet finance, instead of planet Earth.

Men Of Wealth, Taste, Power & "Three Minutes" Women

Men Of Wealth, Taste, Power & “Three Minutes” Women

Austerity, the claim that the 99% were too rich, and that this caused the crisis, after thirty years of “Trickle Down”, was, of course, insane. And therefore well received. The appropriate punishment was to insure that the richest would have the means to stay rich, and massive transfers of wealth to the richest people were implemented (even in Greece, where, last I checked, ship magnates were still not taxed!)

With the bleakest sense of humor, this Transfer of Assets to the Richest People TARP), was called… “TARP”, because it was the ultimate cover-up.

However, the economy has not recovered. So insane the gap between sacrifice and result, propaganda and observation, that even average voters are becoming suspicious.

In Spite Of Gigantic Sacrifices & Unemployment, "Austerity", Spain GDP Not Recovering

In Spite Of Gigantic Sacrifices & Unemployment, “Austerity”, Spain GDP Not Recovering

[I exhibited Spain’s GDP, but it’s typical. Lest some hysterical Germanophile comes up screaming that Germany is doing well, let me point out that Germany grew not at all in the last decade, averaging… one third of one percent yearly, which is only compatible with a population decrease, as observed… Thus Europe is literally dying from austerity.]

To accuse the 99% of the violations plutocrats engaged in, and only them can, is becoming so egregious, that even political leaders on the pseudo-left, like the followers of Blair in British Labor, find difficult to hold that discourse nowadays, with a straight face.

So here we are. The pyramid of lies on how the economy works, by self serving politicians in bed with the richest people in the world, is starting to collapse. Worldwide, voters are starting to have their own opinions, and feel that they were lied to, at a nearly inconceivable scale. Voters don’t just repeat anymore what the media owned by the richest people in the world have told them to think. Maybe there is hope after all.

Jeremy Corbyn, a long-time leftist dissident, just won a stunning victory for leadership of Britain’s Labour Party. In an excellent editorial, Paul Krugman  Labour’s Dead Center observes that:

…”one crucial piece of background to the Corbyn surge: the implosion of Labour’s moderates. On economic policy, in particular, the striking thing about the leadership contest was that every candidate other than Mr. Corbyn essentially supported the Conservative government’s austerity policies.

Worse, they all implicitly accepted the bogus justification for those policies, in effect pleading guilty to policy crimes that Labour did not, in fact, commit. If you want a U.S. analogy, it’s as if all the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2004 had gone around declaring, “We were weak on national security, and 9/11 was our fault.” Would we have been surprised if Democratic primary voters had turned to a candidate who rejected that canard, whatever other views he or she held?

In the British case, the false accusations against Labour involve fiscal policy, specifically claims that the Labour governments that ruled Britain from 1997 to 2010 spent far beyond their means, creating a deficit and debt crisis that caused the broader economic crisis. The fiscal crisis, in turn, supposedly left no alternative to severe cuts in spending, especially spending that helps the poor.

These claims have, one must admit, been picked up and echoed by almost all British news media. It’s not just that the media have failed to subject Conservative claims to hard scrutiny, they have reported them as facts. It has been an amazing thing to watch — because every piece of this conventional narrative is completely false.

Was the last Labour government fiscally irresponsible? Britain had a modest budget deficit on the eve of the economic crisis of 2008, but as a share of G.D.P. it wasn’t very high – about the same, as it turns out, as the U.S. budget deficit at the same time. British government debt was lower, as a share of G.D.P., than it had been when Labour took office a decade earlier, and was lower than in any other major advanced economy except Canada.”

The question boils down on why do people think what they do. Well, they think what they have been told to think. Krugman:

“…the supposed fiscal crisis never created any actual economic problem… there was never any need for a sharp turn to austerity.

In short, the whole narrative about Labour’s culpability for the economic crisis and the urgency of austerity is nonsense. But it is nonsense that was consistently reported by British media as fact. And all of Mr. Corbyn’s rivals for Labour leadership bought fully into that conventional nonsense, in effect accepting the Conservative case that their party did a terrible job of managing the economy, which simply isn’t true.”

