Fake ‘Humanitarianism’ masks murder for profit

Eric Zuesse

PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 13, 2007) – A RIM-7P NATO Sea Sparrow Missile launches the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) during a stream raid shoot exercise. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jordon R. Beesley (RELEASED)

Unlike a regular corporation, the corporations that manufacture and sell weapons to their government are virtually 100% dependent upon their government and its military allies, for their own success; their markets are only those governments, not individuals (such as is the case for normal corporations).

Consequently, either their government will control them, and those firms won’t have any effective control over their own markets, or else those firms will, themselves, control their government, and thereby effectively control their markets, via the government’s foreign policies — not only via expanding its military alliances (those firms’ foreign markets), but via its designating ‘enemy’ nations that it and its ‘allies’ (those arms-producers’ foreign markets) can then use those weapons against.

In countries such as the United States, arms-producers are benefiting and controlled by the country’s billionaires, instead of (as in Russia, for example) benefiting and controlled by the government. These totally profit-driven arms-producers need to have market-nations that are called ‘allied’ governments, but they also need to have some target-nations that are called ‘enemy’ governments, so as to ‘justify’ more arms-production by these firms, against which to use these weapons. Only in nations where arms-producers are privately instead of publicly controlled are the government’s foreign polices predominantly controlled by the country’s arms-producers. That’s the way it is in America.

The main ‘ally’ of the U.S. is the Saud family, who own the government of Saudi Arabia. As a recent debate-brief said, “The US has been the world’s leading exporter in weapons since 1990 and the biggest customer is Saudi Arabia. The U.S. sold a total of $55.6 billion of weapons worldwide, and in 2017, cleared $18 billion dollars with Saudi Arabia alone.”

Under Trump, those sales are set to soar, because on 20 May 2017 “U.S. $350 Billion Arms-Sale to Sauds Cements U.S.-Jihadist Alliance” — notwithstanding now the slaughter in Yemen and the slaughter of Jamal Khashoggi. Yet, Trump talks up his ‘humanitarian’ concerns for the people of Venezuela as ‘justification’ for his possibly invading Venezuela, and America’s military is preparing to do that.

The main and central ‘enemy’ of the U.S. is Russia’s government; and all of the other ‘enemies’ of America (the spokes of America’s ‘enemy’ wheel) are led by people — such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Viktor Yanukovych, Bashar al-Assad, Salvador Allende, Jacobo Arbenz, and Nicolo Madura — who are friendly toward Russia.

The objective here is to force other nations to join America’s anti-Russia alliances or else to face the consequences of a likely invasion or coup by America to overthrow and replace those leaders. Therefore, America targets all nations that are/were friendly toward Russia, such as pre-2003 Iraq, and such as pre-2011 Libya, and such as Syria, and such as pre-1973 Chile, and such as post-1979 Iran — all of America’s various target-nations, which are the authorized targets for America and its ‘allies’ to invade or otherwise regime-change (change from being a target, to becoming instead a new market).

In order for privately controlled arms-producers to thrive, there is just as much of a need for ‘allies’ as for ’targets’, because without targets, there can be no authorized markets, since every weapon is useless if it has no authorized target against which it may be used. There consequently needs to be at least one ‘enemy’ for any country whose arms-production is privately instead of publicly controlled. Both ‘allies’ and ‘enemies’ are needed, in order for America’s arms-makers to continue flourishing.

By contrast, in Russia, where each of the arms-producers is majority-controlled by the government instead of by private investors, each arms-producer exists only in order to defend the nation, there is no need for any ‘enemy’ nations, and the best situation for such a government is to the contrary: to have as many allies, or buyers of its country’s weapons, as possible (so that it will be as safe as possible), and as few nations as possible that are enemies. For such a country, there’s no benefit in having any enemies. America has publicly been against Russia ever since the end of World War II, and privately and secretly remains against Russia even after the Cold War ended on Russia’s side in 1991.

