Another great post by Charles Hugh Smith.
Concentrated Wealth and the Purchase of Political Power: Democracy’s Death Spiral http://bit.ly/aMAjtH
While the blurb below is the conclusion to the article I highly recommend the whole thing!
Runaway Feedback Loops, Wealth Concentration and Gaming-The-System – by Charles Hugh Smith
Runaway feedback loops do not end well. As they gather momentum, then the unpredictability of the system also rises quickly. Those claiming that it will all pan out just fine cannot know that; their confidence/faith is itself a higher-order deception/delusion.
We have a living example of what happens when these runaway feedback loops finally smack into reality: Greece.
When the banks say they are too big to fail, they are essentially blackmailing the world. Those who pretend to represent the law MUST call their bluff… But this could get messy very quickly.. If the banks live up to their bluff and simply pull the plug on the global banking system governments worldwide will have no choice but to impose Martial Law to keep essential goods flowing. Speaking of short memories, people do remember the confiscation of Gold in the 30s but how often to we hear about the conscription of WW2 and the resource rationing of staples such as bread, (not “food” but bread) and fuel? Rationing and outright command and control is the name of the game during periods of systemic breakdown which is exactly what World War 2 was. This is the “miracle” that ended the Depression. But during these tough times in the 40s people where a hell of a lot more self-reliant and so were capable of getting through somewhat on their own despite shortages. And then all the “stimulus” of WW2 which also led to massive debt-fueled spending on ramped-up technological development, everything from t.v., radio and velcro to aeronautics, computers, synthetics and so on, culminating with the Manhattan Project and Hiroshima/Nagasaki, was unleashed on the post-world order. Things were good for like 20 years and already by the 70s the cracks were showing as people started to feel the pressure to keep up with the Jones’. It seems that for all the progress in extending rights to those formerly unrecognized as people (you know, women, blacks, gays, etc.), the sexual revolution, Prozac, easily accessible porn for all…all these “freedoms” have been distracting the masses from the fact that they aren’t very free at all. Only money, a LOT of money, can buy that.
We owe our wizzbang technologcial futuristic existence to the 60 million + who gave up the ghost in the 2nd Great War. And finance and deficit spending is what drives the process. No matter the monetary system in place, historically financial innovation has been driven by the needs of warfare. But good, honest people just REFUSE to believe this because IT IS quite frightening. How can all that is good in the world be backed by Evil? Impossible.
But in many ways all of this is beyond our control for humans are but bit players in the great show which is Nature. For all we know this is all part of an evolutionary process that Earth, one of many billion planets in the Universe that harbors life, is going through in an attempt to seed the Universe… Humans getting into space is about as crazy as single cell organisms getting on land from the sea. There are so many intractable biological and psychological problems with humans leaving the sanctity of gravity and society that the only way to succeed in colonizing space would be to evolve into a machine-based organism that can adapt to different gravities and atmospheres and is not subject to the cruelty of our – on a Galactic level – ephemeral life span.
So perhaps the incredible rise of Google and the Internet and the ever greater concentration of financial and political power in the World’s Corporations is all part of Nature unfolding as she pleases. Of course Earthlings might decide they don’t want to colonize space and just farm and fuck and be happy until swallowed by the Sun in 4 billion years but I doubt that the A-type thrill seekers out there would be too happy with that. The richest people in the world are practically their own species when it comes to their perception of what is right and good in the World. And I strongly doubt that anyone on this site would be any different if through accidents of birth and circumstance they were part of this Elite group. I for one, am willing to admit it. In any case, it is their unenlightened self-interest that drives them, and thus the World. The rest of us are merely worker bees, the Earth’s red-shirts.
This does not prevent me from pondering the bigger questions.. Where is all this going? What is the point of Earth? The Universe is so much bigger than what we can possibly understand and yet we are of it and we do try do understand it. So whatever narrative is being played out between different iterations of civilizations made up of crazed naked apes will continue and I do believe we have the ability to shape it…but so far it seems that whatever entity gets to monopolize the human narrative long enough wins out for generations.. I mean, what the hell is the Catholic Church still doing with so much power and influence over people and how could Islam have such appeal to so many people, when Google is there to not only answer all our questions, but tell us what it is we should be doing?
Corporate greed trapped the miners. The public sector rescued them.
By William Black, Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is a white-collar criminologist and was a senior financial regulator. He is the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.
If you think this is strictly an American problem think again. The U.S.A. is so intractibly up to its eyeballs in fraud that it is a miracle a Constitional Crisis has yet to occur. But it’s coming. How could it not? Would any other Western nation tolerate such willful criminal activity in its banking sector? The corruption that is eating at the soul of America is only matched by what we are used to seeing in places like Russia and China. And even THEY might take offense. At least their corruption is principled.
The Republicans tried to impeach Clinton for lying about a blow job. And yet when ALL the major mortgage lenders endemically LIE to the courts with falsified affidavits it is labelled a “technicality”?
The extent to which the White House is bending over backwards to protect the financial industry at all cost, both ethical and financial and at the expense of the rule of law should make it clear to anyone just how sick the U.S. economy has become at the structural level. The Obama Administration is essentially telegraphing that is has no faith America’s ability to face the music and start the long road to recovery which would require a monumental cleansing of the political and economic system. America has a weakened immune system and the White House and Congress have become its Bubble Suit for fraud has become so widespread in the American system that to restore Justice and the rule of law might seriously risk killing the patient.
This will become a very, very serious crisis on a scale not experienced since the American Civil War. Recent reports indicate that the U.S. is edging towards negociating with the Taliban. The U.S. has no choice but to withdraw from the Afpak war and retrench for the existential crisis that is brewing in the Homeland.
After 9 years in Afganistan the USSR began withdrawing troops in May 1988. The Berlin Wall fell in 1989. The USSR was no more by 1991. America withdrawing from Afganistan -the Slayer of Empires – without having reached it’s objectives will be the beginning of the end of America’s short tenure as sole Global Super Power. How the ruling Elite deal with the bursting of Washington’s protective bubble – along with the reality that America will soon be home to a majority non-caucasian population – remains to be seen. But my guess is that they will not go gently into the night.
Where are the trillions that corporations are sitting on? Try off-shore to avoid paying taxes.
In fact Microsoft recently issued bonds to raise operating capital instead of repatriating some of the billions it has socked away outside the taxman’s reach.