The Hitler Option

More on the Crisis in Thinking

I had a conversation with an old guy the other day. We were sitting around the YMCA while a few fellows played poker. He was telling me about his trips to Casablanca, Portugal and Vegas in the Fifties after the war. The man was eighty-five, he told me, and looked great for his age. Some way, the conversation got around to Mussolini and Hitler. Of course, we had been talking about World War II, so combine that with the fact that you’re having a conversation with me. Sooner or later we getting around to a political subject.

The old man suffered from a crisis in thinking, like so many people do today. “Oh Hitler didn’t start out so bad,” he said. “He had good intentions!”

Because he was an elder I eased into it. Nobody starts off talking about how many people they want to massacre or how many wars they want to fight, except the total idiots walking around with swatikas tattooed on their foreheads. Hitler didn’t say he was going to transform Germany into a police state. Mussolini didn’t declare he was going to destroy Italy. They just hijacked their countries once they consolidated power.

Reactionaries Hitler and Mussolini (left) arose during great economic upheaval and the defeat of the labor movements.

Fascists Hitler and Mussolini (left) arose during economic upheaval and a defeated labor movement.

That’s like Pat Buchanan justifying slavery and Jim Crow. Try Colin Powell misintrepreting satellite data to make the case for invading Iraq. Or the neocons using affirmative action to appoint the most servile, inept reactionaries from the black community to undermine affirmative action. It’s like America voting for Barack Obama as if to say, we done tried everything else, might as well let a black man wing it. Those are piss poor excuses standing in for real heroes with real courage.

A large segment of the population not only legitimizes such reasoning but fails to become outraged at the condescending, parasitic perpetuation of a racist status quo. The broadside against public assistance, unemployment benefits, Social Security, pensions, home ownership, credit, health care, education, womens rights, unions and other working class causes starts as a racist, class war. It is racist because the “culture warriors” stereotype the black community on issues to stampede white workers. The capitalists kno rednecks need to see others suffer to maintain their illusion of racist superiority. But then, the tables are turned and rednecks find themselves in the same conditions as their so-called inferiors.

For Washington to give the banks $700 billion while the banks themselves have locked up liquidity on a scale which effects the vast interwoven social fabric of humanity across the globe, that amplifies a crime that has been misnamed “the subprime mortgage crisis.” Yet white workers still oppose a national health plan, womens rights, unions, and other causes because of their blindly racist, idiotic logic. This crisis in critical thinking is encapsulated in PT Barnum’s cynical adage, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

Ass backward principles have built neo-fascism on the back of a defeated labor movement. An 85-year-old geezer who fought the Nazis, who lives at the Y, who thinks Hitler did some good, and blames UAW retirees for the problems in Detroit. Why would he think that; why, that is an attack on the labor movement by the very folks who should be defending it.

That is cold, naked reaction on the back of workers deluded by Imperialism.

Progressive feminism and the civil rights movement got hijacked as the reactionaries had help from all sides. Corporatist entities created professional niches by shoving the real fighters aside. College-educated bourgeois shills with degrees in social work and theology became the voice for people they spent little time knowing. Facts became boiled down into a lifeless statistical analysis while grass roots organizers got plowed under.

When Hitler and Mussolini made their climb to power, it was because conditions like these prevailed. Mussolini defined fascism as the direct collaboration of the State with business, yet it features a great deal more than that. And proposing that Hitler was okay because he built the Autobahn also fails illuminate the ugly scene that is fascism.

Indeed, following the 1929 stock market crash, fascism arose thru out Europe, where a politically defeated labor movement became violently eradicated by both the black shirts and the Nazis. The police state reached into the family as the fascists built a vicious snitch network. Slave labor camps replaced normal production as Germany reversed the post-war disaster that it inherited during the Twenties, giving the world a false impression that Hitler worked some kind of economic miracle in a mere twelve years.

It is amazing how people can accept fascism’s self-definition as its identity. Death doesn’t come at you to say it’s the end for you forever. It says, ‘you’re just going to sleep, you’ll wake up someday in the future or in heaven and everything will be better than this life.’ Death is ugly, and fascism is death, and international finance capital is just one step from a genocidal rampage. Look at DR Congo where Imperialism functions in the name of South Africa’s Oppenheimers, extracting coltan and other strategic minerals. The Oppenheimers, as in the Gubernatorial Oppenheimer Party, as in ‘stolen diamonds are forever’ as in DeBeers. Yes, those Oppenheimers.

