September 3, 2010

Did You Read Your Own Post?

Filed under: Corporatism, Health Racket Bailout, Reformism Can't Work — Tags: — Russ @ 8:01 am


Yesterday Glenn Greenwald put up a short but comprehensive post which takes a little tour of the crimes of the Democrats. Corporate aggrandizement, war crimes, Big Lies, petty fascism, arrogance and disdain for the base, and most of all the Democrats’ willful, contemptuous refusal to regard mass permanent unemployment as a problem at all, let alone the greatest crisis facing America – it’s all there in just a few sentences. 
Greenwald’s sarcastic title, The Profound Mystery of the “Enthusiasm Gap”, certainly implies the right question. By now the proof is overwhelming that the Democratic party is just an organized crime syndicate, every bit as bad as the Republicans in ideology and policy and almost as bad in sheer viciousness, meanness, sadism. (The fact that they refuse to do anything about permanent mass unemployment proves they desire permanent mass unemployment. It’s an intentional policy goal.) All this is empirically proven. A post like this is just another stone on the Everest of evidence. So to still have questions about the Democrats is indeed a profound mystery, assuming the questioner isn’t actually a criminal partisan operative.
Yet having just written a post proving by itself that the bad and predatory policies of Democrats are not abuses or renegade examples but rather constitute a structural pattern, Greenwald turns around and performs an attitudinal flip and beriddles us with his own profound mystery in an update. It turns out in spite of his post and its title, he too remains “amazed”:

What’s most amazing about this is that Democrats generally and the White House specifically seem completely uninterested in doing anything about this — other than exacerbating it. The need to do something is what leads me to believe (without knowing) that Obama will nominate (without necessarily causing to be confirmed) liberal favorite Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Protection Agency created by the Financial Regulation bill. If they do that and are serious about it, that would definitely be a good thing, but at this point, Democratic malaise and apathy are so entrenched that it’s hard to imagine a single nomination doing much to change it.

You think that what you yourself know ahead of time would be a sham appointment would still be “a good thing”? You think something you just implicitly said would serve no purpose but to try to obscure the truth about the Democrats, the truth you yourself just wrote a post dedicated to exposing, would be a good thing? Do you read your own posts?
This is why in the end most liberals, even the best of them, will never be worth anything in a fight. They’re congenitally elitist and conformist and simply can’t break out of those self-imposed constraints. This is an existential matter, a matter of temperament. They’re walking refutations of their own Enlightenment Myth. That’s why they get caught up in profound mysteries. No matter how much education they receive, no matter how much they learn in principle, no matter how much they even become teachers of the truth, they’re unable to really learn the lesson in practice. They’re always close to caving in, selling out, double-crossing the cause. Thus we see the guy who just wrote a good post laying out how the Democrats are our permanent, irreconcilable enemies spin right around to say he can be appeased by a Warren appointment, even though he intellectually knows it’s a sham.
I don’t normally think in terms of the “the worse it gets, the better for us” philosophy, but moments like this do make me feel like this country really does have to hit rock bottom before any change can come, just like any other incorrigible dope fiend. If that’s true, we’d be better off having Bernie Madoff become head of the CFPB than Warren. Such an appointment would be infinitely more honest, would have such greater clarity, would be so much more educational, and not have the bank-enabling soporific effect on liberals the way Warren seems to have. It would be stark and undeniable, while a Warren appointment will only be occasion for another profound mystery. 
This is nothing new for Greenwald. His characteristic two-steps-forward-one-step-back pattern is to write a post which does a good job of laying out the big picture structural issue, and then regress to process liberal mode on that same issue. For example he wrote one of the best posts I’ve seen on the health racket bailout as exemplary of the great defining corporatist issue. Then just days later, evidently having been criticized by Obama hacks, he whined “I wasn’t saying I didn’t support the bill”, and whipped out a microscope to try to ascertain whether or not it might be infinitesimally better than the status quo.

One should acknowledge: the mere fact that the health insurance industry and the market generally sees this “reform” bill as a huge boost to the industry’s profitability does not prove, by itself, that this is a bad bill. Contrary to what I’ve seen said in various places, I haven’t advocated for the defeat of this bill. I’ve said from the start that there are reasonable arguments on both sides and that one must weigh (a) the corrupt, mandate-based strengthening of the private insurance industry, the major advancement of the corporatism model of government, the harm this is likely to do to some who are now covered and some who cannot afford the forced premiums, and the chances for a better bill if this one is defeated, versus (b) the various substantial benefits to many people who do not now have and cannot obtain health insurance and the risk that defeat of this bill will ensure preservation of the status quo. Weighing those factors is difficult and, at least for me, produces ambivalence.

