An historic betrayal has consumed Greece. Having set aside the mandate of the Greek electorate, the Syriza government has willfully ignored last week’s landslide “No” vote and secretly agreed a raft of repressive, impoverishing measures in return for a “bailout” that means sinister foreign control and a warning to the world.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has pushed through parliament a proposal to cut at least 13 billion euros from the public purse – 4 billion euros more than the “austerity” figure rejected overwhelmingly by the majority of the Greek population in a referendum on 5 July.
These reportedly include a 50 per cent increase in the cost of healthcare for pensioners, almost 40 per cent of whom live in poverty; deep cuts in public sector wages; the complete privatization of public facilities such as airports and ports; a rise in value added tax to 23 per cent, now applied to the Greek islands where people struggle to eke out a living. There is more to come.
“Anti-austerity party sweeps to stunning victory”, declared aGuardian headline on January 25. “Radical leftists” the paper called Tsipras and his impressively-educated comrades. They wore open neck shirts, and the finance minister rode a motorbike and was described as a “rock star of economics”. It was a façade. They were not radical in any sense of that cliched label, neither were they “anti austerity”.
For six months Tsipras and the recently discarded finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, shuttled between Athens and Brussels, Berlin and the other centres of European money power. Instead of social justice for Greece, they achieved a new indebtedness, a deeper impoverishment that would merely replace a systemic rottenness based on the theft of tax revenue by the Greek super-wealthy – in accordance with European “neo-liberal” values — and cheap, highly profitable loans from those now seeking Greece’s scalp.
Greece’s debt, reports an audit by the Greek parliament, “is illegal, illegitimate and odious”. Proportionally, it is less than 30 per cent that of the debit of Germany, its major creditor. It is less than the debt of European banks whose “bailout” in 2007-8 was barely controversial and unpunished.
For a small country such as Greece, the euro is a colonial currency: a tether to a capitalist ideology so extreme that even the Pope pronounces it “intolerable” and “the dung of the devil”. The euro is to Greece what the US dollar is to remote territories in the Pacific, whose poverty and servility is guaranteed by their dependency.
In their travels to the court of the mighty in Brussels and Berlin, Tsipras and Varoufakis presented themselves neither as radicals nor “leftists” nor even honest social democrats, but as two slightly upstart supplicants in their pleas and demands. Without underestimating the hostility they faced, it is fair to say they displayed no political courage. More than once, the Greek people found out about their “secret austerity plans” in leaks to the media: such as a 30 June letter published in the Financial Times, in which Tsipras promised the heads of the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF to accept their basic, most vicious demands – which he has now accepted.
When the Greek electorate voted “no” on 5 July to this very kind of rotten deal, Tsipras said, “Come Monday and the Greek government will be at the negotiating table after the referendum with better terms for the Greek people”. Greeks had not voted for “better terms”. They had voted for justice and for sovereignty, as they had done on January 25.
The day after the January election a truly democratic and, yes, radical government would have stopped every euro leaving the country, repudiated the “illegal and odious” debt – as Argentina did successfully — and expedited a plan to leave the crippling Eurozone. But there was no plan. There was only a willingness to be “at the table” seeking “better terms”.
The true nature of Syriza has been seldom examined and explained. To the foreign media it is no more than “leftist” or “far left” or “hardline” – the usual misleading spray. Some of Syriza’s international supporters have reached, at times, levels of cheer leading reminiscent of the rise of Barack Obama. Few have asked: Who are these “radicals”? What do they believe in?
In 2013, Yanis Varoufakis wrote:
“Should we welcome this crisis of European capitalism as an opportunity to replace it with a better system? Or should we be so worried about it as to embark upon a campaign for stabilising capitalism? To me, the answer is clear. Europe’s crisis is far less likely to give birth to a better alternative to capitalism …
“I bow to the criticism that I have campaigned on an agenda founded on the assumption that the left was, and remains, squarely defeated …. Yes, I would love to put forward [a] radical agenda. But, no, I am not prepared to commit the [error of the British Labour Party following Thatcher’s victory].
“What good did we achieve in Britain in the early 1980s by promoting an agenda of socialist change that British society scorned while falling headlong into Thatcher’s neoliberal trip? Precisely none. What good will it do today to call for a dismantling of the Eurozone, of the European Union itself …?”
Varoufakis omits all mention of the Social Democratic Party that split the Labour vote and led to Blairism. In suggesting people in Britain “scorned socialist change” – when they were given no real opportunity to bring about that change – he echoes Blair.
The leaders of Syriza are revolutionaries of a kind – but their revolution is the perverse, familiar appropriation of social democratic and parliamentary movements by liberals groomed to comply with neo-liberal drivel and a social engineering whose authentic face is that of Wolfgang Schauble, Germany’s finance minister, an imperial thug. Like the Labour Party in Britain and its equivalents among those former social democratic parties still describing themselves as “liberal” or even “left”, Syriza is the product of an affluent, highly privileged, educated middle class, “schooled in postmodernism”, as Alex Lantier wrote.
For them, class is the unmentionable, let alone an enduring struggle, regardless of the reality of the lives of most human beings. Syriza’s luminaries are well-groomed; they lead not the resistance that ordinary people crave, as the Greek electorate has so bravely demonstrated, but “better terms” of a venal status quo that corrals and punishes the poor. When merged with “identity politics” and its insidious distractions, the consequence is not resistance, but subservience. “Mainstream” political life in Britain exemplifies this.
This is not inevitable, a done deal, if we wake up from the long, postmodern coma and reject the myths and deceptions of those who claim to represent us, and fight.
Despite significant advances in communications, agriculture and bio-technology over the past 15 years, the overwhelming majority of the world population continues to live in economic privation, according to a report on global incomes published this week by the Pew Research Center.
The report, entitled “A Global Middle Class is More Promise than Reality,” classifies 71 percent of the world population as either poor or low-income, subsisting on less than $10 per day. The report concludes that 84 percent lives on less than $20 per day, or $7,300 per year, an income level associated with “deep poverty” in developed countries.
Only seven percent of the world population lives on what the report calls a “high” income level of more than $50 per day, or $18,000 per year. The great majority of these people live in Europe or America.
In the years following the turn of the millennium, and especially before the 2008 financial crash, the supposed emergence of a new “global middle class,” particularly in developing countries, was touted by the political establishment as proof that the capitalist system was capable of bringing economic prosperity to people living in poverty in Asia, Latin America and Africa.
The Pew report pours cold water on such claims. “The global middle class is smaller than we think, it is less well off than we think, and it is more regionally concentrated than we think,” Rakesh Kochhar, the study’s lead author, told the Financial Times .
The report finds that even countries that “sharply” reduced the worst forms of poverty “experienced little change in the share of middle-income populations.” While the report notes that there has been a reduction in the number of people living on less than $2 per day, it points out that those who have ascended from the lowest depths have for the most part landed in the “low-income” category of $2-10 per day—a level that would classify them as living in extreme poverty by US standards.
The report uses the latest purchasing power parity data to analyze and compare the distribution of incomes throughout the world. It covers 111 countries, which account for 88 percent of the world’s population, and spans the years 2001 through 2011.
Over that period, the share of the world’s population classified as “upper-middle income,” making between $20 and $50 per day, grew from 7 percent to 9 percent. This was significantly less than the growth of the share of the population making between $10 and $20 per day, which increased from 7 percent to 13 percent between 2001 and 2011.
The great majority of the increase in “middle income” people occurred in China and other high-growth countries in the Pacific whose economies have rapidly expanded over this period.
The report notes, “Home to more than 1.3 billion people, or nearly 20 percent of the world’s population, China alone accounted for more than one in two additions to the global middle-income population from 2001 to 2011.”
