Monday, December 12, 2011

bankers are the dictators of the west

Independent | Writing from the very region that produces more clichés per square foot than any other "story" – the Middle East – I should perhaps pause before I say I have never read so much garbage, so much utter drivel, as I have about the world financial crisis.

But I will not hold my fire. It seems to me that the reporting of the collapse of capitalism has reached a new low which even the Middle East cannot surpass for sheer unadulterated obedience to the very institutions and Harvard "experts" who have helped to bring about the whole criminal disaster.

Let's kick off with the "Arab Spring" – in itself a grotesque verbal distortion of the great Arab/Muslim awakening which is shaking the Middle East – and the trashy parallels with the social protests in Western capitals. We've been deluged with reports of how the poor or the disadvantaged in the West have "taken a leaf" out of the "Arab spring" book, how demonstrators in America, Canada, Britain, Spain and Greece have been "inspired" by the huge demonstrations that brought down the regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and – up to a point – Libya. But this is nonsense.

The real comparison, needless to say, has been dodged by Western reporters, so keen to extol the anti-dictator rebellions of the Arabs, so anxious to ignore protests against "democratic" Western governments, so desperate to disparage these demonstrations, to suggest that they are merely picking up on the latest fad in the Arab world. The truth is somewhat different. What drove the Arabs in their tens of thousands and then their millions on to the streets of Middle East capitals was a demand for dignity and a refusal to accept that the local family-ruled dictators actually owned their countries. The Mubaraks and the Ben Alis and the Gaddafis and the kings and emirs of the Gulf (and Jordan) and the Assads all believed that they had property rights to their entire nations. Egypt belonged to Mubarak Inc, Tunisia to Ben Ali Inc (and the Traboulsi family), Libya to Gaddafi Inc. And so on. The Arab martyrs against dictatorship died to prove that their countries belonged to their own people.

And that is the true parallel in the West. The protest movements are indeed against Big Business – a perfectly justified cause – and against "governments". What they have really divined, however, albeit a bit late in the day, is that they have for decades bought into a fraudulent democracy: they dutifully vote for political parties – which then hand their democratic mandate and people's power to the banks and the derivative traders and the rating agencies, all three backed up by the slovenly and dishonest coterie of "experts" from America's top universities and "think tanks", who maintain the fiction that this is a crisis of globalisation rather than a massive financial con trick foisted on the voters.

The banks and the rating agencies have become the dictators of the West. Like the Mubaraks and Ben Alis, the banks believed – and still believe – they are owners of their countries. The elections which give them power have – through the gutlessness and collusion of governments – become as false as the polls to which the Arabs were forced to troop decade after decade to anoint their own national property owners. Goldman Sachs and the Royal Bank of Scotland became the Mubaraks and Ben Alis of the US and the UK, each gobbling up the people's wealth in bogus rewards and bonuses for their vicious bosses on a scale infinitely more rapacious than their greedy Arab dictator-brothers could imagine.

8 comments:

Uglyblackjohn said...

Dictators don't just leave because they are asked to leave.
Violence (or the threat of violence) seems to work though.

CNu said...

I had to stop in my neighborhood bank branch this past saturday, which branch has never experienced an armed robbery in its 15 plus years of existence. It gone from counter to ceiling with heavy ballistic glass and was more of a fortress than I've ever seen a bank to be outside someplace like NYC.

Big Don said...

Golly, CNu, that must be 64130 Syndrome.  

Our local branch bank, not in a good area, gets held up nominally once a year, usually the perp has simulated gun in jacket pocket, but not actually visible, so (I guess) it's only "ordinary" robbery, rather than "armed."  The two motels across the street have both been robbed, in one the desk clerk was killed.  But the bank still has the good-old-fashioned traditional appearance, just discreet cameras and (sometimes) a uniformed (but unarmed) minimum-wage-bozo-demeanor guard.  The one thing bank does (psychologists say it works) is if an entering "client" looks at all suspicious, one of the tellers will shout out "Good morning/afternoon" directly to the subject to get some conversational response.  That is supposed to un-nerve a robber.....

nanakwame said...

Police shot in the head and died, entering a attempted home robbery which as risen in the rich areas of NY Metro...
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/01/opinion/a-stephen-king-thriller-what-motivated-oswald.html?_r=2

This is as ridiculous as the
old canard that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. 

CNu said...

Ring the bell BD, that Depend is starting to overflow once again. This bank branch is in a commercial district called Brookside. Look it up and see if it has anything whatsoever to do with 64130.

Uglyblackjohn said...

Things must be getting pretty bad. I have yet to be robbed at any club but a group of cops  has taken it upon themselves to escort me to my car every night after closing time.

CNu said...

What perplexes me is the lack of "if it bleeds it leads" coverage in the local media, if there has in fact been an eruption of depression driven Bonnie and Clyde activity.

Big Don said...

Brookside and 64130 are only couple miles apart.  Stone's throw, man.  The culture bleeds.
It's like living next door to Fukushima...
(It's the two rectangles on attached image...)

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