No, we shouldn’t acknowledge any such thing, when the truth has been proven to be the exact opposite. That kind of picayune parsing and the wretched process fetish are typical of liberals. As is this profoundly mysterious refusal to personally register the truth about the Democrats, no matter how much they know about them, no matter how much they write to expose them.
For another, new example on that same health racket bailout, we have two posts from Jon Walker at FireDogLake*.
The first discusses how polls reveal support for the bill and in particular for the individual mandate deteriorating from their already low levels. Over 80% oppose the mandate, most of them strongly so. Once again we see how the people in general are far more intelligent than the non-rich who support either kleptocratic party. The post condemns the Democrats’ crimes in engineering and imposing this reactionary, kleptocratic bill. You’d think the author comprehends the Democrats. Well, evidently not.

Why Democrats fought so hard to include this provision which could have been replaced by far less objectionable alternatives is beyond comprehension.

Again, if by that he means he doesn’t understand the substantive reason why they wanted to do it, then it’s only “beyond comprehension” how anybody can be dense enough to still think the Democrats are anything other than an organized crime racket, or that they’re less evil than the Republicans in this sense.
What anyone who’s been paying attention comprehends is that the Dems included this provision because their intent and goal was to bail out the insurance rackets and help them better loot the people.
On the other hand, if he had meant he doesn’t understand how they could have been politically incompetent enough to do this unilaterally and fail to either make the Republicans share responsibility or else drop it, I’d concur. The Dems are evil but also strategically and tactically very stupid. But on the evidence of his second post a day later, it sounds like he still doesn’t comprehend the Dems themselves.
He describes how Senator Ron Wyden, a longtime vocal supporter of a racketeering mandate, is now back-pedalling from his support for the version in this bill and exploring ways for Oregon to avoid it. Wyden’s doing this for purely political reasons, of course. Like many, many other Democrats, he’s already sweating over re-election. (What’s really amazing and incomprehensible is how these crooks thought they could not only aggressively and systematically flout the will of their own voters, but do so in such an intentionally brazen and offensive way, and then coast to re-election. But like I said, they’re malicious in their intent, stupid in the execution.)
Again, another interesting post which helps to compile the criminal indictment. We can add hypocrisy and cowardice to the list for Wyden. But what does Walker comprehend from this? What’s his takeaway?

We can only hope that Wyden’s recent shift away from the individual mandate is a sign that the Democratic Party is beginning to acknowledge what a massive political and policy mistake they made.

We need for the Democrats to do better! And that’s our “only hope”!
Again, however useful some of their writings are, we see how partisan liberals (which is practically a redundancy) can’t be a reliable part of anyone’s hope for radical change. By definition a liberal is an obstacle to such change. (And if, on the other hand, one does want radical change and is willing to fight for it, whatever he is he’s not a liberal.) 
[*According to this,

wayoutwest August 4th, 2010 at 9:37 pm
I think it’s going to take a while for Americans to move from anger and scapegoating to understanding who is the real enemy. When and if they do wake up we might get a***edited in moderation***.

Too many progressives and liberals still think that we can change the system by electing a few more good guys to fight for us.

Until someone stands up and demands that the TBTF banks, oil companies and other predatory capitalists are nationalized we are not going to change anything.

***MODNOTE: comments advocating violence or revolution are not permitted***

wayoutwest August 4th, 2010 at 10:19 pm
So peacefull Democratic Revolution is a taboo subject on FDL?

