The Pentagong Show

The Pentagong Show
United State of Terror: Is Drone War Fair?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Contradictatorship: Mass delusion

Naked Capitalism printed one of Ilargi's post from "Automatic Earth" doing a bang-up job of parsing it in the process, as only Susan Weber, better known as Yves Smith  (as in Adam and Yves Smith) can. But, I think there's a bit of a contradiction, not so much in what she writes about the post, but of many assumptions supposedly made by economic theory and its pseudo-scientific proponents. Contradictions that are so glaring, buttressed with arguments that are so blatantly erroneous, yet with nary a voice raised to refute them, that it's become obvious that something is going on behind the scenes completely different than that which we argue until we're red in the face about. Like politics itself, the Presidential debates being a perfect sideshow of the case in point (especially the hilarious Republican lineup of losers and boozers and T party schmoozers), economic rants and counter rants shimmer with the same unreality as a desert mirage as they skip around the real problems and discuss absurdities and spout inanities as though they are anything but a distraction so as not to have to make anyone think about the TARP thrown over mankind's most pressing conundrums, obviating any chance of real solutions ever materializing. Which is what they'd have to do, since we, as a species, have decided that their intractable nature make them simply insurmountable.

The use of the word tarp, was of course, not accidental, as it is the perfect metaphor for what I perceive is blatant government obfuscation, yet with enough of a sense of humor mixed with complete and justified disdain for the intelligence of the electorate they supposedly represent, as they wave a red cape to distract the raging bull of public opinion until such a time as is convenient for it to be gored. Acronyms, especially by governments, are not arrived at casually, they are well-thought out and often times use outside agencies to dream them up and sell them to the public. To name a program that is to be used to hide all the bad debt, all the crimes committed in amassing it, and the ballet between government and Corporations that have turned us into the Corpornation that we are today, ruled by Corporate diktat, not the Parliament of Whores we call Congress, shows the depth of cynicism the DC pols have for the BC proles they Lored over.

Part of that lore, as repeated ad nauseum by the Americani fascisti, since Reagan used the phrase "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help" as derision against Washington-style politics so as to become the leader of that government, (as though "I'm from Hollywood and I'm here to help" is so much better) and impel it to deficit-fueled growth and unprecedented Central Bank control over not only the market place, but the very market, as epitomized by Wall St., itself, is that the so-called private sector runs things better than the government. All things.

But in Upton Sinclair's "World's End" series of novels, "O Shepherd", he states the case most succinctly:

"The most elegant and perfectly legal forms of bribery exist wherever business touches government or government touches business, which is why DC's crawling with lobbyists and lawyers representing every form of wholesale greed. Never before in the history of mankind have private interests collected such sums of money from public bodies. Every newspaperman knows what's going on, but simply get in line for their cut."

That statement was written during the Second World War, and the dynamic has only increased since then, gathering an impressive amount of momentum during the reign of Reagan/Bush, and catapulting to astronomical levels during the Bush/Cheney tenure at the Whitehouse, never more so than when they had a Republican Congress to grease the skids of greed and shovel taxpayer dollars by the truckload into corporate coffers with scant attention to what they were getting in return for our cash. All this while bleating to a public besotted with the prospect of filling their own pockets with money-for-nothing, that only an untrammeled, deregulated, self-monitoring private sector can make for lasting prosperity.

So why haven't the media, the politicians, the small businesses put this shibboleth to the sword? Why haven't they screamed from the rooftops to us that Corporations are government- created entities that, far from spurring entrepreneurship, spurn it. Wrapping themselves in the protection that the wealth they amass receives from the very government they supposedly despise for having the nerve to put any restraints whatever on their activities as "private' citizens", or now people, if you will, by diktat of the SCOTUS, they run roughshod over everything decent and anyone with any moral fiber.

If this itself seems a contradiction, giving the cornucopia of development of toys and gadgets and doodahs that have proliferated in the last generation, it would serve you well to look at the source of all that inventiveness: The military spending of the US that started with the development of not only that ultimate of WMD, the Hydrogen Bomb, but the computer, the Internet, as started by the Military development of the Darpanet, the OIL regime needed absolutely for the waging of modern industrial mechanized, flight-enabled warfare, and the personal cell phone, moving communications from a place to a person: the Dick-Tracy-like dream of every government spook.  All of which is secondary to the development of Agribusiness and the green revolution, all enabled via government tax dollars, and all in utter contradiction to the stated philosophy of "free-market" economics. If the US government, a Republican run enterprise for generations now, despite some little input by the Dems, who've more-or-less collapsed into a rearguard action of pretending to protect oh, let's say privacy, for instance, when in reality they've simply become the lapdogs of Republican-promulgated dogma, never refuting the nonsense spewed by an ever-more Militaristic, macho-man, testosterone-fueled paranoiac bureau of braggadocio, for if they believe in the free market so assiduously, of even a fraction of the amount that their venomous rhetoric would have one believe, then why, in the name of God would they allow enormous government outlays be used to support the Farm-belt? If they believe the free market delivers the goods better than any government incentives ever can, why do they insist on having a DOE, or using billions upon billion of the worker's money to fund an oil-depletion allowance? Or create and control the Money supply? or any of a number of other programs that it is not the democrats, but the republicans themselves, the Champions of  FREE MARKETS  and the Superior job it does of providing for people's welfare, why then, when it comes to those things they love the most, the top priority being the Manufacture, sale and procurement of Arms and other instruments of death, do they turn to the government, whose intrusion in the market place they sneer at and deride as counterproductive, to provide them?

The answer is, at least in part, the very nature of Corporate structure. Because any promulgator of Classic Capitalism uses as the justification of Capitalism's ascendancy the price mechanism it provides to keep a balance between supply and demand dynamics: ie, feedback. But what Corporatism destroys is feedback and responsibility. The leaders of Corporations, be they Mozilla, Jamie Dimon, Kenneth Lay, or Corsine are never held responsible for what occurs under their watch. Time and again, while nevertheless raiding the companies they run for huge salary payouts and benefits reeking of lard, have held themselves unaccountable for what goes on in the companies they run. Taking their cue from the Executive branches of Both Richard Nixon And Ronald Reagan, both of whom put the protection of those in the Whitehouse conducting illegal operations under their aegis above the laws of Congress and the good of the American public that they, supposedly Christians in good standing, took an oath of office to protect, Corporate CEO's now consider their duty to be no more than cooking the books, or getting those under them to do so, stripping the company of its assets, and transforming those assets into their own personal fortunes.

And then to War.

That is the end result always of successful capitalistic enterprise. For as a society accumulates wealth, it becomes ostentatious and stimulates envy in its competitors and/or customers. The US response to that has been to build a military so powerful with a presence so pervasive that no other country except a suicidal one would dare attack it, no matter how much richer or how abusive it became (thus providing the the rationale for the logical step to terrorism). Because, at its heart, capitalism is about exploitation; of resources, living or otherwise, that it has nothing to do with providing or nurturing. That is why the US is its biggest cheerleader, because it is built on the resources stripped from an entire continent simply wrested away from its original inhabitants and marketed across the ocean to another one whose means of subsistence had already been stripped bare. Unlike Continental Europe, England was an island nation with nothing but moors and wind-swept heath to provide for its struggling citizens, so they considered America, and especially north America, to be theirs as though by divine mandate, much as Manifest Destiny became the slogan of their descendants.

(Next: The contradiction of The Fed)

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