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Krugman: “Obama Is Awkward Mumbling”

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In the Hindu Holy Scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita, Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty. To spook the monarch, Vishnu takes on his multi-armed form and says: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

When plutocrats don’t get it, destroying their world is the way to go. There is no other. Just ask the Yuan, when the Ming took over. Or read the Mongol Khan’s speech to the doomed Caliph, while the anti-Muslim forces were destroying civilized Baghdad.

All of this was just fun and game, relative to the potential catastrophe ahead, where our despicable leaders are leading us towards, obliviously.

The plutocrats and their attendants in the media, universities, governments and administrations have reached such a critical mass, that they have ignited the plutocratic chain reaction. This is the sense of TARP of 2009 (Transferring Assets to Rich People): some plutocrats and their CEOs had lost trillions to other plutocrats. The Public was ordered to restore their wealth, and austerity programs all over the world have blossomed to make it so.

Hope reside in having enough people of influence realizing, and persuading common citizens that they have been played, and that plutocracy is leading us to gloom and doom.

According to polls, Paul Krugman is the most trusted voice on the left in Europe. I like Paul very much, especially when he is blind, and I have to guide him. However, he is learning the extent of the conspiracy of the wealthiest people in the world are engaged in (conspirare means simply breathing together; eating caviar and drinking Champagne together makes it worse, let alone getting money from each other on the back of the public!).

This is the second part of analyzing Krugman’s latest editorial, “Twin Peaks Planet”. Here is Krugman:

“. the travails of workers in rich countries are, in important ways, the flip side of the gains above and below them. Competition from emerging-economy exports has surely been a factor depressing wages in wealthier nations, although probably not the dominant force. More important, soaring incomes at the top were achieved, in large part, by squeezing those below: by cutting wages, slashing benefits, crushing unions, and diverting a rising share of national resources to financial wheeling and dealing.”

I have been saying this for years. GDP is the sum of all transactions in the real economy. The GDP of financial derivatives is 13 times that of real world GDP. In other words, only 8% of money goes to the real economy. Piketty will not tell you that. Nor Krugman. Not yet.

Krugman is getting aware that the elite discourse, the one held in places such as Harvard, and the hallowed halls of the Nobels is as much of a lie, in its own world, than the one of the Islamist State is, in its own hell.

Krugman:Perhaps more important still, the wealthy exert a vastly disproportionate effect on policy. And elite priorities – obsessive concern with budget deficits, with the supposed need to slash social programs – have done a lot to deepen the valley of despond.”

What is the proper ethics in such a case? Shall we do as the morally despondent Jesus Christ did, and pontificate that one should leave to Caesar what he owns? Or shall we rebel? Rebellion has to start with a discourse, to guide but this is lacking:

“So who speaks for those left behind in this twin-peaked world? You might have expected conventional parties of the left to take a populist stance on behalf of their domestic working classes. But mostly what you get instead – from leaders ranging from François Hollande of France to Ed Milliband of Britain to, yes, PRESIDENT OBAMA – IS AWKWARD MUMBLING. (Mr. Obama has, in fact, done a lot to help working Americans, but he’s remarkably bad at making his own case.)

The problem with these conventional leaders, I’d argue, is that they’re afraid to challenge elite priorities, in particular the obsession with budget deficits, for fear of being considered irresponsible. And that leaves the field open for unconventional leaders -“

The argument can be done that such leaders have been selected, by the elite, precisely because they were afraid, and anxious to please the masters (I have a little essay on a personal experience that way, waiting in the wings).

Krugman: “All of this suggests some uncomfortable historical analogies. Remember, this is the second time we’ve had a global financial crisis followed by a prolonged worldwide slump. Then, as now, any effective response to the crisis was blocked by elite demands for balanced budgets and stable currencies. And the eventual result was to deliver power into the hands of people who were, shall we say, not very nice.

I’m not suggesting that we’re on the verge of fully replaying the 1930s. But I would argue that political and opinion leaders need to face up to the reality that our current global setup isn’t working for everyone. It’s great for the elite and has done a lot of good for emerging nations, but that valley of despond is very real. And bad things will happen if we don’t do something about it.”

Calling this a financial crisis is covering-up the truth: yes, a financial crisis, but it originated from plutocracy. A financial plus ecological crisis, also destroyed the Roman state. Then, too, the origin was run-away plutocracy.

The Roman economy got struck because technological stagnation implied by scientific and philosophical stagnation, caused by fascization implied and related to decerebration, all of them propped by a plutocracy so strong even clear minded Emperors, and Founders of the Church, were powerless to inflect it. Although our present crisis is not as far evolved as Rome in the Fourth Century, we clearly are on our way, under the same forces, and history moves faster nowadays, as we are closer to the singularity.

A troubling analogy, in the detail, with the 1930s has been the behavior of Putin, Assad, and Xi. Those three are tied with international plutocracy (and succeeded leaders much less tied that way, more enlightened, and less aggressive). The former two centered on London, the last one, with the USA. Those three have engaged in behavior eerily familiar to those who have studied Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Franco (and some of their less well known contemporary dictators).

And I am not even mentioning the thermonuclear maniac in North Korea. Fortunately, in the latter case, Obama, just escaped from Oahu, took some measures.

Some may be baffled: how are financial derivatives badness related to Kim’s badness? Plutocracy is a mood. Putin, or Kim, see what plutocrats are getting away with in the West, and they feel: ”Why can’t I do the same? After all, I can get people killed at will, so I am ahead in that game?”

Obama did not have the balls to take on the big financiers, and barely scratched the health care plutocrats. But maybe he can leave a mark, finally, by knocking off Kim. Kim, a killer of his own family, cannot be left in command of nukes (the situation is similar, but worse than Iran, as the fascist index of North Korea is much higher).

Bad things are already happening. However, they are so enormously bad, that they have a lot of inertia. So badness has moved little yet, in spite of the enormous forces pushing it forward. When its motion is noticeable, it will be an unstoppable force. Or let’s say, very hard to stop, like climate change, and CO2 pile-up.

Patrice Ayme

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