Archive for the ‘Pyramidal system’ Category

One in Three Germans Say Capitalism to Blame for Poverty, Hunger

February 26, 2015

Woman during anti-capitalism protests in Germany with euro on her face. (photo:
Woman during anti-capitalism protests in Germany with euro on her face. (photo:

By Reuters

26 February 15


early a third of Germans believe that capitalism is the cause of poverty and hunger and a majority think true democracy is not possible under that economic system, according to a survey published on Tuesday by the Emnid polling institute for Berlin’s Free University.

The poll of 1,400 people found that 59 percent of Germans in the formerly communist east consider communist and socialist ideals a good idea for society. In western Germany, 37 percent said they considered communist and socialist ideals to be good.

The radical Left party in Germany remains strong in the formerly communist East, a quarter century after the Berlin Wall fell, paving the way for German unification in 1990.

The survey found that more than 60 percent of Germans believe there is no genuine democracy in their country because industry has too much political influence and that the voice of the voters plays only a subordinate role.


Indict the System

December 10, 2014
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Sugar-coated fantasies about the United States of America as a “post-racial society” that guarantees equality before the law are and have always been precisely that: fantasies. Much like the “sugar high” induced by consuming copious amounts of physical sugar, voracious ingestion of this saccharine social delusion leads individuals to similar political and intellectual stupor.

Racism never went away. Signing a piece of paper that purports to guarantee equal rights to all citizens, regardless of race and ethnicity, does not magically whisk away the white supremacist accretions that have been embedded into the very substrata of the fundamental institutions upon which the present economic, social, and political order has been constructed.

To those at the receiving end of racial oppression, the fantastical nature of Post-Racial America has always been obvious. In the past few months, however, many more Americans have gotten their first glimpse of this grotesque racism, manifest in a multitude of murders of unarmed black men at the hands of white police.

  • On 17 July 2014, 43-year-old father Eric Garner was standing on the sidewalk in Staten Island, New York when police approached, put him in an illegal chokehold, and strangled the life out of him. Garner, asthmatic, cried out “I can’t breathe!” at least 11 times. The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.
  • On 5 August 2014, 22-year-old father John Crawford III was in a Walmart in Dayton, Ohio, holding an air rifle that was for sale in the store, when police gunned him down. The officers claimed they asked him multiple times to drop the air gun; surveillance footage proves that they lied, and that they shot the young man almost immediately upon seeing him.
  • On 9 August 2014, 18-year-old Mike Brown was walking down the street with a friend in Ferguson, Missouri before police officer Darren Wilson shot him nine times, three times in the head.
  • On 10 September 2014, unarmed 22-year-old Darrien Hunt was in Saratoga Springs, Utah, “cosplaying,” or dressing up like a samuarai, with a fake decorative sword–a common activity among fans of Japanese anime and comics–before he was murdered. Police claim Hunt lunged at them with the toy sword, yet bystanders took photos of the young black man smiling and talking with the white officers,video footage shows Hunt running for his life away from the officers, and an autopsy proves that police shot him six times while his back was turned.
  • On 23 September 2014, 14-year-old honor student Cameron Tillman was playing in an abandoned house in Houma, Louisiana with four young friends, as so many kids do, when police shot him. He bled out on the ground for 45 minutes. The police offered no medical assistance. The officers claimed Tillman came to the door with a gun, yet later contradicted their own testimony, alleging that a BB gun was found “in close proximity” to the teen’s body. Tillman’s four friends all said a BB gun was on a table, nowhere near.
  • On 22 November 2014, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was standing in a park in Cleveland, Ohio, holding a toy airsoft gun, when police drove up onto the grass, leaped out of their car, and shot him within two seconds. Police said Rice was surrounded by people at the time and that the officer who opened fire had asked the pre-teen three times to put up his hands. Video evidence shows both of these claims to be lies.
  • On 2 December 2014, 34-year-old father Rumain Brisbon was bringing food to his daughter, in Pheonix, Arizona, before police killed him. Police say they approached Brisbon’s SUV before they shot him. A friend present at the incident avers that this is false. The officers claimed Brisbon reached into the waistband of his pants for a gun. Brisbon was unarmed; all he had in his pocket was a container of pills.

Unfortunately, this is only scratching the surface. There have been more black Americans whose lives have been taken from them–so many, many more.

Independent investigative journalism non-profit organization ProPublica analyzed federal data on fatal police shootings and found that young black males are 21 times more likelyto be killed by police than are young white males.

CREDIT: Jonathan Stray / ProPublica

Yet the variety in age of these aforementioned victims of police brutality, along with the widespread geographic dispersion of these crimes, demonstrates that this is not just a problem isolated to a particular age group or a particular place, nor is it limited to particular police officers or particular police forces. Disproportionate numbers of black women are killed by police too, as are so manytrans women and men of color. This is a problem ofsystemic racism against black people, one that is endemic in the Justice System and one that persists across the entire United States.

Impunity for (White) Police

In all of the above cases, police officers killed unarmed black men, but accused the victims of being the attackers. Video evidence was available in many of these cases and, unsurprisingly, it blatantly contradicted the officers’ claims.

Meanwhile, no police have been legally punished. Not only did these public employees kill innocent, unarmed citizens; many of them are moreover on record lying about killing innocent, unarmed citizens. Such sheer dishonesty has led even corporate media sources to openly question whether police testimony is reliable, but, again, it has not led to a single officer facing trial, yet alone any kind of legal castigation.

In fact, the only person indicted in the murder of Eric Garner was the stranger who filmed police killing him–in a bogus, trumped-up charge that many see as police “retaliation for his role in documenting Garner’s death.” Apparently police murdering innocent, unarmed people–as long as they are black men–is, always and everywhere, justified, but filming the police engaging in these acts of terrorism is a most heinous crime.

As if this weren’t enough, not only are white police not legally punished for murder, they are often rewarded–and lucratively, at that. None other than the leading racist hate group, the Ku Klux Klan, helped to raise half a million dollars for Darren Wilson, the police officer who murdered unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown.

Civil rights attorney and author Chase Madar has compellingly argued that it is “impossible” to indict a cop, yet this racial double standard also applies vis–vis the race of police officers. Average black citizens are not the only ones hindered by systemic racism; even black police do not have the same impunity as their white brethren.

White St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch, whose entire family works for the St. Louis police department and who raised money for the Darren Wilson Defense Fund, did not indict the officer for gunning down Mike Brown–having shot the unarmed black teen nine times. But, two weeks before Wilson killed Brown, McCulloch did ruthlessly crack down on a black officer who had hit a man’s hand with a baton. The officer, Dawon Gore, was suspended without pay, thrown in jail on a $3,500, cash-only bond, and charged with second-degree assault. He faces up to seven years in prison. The white officer Darren Wilson, on the other hand, was put on paid leave, got roughly $500,000 in donations, and, once again, was never even charged with a crime.

Clearly, black police are not afforded the same kind of institutional protection white police enjoy. Clearly, we live in a white supremacist society in which white police officers can kill innocent, unarmed black men with complete impunity.

Malcolm X on Police Brutality

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Ben Norton is a freelance writer and journalist. His work has been featured in Mondoweiss, Electronic Intifada, CounterPunch, Truthout, ThinkProgress, and ZNet, among other publications. His website is Follow him at (more…)

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A Society of Captives

December 10, 2014
OpEdNews Op Eds 12/8/2014 at 08:05:08

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Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.Hedges was part of the team of reporters at The New York Times awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for the paper’s coverage of global terrorism. He also recei…

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From Eric Garner Protesters Stage Die-In During Rush Hour at Grand Central Terminal
Eric Garner Protesters Stage Die-In During Rush Hour at Grand Central Terminal
(image by YouTube)

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plans to launch a pilot program in New York City to place body cameras on police officers and conduct training seminars to help them reduce their adrenaline rushes and abusive language, along with the establishment of a less stringent marijuana policy, are merely cosmetic reforms. The killing of Eric Garner in Staten Island was, after all, captured on video. These proposed reforms, like those out of Washington, D.C., fail to address the underlying cause of poverty, state-sponsored murder and the obscene explosion of mass incarceration — the rise of the corporate state and the death of our democracy. Mass acts of civil disobedience, now being carried out across the country, are the only mechanism left that offers hope for systematic legal and judicial reform. We must defy the corporate state, not work with it.

The legal system no longer functions to protect ordinary Americans. It serves our oligarchic, corporate elites. These elites have committed $26 billion in financial fraud. They loot the U.S. Treasury, escape taxation, drive down wages, break unions, pillage pension funds, gut regulation and oversight, destroy public institutions including public schools and social assistance programs, wage endless and illegal wars to swell the profits of arms merchants, and — yes — authorize police to murder unarmed black men.

Police and national intelligence and security agencies, which carry out wholesale surveillance against the population and serve as the corporate elite’s brutal enforcers, are omnipotent by intention. They are designed to impart fear, even terror, to keep the population under control. And until the courts and the legislative bodies give us back our rights — which they have no intention of doing — things will only get worse for the poor and the rest of us. We live in a post-constitutional era.

Corporations have captured every major institution, including the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government, and deformed them to exclusively serve the demands of the market. They have, in the process, demolished civil society. Karl Polanyi in “The Great Transformation” warned that without heavy government regulation and oversight, unfettered and unregulated capitalism degenerates into a Mafia capitalism and a Mafia political system.

A self-regulating market, Polanyi writes, turns human beings and the natural environment into commodities. This ensures the destruction of both society and the natural environment. The ecosystem and human beings become objects whose worth is determined solely by the market. They are exploited until exhaustion or collapse occurs. A society that no longer recognizes that the natural world and life have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, commits collective suicide. Such societies cannibalize themselves. This is what we are undergoing. Literally.

As in every totalitarian state, the first victims are the vulnerable, and in the United States this means poor people of color. In the name of the “war on drugs” or the necessity of enforcing immigration laws, those trapped in our urban internal colonies are effectively stripped of their rights. Police, who arrest some 13 million people a year — 1.6 million of them on drug charges and half of those on marijuana counts — were empowered by the “war on drugs” to carry out random searches and sweeps with no probable cause.

They take DNA samples from many whom they arrest to build a nationwide database that includes both the guilty and the innocent. And they charge each of the sampled arrestees $50 for DNA processing. They confiscate cash, cars, homes and other possessions based on allegations of illegal drug activity and use the proceeds to swell police budgets. They impose fines in poor neighborhoods for absurd offenses — riding a bicycle on a sidewalk or not having an ID — to fleece the poor or, if they cannot pay, toss them into jail.

