“That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.”
— John Angelos, commenting after the death of Freddy Gray
Allowing debt to be sold transforms it into a type of currency. Allowing unregulated sales of insurence on debt transforms debt into both a financial toxin and an instrument of oppression.
Since debt is valuable and the sale of debt is unregulated and ranges in “value” from 25 to over 60 trillion dollars it is the equivalent of juggling nuclear warheads.
Since debt is traded, bought and sold, and because it is “valuable” it creates an incentive for banks, hedge funds, and governments, to maintain a vast permanent underclass of wage slaves who can never be freed from debt bondage.
No amount of work, and no increase in the minimum wage will be sufficient to remove debt because to remove or cancel debt would be to rip a massive multi trillion dollar hole in the economy.
As a result all so called Progressive arguments about social, political and economic reform, are fated to be failures.
When a Progressive suggests canceling student loan debt, which stands at roughly 1.5 trillion dollars, it is a miniscule percentage of total debt but more importantly, if the debt was canceled, the debt sellers and buyers would have to be compensated or there would be a run on the rest of the debt network as “investors” (which is a euphemism for gamblers) raced for the exit.
To prevent a run on debt-currency, the banks, hedge funds and concerned (i.e., involved) governments would have to announce an inflationary spiral “caused” the sudden influx of millions of debt-free individuals into the economy with increased cash flow and purchasing power.
Since that would create a corresponding decrease in debt-currency-value, the gamblers would raise prices, and interest rates, which would create a one step forward two steps back dynamic for the working poor.
If that were not sufficient to maintain the underclass of wage slaves the debt-currency gamblers and profiteers would sell off “assets” including large scale lay-offs in an effort to increase the number of impoverished which would create a stagnant base of future wage slaves desperate to return to employment.
Increases in interest rates, stagnation of wages (due to the “slow down” in the economy) and decreases in available jobs, would force wage slaves to recreate their debt which in turn would be sold and used to rebuild portfolios that would in turn be used as collateral for loans that would be leveraged against the wage slaves who would be forced into a repetition of the previous cycle of servitude.
With the dismantling of the industrial manufacturing infrastructure, it is no accident that Credit Default Swaps, Subprime Loans, and the “Student Loan Crisis” and ratios of greater debt to household saving, emerged in the 1990s and reached a razor’s edge in 2008.
The “Housing Crisis” or “Bubble” was in fact a fire sale.
Obama’s true legacy (along with helping to shred the Bill of Rights) is that he saved Post Industrial Capitalism from a revolution. Unlike FDR, who saved capitalism while creating a socialist infrastructure, Obama did not reform the system but instead patched the holes, and gave it a trillion dollar blow job.
Well intentioned Progressives and “Democratic Socialists” point rightly, to the urgent need to provide universal healthcare, reform of the banking industry, the infrastructure, and the need to save the environment.
What is missing in everyone of their plans is the elephant in the room – capitalism succeeds when it uses debt as a form of currency.
In order for debt to succeed as currency, it must have value.
In order for debt to have value there must be debt-holders or, poverty.
If you eliminate poverty, you not only free people from wage slavery, but, as a corollary, you eliminate the oppressing class who profit from the existence of wage slaves and poverty.
If the healthcare system were nationalized the people who profit from poverty stricken people who can’t afford insurance, would run for the exit and demand the creation of a compensatory financial scheme.
If private health insurance were eliminated the banks, credit card industry, the debt-sellers, the debt insurance hedge funds, the pharmaceutical conglomerates and their investors, would create an alternative system that returned the provisionally liberated post-debt citizens to a condition of debt-slavery.
The only way to effectively break the cycle is to seize control of all financial industries at the same time.
That of course is a revolution and for lack of a better definition, means the dictatorship of the proletariat and the criminalization of the Old Regime.
Holy Dialectical clusterfuck Batman.
Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, etc. are well intentioned.
Good intentions are the doorbell chime on the doorstep to hell.
Not because they’re wrong, per se, but because an authentic revolution will be crushed; violently.
A piecemeal and thus half-assed soft revolution will result first in a political stalemate, and then secondly, a concerted deliberate effort to block any and all efforts at authentic reform, leaving instead half-assed partial reforms that do nothing to address the underlying systemic abuse.
When Nancy Pelosi said, we’re capitalists get used to it, she revealed that she is not only a cynical creature of the system but that she’s a world class moron.
Not only did the statement reveal a tone deaf sense of politics more importantly it revealed the truth – as Lilly Tomlin used to say about the phone company when it was a monopoly – we’re the phone company, we don’t have to care.
In other words, Pelosi is the mouthpiece for the corporate monopoly which is the federal mafia.
Her disdain, and contempt, are based on her faith in a ruling class which every so often allows a few peasants to rise up the ladder and to be marketed as symbols of how hard work and tenacity and hustle can pay off.
But, the truth is, even if you explained to her that the transformation of debt into a form of money forces the system to maintain a permanent underclass of wage slaves to ensure its survival, she either wouldn’t care or wouldn’t understand.
