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Financial Villains

The terrible truth of Adam Smith to Ayn Rand to Paul Krugman

Been hating on the elites, man oh man Obama 65 million smackaroos (Penguin Random House) for more terrible lies, a ghostwriter book form (can any revolutionary accept this crap, mainstream book publisher throwing millions at the great Uncle Tom President, as Glen Ford and Margaret Kimberly valiantly state, or in the case of a vice presidential candidate, Ajamu Baraka)? Or each and every disabling American literary-thespian-dramaturge broadcast-performed-pantomimed? How many more, how many more shall we tolerate?

Each and every platform-hugging environmentalist spewing their Exxon-Coke-Ford Foundation-funded pap, as if capitalism and saving the planet go hand in hand? Or some form of George Will or Van Jones gesticulating on mainstream rotten TV, the vapidity of their punditry so well healed from the Mercedes-Viagra-JP Morgan Chase advertisements? All of them, red white and blue green, the Bezos-Gates-Dells-Allens-You-Name-the-Billionaire backer, fawning over their power and toys and fun little think tank conflagrations with fine wines called Freda Red and Caviar Drawn from Green Forests and Sustainable Waters? Easily, the most flagrant targets against humanity, against us, if one were to really launch some revolutionary upheaval, but alas, my hating gets me, oh, painted into an ever-narrowing corner.

There are mostly liberals saying live and let live, and those deplorables in the Trump Stars and Bars Loving hovels and split levels crying for a Timothy McVeigh race war – The Turner Diaries Redux? So, my back is not covered – not by the squishy leftists at my town’s old – 50 years – radio station, KBOO. Just recently listening to Chris Hedges go on and on about the terrible Black Block, kids wearing bandannas tossing rocks into Bank of America or Starbucks?

This is a cult of personality, and the worst sorts are squishy liberals falling all over themselves to listen to Amy Millionairess Goodman or to pay some bucks to listen to Hedges condemn the US of A for the death of the liberal class, as if this country was ever made on the goodwill and good karma of anyone, no matter how many bows and tutus the old pig is wearing.

Liberal lights, or those who think the bombing will stop with, what? What sort of deals have these people made with their publishers, the newspapers, media outlets? George Soros or Ford Foundation or those speaking fees from USA institutions of higher learning?

What sort of solutions and in the trenches work do these paper tigers have?

I do the goddamned work of social work and teaching, at criminal wages, and writing (free – hmm). I can’t even get hired on with a small school, or community college, because that world (those, if you want) are structured around compliance, core curriculum (propaganda) and a watering down of Everything, from the syllabus to the teaching style. Deanlets and presidents and HR departments and Institutional Management divisions (crafting more money sapping/making schemes around sports, PR, dorms, student housing/amenities, Bullshit self-referential mumbo-jumbo promulgating the school’s great history and benefactors and research funded, thank you very much, by the pestilence of Military-Media-Pharma-Finance-Real Estate-Prison-Propaganda complex) control the narrative, have zero tolerance for academic freedom or freelancing, and are some of the most mamsy-pamsy sorts one will find on planet earth lined up for their fair trade café and organic Kombucha.

On one hand, I now do case management around foster youth coming out of foster care and into independent living. The engines of bureaucracy in the state and counties and at the federal level sap the creativity, the broad changes, the true value in social work with youth who have been given more than just a few short shrifts.

Death by a thousand sacks, job losses, underpaid gigs, underserved quasi-imprisonment. Hitting that desiccated highway through death valleys, now that I’ve ramped up into 60 year age speed zone, and that’s 60 MPH, Moments Presaging Hell, the MPH of America. This may sound cliché, and I am not about to divulge a lot right now, since I am yet in ANOTHER new job, non-profit which is not a place for revolutionary thought, deep thinking and an unfettered help to the clients, bureaucracy be damned, but I have done many a thing that would have telegraphed a foreshortening of my life. I never thought I would make it to 20, and then, err, 25, 30, 36, 40 and so on, cliché, albeit. All kinds of people in my life and situations and moments of witnessing or being on the periphery of violence and other illegalities, well, those and my own risk taking – motorcycles into San Salvador, deep dives off of Belize and Cozumel, and many other interesting and troubling things tied to the other side of American plastic faux projected life. I know a hundred people who feel the same way – “How the hell did I get to age 50?”