And before deporting undocumented workers the state levels fines, often in the thousands of dollars, on those being held by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in order to empty their pockets before they are shipped out. Prisoners locked in cages often spend decades attempting to pay off thousands of dollars, sometimes tens of thousands, in court fines from the paltry $28 a month they earn in prison jobs; the government, to make sure it gets its money, automatically deducts a percentage each month from their prison paychecks. It is a vast extortion racket run against the poor by the corporate state, which also makes sure that the interest rates of mortgages, car loans, student loans and credit card loans are set at predatory levels.

Since 1980 the United States has constructed the world’s largest prison system, populated with 2.3 million inmates, 25 percent of the world’s prison population. Police, to keep the system filled with bodies, have had most legal constraints on their behavior removed. They serve as judge and jury on the streets of American cities. Such expansion of police powers is “a long step down the totalitarian path,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas warned in 1968. The police, who are often little more than predatory, armed gangs in inner-city neighborhoods, arbitrarily decide who lives, who dies and who spends years in prison. They rarely fight crime or protect the citizen. They round up human beings like cattle to meet arrest quotas, the prerequisite for receiving federal cash in the “drug war.”

Because many crimes carry long mandatory sentences it is easy to intimidate defendants into “pleading out” on lesser offenses. The arrested are acutely aware they have no chance — 97 percent of all federal cases and 94 percent of all state cases are resolved by guilty pleas rather than trials. An editorial in The New York Times said that the pressure employed by state and federal prosecutors to make defendants accept guilty pleas — an action that often includes waiving the right to appeal to a higher court — is “closer to coercion” than to bargaining. There are always police informants who, to reduce their own sentences, will tell a court anything demanded of them by the police. And, as we saw after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and after the killing of Garner, the word of police officers and prosecutors, whose loyalty is to the police, is law.

A Department of Defense program known as 1033, which was begun in the 1990s and which the National Defense Authorization Act allowed along with federal homeland security grants to the states, has provided $4.3 billion in military equipment to local police forces, either free or on permanent loan, the website ProPublica reported. The militarization of the police, which includes outfitting departments with heavy machine guns, ammunition magazines, night vision equipment, aircraft and armored vehicles, has effectively turned urban police, and increasingly rural police as well, into quasi-military forces of occupation.

“Police conduct up to 80,000 SWAT raids a year in the US, up from 3,000 a year in the early ’80s,” reporter Hanqing Chen wrote in ProPublica. The American Civil Liberties Union, in Chen’s words, found that “almost 80 percent of SWAT team raids are linked to search warrants to investigate potential criminal suspects, not for high-stakes ‘hostage, barricade, or active shooter scenarios.’ He went on to say, “The ACLU also noted that SWAT tactics are used disproportionately against people of color.”

The bodies of the incarcerated poor fuel our system of neo-slavery. In prisons across the country, including the one in which I teach, private corporations profit from captive prison labor. The incarcerated work eight-hour days for as little as a dollar a day. Phone companies, food companies, private prisons and a host of other corporations feed like jackals off those we hold behind bars. And the lack of employment and the collapse of education and vocational training in communities across the United States are part of the design. This design — with its built-in allure from the illegal economy, the only way for many of the poor to make a living — ensures rates of recidivism of over 60 percent. There are millions of poor people for whom this country is little more than a vast penal colony.

Lawyer Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” identifies what she calls a criminal “caste system.” This caste system controls the lives of not only the 2.3 million people who are incarcerated but also the 4.8 million people on probation or parole. Millions more people are forced into “permanent second-class citizenship” by their criminal records, which make employment, higher education and public assistance difficult or impossible, Alexander says.

Totalitarian systems accrue to themselves omnipotent power by first targeting and demonizing a defenseless minority. Poor African-Americans, like Muslims, have been stigmatized by elites and the mass media. The state, promising to combat the “lawlessness” of the demonized minority, demands that authorities be emancipated from the constraints of the law. Arguments like this one were used to justify the “war on drugs” and the “war on terror.” But once any segment of the population is stripped of equality before the law, as poor people of color and Muslims have been, once police are permitted under the law to become omnipotent, brutal and systematically oppressive tactics are invariably employed against the wider society. The corporate state has no intention of carrying out legal reforms to curb the omnipotence of its organs of internal security. They were made omnipotent on purpose.

Matt Taibbi in his book, “The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap,”brilliantly illustrates how poverty, in essence, has become a crime. He spent time in courts where wealthy people who had committed documented fraud amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars never had to stand trial and in city courts where the poor were called to answer for crimes that, until I read his book, I did not know existed. Standing in front of your home, he shows in one case, can be an arrestable offense.

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Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

Hedges was part of the team of (more…)

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The Neoconservative Hit List: Iraq, Libya and now Syria? A Plan for Global US Military Supremacy

October 15, 2014

In-depth Report:

1997 witnessed the birth of one of the most pivotal American think tanks in modern times, whose ideas and objectives would come to shape the foreign policy of the United States (U.S.) for decades to come. The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) was founded by William Kristol, the chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle during the Bush senior administration, and Robert Kagan, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The PNAC group’s stated objectives included the desire to “shape a new century favourable to American principles and interests” along with challenging “regimes hostile to U.S. interest and values”.

Prominent individuals who belonged to the think tank include some of the most influential politicians in America’s recent history, including the former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the Vice President of the U.S. during the George W. Bush administration, Dick Cheney, the ex President of the World Bank and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs under Ronald Regan. In September 2000, the PNAC group released a document titled: ‘Rebuilding America’s Defenses – Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century’, in which the group discusses the need for the U.S. to assert its military authority around the globe to secure its strategic objectives:

“Preserving the desirable strategic situation in which the United States now finds itself requires a globally preeminent military capability both today and in the future (p.8).”

Premeditated Wars

The report then continues to advocate an increase in military spending to enable this “military capability” as well as asserting one year before 9/11 that all this would be unlikely to manifest unless there was a “new Pearl Harbour” event (p.63). In addition, the document lists a number of regimes that the group viewed as “deeply hostile to America”. “North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria” (p.63 & p.64) are all pinpointed as enemies of the U.S. well before the illegal war in Iraq in 2003, as well as the illegal 2011 war in Libya and the ongoing proxy war in Syria.

Further evidence was revealed in 2007 that supports the thesis that wars are premeditated by the Anglo-American elite for years prior to them being launched. This was when retired four star general and former NATO commander, Wesley Clark, disclosed a plan circulating around the Pentagon in 2001 to attack 7 countries in 5 years. The countries named mirror the ones targeted by the PNAC group, as Iraq, Syria, Iran and Libya were all listed in addition to Lebanon, Somalia and Sudan.

The reality is that all the wars of the past and the future are planned well in advance of the public ever hearing our morally repugnant politicians demanding action. Countries that resist being absorbed into the Anglo-American-European international order and allow multinational corporations to exploit their resources, are targeting for regime change well in advance of the pretext they give to intervene.

Israel is also set to benefit if the government of al-Assad is replaced with a client state of the West. A study group led by neocon Richard Perle prepared a policy document in 1996 for Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, titled: ‘A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm’, in which it outlines the strategic importance of removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq as well as the desire to weaken the regime in Syria:

“Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right — as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.”

Russian FM: Airstrikes on Islamic State could be used to Weaken Assad

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned the world last month that the US-led airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) in Syria could also target Syrian government forces in an attempt to “weaken the positions of Bashar al-Assad’s army”. U.S. envoy to the United Nations, Samantha Power, recently reiterated that Washington’s objective in Syria is the removal of al-Assad from power in Damascus and that the “moderate Syrian opposition provides the best alternative to the al-Assad regime”. What Power omits from her statement though is that IS is a key part of the “Syrian opposition” and has been battling the Syrian government – with the financing and support of the west – for years now. The reality is that the al-Assad regime will remain in power for decades to come unless the Western elite is able to justify military strikes against key military and energy targets inside Syria.

A History of Turkish False Flag Attacks on Syria

 An article by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh in April of this year titled: ‘The Rat Line and the Red Line’, argues that the gas attack last year in Ghouta was an attack carried out by the Syrian rebels with the planning of Turkish authorities as opposed to the Syrian government. In the article Hersh quotes a former intelligence official as stating: ‘We now know it was a covert action planned by Erdoğan’s people to push Obama over the red line’. As soon as the gas attack hit the mainstream press in the West, the calls for war went into overdrive. War was only averted due to massive public opposition to the move which forced the British parliament to vote against intervention in Syria, as well as the Russian government brokering a deal to place the Syrian government’s chemical weapons supplies under international control.

The notion that Turkey is capable of planning such a malevolent attack was strengthened when officials from the top echelons of the Turkish government were caught red handed discussing a false flag attack on their own territory, in order to justify a war with Syria earlier this year. The officials are heard discussing the possibility that they could arrange an attack on the tomb of the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Suleiman Shah, which is situated in a Turkish enclave in the Syrian city of Aleppo. Hakan Fidan, the head of Turkish intelligence is heard saying in the leaked audio tape: “We can also prepare an attack on Suleiman Shah’s tomb if necessary”, Fidan continues, “Listen, listen commander if it’s a pretext we’ll give you one. I’ll send over four men and have them fire right rockets on an empty lot. That’s not the problem, pretexts can be arranged.

Steven MacMillan is an independent writer, researcher, geopolitical analyst and editor of  The Analyst Report, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Corporate Personhood Is the Ebola Virus of Climate Chaos

September 20, 2014


Harvey Wasserman | September 18, 2014 8:32 am | Comments

Unrestrained corporate power is the Ebola virus of our global ecological crisis. Rooting it out will demand a whole new level of resistance.

The worldwide march for the climate this weekend is focussed on moving us to a Solartopian energy supply, a green-powered Earth.

The core engine of our economy must at last be made directly accountable to humankind and our Mother Earth. Until that happens, we are an endangered species.
But those who march must also focus on the real core problem: the nature of the modern corporation.

As currently structured, the corporation’s sole mandate is to make profit. Its insatiable need for more and more money, and its immunity from the consequences of its actions, are unsustainable in any sense.

Its fossil fuels heat our planet. Its atomic reactors threaten us all.

Meanwhile, solar, wind and other Solartopian technologies plunge in price while surging in efficiency. It’s now abundantly clear they can power our civilization cleaner, cheaper, more reliably and with more job creation than old King CONG (Coal, Oil, Nukes and Gas).

