Tag Archives: Economy

Greece for Sale

the new fascist dealThis piece (not all of it, the parts about the Nazi roots of the “European Economic Union” and the quotes from William Blum were not included) was originally written as a reply to the article Yanis Varoufakis published in the German Newspaper DIE ZEIT and which he also presented on his blog in English.

I posted it yesterday in the comment section of his blog but it was completely censored, it simply ‘disappeared’. I wonder why ….

My first question was:

If “Grexit” was the alpha and omega of the German Euro-strategy then why did they give it up in the end?

Yanis, I respect your intellectual honesty very much but I think you have been hoodwinked to believe that “Grexit” was planned all along. They knew perfectly well that Syriza wanted to stay in the EMU (apparently) at any cost (as a matter of national honour) so they

had no incentive to give any ground at all. They can continue to make demands, no matter how unreasonable, with no possible political recourse on the part of Syriza. Hence all Greeks .. [became] prisoners of the Eurozone.” (quote from Andrew Ryder).

It was all a huge Machiavellian bluff, a kind of “psyop”: by showing you the “Schäuble-Plan” they instilled fear (also in the other deficit countries) (like the Holy Officium torturers knew that in some cases just showing the victim the gruesome torture tools was enough for a heretic to “recant” or “confess”)and if that was not enough, they counted on another psychological effect: Schäuble’s ostensible determination to “kick Greece out” of the Eurozone (for which there is NO LEGAL basis) would provoke the desired reaction: after accepting the Troika’s draconian, dictatorial terms, PM Tsipras could cling to the somewhat consoling notion that Syriza had at least “foiled” Germany’s humiliating plan.

At the same time the Greek people were subjected to even more economic “shock treatment” (by cutting off liquidity to the Greek banks) and the ultimate humiliation: after the great “OXI”-vote (which gave them for a brief moment a glimmer of hope) “their” government accepted even harsher terms than originally presented by the Troika: Greece is now effectively FOR SALE (at bargain prices …). The message to all left parties (and their voters) in all of Europe is clear:

IT DOES NOT MATTER AT ALL.

You can vote … but you cannot decide …

The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.     Carroll Quigley

 

blum killing hopeIn his book „Killing Hope” William Blum writes about Greece after the US had taken charge (since Britain could no longer afford the cost of neo-colonialism) in 1947. Here are three telling excerpts:

Blum Killing Hope GREECE

The “request” for aid  was written by the State Department but presented to the world as reflecting the wishes of the Greek government:

2 US aid to Greece 1950s

Blum also quotes from a letter to the director of the US “aid-program” in Greece (AMAG), written by then Secretary of State, George Marshall  in 1947 offering the following advice:

3 US aid to Greece 1950s

Talk about the arrogance of power. Today, the unholy “Troika” does not even bother to camouflage the economic dictatorship they impose on Greece since they control the financial weapons as well as public opinion.

We know that during the Cold War the Anglo-American imperial ruling class stopped at nothing to prevent a (coalition) government with a socialist or communist party (and who knows this better than Greeks …UK/US-assisted fascist take-over in 1944, 1967, then the corrupt, US-trained PASOK puppets …etc.) in Western Europe, including NATO-supported terrorism (see “Gladio). This is no longer necessary since the neoliberal, totalitarian economic “ThinkPol” has succeeded in brainwashing European political leaders and journalists to accept the “TINA”-principle. They realize of course that the huge inequality this system produces will generate opposition, even rebellion but the tyranny of finance* has now reached such a stage that resistance seems futile (at least in the Eurozone).

*excerpt: “I had had the opportunity to hear Mr Alexandre Lamfallusy, the leading technocrat tasked with the introduction of the single currency, speak in Tokyo around 1996. He presented his road map. The astonishing aspect was the level of detail. He told us, years in advance, in which European cities the chiefs of central banks and the finance ministers would meet and WHAT THEY WOULD DECIDE; when and where their deputies would meet and WHAT THEY WOULD DECIDE; and where and when the heads of government would meet, and WHAT THEY WOULD DECIDE: month after month of detailed scheduled meetings, with a complete script of pre-ordained outcomes, named after the cities in which the meetings were to take place. His confident presentation made it clear that he expected this script to be followed to the letter. I saw no reason to doubt his words. (Needless to mention, this is what happened).”

(Back to my questions for Yanis Varoufakis): What I do not understand is this: You know perfectly well that the whole design of the Eurozone is crazy (economically unviable) and I am sure that you are aware of the spot-on warnings of Wynne Godley in 1992:

[…] “the power to issue its own money, to make drafts on its own central bank, is the main thing which defines national independence. If a country gives up or loses this power, it acquires the status of a local authority or colony.”

cartoon 2In several interviews I heard you say that the Euro is doomed if no structural reforms are undertaken (and you know they will not come since Germany is not even willing to confront the question let alone change a system (apparently) to its advantage) then why did you support Syriza’s plan to stay in the EMU as Minister of Finance? Why throw away your pride (as a nation and in your case as a brilliant scholar), give up your sovereignty to keep your place on the Titanic? Why did Syriza not explain to the Greek public what the Euro really is (an instrument of political subjugation)?

Einstein once quipped that

‘You cannot solve a problem with the same way of thinking that created it in the first place’.

The (German) idea that you have “to discipline” European governments with the “threat” of being kicked out of the Eurozone (for which there is NO LEGAL basis) to make the stupid fiscal union work is a perfect embodiment of this insight and shows that we are ruled by “idiots”, [Ιδιώτης / idiotikos: “unprofessional, unskilled; not done by rules of art] not intellectually mature people who really engage in politics for the community [democrates].

Hitlers ShadowThe bitter truth is, the EU never was a truly democratic project, in fact its origins can be traced back to the Third Reich “Großraumwirtschaft”. The incredible irony is, that although these plans were based on dictatorial Germany calling the economic shots (with the “Reichsmark” having the hegemonic position the dollar has today and Berlin replacing London as the financial centre), the economic planning was a lot more intelligent and socially just than the Maastricht regime – here are some major points (taken from the book The Tainted Source by John Laughland):

(See also this – 1942: Conference on the European Economic Community)

  • Labour instead of capital must be the economic yardstick.
  • Prices are no longer the regulator of all economic phenomena. Instead, prices are regulated by the state according to the needs of the collectivity (!). (Ferdinand Fried, Professor of Economics)
  • The need for an integrated European clearing-system (regarding the balance of payments) was clearly identified.
  • Primacy should not be accorded to the exchange rate, instead full employment and purchasing power stability should be the primary goals of currency management … (Dr. Bernhard Benning / The State Theory of Money)
  • Walter Funk was defending the need for state control of foreign exchange to prevent uncontrollable capital flows from disturbing the economy; He realized that in order to establish the greatest possible degree of economic and political autarky, a monetary regime would have to be set up to protect Europe from “uncontrollable international” influences that “could be used as power-political instruments to suppress us
  • To maintain currency stability, price controls and the control of credit (!) were considered necess British commentators criticized the German “hostility to the Gold standard” (and for good reason…), called their ideas “totalitarian” as opposed to economic “liberalism”, the “free-market”-scam, etc.

