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I was interested to read the new book review of the Shadow Elite, and how this plays out in our daily political body.  Janine Wedel's Shadow Elite, a is a study that explains why it's been so hard to bring about any real change in America.

Basically, the premise is that we are being played by all sides, and once again reminds me of one of the best books written this century: Naomi Klein's...The Shock Doctrine.

What I find interesting in what Klein, Wedel and Tabbi have in common. They are all pointing to the exact same premises - more on my comparisons below the fold.....

Weldel first:

According to Wedel, in her new book: Shadow Elite: How the World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market. the real problem is much deeper and more disturbing: a "transnational" class of elites

that has rigged the system so they can "institutionalize their subversion of it.

" A member of this shadow elite is Robert Rubin, on full display right now in Newsweek, penning an essay on "Getting the Economy Back on Track" while failing to explain or acknowledge -- let alone apologize for -- the key role he played in getting the economy off track in the first place.  "Rubin's resume is the personification of the flex net in action, as he seamlessly moved between political positions (Director of the National Economic Council, Treasury Secretary), private positions (as a board member and senior counselor at Citigroup, he received over $126 million in cash and stock), advisory positions (including serving on the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and the SEC's Market Oversight and Financial Services Advisory Committee), and stints on a World Bank task force on Growth and Development, work as an unofficial economic advisor to President Obama, and his current position as co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations.

As she writes in Shadow Elite, a new "transnational" class of elites has taken over our country: "The mover and shaker who serves at one and the same time as business consultant, think-tanker, TV pundit, and government adviser glides in and around the organizations that enlist his services. It is not just his time that is divided. His loyalties, too, are often flexible."

Wedel dubs this new class of influencers "flexians," and the closed system they've created for themselves the "flex net." She attributes their power, among other factors, to the "embrace of 'truthiness,' which allows people to play with how they present themselves to the world, regardless of fact or track record.  "The new breed of players," writes Wedel, "who operate at the nexus of official and private power, cannot only co-opt public policy agendas, crafting policy with their own purposes in mind. They test the time-honored principles of both the canons of accountability of the modern state and the codes of competition of the free market. In so doing, they reorganize relations between bureaucracy and business to their advantage, and challenge the walls erected to separate them. As these walls erode, players are better able to use official power and resources without public oversight."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

And the thesis of this diary goes straight to the point: We no longer have any if little 'public oversight' so that the 'flexians' can move between the public and private sector, without being questioned, and perhaps if we take a look at the fact that when you put this all together and really take a very clear and hard look at it: "Rubin's resume is the personification of the flex net in action, as he seamlessly moved between political positions (Director of the National Economic Council, Treasury Secretary), private positions (as a board member and senior counselor at Citigroup, he received over $126 million in cash and stock), advisory positions (including serving on the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and the SEC's Market Oversight and Financial Services Advisory Committee), and stints on a World Bank task force on Growth and Development, work as an unofficial economic advisor to President Obama, and his current position as co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations. we can begin to see, very clearly that the very idea of any 'American public interests are being served what-so-ever is a delusion at best.

But the point is how do we stop these flexians?  So how can we wrest control of our government from the Shadow Elite?

As Wedel says, the first step is to understand.... that merely exposing certain activities is not enough, (and lets face it..it is not working for us)...so the answer is to framing them is essential. We must find a way to reframe how we look at and think about and respond to what is being done in our name and with our resources.

How can we do this?  Is it possible at all? What steps could we take to help us 'reframe' the flexians?  

Naomi Klein is saying much the same:

Invest in "Disaster Capitalism." This new investment sector is the core of the emerging "new economy" that generates profits by feeding off other peoples' misery: Wars, terror attacks, natural catastrophes, poverty, trade sanctions, market crashes and all kinds of economic, financial and political disasters.

In this Orwellian future, everything must be seen with new eyes: "Disasters" are "IPOs," opportunities to buy into a new "company." Corporations like Lockheed-Martin are the real "emerging nations" of the world, not some dinky countries. They generate huge profits, grow earnings. And seen through the new rose-colored glasses of "Disaster Capitalism" they are hot investment opportunities.