FireDogLake itself is implicitly and censoriously committed to the Democratic Party. Even civil disobedience advocacy, even advocacy of non-violent resistance, are forbidden, at least according to that moderator. (There was no response to that last question, and looking around for an official proclamation I couldn’t find one.) I saw a moderator in another thread, which I couldn’t locate again in order to link it, explicitly say that the only advocacy allowed is legal change through the electoral process. That can only imply in particular that Democrat partisanship is the only acceptable viewpoint. In general, it’s the liberal process fetish taken to the level of debate-quashing dogma.
We see how, in spite of how FDL allegedly learned a lesson from past follies, deep down it really hasn’t changed. Just like with Greenwald’s posting pattern, the old Democratic “party of the fathers” brainwashing is never far submerged, today in the form of “liberal” ideology.]  
The Democratic party is beyond redemption. It cannot be rehabilitated. It does not do bad things out of stupidity or cowardice. It does them out of criminal will. (The Dems are often stupid and cowardly, but that’s only in the policy execution and the politics; their premise and their intent are always fully, consciously malevolent.) At best we may be able to find decent individual persons at the lower levels of politics. Some of these may sometimes be worth supporting, for purely tactical reasons, but never with the thought, “maybe this can be the beginning of a takeover of the Democratic party!” That way lies nothing but frustration and the pure waste of time and effort. Power corrupts; power within an organized crime network makes one a criminal. The longer one is a cadre within, and especially the higher one rises, the more one is corrupted. That has to always be the measure of any establishment politician. “Establishment” includes being a member or supporter of either establishment party.


  1. “we’d be better off having Bernie Madoff become head of the CFPB than Warren.”

    Said basically the same thing on another blog. If FDR had Joe Kennedy, Obama can have Bernie.

    Make Bernie COO, put him on commission, and have him report to Chairwomen Warren to wrap the libs in happy gauze. You would need a good bureaucrat to manage the process as neither professors nor Ponziist are organized, but it is doable and probably preferrable to what we will get.

    You know, for a hired mouthpiece of the right wing, you guys quote me alot. Probably no longer serve any usefullness.

    Comment by Stephen A. Boyko — September 3, 2010 @ 8:59 am

    • You’re a hired mouthpiece for the right wing?

      Ah yes, the misdirection from smashing TBTF.

      Or were you ruefully saying you’ve been wrongly accused of that? In that case, you should reconsider. The whole finance sector issue is really very simple, philosophically. Big finance is nothing but a parasite and a vandal and should be completely eradicated.

      It’s only figuring out how to do it which is complicated.

      Comment by Russ — September 3, 2010 @ 9:12 am

  2. Russ,

    Good post. I’ve been a big fan of Greenwald for a long time. I particularly admire his strong voice on civil liberties issues. Unfortunately, you’ve illustrated how his understanding of how the political game is played can compromise (if not cripple) his principles. I’m still a fan of his, but I’ll read what he says a bit more carefully from now on.

    One way to view what Greenwald openly did is as a version of Hayek’s “double truth” doctrine. Double truth– one truth for the masses, one truth for the elites– is a centerpiece of neoliberalism (aka the libertarianism you find on mises.org, which is the truth for the masses part). What Greenwald basically said was that Obama could appease and reinvigorate the masses by publicly presenting them “the truth” of Warren’s nomination while appeasing the elites by privately presenting them “the truth” that he would not put up a fight to have Warren onfirmed.

    Greenwald basically encouraged Obama to pick a fight and then throw it. Sad.

    Comment by Scot Griffin — September 3, 2010 @ 11:51 am

  3. Good one Scot…
    Thanks Russ for laying out so clearly the inability or disinterest of the left, the liberal, or progressive leaders, media, blogs etc to challenge the basic orthodoxy – that the democratic party / brand are the ‘good guys’. Perhaps misguided, unintelligent, somewhat corrupt but still ‘the best of the lot.’
    And thanks for saying it out loud – that the organized democratic party is just another criminal enterprise. There… what’s so hard about ‘listening to what they do, not what they say?’
    Health insurance reform, finance systems reform, unemployment, the war in Iraq, Afganistan, torture, privacy invasion and on and on – how many examples do we need to call it like it is?? The whole trend, agenda, process, PR, product rollouts, revenue streams, etc., they all benefit somebody and it ain’t us.
    So, what to do… If it’s taken 40-50 years for the reactionary group(s), the corporatists and the MIC to regain control of the political, regulatory, judicial, and the media, we’d better get started. Does look like it’s time for new structures tho’.

    Comment by shiggins — September 3, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

    • Thanks, shiggins.

      New structures are needed, for sure. Decentralized, relocalized, controlled by the self-governing producers, directly democratic.

