by Denis A. Conroy for The Saker Blog
A ‘thing’ is a ‘thing’ because it’s not something else. The ‘thing’ we are presently preoccupied with is the coronavirus, a thing that has become the scourge that presently eclipses every other scourge, even the Western Worlds’ penchant for continuous warfare.
The self-incarcerated multitude…of which I am one…might well wonder (at this time) what lies around the next corner. Some of us in our isolation will struggle to overcome the vain and intrusive interpretations that identify a culture of mesmerism that has come into existence these past four decades. From the Department of Shock-dock Wizardly…Wall Street et al… came a form of speculative hyperbole determined to take control of the social agenda, and by succeeding in doing so, required all of us to submit to their latest market stratagems.
What stratagems are employed in this context are anybodys’ guess. Communitarian concerns have long been privatised under legislation that came into effect to transferred ownership of the public purse to the Neo-Cons. With the arrival of the coronavirus, the effects of the Neo-Liberal coup on public infrastructure came sharply into focus. It exposed what had been happening these past four decades within the public arena. The Neo-Cons had successfully quarantined the public domain with superlative nonsense of the deluded kind…Friedrich Hayek…so that they might parasitically suck on the marrow of the American dream.
“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” ……Friedrich Hayek.
But sadly…and with the benefit of hindsight…we now observe the fundamental illiteracy of Friedrich Hayek’s economic design. He advocated a privatise-or-perish process that would enable Wall Street to privatise the public components (safeguards) within the system…originally put in place to regulate the system itself…thus making it easy for casino capitalism to shit on public trust.
THE MARKET ECONOMY as a ‘thing’ (or design) is an instrument with many strings committed to the profit motive and enables the 1% to make usurious whoopee via asset buybacks at the expense of the 99% while peeing on the fiscally vulnerable. The ‘thing’ is, how much longer will we tolerate Old Testament capitalism to be our ‘thing’- of-choice?
The thing is: Saudi Arabia princes luxuriate in their billion-dollar yachts while Yemeni children die from starvation.
The thing is: In Britain, the Queenly Royal matron sits in her castle and comes out intermittently to speak to her subjects while managing to avoid addressing questions of inequity.
The thing is, why is so hard to rid ourselves of elitism!
Was Hegel right; “The only thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.”
The thing is: individuality in the Western world is centred around myths of exceptionalism and martial effectiveness to create an illusion of righteous purpose …the sense of who the ‘good-guys’ are and who should be annihilated in the name of ‘enlightened causes’ have become an American mantra that has had the effect of pushing the national psyche into perpetual warfare.
But the strangest thing about the USA…the biggest economy…is that it has a Jewish problem insofar as it is home to millions who went there with the legends of Jewish historic identity that cannot be fully integrated into the mainstream population. It has made an artform of ghetto identity by masterfully balancing the in-and-out (ness) of political correctness to a tee, which in turn, causes perceived anti- Semitic slights to produce lachrymose responses.
“If you want to understand anti-Semitism, read the Old Testament.” –George Orwell.
It also has a debt problem, alongside an America First problem, and not least a population that regards itself as emancipated in a most simplistic way. Not least of all, it believes itself capable of solving the problems of the global community with coercion and apple pie. It has produced a capitalist client-market-oriented culture that sojourns the public in a fake holism while using its militaristic capability to dominate all competition by relying on the wiles of brute strength to achieve its’ ends.
Hence the Hollywood ‘thing’; the spinning of self-interested narratives to promote the elitist notion that modern Jewish self-identity and American culture need the threat of omnipresent antithesis to ensure its very survival against assimilation or influence…a drama that produced unsavoury elements when used as an anti-Semitic trope against Jeremy Corbyn in the recent UK elections in relation to Palestinians rights. The Jewish right to use what it perceives as vanguardism directed toward acquiring a place in the legislature of a host country eerily coexists with Empirical American ambitions of infiltrating its hegemonic protoplasm into the biosphere.
The thing is, will the virus have a seminal effect on the house-of-cards economy that America has become? A Taj Mahal tribute to love of easy money built on derivatives, piled one on top of the other in fake alignments that disguise the very essence of the ecoTHE THING IS…nomic process. Will Blackrock’s Larry Fink be astute enough to hold together asset-values for the elite…gains a la usurious whoopee… or will “Wild Bill” Hickok rise from his grave in true American style to lead the ‘yeomen’ in a putsch against the Rothschild central-bankers whose grip on the system is formidable.