The story was much different for other “developing” countries, with next to no increase in the number of “middle income” earners in Africa, India, Central America and Southeast Asia.
The report states, “In contrast to China, most other Asian countries had relatively little growth in their middle classes. India is a case in point. Although the poverty rate in India fell from 35 percent in 2001 to 20 percent in 2011, the share of the Indian population that could be considered middle income increased from 1 percent to just 3 percent. Instead of a burgeoning middle class, India’s ranks of low-income earners swelled.”
Africa fared little better. The report notes that on that continent “most of the movement was from poverty to low-income status.” It says: “Ethiopia, for example, experienced a decline of 27 percentage points in the share of people who could be considered poor. This translated into an increase of 26 percentage points in the country’s share of low-income earners and only a 1-point increase in middle-income earners.”
Similarly, “In Nigeria, one of the region’s most dynamic economies, the share of the poor fell 18 percentage points from 2001 to 2011, resulting in a 17 percentage point increase in low-income earners and just a 1-point boost in the share of the population that could be considered middle income.”
Despite the significant social and economic changes that have taken place since 2001, the great majority of high-income people continued to reside in the developed countries in North America and Europe. In 2011, 87 percent of “high-income” people—those subsisting on at least $50 per day, or $18,250 per year—lived in these countries.
Despite modest improvements in living standards in some parts of the world, incomes dropped in the United States. As the report states, “The US economy stumbled through the decade from 2001 to 2011, growing at less than 1 percent annually on average. Even these slight gains did not make their way to American families, whose median income actually decreased from 2001 to 2011.”
Amid falling incomes in the United States and continued mass poverty in the rest of the world, the wealth of the global financial oligarchy has continued to soar. Last year, the wealth of the world’s billionaires hit $7 trillion, having more than doubled in the time covered in the Pew report. The astronomical enrichment of this social layer is inseparable from the impoverishment of the world’s workers.
The statistics presented in the Pew report underscore the basic fact that the capitalist system has proven incapable of providing a decent standard of living for the vast majority of the world’s people.
Washington’s geopolitical strategy when bullying fails is either assassinating independent leaders, color revolutions, military coups or naked aggression.
If Moscow-based independent investigative journalist John Helmer is right, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is a marked man and SYRIZA governance on thin ice showing cracks:
”(a) putsch in Athens to save allied Greece from enemy Russia is in preparation by the US and Germany, with backing from the non-taxpayers of Greece – the Greek oligarchs, Anglo-Greek shipowners, and the Greek Church.”
“At the highest and lowest level of Greek government, and from Thessaloniki to Milvorni, all Greeks understand what is happening. (Sunday) they voted overwhelmingly to resist.”
“According to a high political figure in Athens, a 40-year veteran, ‘what is actually happening is a slow process of regime change.’ “
Wherever neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland shows up (Hillary Clinton’s handpicked choice for the job), trouble usually follows.
Helmer says she’s “in charge of warmaking in Europe.” Her notorious involvement in Ukraine’s February 2014 coup is well documented.
According to Helmer, she gave Tsipras two ultimatums in Athens last March – surrender to Troika demands and remain allied with US-dominated NATO’s anti Russian agenda.”
Her spokeman Mark Toner said Washington is “focused on, frankly, the opposite (of Sunday’s referendum), which is finding a path forward that allows Greece to continue to make reforms (more austerity), return to growth (by letting Troika bandits rape its economy and population), and remain in the Eurozone.”
Since the 19th century, Greece had five military coups or attempted ones. Junta dictatorship ruled from 1967 – 1974. Another one can’t be ruled out.
Over five dozen former high-ranking military officials fired a shot across the bow declaring their “oath to the Fatherland and the Flag. By choosing isolation, we place the Fatherland and its future in danger,” they warned.
They publicly called for a “yes” vote ahead of Sunday’s referendum. Will not getting it mobilize them along with other Greek dark forces, Washington and Brussels to oust Tsipras forcibly or otherwise?
Grexit “will make our country weaker,” they claimed – even though Greeks weren’t asked about it and most oppose the idea. “We will lose allies that have stood by our side. We will lose the strength we gain from associations and groupings to which we belong historically and culturally,” the former military officials said.
Ties to Washington and Brussels run counter to what best serves long-suffering Greeks.
Will conditions be made worse than ever by greater austerity if coup rumblings become reality? Is this US/Eurogroup’s Plan B?
Helmer cited political sources in Athens saying Tsipras and other SYRIZA officials acted preemptively to prevent one – replacing military and intelligence leadership with their own “but not radically.”
Moscow remains skeptical about Tsipras withstanding Washington/Brussels pressure – especially given dominant Germany’s hardline position.
He faces enormous pressure. His six months in office shows he promises Greeks one thing and does another.
He agreed to nearly all Troika demands. Not good enough. They want total surrender. Germany’s Merkel and France’s Hollande told him to capitulate fully for further bailout aid.
Greek banks remain closed. They’re close to collapse. The ECB raised the amount of collateral they must post for further emergency loans.
Does Finance Minister Varoufakis’ resignation signal Tsipras’ capitulation to follow – negating popular opposition to austerity he pledged to support?
Hollande spoke for himself and Merkel saying Tsipras must “offer serious, credible proposals” for bailout help – code language for demanding unconditional surrender, a Greek Versailles.
He and new Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos are heading to Brussels for further talks. Hardline Troika officials intend cutting them no slack.
Will Tsipras cave to their demands and betray millions of Greeks in the process? Given his record so far in office, it’s hard imagining otherwise. Hopefully he’ll surprise but don’t bet on it.
(This article is part of a three-part series, watch for part two coming soon!)
The world is under the control of a nefarious order, whether you call them the cabal, the Illuminati, the Order of 33, the geopolitical plutocratic elite, the Bilderberg Group, or some other name, but just how far reaching are their tentacles? It may surprise you how much you don’t know, but then again, their plan was designed so that you would never realize just how far their power truly extends.
Each ‘leg’ of the cabal is dependent upon the others to remain viable. If we were to remove one leg from the cabal table, it would no longer stand. Fortunately, there are individuals who aim to do just that, but first, it is important to know how these groups think, and it isn’t pretty.
You don’t achieve absolute world dominance without controlling the purse strings. Zerohedge has pointed out that there are really only ten companies which control almost everything you purchase. You are given the illusion of choice, but each of these companies is connected to just a few criminal families in a nepotistic manner.
As an example of how the corporate square-dance, or should I say, circle-jerk, really works, there is ample evidence in these few companies: Yum Brands owns KFC and Taco Bell, and they only sell Pepsi products. Proctor & Gamble owns so many brands it would be impractical to list them all – but they make everything from toothpaste to high-end fashion. You might know Nestle for making chocolate, but they also believe that water should be privatized, and they own 8,000 brands, at least some of which you have likely purchased.
Think that Monsanto is a really big, nasty company? It is a nasty corporation, but it isn’t that big. They’re just one of the puppet fronts for Vanguard Mutual Funds. The biggest shareholder in Monsanto, the biggest in Halliburton, the second biggest in Facebook, the third biggest in Whole Foods, the second biggest in Hain Celestial Foods, and the biggest shareholder in the largest defence corporation in America, Lockheed Martin, is also the Vanguard Group.
Then we get to some even better intel. Dick Cheney, the same man who practically shoved us over a cliff into a war with Iraq, was the head of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000. Cheney also had between 18 and 87 million shares in the Vanguard Fund. His is only one example of government fraud to the 1,000th degree. Who owned an incredible number of shares of Halliburton? Deutsche Bank – which brings us to financial control part deux.