In a free and open marketplace, they would have won long ago.

But it’s the inherent nature of corporations to HATE the marketplace.

They always demand monopoly. They push complex, capital-intensive, centralized technologies that only they can control.

They fight off any social or ecological responsibilities. And they do not tolerate competition.

Not on the internet, where they want to kill net neutrality and monopolize the flow of ideas and information.

Nor from green energy technologies that threaten their profits and control.

Windmills have been around for centuries. The photovoltaic cell was born six decades ago. A 1952 federal report predicted 13 million solar-heated U.S. homes by 1975.

By all rights, we should already have a green-powered planet.

Today’s climate crisis was avoidable.

But in the fossil/nuke world it currently rules, King CONG is above the law. It’s been cheaper for the fossil/nuke corporations to wreck the Earth—and our health—than to protect them.

So now we must take the next step.

It’s a great thing to march on climate chaos, and to finally know that our power can and must come in concert with our Mother Earth, rather than at war with her.

Keystone XL, tar sands, oil leases, mountaintop removal, fracking, nukes … these all must be stopped.

A carbon tax, environmental regulation, Solartopian technologies … these all must be put in place.

But nothing truly lasting will happen until we eradicate the virus that’s killing us all—the unrestrained corporate power over our lives and planet.

The core engine of our economy must at last be made directly accountable to humankind and our Mother Earth.

Until that happens, we are an endangered species.


Sacrificing the Vulnerable, From Gaza to America

September 16, 2014

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A Palestinian stands in the rubble of destroyed houses Aug. 1 in the heavily bombed town of Beit Hanoun, Gaza Strip, close to the Israeli border. AP/Lefteris Pitarakis

Chris Hedges gave this speech Saturday at the Sauk County Fairgrounds in Baraboo, Wis., before a crowd of about 2,000. His address followed one there by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent who seems to be preparing to run in the Democratic presidential primaries. The Fighting Bob Fest, the annual event at which they appeared, brings together progressive speakers from around the country and honors Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follette (1855-1925), a U.S. senator from Wisconsin who opposed the United States’ entry into World War I. Parts of this talk were drawn from Hedges’ past columns.

I would like to begin by speaking about the people of Gaza. Their suffering is not an abstraction to me. I was the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. I spent seven years in the region. I speak Arabic. And for much of that time I was in Gaza, including when Israeli fighter jets and soldiers were attacking it.

I have stood over the bodies, including the bodies of children, left behind by Israeli airstrikes and assaults. I have watched mothers and fathers cradle their dead and bloodied boys and girls in their arms, convulsed by an indescribable grief, shrieking in pitiful cries to an indifferent universe.

And in this charnel house, this open-air prison where 1.8 million people, nearly half of them children, live trapped in an Israeli ghetto, I have witnessed the crimes of occupation—the food shortage, the stifling overcrowding, the contaminated water, the lack of health services, the crippling poverty, the endemic unemployment, the fear and the despair. As I have witnessed this mass of human suffering I have heard from the power elites in Jerusalem and Washington the lies told to justify state terror.

An impoverished, captive people that lack an army, a navy, an air force, mechanized units, drones, artillery and any semblance of command and control do not pose a threat to Israel. And Israel’s indiscriminate use of modern, industrial weapons to kill hundreds of innocents, wound thousands more and make tens of thousands of families homeless is not a war. It is state-sponsored terror and state-sponsored murder.The abject failure by our political class to acknowledge this fact, a fact that to most of the rest of the world is obvious, exposes the awful banality of our political system, the cynical abandonment of the most vulnerable of the earth for campaign contributions. Money, after all, has replaced the vote.

The refusal to speak out for the people of Gaza is not tangential to our political life. The pathetic, Stalinist-like plebiscite in the [U.S.] Senate, where all 100 senators trotted out like AIPACwindup dolls to cheer on the Israeli bombing of homes, apartment blocks, schools—where hundreds of terrified families were taking shelter—water treatment plants, power stations, hospitals, and of course boys playing soccer on a beach, exposes the surrender of our political class to cash-rich lobbying groups and corporate power. The people of Gaza are expendable. They are poor. They are powerless. And they have no money. Just like the poor people of color in this country whose bodies, locked in cages, enrich the prison-industrial complex.

When you are willing to sacrifice the most vulnerable for political expediency it becomes easy, as Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have amply illustrated, to sacrifice all who are vulnerable—our own poor, workers, the sick, the elderly, students and our middle class. This is a Faustian compact. It ends by selling your soul to Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil. It ends by deifying a military machine, now largely beyond civilian control, that, along with our organs of state security, has established surveillance and a security state that make us the most spied-upon, eavesdropped, monitored and photographed populace in human history. It is impossible to describe yourself as free when you are constantly watched. This is the relationship of a master and a slave.

Politics, if we take politics to mean the shaping and discussion of issues, concerns and laws that foster the common good, is no longer the business of our traditional political institutions. These institutions, including the two major political parties, the courts and the press, are not democratic. They are used to crush any vestiges of civic life that calls, as a traditional democracy does, on its citizens to share among all its members the benefits, sacrifices and risks of a nation. They offer only the facade of politics, along with elaborate, choreographed spectacles filled with skillfully manufactured emotion and devoid of real political content. We have devolved into what Alexis de Tocquevillefeared—“democratic despotism.”

The squabbles among the power elites, rampant militarism and the disease of imperialism, along with a mindless nationalism that characterizes all public debate, which Bob La Follette denounced and fought, have turned officially sanctioned politics into a carnival act.

Pundits and news celebrities on the airwaves engage in fevered speculation about whether the wife of a former president will run for office—and this after the mediocre son of another president spent eight years in the White House. This is not politics. It is gossip. Opinion polls, the staple of what serves as political reporting, are not politics. They are forms of social control. The use of billions of dollars to fund election campaigns and pay lobbyists to author legislation is not politics. It is legalized bribery. The insistence that austerity and economic rationality, rather than the welfare of the citizenry, be the primary concerns of the government is not politics. It is the death of civic virtue. The government’s system of wholesale surveillance and the militarization of police forces, along with the psychosis of permanent war and state-orchestrated fear of terrorism, are not politics. They are about eradicating civil liberties and justifying endless war and state violence. The chatter about death panels, abortion, gay rights, guns and undocumented children crossing the border is not politics. It is manipulation by the power elites of emotion, hate and fear to divert us from seeing our own powerlessness.

Are Existing Economic and Financial Arrangements Causing Ever More Destructive Weather Events and Species Die-Off?

June 7, 2014
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Cosmos pulled no punches this past week with “The World Set Free,” and it spent the better part of forty minutes explaining how climate change happened, why humans are the cause of it, and the detrimental side effects of the waste products of our oil-&-coal-based economy. 

Climate change is real and humans are causing it. More specifically, existing economic and financial arrangements, which we have allowed to develop, are causing ever more destructive weather events. Blow by blow, Neil deGrasse Tyson defeats every single argument made against the idea of human-made climate change. Then, to add salt to our self-inflicted wound, he tells the tale of two scientists who long ago brought solar-powered generation of electricity to the world — way back in the 1800s!

If you don’t have a chance to see this episode, check out the accomplishments of Augustin Mouchot(who presented his solar-powered steam engine to Napoleon in 1868, and also, a few years later, at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, where he won a Gold Medal for having the best and most important invention Then too there was Frank Shuman (who created an entire solar-based power plant in 1913).

America could have gotten solar-power technology going a whole lot sooner, and could probably be quite advanced with it by this time, if not for the emergence of our booming coal-, and then also petroleum-based, economy. But because of the huge fortunes being made by a powerful few, with the sale of millions of tons of coal and oil, America dropped solar energy technology and research, and began to pollute the environment big-time, and continued this at an accelerating pace for the next hundred years, leading to many hundreds of thousands of premature deaths and enormous amounts of illness, all as a result of the continuous breathing of carbon-based exhaust fumes by millions of people, but which allowed huge fortunes to be made by our financial elite.

In an unusual twist for the series, the ‘doomsdaying’ lasts for most of the episode, including cites of Carl Sagan’s warnings from 1980. At the core, it’s a presentation of the science behind the tragedy that’s unfolding, and an explanation of how we knew this was going to happen, decades in advance, and yet we did nothing about it. It’s only in the last ten minutes of the program that Tyson offers any hope, and it can be summed up thusly: Humans are adaptive and we can persevere through dark times until we arrive at solutions.

The episode ends with JFK’s speech about putting a man on the moon. It was an impossible feat, but we did it. Now, to adequately address the mire that the carbon-based industrialized world and the hyperconsumption, hyperproduction treadmill society has put us into, we are going to have to step up to the plate and do the impossible once again. Link


Some of us prefer dreaming and talking about possible solutions to the problem of global climate change and environmental destruction, rather than quietly resigning ourselves to ecocide and the death of civilization as we know it. Watch the most recent installment ofCosmos on public television (or at the first link presented above) if you want to get a better idea of what I’m talking about.

Rethe certainty that our carbon-fueled manufacturing processes and hyper-consumption habits are causing more than 90% of the global warming that is playing hell with the ecosphere (causing ever more violent storms, tornadoes etc.) and helping to kill thousands of species, Tyson makes the most compelling and easy-to-understand argument I’ve heard. His graphic demonstration of how the planet Venus is thought to have lost its oceans through the excessive CO2 coming from volcanoes is quite sobering: There was so much CO2 in the atmosphere that almost no sunlight could escape after it bounced off the surface of that planet, and eventually the temperature there got hot enough to melt lead. (The CO2 molecule in their trillions have the unusual property of reflecting sunlight right back to earth after it bounces up from the earth.)

Proof of Tyson’s thesis

It turns out that the CO2 produced from modern industrial/manufacturing processes, combined with the use of coal used in producing electricity (and the burning of fuel by cars, trucks and airplanes), can be scientifically distinguished from the CO2 that is belched out of volcanoes. It’s also measurably true that the former kind of CO2 is now a vastly larger (and rapidly growing) component of our atmosphere than is the latter.

Then too there is the gradually melting arctic permafrost vegetation, long dead, which, as the planet continues to warm, and the dead vegetation thaws out and rots, will emit millions of tons of methane into the atmosphere. This poses a huge danger since methane is an even deadlier (i.e. more reflective) greenhouse gas than CO2. Then too, as the arctic ice melts and its surface area shrinks, ever less sunlight will be reflected back into space from (highly reflective) ice, and ever more of it will be absorbed by the dark (and thus heat absorbing) ocean thus warming it at an accelerating rate.