Whereas the billionaires who control America’s arms-makers profit from this military competition against Russia, the controlling interest in all of Russia’s arms-makers is Russia’s government, which simply suffers the expense of that competition and would greatly prefer to end that competition. It’s just a drain on Russia’s treasury. The profit-motive isn’t driving the arms-producers in countries that control their own arms-makers. The government leads the nation there, basically because the nation’s billionaires — even if they are minority stockholders of the armaments-firms — don’t. And the reason the billionaires don’t is that the arms-producers in Russia are controlled by the government, not by any private investors.

Consequently, in countries that socialize arms-production, ‘humanitarian’ excuses don’t need to be invented in order to create new ‘enemies’. Instead, the goal is for the number of enemies to be reduced, so that the nation itself will be safer. Their arms-producers don’t need constantly to generate (by lobbying, media-propaganda, etc.) authorized targets (‘enemies’ such as Iraq, Syria, etc.), because such a nation, as this, has designed its system to be driven for protecting the public’s safety, and not for any investors’ profits.

If an armaments-firm, in such a nation, goes out-of-business, that’s entirely okay, so long as that nation’s safety isn’t being reduced by ending the firm. The international policy of such a country is totally different from that of a country in which arms-makers’ profits, and not the entire nation’s welfare, is in the driver’s seat regarding all foreign policies.

If arms-makers are being driven for profits, then target-nations are needed in order to expand profits so as to serve their investors. Such a country is run actually for its investors, not for its public. But if the arms-makers are being driven to serve the government instead of to serve private investors, the government is controlling the armament-firms. The nation’s safety is the objective in such a land, because increasing profits for private investors in its weapons-firms is not the company’s objective. Any profits to such investors, are then irrelevant to the government.

It’s truly sink-or-swim, for each of such a nation’s arms-makers — not socialism-for-the-rich, and capitalism (actually fascism) for the poor, such as is the case in the United States.

In a nation such as the United States, the constant need for new wars is being constantly driven by investors’ needs for expanding both markets and targets. And — since in the arms-making business, all of the markets are one’s own government, plus all of its allied governments (no significant consumer-business whatsoever, which is why such firms are fundamentally different from the firms in all other types of fields) — the government needs to serve its armaments-firms, because those firms are totally dependent upon the government, and upon its international diplomacy (to increase the sales of its armaments, and thereby to serve the billionaires who control the armaments-firms).

So: the government there naturally becomes an extension of its major “contractors” or armaments-firms. The politicians know this, though they don’t want to talk publicly about it, because they don’t want the voters to know who is actually in the driver’s seat. They know whom they are actually serving, which is the billionaires who control the armaments-firms. So: those politicians, whatever they might say in public (“America shouldn’t be the policeman for the world,” etc.), always actually vote to invade (Iraq, Syria, etc.), and to approve the first stage of any war, which is economic sanctions (such as against Russia itself, or Iran, or Iraq, or Syria, or Venezuela, etc.), and it’s always allegedly being done “to serve God, mother and country” at home, and “to expand freedom and protect human rights in that dictatorially ruled country” abroad.

This is basically the marketing campaign for the owners of the armaments firms. The winning politicians in such countries are the ones that those billionaires support.

In such a country, it’s almost impossible for any politician who is competing for a national office to succeed who isn’t being funded by those billionaires. And, the billionaires’ ‘news’-media support only such candidates. That’s why there’s almost no possibility for an honest person to be elected (or appointed( to any national public office in the United States.

If a nation’s sole reason for producing weapons is in order to protect the public — a public purpose — then there is no reason for the government to lie so as to demonize foreign leaders such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Bashar al-Assad, Salvador Allende, Viktor Yanukovych, and Nicolo Maduro. And this has nothing whatsoever to do with how bad (or good) the demonized leader actually is.