Of course that’s true for a lot of other people and also true for the tens of millions of fools who keep buying tickets to the rigged national lotto.
The result of this is a system that is cannibalizing itself.
Desperate to maintain power the fascist wing of the Republican party seized power and the liberal wing of the Republican party surrendered.
The liberals, as antagonistic as the Republicans towards reform, as it would require their political and social suicide, are offering capitalism with a smiley face and a fresh coat of paint while trying to beat the demographic surge – represented by AOC and her cult – into either submission or political irrelevancy.
Simultaneously, the fascists and their allies are ginning up Freikorps-esque gangs, individuals mass shooting terrorists, destroying what little remains of the legal infrastructure, that held “civil society” together, and also either doing nothing to save the environment or are actively working to destroy it.
Taken altogether these efforts are aimed at creating an emergency which, like a series of Reichstag fires will allow for an expansion of power at the expense of civil liberties.
Unable to defeat demographics by offering more persuasive and better arguments they have resorted to gerrymandering, stacking the courts, and creating a perpetual state of war and rolling crisis in which the dreary but stable business of a functioning bureaucracy cannot survive.
Trump emerges then as a symptom of a systemic failure.
Having dismantled the industrial base in order to crush the unions (America’s version of Thatcherism) the ruling financial class had to invent a new form of currency.
Debt as currency added a new layer of destruction to the post industrial post union landscape which in turn generates higher levels of black market or alternative economies including drug dealing, which ironically mirrors the official economy by utilizing debt as a form of cash and the sale/purchase of “collateral” as alternative forms of commerce.
The absurd, Orwellian War on Drugs occurs simultaneously with the economic con resulting in a socio-economic yin and yang of state oppression, corruption, and at the same time exploitation resembling a post modern gladiatorial thunder dome.
As an example consider how one consistently reads about the theft and subsequent “discovery” of rare thus valuable works of art – stolen, traded, and resold – as insurance or Credit Default Swap Instruments to facilitate the sale of drugs.
This model is used for large scale black market transactions and for smaller ones with the black market Credit Default Swap Instrument changing from a priceless antique to whatever has been “valued” relative to the standards of the community.
It is no accident that the opioid crisis coinciding with the inability of millions of people to obtain health insurance.
It is no coincidence that both the legal and black market sale of opioids exploded as the economy (for wage slaves) collapsed, the jobs were disappeared, imperial adventures failed (or succeeded if you were an imperial investor) and the stock market “soared.”
It soared of course because as debt expanded, the number of debt-slaves expanded, which reduced the amount of money in circulation, which in turn, makes commodities harder to acquire. As they become harder to acquire their “value” as a reflection of artificial scarcity increases which fuels the stock boom.
The stock boom in turn requires an ever increasing expansion of artificial scarcity and the cycle repeats.
In an all too brief moment of lucidity and genius, surveying Russia and the world near the middle of the 19th century, Nikolai Gogol created Dead Souls in which the protagonist purchases a vast list of the dead and creates a list of living “serfs.”
Planning to sell the list and pocket the insurance his scheme falls apart and he has to get out of Dodge.
Of course no one in the establishment is going to look at a crazy genius Russian novelist and say, his book sounds uncomfortably like a gloss of contemporary debt slavery in America.
Instead we get the dead on arrival paint by numbers arguments.
The wage slaves demand an increase to the minimum wage and the powers that be and their media flaks say, but they will cause an inflationary spiral and layoffs.
At the same time corporations announce IPOs and the creation of a new wave of stock based millionaires which in turn generates a spiral in housing and rent costs, and corresponding increases in ancillary industries like construction.
The prices for homes and apartments skyrocket, family businesses crash, communities lose their souls, and we’re told, it’s not inflation but the sign of a booming economy in rude health.
As a sign of the success of this scam (and by success we mean the cost and resulting social friction) the environmental movement is leaping into an Occupy phase.
Large disruptive protests occurred today around the world with several areas of London being taken hostage in large scale acts of civil disobedience.
Ironically the police, crippled by years of budgetary “austerity” were and are relatively ill equipped to respond.
As the demonstrations expand – and they will – and as the environmental crisis expands – and it will – the establishment – both in its liberal collaborationist-reactionary Pelosi and fascist Trump forms – will authorize the police and if need be National Guard to crush the protests before they can become a rebellion.
Occupy failed because of a lack of discipline but crucially also because the government suspended civil liberties and using the infrastructure put in place by the Patriot Act, cut off the head of the movement and watched the body die.
The same tactics will be employed against the environmentalists.
The difference is that the environment’s collapse will impact the police and the National Guard as much as everyone else.
A spokesman at the London demonstration made a telling point. He said that the key to their success will ultimately be the refusal of the police to stop them.
Admitting it sounded grandiose, and no doubt reflecting recent semi successful episodes in Africa in which the army and police either did nothing or were sympathetic, his comments reflect a potential emergent paradigm shift.
Police officers and National Guardsman are no more able to breath underwater than anyone else.
They know that.
“Come gather ’round people wherever you roam,
And admit that the waters around you have grown,
And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'”