You remember the bank bailouts. That money went to just a few folks who were already über-rich. The banks tried to blame it on mortgage defaults, but they planned the whole thing from beginning to end. It was just another pump and dump scheme like the IT bubble, and all other bubbles that came before it, and the one they are trying to float even now by messing with interest rates.
Next up, at the top of this convoluted hierarchy is the Federal Reserve and Fractional Banking System. This includes the World Bank and IMF. A Swiss study published in PLOS ONE details how just a handful of banks and financial institutions exert massive control on the entire world. According to the study, there is a “super-entity” of just 147 very tightly knit mega-corporations that control 40 percent of the entire global economy.”
Finally, there are just four companies that control 147 other companies that own – well, just about everything:
McGraw-Hill, owns Standard & Poor’s, as well as Northwestern Mutual, which owns Russell Investments, the index arm of which runs the benchmark Russell 1,000 and Russell 3,000, CME Group which owns 90% of Dow Jones Indexes, and Barclay’s, which took over Lehman Brothers and its Lehman Aggregate Bond Index, the dominant world bond fund index. Together, these four firms dominate the world of indexing. And in turn, that means they hold real sway over the world’s money.
Should you think your money is safe if it is in tangible assets, there’s the gold-rigging. JP Morgan, Goldman Sach’s, Barclay’s, Deutsch Bank, SoGen and UBS are all in hot water for rigging the gold and silver markets.
Essentially, name a market, and it is controlled by the cabal. It doesn’t matter if you are trading securities, or pigskins – they’re controlling who has money and who doesn’t.
That is until, hopefully, the Asia Pacific Bank starts calling the shots, and bleeds the cabal of all their funny money created with fractional banking, or quantitative easing, and fiat currencies, which is essentially the act of printing money out of thin air.
You also cannot dominate the world without political clout and power. In the US an expertly crafted two-party system dominates the political arena. Here, we fight on Astroturf, where the arguments over political issues are prescripted and very much like a reality show. Each side thinks that the grass is greener on their own side, but they are meant to oppose each other only to the degree that Americans stay emotionally engaged in the same wedge issues each and every ‘election’ period, while true issues and any viable third party is left out in the cold. This is carried out with exacting precision, and more financial control. Elections are rigged, as evinced by the Florida recount, which allowed George Bush to take office and lobbyists control the Congress and House of Representatives. The illusion of choice is perpetuated so that you believe you have a ‘say’ when, in reality, you have none. The same ‘divide and conquer’ tactics that are used to stir upheaval in other countries are used at home. If you still think that voting Democrat or Republican makes a difference, then the Cabal is still controlling you.
Furthermore, the US has been infiltrated by some nasty individuals who have plans to take over the entire world. As Preston James, PhD from Veteran’s Today puts it:
The curtain is now being pulled back to fully expose the Khazarian Mafia and its evil plan to tyrannize the whole world, to eradicate all Abrahamic religions, and allow only their Babylonian Talmudism, also known as Luciferianism, Satanism, or ancient Ball worship.
What better way to create a world of slaves than by controlling their emotions? The cabal uses money and political power to polarize the masses, but they get to us through our emotional state. They use the differences in our beliefs systems to create anger and hostility. They use our own egoic tendencies to focus on ‘an other’ to create strife and war. Instead of live, and peacefully, let live, we micro-manage others’ lives without taking care of our own faults. Images are continuously churned out by a cabal-owned media (see part two) that would make us feel anxiety, and doubt our spiritual connectedness to one another, let alone to the Universe at large. Think of how you felt when the World Trade buildings went down. They seized all that negative emotion to take your most basic rights from you. They benefited your fear. Our emotions are played like a violin string by the cabal.
A large part of the Campbellian journey, described in Joseph Campbell’s seminal work, A Hero’s Journey, is to overcome the ‘story’ we have about ourselves – that is all the ego really is. The false ideas that we are what we HAVE or that we are what we DO are kept in place by the cabal, but only as we allow this to happen. The ego will keep us looking for who we truly are on the outside (or who we are not – “I’m nothing like THOSE people!”) instead of looking within.
If you aren’t familiar with Campbell’s work, I highly recommend it as a means to understanding yourself, so that the cabal, and any other opportunistic energies, don’t have the ability to control you and your emotions. Do any of these monomyths or roles sound familiar, as Campbell described the journey we all take to rise above ego?
The Call to Adventure
Refusal to Answer the Call
Acceptance of the Call
Crossing of the First Threshold
Entering the Belly of the Whale
The Road of Trials
Meeting with the Goddess (Feminine Energy)
Woman as Temptress
Atonement with the Father
The Ultimate Boon
Return (with New Knowledge of the Self)
Refusal of the Return
Rescue from the Without
Crossing the Return Threshold
Master of the Two Worlds (Material and Immaterial or Spiritual)
Freedom to Live
We only arrive at the ‘freedom to live’ when we eradicate the influence of the cabal, or the inflated, nasty, dark, egoic nature which thinks of nothing but preserving itself, with no care for the rest of the world or its inhabitants. If you look around, this is exactly the phase of the hero’s journey we are in now – quite literally the belly of the whale. Corporations have absolutely pillaged the earth, and war has killed far too many to call it paradise.
Every single mainstream media has the following narrative for the economic crisis in Greece: the government spent too much money and went broke; the generous banks gave them money, but Greece still can’t pay the bills because it mismanaged the money that was given. It sounds quite reasonable, right?
Except that it is a big fat lie … not only about Greece, but about other European countries such as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Ireland who are all experiencing various degrees of austerity. It was also the same big, fat lie that was used by banks and corporations to exploit many Latin American, Asian and African countries for many decades.
Greece did not fail on its own. It was made to fail.
In summary, the banks wrecked the Greek government, and then deliberately pushed it into unsustainable debt … while revenue-generating public assets were sold off to oligarchs and international corporations. The rest of the article is about how and why.
If you are a fan of mafia movies, you know how the mafia would take over a popular restaurant. First, they would do something to disrupt the business – stage a murder at the restaurant or start a fire. When the business starts to suffer, the Godfather would generously offer some money as a token of friendship. In return, Greasy Thumb takes over the restaurant’s accounting, Big Joey is put in charge of procurement, and so on. Needless to say, it’s a journey down a spiral of misery for the owner who will soon be broke and, if lucky, alive.
Now, let’s map the mafia story to international finance in four stages.
Stage 1: The first and foremost reason that Greece got into trouble was the “Great Financial Crisis” of 2008 that was the brainchild of Wall Street and international bankers. If you remember, banks came up with an awesome idea of giving subprime mortgages to anyone who can fog a mirror. They then packaged up all these ticking financial bombs and sold them as “mortgage-backed securities” for a huge profit to various financial entities in countries around the world.
A big enabler of this criminal activity was another branch of the banking system, the group of rating agencies – S&P, Fitch and Moody’s – who gave stellar ratings to these destined-to-fail financial products. Unscrupulous politicians such as Tony Blair joined Goldman Sachs and peddled these dangerous securities to pension funds and municipalities and countries around Europe. Banks and Wall Street gurus made hundreds of billions of dollars in this scheme.
But this was just Stage 1 of their enormous scam. There was much more profit to be made in the next three stages!
Stage 2 is when the financial time bombs exploded. Commercial and investment banks around the world started collapsing in a matter of weeks. Governments at local and regional level saw their investments and assets evaporate. Chaos everywhere!