Why do people do what they do? Well, most people basically try to survive honorably. However those with political aspirations are different. After all, they want to make a job of ruling us. Thirst for power is therefore, one may suspect, a prime motivation of theirs. And then the question is what do they believe they can get away with, on their royal road to domination? And what will be their justification for domination, which they will cover-up their thirst for power with?

Enter plutocratization, the general mood that the few, urged by the most basic instincts of domination, doing better than the many, is the best social organization for everybody. This “trickle down” theory has led the middle class down the road of increasing pauperization, even while global GDP was rising. Plutocratic media monopoly has insured that this mood became a modern religion.

Thatcher and Reagan were the modern instigators of plutocratization. Ex-British PM Tony Blair is a spectacular success of official corruption. Corruption by officials, of officials.  Blair helped to demolish Iraq to please oil barons (and American plutocrats). Blair sells his services to whoever it is most advantageous to sell them to. Piling up income from the likes of the dictator of Kazakhstan, he gathered in excess of 100 million dollars.

By now the middle class is starting to feel they were had by plutocratization. Methods of massive exploitation had to be changed. Enter the 2008 financial crisis. The “rescue” consisted in sending giant amount of money to banks and their managers. “Trickle Down” theory changed its face to “austerity”. The 99% were told that they were culprit of the 2008 crisis, they had to be punished. Completely brainwashed as they were, they welcomed their punishment.

Krugman: “Beyond that, however, Labour’s political establishment seems to lack all conviction, for reasons I don’t fully understand. And this means that the Corbyn upset isn’t about a sudden left turn on the part of Labour supporters. It’s mainly about the strange, sad moral and intellectual collapse of Labour moderates.”

In much of Western  society, in the last 35 years, political leaders got to power by undermining civilization, and Western democracy. They have been well paid for that: watch the fortunes past leaders have made, such as Major, Blair, Clinton, Gore, Chirac, and, of course, their families: Chelsea Clinton is very rich, but so are the brothers of past French presidents, although Chirac is worth only $10 million, roughly a tenth (Blair, Clintons) or a hundredth (Feinstein, Pelosi, Gore) of Anglo-Saxon politicians worth. Still remarkable, for someone such as Chirac, who was only an elected official all his life (in the USA, Reid of Nevada, head of democrats in the Senate, has a similar fortune and history; that brought charges of corruption, quickly silenced).

The British press is held by plutocrats, some Australian heirs (Murdoch, son and father of Murdochs), some even Russian “oligarchs”. This is where thinking has been coming from. And the charade will go on, until We The People think on their own. How soon? Can one think freely in a Mafia State? Certainly not in Russia. What about Britain? George Monbiot argues that Britain is also a Mafia State. Considering my personal experiences, I can only agree. Dawn is the coldest hour.

Patrice Ayme’

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14 Responses to “Hope At Last?”

  1. gmax Says:

    Funny that the Guardian makes an article on the British Mafia State, after putting your comments under surveillance

  2. Kevin Berger Says:

    Corbyn is indeed a bit of a ray of hope – most likely to be obscured by the clouds from the usual suspects (AFAIK, his own party is in battle order against him, and the whole Brit establishment is up in arms against his agenda, not to mention the US one).
    Still, it’s weird and frustrating to see things moving in the right direction (maybe) in GB, while nothing like that is happening in France, with the next presidential majority & gvt almost certainly being as Atlantist and subservient to the TINA! imperative as de facto foreign agents Sarko & Hollande.
    All this while France should be leading the way, due to its “temperament”, for lack of a better term, not to mention its History, IMHO… but, hey, since it has the obligatory 2-parties system now and has fully been re-integrated into the dominions, I guess there’s no surprise.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Corbyn is widely viewed as having no chance whatsoever (hey, he says there are good things in Marx!) What I see is that he has a chance to change the debate, and the minds.

