Public Private Confusion, And Other Deliberate Craziness
The rise of plutocracy is stealthy. It rests in great part on having bought the economists serving in the influential “private” universities. Those economists were selected, during their graduate studies, to see only what would please the wealthy sponsors of said universities.
Thus, for example, the economist unlearned the fundamental reason for the existence of taxation: prevent the rise of an all-consuming oligarchic plutocracy (that is having a few reigning satanically on We The People).
Krugman still does not get it (although he is trying, and pointing out, justly so, that “Paradigming Is Hard”):
“we have a body of economic theory built around the assumptions of perfectly rational behavior and perfectly functioning markets. Any economist with a grain of sense – which is to say, maybe half the profession? – knows that this is very much an abstraction.”
It’s not just an abstraction, it’s an error. What is the Genus Homo? Ms. And Mr. Market? What is the main motivation of the genus Homo? Perfect reason? Perfectly functioning markets?
No. For reminder, the genus Homo is the world’s top predator, in the process of killing the entire biosphere (by acidifying the phytoplankton, the main source of oxygen). Is that perfectly reasonable? Is that perfectly functioning? A market?
What have the economists been doing? Building little fables that completely neglect the real nature of man, while claiming they can predict the behavior of man (that is what, after all, economics claim to do, with consummate modesty). Greenspan and similar characters of with a very low product of intelligence and morality, told us, over decades that all we needed was the intelligence of the markets.
But what are markets? Crowds. Tribes. What are tribes for? Ask Putin, he knows. War. Economists have hidden that breast that they could not possibly see. (Nota bene for the clueless: allusion to Moliere’s Tartuffe).
Their colossal, deliberate, venal naivety has led economists to oversee what was bound to happen: as the hyper rich reached a critical mass, their influence got so great that they have been able to dismantle the democracy that is in their way.
How? By reducing the taxes that prevented the hyper wealthy to go exponential (as Thomas Piketty noticed).
But also the hyper wealthy, through their purchase of politicians, established various confusions and legislation that served them well.
Any attempt to justify mass or individual behavior in humans, without pondering the Dark Side, makes one an accomplice of said Dark Side. I agree it’s hard to be hard when pondering the abyss, increasingly down below.
Many individuals from the far right and vampires from the plutocracy delve in convenient confusions between what is public and what is private. They make elaborate theories to exploit the public thing for their own private pursuits, but they hate the reciprocal.
For this system of exploitation covered up by denial to keep on going, they manage it with colossal anti-intellectualism. This way, they don’t have to answer questions, that, by playing the roles of stupid brutes, they could not possibly understand, let alone answer.
This sustainable parasitism is not just found with ranching and mining, but all over the large corporations, and especially in the so called financial industry. Private banks are little more than public institutions managed privately to benefit the few, always ready to be rescued by the public, in those cases when the transfer of property from We The People to the hyper rich suffers some sudden mishap.
The far right and the plutocrats are surrounded by an enormous cloud of hanger-ons, supporters, servants, plutophiles, and hired guns. That army of the mediocre is dedicated to the triumph of lies and the unreal. As they are, fundamentally, brutes, and admirers of brutality, they will never, ever, surrender to reason.
Quite the opposite. Anything outrageous denying reason, is experienced by the party of Pluto as a victory. Surrendering to reason would be like denying their entire strategy in life, which is centered on the neurohormones of predation, and of others suffering.
The rise of externalities in economic activities, such as mercury poisoning of the oceans, and the rising acidity, are not necessarily perceived by those who govern us as major inconveniences, but, in their universe of the inversion of all values, as major assets. This is the crux that all of economics, not to speak of sociology, has neglected.
This goes beyond Marx. It’s Marx, rolled over by tanks.