For now, the ‘thing’ is… will those cosseted asset-managers who have now become financial advisers to US Fed and Treasury create a less than brave new world where the twin evils of privatisation and redundancy render the herd-instinct subject to parasitic dystopia, or will the coronavirus be the event that loosens the grip of the hoary traders’ hands which continue to grab a fat-cat portion of the commonweal.
The thing is, only time can give us a clear picture of the state of global health and the health of the global economy.
Just as Indian residents can now see the towering peaks of the Himalayas from Punjab for the first time in thirty years, after a massive drop in pollution caused by the country’s coronavirus lockdown so, might we discover clarification when the fog of confusion that comes with the coronavirus has passed.
As my 86th. birthday approaches I consider myself lucky to have made it thus far. To be sure, I’m in the acute category in matters of coronavirus infection. But the virus is not foremost in my thoughts…it’s the aftermath that interests me. Could a new and improved awareness of natural causes become part of a newfound purview…a holistic view of human society that replaces the inanity of celebrity culture?
It takes some ‘thing’ like the coronavirus to obviate the obvious…it’s the tinted glass of the chauffeur driven limousine with ‘Larry’ the fat-cat-passenger smugly luxuriating within the partitioned-compartmentalised space he has carved out for himself through sheer wile while separating himself from the downtrodden homeless ‘Larry’s’ he fleetingly notices lying under makeshift coverings in the doorways of shop fronts or any portion of real estate that they can identify as their own until they are moved-on once again. ‘Larry’ sees all this and is comforted by the fact that wealth can buy health care.
So, the ‘thing’ is, when the mop-up comes and those amongst us who have perished, or are perishing because of inequities, will they merely be regarded as collateral damage. Will the system that cultivates individual gratification at the expense of the less wily resume its business-as-usual charter? An incontestable fact that is re-emerging ever more poignantly with the advent of the coronavirus, is the paucity and glaring lack of literacy in matters pertaining to health services and social wellbeing.
Most Western societies have become mean places because their wallets occupy the place where their hearts ought to be…and, how sad a ‘thing’ is that?
Denis A. Conroy,
“Most Western societies have become mean places because their wallets occupy the place where their hearts ought to be…and, how sad a ‘thing’ is that?”
Yes, precisely Dennis. The saker wrote a piece dating back a few years in which he mentioned that policy should be based on morality or ethics. When its based on self interest, it only benefits those who are in a position to benefit, and the masses are left uncared for.
I wish their was a quick fix for this, but there isnt. A lot of these mistakes are civilizational blunders. Many wrong choices, and the festering of those decisions have led to this, and will only continue to bring suffering on many unsuspecting people. I just read this below which is one aspect of what we’re talking about. Stay safe Dennis
losing billions via starvation possibly including tidal waves from space debris, and metal missles from men. the summer of death
“If you want to understand anti-Semitism, read the Old Testament.” –George Orwell.”
and thoroughly one of his Books: Kevin McDonald – and then wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_MacDonald_(evolutionary_psychologist)
you get anything you need to know, that the ‘J-problem’ is a world-problem, like all real problems: insolvable. Culture of heart, nothing else, find’s the key to the productive
relation between ethnocentric and diverse patterns of mankind.
Putins 4 principles , 4 respects, in the relation of different cultures, traditions, believes and and states, don’t ever loose it , it’s H e who speaks the orthodox christian spirit, Lao Tzu,
beyond, might enjoy him.
Now the rivers float upstream and the wealth has to do some communism.
Cause China did it first.
Thank you Denis, and thank you Ahmed for sharing khamenei.ir on this epidemic. By the way, today Global Research has published an interesting interview from Iranian Press TV with Peter Koenig on the same issue.
No problem, my friend. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for that link. The US is a cursed entity, these evil people will have to face the eventual outcome of their rotten deeds.
After i read your article i browsed that site and ran into this article since many people are celebrating easter, it’s important to remember how much of the world is living in blatant contradiction to the teachings of Jesus Christ(as). Take care.