  3. Kevin Berger Says:

    A couple more random thoughts, and I’m done polluting this comments thread.

    I don’t see much hope around, TBH, maybe I’m looking at the situation with my neck and missing the future.
    The way I see it, what you call the Plutos – IE the *Anglos*, let’s be honest about it -, have pretty much clinched it.
    And since their model is exploitative and nihilist if successful (that is, unchecked and unconstrained, as it’s increasingly been over the last 30 years+), it is leading its host toward disaster; the main question now being, will it be just a “localized” civilizational disaster (you pointed out the pattern enough often), or a global one this time (as your climate change worries would indicate)?

    One can witness this with the response(s) to this inherent tension, between their success and the mounting disaster and instability it generates as it goes in overdrive : seeding even more chaos everywhere (by malice and/or incompetence, that’s not even important), going full-in to secure the hold on the satrapies (free trade agreements), all-out attacks vs. any kind of European alternative (thus dragging Europe alongside the ride to any future disaster), military theatre and subversive wars everywhere,…
    So, we’ve got paralysing, painful, carefully nurtured abscesses in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Turkey, Greece, Caucasus, clandestine and overt war by other means against Russia, China, India,…

    For the European people, it means fresh US troops redeployed here even as they were in the process of going away for good, new political fault lines due to multiplying crisis, strains on civil societies (as the welfare systems are weakened, remember, TINA!) internal coherence and “class warfare” potential diluted through mass demographic shifts (today’s equivalent of the British empire’s organized “divide & rule”, the ultimate “what goes around, comes around”, really), cultural levelling,…

    Was I enough of a doom & gloom monger?

    • gmax Says:

      Hey Kevin! You don’t pollute the comment threads at all, ever IMHO. Pollution come from the occasional Nazi, or the “itsnobody” Jihadist insulting all atheists, calling them “subhuman”. I think Patrice’s no censorship policy reached its limits there. I feel your comments are always very interesting.

      I doubt Patrice restricts the Pluto notion to Anglo-Saxons only. She has attacked all sorts of Plutos all over space and time.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I agree with GMax, your comments are often very interesting, and so are your links. No pollution. And plutocracy is an infection which strikes civilizations, potentially, more or less, all civilizations. It’s the union of the Dark Human Side, and the City.

  4. Kevin Berger Says:

    As for the British mafia State… why!, I just cannot imagine that a civilizational model that started out by raping and exploiting its immediate neighbours, then made it big muscling its way on top of the slave trade, then raped and exploited an another continent (populating it in good part because it was more profitable at home to raise sheep than to keep poor rural people around), then screwed even more its own populace so the industrial revolution could get going, then made it global and raped and exploited worldwide through whatever means necessary (from organized drug trade to organized famines)… all this with the slowly developing attendant supremacist system of thoughts (still prevalent today, though in a less malign fashion)…

    Well, I just cannot imagine why you’d call that a mafia State, really.

    And even if you did, it doesn’t matter, because Britannia waves the rules, and from all that could have been done in the past, nothing matters, everything has been either whitewashed or put into a nice, self-serving narrative (“plucky little England”). And everything that can be done today, is unmentionable, and normal, because TINA!
    Crime does pay, really. But, hey, I’m just a jealous frog, I guess.

    Ps : reminds me of the “Tiberius” report from a couple years ago, that leaked out that the ‘Met’ was deeply compromised with organised crime. Let me check.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Tiberius

    • De Brunet D'Ambiallet Says:

      The fact that police is extremely corrupt at the highest level in Britain seems overwhelming. It surfaced in another context. Many High Society members were able to engage in the most egregious crimes against children with impunity for decades. While police knew it. This surfaced a few months ago.

      • Kevin Berger Says:

        “This surfaced a few months ago.”