Finally there is the concern that as the ocean absorbs ever more of the excessive CO2 in the atmosphere, it (the ocean) will become ever more acidic (by way of carbonic acid which thereby forms), a process that will gradually kill ever more marine life. Eventually, all that will be left in the oceans are jelly fish and a few other species useless to mankind as food. And so millions more people will likely starve.

Planetary suicide (ecocide) is underway my friends, and blind as most of us are, we are doing nowhere near enough to stop it. Worst of all are the damn fools who deny that mankind’s hyper-production industrial procedures, hyper-consumption habits, and internal combustion engines are the cause of the overall process that is gradually unfolding.

As the glaciers disappear, the rivers (coming from those glaciers), which provide crop irrigation for the people of Asia, will also shrink and eventually all but disappear, and then millions of Asians will starve. And, as the oceans rise with the melting arctic and Greenland ice sheets, huge amounts of coastal land will be submerged and coastal cities will be, too.

And here come the rants from the world’s greatest fools:

“But godamit, we gotta keep this (hyperproduction-hyperconsumption treadmill) going, (no matter what the ultimate cost to our planet)! We need our ‘stuff‘!! And we WILL not be denied! WE have a right to the (bourgeois/affluent) “good life,” no matter what the cost to our children and grandchildren and their children. So fu*k’em. It’s not our problem.”

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Humanistic Economy vs. finansocracy

February 15, 2014

February 13, 2014


By Peter Palms

An economic system that is humanitarian.


The first version of this paper (“Humanistic Economy Concept”)
was published in 2008 in a Web Journal “New Paradigm”.

This new version of the paper is supplemented with some additional facts and arguments. This paper is neither about charity and welfare works nor about introducing more humanistic details or features to the existing economy. It’s about the economy of the future if it materializes – since the existing modes of economy and civilization are incompatible not only with sustainability but also with the survival of civilization itself!

I believe the humanistic details will be comprehensively dramatically introduced to the exiting economy before 2034 and most likely significantly sooner through collapse of existing economies and their radically change through revolution so I would not categorically rule out that this paper might be about that as well.

Of course the current economy of parasitism and exploitation theoretically may have some chance to survive somehow if it is able to reduce harmful environmental impacts and to smooth over other conflicts and contradictions,  but it means only that although parasitism on the Nature/Environment may be decreased significantly the exploitation of people will continue and may become more severe.

Historically when this exploitation reaches the level of Czarist Russia, The Kingdom of France, The United Kingdom (India and America) it results in revolution. But in today’s new global economy the revolution might also be global. With the internet the usefulness of weapon in retaining power for a minority has evaporated as described in :

Cyber War, for which there is presently no defense (replaces Nuclear War. 1 hour video ESPN of Richard Clarke, White House Counter-Terrorist Staff under 4 Presidents

and also described in

NASA held its first information technology 08/22/2010 summit. Speaker at the second day included Internet pioneer and Google Vice President Vint Cerf, who shared his thoughts about the past and future of the Internet, including the possible creation of an interplanetary network. Mr Cerf has been called  one of the founders of the Internet.  President Clinton presented him with the United States National Medal of Technology for his founding of the Internet. He received the Allan Turek Award, also sometimes known as the Noble Prize of Computer Science. President Bush presented him the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his work, which is the highest Award given to an American citizen

Many of the ideas and concepts stated below may sound revolutionary but please don’t consider them as my appeal for immediate socio-economic revolution. If I appeal to anybody for anything it is for a mind revolution, which in turn will be followed by changes in “real life”: economy, politics etc.

President Bush succeeded prior to leaving office to bring about a new law that for the first time in the history of the United States of America now permits the armed forces of the USA to be used INSIDE the USA for purposes of maintaining order.

Any attempt to employ the armed forces of the USA against the population of the USA most likely would result in the armed forces choosing to side with the American people.

The last 200 pages of “The Creature from Jekyll island” 5th edition released September 2010 (24th printing) indicated that reversal of the path to collapse is likely to be irreversible as describes the actual debt of the USA as $202 trillion. It is difficult to comprehend such numbers. If you had a stack of $100 bills 101.6 centimeters high, you would be a millionaire. $202 trillion would rise over 204.343 thousand miles into space. By the time you read this, after the expenditures of subsequent administrations that stack has reached the moon
I “invented” the term “Humanistic economy” independently (when I was invited by Dr. Michael Ellis to contribute to above New Paradigm Journal in 2008) but after browsing in the English and Russian Internet I’ve found that of course I am not the first who has started to apply this term. However, despite unavoidable resemblance to other ideas and views there is no one fixed or commonly accepted concept of Humanistic economy since of course it’s a rather new concept which is being developed by just a few economists.

Total circulation of 24 printings of “the Creature from Jekyll Island”

Numbers in the hundreds of thousands developing this new concept.

What I have read about “humanistic economy” is mostly a fragmentary recommendation to correct certain economic problems.
In January of 2011 I read an article published by Irene Nygеrdsvik: “A HUMANISTIC ECONOMY -Life-enriching businesses with life-enriching bottom lines”. Conceptually her thinking resonates with mine. She stated, inter alia: “In a capitalistic economy ‘the business of business’ is to make profits. In a humanistic economy ‘the business of business’ is to enrich the lives of the owners, the employees, the customers, the suppliers, and also to be an enriching force in relation to the local community, the global community and to nature”. She provided a sound comparison between “a capitalistic economy” and “a humanistic economy” and also gave examples or appearances of a humanistic economy within dominating capitalistic economy. However, political and hidden power background of the modern (more and more globalized) economy was not considered in her article, I mean the stranglehold of finances (financial institutes, instruments and their holders/owners) and the virtual economy.

I think it’s important to create the holistic image or model of the future Humanistic economy, which would be desirable for over 95 % of the planet population. We will otherwise miss the core issues. I hope that my own view presented in this brief thesis is comprehensive and adequate.

Is the modern type of the economy the best and only possible economy? I think the majority of people and many economists would say: “No, of course the existing economy is not perfect and may be even far from perfection.” Some economists would emphasize that the major problem is that the economy generates external effects, and that it doesn’t properly take into consideration the interests of our future generations.

Ecological economists who are in all probability the most progressive thinkers among the economists, would mention undervaluation of Nature, ecosystems etc. Some economists will mention the far from optimal taxation systems that tax, i.e. de-stimulate, some positive factors and create obstacles and disincentives for production while some negative factors are not taxed and thus are stimulated.

Liberal and neoliberal economists rebel against any subsidies and governmental involvement in and influence on the economy. Many people would mention financial and economical crises — especially now, after global crisis started in 2008. Socialist and communist theoreticians and some other outstanding thinkers such as E. Fromm would say about tremendous disparities, about private appropriation of land and rental income as well as exploitation and about the incompatibility of the modern western-style economy with the positive evolution of humankind and the maintenance of a sustainable civilization and global existence.

My opinion is that the existing economy is getting antiquated in its cornerstone concepts and in the near future will not be able to maintain a sustainable civilization.

Of course an economic model depends on the state of people’s minds, people’s consciousness, and Humankind’s collective karma. One can say that people’s imperfections predetermine the economy’s defects. Someone may conclude that consumer’s preferences including their vices cause economic deficiencies and distortions and that if people were righteous the existing mode of economy would be in this case quite adequate. The Modern dominating economy is not just a consequence, a simple result of people’s consciousness, preferences, values, needs, and demands – it is now also able itself to actively and intentionally form state of mind, world outlook, values, needs and demand.

I am going to describe a very different mode of economy that is not derived from the existing economic type by means of certain improvements.
I would like to draw a framework of a constructive (not purely ideal) economy in principle free of the vices of the current economy, which like tiny cracks in a stone monolith will sooner or later destroy it. Humanistic economy is the economy without the cracks of false distribution and redistribution, parasitism and exploitation potentials. I believe that educated people will support and vote for a new economic model.

So, what I want to do here is not to describe the ideal economy but just to portray major principles of the positive, constructive economy that is able to improve people’s lives and societies. For the beginning we need only to follow the principle of human rights and democratic procedures while the majority of people vote for transition to the new type of economy. Of course, all important components of this new economy should be comprehensively explained to the people, including providing comparison with the existing economy.

Such a new Economy serves for the good of the whole society and each person’s inner well being.

It means that the beneficiaries are all people – not the extreme minority as is now. Economy serves humans – The people do not serve the economy but improve and modify it to make it more and more in harmony in which there is direct dependence between income and public benefit in order to, meet both long-term interests of the society and short- and long-term interests of individuals. These interests should be well balanced between mind, body, social and environmental ones. People should serve each other and society both through the economy and also without any mediation of the economy. Economy is designed to improve people’s lives and their personal grade of development including spiritual, mental, and soul.

1. Today people are enslaved by the economy and by a global technocratic civilization. It is usually the higher social ranks that impose slavery on many other people. At the same time they have themselves to follow the rules which they impose on those around them and are thus limited in the creation of human values The existing form of economy promotes economic growth, technical growth and development creating technical perfection and efficiency. This is at the expense of an approaching global catastrophe based on a spiritual and global health crisis which in turn is creating global environmental or military, genetic or microbiological, or humanitarian disaster.
To be honest the currently dominating civilization is not only technocratic but also finansocratic and even (what is much worse) parazitoctratic. This statement should be supported by serious substantiative explanations/arguments. Let me start with some historic background.

At first the financial capital of usury was relocated from Venice to Amsterdam as the place with the most favourable conditions for augmentation of financial and trade capital thanks to the fact that, in the first place, the liberation from the rule of the Spanish Crown along with the firm establishment of Protestantism left no obstacles in the way of moneylending practice and, secondly, the Dutch fleet by then had grown to be one of the biggest fleets in the world while it was the colonial trade that was bringing major profits. By the middle of the 17th century the Dutch priority at sea was indisputable: Holland owned 15-16 thousand ships of the European total of 20,000 vessels. The trade domination of Holland however was far from corresponding to the level of the country’s industrial development and by late 17th century the world trade hegemony of Holland was coming to an end. The lead was being taken by England which was far ahead in terms of industrial production development. The defeat of Holland in the Anglo-Dutch wars of the 17th century resulted in the country’s capital being increasingly reallocated to foreign loans. Greater financial, economic and political potential in comparison to Holland apparently made it the finansocrats’ next target.