To more fully grasp this new economy, you must read what may be the most important book on economics in why do so many nations have economic policies more laissezfaire and social programs less generous than their citizens prefer? In her explosive counter history of global capitalism, against the glib accounts offered by mainstream economists and celebrity journalists, Naomi Klein argues that the answer lies in a simple two-step strategy, honed over three decades by an international cabal of freemarket fundamentalists: First, exploit crises—whether due to economics, politics, or natural disasters––to advance an agenda that would never survive the democratic process during ordinary times. Next, create a "corporatocracy," in which multinationals and political leaders align to promote their interests at the public’s expense.

http://www.naomiklein.org/...

This is the exact same definition of what Wedel is saying about the 'flexians' that Klein points out: that they are creating a "corporatocracy," in which multinationals and political leaders align to promote their interests at the public’s expense.
.

That 'they' have no loyalty to our nation, and the people that trusted their leadership has become a vacant hollow ghost town that has been abandoned, yet we as Americans are still living in this ghost town actually believe that if we are still 'writing and calling our Congressmen' what we are still not understanding is that not only is the 'fix in' but that we are indeed being played from all sides, and still as Robert Rubin who ran off with $ 126 million in bonuses from CitiBank (with plenty of TARP funds) is till working as an unofficial economic adviser to President Obama, and still has his current position as co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations only proves the point that Wedel makes so wonderfully.

'Flexians'  it is so 21st Century in it's description.  They can be all things to all people, while absconding with millions of dollars, and still at the same time, pretending all the while that they give a flying fuck in a rolling donut about Americans that have suffered at the hands of the greatest financial heist and meltdown in the history of our nation.  It is highly likely that our 'recovery' if there is one, will take at least the next 10 or more years, with no relief for those that have lost their homes, their jobs and untold amounts of 'equity' in their homes, their pensions/retirements and their hopes and dreams for simply wanting a life that would allow them to 'get by' and make ends meet.  Many of us never expected to make these 'insane bonuses' that Wall Street is enjoying now, solely because we bailed them out, but what we did not expect was to be living in a 'Ghost Town' with the cold winds blowing through our hearts from the new 'flexians' that left us in the dust of their voracious cruelty towards the very nation and people that gave them the opportunity to be successful.  

Finally Matt Tabbi in his own 'nitty gritty way' is saying the exact same point:

For what we’ve learned in the last few years as one scandal after another spilled onto the front pages is that the bubble economies of the last two decades were not merely monstrous Ponzi schemes that destroyed trillions in wealth while making a small handful of people rich. They were also a profound expression of the fundamentally criminal nature of our political system, in which state power/largess and the private pursuit of (mostly short-term) profit were brilliantly fused in a kind of ongoing theft scheme that sought to instant-cannibalize all the wealth America had stored up during its postwar glory, in the process keeping politicians in office and bankers in beach homes while continually moving the increasingly inevitable disaster to the future.

snip...

I mean, really — market observers were unaware of the number of subprime mortgages infecting the system? Are we to understand that nobody caught on when outstanding mortgage debt grew by $3.7 trillion between 2003 and 2005, nearly equaling the entire value of all American real estate in the year 1990? They didn’t notice when subprime mortgages went from 3% of all mortgage lending in 1997 to 20% of the market in 2003? They didn’t notice when the volume of Alt-A loans and home equity loans surged through the early part of last decade?

snip...

To me all of these people were equally guilty of making bad decisions to benefit themselves in the here and now at the expense of the whole in the future. When it comes to bubbles, It Takes a Village, and blaming the whole mess on the "socialist" aims of a pair of government agencies seems off base — particularly since the Randian protocapitalists running the banks benefited every bit as much from this socialism as actual homeowners, and perhaps even more, when one considers that homeowners get foreclosed upon, while bonuses are forever.

http://trueslant.com/...

I remember with Teddy Kennedy, Robert and Jack, always used to say these words:

To whom much has been given, much is expected.

I wondered what happened to our nation, that forgot we were all under the same roof in this big country of ours....I wonder what happened to the 'responsibility' of our leaders and even our Companies that once employed millions of the Middle Class forgot that dictum.  There once was a sense of pride and duty and responsibility on the part of our leaders and businesses to 'give back to the nation that gave them so much'....it was called 'patriotism'....

I wonder most if we will ever find out way back as a nation and as a people.

