|Nancy Boy's Rule!|
"While economic ambitions are good servants, they are bad masters"
Religion and the Rise of Capitalism
While reading Hedrick Smith's book on the dissolution of the Soviet Union, "The New Russians", I came across a quote from Artyom Borovik and thence a book written by his son, Genrikh Borovik, about the 20'th century's most famous spy, Kim Philby, called "The Philby Files", wherein it's hard to ignore Ronald Reagan's assertion that Philby was a traitor to his country (Great Britain). Because, despite the reverence a large segment of the American populace feels for our actor become President, there are certain changes he wrought that led to the destruction of Capitalism, and began the celebrated ascension of the executive branch and the military, to the position of unassailable power they now hold, wherein they both consider themselves to be above the Law.
He championed the unparalleled growth of not only the federal government itself, but of the National debt and the annual budget deficits, the Voodoo economics that purports to wring inflation out of the economy while stimulating it at the same time via deficit spending and Military Keynesianism, weaving the fantasy that oil and energy supplies can be indulged in as though they are agricultural products that can simply be grown, while turning the housing industry into a Ponzi scheme by abetting the destruction of the Savings and Loan industry, encouraging the wink and a nod, nudge-nudge cozy relationship between Washington and Wall St., as well as the immoral self-indulgence of the Christian Moral Majority who then castigate sexual indulgences of which they disapprove while ransacking the world and its resources so they can indulge their own perverse way of life, trumpeting their love of family values while they sink their own children and grandchildren into intractable debt and fill the only atmosphere we have with choking gasses and put the warming of the planet into hyper drive.
All this and he stands up at a Veterans' Banquet and calls Philby a traitor?
His administration championed the ascension of the Family of criminals known as the Bushes, sold missiles to our enemies, missiles that were used against our own military as they were fired on a Navy frigate, the Stark; made allies of the Dictator Saddam Hussein, illegally funneled arms to a group of right-wing fanatics in Central America, housed the former director of the CIA who was running a secret operation from the Whitehouse that ended up selling cocaine on the streets of our cities, to raise money to supply arms to the "Freedom fighters", a cadre of thugs and murderers he insultingly likened to the soldiers who fought for the American colonies' independence from Great Britain.
And how is Philby, a man who witnessed firsthand his Upper Class buddies extolling the virtues of Hitler and was privy to the machinations of the Cliveden Set in Great Britain as they schemed on ways to funnel money to the Nazi Party and to Franco's fascists in Spain, a traitor, whereas the man who did all the above with a smile and a chummy grin and false promises of a Good Morning America while he reset the economy to destroy the power of a burgeoning middle-class he despised, to funnel the output of the economy they ran to the Aristocracy he loved, a patriot, but Philby, a traitor?
There was an excellent PBS special on the other night, that at first appeared like it was going to be yet another paean to the Reagan mystique, but that, as it continued, it became obvious that the creators of this video were not about to simply pay homage to a stalwart figure, but were more interested in pointing out the Contra dictions (sic) in his legacy. At the end of the show, they showed some clips of Andrew Bacevich, the author of "The Limits of Power (The end of American Exceptionalism)", in which he itemizes some of Ronald Reagan's betrayals:
He promised to check and reverse the growth of government ... he did neither; on the contrary he grew it to unprecedented size.
He promised to put America's house in order ... he left it in complete disarray.
He promised to shut down extraneous government agencies; instead the bureaucracy grew by close to 5%, it was only the regulatory agencies such as the SEC and the EPA, whose effectiveness was curtailed.
He said he would, "begin the world over again", too ridiculous an assertion to even comment on.
He said he would build America into, "a city upon a Hill"; he left it in the pits, handing it over to the control of the criminal Bush family to pillage and plunder to their hearts' content.
He encouraged Americans to indulge their self-indulgence: forget about our dependence on imported oil by wielding US military power to gain access to it, surrendering the US future to an unsustainable consumer economy based on cheap credit and cheap oil, turning the Republican phrase, (cited by PJ O'Rourke), that Republicans believe in God, Democrats believe in Santa Claus; but everyone knows there is no Santa Claus; Reagan told them he was both, using huge deficits and negative balance of payments, turning the net international investment position of the US, for the first time since WW2, negative.
He also abetted and exacerbated the nation's descent into the vortex of the Islamic world, funding the most dangerous of the Islamic fundamentalists and funneling armies thorough the Pakistani mountains into Afghanistan, all countries in which we are still involved today and from which you can draw a straight arrow from this misconceived adventurism to the attacks on the mainland that occurred on 9/11, and therefore to the resultant War on Terror, the unstoppable growth of the NSA, and the turning of the US from a cradle of Democracy to a center of Terrorism itself, sending unarmed drones to assassinate whoever is on the nation's hit-list-du-jour, in complete abrogation of all international treaties and UN Law.
What Reagan did do, was he helped bring about the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Whether or not that was good for Russia, I can't have any way of knowing, because most of what we get is so propagandized, although I can't but believe that it has had some positive aspects to it; but I do think it was good for Finland, for example, and certainly for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czechoslovakia, and numerous other countries that were under the iron rule of Soviet domination. But even this, I'm not sure had to be undergone in the manner it was, by creating SDI, building a military whose size can never be shrunk, whose domination of the economy can never be lessened, anymore than the FED's QE program, without the same repercussions: a cratering of the entire economic system that's become dependent on the Military as its main profit center.
Hand-in- hand with that went a scuttling of the arts so profound that anything referred to as "Modern" Art is talking about art made, at the earliest, more than half a century ago. the only artform that exists in real size today is the movie industry and all they churn out any more is adolescent comic book movies of overbuilt superheroes, American Warrior movies featuring snipers and Special Ops that engage in such unsavory practices, they make James Bond look like he's downright noble, or zombie apocalypses and Vampire movies featuring the undead as sex symbols that suck the life out of anyone foolish enough to think that there's any value to be associated with human Love.
So whereas this may sound like a diatribe against the man, it's mostly meant in counterpoint to the near canonization of him and his legacy that the beginning of a Presidential campaign will soon enough turn the volume up on, and so I felt the necessity of pointing out that whereas he may indeed have made parts of the world a better place, he didn't in fact make his own country a better place. And that is why his words disparaging Kim Philby rankled: because that's all Kim was trying to do too. And for all his subterfuge, he went about it in a far less underhanded way than Ronald Reagan; and whereas Philby betrayed those who enjoyed wealth and power, Ronald Reagan betrayed those who had neither.