The 99% were told that they were culprit of the ways of high finance. The 99% were told that, they profited from the financial crisis, and had to be restrained with “austerity” (now that all the money had to go to the bankers and other richest people in the world, to save those towering pillars of society from ruin under which we would otherwise be crushed).
That the 99% were culprit of the high leverage of the financial system, thanks to heavy “investing” in financial derivatives such as Credit Default Swaps, was an absurdity: most people had no idea, and still have no idea, that much money creation by bankers, head that way, towards planet finance, instead of planet Earth.
Austerity, the claim that the 99% were too rich, and that this caused the crisis, after thirty years of “Trickle Down”, was, of course, insane. And therefore well received. The appropriate punishment was to insure that the richest would have the means to stay rich, and massive transfers of wealth to the richest people were implemented (even in Greece, where, last I checked, ship magnates were still not taxed!)
With the bleakest sense of humor, this Transfer of Assets to the Richest People TARP), was called… “TARP”, because it was the ultimate cover-up.
However, the economy has not recovered. So insane the gap between sacrifice and result, propaganda and observation, that even average voters are becoming suspicious.
[I exhibited Spain’s GDP, but it’s typical. Lest some hysterical Germanophile comes up screaming that Germany is doing well, let me point out that Germany grew not at all in the last decade, averaging… one third of one percent yearly, which is only compatible with a population decrease, as observed… Thus Europe is literally dying from austerity.]
To accuse the 99% of the violations plutocrats engaged in, and only them can, is becoming so egregious, that even political leaders on the pseudo-left, like the followers of Blair in British Labor, find difficult to hold that discourse nowadays, with a straight face.
So here we are. The pyramid of lies on how the economy works, by self serving politicians in bed with the richest people in the world, is starting to collapse. Worldwide, voters are starting to have their own opinions, and feel that they were lied to, at a nearly inconceivable scale. Voters don’t just repeat anymore what the media owned by the richest people in the world have told them to think. Maybe there is hope after all.
Jeremy Corbyn, a long-time leftist dissident, just won a stunning victory for leadership of Britain’s Labour Party. In an excellent editorial, Paul Krugman Labour’s Dead Center observes that:
…”one crucial piece of background to the Corbyn surge: the implosion of Labour’s moderates. On economic policy, in particular, the striking thing about the leadership contest was that every candidate other than Mr. Corbyn essentially supported the Conservative government’s austerity policies.
Worse, they all implicitly accepted the bogus justification for those policies, in effect pleading guilty to policy crimes that Labour did not, in fact, commit. If you want a U.S. analogy, it’s as if all the leading candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2004 had gone around declaring, “We were weak on national security, and 9/11 was our fault.” Would we have been surprised if Democratic primary voters had turned to a candidate who rejected that canard, whatever other views he or she held?
In the British case, the false accusations against Labour involve fiscal policy, specifically claims that the Labour governments that ruled Britain from 1997 to 2010 spent far beyond their means, creating a deficit and debt crisis that caused the broader economic crisis. The fiscal crisis, in turn, supposedly left no alternative to severe cuts in spending, especially spending that helps the poor.
These claims have, one must admit, been picked up and echoed by almost all British news media. It’s not just that the media have failed to subject Conservative claims to hard scrutiny, they have reported them as facts. It has been an amazing thing to watch — because every piece of this conventional narrative is completely false.
Was the last Labour government fiscally irresponsible? Britain had a modest budget deficit on the eve of the economic crisis of 2008, but as a share of G.D.P. it wasn’t very high – about the same, as it turns out, as the U.S. budget deficit at the same time. British government debt was lower, as a share of G.D.P., than it had been when Labour took office a decade earlier, and was lower than in any other major advanced economy except Canada.”
The question boils down on why do people think what they do. Well, they think what they have been told to think. Krugman:
“…the supposed fiscal crisis never created any actual economic problem… there was never any need for a sharp turn to austerity.
In short, the whole narrative about Labour’s culpability for the economic crisis and the urgency of austerity is nonsense. But it is nonsense that was consistently reported by British media as fact. And all of Mr. Corbyn’s rivals for Labour leadership bought fully into that conventional nonsense, in effect accepting the Conservative case that their party did a terrible job of managing the economy, which simply isn’t true.”
Why do people do what they do? Well, most people basically try to survive honorably. However those with political aspirations are different. After all, they want to make a job of ruling us. Thirst for power is therefore, one may suspect, a prime motivation of theirs. And then the question is what do they believe they can get away with, on their royal road to domination? And what will be their justification for domination, which they will cover-up their thirst for power with?
Enter plutocratization, the general mood that the few, urged by the most basic instincts of domination, doing better than the many, is the best social organization for everybody. This “trickle down” theory has led the middle class down the road of increasing pauperization, even while global GDP was rising. Plutocratic media monopoly has insured that this mood became a modern religion.
Thatcher and Reagan were the modern instigators of plutocratization. Ex-British PM Tony Blair is a spectacular success of official corruption. Corruption by officials, of officials. Blair helped to demolish Iraq to please oil barons (and American plutocrats). Blair sells his services to whoever it is most advantageous to sell them to. Piling up income from the likes of the dictator of Kazakhstan, he gathered in excess of 100 million dollars.
By now the middle class is starting to feel they were had by plutocratization. Methods of massive exploitation had to be changed. Enter the 2008 financial crisis. The “rescue” consisted in sending giant amount of money to banks and their managers. “Trickle Down” theory changed its face to “austerity”. The 99% were told that they were culprit of the 2008 crisis, they had to be punished. Completely brainwashed as they were, they welcomed their punishment.
Krugman: “Beyond that, however, Labour’s political establishment seems to lack all conviction, for reasons I don’t fully understand. And this means that the Corbyn upset isn’t about a sudden left turn on the part of Labour supporters. It’s mainly about the strange, sad moral and intellectual collapse of Labour moderates.”
In much of Western society, in the last 35 years, political leaders got to power by undermining civilization, and Western democracy. They have been well paid for that: watch the fortunes past leaders have made, such as Major, Blair, Clinton, Gore, Chirac, and, of course, their families: Chelsea Clinton is very rich, but so are the brothers of past French presidents, although Chirac is worth only $10 million, roughly a tenth (Blair, Clintons) or a hundredth (Feinstein, Pelosi, Gore) of Anglo-Saxon politicians worth. Still remarkable, for someone such as Chirac, who was only an elected official all his life (in the USA, Reid of Nevada, head of democrats in the Senate, has a similar fortune and history; that brought charges of corruption, quickly silenced).
The British press is held by plutocrats, some Australian heirs (Murdoch, son and father of Murdochs), some even Russian “oligarchs”. This is where thinking has been coming from. And the charade will go on, until We The People think on their own. How soon? Can one think freely in a Mafia State? Certainly not in Russia. What about Britain? George Monbiot argues that Britain is also a Mafia State. Considering my personal experiences, I can only agree. Dawn is the coldest hour.