When did it become...'To whom much has been given, take more and more and more, until for your fellow citizens there is nothing left and above all, ignore the 'collateral damage of millions of Americans' who, as a result of the Wall Street/Banking Heist and meltdown are living in the streets with no homes, food or hope?'

If you think that these 'flexians' bloodsuckers are going to stop, think against, hence the new strategy to go after the current 401K retirements systems and their ultimate plan, to destroy Social Security and Medicare.

At present I cannot think of a better 'example of a more disgusting 'Flexian' than Treasurer Timothy Geithner.  He is now become the officially 'Crowned Price' of the Shadow Elite' at its worst.  This past week all the 'lies and cover-up' concerning the back room 'secret' sweet heart deals he made with AIG and Goldman Sachs that amount to nothing less than 'Security Fraud' begging for a RICO investigation by the most blatant coward in the Obama Administration, Attorney General Eric Holder has become a yet another example of Eric Holder 'looking the other way' and instead giving lip service on how proud he is that his office has made great strides while going after Bernie Madoff, meanwhile ignoring the corruption right under his own nose that took place at the New York Federal Reserve, and the White House.

I've written many diaries with the same basic them, that Frank Rich spoke of in his own piece.  The quote that I want to note is this one:

Americans must be told the full story of how Wall Street gamed and inflated the housing bubble, made out like bandits, and then left millions of households in ruin. Without that reckoning, there will be no public clamor for serious reform of a financial system that was as cunningly breached as airline security at the Amsterdam airport. And without reform, another massive attack on our economic security is guaranteed. Now that it can count on government bailouts, Wall Street has more incentive than ever to pump up its risks — secure that it can keep the bonanzas while we get stuck with the losses.  

http://www.nytimes.com/...

I've stated over and over than until our nation receives an honest Independent Investigation of what happened and who is responsible for this financial meltdown that left millions of households in ruin, our nation will never be the same.  And indeed, we will only become again' unwilling accomplices in the next 'set of lootings' that will, without a doubt take place.

The criminals and their cabal on Wall Street in Washington are much worse now because this time they have destroyed the core of USA, or whatever is left of it. Even more pathetic, the people of this country mostly still do not really understand what has happened to themselves, their families, and the nation, even those who do are too timid or even organized to fight meaningfully against such treasons.

It is not a left, right, or middle crisis, it is an American crisis.

The 'Shadow Elite' and 'Flexians' are those same Leaders at the top of our government, and our very Congress - that we are even 'still sending' them to money at places like Act Blue, and not demanding a Independent Investigation of the Financial Meltdown in return for our support... (including putting extreme pressure on the cowardly Attorney General Eric Holder,) just proves my point.  

There is only one 'common denominator' that all of us as Americans have forgotten: That at this point in time, we as Americans should understand this:

It is 'the Shadow Elite' Versus The People of this Nation.  It cannot be any simpler than this 'line in the sand' that has now become as clear as noses on our faces.  The Shadow Elite has proven time and time again, that they hold absolutely no loyalty towards uplifting the Middle Class, helping out Main Street with the escalating rampart foreclosures, or helping to rebuild a national industrial/manufacturing base.

There is no longer any trust, credibility or accountability for this group of Oligarchy that is planning the next set of looting, and the very last thing that they care about, is what kind of pain, misery, death and destruction their uncontrolled voracious greed and criminal activities will affect their very own country.

As Rich has pointed out, and as I've tried to so many times on Kos: Until there is a day of reckoning as to 'how our nation's economy was completely destroyed' by a handful of thugs and Robber Barons, then we will remain 'nothing more than their prey' and they will destroy what is left of our country.

Bank on it.

Thanks.

 

Originally posted to Badabing on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 05:58 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  The global nature of flexian thinking is merely (17+ / 0-)

      ...a means by which these folks may tacitly posit that the U.S. Constitution doesn't apply to them, because those laws only apply to individuals that cannot see beyond our nation's own boundaries.

      On that they're quite wrong, and sooner or later this is going to devour the very foundations of their thinking.

      How ironic it is that a former Constitutional Law professor is now our President, too, eh?

      Great diary.

      "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

      by bobswern on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 06:35:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (9+ / 0-)

        And that is a central theme of the world these assholes are trying to create. One which transcends the boundaries of sovereignty.