A series of dynastic and religious conflicts and wars had a logical ending: the English and Dutch usurers-moneychangers paid William of Orange to invade England. The new King managed to convince the government of the necessity to borrow 1.2 million pounds sterling from a private corporation required to wage a war against France . That corporation, also known as the Bank of England, was ready to obtain the required sum from an anonymous group (future shareholders) and lend it to the King at 8% interest plus 4,000 pounds per year. The offer was approved and the Bank of England was granted the right to issue bonds bearing stamps of the Kingdom and the Bank to the amount of the loan and on security of the government . This was how the first private central bank came into being in 1694. By 1698 the national debt had reached Ј16,000,000 and continued to grow. According to the Bill of Rights (1698), the King had no authority to abrogate the Banks’ privileges without consent of the Parliament, i.e. in fact of the Bank of England itself skilfully controlling all critical parliamentary activities . That was how London became the capital of international usury (in the second half of the 18th century London took over from Amsterdam the title of the financial capital of the world), the country’s government institutions turned into accomplices of the financial oligarchy, and the country itself came to be used as a money-making mechanism.

The creation of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913 provided the international bankers an opportunity to rapidly build up their financial and political power in the USA. The Federal Reserve was established on 23 December 1913 as a private corporation with member-banks holding all shares and receiving tax-free dividends. The corporation is liable to postage as any other private company and its employees are not public servants.

In 1932 Louis McFadden, Chairman of the United States House Committee on Banking and Currency, summarised the activity of the FRS in his speech to the Congress: “… we have in this Country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks, hereinafter called the Fed. … This evil institution has impoverished and ruined the people of these United States … and has practically bankrupted our Government. It has done this … through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.” This was said at the time of the worst economic crisis of 1929/1933. “Crisis” — that’s the favourite justification for reformatting (imperceptibly for the profane) the world’s financial setup. It is also the best instrument for revision of the world itself as well. Each crisis therefore serves several objectives. The progression of the FRS owners towards the world domination has been and will always be marked with milestones of carefully masterminded crises, be it stock market crash, war or currency, and security prices slump. The Great Depression of the 20s-30s offers a perfect illustration to the above statement.

Just like the Great Depression the present crisis was preceded with a period of massive economic development. The rapid growth was associated with the actions of the Federal Reserve, which had dramatically increased money supply in circulation. What was it done for? The FRS owners were planning to buy up local US assets they were interested in for a song and, at the same time, to ruin all financial actors beyond their control so that nobody in the USA could take advantage of the election win to change the legislation and, with a dash of a pen, destroy the existing FRS to create an alternative organisation. Only finances, the overwhelming power of money supported by the mighty media, can lift a politician to power.

What is required to create a financial crisis? First, lend as much money as possible so that new credits would be required to pay debts with interest. The mechanism of organising a crisis is simple: lend no more money and demand old debts to be paid. That was how the Great Depression was created; the same pattern was used to trigger off the crisis of 2008/09. The money supply, which was deliberately accumulated during the pre-crisis period, was reduced from 49 billion USD in July 1929 to 30 billion dollars by July 1933. Then it was time for the next step: once created, the problem had to be dealt with. How? The solution was sought and found: new personality and new policy. On March 4, 1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected President of the United States. His primary objective was to destroy the gold standard. This was what the Great Depression was all about. The Dollar had to be dissociated from the lasting values heretofore considered unshakable. It was to become the highest universal value itself and, in fact, to replace gold.

World War II manifested another step towards strengthening the world power of the finansocrats. In 1944, the United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods created an international monetary and financial system making it an obligation for each country to adopt a monetary policy that maintained the exchange rate by tying its currency to the U.S. dollar ($35 per troy ounce), i.e. the US dollar was actually made an international currency. The USA domination in the post-war world economy facilitated the expansion of the dollar and ever-growing power of the international bankers. The termination of convertibility of the dollar to gold in 1971 resulted in the situation when dollars were no more supported by any real assets; the money, of course, is to be secured by commodities and services (but the size of the US produced goods and services is incomparable with the money supply) to be evaluated in that same money . But the issue of money is controlled by a small group of people exclusively in their own interests no matter how contradictory those might be to any interests or benefits of any states and nations.

The US Federal Government borrows dollars from the Federal Reserve System. As a result, as of now the US Government owes to the Federal Reserve over $10 trillion while continuing to pay annual interest of about $400 billion from the taxes collected from US citizens. No unencumbered, interest-free money is generated by the USA : both companies and citizens therefore ultimately have to borrow money from the Federal Reserve System only in order to pay interest on loans and credits. The population is sinking deeper and deeper into a bottomless debt abyss. As a consequence the accumulated debt of individuals, legal entities and authorities of all levels currently exceeds $60 trillion, which they don’t have the ability to service (i.e. pay interest). In fact 98% of the US citizens are in life debt bondage, i.e. all their property and earnings are far less than their total debt and debt service cost; moreover, neither they nor their children will never ever be able to break free from the debt slavery. Past decades have been marked by a world-wide expansion of that kind of usurious enslavement practiced by the US Federal Reserve System.

The international finance system, which is based on the US dollar issued by the FRS and secured by nothing but bonds never to be redeemed, is characterised by all signs of a typical financial pyramid. The only difference is in the gigantic, global scale of the enterprise and unprecedented, unparalleled resources of the powers that support it. The value of the dollar is determined by continuously generated artificial demand on it as the world’s main reserve currency. The annual increase of the dollar supply is estimated at 10%. The dollar is a “security” that relies exclusively on the payers’ trust, which is maintained by a complex system of political, military, financial and institutional measures. The international finance system dictates an obligation for each country to adopt the US dollar as the main reserve currency, the primary payment instrument supporting the world trade; moreover, a much more significant obligation consists in the fact that those countries must take loans in dollars and borrow more and more dollars to service their debts. Thus the FRS is granted the right and possibility of unlimited issue of money, which is creating the world financial pyramid. “Having engaged the USA first and further all the dollar-wise countries into the servicing of the financial pyramid, the Federal Reserve System already cannot (and doesn’t want to — Author) stop this process. All actors on the international financial market become involuntary players or participants of the pyramid. In order to support relative stability of the dollar pyramid, the Federal Reserve System assisted by the US Government artificially creates demand on this currency thereby forming an endless chain of ongoing refinancing of old loans and progressive borrowing, i.e. procurement of new loans.

The surplus money supply is dumped on the international commodity market in exchange for raw materials or otherwise injected in the high-profit sectors of the financial market.  The dollar must be in constant demand on the international market in order to maintain the pyramid operation, while the growing dollar supply requires ever growing consumption to discharge the surplus. Surplus dollars are being increasingly tied  by means of inflating fictitious speculative bubbles of various securities. The money has ultimately lost connection with the production of real values since the 1970s; the “financial bubble” kept growing at a simply threatening rate by far exceeding the real economy rates of growth — see table 1 and figure 1 below.

Table 1
Year 1973 1988 1990 1997 2000 2008
Speculative finance capital, $ billions ~20 ~150 ~210 ~370 ~400 >900
World GDP, $ trillion. 3.9 18.07 20.4 32.3 40 65.6

The dominating type of the modern economy can be characterised as parasitic. This situation is supported by a system of financial, political, military, institutional, information/ideological and a number of other instruments. From the historic perspective, the main driving force of the fictitious parasitic economy has been primarily represented by usurers and moneychangers. Over two centuries ago those instruments were supplemented with a privately controlled issue of uncovered, or rather partially covered monetary funds. The mechanisms of fictitious economy and parasitism in general were essentially improved in the 20th century. The instruments of usury, private issue of money uncovered by real assets and currency speculation were combined with catalytic mechanisms for the issue of dollars. These mechanisms were, in the first place, to support high dollar demand in the real economic sector on a global scale in prejudice of other currencies and respective economies (actually weakening those), which required inspiration of the two world wars, revolutions, numerous local conflicts and coups; secondly, the objective was to tie  surplus dollars by means of inflating fictitious speculative bubbles while establishing international financial institutions to maintain ever growing demand of the “developing countries” for the dollar loans and thus increasing their debt bondage.

The most dramatic unfavourable trend does not consist even in the scale of economically measured injustice. The transformation boils down to the following: while earlier there existed religious or secular authorities capable of even temporarily suspending usury as such or at least limiting interest rates, now the power and authority of the former usurers and moneychangers proved to be superior to those of once sovereign states. At present the level and scope of injustice have soared by orders of magnitude: firstly, colossal scale of redistribution of income from the majority of the population in favour of a few individuals; secondly, subordination of governments and media to the interests of the finansocrats.

The latter phenomenon is particularly important. On the one hand, it resulted in the full legalisation of all critical instruments of the fictitious economy with the public failing to understand not only the viciousness and depravity of such an economy but unable to admit even a possibility of an alternative non-parasitic economy; on the other hand, this alliance allowed organisation of local and global crises, wars and revolutions, subversive actions under the kind of an information and ideological cover that the overwhelming majority of the people can’t even suspect who indeed stands behind those actions. Last but not least the parasitocrats have prepared a foundation for the ultimate seizure of power at a global scale to be followed by the coup legalisation and establishment of “the new world order”.

Since the world finansokratia (finansocracy) has been most actively using the USA for the past 100 years as a substrate while preparing the final spurt to the global supremacy, the USA got the better of the two world wars and secured world leading positions both politically and economically. The brutal exploitation of the US population by the finansocrats is accompanied with a far more oppressive and ruthless exploitation of the other countries, first of all of the third-world economies. The parasitism and exploitation are at their highest at the international, global level.

According to the official statistics, the USA accounts for about 20% of the world GDP while consuming 40% of the world product. Meanwhile, the estimated real GDP of the USA does not exceed 15% of the world product. While spending next to nothing on printing of dollars, the USA exchanges full-value goods for actually worthless paper. If Russia, for example, keeps the national gold and foreign currency reserves in the US long-term securities at maximum 2 to 3% annual rate thereby transferring annually $175 billion into the country’s reserves, it means that the Russian investments in the American economy in the past years will amount to hundreds of billions US dollars. Since this money, which was initially received by Russia for raw materials, then are returned back to the USA , the net outcome of such transactions is nothing but pumping over of resources from Russia to the USA.