Just the fact that people can accept innocuous explanations for a virulent class system whose violence and depredations are well known to history, well, that exposes the crisis in thinking.


Spin on Meltdown Defuses Indignation

A War on Society by Capitalism and Government

By I. Langalibalele

Two contending views exist concerning how the financial meltdown happened. Neither one is entirely incorrect, yet whichever view dominates will determine how society responds to the bail out. People must understand that their interpretation of events is based upon however themselves they perceive their relationship to the power structure and to the economic forces that run this country. Which in turn determines how democracy will operate thru the next period of political hegemony over the masses of Americans.

On the one hand, there is the belief that an over-extended practice of credit lending stretched thin the liquidity of US financial institutions. This view says that Americans lived on credit. They used credit to pay for everything from big ticket items like houses and autos and furniture and plasma screen televisions, to paying off utility, grocery and clothing bills. This view is not entirely wrong, but it is not at the root of the problem.

According to Milton Friedman, late architect of the cut and spend voodoo economics of every administration from 1981 to the present, economic crises stem from cash being regulated rather than distributed. In this scenario, the cash being regulated by the banks and corporate finance institutions have done what is characteristic under capitalism.

Wealth hoarded from society by financiers gets concentrated. They transform it into asset-backed commercial paper, which can be packed into briefcases, transported and negotiated anywhere. Sophisticated funds such as hedge funds, arbitrages, derivatives and other forms of capitalism are driven from the very credit market that the right-wing accuses Americans of having abused. Freidman was not wrong about cash being locked up, but he was the leading advocate of those responsible for concentrating wealth, a seeming paradox.

Liquidity is locked up in asset-backed commercial paper. Huge funds are driven by firms that bundle mortgages and sell them to investors; your home is only worth the down payment. Investors back their speculative investments such as oil futures on bundled real estate which has in part driven the price, not the cost, of gasoline over the last three years.

Wealth is locked up, Milton Friedman, by a handful of capitalists making war against society, assisted at the uppermost levels of the State.

Out of this current period, a massive shakeout of small investors has taken place, whereby people having their pensions tied up in stock options have taken another hit. From the S&L scandals of the Eighties and Nineties, to the DotCom shakeout and the stock option swindles — led by Tyco, Enron, Worldcom-MCI, and others — to the current financial crisis caused by the subprime housing market started during the Clinton era, the cycles of massive fraud and rip offs by corporate America seem to be building with increased frequency and viciousness.

Imperialism, international monopoly finance capitalism, has arrived at the point in history where it must cannibalize its base inside the world capitalist centers. For this, capitalism has less use for colonialism and racism. It no longer requires a theory of white supremacy as it shifts capital resources into China and India. Capitalism’s continuation as an economic force today depends upon reducing the conditions of all workers to the lowest possible state and keeping them divided.

Were that not the function of capitalism, workers would actually be paid for the value of their labor. Which underscores the logic that the crisis in social relations occurs at the point of production. This economic meltdown derives from the crisis in social relations created by capitalism, which takes place wherever the class struggle bumps heads. It is bumping heads right now where the banks are being bailed out to the tune of $700 billion. If the government directly bailed out mortgagees, that would reduce the amount to only $150 billion or so.

The Gubernatorial-Oppenheimer Party wiped out the biggest economic boom in history, That was like wrapping a show-room floor Maserati around a tree on a test drive, and walking away unfazed. The party of democracy thru Imperialism, using Imperialism to spread its limited democracy, has achieved its mission, waiting awhile to implement neo-fascist economic and political policies to eradicate unions, the Left, and civil society. It must wait for the Dems to lure the people back to sleep by working Imperialism thru democracy.

So, to say the credit system caused the financial meltdown is not completely true or even remotely accurate. The money locked up by banks derives from value produced by every worker in America and then lent back to them at exorbitant rates.

Working people build houses, thereby transforming raw land into real estate. And in America, land was never honestly purchased or traded; it was looted from the Turtle Islanders. American capitalism on free land built upon the slave labor of African people still cannot produce wealth without thievery, deception and misery.

This tendency adversely effects democracy and defines the next period of hegemony over working and poor people. Once the so-called government bail out of the banks gets finalized, new regulations and policies will go into effect.

As the corporate media defines democracy and flagellates the average American about having used too much credit, guilt becomes the new black. The supposed white guilt about racism that never was — because anti-racism never was about white guilt — will miraculously become transfigured into white guilt about finances. And the Democratic Party will implement the new regime under what will be, in  the upshot, Imperialism thru democracy.