        One where they exist on a global playing field and the laws of each nation don't apply.

        They would see global institutions like the World Trade Organization and the World Bank gain more power as the sovereignty of individual nations lose power.

        This is nothing less than a war between democracy and corporatism. Which is really nothing but a jetset repackaging of the ancient conflict between plutocrats and commoners. Business versus labor, governors versus the governed.

        Not much new. But that being said, it would really help to have a new name for them. I could go with flexians though it sounds a bit Star Trekish to me. Whatever.

        Our lack of a commonly agreed to name for these ratfucks is inhibiting our ability to oppose them.

        •  Yeah, I think that term 'flexians' is sort of out (9+ / 0-)

          out there...it makes me think of Lizards dressed as cheap strippers with G-strings holding thousand dollar bills in their 'lizard type gills'...

          I prefer:  Insane Psychopathic Crack Whore Money Serial Killers:   IPCWMSK.....

          When humans act like this, we think there's something fundamentally wrong with them. Theologians call them evil, novelists call them monsters or body snatchers, and psychologists call them psychopaths. Since psyche means soul, the word really means people with sick souls. Here's a list of psychopathic traits I recently read. Psychopaths are:

          Irresponsible

          Grandiose, self-absorbed

          They lack empathy

          They won't accept responsibility for their destructive actions

          They are unable to feel remorse

          They're finally quite superficial: all power, no depth; all manipulation, no connection to other human beings....

          (BTW, I believe this is a known list of 'job qualifications for working at Goldman Sachs).

          B.

          America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

          by Badabing on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 07:54:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Jeff Faux discussed all this in 2006 in The Party (6+ / 0-)
    •  and (12+ / 0-)

      Mark Twain discussed all this in 1873 in The Gilded Age, although he had sense enough not to invent a hideous word like "flexians" to describe those who "move between the public and private sector, without being questioned."

      If I remember right, Sulla also "moved between the public and private sector, without being questioned." That was circa 100 BCE.

      Etc.

      •  inventing new word to describe old paradigms is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        appletree

        how you ´get to be a wannabe elite like Klein and Taibi ..never forget Chomsky

      •  new words? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxado, Badabing

        I like "shadow elites". I've been thinking that an unacknowledged aristocracy is even more dangerous than one that admits to its existence. If  nobody admits that a group exists, it can't be held accountable.

        As for the "flexians", when a looting class emerges from what used to be a ruling class, there are always going to be high-level functionaries available who will devote their intellect and their own personal connections to help them do it. Their patrons share the unaccountability which is the very basis of a looting class.

        Geithner and Rubin are generic and we've seen people like them in the majority of empires and nations which are no longer with us.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 09:00:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  pirates (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sandino, Badabing

          Those who live between countries, raping and pillaging, living the life of terrorists, have always been known as pirates.  There is nothing elite about being the most accomplished thief, and nothing shadow about being protected by paid goons who happen also to be elected.

          We should repatriate every cent in the Caymans and divide it up equally among all Americans -- it's loot they took from us.  And after that we should take every offshore investment back and use it to build green manufacturing.

          Civil forfeiture -- what they use to take hummers from drug dealers -- should be used to strip Robert Rubin and his buds of everything they hold dear.  Then designate them as enemy combatants and send them to Guantanamo.

          Excellent diary, Badabing.  You shine.

          The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein -- best book ever, I nominate for a Nobel Prize!

          by xaxado on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 09:43:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You 'polished' my brain and soul up a bit xaxado. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandino, xaxado, SmedleyButlerUSMC

            I've been rereading my copy of Naomi Klein's...The Shock Doctrine and also practicing the gratitude of grace in my life.

            As always, thanks for your being a great mentor towards a student like me, that has much to learn.

            B.

            America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

            by Badabing on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 10:27:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  wow! that guy is a genius and a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Badabing

      prophet

  •  Though in some ways it is only a small, (10+ / 0-)

    cosmetic action, I would encourage all of us to go to moveyourmoney.info and locate a small community bank to move our savings to.  Step two is to tell all our friends and family what we did and why.  Publicity about this movement can serve as one tool to educate the public about what has happened, and is continuing to happen.

