Blog Archives

The Conflict within the Deep State Just Broke into Open Warfare

When do the unlimited powers of the Intelligence/Security agencies threaten America’s domestic and global national interests? The CIA and its political enablers claim the agency’s essentially unlimited powers, partially revealed by Wikileak’s Vault 7, pose no threat to America’s interests, since they are intended to “defend” American interests.

This is the rationale presented by neocon CIA allies in both political parties: the CIA can’t possibly threaten America’s interests because the CIA defines America’s interests.

This is the wormhole down which civil liberties and democracy have drained. It is an extraordinarily defining moment in American history when the director of the FBI publicly declares that there is no such thing as “absolute privacy” in the U.S.

In effect, privacy is now contingent on the level of interest the Security State has in the private conversation/data. If we read the U.S. Constitution, we do not find such contingencies: civil liberties are absolute. Post-1790 presidents have temporarily mooted civil liberties in time of war, and the CIA-led camp of the Deep State has justified its unlimited powers by effectively declared “a state of war is now permanent and enduring.”

So what’s left to defend if America has become the enemy of civil liberties and democracy, i.e. become a totalitarian state ruled by Security Services and their political henchmen and apologists?

(more…)

Tagged with: , , ,

Neofeudalism and Peasants with Pitchforks: Corporate Power Destroys Democracy

In the original version of feudalism, peasants armed with pitchforks knew where to go for redress or regime change: the feudal lord’s castle on the hill. Though you won’t find this in conventional narratives of the Middle Ages, peasant revolts were a common occurrence; serfs weren’t always delighted to toil for their noble masters.

In the present era of corporate dominance, where can serfs go to demand redress and financial freedom from the neofeudal system? Nowhere.The global corporations that own the land and the productive assets have no castle that can be stormed; they exist in an abstract financial world of stock shares, buybacks, bonds, lobbyists and political influence.

When the agribusiness corporation fouls the local water supply with animal waste, where do the local peasantry go to demand restoration of their water quality? The corporation? What if the headquarters are thousands of miles away?

What impact will 100 serfs gathered outside the modern-day castle have on water quality in a distant land? Zero, because the corporation has rendered it illegal (via lobbying the local political flunkies desperate for “jobs” and campaign contributions) to even take photos of their vast animal-waste output or their inadequate disposal.

Where do oppressed serfs go to advocate for transparency in America’s private Gulag prison system? If you go to the prison to protest, you’ll be arrested and will soon be looking at the world from inside the privately operated gulag.

Once again–where is the castle on the hill? It’s not there. The corporate operators of the private Gulag are far away, and security will disperse any troublesome serfs who travel hundreds of miles to air grievances.

Documenting abuses in the privately owned and operated Gulag is illegal.Corporate lobbying and campaign contributions have ensured that any attempt to document neofeudal exploitation by corporations is illegal.

And of course if documentation is impossible to obtain, then the exploitation doesn’t exist. The mainstream media’s default setting is to dismiss first-hand accounts as “he said, she said”: the imprisoned serf says this, and the private prison spokesperson says that, and without any proof that can stand up in court, the grievance vanishes into thin air.

Try telling the African peasant who is unhappy with the Chinese owners of the land he tills to take his grievances to the owners of the land–a corporation in distant China that is owned by the Chinese army.

The reality is there is no avenue left for advocacy, grievances or redress in a system dominated by global corporations. The castle on the hill doesn’t exist; it is diffused all over the planet, and well protected by state minions controlled by neofeudal corporate interests.

Do you really think it’s mere coincidence that small business growth has imploded in the era of corporate dominance? As I explained yesterday in Governments Change, the Corporatocracy Endures, central banks dropping interest rates to near-zero for financiers and corporations sealed corporate dominance of finance and governance. There are few opportunities for small businesses when the financial and political structures serve neofeudal corporate interests.

Corporate power destroys democracy. That is the heart of neofeudalism.

A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All is now available as an Audible audio book.

My new book is #14 on Kindle short reads -> politics and social science: Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform ($3.95 Kindle ebook, $8.95 print edition) For more, please visit the book’s website.

Tagged with: , , , ,

Understanding Brexit: The Powerless Press Their Thumb in the Eye of the Power Elite

The premier strategy for retaining power is to give the powerless a carefully managed illusion of decision-making and autonomy. Having a say over one’s life and choices is called agency, and it is the illusion of agency that makes democracy such a powerful tool of control.

The second most effective means of maintaining power is to limit the choices offered the powerless. Offering the powerless false choices, i.e. the choice between two functionally equivalent options, provides the comforting illusion of agency while insuring that the status quo Power Elites remains in charge, regardless of the choice made by the powerless.

For example, give the powerless a choice between Tweedle-Dum (Republicans/Tories) and Tweedle-Dee (Democrats/Labour). Whomever they elect, the self-serving Power Elite of entrenched interests and wealth remains firmly in charge, for the Power Elite speaks with one voice through two mouths, one Establishment Democrat/Labour, the other Establishment Republican/Tory.

If the powerless get restless, make them fearful. This is easily managed via external threats and dramatic predictions of economic doom should the Power Elite be threatened.

If fear has lost its edge due to over-use, then whip up social controversies that divide and conquer the powerless. Divisive, hot-button social controversies are easily staged and media-managed; these serve to distract and fragment the powerless in endless culture wars.

The powerless get very few opportunities to express their dissatisfaction with their gradual impoverishment and powerlessness, and few opportunities to register their disapproval of the Power Elite. They know complaints go nowhere, petitions are ignored, and demonstrations accomplish nothing.

So when a rare chance to stick a thumb in the eye of the Power Elite comes along, they take it. The Brexit vote was just such an opportunity.