We’re all frog-marched into the dungeons of the Capitalists, Romney types, Rand Pauls, the Anuses of Ayn-loving millionaires and other offal rising to the top of the sin barrel – Trump, Hunt, Walton, Bloomberg, hell, Christ, just read on, and if any of you have a slap of phlegm left to spit up this wealth Gilded Age shit in the bronchial, then choke it up, and wonder how is it these are the protected ones, the leaders, the reasons for the smear that is unfettered felonious and fatalistic capitalism:

#1 Bill Gates $86 B (61) Microsoft, United States
#2 Warren Buffett $75.6 B (86) Berkshire Hathaway, United States
#3 Jeff Bezos $72.8 B (53) Amazon.com, United States
#4 Amancio Ortega $71.3 B (81) Zara, Spain
#5 Mark Zuckerberg $56 B (33) Facebook, United States
#6 Carlos Slim Helu $54.5 B (77) telecom, Mexico
#7 Larry Ellison $52.2 B (72) software, United States
#8 Charles Koch $48.3 B (81) diversified, United States
#8 David Koch $48.3 B (77) diversified, United States
#10 Michael Bloomberg $47.5 B (75) Bloomberg LP, United States
#11 Bernard Arnault $41.5 B (68) LVMH, France
#12 Larry Page $40.7 B (44) Google, United States
#13 Sergey Brin $39.8 B (43) Google, United States
#14 Liliane Bettencourt $39.5 B (94) L’Oreal, France
#15 S. Robson Walton $34.1 B (72) Wal-Mart, United States
#16 Jim Walton $34 B (68) Wal-Mart, United States
#17 Alice Walton $33.8 B (67) Wal-Mart, United States
#18 Wang Jianlin $31.3 B (62) real estate, China
#19 Li Ka-shing $31.2 B (88) diversified, Hong Kong
#20 Sheldon Adelson $30.4 B (83) casinos, United States

Note the ages in parenthesis, and note that each and every one of these fellows (including two females) have done zilch for humanity. Zero. Mano y mano, anyone of these folk should have never been born, or if they hadn’t been, the world would be better for it. They produce nothing, but are the engineers of disease and consumption, both of the physical kind, and the intellectual kind too.

Add to the wealth the plagiarism of the human spirit-psyche-humanity. These people are living off of pain, disruptive economies, off portfolios heavily invested in the Big Pharma-Food-Ag-Chemical-Armament-Financial-Med-Media-Surveillance Complex. They sell lies and repackage themselves as benefactors to the world. Bezos to Koch to Walton to Wang Jianlin to Carlos Slim Helu and Warren Buffet. A who’s who of the criminal kind. Their evil touches all evil, all things in the tool chest of the scamming, producing debt, indebtedness, levies-fines-penalties-interest rates-late fees until all the profits are privatized and the price of them doing business is socialized.

Externalities, don’t you know. Every penny “earned” by the billionaire class, a thousand pennies like golden slurry from the tax coffers and back-breaking labor of us, the masses. Every dollar gained, a thousand dollars of the taxpayer spent on the toxic consequences – intended and unintended (rarely this, unintentional).

This is the pre-schizoid riffing with the pulpy bleating subsonic roar that is American popular culture, infecting everything, man, everything; from educational circles, to the mass delusional mainstream media, and even the so-deemed (self-appointed) liberal or alternative media; this riffing for some of us who get what Capitalism does to human relations, and what it evokes in the ugly nature of hierarchies and income gap anxiety, well, the stroke and strums of the deep bass may be music to the enlightened ones’ ears, but on a daily level, it is complexity at its worse.

You live and work and recreate and ruminate in this broken society, and eventually, no matter how much it becomes apparent the systems of disorder and rule of economic-penal law are sadistic and a web of evil spun by the elite and maximized by the few vaunted chosen one few, the heavy toll is witnessing the masses in one’s country becoming slowly but collectively lobotomized and self-regulating mentally retarding.

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Everywhere you turn, the blathering and unsophisticated and rather shallow perspectives and prognostications can eat at one’s soul like flesh-eating hospital-induced MRSA.

Listening to anyone today is like being stuck in some black hole of lucidity, one where the awareness is more potent than schizophrenia and hearing voices. Everywhere you turn, the blathering and unsophisticated and rather shallow perspectives and prognostications can eat at one’s soul like flesh-eating hospital-induced MRSA.

Everywhere, people are so ensconced into the grip of capitalism, flummoxed by the big money, enamored by that big American lie of exceptionalism and extreme entitlement, that when the old juke box of alternative news like Democracy Now (sic) or Truthout or the Intercept stokes up for some earth- shattering alternate perspective on Trump of Americanism or Capitalism, well, the epidermis of these “people” ruling over that sort of journalism is squeaky clean. In a sense, the poor, the downtrodden, exploited, incarcerated, uneducated, broken, homeless and criminal (sic) never every get their narratives on these so-called alternative media outlets. You are not going to see flimsy lefties having the people do the shows, come to the table – where are the criminally insane when you need sanity? Young and middle aged Jewish elites, or suburban WASPy offspring, they are calling the shots, no matter where the voice box is blaring. Story after story about “them” or that “other,” or “those people,” coming out of the mouths of white elites, supremacists in whatever form, all on the spectrum of liberalism!

It’s the same old story, the same old narratives emanating from these news organs, and the same-same of jerky jokes about Trump or the poor or his appointments, and the same-same stories of muted rebellion by people who are the farthest from anything that might even last a day in the trenches.

No guts, no nothing, in terms of interviewing or featuring anarchists, or real rebels. No intonements and calls to action for people to resist any which way possible.

