Archive for November 12th, 2019

“Neoliberalism” Is Neither Liberal, Nor New. Plain Old Plutocracy.

November 12, 2019

“Neoliberalism” is neither. It is not attached to liberty, but to slavery. And it is nothing new. Plutocracy is the cancer of civilizations, and kills them readily. But this time, the entire biosphere is going down.

A better name for “Neoliberalism” would be “plutophilia”, the love of the darkest passions, the love of plutocracy, which is etymologically and in reality, the rule of evil (as this is exactly what pluto-kratia means: the rule of wealth being a particular case of Pluto’s propensities).

“Neoliberalism”, was initially called “trickle down”. One of its axioms was as professor Stiglitz says: “the credibility of neoliberalism’s faith in unfettered markets as the surest road to shared prosperity[1]. However, by “markets” one really meant “merchants”.

When only a few have all the disposable cash, they have all the power, It’s not just bad for ethics, democracy and the sense of fairness we primates all share. It’s also terrible for incentive, motivation, and the blossoming of ideas.

Indeed, what is a market? Who dominates a market? Well, those with enough capital to do so. In other words, the wealthy, or those that banks have decided to lend to… typically, again, those with collateral, namely the wealthy. So the banking system, if it looks for a profit, makes the wealthy wealthier. Hence the so-called “unfettered markets” were, in truth, the unfettered wealthiest, while the fetters were put on everybody else.  

But, unfettered, wealth grows exponentially (as the wealthiest have nearly all the money and lend it, leveraged, to the wealthiest, namely themselves). 

This is exactly what happened: the wealthy got wealthier. And what is wealth? It is power onto others. So the powers of a few grew, onto most people, helped along by a government by “representatives” which learned to act in its own best interest, serving power, that is, wealth. 

“Neoliberalism” fostered, in turn, other myths, first of which was that, unfettered globalization, worldwide, was good for the Republic. Actually, globalization was a disaster: it undermined social rights and taxation. 

The most spectacular example of the disaster engineered by unfettered globalization was the Roman Republic. The Roman REPUBLIC, which lasted 5 centuries, had an absolute wealth limit. And the Roman Republic lasted 5 centuries because it had an absolute wealth limit.

One could argue, and it was argued at the time, that the Res Publica kept on going, in many ways until the end of the “Principate” Diocletian insisted to be called “Dominus” and be considered a living god; in any case, the political regime inaugurated by Augustus should be called a “plutocratic Republic”, and there was a famous dinner, under Domitian, circa 80 CE, where the principal plutocrats of Rome, Domitian among them, argued just that!)

The Florence Republic fell to plutocrats, the Medici, a family of bankers, after exactly 417 years, precisely because it had no wealth limit. (In that case the collapse into plutocratic dictatorship was more brutal than with Rome.) 

There was an absolute wealth limit, because the wealth tax, during the Roman Republic, was 100% above a  threshold (the threshold was pretty low, at most 30 million 2019 dollars, and maybe as low as ten million). Above that threshold, 100% of the property was transferred to the Ager Publicus.

After 200 BCE, and the Second Punic war, having had to fight extremely hard, at immense cost and sacrifice, in Greece, Spain, Africa, the Roman republic became global. Yet, taxation was still local, so wealthy Romans were able to escape the wealth limit, by residing overseas, and Roman billionaires appeared.

The plutocrats immediately started to plot against the Republic. The best way to do that was to corrupt it, by buying politicians. It took many generations, but the Republic declined and collapsed, in spite of the life endangering efforts of many heroes, including the Gracchi brothers, Marius, and his nephew Caesar (Caesar passed a wealth distribution law in 59 BCE).

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Plutocracy expects We The People to believe that a few know best, and deserve all the wealth, all the powers. As a result calamitous policies are engaged into, because only a few brains, without debate, devoured by greed, don’t think too well. Moreover, plutocratic policies look accidentally bad, but they are actually so by design: the worse things get, the more the worst gets going. The more evil things get, the more at home plutocracy is, the more evil can rule… 

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A particular example of these satanic policies is the climate catastrophe, which is part of a mass extinction, the likes of which have not been seen in 70 million years. There were technologies, at the ready already in 1990, to prevent the CO2 catastrophe: in 2019, France pollutes 5 tons of CO2 per capita (the world average), California 9.2 tons, the USA 16 tons, Canada and Australia more than 16… So France knows how to do it, and the others chose not to (the UK, Spain and Italy are around 6 tons; whereas hysterically pro-coal Germany is at 10 tons…) The mood in France is more ecological, more egalitarian, more social… All this is related: respect the environment, just as, and because, you respect your neighbor. Disrespect the environment, as countries like the US, Australia and Canada do, disrespect the neighbor.    