Well, by now we should realize that nothing is more “totalitarian” than neo-liberalism (with the “market” as cover for plutocratic rule by bankers and their rich clients)

  • Gold became irrelevant once prices were determined not by the market but by governments which regulated all economic activity and once trade was managed through clearing arrangements.
  • Francis Delaisi, an ardent opponent of the gold standard, hated “the reign of money” and was convinced that the economic history of Europe after 1918 had shown the capitalist system to be on the verge of collapse. He rightly argued that the explosion of credit between 1919-29 in the US had led to the crash of 1929, and that the consequent depression had brought massive unemployment in the Anglo-Saxon economies. This threatened to destroy the entire social structure in Europe. (sound familiar?)
  • In Delaisi’s view the gold standard restricted social progress, because (being a world currency), it opened labour markets to world competition and thereby forced down wages .. he considered it to be an “instrument of inhumane competition”. It was important to liberate producers from the competition of exotic countries whose standard of living was too low … (Hitler abolished the gold-standard as soon as he came to power).
  • Capitalism is a political system based on class interests triumphing over those of the community as a whole.

(I never understood where the “socialist” part (in National-Socialist) came from – how could an extreme right, fascist, corporate-friendly party be ‘socialist’ at the same time? Now I get the picture …)

To be clear: I am not endorsing far-right parties here at all but I want to make the point that the rule of “the free market” (serving as a cover for the financial aristocracy) is no less authoritarian than what the Nazis had planned, it is a totalitarian system – just look at what is happening in Greece. There is no ‘agreement’ here, this was pure mafia-style coercion (a ‘reverse Corleone’ someone called it): accept or bury your economy.

So it seems they took the fascist plan for a European “Union”, got rid of the “socialist” part (commanded by the state) and replaced it with the totalitarian market-regime (still favouring Berlin). Dictatorial economic “rules” that must be adhered to – at all cost – (some are more equal here than others as we have seen, since Germany and France were the first countries to violate the Maastricht rules but no ‘punishment’ was meted out to them) should evoke huge resistance but presenting these rules as “necessary” adjustments to which there is no alternative (except economic isolation and bankruptcy) has succeeded in blaming the victims for the crime … the “market” has become the new Hitler … the banks the new weapons of mass (social) destruction .. the governments the willing executioner of a neo-feudal ideology (“neo-liberalism”).

Paul Krugman noted in an interview that the German word for debt (Schulden) is almost synonymous with the German word for guilt (Schuld) and speculated how this would influence German thinking …

 

StiglitzJoe Stiglitz recently wrote about the problems in the Eurozone (and the Greek drama within it):

That concern for popular legitimacy is incompatible with the politics of the eurozone, which was never a very democratic project. Most of its members’ governments did not seek their people’s approval to turn over their monetary sovereignty to the ECB. When Sweden’s did, Swedes said no. They understood that unemployment would rise if the country’s monetary policy were set by a central bank that focused single-mindedly on inflation (and also that there would be insufficient attention to financial stability). The economy would suffer, because the economic model underlying the eurozone was predicated on power relationships that disadvantaged workers.

Yes, this is the key point: economic policy and financial control are about POWER RELATIONSHIPS not mathematical models that have nothing to do with the real world. Steve Keen makes fun of the fact that banks and credit play no role in neoclassical economic models (and rightly so) but I now think this was no “mistake” or oversight, this was done on purpose … to hide the role of banks, finance as power-players in the economy … (they even invented a FAKE NOBEL prize to glorify the fancy mathematics that passes as “econometrics”)

If the consequences for the Greek people – and all of us in Europe – were not so dire, this whole charade (“of debt negotiations”) would be laughable. A kind of sinister, political farce, written by Kafka (“the institutions”) and directed by Orwell (Eurogroup should change its name to “MINISTRY OF TRUTH”.

I leave the last words to Guido Preparata (author of Conjuring Hitler, a very distressing exposé about the rise of Hitler, financed by Anglo-American money …. and encourage you to think about what the role of the US oligarchy in all of this Euro-Game is ….)

So-called democracy is a sham, the ballot a travesty. In modern bureaucratized systems whose birth dates from the mid 19th century, the feudal organization has been carried to the next level, so to speak. A chief objective of what Thucydides referred to in his epoch as synomosiai (literally “exchange of oaths”) – i.e. the out-of-sight fraternities acting behind the ruling clans – has been the process of the exaction of rents from the population (i.e. a free income in the form of rents, financial charges and like thefts) as unfathomable and impenetrable as possible. The tremendous sophistication, and the propagandistic wall of artfully divulged misconceptions surrounding the banking systems which is the chief instrument wherewith the hierarchs expropriate and control the wealth of their supporting community, is the limpid testimony of this essential transformation undergone by the feudal / oligarchic organization in the modern era.

The West has moved from a low-tech agrarian establishment built upon the backs of disenfranchised serfs to a highly mechanized post-industrial hive that feeds off the strength of no less disenfranchised blue- and white collar slaves, whose lives are mortgaged to buy into the vogue of modern consumption. The latter-day lords of the manor are no longer seen demanding tribute since they have relied on the mechanics of banking accounts for the purpose, whereas the sycophants of the median class, as academics and publicists, have consistently remained loyal to the synomosiai.

P.S.

From the “Agreement” with the Troika (page 5):

The government NEEDS TO CONSULT AND AGREE with the institutions ON ALL DRAFT LEGISLATION in relevant areas with adequate time BEFORE submitting it for public consultation or to Parliament …” !!!!

How could Alexis Tsipras even contemplate to sign this capitulation to the “modern dictatorship of money”?! If Greece wants to regain her dignity she MUST get out of the Euro (and NATO) and prevent the BIG SALE of her assets before it is too late …

AND FINALLY ….WHAT ABOUT THIS?

Tulane University oil expert David Hynes told an audience in Athens recently that Greece could potentially solve its entire public debt crisis through development of its new-found gas and oil. He conservatively estimates that exploitation of the reserves already discovered could bring the country more than €302 billion over 25 years. The Greek government instead has just been forced to agree to huge government layoffs, wage cuts and pension cuts to get access to a second EU and IMF loan that will only drive the country deeper into an economic decline. [4]

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

“Black Gold” turning into “Black Death”

30 yrs ago a biologist explained to me in in no uncertain terms what a  fossil fuel economy really means for the biosphere:

“It is like feeding an organism with its own excrement”

This may sound disgusting but I believe it helps to understand how insane our economic system really is, since ecological imperatives have been consistently ignored or subordinated to profit interests and the huge environmental (and social) cost is being “externalized” to society as a whole, including future generations.

Anyone with half a brain must see that bringing children into this insane world is totally irresponsible, because the forces of unbridled capitalism in a “financialized” and “globalized” economy (run by mentally ill, sociopathic people) can no longer be contained and, given its cancerous properties, it will eventually destroy the host system …

In a wider context, I find it extremely absurd and even ironic that fanatic “pro-life” groups  in the US denounce abortion as the ultimate sin while often supporting a right-wing “free enterprise” and “free individual” (no collective responsibility) political agenda that aggravates the degradation of  ecosystems on which future generations depend.

