I'm in the process of reading Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine." The first 1/3 of the book is a brief history of the plunder and destruction of third world countries from 1970 to the present, under the guidance of a cult of followers of Milton Friedman of the Chicago School of Economics. Milton Friedman's doctrine, as interpreted by the cult members, is that theft is good, and killing to accomplish theft is even better.
The Friedman doctrine, as applied, supports coups or election fraud to turn the control of a government over to corrupt dictatorships who use the military, police, and private death squads to terrorize the citizens, and allow multinational cartels to plunder all the assets of a country. The Friedman doctrine was first used in Chile where Henry Kissinger decided that the democratically-elected government of Salvador Allende should be overthrown and replaced with a fascist military dictatorship under the murderous reign of Pinochet. Thousands were murdered and/or sent into exile.
International War Criminal Pinochet and his Fascist Troops in Chile.
That was followed by a military coup in Argentina in which the police state adopted the tactic of kidnapping, torturing, and murdering citizens, throwing their bodies into ditches and garbage dumps, then denying that they knew about the person's disappearance. (Just like the U.S. now kidnaps, tortures, and murders people but calls it "enhanced interrogation techniques" and "extraordinary rendition"). It appears the third world plunder in recent decades was just a petrie dish, practice, for taking down the big enchilada, the U.S.A.
The Mothers and Grandmothers of the disappeared in Argentina marched in front of government buildings with photos of their disappeared children and grandchildren, demanding the government admit they had murdered these people. They became known as the Mothers and Grandmothers of the Disappeared (Madres or Abuelas de los deseparecidos). This was an act of great courage, since the Argentina government killed thousands of its citizens simply to terrify and gain control of the rest.
Based on their record, the cult of Freidman mandates that the citizens of a nation must be crushed and all their assets taken so they are flat broke, desperate, unable to organize politically because they must spend every day fighting to earn a dollar for shelter and food, and they are also an obedient, slave-like workforce because they are hungry and frightened; every assets of any nation must be sold (at firesale prices) to the international elite and their secret organizations in which they hide their money, amass wealth, conspire with the elite of other nations to sell out and destroy their own countries, like the financial cartels of the U.S., like the private equity funds, hedge funds, vulture funds; a puppet government must take control (George and Dick) and run up unimaginable levels of debt; the financial cartels come in and "rescue" the now-bankrupt country by temporary short-term loans at usurious rates but demand the government stop all social programs. The rich people of the world own and control everything, and the rest of us are slaves with no voice in government or in our own lives. That's where we're headed.
I just got to the section of the book about Poland, and Lech Walesa, the union guy who opposed the Soviet Union and became a hero of Ronald Reagan. Here at home, Reagan illegally and in collusion with business, used the full strength of the U.S. government to destroy a union (air traffic controllers) by firing everyone who went on strike and letting them be replaced by non-union people. Reagan loved the Polish union guy at the same time he was crushing the American unions. Of course Reagan also called bin Laden's criminal gang "Freedom Fighters."
When the Polish union people won a national election, and got to take over the country, Lech Walesa supposedly said "To our misfortune, we have won." Because by that time, Poland was in as much financial trouble as the U.S. is now, with high unemployment and enormous debt. I'm wondering if that should be the official motto of the Obama first term: "To our misfortune, we have won."
It reminds me of Snoopy's "Drat." Here's a suggestion for the introductory sentence of Obama's Inaugural Speech: "Nyahh, Nyahh, Nyahh! You can't hit me! Drat this fog! It's bad enough having to fight the Red Baron without having to fly in weather like this!"
George Bush's regime has been a tremendous success. They have looted the country, shuttering entire factories and sending all the work and machines to third world countries, have effectively frozen wages, eliminated benefits like healthcare and pensions for most working people, further crushed unions, eliminated job security by widespread right-wing judicial decisions embracing the concept of "At Will" employment. States are already reporting panic over the demands on unemployment funds. What happens when they run out of money?