The monetary value of imports in the USA has been considerably higher than that of exports over past years resulting in an approximate annual trade deficit of $700 billion; the trade deficit accumulated over 25 years is approaching $10 trillion. Profitability of issuing/printing $100 banknotes is 165,566.7%. When a tonne of steel or oil is sold to the USA for $100 with the exporting countries using dollars received for respective goods for mutual settlements, everything they got from the USA is a couple of paper slips each worth around 5-6 cents in terms of self-cost. It is not possible to get from the USA real values equivalent to the sum of dollars circulating outside the USA as no such values are physically available inside the USA: it is estimated that each $100 bill is covered with tangible assets worth $2.75; besides, it is an American bank only that has a legal right to declare a dollar banknote counterfeit. Printed dollars impose no obligations on the USA FRS while the exchange value of the dollar reflects the readiness of other countries to deliver resources and goods for dollars.

The UN Human Development Report 1996 says, that today, the net worth of the 358 richest people is equal in dollar terms to the combined income of the poorest 45% of the world’s population.   It is this finansokratia (finansocracy) that sets the current rules of the global development. They operate through their agents in control of the critical government positions while the national governments act as “supply-line fuses” covering global oligarchs (globoligarchs).

The parasitic evil essence of the finansocracy (finansokratia) can be most convincingly demonstrated with the following calculation: “one penny invested at the birth of Jesus Christ at 4% interest would have bought in 1750 one ball of gold equal to the weight of the earth. In 1990, however, it would buy 8,190 balls of gold…”   That is why the fictitious financial capital has grown to loom large: turnovers of the foreign exchange and stock markets are hundreds of times higher than production and trade turnovers. However, the public productive force, which draws on natural and human resources, cannot support an exponential growth of production in theory or essence. In any case, the usury, which is virtually authorised to issue world money and create worldwide demand for their “merchandise” and which has all the potential to instigate financial crises, is an ideal foundation to enable a small group of people at some moment in history to misappropriate all basic assets and acquire the overall authority, i.e. plenitude of the power. After legalisation of the usury followed with usurpation by private individuals of the right to issue “the very world” money, the ultimate financial enslavement of the earthmen became just a question of time.

Figure 1 illustrates the income distribution in a modern finansocratic economy (on the left) and a hypothetical model which may evolve out of the present model should it persist freely on a global basis. The income size is marked on the vertical axis while the share of the population with respective income level is depicted horizontally. The current model is developed on the basis of the diagrams from the “Poverty, inequality and the distribution of income in the Group of 20” by Xavier Sala-i-Martin and Sanket Mohapatra, which provides ample graphic data on the distribution of the population for each the G20 economies.

Fig. 1 Income distribution in a modern parasitofinansocratic economy as illustrated by a “developed country” (on the left) and a hypothetical model of per-capita income distribution on a global basis (on the right). (The figure scales are different).

Similar income distribution “bulbs” can be produced to match conditions in each country the only difference being that the “bulb body” (including the bottom section, “the equator” (in particular), and the narrowing of the shoot) will be positioned much lower for Russia, China, leave alone India, than for the western countries or economies.

Fig. 2 Income distribution models for different groups of economies (developed, “in transition”, “developing”).

The income distribution “bubbles” for Japan (as a typically developed country), Russia, China,   and India are schematically represented in Fig. 2 to visually facilitate comparison. The income distribution model is a bulb shaped with the shoot billion times taller/higher than the bulb body (at least for the USA and “the global bulb” model). The upper sections of “the shoot” (see fig.1, on the right) are occupied by “almighty” owners of the FRS, the USA and of the major part of the world; big bankers and industrialists sit a couple of steps lower; comes the main (as the most massive) part of the establishment, i.e. all those who are actively interested in the support of this finansocratic system; the systems small fry (rank-and-file political scientists, analysts, etc.) feel comfortable at the base of the bulb’s shoot. All the above mentioned form a solid, unshakeable hierarchical structure and, at the same time, they are one mechanism of the interest-money-issuing power. The occupants of the bulb’s shoot not only receive huge incomings: they parasitize on the rest of the population, in fact, they hold it in bondage.

Of the world’s 6 billion people, almost half live on less than $2 a day. Globally, the 20% of the world’s people in the highest-income countries account for 86% of total private consumption expenditures. Developing countries return $13 per each $1 received in subsidies. One hundred billion dollars a year would be required to provide the entire planet’s population with education and healthcare, to eliminate famine and appalling misery. Annual sums required to cope with plagues of today: $5 billion to eliminate famine; $9 billion to provide the entire planet’s population with good quality drinking water; $13 billion to ensure primary healthcare services and adequate food supply for everybody. An estimated breakdown of annual destructive expenses is rather impressive: $400 billion for drugs, $780 billion for weapons, and $1.5 trillion for daily stock exchange speculations. The rapid growth of the financial debt of the “third world” countries resulted in $1 trillion accumulated by early “90s. The debt interest annually paid by the developing countries is three times higher than the assistance received. All this occurs against the background of the growing intensity of enslavement of and parasitizing on the non-developed countries.

The evolution of the finance-centred (finacocentric) economy has been developing both by means of expanded application of traditional instruments of usurers and moneychangers as the world finances were getting concentrated in the hands of the few favoured along with a large-scale internalisation of financial and economic processes, and by way of improvement of conventional instruments, appearance of new ones and combination of those. The process also involved the establishing of special financial and economic institutions and engagement of essentially new non-financial instruments and institutions: pressure through preliminarily acquired media, through national and international political institutions.

A summary of the analysis of the world prevailing economic system allows the following conclusions: this system rests on the foundation which is composed of the four main sources and components:

” usury together with privately-controlled issue of the world money
” competition;
” certain postulates of Calvinistic Protestantism and Judaism;
” Newton-Carthusian scientific paradigm.

The above sources are listed in an ascending order, from particulars to generals, wherein the second two form a vision basis while the first two components are practical action mechanisms.

While competition is a general principle of relations in this society, the usury is a particular though most efficient instrument of success in that competitive struggle.

Much has been said about the usury. What about competition? What is bad about it? The opposition of an individual (i.e. oneself) to others and the entire surrounding world in general is an anti-Christian and anti-divine vision foundation of the world dominating western civilization. However, a most universal simulator for the competition struggle training is the income distribution “bulb” in fig. 1: each level has a limited number of accommodations (ecological niches); the higher up the more rapidly this number decreases.

The humanistic logic requires that correct fundamental principles be embedded in the foundation. The four source and four component parts of the humanistic economy society are:

” new scientific paradigm that would unite science and spirituality;
” purposeful evolution of the society, harmonious development of the personality;
” interest-free money;
” cooperation and competitiveness.

The new paradigm resolves contradictions in the dual pairs: spirit vs. matter, science vs. religion, physical (corporeal) values vs. spiritual ones. This paradigm describes the structure of the universe on an essentially new level, including explanation of the materiality of thought, emotions, soul. The authors of the communist and socialist theory did not have a conceptual basis of this kind.

A purposeful evolution of the society oriented towards harmonious development of personality and society is the result of application of the new scientific paradigm to the solution of the ultimate objective for sustainable progressive development of the society on the basis of the principally new knowledge of the universe organisation. In a way, the socialist society was also developing purposefully. However, in view of knowledge and approaches limited by the Newton-Carthusian scientific paradigm, the goals and objectives could not be identified accurately; the methods of achieving those were not always correct. One cannot leave aside the objectives associated with the external threat. The defence needs, respective industries, etc. Combined to cause a forced “skewness of economy”.

In the current economic view, need creates demand. The problem is not that needs create demand. The real problem is that needs are not value driven but economy driven.

This means that values do not play a part in the so called science of economics. Where there is a demand there is supply and perverse desires and voyeuristic needs are therefore easily satisfied in an economic market. This so called vicious “economy” is a symptom of how the ego has broken free from control of the basic principals relating to the common ground of consciousness, spirituality and universal intelligence as the fundamental basis of personality. Because of the supremacy of the ego we have a fragmented accessory and auxiliary world where the natural growth of the natural market (liberal economy) is inextricably entwined with occupation of all possible vicious market niches, and thus, with an accelerated development of the “vicious economy”. This is because of two factors.

Firstly the degradation of the personality and the enhancement of the ego is much more easily obtainable and seemingly enjoyable than the full development of the true self or true personality which above all requires spirituality, tenacity of purpose, strong will, inner strength, dedication, continuous effort and self improvement.

Secondly the development of egoistic drives for satisfaction and aggrandisement is vast in comparison to the narrow sector of balanced development and harmony within the self and with the environment. An analogy is it is rare to hear a virtuoso performance of Mozart compared with the many poor or bad performances.

This means that the more we satisfy basic human needs and drives the greater is the role whereby artificial and unnatural needs of humans are stimulated. These artificial or unnatural needs which are stimulated are not limited to drugs and alcohol and pornography, but also include an industry of racial discrimination, sexploitation, seamy-side movies, as well as such seemingly harmless market economic segments of the market pertaining to the sports industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the legal market, the medical system and the casino or stock markets.

In fact, the accelerated growth of this form of vicious economy is intrinsically tied to the development of a technocratic, materialistic civilization which seeks for the achievement of the highest possible level of the satisfaction needs of the majority.

Economy is meant to be subordinate to the people and properly governed to secure its subordinate role as service to the people. Nowadays public governance is neglected in favor of so called market self-regulation.
What this means is that the economy is share-held by transnational corporations, a number of the worlds largest banks and especially the Federal Reserve System of the USA.

This is neither federal nor reserve and owns almost all the US assets. The US Federal Government annually pays to the financial authorities over 400 billion USD as percentages for debts and only 2% of US citizens are 100% owners of their dwellings and cars.

One can assume that private owners of the US Federal Reserve are hundreds to thousands times richer than ordinary inhabitants of the Forbes pages which rank the richest people in the world.

In fact it is a reasonable hypothesis that this Forbes list was designed to hide those individuals who are in fact the richest ones, even though showcased billionaires are abnormally rich.

The basic function of economy should be to better serve to the good of the whole society on the one hand, and to produce necessary conditions for discovery and development of people’s talents, creative abilities, spiritual and psychic potencies, in order to broaden people’ consciousness. It is clear existing economic signs leaves all these tasks and issues outside the actual economy.


Economy structures should be modified and designed to meet the needs of people in society. It is the government that should be responsible for this structural policy implementation which needs to be designed and substantiated by new research institutions. The current economy is deteriorating generally as shown by a possible global recession, global food shortages and peak oil in which there is an increasing sector to the global economic market of destructive and criminal tendencies.

It is essential that there be governance and regulation of the economy related to genuine public needs with the development of beneficial aspects and the abolition of harmful sections.