It does not really  matter who is the US president (… choose the lesser of two evils …), since they are all so indoctrinated with the “free market” BS and are unable to see that “Full Spectrum Dominance” is a recipe for global disaster. While the corporate state seeks to gain control over all “strategic resources”, (i.e. energy) they have not even begun to understand  that without the invaluable services of living ecosystems (which we must respect and sustain, not try to control) any talk about  “energy security” is a cruel joke …

As people like E.F. Schumacher realized decades ago, a  system  that has no self-limiting principle is bound to be self-destructive so a totally economised market society which accepts profit maximization as the (rational) organizing principle is digging its own (environmental and social) grave …

Economic theory recognizes capital and labor as the major factors of production and focuses on the  prices of all commodities but the HUGE FALLACY has been  that nature is treated as “income”, not as limited capital and that the intrinsic value of ecosystems has been ignored:

If it is helpful to consider our natural resource base as capital assets, it is fair to say that the Assessment demonstrates that humanity has been squandering these assets at a quickening pace. In fact, we have treated many of these assets as if they had no value. The people who clear forests for agriculture, build dams for water retention or power, …. may benefit from those changes, but society at large pays significant costs associated with the loss of nature’s economic, cultural, or intrinsic values. No one in the private sector, or the public sector for that matter, would keep his job with a record of financial mismanagement and waste that the Assessment documents for our natural assets.”

Read the whole report here

Back in the 1980s, when environmentalism began to question the established economic paradigms, Greenpeace sold stickers and T-shirts with the following words of native American  wisdom:

“Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned and the last fish been caught will they realise that money cannot be eaten.

What is there left to say?

I hate to say it, but it seems to me nature will have to get rid of humans in order to ensure survival of the system but what about the enormous radioactive and toxic legacy?

On top of the human misery (exploding child-cancer rates,  horrible congenital malformations – see also the last paragraphs of my post “Flat Earth News”  ) in  Iraq  people were shocked to see football-sized tomatoes and strange purple carrots, animals are born with two heads and other gross deformities, see also the latest report about the true “cost” of Chernobyl ...

To understand the bigger picture of the devastating impact of the  artificially enforced “market society” try this thought-provoking book:

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

NucLIAR & Flat Earth News

Congratulations! Thanks to the publication of the latest NucLiar “strategic information” piece, the Guardian is now the front-runner for the “Flat Earth News Media Award”, (category: Daft Science & Environment Editor) founded by the Edward Bernays Society for contributions to “moulding public opinon” as part of a hidden economic agenda.

In the middle of the “climate change” dilemma, wouldn’t it be a great PR-idea to sponsor an Oxford professor (pay for the publication of his ludicrous book) who claims that “nuclear dangers are overstated” in order to  generate support for the “nuclear renaissance”?  Worried about the easily detectable, systemic distortions of an incompetent “expert” and  the dangerous “dumbing down” of science? No Fear!    “They report what they are given” [cited in  “Flat Earth News”]

Excuse the irony & candour, but this is so obviously a piece of propaganda for the nuclear industry that the editor who approved it, ought to be fired at the spot: either for lack of journalistic integrity or for sheer stupidity. Here are some basic reasons why the whole story is a  PR-scam:

1) Lack of Expertise:

Allison is a particle physicist, not an expert in molecular biology, biochemistry, biophysics  &  genetics  (the  combined, overlapping knowledge necessary for radiation biology). The focus of all big questions about the effects of low doses of ionizing radiation is the cellular, molecular level not the primitive concepts of  “body dose” or “organ dose” which are based on crude physical models developed by – you guessed it – physicists.

2) Comparing apples  to oranges

Allison, as echoed in the article, makes no distinctions between different types of radiation exposure but the effects of  acute,  external, low LET ionizing radiation (gamma-rays from nuclear explosions or x-rays) cannot be simply extrapolated to estimate the health risks from nuclear installations because they result from chronic, internal, high LET ionizing radiation, especially from inhaled or ingested alpha-particles.

Also, not all radioisotopes have the same biological impact if internalized:  e.g. whether from “ hot particles”, “warm particles”, Plutonium or Uranium, the effects are different. If particles are “stuck” in tissue or sequentially decaying radionuclides like Strontium 90 (from weapons fallout) bind to DNA, the radiological and chemical toxicity cannot just be lumped together under the heading of “same dose, same risk”. Auger emitters for example, widely used for radiotherapy, create much greater damage at the cellular level than other radionuklides, i.e. x-rays:

“Even in the case of uniform distribution, some of those Auger emitters are highly radiotoxic compared to hard gamma rays. For Auger emitters to bond to radiosensitive sites in cell nucleus, much higher radiation effectiveness could be expected.”

This is another reason why the simple comparison of risk between radiotherapy exposure, X-rays, CT-scans, Sellafield and “natural background” exposure is not valid since Allison’s arguments are based on the premise that ionizing energy  is  always evenly distributed in  the body, which is demonstrably false. (More on the subject see under 4 below)

3) Nucliar AtTAC aided by “ Truth-Avoiding Coverage

Instead of inflicting on the public yet another endless debate between disagreeing scientists,  it ought to be the job of journalists to investigate who is telling the truth[1] and who is lying or serving a hidden agenda. We need an independent press to establish trust and authenticity in order  to get real insight.

As Nick Davies rightly points out, the concept of “neutrality” or “balance” must be reassessed to stop “the packaging of conflicting claims which is precisely the opposite of truth-telling”. Jha and Bosley are a perfect example of this problem: The assertions of Allison  are “balanced” by reporting what other scientists have to say, but all statements are dubious and not illuminative as long as the bigger political context is missing and even more so,  if the “background” is also a showcase for “churnalism”: “Nuclear radiation risk: The current consensus” which brings us to

4) Who the hell is the ICRP? How is “dose” calculated and what does it mean?

How is the public supposed to make an informed judgement if journalists do not bother to get a deeper understanding of a controversial subject BEFORE they write about it (or publish relevant “material”)? The aforementioned “current consensus” background by Alok Jha is another showcase for ignorant “science reporting”:

“How is radiation harmful?” ( One size fits all – Oversimplifications)

Ionising radiation … can damage the DNA in the nucleus of a cell. Unless the cell’s repair machinery can fix the breaks, or else the cell itself is killed, it has a higher chance of becoming cancerous.”

If the “editor” had bothered to do even a quick research on the subject, he would have discovered, that this is  no longer a valid assessment of risk because hundreds of studies have challenged the outdated view, that relevant biological damage occurs only if the cell nucleus is hit:

To be sure, new mechanistic possibilities must now be considered in interpreting the results of both in vitro and in vivo studies inasmuch as nuclear DNA alone no longer can be viewed as the only relevant target for the actions of IR, or even necessarily the most important target for eliciting at least some detrimental effects of IR under some exposure conditions.”[2]

“What is a safe dose?”

This is an even greater insult to any intelligent reader (and to painstaking journalism) because Jha has obviously just copied the “industry friendly information” (lacking any scientific credibility) he received from Allison. Besides, the first thing he should have done is explain  what “dose” realls means, that it is not based on scientific measurement but just a theoretical, mathematical construct:  to give an  estimate based on a physical “ model”, multiplied with another factor to give “RBE”,  which is supposed to enable the quantification of risk (the likelihood and extent of biological damage). A great source of information for all these questions is the 2004 CERRIE Report (and the surrounding controversy of political influence) which the guardian reported – why did Jha not use  these sources instead of recycling the rubbish from Allison?