Vultures like Goldman Sachs and other big banks profited enormously in three ways: one, they could buy other banks such as Lehman brothers and Washington Mutual for pennies on the dollar. Second, more heinously, Goldman Sachs and insiders such as John Paulson (who recently donated $400 million to Harvard) had made bets that these securities would blow up. Paulson made billions, and the media celebrated his acumen. (For an analogy, imagine the terrorists betting on 9/11 and profiting from it.) Third, to scrub salt in the wound, the big banks demanded a bailout from the very citizens whose lives the bankers had ruined! Bankers have chutzpah. In the U.S., they got hundreds of billions of dollars from the taxpayers and trillions from the Federal Reserve Bank which is nothing but a front group for the bankers.
In Greece, the domestic banks got more than $30 billion of bailout from the Greek people. Let that sink in for a moment – the supposedly irresponsible Greek government had to bail out the hardcore capitalist bankers.
Stage 3 is when the banks force the government to accept massive debts. For a biology metaphor, consider a virus or a bacteria. All of them have unique strategies to weaken the immune system of the host. One of the proven techniques used by the parasitic international bankers is todowngradethe bonds of a country. And that’s exactly what the bankers did, starting at the end of 2009. This immediately makes the interest rates (“yields”) on the bonds go up, making it more and more expensive for the country to borrow money or even just roll over the existing bonds.
The banks also control the politics of nations. In 2011, when the Greek prime minister refused to accept a second massive bailout, the banks forced him out of the office and immediately replaced him with the Vice President of ECB (European Central Bank)! No elections needed. Screw democracy. And what would this new guy do? Sign on the dotted line of every paperwork that the bankers bring in.
(By the way, the very next day, the exact same thing happened in Italy where the Prime Minister resigned, only to be replaced by a banker/economist puppet. Ten days later, Spain had a premature election where a “technocrat” banker puppet won the election).
The puppet masters had the best month ever in November 2011.
Few months later, in 2012, the exact bond market manipulation was used when the banksters turned up the Greek bonds’ yields to 50%!!! This financial terrorism immediately had the desired effect: The Greek parliament agreed to a second massive bailout, even larger than the first one.
Now, here is another fact that most people don’t understand. The loans are not just simple loans like you would get from a credit card or a bank. These loans come with very special strings attached that demand privatization of a country’s assets. If you have seen Godfather III, you would remember Hyman Roth, the investor who was carving up Cuba among his friends. Replace Hyman Roth with Goldman Sachs or IMF (International Monetary Fund) or ECB, and you get the picture.
Stage 4: Now, the rape and humiliation of a nation begin. For the debt that was forced upon them, Greece had to sell many of its profitable assets to oligarchs and international corporations. And privatizations are ruthless, involving everything and anything that is profitable. In Greece, privatization included water, electricity, post offices, airport services, national banks, telecommunication, port authorities (which is huge in a country that is a world leader in shipping) etc.
In addition to that, the banker tyrants also get to dictate every single line item in the government’s budget. Want to cut military spending? NO! Want to raise tax on the oligarchs or big corporations? NO! Such micro-management is non-existent in any other creditor-debtor relationship.
So what happens after privatization and despotism under bankers? Of course, the government’s revenue goes down and the debt increases further. How do you “fix” that? Of course, cut spending! Lay off public workers, cut minimum wage, cut pensions (same as our social security), cut public services, and raise taxes on things that would affect the 99% but not the 1%. For example, pension has been cut in half and sales tax increase to more than 20%. All these measures have resulted in Greece going through a financial calamity that is worse than the Great Depression of the U.S. in the 1930s.
Of course, the ever-manipulative bankers demand immediate privatization of all media which means that the country now gets photogenic TV anchors who spew propaganda every day and tell the people that crooked and greedy banksters are saviors; and slavery under austerity is so much better than the alternative.
If every Greek person had known the truth about austerity, they wouldn’t have fallen for this. Same goes for Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and other countries going through austerity.The sad aspect of all this is that these are not unique strategies. Since World War II, these predatory practices have been used countless times by the IMF and the World Bank in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
This is the essence of the New World Order — a world owned by a handful of corporations and banks.
So, it’s time for the wonderful people of Greece to rise up like Zeus and say NO (“OXI” in Greece) to the greedy puppet masters, unpatriotic oligarchs, parasitic bankers and corrupt politicians.
Dear Greece, know that the world is praying for you. Vote NO to austerity. Say YES to freedom, independence, self-government, and democracy. Yes, democracy, the word that was invented by YOU!
P.S. (You can also watch this video where John Perkins – author of “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” – talks about exploitation of Latin American and Asian countries using the same tools of debt-austerity-privatization. He used to do this for a living!
On the 9th of May 2000, Bill Clinton in his presidential speech was selling the merits of allowing China to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) to the American people.
“If you believe in a future of greater openness and freedom for the people of China, you ought to be for this agreement. If you believe in a future of greater prosperity for the American people you certainly should be for this agreement, if you believe in security and peace for Asia and the world you should be for this agreement. This is the right thing to do, it is a historic opportunity and a profound American responsibility.” Clinton went on to suggest the entry of China into the WTO would offer “a brighter future for American workers and American manufacturers. Economically this agreement is the equivalent of a one way street, it requires China to open its markets with a fifth of the world’s population, potentially the biggest markets in the world. For the first time China will agree to play by the open trading rules we do. It has never happened before, for the first time our companies will be able to sell and distribute products in China made by workers here in America.”(1)
If we look back at Clinton’s speech it becomes obvious who really benefited. The failure of governments to foresee any negative impacts of offshoring manufacturing and industry has resulted in a decimation of the middle and working class in many nations. While China has benefited significantly (economically) at least in the short term, other nations have seen their economies stripped of any meaningful industry. While most governments race to promote ‘free trade’ and the opening of foreign trade and investment, few understand the consequence this has on local economies.. or do they?
Hiding What is Really Going On
The “official unemployment rate” in the United States, as outlined by “Unemployment USA,” is promoted to the public between 5 and 6%. John Williams, an economic consultant who publishes “Shadow Statistics,” examines the data many mainstream media outlets fail to update or question. In a 2013 interview, Williams outlined that “the numbers are a matter of definition. If you interviewed those who are unemployed you would get a much higher rate than what the government puts out as its definition.” The headline unemployment figure is calculated by examining the civilian labor force and includes only people who are working or have looked for a job in the previous four weeks. “So if you have given up looking for a job because there is no longer any point then you are not included in the headline unemployment figures. Given the way the government’s headline unemployment rate is calculated, it can never reach 14%. This is because when the economy gets really bad (like now), unemployed workers get discouraged and give up looking for jobs. This causes the civilian labor force to decline, faster than total employment.” Williams points out that back in 1994 discouraged workers were counted. If you hadn’t looked for work in the last two years but you were still ready and able to take a job the government counted you, but it doesn’t now. Williams estimates that if the calculation was the same or similar to what it was back in 1994, the unemployment rate would be more in line with 23%. (2)
The Trans Pacific Partnership – A Corporate Takeover
There is currently plenty of talk about the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement secretly being negotiated. Firstly, if this is such as good deal for everyone, why isn’t there transparency and open debate, and why is this deal being done in private? Doesn’t seem that democratic, does it? Yet it seems the words liberty, democracy, and freedom are overused as catch cries from our political masters, who simply mouth these words to appease the masses. Secondly, I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word “fast track” it conjures up thoughts of missing a few steps or doing things a bit half arsed…
The current “Trans Pacific Partnership” deal, which is being negotiated secretively between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam, may well be another effort to decimate the workforce in favour of multinational profits. The “Public Citizen” organization certainly thinks so. It believes the latest TPP is an effort to offshore American jobs and increase income inequality, increase the cost of medicines, sneak in SOPA-like threats to internet freedom, empower corporations to attack our environmental and health safeguards, expose the U.S. to unsafe food and products, and roll back Wall Street reforms. Sounds like one massive corporate bail out doesn’t it!
