Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wall St. Bailout proves Orwell right: financial elite, you are OBSOLETE!

Or a vestigial limb that evolution will eventually remove.

As we have seen in the myriad scams and schemes that led to the bailout, they do nothing productive but instead, drain wealth from those who know how to make things and provide services, and even from taxpayers with wars to seize assets for them and subsidies to prop up their poorly run businesses.

Orwell goes even farther and says that modern technology has the means to produce enough wealth to give a comfortable lifestyle to everyone on earth with fairly minimal work. But that would endanger the elite, who would begin to look superfluous, so the excess wealth must be destroyed--spent on weapons that make no one's life easier and used to destroy other weapons, people, and things, which in turn absorbs more wealth to repair.

We see this most clearly in the United States. We can't afford to pay decent salaries to workers because the money must all go to execs and dividends. We can't afford to have decent government run schools or health care because the rich must not be taxed more than they want to be and more must be spent on our military than all other countries combined--never mind that all the yahoos with hunting rifles and shotguns would be more than enough to give anyone stupid enough to invade us a serious headache.

America and the world are at a cross-roads: do we continue to run our world into the ground and kill each other so that a handful of people can control more money than their family could spend in twenty generations or do we tell those people ENOUGH? Would it really hurt them to only have enough excess wealth for three or four generations?

Would it hurt them to make them treat the rest of us like members of the human family instead of like cattle they can milk, slaughter, or sell for their own enrichment?

This is what Orwell said about the wealthy in the modern world in 1984:

The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living. Ever since the end of the nineteenth century, the problem of what to do with the surplus of consumption goods has been latent in industrial society. At present, when few human beings even have enough to eat, this problem is obviously not urgent, and it might not have become so, even if no artificial processes of destruction had been at work. The world of today is a bare, hungry, dilapidated place compared with the world that existed before 1914, and still more so if compared with the imaginary future to which the people of that period looked forward. In the early twentieth century, the vision of a future society unbelievably rich, leisured, orderly, and efficient -- a glittering antiseptic world of glass and steel and snow-white concrete -- was part of the consciousness of nearly every literate person. Science and technology were developing at a prodigious speed, and it seemed natural to assume that they would go on developing. This failed to happen, partly because of the impoverishment caused by a long series of wars and revolutions, partly because scientific and technical progress depended on the empirical habit of thought, which could not survive in a strictly regimented society. As a whole the world is more primitive today than it was fifty years ago. Certain backward areas have advanced, and various devices, always in some way connected with warfare and police espionage, have been developed, but experiment and invention have largely stopped, and the ravages of the atomic war of the nineteen-fifties have never been fully repaired. Nevertheless the dangers inherent in the machine are still there. From the moment when the machine first made its appearance it was clear to all thinking people that the need for human drudgery, and therefore to a great extent for human inequality, had disappeared. If the machine were used deliberately for that end, hunger, overwork, dirt, illiteracy, and disease could be eliminated within a few generations. And in fact, without being used for any such purpose, but by a sort of automatic process -- by producing wealth which it was sometimes impossible not to distribute -- the machine did raise the living standards of the average humand being very greatly over a period of about fifty years at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries.

But it was also clear that an all-round increase in wealth threatened the destruction -- indeed, in some sense was the destruction -- of a hierarchical society. In a world in which everyone worked short hours, had enough to eat, lived in a house with a bathroom and a refrigerator, and possessed a motor-car or even an aeroplane, the most obvious and perhaps the most important form of inequality would already have disappeared.
If it once became general, wealth would confer no distinction. It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away.


Was the bailout "crisis" a fraud?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's start with the Fed, and their monopoly money creation system!