Of Mythical Cliffs and Ceilings, of Predators and Fools

There has been much ado lately among the Very Smart People about the last minute avoidance of the Fiscal Cliff over which our entire economy almost fell, and, coming soon to a television screen or website near you, there will be much more ado about the dreaded Debt Ceiling, which must somehow be raised or paid for or else calamities of Biblical proportions will ensue. 

The drama will unfold, with the D-Team and the R-Team staking out their positions, while our President heroically seeks a Grand Bargain to save the Nation from financial Doom. The Chattering Classes will excitedly chatter, the fans of the Red and Blue teams will exhort their heroes to stand firm, the High Priests of Finance and Investment will solemnly warn that their wealth must increase while the rest of us must sacrifice for the Good of the Nation. At the last minute a Deal will be cut, and a bit more of the remaining Social Democratic safety nets will be sacrificed upon the altar of Capital. 

And, barring some fluke, the Denver Broncos will win the Super Bowl.

More importantly, the greatest transfer of wealth from the greatest number of people in the richest society the human species has ever seen to less than 1% of its population will continue unabated. We are in the midst of the greatest con game in the history of the planet. The players on stage are our elected representatives, but the directors of the play meet privately in sumptious comfort in corporate boardrooms, and dangle awards of wealth and power to those same representatives, who will  in the end do the bidding of their masters in hopes of becoming masters themselves one day. 

The Revolving Door between so-called public service and private gain continues to spin. 

The oligarchical predators, like vampires of myth, will continue to suck the wealth and life out of the rest of us in order to increase the value of their assets on their glowing balance sheets, and the fools who wish to have the chance to emulate them will cheer them on in the futile hope that they, too, can become a vampire some day. Other fools, desperate to hold on to what wealth they still have, will convince themselves and try to convince the rest of us that this is just the best we can do, to grow up and live with it, because this is the Real World, you know, and if we say that it need not be so, that we are obviously insane. 

Still other predators and fools will prate about some magical platinum coin that will save the Realm if only the President will deposit it into the Treasury, or cite the 14th Amendment's clause that the full faith and credit of the United States must never be questioned, like an evangelical Christian sending up prayers to God to not send any more tornados to her trailer park in the midst of Tornado Alley this spring. 

Which brings me to the point: our entire financial system is faith-based. Our currency, our savings(if we are lucky enough to have them; I for one, have a whopping $5.95 in my savings account), our pensions, our 401K's, our Social Security and Medicare, only exist because we believe in their value. None of it is based on anything real and tangible. They are just numbers on computer screens. 

We The People have allowed a bunch of sociopathic con artists and hucksters to take real power, and they are using that power to use our government to enrich themselves at our expense. There's a word for that system. 

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because both believe in advancing corporate interests by the use of State power." Benito Mussolini said that, and he knew exactly what he was talking about. 

Unfortunately for our ruling class of sociopathic con artists, hucksters, financiers, and politicians, the system they have set up to enrich themselves can only last as long as most people believe in it. Sooner or later, a child will point out that the Emperor has no clothes, or Dorothy will pull back the curtain and see Oz for what he really is. Then, they can only hold on by force of arms, and the problem with that is that the police and the military, the FBI and CIA, are people, too. 

So what can we do? Well, we can shout the truth. 

As Tears for Fears sang, "Shout, shout, let it all out! These are the things I can do without." 

Sooner or later, this whole con game will fall apart. It is up to us to build something better, something fairer, something more just, something more honorable, something that will preserve the planet instead of destroying it. 

That's it. Rant over. Have a nice day, and Go Broncos!

 

 

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Precisely accurate, yet . . .

geomoo's picture

A lot of good people like to think of themselves as level-headed, smart, informed, above the momentary sway of emotions.  Such people automatically dismiss such writing as this as extreme and therefore automatically biased and incorrect.  It is ironic that such people refer to others as ideological.  The sad truth is that, as the author states, we are seeing lying, illegality, and a transfer of wealth of historic proportions, all done with the full aid of a president considered by many to be a champion of the causes he actively undermines.

I do not share the belief that people can wake up to the reality of it all.  There are many reasons for my pessimism, most of which relate to the general atmosphere we live in.  Even were people to wake up, the forces arrayed against us are well-entrenched, powerful, and ruthless.

For the sake of the record, here are some facts supporting the contentions of this essay.  There are many others, but this one is simple to glance through.  Here are the first four:

 

Amount by which the annual tax bill of the richest 1 percent of Americans would have increased under President Obama's original proposal to resolve the so-called "fiscal cliff" crisis and prevent automatic deficit-reducing spending cuts and tax hikes: nearly $10,000

 

Amount that the last-minute fiscal deal approved this week by Congress lowers the income-tax bill of the average 1 percent family: $17,840

 

Percentage increase in payroll taxes that every U.S. worker will have to pay as part of the deal, regardless of income level: 2

 

Extra amount that a worker earning $50,000 a year will pay as a result: $1,000

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Great rant

cmaukonen's picture

And I absolutely agree. As a culture we have changed and for the worse, I'm afraid.

There has been a loss of humanity along the way.

I shall go into this a greater detail later.

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"What is so nearly lost to us--the dignity of man"

geomoo's picture

I am thinking along those same lines, cmaukonen.  I just asked elsewhere whether fish can learn to be aware of the water they swim in.  I see degeneracy everywhere I look, much of it considered just clean fun or boys being boys.  Do people imagine that people in admittedly degenrate societies, such as the late roman empire, as being aware of their own degeneracy?  It doesn't work that way.

As Harold Pinter put it, 

 

When we look into a mirror we think the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimetre and the image changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror - for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us.

 

I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory.

If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us - the dignity of man.

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