To take it one step further, the TPP would even elevate individual foreign firms to equal status with sovereign nations. This would empower them to privately enforce new rights and privileges, provided by the pact, by dragging governments to foreign tribunals to challenge public interest policies that they claim frustrate their expectations. The tribunals would be authorized to order taxpayer compensation to the foreign corporations for the “expected future profits” they surmise would be inhibited by the challenged policies. (3)
Stacking The Deck
Generally free trade agreements such as this have little to do with trade, they are about changing and stacking the deck in favour of those who will benefit. From the information available it appears that the TPP will give more power to corporations to attack and litigate against foreign nations. The late Albert Allen Bartlett, the well-respected Professor of physics at the University of Colorado (Boulder) who spoke extensively about the energy sector, suggested that “one of the principle motivations behind the U.S support for these trade agreements is to allow the U.S get their hands on resources before these resources get developed and countries want to use them for themselves.” (4) He may well be right!
The Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) section of the TPP would effectively give special rights to foreign investors included in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). This would open up the flood gates from which foreign investors (large multinationals) could potentially sue governments if their investments were deemed to be affected by a change in a law or policy. National regulations in areas such as food labelling, workers rights, safety and environmental protection would be at risk of violation. To illustrate, I will use an example of a large multinational mining company who wants to explore and drill for oil and gas in a certain environmentally sensitive area in your country. Under the TPP agreement any restrictions which may be placed upon the company in regard to exploration and drilling may be cause for potential litigation if the “interests of the conglomerate” could be affected. The national government of the particular country would have to either fight the litigation (tax payer funded of course) or simply give in to the company and let them do whatever they like! In effect, any TPP deal would jeopardize national sovereignty and potentially wreak havoc on the environment.
Bring in Your Own Lawyers
These disputes would be heard by an international investment tribunal (more deck stacking) with no independent judges. There would be no precedents or appeals, so decisions could be inconsistent, yet could have the ability to undermine national laws. Some argue that The TPP is being driven by the U.S in an effort to further the interests of American corporations and American workers after seeing its industry and economy decimated by Chinese dominance over the last decades. It might be a way of embedding trade between these countries to ensure China does not become more economically dominant throughout the Pacific and Asia. However, I can’t help but be reminded of the words of the prominent economist and professor at the School of Public Policy, Herman Daly, who argues that “globalisation has been a policy choice of the elites, not of the average citizen.” The mantra of “we live in a globalised economy and have no choice but to compete in the global growth race” has misled countries into supporting free capital mobility and global integration. “Globalisation” (national disintegration) was an actively pursued policy, not an inertial force of nature. It was done to increase the power and growth of transnational corporations by moving them out from under the authority of nation states and into a non-existent “global community.” (5)
Regardless of the agendas being pushed, there are three important factors at play when it comes to this deal, all of which further undermine society. These are holding us back from true progress, not the kind multinationals seek in the exploitation of resources, people and the environment, these are the erosion of democracy, integrity, and national sovereignty. These are up for grabs… not just some dodgy agreement…
A new study by the Economic Policy Institute showed that while worker pay has stagnated since the economic crash of 2008, CEO pay has skyrocketed. While the average worker made the same in 2014 as they did in 2009, CEO compensation rose by 54.3 percent in the same period.
The average pay for CEOs at the largest US firms in 2014 was 303.4 times the pay of an average worker. CEOs averaged $16.3 million, up 3.9 percent from 2013, while the average worker in 2014 only made $53,200. In practical terms, that means a top CEO takes home more than a worker makes in a year after 8 hours on the job.
The standard justification for this obscene disparity is that CEOs are highly skilled individuals who significantly impact corporate productivity and ultimately “create” thousands and thousands of jobs. Then, so the myth goes, there is stiff competition among the largest companies to hire the best CEOs, which drives the exorbitant compensation packages.
The study examined compensation packages for CEOs at the top 350 US firms from 1965 to 2014. The authors then compared them with the average wages of workers, the wages of high-earning workers and stock market values. Researchers found that “CEO pay does not reflect greater productivity of executives but rather the power of CEOs to extract concessions.”
The report debunks the claim that growing CEO compensation is simply the result of a competitive market for skilled professionals, the argument advanced by the CATO institute and other think tanks. When compared to the top 0.1 percent of wage earners, CEOs make 5.84 times as much. Moreover, this gap is widening. Other measures of compensation relative to skill pale in comparison. College graduates, for instance, only earn 1.82 times as much as high school graduates.
Historically speaking, the rise in CEO compensation is tied to the global decline of American capitalism and the increasing financialization of the economy. In 1965 the ratio of CEO to worker pay was 20 to 1. By 1978 the ratio had only grown to 30 to 1. It was only in the 90s that CEO pay reached absurd heights, rising from 59 to 1 in 1989 to 376 to 1 in 2000.
By then CEO compensation was increasingly directly tied to stock prices, such that the dot-com crash in 2000 saw the ratio drop to 189 to 1. CEO pay then rebounded with the growing financial bubble to near record highs before crashing with the market in 2008. As a whole, between 1978 and 2014, CEO pay grew by 997 percent while worker pay grew by only 11 percent.
The current growth in CEO pay is directly tied to the quantitative easing program of the Federal Reserve, which has driven share buybacks and speculation, pushing markets to record highs while undermining the actual productive forces in the economy.
A report in the Wall Street Journal earlier this year showed that the companies in the S&P 500 index had “sharply increased their spending on dividends and buybacks to a median 36 percent of operating cash flow, from 18 percent in 2003.” This doubling in one decade was accompanied by a decline in investment in production.
A particularly sharp example of this occurred with the announcement by General Motors last March that they would buy back $5 billion worth of stock and increase dividend payouts by another $5 billion. GM stock shot up 4 percent immediately after the announcement.
While the maneuver netted massive profits for investors, senior autoworkers at GM have had their wages frozen since 2007 while the wages of new hires were cut in half as part of the 2009 bankruptcy and bailout. Rather than use any of their $25 billion cash hoard to invest in new production or raise workers’ wages, that money went to padding the portfolios of investors and corporate executives.
Mary Barra, the CEO of GM, was given $16.2 million in compensation in 2014. That includes a $1.6 million salary, $2.1 million in other incentives and $11.8 million in company stock.
Monsanto is often called one of the most ‘evil’ companies on the planet. It has a history of knowingly contaminating the environment and food with various poisons, cover ups and criminality (see this, outlining the company’s appalling history). In recent times, there has been much focus on its promotion and patenting of GMOs, the deleterious impacts of its glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup and how GMOs pose a threat to human and animal health, ecology and the environment (see this, for example).
Little wonder then that we now have campaigns specifically targeting Monsanto. While it is laudable and correct to highlight the actions of Monsanto and indeed its partners like The Gates Foundation, we should not be side tracked from developing a wider analysis to understand the underlying forces that drive companies like Monsanto.
A recent piece by Christina Sarich shows that any shares held by Gates or the individuals at the top of the Monsanto corporate structure like CEO High Grant or CTO Robb Fraley are dwarfed by those held by institutional shareholders, such as Vanguard, Capital Research and State Street.
While it is difficult to specify the individuals behind these entities and others like them in the financial-corporate world, existing research (and in the absence of data, informed speculation) indicates the name Rothschild crops up time and again along with Goldman Sachs, Loebs Kuhn, Lehmans, Rockefeller, Warburg, Lazard and Israel Moses Seif. Moreover, the eight largest US financial companies (JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, US Bancorp, Bank of New York Mellon and Morgan Stanley) are entirely controlled by 10 shareholders and four companies appear as shareholders in these many of these: Black Rock, State Street, Vanguard and Fidelity. In fact, these four appear to be major stock holders in many major US and European companies. (See this broader breakdown of big money and ownership.)