Why does the U.S. government demonize those people, while simultaneously serving (if not actually installing) barbaric dictators such as King Saud, Augusto Pinochet, Castillo Armas, and the Shah? The publicly stated reasons are always ‘humanitarian’ (when not ‘national defense’ — and often, as in 2003 Iraq — both at once). The alleged purpose is to ‘bring democracy to the people there’, and to ‘protect human rights, which are being violated’ by ‘the dictator’ — but it’s actually in order to make suckers out of their country’s own population, so as to serve the billionaires whose income can’t be boosted in any other way than to turn ‘enemies’ (targets) into ‘allies’ (markets) — to conquer those ‘enemies’.

This is just a marketing campaign, and the voters are not the consumers of these products, but they are instead merely the gulls who have to be fooled in order for those profits to keep rolling in, to the (usually) offshore accounts of those billionaires. This is not the type of socialism in which the government controls the economy, but instead the type of economy in which the economy — actually the billionaires who control the armaments-firms — control the government. This is why it’s “socialism for the rich and capitalism for everybody else.” (The term “fascism” can be used for that.)

This is the New America. And here is the New America Foundation, which is one of the many ‘non-profit’ PR arms of this new America. (That one represents mainly Democratic Party billionaires. Here is one that instead represents mainly Republican Party billionaires.) These are taxpayer-subsidized public relations agencies for their businesses. These individuals are exceptionally gifted businesspeople, because they deeply understand how to fool the public, and they understand that the public never learns and so history just keeps repeating itself, such as in 1953 Iran, and then in 1954 Guatemala, and 1973 Chile, and 2003 Iraq, and 2019 Venezuela, and so many others, ad nauseum. And it goes on and on, for decades if not forever.

But how can the world be protected from such countries? If there is not widespread public recognition that ‘permanent war for perpetual peace’ is a vicious lie, then can there be any other way to do it? Maybe not. Apparently, constant lying by the government and by its (i.e., by its billionaires’) media — and by all of its successful national politicians — is required in any such country.

This seems to be the only effective way to control the public in such a country; and, if the public there aren’t deceived, then the arms-firms’ control over the government won’t even be possible. So, regarding foreign policies, the lying in such a country is constant — especially about foreign affairs.

For example, that explains the stunning findings, in the recent study by a media-watchdog organization, that “Zero Percent of Elite Commentators Oppose Regime Change in Venezuela”. Having something like this happen after Americans were lied into invading Iraq in 2003, is proof that (and it explains why) the public never learns.

This is the way the system has been designed to function, siphoning off the society’s wealth into billionaires’ — largely offshore — accounts. The system is actually set up to operate that way. And the system’s owners (and their media) call this ‘democracy’, and are peddling that ‘democracy’ to the rest of the world.

This is a very successful trick, because — at least until now — the public never learns. (Of course, the system itself is set up so that they won’t.) The public never learns that the actual enemy is the domestic aristocracy itself. But one major American magazine recently made fun of this by headlining “In Billionaires Is the Preservation of the World” praising them as “nature’s own life-preserver” and closing by “With life itself depending on it, how do we determine which billionaires to kiss up to?” The enemy is within, but it’s no joke, and (as Trump makes so clear) ‘aliens’ get the blame, while the domestic aristocracy just get the money.

This type of racket has worked that way for thousands of years, and yet it has always remained “Top Secret,” or (at least) “Confidential” or etc.; but, anyway, very private — and not acknowledged in their ‘news’-media, but instead publicly denied (though, occasionally, also joked-about).

A more-serious phrase for this is “the Deep State.”

Originally posted at strategic-culture.org


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How the U.S. Created the Cold War – Welcome to aladdinsmiraclelamp – opinions without border
Sep 18, 2019 2:04 PM

[…] effective agent of America’s billionaires in advancing them first to continue their MIC (or, actually, the weapons-making firms), so that the billionaires who controlled them had no reason to fear the breakout of peace in the […]

How the U.S. Created the Cold War
Sep 10, 2019 2:42 AM

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Sep 10, 2019 1:25 AM

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How the US Created the Cold War - The Daily Coin
Jun 1, 2019 6:02 AM

[…] effective agent of America’s billionaires in advancing them first to continue their MIC (or, actually, the weapons-making firms), so that the billionaires who controlled them had no reason to fear the breakout of peace in the […]

David Eire
David Eire
May 17, 2019 12:28 AM

Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren is telling us we have to fight Climate Change and save the environment so the US Military can wage war in good weather.

