Thursday, November 13, 2008
Bush ruminates on the failure of 60 years of GOP excesses at NYC's Federal Hall
Wall Street--Meeting at the venerable Federal Hall where the Bill of Rights he's despoiled as much as he and his vice president could get away with was penned and debated, soon-to-be ex-President George W. Bush made some remarkably stupid comments that are only going to cement his legacy as our era's Herbert Hoover.
One imagines that you could cut the irony with a butter-knife: "I'm a market-oriented guy, but not when I'm faced with the prospect of a global meltdown,""It would be a terrible mistake to allow a few months of crisis to undermine 60 years of success," and the capper of, "It is true that this crisis included failures, by leaders and borrowers, by financial firms, by governments and independent regulators. But the crisis was not a failure of the free market system. And the answer is not to try to reinvent that system." The final quote is paradox-ridden.
Do any of these statements jibe with each other at all? Maybe if you're comatose. Does he even know what the hell he's saying? Did he ever? Do economists? Does the lame duck president sound like he knows what he's talking about? Does the Treasury Secretary or the Fed chair? No to all of them, but bozo is on his way out anyway and there will be investigations into the corruption of his administration regardless of how many pardons he hands-out. Why? The public's going to scream for it in-the-midst of general strikes and rioting that will not be quelled. Nobody can pacify a sociological explosion.
Whenever the Democrats fail to achieve that coveted 60 seat, filibuster-proof majority, the Republicans have had the opening they've needed to obstruct a social-dividend, being the traditional minority party of obstructionism. They should be good at it: they remained in the minority after the Great Depression for good reason for over 50 years. You get good at being the minority under those conditions, and they're going to get more practice again. What was happening 60-years-ago? It was when the Republican Party began their endgame against the New Deal and progressive politics in-general, sweeping into the Halls of Congress, ultimately bringing us such friendly lights as Richard Nixon, Strom Thurmond, and Joseph McCarthy (he sneaked in during the 1946 elections). Would we all be where we are now without the tragic-results of the 1948 national elections?
Barry Goldwater would enter the Senate in 1953. McCarthyism--a misnomer since HUAC was formed before his entry into Congress--grew to monumental proportions during the 1950s, and thousands of lives were wrecked. The "Eisenhower era" is synonymous with repressiveness and secrecy, just like this one, and free-thinking was discouraged. Conglomerates and the interstate highway system were created during this period, thanks to the GOP and the Eisenhower administration.
The postwar "economic miracle" smothered dissent with a runaway consumerism that's finally crashing. Rather than blaming Americans for the global recession, Europeans and the rest of the developed world should be happy--they now have an opening to escape concentrated American capital, and they should take it. People with differing opinions tended to keep them to themselves. Nearly everyone in Washington was running amok, but the Republicans took center stage, eventually pushing Truman into military action in Korea by implying he and his party were "soft on communism" and "pink." It's amethod that has now run out of steam, along with race-baiting. Gay-baiting and the attacks on rationality, science, and secular culture, are now losing any of their sting. "Sixty-years-ago," is a distant past, an antique of another era. Who were some of its architects? Right in-front of your face, even today.
The Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and the rest of the American business and financial community, did their best trying to crush any remaining dissent through the red-baiting of the "McCarthy era," and through every single communications medium available at the time. The same methods achieved the Vietnam war, a more bipartisan affair than is normally acknowledged. Any notion of JFK pulling-out troops from Vietnam permanently is a political mythology that flies-in-the-face of the now declassified internal record. Yet, it all fits-into a false narrative--a false consciousness that has been fostered for decades--that the two party system represents the will of the American people. It does not.
A massive propaganda campaign selling what we know today as the postwar "American Dream" was concocted and sold beginning in the late-1940s. Some of the key to this was to detach the American people from a consciousness of their history, of their past. A consumerist culture reflects this drive where the individual is stripped of any past...or any future, only a perpetual present. In Europe, the Marshall Plan was beginning, and it entailed the same aims towards pacification: to impose American-style capitalism on a freshly-radicalized Continent that was definitely disposed towards heading left politically and economically. Now do you understand the anti-Americanism of the postwar era? I thought not. America offered the carrot-and-the-stick in George Marshall's rebuilding program and in the creation of paramilitary groups and CIA intimidation of legitimate domestic political parties, acting suspiciously as the Nazi occupiers had.