Though the benefits that flowed from membership in the European Union may well have been substantial, many people did not have any direct experience of those benefits, which largely flowed to a handful of privileged classes: young, well-educated workers in finance, people who bought housing in London before the huge run-up in valuations, and workers providing services to the wealthy foreigners and highly paid financial professionals.

Many households have seen their quality of life and living standards stagnate or decay during the U.K.’s membership in the E.U. The benefits touted by the Power Elite are either illusory or too modest to matter to these households, and their rage has only grown as the Power Elite tried to browbeat them into approving a membership that yielded no benefits to their households.

The Power Elite simply repeated what has worked well for 60+ years: tout the systemic benefits of E.U. membership, confident in the belief that some of these benefits have trickled down to the lower economic classes, and stoke fears of economic decline if the Powers That Be don’t get their way.

Unfortunately for the Power Elite, the benefits of E.U. membership, financialization and globalization have been concentrated at the top of the pyramid: the already wealthy got wealthier, and the young, well-educated, mobile, entrepreneurial class had enhanced opportunities to generate private wealth or at least secure an excellent salary.

A third privileged (i.e. protected) class includes all those benefiting from direct E.U. subsidies.

Those outside these classes saw little if any benefit.

The slow decay of living standards and social mobility was crystallized into anger by the Brexit vote, which was intended to be yet another rigged, illusory choice. The masses were supposed to be persuaded by either the list of goodies that flowed from membership or from fear-mongering about the catastrophic consequences of Brexit.

But neither worked as planned: the benefits were too diffuse or too concentrated in the hands of a few to be persuasive in terms of self-interest, and the fear-mongering only increased awareness of how much the Power Elite wanted a Remain outcome.

Will Brexit hurt the classes that did not directly benefit from E.U. membership? Perhaps. Perhaps it was not in their self-interest to vote for Brexit. But the immeasurable pleasure in depriving the Power Elite of their “democracy” legitimacy was worth any potential sacrifice.

The sense of having a real say, and possessing actual agency, is very empowering, and very rare, for members of the lower-middle class and the working class today. the wealthy and powerful are accustomed to vetoing anything that impairs their wealth or power, and they’re accustomed to either winning over or distracting the powerless.

Thus it was a shock when the powerless took the rare opportunity to stick a thumb in the eye of the Power Elite by depriving them of something they wanted.

Is this childish, or self-defeating? Perhaps. But when the system erodes a citizenry’s sense of agency, they have little to lose by relishing the chance to use the same power the wealthy constantly wield without any qualm or hesitancy: the power to say “no.”

I am indebted to longtime correspondent G.F.B. for this topic suggestion.

A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All is now available as an Audible audio book.

Tagged with: , , , , ,

2016 Theme: The Hollow Shell of Democracy

A number of systemic, structural forces are intersecting in 2016. One is the hollowing out of democracy globally.

Democracy has three distinct states of being: formal, in actual practice and informal. Nations that claim the mantle of democracy typically mix features of all three varieties.

(more…)

Tagged with: ,

Greece, Democracy and Magical Thinking

What is representative democracy but organized bribery on a mass scale? Politicians seeking control of the spigots of state wealth and power promise endless swag to voters. Those who promise the most swag and do so with the most inspirational Soaring Rhetoric ™ win elections and gain control of the spigots of state wealth and power.

(more…)

Tagged with: , , ,

How America Became an Oligarchy

The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. . . . You have owners. — George Carlin, The American Dream

According to a new study from Princeton University, American democracy no longer exists. Using data from over 1,800 policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page concluded that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of – or even against – the will of the majority of voters. America’s political system has transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where power is wielded by wealthy elites. (more…)

Tagged with: , , ,

[KR664] Keiser Report: Revolution Wheels Turning

We discuss the ‘do nothing spirit’ standing in the way of the revolution that yet another celebrity is calling for. In the second half, Max interviews Roslyn Fuller about the ‘democracy delusion,’ revolution, Cicero and more.

Tagged with: , ,

Media is the biggest obstacle in creating a ‘direct democracy’

Tagged with: , ,

The Slide to Collapse Is Greased with Self-Interest

Self-interest is intrinsically self-liquidating on a systemic level.

One enduring if rarely stated principle of Neoliberal Democracy is that the single-minded pursuit of self-interest magically produces an equilibrium which serves everyone’s interests well enough to avoid the destabilization of rebellion or systemic collapse.

(more…)

Tagged with: , , , , ,

Want to Fix Income/Wealth Inequality? Here’s How

There is nothing fancy about these three solutions.

I have covered rising income/wealth inequality for many years in dozens of entries. Since Thomas Piketty’s new book has catapulted the topic into the media spotlight, it’s a good time to list solutions that go deeper than Piketty’s proposed global wealth tax–a proposal he characterizes as utopian.

Every solution is utopian, because the Financial Aristocracy and their central bank cronies have democracy by the throat. There is no legislative way to change the Status Quo when political power is for sale to the highest bidder, and central banks are issuing nearly-free money to the financial oligarchy that owns the political machinery.

But listing solutions is still important, because it reveals just how far from democracy, rule of law and free-market capitalism we have fallen.

(more…)

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

New Report from Princeton and Northwestern Proves It: The U.S. is an Oligarchy

What is most incredible to me is that the data under scrutiny in the study was from 1981-2002. One can only imagine how much worse things have gotten since the 2008 financial crisis. The study found that even when 80% of the population favored a particular public policy change, it was only instituted 43% of the time. We saw this first hand with the bankster bailout in 2008, when Americans across the board were opposed to it, but Congress passed TARP anyway (although they had to vote twice).

I read the entire 42 page study and have highlighted what I found to be the key excerpts below. Please share with others and read more here.

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Watch the latest Keiser Reports:

Buy Gold Online
Buy Gold Online