Instead, a million man/woman/child/senior citizen/person of color march on Washington, follow the rules, give the cops the high five, and sputter on with talking points Saran-wrapped from the voice boxes of the Ivy League or East Coast brethren.

These are the days of refined liberal bunk, pacifism that is violence, structurally and politically, and an ocean full of propaganda-style-consensus dope. Whispers against the regime that is Trump which is Carter which is Nixon which is Barak and Burr and all the white trash from day one of the slave-hording presidencies.

Another anemic and somewhat flatulence-lifting John Oliver clip on Democracy Now? More of the same “sort of” old narratives from “sort of” the left media giving up more of the unsophisticated droll commentary and analysis of the stupidity of the nanosecond that is the defining truth of America, from its Indian fetus-splaying early days to this time of global climate murder and culture genocide.

Amazingly, sound bites are the coin of the realm, and Fox, Sinclair, and the other mega-media monopolies, as well as the US Military Complex and Big Energy-Big Ag-Big Pharma-Big Chemical-Big Surveillance Hyper Complex, Verizon-Comcast-AT&T sending out that odorous bile and manure, control only so much of the American cerebrum.

PayPal pig of diamonds, thinks monopolizing and monopolies are the way of great economies, according to an article in The Economist:

And the profits monopolies can bring allow bold long-term plans and ambitious research projects that ‘firms locked in competition can’t dream of.’ In a recent book, “Zero to One”, he argues that economists’ ‘obsession’ with competition—the poor saps believe it generates incentives for companies to serve customers better—is ‘a relic of history.’ Competition, he says, explains failure, not success; success comes from providing a unique solution, and thus naturally tends to the monopolistic.

We are part of that society of underlings, hundreds of millions, or several billion, worldwide, experiencing generalized anxiety disorder, and who could be immune to it? The rich? Hyper rich? The sociopathic? Trumplandians?

In the United States, research psychologists have shown that narcissism rates, as measured by a standard academic tool known as the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, rose rapidly from the later 1980s, which would appear to track the increases in inequality. The data all point to the fact that as larger differences in material circumstances create greater social distances, feelings of superiority and inferiority increase. In short, growing inequality makes us all more neurotic about “image management” and how we are seen by others. from, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s piece in the NY Times, Feb. 2014. Wilkinson and Pickett are co-founders of the Equality Trust, a British-based think tank, and authors of The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger.

We sort of knew this way before 2014, and note that these two writers are not “living the dream of poverty and indentured service”, i.e., coming from the streets or on the margins of society. Again, this is the reality of what the masses – us – have to put up with. How many damned writers out there – big hefty fee writers, or small hefty fee writers – are one paycheck away from being kicked to the curb, or into a hovel or alleyway? Not any of them!

I’m not saying I am destitute as a marginal writer, or as a social worker, doing a job a 28 year old should be doing, but if push comes to shove, I am out on my ass if I fuck up in this rotten debtors society. I am living in a house through the good graces of a friend, and that friend is full-throttle attempting to make it in this society, working for a for-profit company, putting down hours after work and on weekends. No matter how far one goes up the shit-storm economic ladder, most of us feel precarious, vulnerable, one thrombosis away from being stripped of everything. Rootless, out on the streets, sleeping in our van or car.

This is the fear of people who make okay money, because their jobs are as precarious as any migrant farmer worker’s, dependent upon the shit-storm Immigration and Customs Enforcement not throwing down the gauntlet, dependent upon the hail or torrents or the farmer family’s offspring.

We see this broken-up and broken-into society daily, and we feel it like the hard burn of re-flux, palpitations, at least most of us do, though there are some millions in Trumplandia who flip off stragglers in the fast lane, who jump up into their king cabs, duallys, big Ram Trucks, and honk and tailgate and huff and puff their supremacy shit through this flagging society. Laughing at the pain, and pulling their little levers that make the neoliberal and hyper-fascist Trump the love child of every POTUS that has graced the horror show that is Americus horribles.

No matter how hostile the environment in which we are working is, we must never cease to insist that development is about people and not about objects. That the aim of development must be neither producerism not consumerism, but the satisfaction of fundamental human needs, which are not only needs of humanity, but needs of being as well. We will never deny that subsistence is a fundamental human need which must be satisfied through adequate income, nutrition, housing and work for all. But we will also insist that protection, affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation, identity and freedom are extremely fundamental human needs as well.

All those of us – and let me repeat that we are many who work at the human scale for human solutions where human beings really are, form a group that is powerful because it lacks all greed for power. We are – like in ancient times of generalized crisis – the new “monasteries where the wealth of our cultural variety and diversity shall be preserved, until the hordes of uniformity, of power, of depletion and of greed collapse under the unsustainable weight of their own gigantic stupidity. –Manfred Max-Neef Chilean Economist, 1983 Right Livelihood Award Winner, author of books like, From the Outside Looking In: Experiences in Barefoot Economics (1992, Zed Books)

war criminals

Paul Haeder