For example, long term strategies should be put in place relating to national and regional requirements aimed at enhancing the satisfaction of people’s genuine needs and creating beneficial economic structures. Strategic planning should among other issues be aimed at increasing of economy sustainability, environmental safety, transition to the use of renewable natural resources instead of non-renewable, reduction and finally elimination of non-renewable resources use, improvement of geographical distribution of the economy.
There also needs to be a new science of economy devoted to the understanding of population distribution, conversion of large urban conglomerations into more decentralized eco-settlements and substitution of exploitative industries into more eco and human friendly production and services.

Specific sectoral policies

Promotion of the useful/positive economy sectors and sound consumption:
clean energy, ecologically sound agriculture and food production, environmentally sound town-planning and harmonic architecture, ecologically clean construction and building material production; advanced public and environmentally sound personal transport, qualitative water supply; science, education especially based on new intellectual paradigm, including education aimed on preventative health, self care, ecological education and spiritual development, positive arts, medicine placing emphasis on organic foods, sustainable agricultural practices and cellular and herbal medicines; tourism, especially environmental, scientific and educational tourism; small business in all above and other positive sectors.

Limitation of negative aspects of economy

This includes military industry, cigarette and alcohol production. If these sectors are in private ownership it is impossible to limit the production of hazardous goods compared with the ownership being the hands of the state.

Criminal or vicious sectors

The criminal or vicious sectors such as narcotics/drugs, slave-trading, internal organs trade, pornography production, prostitution of course can not be in the state property. Possible remedies are as follows:

-Education based on the new paradigm, raising spirituality;
-Creation (via direct founding and through different types of incentives) of attractive jobs, businesses, fields of activities in all regions;
-Criminal prosecution for those who was not affected by the above measures; however convicted people and prisoners should be re-educated again based on the new paradigm and humanistic concepts in terms of changing consciousness and trained from the professional point of view to be able to work in new sectors of the economy.

Geographical and Ecological Economy

This requires the optimization and improvement of the geographical and spatial distribution of people, settlements and means of production: primary and secondary industries, energy/power generation and transmission, agriculture, transport, communication; services, science, education entities. Optimization involves taking into consideration such criteria as climate, transportation efficiency, availability of and distances to raw materials sources and suppliers, access to goods consumers and the carrying and assimilative capacity of the environment. There needs to take place the development of new regions and places for the conversion of large urban dwellings into more decentralized eco-settlements. The development of eco-settlements should be directly financed from the states or federal, regional and local budgets or stimulated by 0 % loans, subsidies etc. Overcrowded cities create toxic conditions of environment, psychological climate, extreme deficiency of personal space, polluted energy from electromagnetic fields and pollutants in the atmosphere. They negate the possibility of enabling an individual to have solitude and the opportunity to be in contact with the pure energies of Nature.


Any country has the right to create economic conditions based on their local requirements rather than be subject to economic efficiency criteria created by world and international markets. People have the right to live. To secure this right people should be given a possibility to work and get salary at a level exceeding the respective costs of living. Doles, in fact, should be a rare commodity even if there are sufficient reserves. This is because it is not sufficient to give a dole allowance to people purely to maintain their survival. Instead money should be available to give people possibilities for their personal growth and development through interesting work, study, trainings etc. This opportunity is the basis for true human rights which is more significant than the need to balance a country’s economy.

Household economy

Household economy should be valued as equal in labour and usefulness to society as the dominating/money economy. “The ability of people to create political will to enable their governments to act against globalised economic pressure is found in them being able to create greater self reliance and a sustainable lively hood in their local communities”. (Hilkka Pietila, M. Sc, Basic elements of human Economy)

It is more appropriate to consider household economy in a broader context of “domesticized” life style when people will be able to work for the “external” monetary economy much shorter than now: 6 hours a day, then 5, finally 4.
If people’s office work is home based due to advanced communication technology then they will be able to spend less time at their offices and have more time for other activities including interests, continual education, enhancing the household economy as well as cooking and also would include garden cultivation, growing vegetables and fruits, landscape works and repairs. Thus the simple domestic activities would be enhanced to the sustainability of the community in an eco sustainable and social way.

Transport Policy

In the scenario of a humanistic economy, will gradually force out personal cars which now are a celebration egoism, inefficiency and environmental unfriendliness. Personal transport within eco-settlements boundaries will be fuel free and enabled by the use of bicycles and similar kinds of transport. In these situations, people will be able to walk and exercise more for the benefit of their health. Public transport will also be available.

In a humanistic economy there is direct dependence and connection between personal income and the public benefit in the sense that the personal economy is related to the overall good of society. No possibilities for inverse negative relationship between individual benefit and good for the society exist. Initially this principle can be introduced and secured by legislation. Later it will become a cultural norm that each person will be able to self monitor themselves that they do not have earnings that exceed the benefits for society.

Actual situation

There are many types of parasitism, exploitation and unequal wealth distribution and re-distribution associated mostly with the interest rate based banking system, private appropriation of natural resources, rentals and the monopolies created by transnational corporations.

While in some situations there is a direct correlation between personal income and products and in a lot of situations there are severe failures where profits are made a the expense of harm to people in terms of poverty and illness. The overwhelming majority of people get far less than their contribution to the GDP.

One of the world leading experts Dr. Margrit Kennedy explains in clear detail about the parasitism and exploitation caused by “interest money”. She emphasize that we pay interest money only when we borrow money (though overwhelming majority of people in USA and other western countries used to borrow money to buy dwelling and cars). I placed below a couple of quotations from her work “Why Do We Need Monetary Innovation?”:

“Every price we pay includes a certain amount of interest. The exact proportion varies according to the labor versus the capital costs of the goods and services we buy. This ranges from a 12 % interest component for garbage collection, (because here the share of capital costs is relatively low and the share of physical labor is particularly high) to 38% for drinking water and up to 77% in the rent for public housing (over 100 years, which is the time houses in Germany mostly last). On the average we pay about 40% interest in all the prices of our goods and services. In medieval times people paid ‘the tenth’ of their income or produce to the feudal landlord. In this respect they were better off than we are nowadays, where almost one half of each dollar goes to the people who own capital.”

“There are indeed huge differences as to who profits and who pays in this system. Comparing the interest payments and income from interest in ten equal parts of 2.5 million households in Germany, this figure shows that 80% of the population pay almost twice as much as they receive, 10% receive slightly more than they pay, and the remaining 10% receive more than twice as much interest as they pay, that is the share the first 80% lose. This illustrates one of the least understood reasons why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. In Germany, in the year 2004, this amounted to a transfer of about 1 billion Ђ every day from those who work for their money to those can make their ‘money work for them’. But have you ever seen money work? In other words, in our monetary system we allow the operation of a hidden redistribution mechanism which continually transfers money from the large majority to a small minority, creating a social polarization which no democracy can tolerate.”

Practical Consequences/corollaries

a. The financial system should serve the wellbeing of society.
Interest money should be substituted by interest-free money. Interest rate credits should be liquidated, and since private banks would hardly agree to issue interest free loans it likely that traditional private banks will be replaced by the state or co-operative or private interest-free banks. National currency should not be issued by private financial entities. Minimal participation of private interests in central banks issuing money should excluded. Credits should become instruments of public governance applied for structural purposes, geographical distribution, development of priority economic directions. Insurance companies should be recreated so that they have no purpose in profit maximization.

b. Rental income from natural resource exploitation should not be appropriated by private businesses. There should be public ownership for subsurface resources and land (except for land which sustains residential houses and small business) and water (except for isolated water bodies attached to the land plots). There should be withdrawal of rental incomes by state, federal, regional and local public authorities. Instead this money should go towards enhancing wellbeing of the common good.

c. Transparency of corporate and personal incomes
It is important that we have openness as regards to corporate and incomes so that the public is not deceived as with respect to improper sequestration of funds and income.

Motivation to work

The true motivation for work:
” to produce something of value for the society;
” to improve one’s environment, society and make people happier;
” to manifest, to apply one’s creativity, ability and skills, to reach perfection in one’s skills and arts;
” to earn as much as the equivalent of person’s work goods (services) costs (salary share in the total cost/price of a product/service).

Of course, even now there are people that fully or partially follow the above principles. The overwhelming majority of people, at least in the developed countries, think about gaining as much money as possible irrespective of any other aspects/considerations. There are many people in society who through their activities selfishly acquire enormous amounts of money for themselves at the expense of harm to the society, economy, people and environment. It is important to compare consequences of a materialistic, consumer oriented society to a more spiritual, humanistic economy which is a humanistic economy.

Humanistic economy is not an ideal economy (at least in the beginning) but it is an economy based on strong sound principles. As the existing destructive economy is leading to spiritual, cultural, moral, environmental and other degradation while the new constructive (and not necessarily ideal) economy may serve to create positive development and evolution for humankind.
The picture of the humanistic economy I have drawn up in many respects looks utopian. However, my task is to describe the economy which meets principles of a humanistic and fair economy. Any compromise or deviation would be unfair. Of course, I do not appeal to the violent transition to the humanistic economy but I appeal to our ability to look at a hopeless future created by the current economic reality. The simple factor is that transition to a better economic mode and humanistic economy exists and depends on our own will and understanding of knowledge about the real situation we face with its extreme distortion and disharmony.

I’d like to complete by quotation from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” To become free we need first realize how enslaved we are, why and what we can do to slip the collar. I am sure that total and even fragmentary slavery is incompatible with Humanistic economy.

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The Washington – Wall Street Mutual Backscratching Society

December 18, 2013
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Jim Hightower
Published: Wednesday 18 December 2013
Yes, Timmy Geithner, the guy who was responsible for rescuing and regulating Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail, multibillion-dollar, financial casinos is now president of one.

Timmy Geithner has landed.

The Secretary of the Treasury in President Obama’s first term resigned early this year, and we lost track of him for months. But in November, Geithner reappeared, having spun himself through Washington’s revolving door — whoosh, whoosh, whoosh — and flung himself all the way up to Wall Street, landing softly in the cushy quarters of Warburg Pincus, one of America’s top 10 private-equity empires. Yes, the guy who was responsible for rescuing and regulating Wall Street’s too-big-to-fail, multibillion-dollar, financial casinos is now president of one.

Writing in The New Yorker magazine, Andrew Huszar says we need not be surprised that the former treasury chief is cashing in on his insider knowledge and contacts. Huszar worked at the New York Federal Reserve bank a decade ago and saw Geithner in action when the up-and-coming bank whiz became president of that powerful overseer of Wall Street firms. He says that, rather than promoting knowledgeable regulators from within the Fed, Geithner broke with tradition (and prudence) to put top bankers from JPMorgan Chase, American Express, Goldman Sachs and other powerhouse firms in key regulatory positions. In other words, the new honcho built his own revolving door in the New York Fed, wooshing bankers in to regulate themselves.