    Yes, I know President Palin would be a disaster, and I do understand the ponies are on back order. Now, what the fuck was your point again?

    by WisePiper on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 06:22:12 PM PST

  •  Money and power always corrupt..... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Winnie, Badabing, fernan47

    it then becomes a matter of how to restrain or cage these beasts, if only for a short time in each generation.

  •  Amen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Badabing

    Great post, although it seems that your recipie for "accountability" is too harsh for these technocrats. They are afraid of the bankers, of the corporate powers that now have been enshrined in the Supreme Court by the great ursurper.

    •  I'd say the data points (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkmich, Badabing

      towards personal greed, not fear.

      " Robert Rubin who ran off with $ 126 million in bonuses from CitiBank (with plenty of TARP funds)"

      Why would they be disloyal to their friends who place such interesting opportunities in their paths?

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 09:03:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gee, a year ago The Shock Doctrine (13+ / 0-)

    was being accused by some of being a big conspiracy theory. Sounds like that tune is changing.

    If Taibbi, Wedel and Klein know about Rubin and Geitner, Obama does too.

    "We're creating instability that could lead us into wider war."....Dennis Kucinich (Duhhhhh.)

    by lisastar on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 06:34:57 PM PST

  •  What suggests that there is anything new here? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Winnie

    Haven't government positions always been awarded to the most successful (i.e., rich, powerful) Americans?

    And haven't the rich, most successful Americans always taken advantage of government and their connections to it?

    HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

    by kck on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 06:41:20 PM PST

    •  I didn't write the diary with the 'intent' to (19+ / 0-)

      point towards anything new...what I was trying to do was to point out this fact:

      The criminals and their cabal on Wall Street in Washington are much worse now because this time they have destroyed the core of USA, or whatever is left of it. Even more pathetic, the people of this country mostly still do not really understand what has happened to themselves, their families, and the nation, even those who do are too timid or even organized to fight meaningfully against such treasons.

      It is not a left, right, or middle crisis, it is an American crisis.

      At least during the 'last great Depression' FDR has the ability to lead the nation towards a sense of 'we are all in this together, and must stand together as a nation and as a people' to face our fears to rebuild our nation 'TOGETHER'.....

      The difference now of course, is as I stated, it is the very 'core of our nation' that is being destroyed by a systematic disintegration of the 'core' that once held us together as a people.

      It has literally become to this point as far as our own survival goes:

      We either confront the Oligarchy/Wall Street Crooks and Bankers, who own our government, or 'THEY' will destroy us.  We either demand a full accounting with appropriate legal prosecutions, or we just sit back and allow these same 'shadow elites' to keep on picking what is left on the bones of the 'carcass' we now call our country.

      America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

      by Badabing on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 07:00:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think there is something new going on. (5+ / 0-)

        Yes, we went through a gilded age period once before, but this one is different. I think it is more dangerous this time because of its global scope. I think the individuals involved, "global elite," whatever you want to call them, and the power they leverage across national boundaries is difficult address. Excellent diary, tipped and rec'ed!

        •  I think so. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Badabing

          As I think you're saying, it's a matter of scale and scope. And the integration that has accumulated by both intent, accident, and just time creates so much more cohesion, not just coupling as in the older times but tightly bound relations, between gov't and corporate elites. I think so too.

          HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

          by kck on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 07:04:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Roosevelt was a traitor to his class (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandino, kck, SmedleyButlerUSMC

        You won't find any such animal today.

        Roosevelt was fortunate that the powers that tried to remove him picked Smedley Butler to lead their rabble and he, too, betrayed the scoundrels.  

        You won't find any such animal today, either.

        Don't think we're not keeping score, brother.

        by 8ackgr0und N015e on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 08:35:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  thinking of the background (2+ / 0-)

          of the coup Butler was supposed to lead, I have wondered if that coup was supposed to succeed. Smedley Butler wasn't the kind of guy who kept his political opinions to himself once he no longer was constrained by uniform to avoid political participation.

          So why pick him? I'm sure there were plenty of uniformed fascists at the time who would have jumped at the chance to march FDR out of office at bayonet point. Was it simply stupidity and arrogance and taking for granted that any general would prefer to live in a right-wing dictatorship? Or was a deeper game going on?