The thing is that people have to wake up, they must realize that this world has been created with their help, step by step, being led by their noses, being used as instruments for their own deception by their masters. The masters have not changed their attitude and way of thinking ever since the Roman Empire, the Empire remained, changing its face continuously during time, offering “bread and circus” with “divide and conquer”. People were pleased with the master, they watched their TV’s – drinking beer and chewing popcorn – how other people are being bombed or starved by their masters, happy that they are safe and well, living their peaceful lives, while the same TV set remembered them from time to time – via a break – what is the best tooth paste.
Not surprisingly, a huge mass of people have emigrated in the lands of the masters to have the same standard of life…the Empire has shown again its power over the entire world and that’s the power of Satan, the great magic of Mammon, the only Thing that matters today, without which nobody can imagine living. As globalization became a reality, every country – with very few exceptions – has recognized the meaning of Money and Power. The perfect trap was set, everyone wanted to make business, to make a profit, to have a better life. The bigger the country, the bigger the need and desire for expansion in economical way thus the competition grew in such a pace that begun to hurt more and more the biggest actors on the stage. Suddenly, they discovered that there is no more place to open a new market, there are too many producers for the same market, entire industries have to reset…and then came the other Thing…
And here we are now, surprised by the Thing…silence has engulfed the entire earth with people entering in house arrest and waiting for their masters to show them the way…
oH Boy what a page!
yesterday and today in disucssion with my ‘friend’ on the failure of capitalism some comparisons came to the fore as he called me names admonishing others not to take my criticism of capitalism seriously, that capitalism is alive and well regardless
he was bent on disparagement but deadly serious. then I realized who he is. he is Pakistani, next to India and I grew up among them. then I realized that all my life I have lived among just about all peoples and I have a pretty good idea who we all are.
we have been beating up on Jews and quite justly so. but the implication that there are people in the world better than Jews in the way Jews are evil is wrong. that is why humanity is in so much trouble..as is rightly pointed out we all helped in the construction fo the world as it is.
are we capable of its deconstruction and reconstruction on a better basis?
I dont think so! the potential for such reconstruction lies in the interest of the working classes/ordinary people of the world, and they refuse to rise up and effect that interest at the expense of the evil state of things.
and given that they have not risen, and now have accepted lock down so easily I dont see the spirit, awareness, ideology that can gird the popular mind, that shoud be inherent from collective working class experience, that could drive the people to become decisive and executive socialy. and if that does not happen there is no hope for humanity. we will become extinct by the not too distant future chances are. what can save us is ordinary and nothing else
and about that prospect I used to be freaked, but not anymore. nature has done it with us and now has the experience, the way and the means, the data, memory etc. nature will make life again, however, whichever way..maybe even on earth again.
but this model of humans seems just about exhausted, stupid and willingly set up the conditions to max out our stupidity. we are hopelessly, violently divided and made it so.
and we are also hoplessly educated by and in all that is unnecessarily competitive and nasty in social existence and possibilities.
all that can save us as I said is in the ideology of the interest of the ordinary folk.. replete in a popular revolution, by the people for the people, without the ‘benefit’ of any parasitic leadership that may find power in future parasitc social oganization they may betray the people into..like Lenin and Trotsky before them.
it is in the popular ideology, need and social interest we may best find human and humane ideology of survival, and a way of life that leads to indefinite existence and success in nature..the only location where positive human answers exist. its there in principle at least… but the people wont move to actualize isuch real social potential..they are all in their homes now such as their homes may be, and ordered to stay there..doing what I dont know. the streets are empty of necessary, essential, revolutionary noise..noise of activity the devil does not like to hear.
Good post. I agree with you ioan. The unfortunate thing is the masses have been propagandized to such a point, that if one makes it out of this confusing maze, they have no option but to give thanks and praise to God almighty. The pitfalls and deception in these types of systems are as numerous as they are sophisticated. The elites have taken all tools away from the people so the situation is quite bleak, however there is always hope.
Also agree with you Ben. Yes when telling people about the deception involved with the capitalistic system people become really offended. Since your friend is from Pakistani hes most likely Muslim. I have the perfect post for you to send him.
This breakdown of the capitalistic system was from a brilliant Muslim scholar who learbed and taught at the religous seminary of najaf, iraq. Unfortunately the cursed tyrant saddam cut his life short. I think you’ll also enjoy the way he breaks down capitalism. Enjoy my friend.