      Comment by Russ — September 3, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

  4. @ Russ

    Given the following three statements

    • Thanks Russ for laying out so clearly the inability … to challenge the basic orthodoxy
    • Big finance is nothing but a parasite
    • New structures are needed,

    Then we’re back to the crucial question of whether the governance system is ineffective (broke) in need of fundamental change or inefficient in need of Dodd-Frank amendments. If the legacy system is broke, then we need an innovative alternative to the “one” in one-size-fits/fails-all. I offer segmentation of randomness and welcome the opportunity to consider other suggestions. Problem identification above needs to move on to problem solution; otherwise it is effective as one-hand clapping.

    BTW: If my client base were big finance, I would have never left K Street.

    Comment by Stephen A. Boyko — September 3, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

    • If my client base were big finance, I would have never left K Street.

      That doesn’t sound so creditable. You’re proud of that? It sounds like you’re saying you washed out as a lobbyist in spite of your worst intentions.

      As far as how to overcome the kleptocracy, I don’t think it can be assailed directly so long as it’s intact.

      I think the answer is a combination of:

      1. Relocalization, renouncing the system, as much as possible extricating ourselves from the clutches of the system and its rent extraction points, and affirmatively trying to build new economies and polities from the soil up.

      2. Passive resistance and civil disobedience where necessary. Optimally everyone would jubilate their system debts the way any elite does the moment it’s in his interest. Debt jubilee is definitely in the people’s interest. I also want to treat the health racket mandate and any oppressive corporatized government food policy as a Stamp Act to be resisted with the same Sons of Liberty spirit.

      3. In specifically targeted areas where (A) it could possibly work, and (B) there’s no alternative, we should pressure the system. Preserving net neutrality is the primary example I’m thinking of there.

      So there’s the basic triple plan I’m thinking of right now.

      Comment by Russ — September 3, 2010 @ 3:40 pm

      • That doesn’t sound so creditable. You’re proud of that? It sounds like you’re saying you washed out as a lobbyist in spite of your worst intentions.

        Forgot my age, that was 30 years ago when I left the NASD to go into the securities industry. Lobbying never was an interest. But you may feel that lobbying vs. finance industry is a distinction without a difference.

        On a more serious note, I agree with your strategy but not your tactics as I believe you can change the structure.

        Comment by Stephen A. Boyko — September 3, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

      • Wouldn’t that be a differing strategy?

        So how does one actively change the structure? (By change I mean eradicate all corporatism and financialization, among other things.)

        Comment by Russ — September 4, 2010 @ 3:33 am

    • Good question. I am trying to read insightful blogs and discussing the issues with my network.

      Too many blogs espouse political gotchas at the expense of problem-solving gotits. My advice is to clearly and concisely define your issue(s) to create an elevator pitch as a discussion platform for your blog. Comments can be developed off-line to become articles in your blog as too many blogs suffer from inforrmation overload.

      See: “Cutting to the Chase”, Pace University Business Journal, May 5, 2005,


      Comment by Stephen A. Boyko — September 4, 2010 @ 9:55 am

      • Thanks for the advice. I’m trying to whittle it down to a basic line of attack once I get all my idea ducks in a row.

        The two pages at the upper-right corner are “elevator pitches”, I suppose.

        Comment by Russ — September 4, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

      • Reviewed your proposed elevator pitches and would like to send you a PowerPoint presentation that could be of assistance relative the process of managing “change.” How do I get this to you?

        In a related matter, I’m thinking of doing a sequel to “We’re All Screwed (WAS)” http://www.traderspress.com/detail.php?PKey=671 entitled “Overdosed on Determinism—The Nanny State on Steroids.” It takes WAS’ concepts and goes beyond regulation to societal issues.

        In support of an earlier comment on this post, I believe that politicians are not stupid so much as they are logically inconsistent with a need to control that appears caring. Therefore, we get stuck with TBTF and healthcare, where one-size that fits all also fails all. Politicians have a hammer in search of “nails of need” to pound. It is activity that matters, not the achievement. But politicians and bloggers can’t have it both ways.

        Comment by Stephen A. Boyko — September 4, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

      • If it’s up somewhere, give a link to it. Although the link you just posted doesn’t work.

        Comment by Russ — September 5, 2010 @ 3:08 am

      • In the meantime, here is my attempt at a written elevator pitch.

        WAS’ Elevator Pitch

        Markets are complex adaptive systems with dynamical and non-linear properties. If there is complexity, then there is uncertainty. Can the regulators govern market the randomness of risk and uncertainty with a deterministic, one-size-fits-all regulatory regime?