May 16, 2019 10:36 PM

It was American funding of jihadists that led to the wretched Chechens being caught in the middle of the first American war to try and destroy Russia. Then they tried it on with Georgia – which lost the Ossetian enclave. Their third war was started in the Ukraine in 2014. No doubt they’ll try the Arctic next or one of the Turkish ‘stans’ in Central Asia.
Meanwhile in the rest of the world, whether Asia (the Yemen, West Papua), Africa (whole continent) or the Americas (Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador), the American juggernaut rolls on without an effective local opponent.

Profit and the Arms Economy - OffGuardian
May 16, 2019 6:06 PM

[…] Full piece here. […]

May 15, 2019 10:30 PM

In the aftermath of WW1, the US enacted far sighted and far reaching neutrality legislation with widespread public support to control their military industrial complex. Not all of these provisions were adopted, but there is little doubt that if they had remained in force most of the bloodbaths of the past 100 years would simply never have taken place.

This occurred following the general disillusionment of the post war period. People realised that the “making the world safe for democracy” BS was just that. Then, as now, they realised they had been lied to. Industrialists, banking interests and war profiteers had made obscene gargantuan profits at public expense.

By 1916, US bankers had lent $5,500 million to Britain to prosecute the war, and a mere $27 million to Germany. The outcome of the war was in doubt, and these banking interests were concerned that in the event of a German victory they would have to whistle for their money. So they agitated for the entry of the US into the war on the Allied side.

After the war, there were public hearings where the extent of the propaganda lies and profiteering were clearly exposed, with corresponding general outrage, much as occurred after the Iraq debacle. Measures were proposed, and many of them adopted, to prevent a recurrence by simply taking the profit out of war. All the industrialists and banksters shilling for war would suddenly fall silent. The following are the main proposals.

1. All arms manufacture and arms trading should be a government monopoly. No private profit.
2. A ban on all loans to belligerent powers, to prevent a situation like 1916 arising again.
3. A ban on travel to conflict areas by US citizens, to prevent Lusitania type incidents being used as a pretext for war.
4. In the event of war, all financial markets would be closed for the duration of the war. Wage and price controls and rationing would be introduced. The economy would be strictly regulated and controlled by the state. Taxes would be introduced to cover the costs of the war.
5. Incomes would be capped at $10,000. Everything over that would be taxed at 100%.
6. Dividends and return on capital investment would be strictly controlled. Everything over a low ceiling would be taxed at 100%.
7. There would be a Conscription Board to ensure that service was universal. First in the queue for a rifle would be the now unemployed stockbrokers, or their children if they were too old. There would be no Bill Clinton or Dubya Bush type draft dodging permitted. Everything would be done to ensure that the sacrifices of the war were borne equally.

This could still provide a model for the present day. Taking the profit out of war would turn the big vested interests and the politicians in their pockets, the likes of Pompeo and Bolton, into ardent pacifists.

May 16, 2019 4:17 PM
Reply to  mark

Thank you Mark.
Closest thing I’ve seen to an answer to, “What should we do?”.
This is where all our energies should be focused, although nobody imagines it would be remotely easy to accomplish…

May 16, 2019 10:31 PM
Reply to  wardropper

I remember when I was in the army firing off ammunition in a few minutes worth more than most people earn in a year to pay a mortgage and support a family, and it only gets worse. In WW2, a Spitfire cost £7,000 and a Hurricane £5,000. In the 1970s, a Phantom jet cost £2.5 million, a MIG21 £350,000. AB2 bomber cost $2,200 million per unit. An F35 $400 million. Northern Ireland cost the country well over £750 billion, and this is a big under estimate. I think if people just thought about the money side of things, it would make a difference. Apart from all the death and suffering, we could all be sitting on a little pile of gold and diamonds, driving Rolls Royces with holiday homes in the Bahamas, using £50 notes to light our cigars. But of course that will never happen.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
May 15, 2019 8:23 PM