It is not so hard to understand  that, whether a tiny alpha-particle is stuck in lung tissue or in the lymph nodes, etc. makes a huge difference in determining the detrimental health effects, not only because different organs have a different radiation sensitivity.  Besides, it is plainly ridiculous to calculate / extrapolate linearly from the “equivalent” (organ) dose which is in turn derived from “effective” (body) dose when effects on microscopic (incredibly tiny, i.e. millionths of a milimeter) volumes at the molecular and cellular  level  need to be examined and understood.

In addition, we also need to understand if and how different radionuclides move in the body (biokinetics). It is pretty obvious that the risk assessement for complex cellular systems  cannot be adopted from studies on external exposure to x-rays or gamma-rays, with a relatively uniform distribution of energy in the tissue. A reliable  model to estimate the combined effects of different types of radiation  has not yet been found.

But all the evidence strongly points to the conclusion that it is the concentration of ionization (its density) in a small group of cells, or even a single cell that defines “risk” at the molecular level, not the bodily dose (more a political consensus than a scientific one)  as Paul  Brown correctly reported in 2004:

The National Radiological Protection Board has always measured a tiny dose received by an individual as if it affected the entire body evenlyso the result was a dilution that appeared to do little harm. The possibility that the dose would lodge near a bone or in the brain and emit radiation inflicting localised damage leading to cancer had not been not accepted.

So all the talks about “background dose” or “safe dose” is meaningless and the absurd claims that below 100 mSv, there is no problem whatsoever and below 200 mSv DNA repair can fix everything (and other absurdities) prove that Allison is a charlatan and I bet 10.000 EUR, that if investigated properly, some connection to the nuclear industry will be found. If Jha had bothered to look at the sources Allison frequently uses, the penny would already have dropped: the US DoE, the NEI, the  NEA, the “Radiation, Science & Health Inc.” (a front group, if there ever was one) and obscure and refuted studies like “Is Chronic Radiation an effective  prophylaxis against cancer?” The man even champions the routine  irradiation of food! (see his website) Allison’s  attempt, to bring the “hormesis myth back to life is obvious, but futile.

The “lack of understanding” of how the body deals with LDIR is the result of ostracizing  independent scientists who represent a danger to the nuclear industry and its unhealthy ties to the military, the great protector of the nuclear holy grail. So any “article” dealing with risks of IR can only make sense if accompanied by “background” about the political agenda behind the “peaceful use of nuclear energy”. The Orwellian character of this charade ought to have been clear from the beginning, with the ludicrous slogan “atoms for peace” which demonstrates that exactly the opposite of Allison’s claim is true: not the “anti-nuclear” lobby created “irrational fear” but the very rational fear of ionizing radiation (a life-preserving instinct since we have no sensory receptor) was ridiculed and the immense risks and uncertainties downplayed, to foster acceptance of an insane technology that threatens all life on earth and has caused a global cancer epidemic (among other diseases).

Since the second world war, scientists have worked on the basis that there is no dose of radiation so low that it’s not dangerous.”

This is complete BS. A quick look at the historical development of the ICRP model shows that for decades the converse view was taken: Based on the extrapolations from Hiroshima, the accepted wisdom was that below a certain threshold, health risks were negligible. The “acceptable” or “permissible” (maximum) dose had to be  adjusted downward again and again as increasing scientific evidence showed that the risks were much higher than originally assumed.

You do have authentic and independent experts on radiation biology (biochemistry) in the UK: among them the courageous Dr. Chris Busby – Why is he not allowed to write in the Guardian or serve as competent advisor on the subject?

Your reports about genetic engineering are also very uncritical …  Political / economic pressure?

The ethical responsibility of the press  to inform the public about these controversial  scientific issues (affecting many generations to come)  is enormous …

Are you up to it with these “reporters” ?

( ….This  comment was sent as reply to the guardian’s “coverage” of the dangers of ionizing radiation….)

Sources:

http://www.protectnv.org/documents/FalsePromises.pdf

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Portal:Nuclear_Issues

http://www.greenaudit.org/

http://www.umrc.net/uranium_basics.aspx

http://www.wise-uranium.org/dissbk.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/nuclear-waste-may-be-used-in-household-products-1269778.html

http://www.nature.com/onc/journal/v22/n45/full/1206988a.html

http://www.ratical.com/radiation/CNR/HEIRreports.html

http://www.radiation.org/reading/index.html

http://www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&HPAwebStandard/HPAweb_C/1243928248447

http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11340

http://www.pnas.org/content/97/10/5381.full.pdf+html

http://www.pnas.org/content/100/9/5057.full.pdf+html

Beyond Treason and « Gulf War Syndrome – Killing Our Own «

<<<<to watch the BT video click on the  image

P.S.  Send Simon Jenkins to Iraq and let him see the deformed babies, the exploding cancer incidence in children, the immense suffering,  for himself. The man is a small-minded idiot: the incredibly stupid assertion that “Nobody makes money from downplaying risk (how about the nuclear industry, eh? – the evidence of a cover-up (just look at the “official” Chernobyl figures) is staring in your face) while at the same time accusing the “anti-nuclear lobby” of  exaggerating risk for personal gain must go down in the history of print as one of the darkest moments of human bias and ignorance …. because people are suffering and dying while Jenkins gets paid for his high  bollocks  turnout …  (remember Asbestos, DDT, PCBs,  – wasn’t it all “safe” ..???!!!)

Fatima, this little girl, was suffering from severe congenital malformations, is – in Jenkins universe, the result of “irrational fears about irradiation”

Tell that to her parents… (Fatima has died in the meantime, she was born with two heads ….) What can one say to express the feelings of outrage and grief?


Remember, this is the result of “Operation Iraqi Freedom” …..

[1] IFJ: “Respect for Truth and for the right of the public to truth is the first duty of the journalist”      Is it in reality?

[2] i.e. Radiation-induced effects in unirradiated cells: A review and implications in cancer, 2002

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Evil of Banality: Kopenhagen Climate Summit

“Since I gave up hope, I’ve felt a lot better.”

(Woody Allen)

The Great Global Sale .....

This is a reply to a recent article in The Guardian:  “Kopenhagen  Climate Change talks must fail says top scientist”

Hansen is right, of course. All these big climate conferences lead to nowhere because the political “leaders” who attend them, have not even begun to understand the REAL problem. The central problem is not the emission of greenhouse gases (they are just a symptom) but the quasi- religious doctrine of “market-rule, economic growth and global competition” (which is basically a race to the bottom).

Industrial production is embedded in the natural production cycle but the economic “experts” chose to ignore the ecological imperatives which ensure the stability and functioning of ecosystems.

These ecosystems are the basis of our lives, their services are indispensable and invaluable and although most idigenous people did not know what “ecosystems” are, they had a natural reverence for all forms of life because they experienced themselves as part of nature, not her conqueror. This is also evident in the language i.e. the indigenous people of Latin America call the earth “pacha mama” and of course the ancient forms of religion are also rooted in this attitude (i.e. the worshipping of a (soil) fertility goddess like Demeter in ancient Greece).