        Managing “change” requires the reflexive integration of risk and uncertainty. To correct market ineffectiveness requires planned change, or innovation, where uncertainty becomes risk through market segmentation of predictable, probable, or indeterminate underlying economic environments. To correct market inefficiencies requires 3-D models for processing leverage (3-D GPS vs. 2-D Maps). Otherwise unplanned change, or chaos, sees risk become uncertainty resulting in the troubling, non-linear trend of larger and more frequent boom-bust cycles.

        If Citigroup’s financial supermarket could not cross-sell, can regulators solve the same problem of non-correlative information that produces a discontinuous market function to cross-regulate?

        Comment by Stephen A. Boyko — September 5, 2010 @ 10:04 am

  5. You state that “The Dems are evil but also strategically and tactically very stupid.”

    As cynical as you are, I think you’re not cynical enough. I get the sense that their stupidity is fake, and that they’re actively working to kill the Democratic Party once and for all.

    Comment by Andy Lewis — September 4, 2010 @ 3:36 am

    • I do think that’s true of Obama himself, because I think in his mind he considers himself a Republican.



      I can’t imagine why most Democrats would feel the same way, though. If they really think they’d still get cushy sinecures under a Republican “permanent majority”, as opposed to prison terms, then they’re a lot more stupid than even I thought.

      Comment by Russ — September 4, 2010 @ 3:48 am

      • I stand corrected. Your view feels
        closer to the truth.

        In my own defense, it’s hard to think straight when you suddenly realize it’s all just a hologram.

        Comment by Andy Lewis — September 4, 2010 @ 4:13 am

    • @ Andy Lewis

      The Dems are logically inconsistent which makes them strategically and tactically very stupid.

      This comes from someone who is politically unaligned and feels more strongly about issues rather than party. The observation was formed from blogging a different blog where I encountered the writings of Russ on financial reform (one of my interests).

      Illustrative of the problem about which you speak, financial reform comes down to the crucial question of whether the governance system is ineffective (broke) in need of fundamental change or inefficient in need of Dodd-Frank amendments. If it is broke, then we need an alternative to the “one” in one-size. Most believe it to be broke but keep support offering deterministic D-F tweeks. Hence, they are “logically inconsistent which makes them strategically and tactically very stupid.”

      Comment by Stephen A. Boyko — September 4, 2010 @ 9:42 am

  6. Great post Russ!

    A couple points. I think that most Democrats, who have to raise money from rich and powerful organizations and individuals, know exactly what they are doing. In the past I have compared them to the Washington Generals, who use to lose just about every night to the Harlem Globetrotters. Just like the Democrats, the players on the Generals were not incompetent. It was not a question of just finding a better head coach. The problem was structural, the very raison d’être of both the Washington Generals and the Democrats is to lose while making every effort to give the impression that there is an actual contest taking place.

    As far as the pathetic left-leaning blogs, FDL and Glenn Greenwald are two that I sometimes hold out hope of actually getting it. But no, for every flash of inspiration there are three or four posts reinforcing the status quo myths.

    I think many bourgeois political commentators cannot get past the urge to “problem solve”, which is an attitude based on the premise that the current political structure allows for the problems to be solved. To me there will be no problems solved until there is a fundamental realignment of power; and that means the class that I call the Peasant class has to step up and grab power from both the Rentier class and the Bourgeoisie.

    Comment by Kevin de Bruxelles — September 4, 2010 @ 5:23 am

    • I don’t doubt you’re close to the mark regarding much of the Democratic psychology, but I still think that’s a form of mental deficiency.

      What if the Generals could choose to win and would still get paid doing so? Wouldn’t you then call it pathological for them to still choose to lose?

      Ah well, it doesn’t matter what the ratio of ingredients is. We agree that elitist malevolence is the main and defining trait.

      I agree that Greenwald is usually very good for a liberal blog, and FDL is one of the better ones as well, though that’s not saying much.

      I guess what I still wonder is, is their role constructive or destructive? Do they help educate evolving citizens as a stage along a constructive path from conformism to questioning to rebellion?

      Or do they retard this development by astroturfing “hope” in the rotten system, the rotten Democrats?

      I guess that’s the same kind of question as, Can most people who are interested in these issues complete that evolution? Or are many of them bound to go only as far as some level of liberalism and then stop there? And if so, then do the better liberal blogs serve a constructive purpose by mustering the highest level of activism among those who were never going to evolve further in the first place?

