“Until they become conscious they will never rebel. ...” George Orwell, "1984"
“In April 2011, the Chinese government prohibited on TV, films, and in novels all stories that contain alternate reality or time travel. This is a good sign for China; it means people still dream about alternatives, so we have to prohibited this dreaming. Here we don’t think of prohibition because the ruling history has even oppressed our capacity to dream. Look at the movies that we see all the time. It’s easy to imagine the end of the world — an asteroid destroying all of life, and so on — but we cannot imagine the end of capitalism.” Slavoj Žižek
“Hectored,treated, advised, instructed, and compelled at every turn, history's subjects may falter, lose heart, courage, or sense of direction. The larger society is then quick to blame, to translate survival systems of the weak into pathologies, and to indict as neurotic clear recognition of the human condition.
The safest defense against this is apathy, ignorance, or surrender. Adopt any of these strategies -- don't care, don't know or don't do -- and you will, in all likelihood, be considered normal. The only problem is that you will miss out on much of your life.”
Elizabeth Warren, "There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there—good for you! But I want to be clear.
You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that maurauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.
Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea—God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."
Carmen Hermosillo had been one of the earliest believers in the new communities of cyber space, her online name was humdog and she lived on the West Coast, but then she lost faith and she posted an attack that caused a sensation online -
It is fashionable to suggest, she wrote, that cyberspace is some island of the blessed where people are free to indulge and express their individuality. This is not true. I have seen many people spill out their emotions, their guts online, and I did so myself until I began to see that I had commodified myself.
Commodification means that you turn something into a product that has a money value. In the nineteenth century commodities were made in factories by workers who were mostly exploited… but I created my interior thoughts as commodities for the corporations that owned the board that I was posting to, like Compuserve or AOL and that commodity was then sold on to other consumer entities as entertainment
Cyberspace is a black hole. It absorbs energy and personality and then re-presents it as an emotional spectacle. It is done by businesses that commodify human interaction and emotion and we are getting lost in the spectacle…”
Santa Fe Institute brought quantum into economics in the 1980s. There has always been a real blocking of new economic thought in US universities controlled by private money. Rockefeller created UChicago precisely because they couldn’t control Harvard or Yale, and you know what kind of bogus economic thought came from there. Now, they all seem to be controlled by private Trustee Money. Blocking complexity economics from Santa Fe Institute is not the first time these webs of institutions managed to do it. They blocked, discredited and buried Henry George who was the most famous American economist in the 1800s and a peer of Marx with a very different solution to capitalism’s ravages. Both Marx and George challenged the absolute power of these property owners over everybody. You can read about this blocking stuff in Eric Beinhocker “The origins of wealth” and Kim Philips-Fein “Invisible Hands”. There is some real hell to pay from these universities who live off private money tax exempt for the public service, and the NFP organizations that accredit them, also tax-exempt for public service not Top 1% service!
Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs?
By Matt Taibbi on Rolling Stone magazine.
Matt Taibbi is the Dana White of journalism, brazenly bludgeoning Banksters with yet another brash flurry of blue collar vernacular, but could he be misconnecting the dots?
What if his notoriety opened some doors, into the class of privilege and information, where Mrs. Taibbi was hypothetically offered the opportunity to greatly, increase their wealth; in turn helping stimulate the U.S. economy. All she had to do was put up $15 million of her own money, and a private entity (the Fed) would have a country (the U.S.) leverage it to $250 million. Instead of just buying up $15M of cheap distressed real estate, or a mix of foreign and domestic stocks (waiting for the market to turn), she could help make the market turn by purchasing US Treasury bonds with an almost guaranteed leveraged return funded by the U.S. Treasury. -more on the math a bit later.
Does buying U.S. U.S. securities, from increased money supply, help devalue the dollar? Can it make U.S exports more competitive, and stimulate foreign (job creating) stateside investment ? Does this form of controlled dollar devaluation create controlled (non-hyper) domestic inflation? Does it export devastating, and destabilizing, inflation to poor nations, thus creating opportunities to advance U.S. hegemony? I would say yes to all of these questions....