Spending on US defense in the past did benefit the country’s economy by developing technologies that were able to start significant new commercial industries. I don’t know if this was deliberate policy or fortuitous side effect but the result is that we generated huge industries that paid off for the economy as a whole. The problem we face today is that we not only lack a civilian sector that’s able to directly benefit from defense developments but also our national paranoia — a reaction to global competition — makes it unlikely that we’d want to transfer technologies to the civilian sector. As a result defense has become a bloated drag on the entire economy.

I’ve seen this happen before, albeit on a much smaller scale. Although I live in the US I’m originally from the UK and I came of age in that country just as the country was ‘de-industrializing’. What happened there in the 50s and 60s is that technology companies consolidated and then split into two, roughly the ‘commercial’ and ‘defence’ sectors. The latter made all the profits, thanks to ‘cost plus’ contracts, while the more capital intensive and competitive commercial sector was left to wither on the vine. The end result is that industry became run down, uncompetitive and eventually bankrupt. Investors didn’t care because the military/government side made profits but eventually what this did was tear the heart out of industry leading to the present state where much of what little is left of British industry is just subsidiaries of foreign companies. The lack of opportunity led to skilled people leaving (myself included) which would make restarting industry rather difficult.

The US is much bigger than the UK but even so I have witnessed exactly the same trends over the last quarter century. The current problem with China has nothing to do with a trade deficit and everything to do with a sudden realization that the US has lost a lot of its competitiveness. My fear for the future is that while I think that modern US weapons systems are well past their prime for effectiveness (the F-35 being Exhibit ‘A’) they are still capable of doing a lot of damage — we may well go down but we’re going to drag the rest of the world with us.

Profit and the Arms Economy | Worldtruth
May 15, 2019 6:53 PM

[…] Full piece here. […]

May 15, 2019 4:34 PM

Good article Eric, thank you. I have for a while thought that this is a problem that will sort itself out given time. The big difference between the US and Russia China is that the US builds weapons for profit, they don’t have to work, just be available for use in large numbers to ensure replacement orders. The Chinese/Russians aren’t interested profit, just producing effective weapons as cost effectively as possible.
In passing the combined PPP GDP of Russia and China is now 50% greater than the US.

May 15, 2019 3:41 PM

“…Unlike a regular corporation, the corporations that manufacture and sell weapons to their government are virtually 100% dependent upon their government and its military allies, for their own success; their markets are only those governments, not individuals (such as is the case for normal corporations)…”

For the US this are not in the hands of the government. Look at the military schools in the US, many are private and in private hands. Look at the actual President, Mr. Trump, he did his studies in a private military school. These are not in the hands of the government, but recognized as such. Are they not in the hands of the rich or not? Are it not the dollars and everything associated with it, which rule the country instead of democracy? … …

May 16, 2019 12:38 PM
Reply to  Jim

Trump’s “military school” education lasted for 5 years from age 13. Thereafter it was at a Jesuit university and then the Wharton business school of UPenn. The military academy seems to have been a parental attempt to instil some discipline into an unruly boy. Formative and suitably authoritarian but hardly the stuff billionaires are routinely made of. My bet for the educational basis of Trump’s mature (sic) style, apart from the toxic clinical narcissism, goes mostly to the Jesuits for a sinuous trickyness and Wharton for the pursuit of relentlessly amoral business practise.

