The River

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Chasing the money down the rabbit hole

Joe Bageant gets to the heart of the matter again -- follow the money. Not the media show, not the politicians.

In his latest essay, Bageant talks about what keeps coming up at my Tuesday night hangout, Manuel's Tavern: the true power never appears on television (TVs hang in corners of the room and above the bar).

"...the global decision makers, international planners, financial institutions, political parties, media conglomerates, corporations, banks, a hegemonic, accumulative bloc [are] working in concert to coordinate the extraction of wealth from first and third world alike" says Bageant.

He goes on to make it clear that financial global elites are the string pullers. Bageant writes, "A series of privately held international institutions to which and from which money can be moved to leverage nations and populations according to their needs is probably gonna do just that because they can."

It's ironic that Bageant's piece about the anti-human agenda of the power (read: money) behind the puppet politicians appears on the same page that Alexander Cockburn proudly offers his series of "exclusive" 9/11 conspiracy-debunking articles. His work on the subject, which I partially examined here, is nothing more than cheap shots and journalistic hubris. But if he wants to drain the meaning from the largest unsolved crime in U.S. history, that's his own lookout. At least he's publishing Bageant, who does get to the heart of matters we know to be true.

And for excellent, ego-free analysis of the catalyzing event of the "war on terror," I recommend the below video, "Smoke and Mirrors":

you have to get far into this video to reach what we think of as the catalyzing event of the war on terror (and, not coincidentally, "catalyzing event" is the same phrase used by PNAC in the 90s when the war was planned). There is a good reason for that -- peak oil is the catalyzing event, terrorism is merely the means of pulbic consumption and the hook for the move to the desired response to the coming global chaos -- authoritarian government, global police state.
Cool! You're back. And you said "catalyze!" Catalyze away. I try to catalyze a little myself, almost every day. (Will check out the Bageant stuff.)
sort of back, I suppose, although I probably won't be blogging during the holiday break, Dec. 21-Jan. 1.

I also used the word eminent! But,uhm, I also spelled it incorrectly. Fixed now, thanks for catalyzing my proofreading.

Joe Bageant is a national treasure. You must visit his site.
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Wingnuts especially, but elitists of any kind are overwhelmed with horror at the thought of being overrun by hordes of improvident untermenschen. Hence the gated communities, the cretinizing sectarian culture and schooling they produce -- keeping the faith makes "us" safer -- they unending demand for security legislation and the formation of paranoid community structures. They're scared to death (usually other people's) that they will lose all their stuff. That it will be stolen by the unworthy makes it even worse for them. That leaves them very vulnerable to snake oil salesmen, charming control freaks and supportive of violence by proxy.

Percived scarcity and fear of looming scarcity pushes all their buttons. There's no need at all to get hysterical over increased demand for increasingly difficult to extract resources. A little sobriety, redirecting the effort and money put into violence, and possibly a few deep depths (I'd also recommend unclenching) would take care of whatever real problems there are.

You can note with irony that the leadership of the scarcity freaks consists almost entirely of people who are unworthy by their very own standards until you're blue in the face. At some level, I'm sure they know that it would hard to find worse people than Dick "Dick" Cheney and the Chimperor, but they feel forced into their camp by people just as loathsome and even more destested: social darwinist corporate liberals, whose agenda is the same and whose fatuous offers of "better" management are particularly galling.

The reality that plays out in their daily lives, of different people with different views getting along pretty well and helping each other at need, is less real than media generated horrors they consume, or the sectarian circle jerks of Kos and Red State. I could have a kinder appreciation of the tragedy if it didn't promise to steamroll me and my affinity groups.
Deep "depths" are cool, but I meant deep breaths.

Oh, well.
just doing my thing, pointing to the good material, waking people up. Well, at least pointing. I'd try to say something decent about the "steamrolling" of artificial scarcity, but I'm feeling weirdly content right now.
I remeber about a decade ago going to a lecture at the uni here in vancouver where Hermann dally, author of The Common Good was speaking, about the fundamental need for full-cost accounting and a range of other socially, politically and environmentally progressive concepts / frameworks.

I listened closely .. at Q & A time, i decided to ask a question .. I am very nervous and self-conscious when I do so (it must be that regressive Canadian subservience gene). But I went ahead.

I asked Prof. Daly whether, in all of his hour-long presentation, he had perhaps forgotten to discuss the role of capital markets and the people behind them in driving and controlling essentially everything else that happens on the planet, including governmental policy on all the core issues. He looked at me and said, in front of about 400 people .. "Thank you for that correction .. I think that in essence you are correct"

Then I became very very nervous and embarrassed.
Jon, I've always imagined you as one of the coolest, most composed people on the planet. You, nervous and embarrassed?

But I guess the truth is embarrassing, since on a societal level, we live in denial. What was the analogy Scruggs just posted, it's like trying to fund drug treatment programs by making money as a crack dealer?
Bruce, do you know the song "In My secret Life" by Leonard Cohen ?

Ever since the first time I listened to it, I have always thought that the lines I will emphasize in bold in this snippet are some of the deepest and truest I have ever heard. The album that "In My Secret Life" is on is one of the best albums I have ever listened to (no accounting for taste, eh ?)

" ...
Looked through the paper.
Makes you want to cry.
Nobody cares if the people
Live or die.
And the dealer wants you thinking
That it’s either black or white.

Thank G-d it’s not that simple
In My Secret Life.

I bite my lip.
I buy what I’m told:
From the latest hit,
To the wisdom of old.
But I’m always alone.
And my heart is like ice.
And it’s crowded and cold
In My Secret Life."
I smile when I'm angry...

and I die for the truth...

in my secret blog

know it well. own the CD. the man cuts deep, no doubt.
Damn that Joe B. can think and write and cut to the core.
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