      Because as I wrote in these posts, my instinct is to think these half-assed advocacies only hinder the development of the people’s consciousness, only hinder their evolution toward action. But I’m not completely sure.

      Comment by Russ — September 4, 2010 @ 7:28 am

      • @ Kevin

        “Because as I wrote in these posts, my instinct is to think these half-assed advocacies only hinder the development of the people’s consciousness, only hinder their evolution toward action. But I’m not completely sure.”

        Isn’t the above what differentiates “purist” from “pragmatist” who are engaged in a historical mean reversion that leaves neither satisfied?

        Comment by Stephen A. Boyko — September 4, 2010 @ 9:18 am

      • On your point about the Generals be able to win and not choosing to we have to think about what would happen to a young player coming up who thought that way. He would be cut from the team in no time. The leadership of the Democrats know their mission, and that is to pose as a party of the people in order to block an actual party of the people forming. Any young idealistic democrat who tries to play to win will be cut and sent away in no time. Sure they can and probably do exist at the local level and maybe even occasionally at the state level. But in order to make it to the big leagues, where wealthy donors are your ticket to office, you have to be damn clear that you stand with wealth to get the backing of wealth. Rich people aren’t stupid after all.

        As for whether those blogs are helpful or not; on the one hand they do help raise some doubts. I’ve commented occasionally on FDR in a very anti-Democratic vein and there were positive responses. But in the end they continue the tribal partisan game, and this will only make the coming revolt more ugly and more violent. There is the smallest chance, still, if people would just show their anger by voting for any other party except the two criminal parties, that things may be corrected peacefully. But the further this things runs, the uglier the reaction will be. Although you and I recognize it coming, we may very well be horrified by the actual form it takes.

        But to cowardly accept domination by shrinking away in horror at what may come is to accept slavery. People born into slavery are one thing, they never knew any better. But for a once free people to accept slavery is an abomination.

        Comment by Kevin de Bruxelles — September 4, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

      • I’ve seen the construction that the job of the Reps in power is to “aberrantly” intensify the system crimes (“head Right”), then when the Dems resume power they normalize that as the new baseline, and then the Reps resume, and so on.

        I think that’s a good behavioral description of what has happened over the last 30 years, especially in the way Obama and the congressional leadership are systematically normalizing every Bush/Cheney crime.

        On the other hand, I doubt Wall Street wants the Teaparty version of the Reps in power. In a perfect world (for them), I suppose they’d want the likes of Romney to take office in 2017 and continue the process.

        (It’s not just the Dems, of course. Look at e.g. the way the Nobel committee seeks to normalize permanent imperial warfare scattered around the globe as the new baseline for “peace” by giving Obama their rotten, flea-bitten “peace prize”.)

        I agree about a free people voluntarily submitting to servitude as an abomination. It’s truly disgusting. (But Debra below, in the earlier debate she’s alluding to, denied we have any such right to believe that, or to define the people as those who still demand freedom, justice, and human dignity.)

        Comment by Russ — September 4, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

  7. Wow… I think this post is the last of yours I will read.
    (But then… you have stopped responding to me anyway… the, uh… PROOF (??!!!) that YOU are not particularly interested in DEBATE anyway.)
    I have been warning you for quite some time now that your RHETORICAL style sounds amazingly like that of Adolf Hitler in “Mein Kampf”, and before you get on my case, stick your nose into some of the LATER pages of “Mein Kampf” where, AMID THE PERSPICACEOUS and SUPERFICIALLY RATIONAL pages of financial, political, economic analysis, Adolf nevertheless manifests a disquieting tendancy to, ah, SCAPEGOAT that HAD FAR REACHING REPERCUSSIONS for the 20th century.
    Wake up.
    I think you are an intelligent man.
    But… I think that you are DESCENDING into a form of radicalism that does NO CREDIT to your intelligence.
    Are you.. being SWEPT UP in the growing maelstrom of American disillusionment/discontent with the REPUBLICAN/DEMOCRATIC ideal (not the political parties, but the ideals behind them, the political system) ? All political systems… have a beginning and an end. We know that, and we should… IF we read our history books..The, uh.. KINGDOM OF GOD (read… UTOPIA) is NOT a POLITICAL system that will come about on this earth ONCE AND FOR ALL. Another MAN told us that, and we would do well to remember it.
    I don’t want to see a repeat of WW2.
    And if there is ONE PLACE on this earth where I feel a repeat of WW2 is INDEED possible, it is.. THE U.S.
    Take a long, hard look at yourself, what you’re saying, and where it’s taking you.
    And.. BE CAREFUL.
    For… YOU. (Remember where Adolf ended up. It COULD HAPPEN TO YOU. (it could happen to me, too, you know. It COULD happen to any of us, because.. Adolf was HUMAN. WE ARE HUMAN.)