          Or was it simply a case of Butler being the only competent general officer they had access to because they knew that the facsisti that agreed with them within the US military couldn't organize a bottle party at a distillery?

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 09:11:15 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Badabing

        Thanks. A good diary topic that really needs deeper discussion.

        HR 676 - Health care reform we can believe in - national single-payer NOW.

        by kck on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 07:06:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They are so far removed from caring about the (6+ / 0-)

    people they are supposed to represent that they give it away when they talk.  sometimes when 'officials' say things, i wonder, who are they talking to.  Especially those you find in the finance world.

    'If we lift our voice as one, there's nothing that can't be done' MJ

    by publicv on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 06:56:49 PM PST

  •  Good rant (14+ / 0-)

    A lot of this diary's essential point has been apparent for a while now, but it's always good to say it again, with new supporting arguments.

    I do think it would be to the advantage of the elites themselves not to tear this world to shreds as they compete with one another to accumulate the most tens or hundreds of billions of dollars. I refer to the sustainability crisis, including, but not limited to, global warming.

    In this context, it appears that the elites subscribe to one of these notions:

    1. What sustainability crisis? (Total ignorance.)
    1. There is no sustainability crisis. (Awareness + denial.)
    1. OK, there might be some problems, but the other elites are ignoring them, so I will too. (Not denying the problem, but don't want to look silly to my peers, or lose the next elite poker pot over an unfashionable thing like that.)
    1. I can always buy my way out of the sustainabiity crisis. (My gated community/luxury lifeboat/private army will save me.)

    To our friends in the elite classes, I offer this friendly advice: Notions 1 through 3 ignore reality, and no one ever got rich that way. Notion 4 is a high-risk bet with an exceedingly ugly payoff at best, so why go there?  Better to join with us, accept responsible, accountable governance, and help create a world we can all live in together. That don't sound so bad, does it?

    •  #4 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler, DBunn, fernan47

      Bingo!  Hey, money always worked before.

      "We're creating instability that could lead us into wider war."....Dennis Kucinich (Duhhhhh.)

      by lisastar on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 07:04:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Money always worked before (4+ / 0-)

        Yeah... but as you imply, "before" was never like this before. Heh.

        If only they could see that...

      •  until it doesn't (4+ / 0-)

        Historically, "doesn't" means a big chunk of a nation's suddenly ex-elite winds up dead. Whether it's because the invaders their weakening of their nation let in through the front door kills them, revolutionary violence, or the machinations of other members of the elite is immaterial to the well-dressed corpses.

        If the elite render the planet uninhabitable for human life, that "big chunk" could be 100%. If they merely economically destroy enough of the mass consumer base to make it impossible for high-tech or public education to continue or any number of other things, the decline in living standards based on the fall of technological civilization hits them, too. There are certain areas where the choice is "everybody can afford it" or "nobody can afford it at any price", and some are critical to everyone's survival.

        I don't mind if the Richistani go the Jim Jones route, I do object to being taken along for the ride.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 08:19:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  well said DB... (8+ / 0-)

      Better to join with us, accept responsible, accountable governance, and help create a world we can all live in together. That don't sound so bad, does it?

      That statement embraces or own natural human instincts that, sadly enough 'animals' understand even better than we do at the present time:

      In this respect, morality is not absolute, but relative and constitutes any set of behaviors that encourage human cooperation based on their ideology. Biologists contend that all social animals, from ants to elephants, have modified their behaviors, by restraining selfishness in order to make group living worthwhile. Human morality, though sophisticated and complex relative to other animals, is essentially a natural phenomenon that evolved to restrict excessive individualism and foster human cooperation. [7]

      The phenomenon of 'reciprocity' in nature is seen by evolutionary biologists as one way to begin to understand human morality. Its function is typically to ensure a reliable supply of essential resources, especially for animals living in a habitat where food quantity or quality fluctuates unpredictably. For example, some vampire bats fail to feed on prey on any given night while others consume a surplus. Bats that have successfully fed then regurgitate part of their blood meal to save a conspecific from starvation. Since these animals live in close-knit groups over many years, an individual can count on other group members to return the favor on nights when it goes hungry (Wilkinson, 1984)

      Kind of makes me wonder, if we as humans are actually beginning to 'de-evolve- instead of evolve'......, shit even the fucking 'bats' know how to share their food sources for the 'survival' of all.