The global plutocracy is indeed intensely related to its fossil fuel component: fossil fuel money is recycled through Wall Street. US President FD Roosevelt set-up that system, meeting with Ibn Saud on the Great Bitter lake in Egypt, shortly before his death. Similarly, when Obama became president, he presented fracking as “the bridge fuel to the future”, and Wall Street, applauding, made massive fracking investments on the lands and water Obama put at its disposal. Thus, once again, the US is the world’s greatest fossil fuel producer: alleluia, say the “America First” crowd, and one expects them to make dark secret masses to their hero Obama, who made fracking into the lifeblood of the US.

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Plutocracy rules through minds. Careful disinformation, and lack of significant information needs to be fed to the masses. Here is an example: 

The New York Times just woke up to the fact that climate scientists systematically underestimated the gravity of the climate crisis we are in. The paper couldn’t explain why this happened, but showed with great clarity how much it happened. I sent a comment basically explaining that the “Neoliberal” regime paid the salaries of those scientists, so they couldn’t be too alarmist, if they wanted to be employed. 

The New York Times apparently found my explanation alarming, a danger to the elite, and refused to publish it. Just as, over the years, much of the MainStream Media has found any discourse against the “Neoliberal” order deranged and alarming (and censored thousands of my comments). Here my comment explaining why scientists were not too alarmed by the climate catastrophe:

The problem has been that scientists are paid by governments which are manipulated by plutocrats, most of them part of the establishment… And the establishment is fossil fuel plutocracy dependent (say, Wall Street, as an example).

So scientists do not want to bite the hand that feed them. And this is still true. The real truth is that the giant masses of ice of Antarctica will melt with a warming of just a few more degrees. I have explained the exact mechanism in essays on my site, in great detail, for more than a decade. The reason is that half of Antarctica is under water… And the densest water is at 4 degrees Centigrade (roughly 40 Fahrenheit)… 

Thus a hyper catastrophic melting is entirely possible… Millennia before what the old, baseless, “scientific” analyses pretended. 

Also a serious diminution of the oxygen content of the atmosphere, ridiculed by well-fed scientists, is actually entirely possible under very plausible (yet complex) scenarios. And so on.

The plutocracy which rules over us is mostly fossil-fuel based. Any plutocracy knows that it needs to control the minds. Nowadays this means controlling the scientists. The gross attack, “climate denier” style, are there only to confuse us.

The real danger is the subtle disinformation that the situation is not dire, that we have time, it’s a question for the grandchildren. I have lived in smoke for weeks on end in the tech metropolis of the San Francisco Bay Area: the burning climate catastrophe is upon us now. One can see it very clearly when one looks outside, and all one sees is smoke.

To free ourselves from “Neoliberalism”, which is economic neofascism by another name, will require a great intellectual effort. I don’t see our schools, including universities, committed to it.

Patrice Ayme

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[1] The End of Neoliberalism and the Rebirth of History
Nov 4, 2019 JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ
For 40 years, elites in rich and poor countries alike promised that neoliberal policies would lead to faster economic growth, and that the benefits would trickle down so that everyone, including the poorest, would be better off. Now that the evidence is in, is it any wonder that trust in elites and confidence in democracy have plummeted?

NEW YORK – At the end of the Cold War, political scientist Francis Fukuyama wrote a celebrated essay called “The End of History?” Communism’s collapse, he argued, would clear the last obstacle separating the entire world from its destiny of liberal democracy and market economies. Many people agreed.

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, open societies were triumphant and international cooperation became the dominant creed. Thirty years later, however, nationalism has turned out to be much more powerful and disruptive than internationalism.

Today, as we face a retreat from the rules-based, liberal global order, with autocratic rulers and demagogues leading countries that contain well over half the world’s population, Fukuyama’s idea seems quaint and naive. But it reinforced the neoliberal economic doctrine that has prevailed for the last 40 years.”

Fukuyama, a Fukushima of the intellect was, and is an idiot, as a would-be master thinker, but extremely intelligent in the satisfaction of his greed, and a very useful idiot for the global plutocracy. Yes, an idiot: how can one be more idiotic that claiming nothing new will happen in history ever again, because “Neoliberalism” was , and is, the best of all possible worlds? The best of all possible worlds for Fukuyama himself, yes. Of course. As for many idiots, the rule of one, the rule of the self, is the rule of all.

Fukuyama is swimming in a sea of honors (…or horrors, depending upon the perspective). I am surprised he didn’t get a Nobel yet, considering how useful he is for the establishment.

Recently Fukuyama/shima was, among other things, “Mosbacher Director of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law” at Stanford University. A rattlesnake teaching medical care. In August 2019 he was named director of the “Ford Dorsey Master’s in International Policy” at Stanford. (That Ford plutocrat, aka “philanthropist” seems to have no relation with the original sponsor of Adolf Hitler, Henry Ford… I perfidiously checked, already chuckling…)

Before that, he served as a professor and director of the International Development program at the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University. Yes, there are plutocratic universities (I used to teach at Stanford, by the way…)

https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/tag/plutocratic-universities/