    Comment by Debra — September 4, 2010 @ 5:36 am

    • Gee, you compare my small attempt to fight back against overwhelming criminal power to Hitler’s bullying, scapegoating, and misdirection from within the power structure, and you wonder why I’m not interested in debating that.

      More profound mysteries…

      But anyway, if you fundamentally oppose my transformational goal, then what’s there to debate?

      Yes, I’m not interested in debating whether to do nothing and submit to the status quo, which it sounds to me is what you’re advocating.

      I already told you what my democratic aspirations are, and why I consider them to be the fight for true democracy and not the sham we now have. If you reject positive democracy and want to keep pumping the dry well of pseudo-democracy, that’s your affair, but it’s true that in that case we’d have nothing more to discuss.

      My principles and goals are set. The only debate is over the strategy and tactics.

      Comment by Russ — September 4, 2010 @ 7:16 am

      • Big rivers start out as small streams…
        I wrote a response to this post on MY (shared) blog.
        You can see it through Edwardo’s place. It’s Econosophy and other musings.
        I expanded on my comment here.
        It might interest you..

        Comment by Debra — September 4, 2010 @ 7:26 am

      • Debra,

        Do you have a link for your site/blog? I couldn’t find it using Google, Bing, or Alexa.

        Comment by Andy Lewis — September 4, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

      • Andy, if you want to waste your time reading illiterate garbage it’s here:


        Evidently I’m Hitler. Evidently Debra doesn’t know what the term “scapegoat” means. She’s certainly incompetent to use it. (She’s also evidently incompetent to link her own blog, so mean old Russ had to do it for her. That must make me a really sorry excuse for a Hitler; I don’t think he wouldn’t have posted the link.)

        I’d love to hear an example of who I scapegoat (she mysteriously refuses to give examples) – the banksters? government nabobs? corporate executives? MSM hacks? corporate liberal astroturfers?

        A scapegoat by definition is either innocent or is at most a small player. You scapegoat someone in order to misdirect blame away from the real criminals.

        I’d love to hear who she thinks I’m scapegoating. Poor little powerless Obama, innocent Blankfein, helpless Krugman… Yeah, I’m a big bully, all right.

        The funniest thing is how it’s a perfect example (in substance, not in the incompetent execution) of the Status Quo Lie. Who’s the “extremist”? Not the corporate criminals, not the war-mongers, not the tyrants, not the mass murderers, not the robbers of trillions of dollars. No, they constitute the normal, rational, moderate baseline.

        No, when a filthy peasant like me dares to get uppity, then I’m the extremist.

        So what do you know, we have our own pathetic little case study in bankster and warmonger apologism right here.

        Comment by Russ — September 4, 2010 @ 3:24 pm

      • Debra,

        Your appeal to Hitler totally undermines your point – namely that it is ALWAYS wrong to demonize a group of people.

        Let’s engage in a little thought experiment and transport ourselves back to a 1940 blog post where a Russ warns us of the gathering storm in Nazi Germany and the need to prepare and fight this threat.. What would be the response of a Debra from 1940? Would she carefully weigh Russ’ arguments as to whether Nazi Germany is indeed a threat or would she just simply go into feel-good autopilot and declare that any generalized declarations of enmity are wrong since it is certainly true that there surely are some good and worthy people within the group labelled as Nazi Germans?

        With hindsight we can all see that the earlier we started fighting Nazi Germany the better. But now we are facing a situation in America where we do not have the benefit of hindsight. It is we who have to make the call. Although I often rail against the Bourgeoisie, and despite my solidly working class roots, I am now living as a full blown member of the bourgeoisie. Although I consider Europe a different case than America (maybe fifteen years “behind”) when the shit hits the fan it will be my neighbourhood that gets invaded by bloodthirsty Peasants. And it is little consolation that it will be just as much an injustice if they manage to me and my family out just as waves of American strategic bombers wiped out loads of German families during WW2.