Profit and the Arms Economy – steel city scribblings
May 15, 2019 3:03 PM

[…] Full piece here. […]

They are proud
They are proud
May 15, 2019 12:47 PM

No more shame. The US now brag about the effectiveness of their destabilisation and destruction campaigns. If you haven’t done so, make sure you view this document ‘Support to Resistance: Strategic Purpose and Effectiveness’ (link below). It was written by Army Special Forces veteran Will Irwin, and published by the Joint Special Operations University. It shows clearly how the US pretends to help indigenous populations while their goal is pure evil, and pure destruction. (See page 48 for Tibet)


Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
May 15, 2019 8:18 AM

More than three years ago Global Research ran a piece which, given its well substantiated claim that the same financial interests backing Trident also back some of Russia’s nuclear weapons program, should have been more widely circulated. The Canary ran something similar a few months later, then as far as I’m aware it fizzled out. Here’s an extract:

Almaz-Antey is a state-owned Russian defence industry manufacturer, responsible for at least 26 sub-operators, which predominantly develops anti-aircraft defence systems … Funding for Almaz-Antey generally comes from either the Russian Government directly, or via the state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB) development bank – for example, in 2012 Almaz received RUB 35bn from the Defence Ministry and 25bn from VEB to develop the S-500 Prometey air and missile defence system – touted to be the most advanced on the planet.

Being ‘state-owned’, however, doesn’t always mean state-funded, as an archived press release from 2011 shows. In April of that year VEB signed an agreement for a syndicated loan worth $2.4bn, from 19 banks – and they were all outside of Russia.

But, here’s the real crux of the matter regarding financial institutions and the system as a whole’s involvement in the nuclear weapons industry – they don’t just bat for ‘our team’.

UK institutions included Barclays and HSBC, and other prominent contributors were JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse – five of the very same banks that were also listed on iCan’s report as funding/investing in Western nuclear programmes.


Barclays and HSBC are two of the groups financing Britain’s Trident. Here’s the Global Research piece in full.

Fair Dinkum
Fair Dinkum
May 15, 2019 7:28 AM

In their insatiable avarice the billionaires, shareholders and senior management of the murder factories have forgotten one thing.
We’re all in this together.
We all go down the shit chute together.
IN-humanitarianism. The last nail in the coffin of history.

May 15, 2019 8:25 AM
Reply to  Fair Dinkum

To the billionaires, shareholders and senior management of the murder factories, the very survival of life on Earth doesn’t even enter their minds. It’s all business. It’s like a rogue computer program that will simply continue no matter what.

May 15, 2019 11:48 AM
Reply to  Fair Dinkum

Get interest from your retail bank? You’re likely to be a proxy shareholder. Got a pension fund? You’re likely to be a proxy shareholder. And so on.

Peter Jennings, ex (US) ABC News Anchor put his money where his mouth was: no investments of any sort, no pension funds, no interest bearing bank accounts, etc.: in short, to the maximum extent possible, no rentier activity full stop.

Got the guts to be up for living like that? If not, you’ve left a word or phrase out of your first sentence: “I” or “most of us”, and here’s a little 60-year-oldditty just for you(se): https://youtu.be/YN0qvNhtGhM. Where is Helen Caldicott these days, now that old newspapers are seldom used for wrapping fish’n’chips?

Fake humanitarian news: all the news that’s fit for fake humanitarians.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
May 15, 2019 12:15 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

Two comments, Rob. One, to conflate the tiny stake in capitalism of individual labour sellers – aka the many – with that of the capital owners – aka the few/the ruling class – is to miss the point spectacularly. Ditto the reduction to individual behaviour of class phenomena. Like the reduction of capitalism’s war on Nature to you and I dutifully recycling our trash – but even more so – a few zealots forswearing bank accounts would be a piss in the Atlantic. Are you a false flagger for Capital?

Second, all your comments seem driven by bile and marked by ad hominem abuse. You pen as if rudeness were a virtue. Why is that?

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
May 15, 2019 1:07 PM
Reply to  Philip Roddis

Thank you Philip…. Couldn’t have put it better myself. Pretty much all of us at OffG are respectful of other commenters, except for a handful who seem quite bitter. Or are trolling.

May 16, 2019 11:53 PM
Reply to  Philip Roddis

“…to conflate the tiny stake in capitalism of individual labour sellers – aka the many – with that of the capital owners – aka the few/the ruling class – is to miss the point spectacularly.”