Some try to divert your attention from these highly concentrated and overlapping patterns of ownership and the influence it brings by saying it all belongs in the realm of conspiracy theory and merely mouth tired cliches about ‘democracy’, but many of the families and individuals who own or control the world’s biggest corporations have not been sitting idly by. In some cases, they and their ancestors have been amassing wealth and exerting their power over a period of centuries. They haven’t appeared overnight, it’s taken them a long time for them to get to this stage and mold or set up institutions like the IMF, World Bank or WTO to do their bidding. So much so in fact that David Rothkpf estimates there are between 6-7,000 individuals who now form a global superclass.
Rothkopf is former managing director of Kissinger Associates and deputy undersecretary of commerce for international trade policies. In 2008, he published his book ‘Superclass: the Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making’:
“The superclass constitutes approximately 0.0001 percent of the world’s population. They are the Davos-attending, Gulfstream/private jet–flying, money-incrusted, megacorporation-interlocked, policy-building elites of the world, people at the absolute peak of the global power pyramid. They are 94 percent male, predominantly white, and mostly from North America and Europe. These are the people setting the agendas at the Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg Group, G-8, G-20, NATO, the World Bank, and the World Trade Organization. They are from the highest levels of finance capital, transnational corporations, the government, the military, the academy, nongovernmental organizations, spiritual leaders and other shadow elites. Shadow elites include, for instance, the deep politics of national security organizations in connection with international drug cartels, who extract 8,000 tons of opium from US war zones annually, then launder $500 billion through transnational banks, half of which are US-based.” Project Censored (Exposing the transnational ruling class)
Although we must not assume that this elite is a unified entity, there is an interlocking directorate of state-corporate entities that have a unity of interest in maintaining its wealth, power and the economic and political structures that facilitate this, while eradicating challenges to its power.
Through its control or membership of powerful think tanks, directorships, board memberships, horizontal and vertical integration of parent/sister corporate entities and cross-ownership, this club ensures the corporate media says what it wants it to say, opposition is muzzled, controlled or subverted, wars are fought on its behalf and the corporate control of every facet of life is increasingly brought under its influence – and that includes food: what is in it, who grows it and who sells it. Fail to understand the set up described here and you will fail to grasp that companies like Monsanto are but a tentacle of elite interests.
Jon Rappaport highlights how this interlocking directorate works on a company level by looking at Monsanto and Whole Foods. He shows that five out of the top 10 shareholders for each company – the holders of the most stock – are the same. The five are investment funds and they buy stocks in many companies. But this should not be regarded as some kind of conscious conspiracy to control the food market, although such a practice should not be discounted. Rappaport says these funds make automatic purchases of stocks, based on computer calculations and based on the rankings of companies.
The point is that when you focus solely on Monsanto, you may be failing to grasp the fact that if it weren’t Monsanto, or if Monsanto were to disappear, another company would appear because in a world of vulture corporations, profit compulsion and market capture, there is money to be made from GMO technology, markets to be ‘exploited’ and indigenous agriculture to be uprooted. The Rockefeller family and US agribusiness corporations realised this when they facilitated the ‘green revolution’ just as institutional speculators in land or commodity crops know it today.
Monsanto is integral to a system of globalisation that benefits Western oligarchs, which is underpinned by an increasingly powerful military-industrial complex that ensures these interests are served if other means fail (watch John Perkins here discussing his time as an economic hitman). And the result has often been highly profitable on the back of economic and social devastation. Look no further than Michel Chossudovsky’s analysis of Somalia or Ethiopia to see how agribusiness made a killing from policies that destroyed local economies and farming. The US and its corporations, facilitated by the IMF and WTO, effectively dismantle agrarian economies and then offer the problem as the cure.
Ultimately, the GM issue is not about ‘marching against Monsanto’, labelling or ‘choice’ – as important as all of that is – it is about the geopolitics of food and agriculture and challenging an increasingly integrated global cartel of finance, oil, military and agribusiness concerns that seek to gain from war, debt bondage and the control of resources, regardless of any notions relating to food security, good health and nutrition, biodiversity, food democracy, etc.
Instead of being informed about any of this, the public must listen to slick corporate mouthpieces like media-savvy Mark Lynas, or watch TV programmes like BBC Panorama that play fast and loose with facts and viewers’ emotions that tell us all is safe with GMO and this technology can rid the world of hunger. You see, it’s all about the ‘science’ (or debasement of it) and ‘helping the poor’ (while betraying a colonialist mindset) and nothing else, so we should just put up and shut up.
That’s the way they like it. Because any type of critical analysis that links the GMO issue with the system these neoliberal mouthpieces defend and which touches on the concerns outlined in this article is met with mockery and name calling from them – it’s all ‘anti-capitalist’ twaddle or conspiracy theory mouthed by a bunch of ‘green blob’, immoral, self-serving hippies, so they say.
They seem to think projection passes for debate. It doesn’t.
U.S. President Barack Obama has for years been negotiating with European and Asian nations — but excluding Russia and China, since he is aiming to defeat them in his war to extend the American empire (i.e, to extend the global control by America’s aristocracy) — three international ‘trade’ deals (TTP, TTIP, & TISA), each one of which contains a section (called ISDS) that would end important aspects of the sovereignty of each signatory nation,
by setting up an international panel composed solely of corporate lawyers to serve as ‘arbitrators’ deciding cases brought before this panel to hear lawsuits by international corporations accusing a given signatory nation of violating that corporation’s ‘rights’
by its trying to legislate regulations that are prohibited under the ’trade’ agreement, such as by increasing the given nation’s penalties for fraud,
by lowering the amount of a given toxic substance that the nation allows in its foods,
by increasing the percentage of the nation’s energy that comes from renewable sources,
by penalizing corporations for hiring people to kill labor union organizers — i.e., by any regulatory change that benefits the public at the expense of the given corporations’ profits. (No similar and countervailing power for nations to sue international corporations is included in this: the ‘rights’ of ‘investors’ — but really of only the top stockholders in international corporations — are placed higher than the rights of any signatory nation.)
This provision, whose full name is “Investor State Dispute Resolution” grants a one-sided benefit to the controlling stockholders in international corporations, by enabling them to bring these lawsuits to this panel of lawyers, whose careers will consist of their serving international corporations, sometimes as ‘arbitrators’ in these panels, and sometimes as lawyers who more-overtly represent one or more of those corporations, but also serving these corporations in other capacities, such as via being appointed by them to head a tax-exempt foundation to which international corporations ‘donate’ and so to turn what would otherwise be PR expenses into corporate tax-deductions. In other words: to be an ‘arbitrator’ on these panels can produce an extremely lucrative career.
These are in no way democratic legal proceedings; they’re the exact opposite, an international conquest of democracy, by international corporations. This “ISDS” sounds deceptively non-partisan, but it’s really a grant to the controlling international investors giving them a ‘right’ against the taxpayers in each of the signatory nations, a ‘right’ to sue, essentially, those taxpayers; and ISDS includes no countervailing ‘right’ to those taxpayers, to sue those international corporations; it’s an entirely one-sided provision, and it even removes the authority of the democratically elected national government to adjudicate the matter. It even removes the appeals-court system: once a decision is reached by the ‘arbitrating’ panel, it is final, it cannot be appealed. And no nation may present a challenge to the constitutionality of the ‘arbitrators’ decision. These treaties, if signed, will override the signatory nation’s constitution, on those matters.