Atypical investing of $15M, with a 10% speculative return, may or may not yield $1.5M the first year. The same $15M leveraged to $250M at 3% return, with NO 'downside' obligation to repay, is guaranteed to yield $8M each year, regardless of bond value, and doubling your $15M every 1.9 years! Even with some increased inflation the leveraged return is staggering. Downside risk is the Fed raising the rate too quickly, too soon (before making back your initial investment with a reasonable return on top), and turning your approx 3% profit into a loss. Not too much of a concern if, as the article states, you don't have to repay the principal, but still a huge concern if you are responsible for making the interest payments to the Fed on rising interest rates. Too many details are left out to have a complete picture, but the premise is fascinating.
Maybe a hedge fund manager will set up a fund so we can all help inflate this new bubble into ginormous global devastation.
"If we look only at behavior, it tells us that we have made money more important than we are, and given it more meaning than human life. Humans have done, and will do terrible things, in the name of money. They have killed for it, enslaved other people for it, and enslaved themselves to joyless lives in pursuit of it." The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist.
"Sovereignty is an [concept] originating in bygone times when society consisted of rulers and subjects, not citizens. It became the cornerstone of international relations with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648...Today, though not all nation-states are democratically accountable to their citizens, the principle of sovereignty stands in the way of outside intervention in the internal affairs of nation-states. But true sovereignty belongs to the people, who in turn delegate it to their governments. If governments abuse the authority entrusted to them and citizens have no opportunity to correct such abuses, outside interference is justified." George Soros, The Peoples' Sovereignty: How a new twist on an old idea can protect the world's most vulnerable populations, New York, Foreign Policy, January 1, 2004, accessed in http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2004/01/01/the_peoples_sovereignty.
The masses are unable to collectively rise up against tyranny without leaders who organize them under a common self interest. The Wisconsin union protesters of 2011 are a good example of this, because many these same protesters --who are rallied by already established union leaders-- likely supported their opponents ideals, until those ideals were turned onto them in the form of union busting. Their self-interests were threatened in more ways than just abolishing collective bargaining rights. The unorganized masses would likely have a much harder time coming together, even while enduring much worse hardships. In order for individuals to wake up from the slow erosion of freedoms they need to overcome confirmation bias, and challenge the power of human ego to rationalize whatever self-image one has --or is manipulated into having.
The Egypt uprising of 2011 was different in the sense that the people were galvanized by crippling poverty stemming from government corruption and were being organized using a nonviolent action movement long before the events that set off the revolt. The suffering and corruption tipping point probably did come from the U.S. central bank's quantitative easing measures which exported inflation of food and other commodities, while the Wikileaks cables of 2010 validated the suspected corruption.
Can we have this type of uprising in the United States? I doubt it because we still have a huge percentage of employed middle class who would not go along with it unless they sympathized with the suffering underclass. This middle class group would need to be pulled from their busy working lifestyles by organizers who could build common parallels of self-interest and create a peaceful protest movement that did not jeopardize or even seriously interrupt their busy middle class lifestyles.
"The west has fiscalised its basic power relationships through a web of contracts, loans, shareholdings, bank holdings and so on. In such an environment it is easy for speech to be "free" because a change in political will rarely leads to any change in these basic instruments. Western speech, as something that rarely has any effect on power, is, like badgers and birds, free. In states like China, there is pervasive censorship, because speech still has power and power is scared of it. We should always look at censorship as an economic signal that reveals the potential power of speech in that jurisdiction. The attacks against us by the US point to a great hope, speech powerful enough to break the fiscal blockade." Julian Assange Dec. 3rd 2010
Focusing on the economics of self-interest and the effect it has on organizations. People seem to hide behind the corporate wall of semi-secrecy in a company, and somehow rationalize that the wrongs they commit, encourage, or ignore are somehow not their responsibility. People need to put in perspective how their actions would affect a loved one. The bottom line is the long arm of the law needs to make examples of a lot of people committing wrongs by breaking laws, and regulations, through stiff fines, public exposure, and prison terms. People, of all levels, need to start having to think twice about committing crimes behind the corporate walls of their workplace. We need to stop blaming the faceless corporations and big businesses for our troubles and start focusing on the self-interested individuals orchestrating the malfeasance.
"Anti-democratic values are taking hold. We have become stakeholders instead of citizens, consumers instead of sovereign people, we are offered consultation rather than real participation. I don't accept this." Susan George
On Ethics and the Obligation to be Knowledgeable: Do I have to know something about an issue in order to advance an ethical argument? It is absolutely true that the 1st amendment to the U.S. Constitution promotes, and protects freedom of speech, but that may not mean that it is ethical for any person to try to influence others without some understanding of the issue. -David Lapakko Ph.D.