Monday, November 29, 2010

The Paper Scam

Look, we are screwed. I know that. I think you know that, too. Us regular folks understand when we are getting the gears. We feel the Warden's force, supported by those comfortable with authority or who know their place (a hard habit to kick considering the violent opposition), proving once more that might is right. It has been this way forever.

I am not without blame, mind you. I suspect that this neanderthal philosophy of might has had a pretty easy go at imposing itself upon the likes of pacifists or compassionate progressives uncomfortable with the coerced imposition of any man over another. You know, those guilty of succumbing to their various threats, like me.

This deep disdain for the use of might turns me toward reason instead. Along the way I’ve learned that reasoning with a single person is tough at times, but it is the disarmed fool who thinks he can reason with society. Although we may be rational animals, above all, we are emotional ones. With emotion comes conviction of purpose. And only those in control of the message can instill the necessary fear and hate and patriotic fervor into our minds which compel us to ignorantly obey their orders.

One such order, for example, followed the recent global, financial meltdown. While real people are losing their jobs, homes, pensions, and savings; while entire nations are going bankrupt and grovelling for the mercy of the IMF; and while there is no end to this pain in sight, we are commanded to throw obscene amounts of money into saving the sacred Banking Institutions. For an economy, so it is claimed, cannot exist without them.

Now a sane person might just wonder how Banks became the heart of the economy? Just what are Banks producing that breaths life itself into the economy? The answer: Super-Paper.

It began when the Quants created a sublime piece of Paper that represented hundreds of other pieces of ordinary paper. As the Financial Advisors sold this Super-Paper, word got out that the Quants had other colours of Super-Paper, too. Super-Paper sales skyrocketed! Before long all the savvy weekend investors like Jane D-cup or Joe Sixpack, looking for a deal, bought Super-Paper. Beautifully packaged and embossed with the golden Triple A seal, Super-Paper's investment value was too good to be true.

Meanwhile, as each financial quarter passed, the Banks continued to maximize profits and chase market share. 'Thank you Super-Paper!' echoed down Wall Street, up Bay Street, and beyond. And with these record incomes, Banks rewarded their CEOs more perversely than ever. Orchestrating over the entire Super-Paper economy was tough work, they said, so the millions and billions in bonuses were most deserved.

But things that cannot go on forever, don't. And this financial hoax was no different. That's right, Super-Paper was only ever just p-a-p-e-r. It was the illusion that became reality. In the end, we are told no one saw it coming and, even worse, no one is responsible. Do you believe it?

So here is what I make of it all. We are the new civil defence force, that public army which President Obama promised to deliver to the world. And like all good soldiers, we obey our orders. Not so long ago in Nuremberg the Nazi defence was ‘I was just following orders’. Today, filled with propaganda and sold a world view, the Capitalist defence is ‘I was just doing my job’. This time a trial making us accountable is unlikely. And we have certainly shown no desire to account for ourselves. Instead, we have shamefully avoided that burden, leaving it for posterity.

In the interim, as democratic capitalism flounders, as the ecological pressures force us to retreat despite our adamant denials, and as the totalitarian forces strengthen, what will the economic evolution design? How long now until the dog catches its tail as capitalism and communism unite? Will our Economic Descent Into Barbarism brings us Fascism?

(This may be continued)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Gordon Retires His Mittens

"After considerable soul searching and discussion with my family I've decided to ask the BC Liberal Party executive to hold a leadership convention at the earliest possible date to select a new leader," Gordon Campbell said at a press conference recently in Vancouver.

"It's time for a new person to lead the province. Debates on policy issues have become overshadowed by the public's dislike for me personally," he said. "When that happens it's time for a change."

Do not for a moment forget the entire BC Liberal party was in cahoots with Gordon Campbell. They all joined in, kept their heads down and faithfully, like Pavlov's dog, nodded in agreement to every crime committed against the people of British Columbia.

Things will not, and simply cannot, change by rebranding the party leadership. At best a new twist to the methodology will be introduced to continue the exploitation of BC resources and her people. Good riddance Gordon, but unfortunately the rest of the Liberal gang has been left behind.

Let's just listen to the spin: soul searching; new leadership; blessed for the opportunity; and my all-time favourite, the timeless thanks for the public service offered by all the politicians prostrating themselves before their retiring King. Inside, hidden from the light, party-backed politicians are all brothers-in-arms, corrupted by their corporate paymasters. This is precisely why things are not going to change in BC even with Carol James and the New Democratic Party.

Campbell's farewell is all spectacle. The rhetoric is thick. The propagandized message is clear. Be thankful we have these Gordon Campbells, these Carol Jameses, these humble public servants who forfeit their life efforts for our cause. It reverberates throughout the media and it rings down the halls of the Legislative building. These sacrificial lambs, near and far, offer praise and thanks for the years of public service. It reminds me of the Emmy Awards and that pathetic, self-congratulatory lot.

If we read between the lines of what Gordon Campbell said in his good-bye, it sounds like this:

"After considerable souls searching" and innumerable consultations with my accountant and business alliances about what lays ahead for me in the various corporate institutions I will now be formally employed ... It's time for a new person to lead this province, for I have done all I can to open the legislative avenues for my corporate brethren, allowing them unfettered control of most the resources and infrastructure of the province, thus availing them to maximum profits ... They have all paid a price for my 26 years of public service by keeping my Party coffers flush and the media messages stoked; and for their investment in this not so clandestine enterprise, I have obeyed their directions and repaid them ten-fold and more ... I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to serve in this position, for there are few jobs offered a man with scant more than an ethical void in his heart, greed pumping through his veins, deception on his lips and with the social consciousness of a child the opportunity to screw over 4 million residents and help plunder one of the planet's richest areas for personal gain -- and then walk away unjustly enriched by his peers with their many thanks for his public service. BC Is The Best Place On Earth!

Oh, and did I mention, New Democratic Party leader Carole James thanked Gordon Campbell for his years of public service. Seriously. Can this possibly be sincere?

Keeping true to form, Ms James then goes one better and tries to sell us, "there's still some work to do over the next little while to show people there's a positive alternative". I hear an echo. Ahh, it's the age-old party promise, the political bribe they all offer: We won't stick it to you nearly as badly as the last guys. Trust us. We work for you.

But we know better. Vote Independent.