Sunday, May 02, 2010

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. " - Albert Einstein

The 2010 Sunday Times Rich List, published today, reveals that the 1,000 richest people in the country increased their wealth by £77 billion last year, bringing their total wealth to £335.5 billion — equal to more than one-third of the national debt. The number of billionaires has risen from 43 to 53, with nine seeing their wealth rise by £1 billion or more during the past 12 months. Philip Beresford, compiler of the list, said: “The rich have come through the recession with flying colours. The stock market is up, the hedge funds are coining it. The rich are doing very nicely. “The rest of the country is going to have to face public spending cuts, but it has little effect on the rich because they don’t consume public services.” Sunday Times
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If I were a hard core Marxist-Leninist of the old school, one of those stone washed and sun dried, grizzled, lucid, implacable types, free from all my petit bourgeois sentiments, I would be licking my chops right now. Because boy, oh boy, do we have a lineup of "objective conditions" and baby, baby, baby, have we ever entered into contradiction!

Somebody should keep a close watch on Lenin's mummy in Red Square, Moscow these days, cause I expect him to be up and doing a "dancing baby" number at any moment.

This is classic stuff.

Again one feels the ghost of Karl and Friedrich breathing down our necks... they would see all this as inevitable. The inescapable creation of advanced capitalism. And, strangely enough, many reading that phrase would still smile in contempt and commiseration.

Since the end of the cold war, we seem to have come to believe that the law of gravity has been suspended, that Bismark created the modern pension system and found the money to pay for it, because the "Iron Chancellor"  was either:
  1. Just a tender, warmhearted, sentimental old Prussian Junker, or
  2. He was a closet pinko.
Since the end of the Cold War many appear to be under the impression that Roosevelt's New Deal and the European welfare state had their origins in a orgy of brotherly love. Or that Marxist-Leninism or Anarcho-Syndicalism were created in the Silicon Valley garage spirit of "if we build it they'll come".

Sorry folks there was no such, "Field of Dreams".

All of the above developed in answer to an objective reality of intolerable immiseration, which our system now seems bent on recreating without stopping for a moment in their imbecilic greed and ignorance to think that they might also be recreating an enemy that may devour them and all that supports them, just like its predecessor nearly did.

What made our system work rather well for a few decades was that the Blankfeins and Fulds, the Thatchers, Reagans and the Friedmans of our world were once afraid, as was Bismark, of a "spectre" that "haunted Europe" and now is being called from the dead by the necromancers of the IMF to haunt the entire world.

This is not to say that some of the more lucid of the good and the great have not caught the odor of a brewing revolt in the breeze.
The American people fear they are losing their place and authority in the daily, unwinding drama of American history. They feel increasingly alienated from their government. And alienation, again, is often followed by deep animosity, and animosity by the breaking up of things. Peggy Noonan - WSJ
But, it is not just the American people, it is people almost everywhere, this crisis is a world crisis and the villains of the story are just as clearly drawn as the villains in a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. The system has been caught with its fly open all over the world. People everywhere are enraged simultaneously.

The British quote at the top of this post could work as well in the USA and suitably translated, probably in any other advanced country in the world. A lot of people, everywhere are demanding solutions, fairness, justice.

The classic answer of the good and the great to this kind of worldwide trend toward reform or even drastic change that might cost them money is to stimulate nationalism, xenophobia and racism. Divide and conquer.

This is simple reason behind the flowering of the Limbaughs the Becks, the Palins, the birthers, the militias and the Tea Parties, all of them under the tender nurturing of Rupert Murdoch, to whom all of this sort of poisoning of public opinion is as second nature as hitting a golf ball or shagging a cocktail waitress is to Tiger Woods. 

Will Murdoch and his ilk succeed?

Perhaps not.

Up to you, really. DS

1 comment:

Ralph said...

Good piece & resonates with what I've been preaching since the fall of the commies. Sorry, Br. Dave -- it's "Rupert," "Rudolph" is and remains a reindeer (or in one joke, a commissar).