But economic “progress” and “enlightenment” changed all that completely: “Mother Earth” became a huge, untapped reservoir of natural “resources” waiting to be exploited by the industrial revolution and today, only a hundred years later, literally everything, every living being (even their genes) has been turned into a “commodity” to be bought, patented and sold – or rather to be sacrificed on the altar of the omnipotent “market” whose “forces” are now ruling over us, no matter how devastating they are (see the latest “financial crisis” and the  massive growth of  global poverty and inequality).

The only thing that counts is: everything has to be “profitable”, the GATS and the WTO treaties have created a legal obligation for governments to obey the overriding principle of our society:  “investors’ interests” – this means in practice the predominance of  property rights (and an invented “right” to  profit with full externalisation of environmental and social costs to society) for an economic elite over human rights for all ….

Funny, most people think about political rights  in the context of Human Rights but never about economic or social rights. In fact, today we have no say in determining economic policies, the right to vote for a political party does not really entail this power (it is an illusion, because practically all parties have now accepted market-rule, to say nothing of the EU …). We can only choose the lesser of two or three  evils ….

All natural systems have a self-limiting principle i.e. the growth of cells is controlled by genes (which react to environmental changes) and therefore all living organisms cannot grow indefinitely. Infinite economic growth (which is of course exponential) is complete madness and can only be compared to a cancer cell: at first glance, it seems to have the “competitive advantage” over normal cells because it can grow fast and soon “beats” the normal cells in the competition for blood supply, etc. But in the end of course, it kills the host organism. So the “unregulated”, unhindered growth ends in a castastrophe.

The socially devastating results of unhindered (artificial) growth in the  ongoing global Ponzi scheme that passes for “finance and investment” should have been the final proof that our economic system is totally insane and that we  must no longer accept the “rule of the market” or the absurd notion that “business” thrives best when all moral constraints have been removed. We do not live to serve “the economy”, the economy must be embedded in (a humane) society, not the other way round. When price and value do no longer correspond, something is very wrong  ( … when a ton of gravel sells for more than a ton of wheat…)

When we accept that a Wall Street trader makes (“earns” is not applicable here) more than a thousand dollars PER HOUR (for organized fraud and selling AAA rated “toilet paper”) but a firefighter, a nurse, a policeman, a farmer, a teacher, etc. (whose services are badly needed) has to put up with a steadily declining income and in the end, many even lose their homes as a result of predatory lending, we have turned democracy into a farce and a fraud which resembles more and more a plutocracy.

In the 18th century, our forefathers fought against a rich aristocracy who extracted their wealth from the exploited, powerless masses and paid no taxes. “No taxation without representation” – wasn’t that the battle cry in 1776?

It seem to me  we are approaching similiar circumstances today – a refeudalisation of society is taking place. We are paying for insane wars and insane economic doctrines while the new aristocracy controls the “government” whose only function is to assist them in increasing their power and wealth so that they can accelerate the destruction of our environment and the last remnants of  ideas about social justice.

The special role of the unspeakable PR-industry in this charade should be dissected in the public debate but it is mostly ignored (see also the  surreal Kafkaesque rhetoric of the “Middle East Peace Process” or the “War on Terror”-Scam )

The crazy notion, that this perverse system can go on with just a little “cap and trade” on the side (which is just another Ponzi scheme from Wall Street) and miraculously, carbondioxide-levels will go down within a decade or so, clearly shows how stupid and  hypocritical our leaders are.

As long as the economy must keep “growing” (to pay the interest on the astronomical debt the banks have created – see also the ZEITGEIST Addendum videos on YouTube) and the enormous value of intact (“undeveloped”) ecosystems is ignored, nothing will change for the better. As long as the likes of Goldman-Sachs and ExxonMobil rule the world, we are doomed.

What is necessary is a huge paradigm shift in economic thinking. The “theoclassical economic theory” has one big problem: it is  just a theory and does not work in the real world. Alan Greenspan called this ” a flaw in his model” when he testified before a congressional committee, investigating his role as chief of the Federal Reserve in the financial “meltdown”.  To cling to the absurd idea that markets are “rational”, because their behaviour is driven by insatiable greed for profit (which Greenspan obviously considers “normal” &  & rational” for the “homo oeconomicus” in the form of the modern “investor”) shows, how blind these people are to anything outside their economic ideology.

Perhaps the biggest problem is, that we have been duped into accepting the  immoral and insane as “normal” (rational) and inevitable behaviour: How can anyone accept the fact that trillions (in the form of debt created by and for the banks)  are spent for corporate crooks, Ponzi schemes  and military aggression but that “there is no money” for health care and other badly needed social programs?

I cannot help thinking that the absolutist kings in France were sent to the guillotine for lesser crimes …. The looting of public wealth by a (monetary) aristocracy is bad enough, the (shrugged-off) consequence of  poverty and hunger even worse, but destroying the natural basis of our lives, the fertility of the soil,  the wonderful biodiversity of this lonely, blue planet and the dynamic equilibrium that has held a complex system of  thousands of eco-subsystems together is the ultimate crime … In the end it amounts to a form of collective suicide (in slow-motion) so “climate change” is a totally unsuitable euphemism to initiate real change in production or consumption patterns …. (which the political-economic elite do not want, of course)

So, coming back to Kopenhagen:

As Einstein said “You cannot solve a problem with the same way of thinking that created the problem in the first place…”

As long as the media repeats these meaningless phrases about “reduction of greenhouse gases (and even that simplification has been further reduced to CO²)” without explaining the bigger context (the whole economic paradigm must be changed fundamentally), nothing will change. A global order, based on brutal “competition” is expected to suddenly change shape to a “international community” in order to solve huge problems? How is this supposed to work?

Besides: Has anyone ever bothered to question how these alleged “emission-cuts” are measured? By whom?  Let alone the huge scam of “offsetting” (see the above link [‘cap and trade’] to the report “A Dangerous Obsession” by Friends of the Earth for details)

Sources:

http://www.scienceblog.com/community/older/2002/G/2002038.html

http://www.greenfacts.org/en/ecosystems/

http://www.palmerlab.umd.edu/

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

“Crying and Shooting” with EU support

Separation Wall with BalloonUN ENDORSES GAZA WAR CRIMES REPORT

Given the extremely difficult circumstances, I think Judge Goldstone did a good job with his report on Operation Cast Lead. Those who accuse him of “bias” should present facts that support their allegations or keep quiet.

His findings simply confirm a long line of previous reports from Human Rights Organisations (including B’t Selem) and the revelations by groups like “Breaking the Silence” although there is one dubious premise which needs to be clarified:

I absolutely agree with Norman Finkelstein, that to refer to the massacre in Gaza as a “war” is totally unacceptable and deliberately misleading, given the huge disparity of force between Hamas militants and the IDF and the fact, that the real military  target was  the civilian  population (as the report confirmed). From the days of Ben Gurion, it was clear to all Israeli leaders that the greatest threat, the “time-bomb” for the “Jewish” state has been the significantly higher birth rate of Palestinians. So from this cynical standpoint, killing women and children indiscriminately, does make sense ….(even poisoning the survivors (their DNA) with DU, DIME and other “novel” weapons ..)