        Oh, yeah, the Wesminster paedo scandal(s); the main investigation has just been shut down, due to lack of proof, but there’s indeed been various spin-offs, and several high-ranking (now deceased, probably due to libel laws) Tories named as sex-predators, one ex-PM, one a Thatcher protegee, one possibly blackmailed by foreign intelligence,… the names escape me, so certainly do not take my recollection at face value, but a simple dig through news sources should give everything needed, since even reputable media covered the affair(s), though not to the extent of some independent media.
        With a little luck, in a few years, all will be left to be found on Paranoid Conspiracy Theory websites.

        There also was renewed interest in older possible child-abuse scandals (suspicious death of a female journalist, suspicious death of a police investigator, organized abuse, brothel-like, in a Nor’n orphanage linked to Loyalist paramilitaries, etc, etc, here again, an archived news search will give one much better infos than whatever I could ever half-recall).

        To be fair, France has had its own rather troubling affairs and possible cover-ups, up to and including questionable deaths.
        But, then again, the colloquial saying about buggery was the “English disease”, and one could say that having a predatory, sexually twisted/repressed Elite, nurtured through separate channels away from the common populace, can be a great asset in the imperial game. (A bit like polygamy could be seen as beneficial for early muslim societies, in trying to skew the female/male sex-ratio of fighting-age cohorts into something more conductive to external aggression).

        Anyway, as bad as sticking one’s privates into young boys is, it still pales when compared to Libor or similar stunts, on a bigger scale.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          That the pedo scandal got buried is telling… French justice just re-opened the Boulin inquiry (that minster was certainly assassinated! As he had imprudently said a few days before being beaten/shot to death, he knew too much)

  5. Benign Says:

    A fine rant! Generally such extremes of inequality precede massively nonlinear episodes, e.g., revolutions. What is scary now are the methods of control that the Plutocrats have at their disposal. Also, never forget that wealth begets hard-heartedness (lack of empathy). See http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-wealth-reduces-compassion/

    Given how out of touch they are now, their response to a challenge might be quite repressive.

    cheers,
    benign

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Hmm… Fine rant? I know one is supposed to be self-disparaging in the USA. However, I view that as a form of corruption. “Rant” is not very complimentary.
      rant/rant/
      verb: rant; 3rd person present: rants; past tense: ranted; past participle: ranted; gerund or present participle: ranting
      1. speak or shout at length in a wild, impassioned way.
      “she was still ranting on about the unfairness of it all”
      synonyms: fulminate, go on, hold forth, vociferate, sound off, spout, pontificate, bluster, declaim; More
      shout, yell, bellow;
      informal mouth off
      “she ranted about the unfairness”

      noun: rant; plural noun: rants
      1. a spell of ranting; a tirade.
      “his rants against organized religion”
      synonyms: tirade, diatribe, broadside; literaryphilippic
      “he went into a rant about them”

      I do not rant. I try to think honestly. OK, maybe sometimes I rant, sometimes I even make jokes (not too many, they get misunderstood!!!) but describing an entire essay of mine as a “rant” misses the point, namely serious thinking. Sorry to be so serious. But that’s the point.

      Heartedness can be sustained by a society for millennia. Indeed, contemplate this. Arguably, the West succeeded better, because, being kinder, it was smarter, and reciprocally. However most other societies were sustainable, ABSENT the rise of the West!

      The repression is on. Robotic deaths ordered in many countries by king Oblabla, media control worldwide (with people put on secret blacklists, and not just in Russia!), etc.

  6. Benign Says:

    Careful, that was almost Very Serious! Yes, we Americans joke on the gallows. And your piece does fall into the category of tirade, diatribe, broadside, literary philippic. My comment was certainly not meant as a slight.

    I would rant more myself but so many are doing it so well that there is no need. However, I am tired of feeling powerless to accomplish any positive change other than giving what time and money I can to help those worse off than I am and to groups that appear to be doing meaningful and potentially effective lobbying (MoveToAmend.org for example, an anti-Citizens United lobby).

    We seem to present at the closing of a major Age, possibly the biggest “climacteric,” as the economists say, in history.

    cheers,
    benign

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