They have changed the laws to allow agribusiness and national grocery store chains to import food from third world countries even though that food is raised under conditions in which there is no sanitation, and pesticides and poisons routinely are used for rodent and pest control, but end up being eaten by unknowing American consumers. The grocery chains help to shut down American farms, then buy produce for 20 cents/pound and sell it to Americans at $2.50/pound, massively increasing their own profits while, of course, busting their own unions and forcing their workers to accept part-time work with no benefits.
Of course the states, counties, cities are all broke and are beginning the process of eliminating social services by laying off cops, firefighters, teachers, closing schools and libraries. Hospitals are cutting nurses which is absurd, since they do most of the work, but the doctors and hospital owners and administrators take most of the money.
Our education is underfunded and more cuts are on the way. Higher education has become just another profit-making scam to exclude children from working class families and ensure that only the children of the elite will get the education they need to get a decent-paying job.
Our political system is one large cesspool of corruption. This wasn't started by Bush. I actually think Clinton did more to increase the financial corruption than any president in modern history, and hold him primarily responsible for this disgrace. Nonetheless, our politicians all take bribes and sell their votes. That's not a democracy -- it's just Government-By-Ebay. Whoever pays the most wins.
I don't think we can "think" our way through these problems. Only an extremely aggressive platform is likely to succeed. We need to face the crimes of the Bush years and those started under Reagan, Daddy Bush, and Clinton, and we need to make structural changes to our country. We need to put the people first. Government only exists to serve the people. Businesses should only be allowed to function if they create good-paying jobs with benefits for Americans. If they don't, if they send jobs overseas and try to bribe and corrupt our politicians, the businesses should be shut down and denied the lawful right to operate inside this country.
One of the things we need to do is to have special prosecutors with subpoena power conduct extensive hearings into financial crimes, get writs of attachment to freeze assets of the people who have looted our country, and go out and recover that money for the people of this country. If we do not aggressively pursue recovery, I am not hopeful that the problems can be solved. After all, unemployment is rising, everyone is broke, and individual, state and national debt is at the level that just paying interest alone will prevent a recovery, never mind trying to pay down the principal.
It's unfortunate Bernie Madoff is being scapegoated because he is small potatoes compared to the people running this country and the major financial cartels.
Just look at the Clintons, amassing almost a billion dollars in contributions from foreign countries and foreign elite trying to buy access and control under the assumption Hillary would be president. Then she has the nerve to tell Congress that it's none of their business how much money has been paid to her or her husband by foreign countries. And the equally corrupt members of Congress let her get away with it. Money to Bill is the same as money to Hillary under community property law. If the Clintons wanted to hold public office, they should have not solicited and accepted all that money from foreign countries. She has a conflict of interest which should disqualify her.
The fact that the Clintons stick the money into a foundation does not change anything, because guess who controls the money? The Clintons.
If the Clintons favor India, where they have invested their own money, they can spend the "Foundation" money building schools in India to train more workers to take more American jobs. And in her position as Secretary of State, what is the likelihood Hillary would "favor" countries which have given money to her and her husband, and ignore countries that didn't pay up. It's such a fundamental level of betrayal that it's hard to stomach. But then again, Daddy Bush was lunching with his investment partners from Saudi Arabia at the same time that other Saudis were attacking and incinerating 3000 American citizens. I doubt the fork in Daddy Bush's hand once paused on its journey to his mouth, because he picked a team long ago, and that team was the world's rich people, not the citizens of the U.S.
I wish Obama the best. I wish all of us the best. The fact that he has chosen so many Clintonites and Wall Street insiders for his administration, along with the pro-war majority he has rewarded with big positions and lots of status, makes me wonder whether anything will change, or whether he even wants change.
But I wish Obama well, and hope he can shoot down the Red Baron despite the fog. In the meantime, hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and speak out in favor of war crimes and financial crimes tribunals, and structural change to get corruption out of politics and make sure this country, and our government and businesses, work only for the benefit of the citizens.