My own grandfather watched in horror as his own superiors--U.S. Army officers--were ordered to reinstall a Nazi Burgomeister (it's like a mayor) in a German village they were occupying under General George S. Patton's 3rd Army. A lot of WWII veterans experienced these things and saw them as a betrayal just as my grandfather did then and for the rest of his life. "What the hell were we fighting for?" he asked me. "Big business," I replied. He agreed. Never underestimate the intelligence of the average man, and heed their warnings. The warning-sings were boldly apparent in the shattered ruins of postwar Europe.
The joint CIA-Mafia crushing of the dock strikes in the Port of Marseille in 1947 (and later in 1950), the destruction of the Communist Army (also former anti-Nazi partisans) in Greece that same year, the assassinations of Communist Party leaders in Sicily and Italy, and the assassinations of former partisan leaders throughout the rest of Western Europe were the opening-shots of a campaign of violent pacification by American power. The State Department revived international organized crime and and their drug smuggling operations to facilitate this.
Many of the individuals these operatives and criminals tortured, murdered, and intimidated had been part of the resistance movements under German occupation, and were frequently their leadership. In France, Italy, Germany, and other European nations, former fascist politicians and judges were reinstalled into their former positions of power. Such are the origins of the "Christian Democrats." The natural political-shift that was to alter Europe into a more leftist model was blunted considerably, but not entirely.
The wheel turns, and history and its forces will not be denied forever, and Europe blaming us for this mess is ultimately appropriate. This is how the current international economy came into being.
The 1950s was an unusually repressive decade, thanks mostly to the GOP. Loyalty oaths had to be signed, religion was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance (and still there!), and the hunt for essentially nonexistent "fifth columnists" continued in-earnest until HUAC was laughed down in the mid-1960s. Enough has been written and stated on the criminal behavior of the GOP during the 1960s-70s, but can be summed-up in the name of one man: Richard M. Nixon. If it weren't for the creation of a Republican majority in the Senate in 1948, it's doubtful that the last sixty years would have played-out quite the way they did, and that would be just fine.
"Sixty years of success" was their success and the success of the two party monopoly over our political system; but it was big business and finance that truly won, the real power behind the throne, the faceless dictatorship. But without the Democrats, they couldn't have done it. Make no mistake about it: these bastards will do anything in their power to preserve their position--just as the Hapsburgs, the Ottoman Turks, the Hollenzollerns, and the Romanovs did, giving us the war that ruined the entire 20th century, WWI. If they have to drag us all down into hell to do it, they'll make the attempt. The key is knowing this and consciously refusing to serve their interests. That doesn't mean it's going to be easy, but the alternatives are far worse--we could just continue-on like before, finally reaching that real catastrophe that's been awaiting us.
The market system never worked, and it was much closer to Marxist-Leninist forced production, with both the Soviet and American approaches embracing Frederick Taylor's "scientific management."
Really, they were just two-sides of the same coin of an authoritarianism poised to extinguish humanity from the earth. The Soviet Union and its order fell leaving the U.S. without a viable enemy, so we created as many of them as possible throughout the world to feed the war machine that maintains our hold on the seaways and markets of the world. This was a forced arrangement more than it was a natural one, and still is.
This crisis is the end of Empire, which gives hope to those who desire life in a real democracy; but it doesn't mean the powerful are going down without a fight. That's what the war on terrorism is for, and it's not going to work. All the last eight years have done is to erode American power in the world, and to isolate us diplomatically. The economic part is coming soon, maybe tomorrow.
George W. Bush didn't make this postwar order, he was just instrumental in wrecking it. Thanks George, our first Socialist--on-accident, mind you--president. I've been wondering when two generations of business domination were going to end. It truly is a new day in America, a time for the working man (and woman) to seize unique historical opportunities and to take all that concentrated power and wealth away from a class of privileged criminals who have used violence to get and keep what they stole from the rest of us. If the American public don't start using their heads, we're going to see another world war, it's coming otherwise.