This idea started after World War II and the defeat of the fascist nations on the military battlefields, and it moved this great fascist-v.-democratic war to a different type of battlefield. It’s round 2 of WW II.
Unlike many wars, WW II was an ideological war. On the one side stood the Allies; on the other, the fascist powers. The first fascist leader, Italy’s Benito Mussolini, said in November 1933 that his ideal was “corporatism” or “corporationism,” in which the state, or the national government, serves its corporations (see page 426 there):
“The corporation plays on the economic terrain just as the Grand Council and the militia play on the political terrain. Corporationism is disciplined economy, and from that comes control, because one cannot imagine a discipline without a director.
Corporationism is above socialism and above liberalism. A new synthesis is created. It is a symptomatic fact that the decadence of capitalism coincides with the decadence of socialism. All the Socialist parties of Europe are in fragments.
Evidently the two phenomena—I will not say conditions—present a point of view which is strictly logical: there is between them a historical parallel. Corporative economy arises at the historic moment when both the militant phenomena, capitalism and socialism, have already given all that they could give. From one and from the other we inherit what they have of vitality. …
There is no doubt that, given the general crisis of capitalism, corporative solutions can be applied anywhere.”
The Bilderberg Group
The secret (and still secretive today) Bilderberg group created in 1954, brings together the leaders, and the advisers to the leaders, of international corporations, meeting annually or bi-annually, near the places where major national leaders or potential future leaders have pre-scheduled to congregate, such as this year’s G-7 meeting in Bavaria, so that even heads-of-state (and/or their aides) can quietly slip away unofficially to join nearby the Bilderbergs and communicate privately with them, to coordinate their collective international fascist endeavor (and decide which presidential candidates to fund), to institute a fascist world government that will possess a legal control higher than what’s possessed by any merely national government.
Just as the anti-Russian, anti-Chinese, G-7 conference ended on 8 June 2015, the Bilderberg conference opened 15 miles away three days later (after a few days of vacation in the Bavarian Alps), and Britain’s Telegraph (as it does every year with extraordinary boldness for the Western press) issued the list of attendees, which included top advisors to many heads-of-state, plus major investors in ‘defense’ stocks, plus top propagandists against Russia (such as Anne Applebaum).
Bilderbergers have always been opposed to the old ideal of an emerging global federalism of democracies to constitute an ultimate world government; they instead favor a dictatorial world government, imposed by (the controlling owners of) international corporations. The major international corporations are controlled by perhaps fewer than a hundred people around the world; and, the other billions of people, the mere citizens, will, in this plan, as realized under Obama’s ‘trade’ deals, be fined if a three-person panel of servants (the ‘arbitrators’) to that perhaps fewer than 100 people, rule to say that the given nation has violated the ‘rights’ of those ‘investors,’ and assesses the ‘fine’ against those taxpayers.
The first Bilderberg meeting was called together by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands in a personal invitation which proposed that, “I think that a ‘partnership for growth’ is a fine idea. A good deal has been said but very little has been done about trade policy, and this would be a good place to start the partnership.” (Note the ‘Partnership’ in “Trans Pacific Partnership,” and in “Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership”; but TISA doesn’t use that term.)
Among the leading Americans at the first (and perhaps each of the subsequent) Bilderberg meetings, were Wall Streeters David Rockefeller and George Ball, both of whom subsequently lobbied the U.S. Congress heavily to replace national standards with international standards, something that would be an improvement if done within a democratic framework (which would thus have electoral accountability to the public, and be appealable and amendable), but they didn’t even mention any proposed framework, and virtually everyone at that time was simply assuming that nobody in ’the West’ would have any dictatorial framework in mind; everybody assumed that, after the defeat of the fascist nations, any emerging world government could only be democratic. This isn’t what Bilderbergers actually had in mind, however.
After the Kennedy round [international-trade talks] ended [in 1967], liberal internationalists, including people like Chase CEO David Rockefeller and former Undersecretary of State George Ball, began pressing for reductions in non-tariff barriers, which they perceived as the next set of trade impediments to pull down. Ball was an architect of 1960s U.S. trade policy — he helped write the Trade Act of 1962, which set the stage for what eventually became the World Trade Organization.
But Ball’s idea behind getting rid of these barriers wasn’t about free trade, it was about reorganizing the world so that corporations could manage resources for “the benefit of mankind”. It was a weird utopian vision that you can hear today in the current United States Trade Representative Michael Froman’s speeches. …
In the opening statement [by Ball to Congress in 1967], before a legion of impressive Senators and Congressmen, Ball attacks the very notion of sovereignty. He goes after the idea that “business decisions” could be “frustrated by a multiplicity of different restrictions by relatively small nation states that are based on parochial considerations,” and lauds the multinational corporation as the most perfect structure devised for the benefit of mankind.
As for David Rockefeller, he wrote in the 1 February 1999 Newsweek an essay “Looking for New Leadership,” in which he stated (p. 41) the widely quoted (though the rest of the article is ignored): “In recent years, there’s been a trend toward democracy and market economies. That has lessened the role of government, which is something business people tend to be in favor of. But the other side of the coin is that somebody has to take governments’ place, and business seems to me to be a logical entity to do it.” He meant there that international corporations should have supreme sovereignty, above that of any nation. He always emphasized what he proudly called “internationalism.” To him, like to Ball, governments — that is, national governments — were the problem, and democracy is not the solution. The solution is, to exact the contrary: provide supreme sovereignty to international corporations, as an international authority higher than any democracy, or that any nation.
A two-minute video succinctly states the case for UK citizens against ISDS regarding Obama’s proposed TTIP or Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership with Europe, but the case equally applies for all citizens, regarding Obama’s TPP with Asia, and his TISA with all countries for “Services,” including financial services and the ‘rights’ that international financial corporations such as banks have to transfer their billionaires’ gambling (‘investment’) losses onto the taxpayers (via megabank bailouts). Obama’s ‘trade’ deals will thus internationalize the system to bail out billionaires on their losses. Furthermore, (as that linked source on TISA explained): if TISA passes, then the United States, which is virtually the only industrialized country that hasn’t socialized the health-insurance function, would be prohibited from ever socializing it. (This, mind you, from the very same Barack Obama who, while he was running against Hillary Clinton in 2008 to win the Democratic Presidential nomination, told the AFL-CIO, “I happen to be a proponent of single-payer universal healthcare coverage.” He didn’t just lie: he’s now fighting to make socialization of health insurance absolutely impossible in the United States. No wonder why as President, Obama’s White House argued to the Supreme Court that no state may limit lying in political campaigns — that lying in politics is Constitutionally protected ‘Free Speech.’ Obama sets the record for phoniness.)
The world is already almost completely fascistic. As I previously reported, it really, truly, is the case that the “World’s Richest 80 People Own Same Amount as World’s Bottom 50%.” And, furthermore, the only rigorous scientific study that has ever been done of the extent to which a recognized ‘democratic’ country actually is a democracy found that that nation definitely is not. The nation was the United States. The U.S. was discovered to be, and long to have been, a dictatorship, in which the people who are not in the richest 10% have no impact whatsoever on the nation’s policies. A brief video accurately summarized that study (by Gillens and Page) and explained why its findings are that way. This 6-minute video is a crash course on political reality. That Gillens and Page study noted at the end, that, “Our findings also point toward the need to learn more about exactly which economic elites (the ‘merely affluent’? the top 1%? the top 0.01%?) have how much impact upon public policy.”
