|Kamikaze Kapitalism Kultur: Paving the Way Down the Road to Extinction.|
As the NYT once again wonders why climate changing is accelerating, what it really is demonstrating is a lack of understanding of the nature of the world's only allowed form of business/political structure. Whether one considers liberal democracy's "End of History" backstory and its economic engine of Kamikaze Kapitalism Kultur a desirable outcome or not is rather immaterial. It has captured the War-mongering mindset of the USA in its haliographic grip, and the USA has since used its philosophy of Full-Spectrum Domination, Washington Consensus, and Dollar Hegemony to crush any nation or person that stands in the way of completely exhausting the resource base of "sovereign" nation after nation. That the end result should be the utter exhaustion into calamity is of no concern to the KKK.
It's always interesting to hear delusional people discussing possibilities of future outcomes of present day behavior, such as describing a future that is fossil-fuel free in a Kultur that is in the inescapable, self-imposed, grip of Kamikaze Kapitalism. Because even as they write about the future that is upon us now, they pretend that there is actually anything that humankind is interested in doing to stop this colossal hoax, this natural phenomenon, this geologic process that is completely out of the hands of a mankind that is blameless for its occurrence.
Those last phrases are considered to be the marks of the uneducated, the rantings of Climate deniers, and lunatics, but as the phrase "The end of history" suggests, they are in fact the only ones seeing, albeit from a demented standpoint, the reality of the situation confronting us. A nation that considers its political institutions so inviolable that it deems any perceived rise of a competing ideology, economic system or living arrangement as reason enough to launch a preemptive strike on the capability of such entity to propagate its beliefs or experiment with its ideas of new ways to inhabit the earth, is not exactly one primed for self-examination.
Instead we get nice little plans for permaculture and local gardens and solar panels delivering electricity from the sun to propel electric vehicle owners into a Jetson-like future of continued mobility for 400 pound humans in 6000 pound vehicles as something, not out of a nightmare, which is what it appears to most of mankind, but of the American Dream which, if you are so lame-brained to not see that this is the ultimate path to happiness, well, you just don't deserve to inhabit this planet that that lifestyle, although it could care less, will destroy.
This is where the KKK seems to have worked its best propaganda, because the proponents and defenders of it, who really believe because it's brought us all these wonderful toys and marvels, such as this internet and computer I'm using now, means that, despite the reality of the fact that it's a mammoth job and small-business destroyer, is a good way to, in fact, the only way to, organize our economic life. They deftly ignore the fact that all of the toys developed "for the Marketplace" were in fact developed and introduced into the civilian economy via Military Keynesianism. They were/are developed via the funneling of public monies into the R&D necessary, then implemented into their military niche, and only then are they delivered to the right well-placed Kapitalists to reap the rewards. The public, that unknowingly took the risks and sustained the losses for all those technologies that failed, are always on the hook for the investment and the losses, but never reap the benefits any normal investor would expect, being instead only offered the products. This is an avenue first traveled by atomic power and one that, following Gresham's Law, has pushed out all competing ideologies. Enron tried to follow the same path of hiding its losses and deceiving its investors, but without the full backing of a nation of tax-payers, that proved impossible.
So instead, the nation itself adopted Enron's strategy of turning financialization from a cost to a profit center, and being as that is an impossibility, adopted and finessed many of Enron's methods of deception, only this time, in full view of the public eye. Although nobody mentions the fact, one of the main drivers of the financial crash in 2008 were the SPE's SIV,' s or SPE's (Special Investment Vehicles/Entities) that the banks created to, Enron-style, pump up their balance sheets by creating entities that were supposedly independent of the banks, whereas, in reality, as evinced during the so-called "Credit Crunch", were full-blown risk-sequestration machines whose liabilities and faulty accounting were the fully-owned responsibility of the banks who simply used them to hide that risk from investors.
This then, is what the entire global economy has morphed into, and has done so for a reason. Just as in the popular HBO series "Breaking Bad", the protagonist, learning he has a fatal disease, becomes the guilt-free purveyor of crystal meth, which, being a chemistry teacher, he has the necessary knowledge to manufacture himself, the economy, with the Fed as maufacturer of the meth of "Free" money, follows the same doomsday scenario. But in the series, and all the brouhaha about it, this analogy to the current financial system, although apparent, is never made.
At the time of the so-called Reagan revolution, the dual threat of climate change, then usually referred to as Global Warming and Peak-oil, the twin dangers of which were mostly unappreciated by the huddled masses, was completely known, and its ramifications totally digested, by the US ruling class. When confronted with such knowledge, one can take either of two paths. Either turn off the current road down which you've embarked, or continue down it, in full-knowledge that at the end of that road, there is a yawning abyss.
The path that they chose was, quite obviously, the latter. Just as in "Breaking Bad", once it was discovered that we had inoperable cancer, we, as a society, and now, via Full-Spectrum Domination, the world, have turned down the road of utter immolation and atavistic destruction. And the entity running the asylum and providing the fuel to those intent on driving the global SUV down its pell-mell descent into madness, is the Fed, the Central Bank of Central Banks.
It was only with the tacit approval and full knowledge of its role of "Lender of Last Resort", that all the investment bankers kept shoveling, via Shadowy banking practices, so accepted by the FASB, that they could,with impunity, refer to the entire enterprise as Shadowy banking, (again Enron-style, Remember "Death Star"?). It is the Fed, via ZIRP, QE's to infinty, and retention of its role as the enabler of TBTF, that supplies the crystal meth to the economy that keeps the river of liquidity flowing, which in turn creates the flood of malinvestment that threatens to inundate the actual, productive part of the economy in a tsunami of debt.