Who can be so cruel? This is a demonization of the  IDF and the political leaders of Israel you might think. Try this to grasp the moral abyss on which this state was founded:

Video: ?????????

Therefore, even though the “firing of (comparatively ridiculous) rockets” into civilian neighbourhoods may be a violation of humanitarian law in principle, the moral dimensions of Israel’s systemic violence ( i.e. the brutal occupation as such, assassinations of Hamas leaders in broad daylight (“extra-judicial killings”) which usually result in the death of many innocent bystanders, etc.) and the occasional symbolic outbursts of “revenge” through these rockets are totally different. This is also demonstrated by comparing the “fatalities” on each side: Can the killing of 1400 Palestinians be judged on the same moral basis as the death of 9 Israelis? (6 were members of security forces – Source: Bt Selem)

The hypocrisy here is in the legal groundwork: people under occupation are entitled to “resist”, to fight againt the occupier but they ought to restrict their attacks to the military. But in light of the seemingly endless horrors of the occupation, the brutal retaliations against peaceful demonstrations and rather harmless “resistance” like stone-throwing children, let alone the ongoing and intensifying violation of human rights in the form of land expropriation, evictions and the inhumane siege on Gaza, this restraint is practically impossible and would require super-human self-control.

I know I am walking on thin ice here because this kind of reasoning leads quickly  to the “argument” of  the  Israeli government: “Our violence is for a good cause, theirs is evil; we are only fighting back, they are the ones who threaten our security, etc.” Violence is always bad and I am not saying that firing rockets into civilian neighbouhoods is no big deal, but the perception Israel wants to create (that they act only in self-defense) is totally wrong as Professor Avi Shlaim also pointed out in January 2009:

“As always, mighty Israel claims to be the victim of Palestinian aggression but the sheer asymmetry of power between the two sides leaves little room for doubt as to who is the real victim.

This is indeed a conflict between David and Goliath, but the Biblical image has been inverted – a small and defenceless Palestinian David faces a heavily armed, merciless, and overbearing Israeli Goliath.

The resort to brute military force is accompanied, as always, by the shrill rhetoric of victimhood and a farrago of self-pity overlaid with self-righteousness. In Hebrew this is known as the syndrome of bokhim ve-yorim (“crying and shooting”).

Gaza-7thumbShlaim also demonstrates that the hailed “return of the Gaza strip” was just another PR-scam to present Israel (under Sharon) as striving for a peaceful solution while in fact they knew that the cruel (economic) stranglehold on Gaza combined with (little publicised, often clandestine) military aggression now and then would sooner or later lead to more “rocket firing” which could then be presented as proof for the “evil” intentions of Hamas and reinforce the recurring theme of “crying and shooting” … Shlaim goes on:

[…] Gaza, however, is not simply a case of economic underdevelopment but a uniquely cruel case of deliberate de-development. Israel turned the people of Gaza into a source of cheap labour and a captive market for Israeli goods.

The development of local industry was actively impeded so as to make it impossible for the Palestinians to end their subordination to Israel and to establish the economic underpinnings essential for real political independence.”

Numerous reports from the UN have also highlighted the dramatic situation in Gaza even before Operation Cast Lead began  (sewage systems on the brink of collapse, food scarcity, high unemployment, frequent power shortages, etc. – all the result of the isolation and siege of Gaza). And in the West Bank a smiliar strategy to destroy the economy (and hope) was used …

gaza_sewage_lakeGiven these horrific circumstances, this hopelessness, 1,4 million people being imprisoned in this small strip of land, helplessly watching how Israel steals more and more land in the West Bank and East Jeruslaem, and the “international community” does nothing to stop these crimes, it is remarkable that there have not been more outbursts of violence. No-one, not even Ghandi would have advocated civil disobedience in this scenario …

Goldstone knows perfectly well that the accurate historical context is necessary to be able to judge actions on both sides and he draws a clear picture about the events that lead to the end of Hamas initiated cease-fires. That is perhaps the main reason why Israel must prevent any detailed discussion of the report because then the whole “tapestry of lies” would fall apart ….

Besides, as far as I know, at the beginning of the intifada, the Palestinian attacks were limited to IDF soldiers but the massacre in a Hebron mosque in 1994 was the incentive for Hamas to attack also civilians inside Israel.

It is painfully clear, that Israel WANTS and NEEDS to provoke violent resistance so that it can portray its own cruelty and violence as “defense” in the context of the “war on terror” …

It is highly ironic, that the world has been duped into believing that Islam represents a threat to global security while in fact Zionism is the real threat (as political abuse of religion is has replaced Christian hypocrisy in the colonial mindset …) and is never even mentioned in this context (at least not here in Germany).

In his book Overcoming Zionism” Joel Kovel (a Jewish psychiatrist) shows the insanity of Zionism as a political instrument and the staggering hypocrisy and self-deception this has entailed: the eternal “victims” with their (self-attributed) high Jewish morality, created a state on the brutal expropriation and misery of another people. The “victims” (Zionism started long before Hitler appeared on the scene)  became racist perpetrators but in order to maintain their collective identity and exculpatory self-image,  they had to bend over backwards to put the blame somehow on the victims …. so they invented “reasons” why their criminal and inhumane actions could be justified before their conscience and before their God. This can be very well illustrated by a quote from Golda Meir:

“I will never forgive the Arabs for forcing us to kill them

Jewish souls are very special, no less than a part of God, so we have learned. Baruch Goldstein, a medical doctor, who committed the above mentioned massacre in Hebron,  refused to treat non-Jews, even in the IDF …

To return to the UN-GA resolution: I am deeply ashamed that with the exception of IRELAND, NO EU member state  has voted FOR  the resolution.

The majority of the EU-hypocrites abstained …

Considering how hard it was to fight for a Declaration of Human Rights, how many people suffered or even died to reach that goal,  I find it totally unacceptable that a “Human Rights Council” allows abstentions during a voting session.

Recently, I saw a movie called “One against the Wind” which tells the true story of a brave woman, who supported the resistance in France during the German occupation, by taking care of wounded allied soldiers and getting them out of the country. She was eventually sent to a concentration camp but survived … In one scene she tells the American ambassador in Paris (before the US entered the war): “There is a special hell for fence-sitters…” Precisely – in the context of Israel’s impunity this hell must already be heavily overcrowded …

In this insane world, where property rights, the “freedom” of capital  and “strategic interests” make a mockery of human “values” on a regular basis, we can no longer afford to “abstain”, when  the defense of these  values is called for. A supposedly universal “right” that exists only on paper, and is only defended when a certain category of people is involved, has not just lost its meaning, it has become a farce.

So when Jewish wire services report that  “He [Foreign Minister Lieberman] believes Israel’s diplomatic work on the eve of the General Assembly vote led to fitting results” and that “Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon has confirmed that there is a “silent understanding” with the US that it would not let the Security Council endorse such a resolution” – what can one say? That the whole idea of the “United Nations” and “Human Rights” has been turned into a theatre of the absurd? That the UN should replace symbolic decorations like Picasso’s “Guernica” with George Orwell’s “Some are more equal than others” (as a kind of  “mission statement” endorsed by the US) engraved in stone?