I was so happy about this article that I replied very quickly while the screen was still saying that nobody had reacted. The author forgot nothing of the complexity of the ‘thing” without reducing to the fog of it : instead of the usual affirmations or more of ledd suggestions about who did it, he went straight to what the covid was revealing. L’argent est le Nerf de la guerre and Conroy’s insight is to me an example of how to always keep in mind the economy, but not stupid. I just thanked him of that. While telling him how he is doing very very fine despite his age. 62 myself I would be happy to perform half that good in twenty years. So l am surprised of the suppression of my post. And a little bit afraid of the moderator just reacting to my name
Thank you Denis A. Conroy for a very good read this dawn of another dreary day in (partial) lockdown.
The thing is, Denis, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. This ‘State of the Union’ essay succinctly describes the, well, state of the US and its coat-tail holding satrapies. Right on the money.
This is the first column that I’ve read that has to do with economics that mentions usury in quite a long time, even here at the Vineyard. But it’s mentioned not once but twice here. Cause for a private celebration for me.
And may I add, the thing is (I use this phrase not mockingly but in a good way — sometimes phrases that you like, found in a well-written book or a song sticks in your head) there are many kinds of root. I’m not looking at the parasitic root but rather the taproot. The taproot is a type that is always underground, penetrates deep into the soil, grows branches and is the primary feeder. It holds the tree up.
And a taproot is what Usury is. Usury, condemned and frowned upon by at least four major religions — Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam — is the root of corruption of global economic systems (socialist, capitalist, a mixture of both, etc) and societies that spawn them; totally and thoroughly pervasive in modern life corrupting even the vast majority of the followers of the four major religions who apparently have accepted it to be nature, the natural way of doing things. It is that which enables the 1% percent to be the 1% and for the 99% to suffer the consequences.
Perhaps this is a good time to revisit Ezra Pound’s Canto XLV:
seeth no man Gonzaga his heirs and his concubines
no picture is made to endure nor to live with
but it is made to sell and sell quickly
with usura, sin against nature,
is thy bread ever more of stale rags
is thy bread dry as paper,
with no mountain wheat, no strong flour
with usura the line grows thick
with usura is no clear demarcation
and no man can find site for his dwelling.
Stonecutter is kept from his tone
weaver is kept from his loom
Utah University Atmospheric Sciences Professor, Tim Garrett, wrote in “Climate Change” (2009) that – only complete collapse of civilization prevents runaway climate change.
Professor Garrett later amended this statement by saying that “A long and profound decline” of civilization does no good. “Only if the collapse is sufficiently rapid will it be possible” to prevent runaway climate change.
Personally, I think time for a “sufficiently rapid” collapse of our civilization expired long since, but Mr. Fink may think otherwise.
” will they merely be regarded as collateral damage.” There isn’t much sympathy for those ‘collaterally damaged’ Denis, if they die in uniform they may get their name on the Cenotaph, other casualties have never been known and are already forgotten. I don’t think there will be any great Change of attitude among the Ruling class, perhaps if the coming convulsion results in a severe loss of Fortune a humbler attitude might be presented, other than that,, Winning is the game! What does winning mean in this context at this time in History? We will have to ask the man with the props to imagine himself as the Winner ‘He who wants to Win’ what he thinks winning will look like!
A ‘thing’ is a ‘thing’ because of ‘no-thing’ (nothing).
Denis article reminds me of a book called “The Curse of Cain” /The violent legacy of monotheism by Regina M. Schwartz. In the book, Regina single out the concept of “Scarcity” as a ‘thing’ that plays a critical role in explaining the absurdities found in human societies from Biblical time to now.
Bravo!! Very poetic and relevant!! So often written analysis bogs me down, but this is refreshing yet level headed. I find that often when people call out what’s really going on, they do so in a tone that resembles screaming. But here you note in a simple observant manner, compassionate yet skeptical. Where we place our hearts verses our wallets, not spoken but clearly described neo-liberalism as well as of the idea that Right wing Jewish identity in the US (and UK) requires an opponent to elevate its value, ideas that intuitively resonate though I never saw it put that way, thus this analysis has me pondering over your brief though far reaching words.