Well, darling (I can’t say I haven’t been expecting you to rumble into view for the past few days), it would be if I had, but I hadn’t, so it isn’t. Rather, I was expressing (though admittedly without too many clues, the better to enrage the clueless) what I think of as the phenomenon of “grabbing what is being freely given”. That is not the leap of a accidently trapped wild animal from the hands of its releaser without so much as a backwards glance, but in the crowd of desperate people being released some desperate situation, those who, despite the knowledge that a lifeline has finally been established and will not quickly disappear, rather will be back tomorrow and the day after that, nevertheless fight off their equally desperate fellows to grab more than their share, so a truck (say) that carried enough to relieve all until its next visit tomorrow departs empty with a sizable proportion of the crowd that was behind it receiving relief holding nothing or scrabbling on the ground for scraps. Not just on the first day but the day after that and the day after that, effectively until the end of days. Such scenario, which plays out in a multitude of highly diverse situations every day, from those with a cast of two in a workplace to those with thousands in caught in a drought, or whatever, illustrates the single biggest impediment to the establishment and maintenance of socialism (let alone communism) that exists. And it–greed driven by unacknowledged fear–is inherent in our makeup, as–in their different ways: binra here, Jiddu Krishnamurti there, others elsewhere–keep on telling us. Not only at the identifiable personal level, but at the anonymous crowd, community, national and–now–supranational level as well.

“Like the reduction of capitalism’s war on Nature to you and I dutifully recycling our trash – but even more so – a few zealots forswearing bank accounts would be a piss in the Atlantic.”

I’ll skip the ignorant slur on (the probably old-school Republican) Jennings’ seldom (never?) publicly voiced personal gesture (the ambiguous nature of which he was no doubt fully aware) to quote the ever-public voice of V.I Lenin, a Bolshevik in matters of capital but a personal and public degenerate in matters of power but, nevertheless, an exceedingly perceptive analyst, with a half-remembered quote that delayed this response until I tired of looking for it in the output of others and widened my search;

…rentiers, i.e., people who live by ‘clipping coupons’, who take no part in any enterprise whatever, whose profession is idleness. The export of capital, one of the most essential economic bases of imperialism, still more completely isolates the rentiers from production and sets the seal of parasitism on the whole country that lives by exploiting the labour of several overseas countries and colonies.

It’s called complicity and it’s the mire in which the individual piss in the ocean’s fear-driven greed snares the “lowly” as surely as the “highest”. If you ever wondered what the explanation for the average Israeli’s sheer incomprehension of what any Palestinian could reasonably complain about, and how Netanyahu has been returned for yet another term: now you know. If you ever noted and wondered what could cause the average American’s near complete unconciousness of the potentially disastrous impact their individual vote could have on the rest of the world, now you know.

There is nothing special humanitywise about the captains of nations and finance in the world at large, they are simply you and me rendered largely omnipotent in human affairs through the amplification of our own massed voices, including the otherwise silent inner voices of the overwhelming proportion of the putative socialists amongst us.

As the WWII British Colonel Blimpey had it:

Hitler has only got one ball,
Goering has two but they’re too small,
Himmler has something similar,
But poor old Goebels has no balls at all.

So the big mystery (NOT) is: where did the movers and shakers of the Third Reich get the balls to act so destructively on the world stage?

” …all your comments seem driven by bile and marked by ad hominem abuse. You pen as if rudeness were a virtue. Why is that?”

No more than a proportionate degree of bile, all things considered, and not too many ad hominems expressed beyond those some individual instances of our common greed for assets–money or power or love-cum-adulation–catch my attention for one reason or another.