Voodoo Economics and the Crisis in Thinking

A Brand New Sleigh Ride

Polar extremes should exist between the two candidates in the US presidential race, but they don’t. So, a longed for curtailing of the failed policies that dominated the last seven-and-a-half years must suffice. The American public wants some distance between it and the GOP’s neo-conservative movement.

What world do those people dwell in who want eight more years of the same loud mouth, lackluster kno-nothings. If you make less than millions or your stock is down, the reasons for backing the GOP probably have dwindled considerably. That goes a thousand times over for working class people. Unless the assumption of white supremacy really clouds some folks’ heads that bad.

This election only needs to be about partisanship, when even old line conservatives cannot support the GOP anymore. They must cross over because of the failed policies of the last eight years and their desire to have history remember them kindly.

That’s right. Few real issues need to be addressed when everything separating the Dems from the GOP has been burnt in the electorate’s mind. Americans need something fresh, like an Easter outfit. Its that simple. Not saying the Dems are the salvation or Obama is so great. Nope! It’s just that the GOP has steered full speed into a clustermuck.

After all, the Dems lag behind the GOP in so many ways, they have to catch up for eight years of tailing the Republicans. The Democrats didnt fight hard enuf to keep those worms out of govt. Even now, the Dems continue to collaborate with the GOP on the Telecom Bill, letting the communications companies off the hook for consenting to illegal government wiretaps.

The Dems have too much fraternizing across the aisles to ever really be effective. Only two stellar black women, Cynthia McKinney and Barbara Lee, stand out from that count. Otherwise, the Democratic Party never separated itself from the neo-con Voodoo economists.

Of economics and budgets, how interesting the nations roads, bridges, water and sanitary systems have fallen into disrepair. The levee system along the Mississippi, particularly in Louisiana as evidenced following Hurricane Katrina, has suffered badly. A levee in Cedar Rapids, Iowa recently failed because of heavy storm waters. The decay of these systems poses a direct — if undetected or ignored — threat to the health and safety of Americans in many places.

Thru such contradictions the basic idiocy of capitalism confronts the puppet-mouth hacks themselves. Neo-con stooges sling around slogans like family values by muttering utter nonsense, encapsulated in presidential statements like, “Catsup is a vegetable.” The very things needed to help families they have undermined.

Yet Americans allow these same crumbs to browbeat them into submission over what is American, patriotic and good.

Now, during the gas crisis, they want to open drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. But this is capitalism. CAPITALISM. You don’t own an oil rig. So you don’t get to make decisions when and where oil rigs go to work. Supply-side economics for all you half-baked Voodoo economists out there. Go back to your sixth grade civics books and learn what the Great Communicator told you. America is a capitalist country and capitalism doesn’t operate on the public dole.

Meanwhile the Fed gives massive liquidity injections to failing banks thru overnight grants because of the subprime mortgage scandal. Having made countless loans based on speculative interest rates (ARMs), many people lost their homes due to foreclosure. Businesses with balloon payments also folded. Nobody bailed out either of these two groups. Yet the banks represent the highest level of business organization in America under the capitalist system. Giving them emergency grants during this period strongly suggests that capitalism is a failure.

Using public funds to assist private business contradicts Maynard Keynes model of the welfare state. Keynes’ theories led FDR to carve out the programs of the New Deal. The Marshall Plan extended Keynes macroeconomic government policy model, whereby the US rebuilt its European allies following WW2. One way their debt was settled, England and France relinquished their colonies so the US could move transnational companies into fresh territory. Such a relationship sealed America’s economic domination for fifty years.

Posing a foil, the Chicago School elucidated on the short life and limited the usages of capital. Milton Friedman taught that government exists to liberate public assets for bourgeois enrichment. His theories on how to rapaciously exploit government power and wealth to line capitalist pockets defines the neo-conservative movement. Out of this school comes the Reaganesque “voodoo economics” that Bush 43s Administration has taken to a whole new low.

Yet public monies and assets are produced by millions of hard working people who should be entitled to them, rather than denied as under the GOP model. Until people understand the dynamics of public policy and what goes on beyond the rhetoric, we will be stuck with a “Crisis in Thinking” as I call it, which makes choices between political parties a Pavlovian nightmare. That time looms ahead when US economic domination bites the dust and Americans get a real wake up call from their leaders.