Thus, when Obama promoted Geithner to head the Treasury Department, Huszar was again unsurprised that our nation’s top financial official quickly proved to be the bankers’ comforter and protector. “Geithner never publicly advocated for the truly forceful and clean revamp of Wall Street,” writes Huszar, instead using his influence to convince “Obama and other lawmakers to be more accommodating to the big banks.” 


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Whether spinning from the inside out, or from the outside in, Geithner is proof that the Washington-Wall Street revolving door serves bankers, not the public interests. 

We need to weld that door shut, seal it off with concrete, wrap it with razor wire and put motion detectors on it.

In contrast to Geithner’s Jell-O spine, one financial regulator showed some real backbone during Obama’s first term, proposing rules to prevent a repeat of the Wall Street crash and bailout syndrome. He is Gary Gensler, head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and he dared to push the Treasury Secretary and other major bank supervisors to join him in seriously limiting Wall Street’s cavalier proliferation of complex “derivatives.” As the ProPublica news service noted, these convoluted schemes are “poorly disclosed, poorly understood and could lay waste to the economy.”

So, good for Gensler, right? Yes! But of all the agency heads who are involved in writing new banking rules, guess which one was not invited this year by President Obama to stay on the job. Yes, the tough one, the one actually trying to protect the people, the one not afraid to offend Wall Street greedheads: Gary Gensler.

He’s being replaced by Timothy Massad, who appears to be more of an industry lapdog than a watchdog. Massad, a career insider, has been a corporate lawyer for banks, a lickspittle lieutenant for Timmy Geithner during his Treasury Department stint, and a chief blocker of tough provisions to stop big banks from unfairly squeezing hard-hit homeowners.

Apparently, Gensler wanted to keep doing his work at this once-obscure agency, which he had brought out of the shadows into the daylight. He hoped to stay on guard against financial connivers trying to twist the new rules to legalize more banker robbery. But Wall Streeters certainly didn’t want him there, and Obama bowed to them, displacing the one guy, the one regulatory chief, who had the guts and gumption to stand up to coddled financiers and wealthy speculators.

Not only is Gensler gone, but Wall Street now gets a regulator who’s being entrusted to return the agency to obscurity. What we have here is another product of the Washington-Wall Street Mutual Backscratching Society. What a disgraceful performance by all parties.

Author pic
National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.

Comment: Money buys power, which returns money.

Lapdog Media Beats War Drums Again

September 1, 2013

Remember how the media sold us their wars? (photo: Luke Frazza/AP)
Remember how the media sold us their wars? (photo: Luke Frazza/AP)

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By Patrick L. Smith, Salon

31 August 13


s of this writing, early Thursday morning, some Syrians are scheduled to pay with their lives for America’s “credibility.” The bombarding of an already war-ravaged country is acknowledged as “symbolic,” intended simply to “send a message.” This is an obscenity as great as the one Washington purports to answer. Another Middle Eastern society will come further unstitched, and those doing the unstitching will have nothing on offer to replace it.

The U.S. long ago squandered what credibility it may once have enjoyed or desired in the Mideast. If credibility were the cause, Washington need do no more than start dismantling the Potemkin village it has made of the principles it tediously mouths.But this thought goes nowhere these days.

And so the U.S. stalks into another war in the Middle East. Unlike the Iraq and Afghanistan wars-American works of art, both-the conflict in Syria is somebody else’s canvas. But apart from this, the similarities among these three instances of Washington’s wanton hostility toward uncompliant regimes are astonishingly similar.

Make that tragically similar. History proceeds, we Americans insist on the virtue of ignorance, on learning nothing and knowing nothing. And what we are about to get is what we get, predictably and always. We are a singular people, no question. Maybe even exceptional.

As of these hours, the Obama administration is on the record as rejecting any deliberations the U.N. may judge just. On Wednesday evening, British Prime Minister David Cameron gave in to Labour Party objections to his support for Washington’s invasion plans. Britain now wants to see a U.N. report on the alleged chemical attacks from weapons instructors, and to give the Security Council process more time.

But listen closely to President Obama speaking Wednesday on PBS’ “Newshour” and it is clear the U.S. could go it alone against the Syrian regime if need be. “We’re prepared to work with anybody – the Russians and others – to try to bring the parties together to resolve the conflict,” Obama said. “But we want the Assad regime to understand that by using chemical weapons on a large scale against your own people … you’re also creating a situation where U.S. national interests are affected, and that needs to stop.”

So not even the fig leaves of international assent matter now.

Events since the apparent attacks with chemical substances in four residential districts of Damascus last week bear all the marks of a disgraceful bum’s rush. Given that the cruise missiles the Obama administration is about to send into Syria will bear the chalk signatures of every American, like a World War II bomb, we are the chumps of the piece (once again, that is). This is a shared responsibility. It makes us complicit.

The fabrications and duplicity put before us as Washington prepares to “respond” to the latest savagery in Syria are so strangely formed that it is hard to follow the bouncing ball. The Obama people have changed their story diametrically before our eyes, casting aside all consistency, self-evidently making it up as they go along. And it is the same story recited countless times before. Maybe it is the only story Americans can articulate or grasp-a disturbing thought, but one begging consideration at this point.

Stories require media, of course, and there they are, on the case in the Syrian crisis and delivering the goods with irresponsible single-source stories dressed up as responsible multiple-source stories. When was it that journalists began thinking of themselves as national security operatives? It is getting unbearable, this errand-boy act in the face of power. If journalists did their jobs properly we would get into fewer messes such as Syria and would be more nationally secure. As it is now, the press is a defective piece in the democratic mechanism.

Instantly after news of chemical weapons and fatalities arrived last week, Washington and its allies began clamoring for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to allow a team of U.N. inspectors to examine the sites in question. It absolutely had to be. Nothing else would do. We read this.

Within 48 hours, the Obama people asserted that any such scrutiny was beside the point. When Assad gave assent to the U.N. team’s visit, which was not much delayed given the shelled zone is a battlefield, he was “too late to be credible.” All the evidence would have “degraded,” as we also read.

Too late? Degraded? The U.N. team is one of experts. They are in Syria to examine sites where chemicals were allegedly used months ago and would not be there if the question of degradation were authentic. This we did not read, with one exception. On Wednesday the New York Times’ science correspondent, William Broad, had the integrity and sense to cite non-government sources-Yikes!-to point out that chemical agents used in weaponry do not dissipate for a woefully long time. Skeptics can ask the Vietnamese.

The Broad piece got the bottom of page eight. As I.F. Stone once said of the Washington Post, the paper is always a kick because you never know where you will find a front-page story.

By early this week, if you can take this in, U.S. officials were privately urging the U.N. to abort the mission in Syria. Washington had plainly decided by this time that evidence was not quite the thing. We did not read this, either-not in an American publication.

We come to the Mack truck Obama’s people want to park unnoticed in the driveway. “Evidence” of chemical weapons use, even as Obama’s people dodged from any, quickly became “undeniable” (Secretary of State Kerry), a matter of “no doubt” (Vice President Biden), and many other forcefully stated things. This language we read in abundance-and with no decent, professional scrutiny on the part of those conveying it.

And did you notice? Evidence of use became evidence of the Assad regime’s use. This is the trump suit in the game. No mention by any U.S. official that responsibility may lie with the awful-as-Assad insurgents. And of course one could not read of this prospect in U.S. newspapers or hear it from U.S. broadcasters. An indefensible lapse in logic also goes unnoted. I honestly cannot figure how dumb we are supposed to be.

We are promised incontrovertible evidence of Assad’s guilt in the course of Thursday. Needless to anticipate. In wars of imagery and spectacle, variants of the above-described routine are frequently rehearsed. Think yellowcake, or Colin Powell at the United Nations, or Judith Miller’s “metal tubes” or “mobile weapons labs” in Iraq so eagerly reported by the New York Times.

I aired my suspicions that the insurgents might well be the culprits in this space last week. I stand by these thoughts times two.

Assad’s opponents do not possess supplies of sarin gas or other chemical agents, it is suggested.

Rubbish. Not so by a long way. And they have behaved as savagely as anyone in Assad’s army.

The rebels could not be capable of mounting an attack of the scale apparent in Damascus last week, we are also advised.

The defensible position is that of the Russians and responsible elements within Britain: They want a proper investigation and propose we all abide by it.

Carla del Ponte, the noted investigator of war crimes and a member of the U.N. inquiry on Syria, asserted in May that there was sound reason to examine whether the insurgents were responsible for an obscenity in Syria at that time involving sarin gas. The U.N. human rights investigator said that, “According to the testimonies we have gathered, the rebels have used chemical weapons, making use of sarin gas,” adding that her commission’s best understanding of the facts was that “sarin gas has been used … by opponents, by rebels, not by government authorities.”

She was tarred and feathered, as our media are versed at doing in the best American tradition.

But Obama appears determined to circumvent the U.N. regardless of what its investigators suggest. On Wednesday Britain advanced a resolution in the Security Council calling for intervention, but this was pro forma. The Security Council is composed as it is so that alternative worldviews are properly represented. Obama honors alternative worldviews as much as George W. Bush treasured them. So no U.N., not with a veto in the offing from Russia, a Security Council member. Better to go lawless again, and that is the word to bear in mind as the fireworks display unfolds in the coming days.

In the run-up, there is some piling on. We have once again the crummy “coalition of the willing” junk, familiar from the Iraq war: There are the batboy British, the flimsy resistance of Labourites notwithstanding, and the uncertain France of François Hollande, and Angela Merkel’s Germany (complicated motives there), and of course Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel, which is (on the record) eager to regionalize the Syria question so that Iran can be bombed. I have previously identified Bibi as the most dangerous man in the Middle East, and he earns the title once again.

The Arab League says no. The European Union says no. Even NATO equivocates as of this hour. Take it apart. Most of humanity is not on board for this adventure in theater.

I conclude with what I consider the caker, the preposterous-news- of-the-week prize, even if we cannot read about it in our country but online.

“The bulk of evidence proving the Assad regime’s deployment of chemical weapons-which would provide legal grounds essential to justify any western military action-has been provided by Israeli military intelligence.” That would be the reliable folk at Mossad. The quotation comes from the Guardian, which simply reported on a report in a German magazine called Focus.

My goodness. Send in the clowns. They’re already here.