Why? Because my life’s socio-political journey has been the reverse of most, perhaps because I was geographically, physically (and probably also or hence psychologically) isolated as a child, so to survive I had to assess the people and the society around me pretty much as they were and it was, rather than imagine them or it from the safe distance afar to which most kids immediately run when they begin to feel threatened. That led to an intensely conservative, right wing early adolescent who could not possibly go further right but, contrariwise, and contrary to the average drift, has become with age a geriatric nut case of a wildly extreme-left anarchist bent. While compared to a master (and pushy to say the least) wit like Diogenes the Cynic, the output of this pale echo that you perceive as bile and gratuitous ad hominems is mostly simple, uncompounded disgust at the grossly self-deceptive, and now seemingly multiple species destroying behaviour–despite the clear and present danger obvious in my childhood–of my fellow hominids. You don’t like it? Hey, I long ago learned not to care and my now well-established “retirement” saw a great reduction in the restraint that the need to feed had contributed to the mix. Perhaps the “next” or “scroll past” functions of your browser would help?

Fair Dinkum
Fair Dinkum
May 15, 2019 12:50 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

Mmm, struck a nerve?
1. 1% interest (cause it’s too risky under the mattress)
2. Got no shares.
3. Pension fund (superannuation in Australia) in ethical investments.
4.Live in a straw clay, solar powered house.
5. Vegan.
6. Anarchist, under Capitalschism.
Helen Caldicott?
Done more than all the SMUG PSYCHOPATHS who rule.
Have a nice day Robb.

May 15, 2019 10:41 PM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

This is a case of blaming the victim. Us banksters aren’t responsible for the 2008 debacle, it’s all the fault of those black people taking out mortgages.
Why should having a bank account or a pension make you guilty or responsible for this?
Banking, like arms manufacture, should be a state monopoly anyway.
People had bank accounts and pensions in communist countries.

May 16, 2019 4:40 PM
Reply to  mark

Dear Downvoter, I think you are missing mark’s irony. Dear mark, there have to date been no communist countries that have survived infancy and it’s unlikely there ever will be. Some reasonably long lasting, compromised form of socialism may take hold in the future, as several short-term forms have already come and gone and will probably do so again, provided there is sufficient future left for them to do so. Which is also unlikely. Yours sincerely, etc.

May 16, 2019 1:42 AM
Reply to  Robbobbobin

Bank institutions, their structures and organisation by themselves are not the issue. The way these institutions have been hijacked and co-opted by sociopaths is. Why should the notion of people pooling their financial resources together in one institution – which essentially is what a bank is, and what many people believe a bank should be – be the subject of mockery?

How else should communities try to improve themselves if you would deny them the ability and the capacity to put their money together in short-term and long-term investments?

And without some rentier activity, how would people unable to work – people like aged pensioners, people with disabilities, people under the age of 16 years or some other mandated minimum age – be able to survive if they have no other means of support?

May 16, 2019 4:28 PM
Reply to  Jen

“Bank institutions, their structures and organisation by themselves are not the issue.”

On the contrary, they are very much part of the issue because they are not by themselves. In fact they never have been by themselves but throughout much of their know history from ancient Babylon onwards they have from time to time been constrained by sociopolitical restraints on their behaviour exercised by priests, monarchs and politicians as the era allowed, whether they were recognisable in their structures as what, today, we would call “banks” or just self-maximizers who would today be seen as bankers. And at other times the naturally predatory behaviour of the individuals who, today, are attracted to banking and its associated structures has been let loose to predate by those same others: priests, monarchs or–today–politicians.

“The way these institutions have been hijacked and co-opted by sociopaths is.”

The notion that business “leaders” and asset manipulators are a special class of sociopath requires a myopia that is extreme, if not total blindness. Look around: they are everywhere, within and without you and me, and these days, in the particular form of oligarchy we know as “representative democracy”, they vote to replace the oligarchy suckuppers that a persuadable majority of the population currently dislikes with the oligarchy suckuppers that it currently likes. And often back again just a few years later.

The rest of your understandings of the reasonable social role and management of social assets are OK in themselves but they have been so thoroughly soaked in the predominant capitalistic structure and organization propaganda of our times that it will take a lot of washing and extended drying in the fresh air and sunlight to get rid of the stench of the rentier-inspired bullshit, so I won’t try here.

Philip Roddis
Philip Roddis
May 15, 2019 7:21 AM

Excellent. Share widely.