        This shit can be sorted out well before it comes to violence. But those who refuse to weigh evidence and instead resort to blanket condemnations are only working towards the violent end of the solution possibility scale.

        [By the way, it is really annoying the way you format your comments. Please hit the enter key at the end of each paragraph. I once edited one of your comments this way on Naked Capitalism but I didn’t bother reposting it. It really helps making them more readable.]

        Comment by Kevin de Bruxelles — September 4, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

      • Russ,

        Thanks for the link. I think something can be salvaged from Debra’s meanderings – namely, the cautionary note about how extreme anger can make one go wrong. The comments of “Lavrenti Beria” on Baseline Scenario are a prime example.

        Where DEBRA went wrong was preemptively (and unforgivably) and without any evidence playing the Nazi card on YOU.

        Elsewhere on that same page was an entry telling us unemployment is good. I threw up in my mouth a little, and I guess I won’t be bookmarking her blog after all.

        Comment by Andy Lewis — September 4, 2010 @ 10:59 pm

      • I didn’t see the “unemployment is good” post. I’m probably not missing anything.

        If someone wanted to argue “I think your expression of anger obscures rather than illuminates your message”, I’d listen. That’s a tactical matter.

        But this person attacks the cause itself, since this post makes clear (although she’s obfuscated the point in comments) that she’s calling me an “extremist” not primarily on account of my mode of expression, but on account of the very fact that I’m opposing the status quo.

        The immediate shift from “extremism” to “scapegoating” as the main theme proves that. I attack nothing but the power structure. So it follows that this person supports the power structure and regards its actions and prerogatives to be justified.

        Or am I overanalyzing someone who’s basically incoherent?

        Comment by Russ — September 5, 2010 @ 3:16 am

      • @ Russ
        @ Andy Lewis

        In support of Andy Lewis’ comment, I have found three “avoids” to constructive policy blogging:

        1. Ad hominem attacks and expletive characterizations,
        2. Revolutionary blather, and
        3.Echo chamber biases that select-out diversity of opinions.

        For example, you and I may have similar goals relative to capital market governance, but different tactics for achieving such goals. The question is whether we complement, contrast, or compete with one another. In any event, I have no plans to engage in the three “avoids.”

        Comment by Stephen A. Boyko — September 5, 2010 @ 12:49 pm

      • Well, I don’t engage in them either, except maybe for an expletive now and then.

        It sometimes feels appropriate. 🙂

        Comment by Russ — September 5, 2010 @ 3:03 pm

  8. The Democratic Party has never paid anything but lip service to the needs of the propertyless. Somehow its rhetorical flourishes continue to resonate with college sophomores of all ages. The best cases in point are the love affairs with FDR, Clinton and all the Kennedeys. None of this gives me a good feeling about higher education.

    Of course the Republican Party has been dominated by crooks since the death of Lincoln. Even TR was at bottom a Morgan man, which is why he was dropped into the 1912 race to swing the election to Wilson, another Morgan stooge.

    All this being said the very best we can hope for is the emergence of a genuine third party with sane, intelligent leadership. This may become easier as things go from bad to worse.

    Comment by jake chase — September 4, 2010 @ 11:32 am

    • That would be “a consummation devoutly to be wish’d”.

      You know, shouldn’t you apply your same corrosive criticism to Lincoln as well? For him the Civil War was of course all about centralizing political and economic power, which it did. His fanatical obsession with “the Union” as such, seemingly divorced of all moral or aspirational content (i.e. no obvious answer to the question, “union toward what?”), was a bizarre ideological fetish, unless one thinks the real goal was corporate concentration. We know that his disapproval of slavery was just an attitude, not a deep principle or policy priority.

      Though I see that on liberal blogs too: “secession” depicted as a self-evidently bad thing.

      Comment by Russ — September 4, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

      • Well, lots of venting about how Russ expresses himself on his blog: He could change style and be more effective? Tone it down? Too much anger? He’s dangerous? Now, there are a lot of blogs on the web–something for everyone. When I find something is too spicy for my liking, I move on. Those of us that like it hot, however, definitely approve.

        Comment by RT — September 7, 2010 @ 11:26 pm

      • Thanks, RT.

        Comment by Russ — September 8, 2010 @ 3:23 am

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