Now, should that debt be incurred because it was funding enterprises that were not simply vehicles for producing even more debt, and thereby funneling a larger and larger percentage of the capital of the world into the pockets of the most UNproductive members of its citizenry, then it maybe would have eventually had positive effects. But when it instead is doing exactly the opposite of that, committing dollars yet to be earned on investments that were never even designed to produce anything but lugubrious results for the vast bulk of mankind, then we are already locked into a future of despair.
Ken Lay, the CEO of Enron, having invested millions in the campaign to elect the scion of that family of criminals, the Bushes, was on the short list for consideration as Bush's Treasury Secretary, and would most likely have been named such if it were not for the fact that the Texas Triumvirate: Bush, Cheney, and Don Evans, all hailing, not only from Texas, but from the energy industry, deemed it inadvisable to have yet another overt Texan Racketeer in the administration. But what the very consideration of someone as unqualified for the position as Ken Lay highlights is the long-lasting repercussions that echo throughout the political system when criminals are allowed to run rampant. For without having the Lay of the Land's company funds and illegal gaming of the California energy market adding a billion more dollars to their operations on his side, it is very likely that GW would never have gotten elected, the PNAC would never have gotten their puppet into the Whitehouse, Arnold Schwarzenegger would never have been made Governator of California and the Saudis would never have decided to bomb the Pentagon and the center of the US financial industry that enables its outrages around the world. Which all in turn resulted in the two multi-trillion dollar imbroglios of Iraq and Afghanistan with which they are still bleeding the taxpayers of the US and the bodies of Iraq and Afghanistan citizens.
Now, whatever else may be said as to what the current resident of the Whitehouse brought us, "Change" is not the word that comes to mind. So it is in the same environment of officially sanctioned extortion and complete hijacking of the global economy to service the needs of an ever-dwindling middle class and their avatars of finance that serves as backdrop to David Spratt as he asks whether we are "facing up to what really needs to be done to avert Climate Change?"
As a contributor to "Breakthrough", it is understandable why he should ask that question, but as a citizen of the world alive during which all of the events described above took place, I can't really take his naive question seriously.
What we are doing isn't "nothing" as some would suggest, but, remembering that neither the Alaska's North slope, Russian Siberia, North Sea Oil, North Dakotan oil reserves were on-line in 1985, and that SUV's were nowhere in sight, the energy-gobbling Internet had yet to be devised, and horizontal fracking dismissed as both too expensive and environmentally destructive, it should be clear to anyone that humankind, once warned of both Peak Oil Production and the destructive effects attempts at averting it would result in creating, set out on a path of suicidal energy depletion and fossil fuel combustion that is as irreversible as the melting of the PIG and its sister glaciers in the Antarctic is now accepted to be.
Although it is never mentioned, the reaction of mankind to the knowledge that the continued use of carboniferous material to supply its energy needs would have the effect of making the planet a most inhospitable place to live, looked at from the point of view as to when that knowledge was available and when our use escalated, they are seen as being simultaneous events. In other words, not to be too Rachel Madcow-like in hammering home a point ad nauseum, the more we have learned about anthropocentric Climate Change, the more we have made our entire societal infrastructure dependent on fossil fuels' continued and escalating combustion. Having learned that the ship is heading for an iceberg, we have lashed ourselves ever more firmly to its mast and shot anyone who tries to jump overboard.
And now that we are awash in liabilities incurred by the creation of that infrastructure, we have insured against the possibility that any competing architecture will be able to be created, because we haven't even the wherewithal to pay for this one. While burning through more energy than ever before in the history of the world, it isn't enough to even maintain the standard of living we enjoyed before we had full knowledge of what we were doing to ourselves, so far from enabling the ability to retain our "American Way of Life" it has had the exact opposite effect, it has utterly destroyed it; and as we live in the rubble of its collapsing ruin, the evidence of which is all around us, we still have the Presidential avatar for "Change" spouting the exact same phrase as his predecessor, and we think that somehow it'll all turn out alright.
But it won't. Because, the more we proclaim our belief in Democracy, the more we expand those very structures: Nuclear Power Plants, Internet Businesses, Computerization of everything that moves, mammoth energy-intensive and capital-intensive wasteland creation such as those in Athabasca and the heavy oilfields of Venezuela and the Kashagan field of Kazakhstan, with its corrosive hydrogen-sulfide content eating through pipelines, the strip-mining of the entire state of Wyoming and the mountain top destruction of every peak in Appalachia, that, because they all consume enormous amounts of capital, all of which is borrowed, we can see by looking at Europe, that help to destroy Democracy and replace it with Autocracy, Oiligarchy (sic), and Plutocracy, as the Banks that made the loans eventually own the Governments and so it is they who tell them what to do, not the citizens.
And these fields are only the beginning of the long food chain that includes piping companies and chemical refineries, road pavers, electric utilities as well as the more familiar internal combustion engines of a billion automobiles, without which there is simply no economy left. And those running these enterprises are from exactly the same mold as those who ran Enron into the ground, they care nothing for the catastrophe that they set in place, as their plans are to be out of the company and out of the way of the bulldozer of public opprobrium that will come rolling after them in the wake of the knowledge that they set in motion forces that would wreak havoc. But in a Kamikaze Kapitalism Kultur, nothing matters other than your own ascendancy: not how it was achieved, not how long it lasts, not who or what gets destroyed in bringing about its realization. All that matters is their Success. And that Freedom, is after all, the very core of "The American Way of Life".