Former US ambassador to the UN,  John Bolton, a diplomat who seldom hid behind “diplomatic language”, used to call the UN “an instrument of US foreign policy and nothing else”. His point was proven in a spectacular fashion during the last “Anti-Racism Conference in Geneva, when USrael staged a brilliant PR-event to further demonize and isolate Iran because “the new Hitler” Ahmadinejad had the audacity to talk about Zionism (as a form of racism) and its links to the new forms of colonialism (better known as “globalisation”). Since then the hyped “nuclear threat” to the world, allegedly coming from Iran is the latest attempt to divert attention from the real culprits.

Of course the display of  “outrage” by the Israeli ambassador and his US-“echo” after the endorsement of the  Goldstone report on Gaza,  was yet another attempt to reframe the debate. Let the people forget the clear evidence of Israel’s guilt: If it (the government) has nothing to hide

  • Why did it prevent foreign reporters from entering Gaza?
  • Why did it refuse to cooperate with the UN fact-finding mission? (Refusing even to let Goldstone enter Gaza through Israel, so he had to enter via Egypt)
  • Why did it also treat former UN-envoys with disrespect (not to say contempt)i.e. Richard Falk?
  • Why did it even belittle and debase  the testimony from IDF soldiers ( “Breaking the Silence”)?
  • Why does it always try to get rid of justified criticism by “character assassination”? (claiming its supposedly “superior moral standing” as proof of honesty while accusing opponents of despicable motives, (anti-semitism) or having no right “to teach us about morals…” (the “Zionist” argument par excellence)

One has to concede that, if countries like Saudi Arabia show consternation about human rights violations by Israel, it is appropriate to say “ Mind your own business”. At the same time we all know, that without the great “friendship” of the US, Saudi princes would sleep less soundly. In fact, without US-support many undemocratic and repressive regimes would not have come to power or stayed in power (see for example Mubarak in Egypt)  in the first place.

However, on the other hand, there have been several genuine peace initiatives from the Arab states but all have been rejected by Israel on some pretext. Peace is the last thing, the Zionist government wants. The whole identity of Israel ( “a military with a government”) is based on “defense”, on eternal victimhood, on being a lone island of “European civilization” among the “primitive Arabs” and Jew haters, who want to “drive us into the sea”… Pathetic as it sounds, it still works in the media ….

noEU_320And Europe? What about the “community based on values” as the EU has sought to present itself by adopting the Declaration of Human Rights as part of the Lisbon treaty (formerly called  “constitution”)?

The puppets in Eastern Europe voted against the resolution (… divide and conquer does work …) , but the biggest assholes are GERMANY, ITALY AND THE NETHERLANDS. Germany sells heavily subsidized submarines to Israel and the EU has awarded  Israel a “privileged” trade status …

Professor Avi Shlaim also touched on the subject in his article:

“America and the European Union shamelessly joined Israel in ostracising and demonising the Hamas government and in trying to bring it down by withholding tax revenues and foreign aid. A surreal situation thus developed – where a significant part of the international community imposed economic sanctions not against the occupier but against the occupied, not against the oppressor but against the oppressed.”

This “surreal” picture became even worse when the tendency to decouple the EU’s economic preferential treatment from Israel’s terrible human rights record became clearly visible:

The Czech Republic, which held the European presidency until 30 June, made no secret of its desire to see closer ties and more exchange between the EU and Israel. The outgoing Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolanek, made this clear in an interview with the Tel Aviv daily Haaretz on 26 April in which he said that “the peace process mustn’t be linked to EU-Israeli relations.

In doing so, he was reacting to the view expressed by Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU commissioner for external relations and European neighbourhood policy. She said: “We believe that good relations with Israel are essential…” (Why?)

While other media sources fell victim to the diplomatic waffle and reported that according to a Senior European diplomat “people are saying there should be a pause in close ties between Israel and the union.”

What breathtaking hypocrisy. While the Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert described the horrible injuries and deaths he saw in the  Shifa  hospital in Gaza as “scenes from Dante’s inferno” the EU talks about “a pause” in the close relations to Israel. It is like saying “I know, on top of all the other human rights violations, Israel is bombing an overcrowded ghetto right now and hundreds of people are going to be terribly wounded or killed, so what? Let’s just wait till the furor has died down and then we’ll continue with business as usual …”

As LMD reported, The General Affairs and External Relations Council brushed aside the parliamentarians’ concerns [about human rights violations in Gaza] and after France took over the EU presidency at the end of 2008, …. the council expressed its determination to strengthen its links with Israel from April 2009:

“In accordance with the political commitment made on 16 June 2008 at the 8th Association Council meeting between the European Union and Israel, the Council reaffirms its determination to upgrade the level and intensity of its bilateral relations with Israel within the context of the adoption of the new instrument which will replace the current Action Plan from April 2009. That building-up must be based on the shared values of both parties, and particularly on democracy, respect for human rights, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms, good governance and international humanitarian law.”

In the past the European parliament repeatedly tried to call for the suspension of its association agreement with the Israelis (.. when Israeli atrocities received a short media spotlight ..). but the council always undermined these calls for accountability. Even the “diplomatic” (read: alrady hypocritical) rhetoric now shows what all the great talks about “European values” is really worth: The original text stated that “Relations between the Parties, as well as all the provisions of the Agreement itself, shall be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles, which guides their internal and international policy and constitutes an essential element of this Agreement but the latest update (see above) says “it must be based on the shared values of both parties, ..particularly on democracy, respect for human rights ..”, etc.

This is of course totally meaningless. To say in this context that something “must be based on …” is simply a euphemism for saying “it should be based on. It is like the Sunday sermon of a priest, it sounds rather noble, but the people who wrote it,  never expect it to really happen.  In a world where the categorical imperative would rule, moral behaviour would be the norm. (It still is for most ordinary people, I daresay but the profit cult  makes it harder every day …) but in a world based on “might is right”, rules have to be enforced by sanctions and these must be applicable to all parties.

boycott-israel-anim2Will Europe be forever sucking up to the “gangster state” (see Avi Shlaim) Israel because they have excelled at exploiting Holocaust guilt? The perpetrators of unspeakable Nazi crimes are dead. The Holocaust is over. But the crimes against the Palestinians go on and on so we have a moral responsibility to stop them and demand accountability from Israel.

The Eurpean Union has no moral  authority whatsoever. It is a Trojan horse for corporate interests, the financial, neo-feudal, extractive “aristocracy” and the cult of the market. It destroys national sovereignity and undermines democratic decision-making (see the case of Ireland: Voting “No” against a treaty – is not applicable), it pushes for the militarization of Europe  while posing as a “community of values”.

A “European” version of a foreign minister has no democratic legitimacy at all and heaven help us, if it is going to be Tony Bliar ….

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Greenspan and Market Morals

This is a reply to an article by David Corn about Alan Greenspan testifying before a Congressional Committee about his role in the “financial crisis”

The basic assumption of the “self-regulating market” ideology is, that bad products will be driven out because

“It is in the self-interest of every businessman to have a reputation for honest dealings and a quality product.”