However, the most detailed study of the flow of economic benefits and costs in the United States since 2000 has found that all of the economic benefits from ‘America’s economic recovery’ and ‘the end of the recession,’ etc., have gone only to the top 1%. (The ‘news’ media try to say it’s not ‘really’ so, but the finding is based on the most solid of all data, and that’s the most reliable way to calculate anything.) Another study, which I did, also based on the best available data, “The Top 1% of America’s Top 1%,” has shown that the reason for the immense power that’s within the top 10% is the soaring wealth-boost to only the top 0.01%, the very top end of the top end. Comparing the boost to incomes at America’s top 0.1% to that of the top 0.01%, one sees that most of the income of the top 0.1% is actually going to merely the top 0.01%, so that, as I summed it up, “the wealthiest of the billionaires are getting almost everything.” And, this is the situation even before the Bilderberg plan is fully in force. Obama’’s ‘trade’ deals wouldn’t just lock this in; they’d vastly increase the power, and also the wealth, of the perhaps 100 or fewer people who control the largest international corporations.
The fact that these ‘trade’ deals are being pushed right now, means that the people who are in power have concluded that, already, ‘the free world’ is so dictatorial, that the chances that their plan can now be imposed globally are about as good as is likely ever to be the case again. The time is ripe for them to establish a global corporate dictatorship. The political money this year will be flowing like never before.
Over the last 15 months Ukrainians have paid for Washington’s overthrow of their elected government in deaths, dismemberment of their country, and broken economic and political relationships with Russia that cost Ukraine its subsidized energy. Now Ukrainians are losing their pensions and traditional support payments. The Ukrainian population is headed for the graveyard.
On June 1 the TASS news agency reported that Ukraine has stopped payments to pensioners, World War II veterans, people with disabilities, and victims of Chernobyl. According to the report, Kiev has also “eliminated transport, healthcare, utilities and financial benefits for former prisoners of Nazi concentration camps and recipients of some Soviet-era orders and titles. Compensations to families with children living in the areas contaminated by radiation from the Chernobyl accident will be no longer paid either. Ukraine’s parliamentary opposition believes that the Prosecutor General’s Office should launch an investigation against Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk who actively promoted the law on the abolition of privileges.”
Notice that this is a yank of the blanket from under the elderly in Ukraine. “Useless eaters,” they are assigned to the trash can. How do the deceived Maiden student protesters feel now that they are culpable in the destruction of their grandparents’ support systems? Do these gullible fools still believe in the Washington-orchestrated Maiden Revolution? The crimes in which these stupid students are complicit are horrific.
Yatsenyuk, or Yats as Victoria Nuland calls him, is the Washington stooge that the US State Department selected to run the puppet government established by Washington. Yats sounds like a right-wing Republican when he refers to pensions, compensations, and social services as “privileges.” This is the Republican view of Social Security and Medicare, programs paid for by the payroll tax over the working lives of Americans. The Republicans stole the payroll revenues and spent them on their wars that enrich Wall Street and the military/security complex, and now blame “welfare handouts” for America’s fiscal plight.
Is Monsanto’s right to turn Ukraine into GMO food production a privilege?
ls VP Biden’s son’s right to destroy Ukraine’s surface and underground water in fracking operations a privilege?
Are the external costs imposed on Ukrainians by these looting activities a privilege?
Of course not! These are not privileges.
This is the operation of free market economics creating the greatest good for the greatest number. (As many Americans will not realize that I am engaging in satire, I would like to affirm that I am.)
The news report does not say whether the abolished “privileges” are one part of a reform that will replace the terminated “privileges” with a new social support system. Possibly this is the case, but as the termination of pensions and payments was triggered by the coming into effect of Yat’s law to “stabilize the financial condition of Ukraine,” the purpose of the termination of Ukraine’s social welfare system might be to free up money to hand over to the IMF and Western banks. In Ukraine, as in Greece, the gullible and naive population that saw salvation in unity with the West will be driven into the ground.
Russia, of course, will be blamed. I can already write the New York Times and Washington Post editorials and the words that will come from Obama, CNN, and Fox “News.” In fact, so can my intelligent readers.
The same looting is underway in Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and the United States. In Great Britain everything achieved by the Labour Party over many decades has been taken away, and not only by the Conservatives but by Labour leader Tony Blair himself.
Tony Blair sold out his constituents for money and is now among the One Percent. Bill Clinton did the same thing. Bill and Hillary were able to spend $3 million on their daughter’s wedding, almost a world record, dwarfing many Hollywood weddings. Obama is not even out of office and is already rich. America’s faithful vassals–Merkel, Hollande, and Cameron–can look forward to equal riches.
Karl Marx was correct when he said that money corrupts all. Everything becomes a commodity that is bought and sold for money.
When money becomes the measure of a person, people have become corrupted. And that is the plight of the Western world.
Where in the West is your wealth, small or large, safe? Nowhere. Washington has destroyed financial privacy everywhere in the West. Washington even forced Switzerland to violate its own laws in order to comply with Washington’s insistence on the absence of any financial privacy.
For decades Americans with foreign bank accounts have been required to report them on their income tax returns. Now if an American owns a gold coin in a vault overseas, this must be reported to Washington.
Once Washington knows the location of your assets, the assets can be confiscated at will. Washington only has to make some declaration or accusation or the other, and your wealth is gone.
As Washington has run the printing presses hard in order to serve a handful of banks that control the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve, unless China and Russia acquiesce to becoming Washington’s vassals, at some point the dollar’s value is going to slide downward. When that happens, the Federal Reserve cannot continue to create new money to meet Washington’s needs.
Where will the money come from? It will come from Americans’ pensions.
Pensions accumulate tax free, and this accumulation will be confiscated in whole or part to make up for the failure to tax, another “privilege.”
That confiscation works that year. But what happens the next year when the dollar is reeling on foreign exchange markets from over-supply?
The answer is that another chunk of American pensions, and I am speaking of private pensions, will be confiscated “in order to stabilize the financial system.” Social Security will be long gone by this time.
Alicia Munnel, who was my replacement as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy in the Clinton regime, advocated many years ago a confiscation of private pensions, including your IRAs and 401Ks, in order to compensate the US government for their non-taxed status.
Alicia has a sinecure at an Eastern university where she continues to advocate against your pension. The joint attack by Clinton Democrats on private pensions and by Conservative Republicans on public pensions means that no American can look forward to having a pension. Americans are only one presidential election away from the loss of their pensions, and it doesn’t matter who they vote for.
Economic security is a thing of the past. Security was a product of the US being the only extant economy following World War II. In those days corporations believed, as did Washington, that companies had obligations not only to shareholders but to employees, customers, and the communities in which they were located.
This meant prosperity for all, not merely, as is the case today, for corporate management and shareholders.
Apologists for exploitation claim that the rich are richer because they are smarter. But the stupidity of the rich is everywhere visible. The greedy fools have destroyed their domestic US market. Really, how stupid can you be? How do Americans buy when they are forced by offshoring out of well paid manufacturing and software engineering jobs into being waitresses, bartenders, retail clerks and part-time Walmart workers in order that corporate bottom lines improve? Who buys the stuff that sustains the profits? Not Americans who no longer have the incomes to do so.
The belief spread by Wall Street and “shareholder advocates” that corporations only have responsibility to their owners and managers has destroyed the American economy.
By locating production offshore, corporations have destroyed the incomes that supported the American consumer market. For example, the incomes associated with the production of Apple computers, I-Pads, and I-Phones are in China. Apple’s American customers do not have the incomes associated with the production of the products that Apple markets to them.
Americans are already dispossessed of their livelihoods and careers and their pensions are next. Wherever we look, the fate of populations under Western influence are the same. The Ukrainians are exploited, the Greeks, the British, the Americans.
Wherever the West has an imprint, the populations are exploited. Exploitation of the many for the few is the Hallmark of the West, a decrepit, corrupt, and collapsing entity.