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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Justin Raimondo on the new plutocratic socialism

Che_greenspan_3 A discussion in one of the comment threads got me quoting from a recent essay by the Editorial Director of Antiwar.com Justin Raimondo on "The Resurrection of the Socialist Idea."

Here's the money quote where Raimondo describes what he calls "plutocratic socialism," a new form of socialist governance we are seeing develop in the US and around the world for the benefit of the banksters and the "Money Power":

What is completely different, however, about this incarnation of the socialist idea is that it has taken on a new and quite unusual form, one that at first appears so counterintuitive as to be virtually impossible—one that seems to negate the very essence of the socialist ideal, which is—or has been—egalitarianism. Everyone will be made more equal: all will be responsible for all. None will go hungry, and production for use and not for profit is the rule law and morality. That ideology, however, seems to have died along with the old Soviet Union, never to rise again. In its place, however, the mutant offspring of Western materialism and social democracy is arising to take its place, which can only be described as plutocratic socialism.

As a political program, socialism for the rich, and capitalism for the middle class would seem to have a strictly limited appeal. This, however, belies the power of fear, and of the catastrophism that has overtaken our thought processes in the course of the economic meltdown. We were told that unless Congress immediately coughed up $700 billion, pronto, the sky would fall, the economy would collapse, and we’d be in for America’s Second Great Depression. Oh, but don’t worry, because we’re going to use the money to buy shares in the banks, and the taxpayers will get their money back – with interest. Think of it as a gigantic financial toxic spill, which can only be cleaned up by government action: We’re going to buy up those bad ol’ “toxic” loans and make them “green” and profitable again. And they all lived happily ever after.

Except that it didn’t work out that way, and the disillusion came in record time. A few weeks later the story switched: Oh, never mind, they said. We aren’t going to buy shares, no one’s getting any money back, we’re just going to give the banks lots of cash and hope they don’t fail – oh, and, this is just the beginning. The auto industry is next: We’re going to let them declare themselves banks, which they practically are as far as the unions are concerned. Except their account is overdrawn, the money spigot is run dry, and so it’s up to the government to guarantee their wages, their standard of living, and the perks and privileges they have retained against all economic pressure and common sense.

This is a socialist revolution from the top down, a revolution led by the bankers, who were the first to throw off their chains and declare they had a world to win. Liberated from the tyranny of the system of profits and losses, and refusing to let their surplus labor be exploited any longer, they rose up, and, as one, seized control of the machinery of government, or specifically the U.S. Treasury, which they proceeded to loot to their heart’s desire. They did this in the midst of a presidential election, with both “major” party candidates signing on to this singular act of grand larceny, and to the loud hosannas of the punditariat. The vanguard party of this socialist revolution wasn’t some Marxist-Leninist outfit, but Goldman Sachs, whose former CEO, Treasury Secretary “Hank” Paulson, handed over some ten billion in bailout money to his corporate alma mater. Along with a brace of Wall Street firms deemed “too big to fail”—including Bear Stearns, AIG, and the country’s major banks—the Money Power secured its interests, even as the financial house of cards they had spent the last decade or so building collapsed around them. The common folks would be dragged under, but the golden parachutes of the ruling elites unfolded without a hitch. Here was a great revolutionary upsurge whose slogans were “Save the rich!” and “Billionaires first!”

Read the rest.

Raimondo does briefly address how the actions of the US Federal Reserve and other government policies got the economy in such a mess as to enable this plutocratic coup, but in this video and this article Dr. George Bragues explains the causes of the "Panic of 2007-08" a little more fully, and, shall we say, a little less colourfully.

In any case, fellow Canadians, there's nothing to worry about: the fatcats, central bankers, and monocled billionaires will soon be liberated from the shackles of capitalism and the dawn of a new era of plutocratic socialism will be arriving soon in a polity near you.

Posted by Kalim Kassam on November 30, 2008 in Economic freedom | Permalink


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This article is bang on! Fast forward to full on socialism and the whole thing dies. You see, the thing socialism doesn't take into account is that it kills innovation, it kills motivation, it kills imagination...the very things that made us great in the first place. Socialism, like Cancer, is a disease which eventually kills its host.

Posted by: JC | 2008-11-30 3:53:50 PM

And just for fun...

"The Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in
others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the
country by means of its corporate, social, and educational institutions, and
all the political, economic, and spiritual forces of the nation, organised in
their respective associations, circulate within the State."
-- Benito Mussolini
(1883-1945), Italian dictator during WW2

Posted by: JC | 2008-11-30 5:50:03 PM

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