But this is only valid if the buyer has ACCURATE INFORMATION about the quality, (long term) consequences of  buying / using the products and the real intentions of the seller. Only if the participants have access to the same information, will there be any chance of an informed judgement by the “market”.  In this context it is no surprise, that the PR-industry is booming…..

In the case of Wall Street this assumption is absolutely laughable: hedge funds and other derivative and commodity traders are gambling with the livelihoods of other people: whether they bet on the prices of food, energy or the risk of default, the very essence of the game is to deceive and to manipulate, to drive prices down or up, whatever is profitable for the moment. The long term consequences for farmers, consumers and society as a whole did not bother them. They played a combination of poker, charade and a pyramid scheme.. always trying to find a new sucker they could cheat on… pity, that in the end, they screwed each other.

So it is hilarious to hear politicians lament “the loss of confidence” in the banking industry which they seek to restore by handing out trillions to professional con-men….. Let´s rescue the swindlers because they are “too big too fail” – and create even bigger financial conglomerates in the process! How stupid can you get? (We need to break up the financial supermarkets and separate commercial from investment banking and insurance companies as Roosevelt did with the Glass-Steagall Act.

Hey, let´s commit the ultimate blasphemy and ask why banking is not a public service?  Why do banks have to be private businesses? Why go on being slaves of a system of perpetual debt? Why not curtail interest rates for productive loans and mortgages (for family homes)? Why not stop the debt trap for developing countries by providing alternative loans with very little or no interest at all? (just paying back the principal and a small adminstrative fee – the real return for society would be that more capital for infrastructure, housing, health care and education would be available; instead of giving “aid” we could give them self-determination for a change … Is this just a fantasy?

If a trader can make millions in a few hours, days or weeks – why should he care about his “reputation”?  Yes, an important factor for moral behaviour is the acceptance and respect of our fellow citizens but in this environment, “respect” and recognition increases with your ability to create huge profits out of thin air, basically by cheating others. The more opaque and less accountable to the public a business becomes,  the smaller is the incentive for the players to behave “morally” or responsibly. In the long run investment bankers, hedge fund managers and the like seem to live  in a parallel universe and they have even managed to create their own black hole! (which absorbs all the “market efficiency” Greenspan was talking about..)

In the end “making money” (with no real productive value behind it) becomes an obsession and every new record profit by the other trader  is an incentive to strive for more….

This is no support for the attempt to biologize the problem ( “greed” as part of human nature, there we go again…) but proof of Erich Fromm`s assessment that in order to function and expand, the capitalistic economic system must fuel greed and selfishness until  finally “economic behaviour” became separated from ethics and human values. The total victory of the economic machine, which was supposed to run according to its own laws  was only a matter of time.

E. F. Schumacher wrote in his classic “Small is Beautiful that capitalism is doomed to fail because it contains no limiting principle…..The “growth” and profits are never enough… so people and the environment have to be exploited more and more .. until the system collapses.

Greenspan (who was called an idiot in the online forum) is only an idiot in the sense that all classic economists are idiots because they are blinded by ideology and, totally ignoring environmental imperatives,  promote an economic system that is incompatible with nature´s laws and human well-being. A system that has to grow incessantly in order to function is self-destructive (like a cancer grows until it kills the host organism).

He pumped all that cheap money into the derivatives system because otherwise the ongoing decline (depression?) of the US economy would have been obvious years ago, so creating speculative bubbles was all that was left to boost “growth” rates and maintain the illusion that the US is still the “engine” of the global economy (only with Wall Street betting and military expenditure). From his (and his cronies) point of view they did the right thing because the top 1% of Americans did extremely well and the top 20% now own 85% of the national wealth…. Perhaps some of them have lost a couple of zillions lately, so what? Paulsen´s rescue money may find its way to their pockets, who knows?

The majority of US-citizens though, must be content with higher debt (substituting higher income) and greater “volatility” (insecurity) as these factors are symptomatic for the current “financial system”.

The ugly truth is exposed here: What the hell is going on?

Final words must go to MILTON FRIEDMAN – the godfather of free markets –

“If I’m going to do good with other peoples’ money, I first have to take it away from them. That means, that the welfare state philosophy of doing good with other peoples’ money (…) is a philosophy of violence and corrosion. It’s against freedom, because I have to use force to get the money. In the second place, very few people spend other peoples’ money as carefully as they spend their own.”

(He meant social welfare of course, corporate and banking welfare is of course OK….)

and a Canadian Prime Minister:

“Until the control for the issue of currency and credit is restored to government

And recognized as its most conspicous and sacred responsibility,

All talk of sovereignity of parliament and democracy is idle and futile.

Once a nation parts with control of its credit, it matters not who makes the nation`s laws,

Usury once in control will wreck any nation.”

William L. M. King, fmr. Prime Minister of Canada (who nationalized the Bank of Canada)

Source: Money as Debt

By the way, did you notice, that Canada appears to have hardly any  problem with the “financial crisis”?

Leave a comment

Filed under Change, Economy, Politics, Society

Economic Guru: Wall Street Rescue Plan is Wrong

(The identity of the economic expert is revealed at the end of the interview….)

Q: In view of the current crisis, don`t you think that corporations, especially banks have a social responsibility?”

A: “So the question is, do corporate executives, provided they stay within the law, have responsibilities in their business activities other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible? And my answer to that is, no they do not”

Q: Under the circumstances it seems obvious that “leave the markets alone” is no longer tenable and that the government is after all the only reliable institution to turn to…

A: “The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.”

Q: Many people think that the main cause of this crisis is unbridled greed of bankers and investors. What is your response to these allegations?

A: “What kind of society isn’t structured on greed? The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of a system”

Q: The government aims to prevent a further spread of the crisis and to restore confidence in the banking system (the banks don´t trust each other anymore..) So is public critisicm about the rescue of “arrogant bankers” really justified?

A: “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”

Q: “Do you think the accusations, that President Bush, Sec. Paulson and others have exaggerated the crisis to stampede congress into accepting the  hastily produced “rescue plan” at the expense of taxpayers are justified?

The fundamental threat to freedom is power to coerce, be it in the hands of a monarch, a dictator, an oligarchy, or a momentary majority.”

Only a crisis, real or perceived, produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.

Q: Is it morally acceptable to let the taxpayers pay for the recklessness of Wall Street? To force them to act as guarantors for an astronomical amount of debt,  toxic loans and practice a kind of banking welfare?

A: “If I’m going to do good with other peoples’ money, I first have to take it away from them. That means, that the welfare state philosophy of doing good with other peoples’ money (…) is a philosophy of violence and corrosion. It’s against freedom, because I have to use force to get the money.

In the second place, very few people spend other peoples’ money as carefully as they spend their own.”

This imaginary interview was conducted with Milton Friedman, the “most prominent economist of the 20th century” and greatest advocate of deregulation (this translates into government is the source of all evil.. – lets drown it in the bathtub…)

The quotations are attributed to Friedman, I just used them as “answers” to show that these principles can only survive by applying them very selectively and are rather like the absurd claim of US militarists: it´s not the weapons, it´s who has them…..

For a deeper analysis of Friedmanite / Friedmanesque or even Friedmaniac policies see also

Leave a comment

Filed under Economy, Managing Perceptions, Politics, Society, US