      Laugh.

      B.

      America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

      by Badabing on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 07:16:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You might be interested (6+ / 0-)

        ... in this book: The Origins of Virtue by Matt Ridley. The author explores the evolutionary basis for altruistic behavior, including the unique case of human altruism.

        He disputes the notion that animals restrain selfishness in order to make group living worthwhile, arguing instead that the human animal makes group living worthwhile out of selfishness. It is written for smart non-scientists like us, but is extensively supported from the scientific literature.

        To take Ridley's argument to our present circumstance... the elites should ease off their greed-grabs, and voluntarily return closer to how the rest of us live, for their own good. A world in which coal barons die rich, but everyone is dead, is of no use to anyone but cockroaches and pond scum (at the high end).

        Thanks again for this diary!

        •  Thanks for the book, I'll look into that ... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DBunn, xaxado

          sounds like a great read.  

          as always, warm regards to you DBunn.

          B.

          America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

          by Badabing on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 08:06:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know how the rules work, but (4+ / 0-)

    I hope you can re-submit this diary sometime, cuz it isn't going to get as many views tonight as it deserves.

    Thanks, as usual, badabing.

    The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.

    by ohmyheck on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 08:12:40 PM PST

    •  so kind of you to say...I never tried to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yoduuuh do or do not

      re-submit a diary...I didn't know you could.  Can you point me to the right page for directions on this?

      So much appreciated ohmy....

      B.

      America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.

      by Badabing on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 10:06:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  AW crap, don't ask me! (0+ / 0-)

        I don't write diaries....LOL!  I am a comment-kind-of-girl.

        I'll bet bobswern knows how.  Or just ask Meteor Blades.

        The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.

        by ohmyheck on Wed Jan 13, 2010 at 06:46:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Elite" = rich white trash...like W. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lams712, pawtucketpat

    Since when did "elite" get redifined as rich frat boys and the lawyers their daddies hire to keep daddy's money?

    We need a better term than "elite."

  •  Unfortunately, (7+ / 0-)

    this is what I calle "the Enron model."

    buy influence
    deregulate
    create chaos
    make money in managing the risk

    it's the basis of the movie "The International" and was the basis of BCCI.

    Don't think we're not keeping score, brother.

    by 8ackgr0und N015e on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 08:26:15 PM PST

  •  so is there any chance (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxado, Badabing, SmedleyButlerUSMC

    of a critical minority waking up?

    i don't think people don't know what is going on.

    to quote a famous line

    "while nobody knows what is going on around here, every body knows what is going on around here."

    which explains the irrational defense of obama's moves as, for example, xx dimensional chess.

    unless it is evil xx dimensional chess.

    We must practice `pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.' Antonio Gramsci

    by fernan47 on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 08:34:01 PM PST

    •  In time to save America (4+ / 0-)

      from becoming a failed state Third World shithole? Probably not. It's distinctly possible that the very last chance America had to avoid this was Obama's "first 100 days", and it is unfortunate for everybody, even the looting class itself that he had other priorities.

      Even if the people misruling America were to perish en masse of terminal boredom in the next 10 seconds, I don't think any of their successors would remember that there is any other way to run a country. The rot is that deep and the system has a lot of inertia, both inherent and deliberately created.

      Wake up in time to save our own asses and maybe even save some of the people around us from the worst consequences of the hard rain that's on its way down? Some of us, maybe.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 09:25:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So why are we trying to work thru the (6+ / 0-)

    democratic party to try to make real changes when it's become obvious it won't work?  

    "Peace cannot be achieved by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" Albert Einstein

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 09:14:47 PM PST

    •  that's a question you really (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxado, Badabing

      should ask yourself. I doubt you'll like the answers.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Sun Jan 10, 2010 at 09:29:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it could still work (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Badabing

        I think in addition to kos's stated goal of electing better dems we should add the goal of primarying out bad dems. Imagine if we had 60 dem senators that were all actual good progressives. I know crazy idea but it definitely won't happen if we give up. I'm young in my 20s, the baby boomers will go down as a massive fail of a generation, sorry if any boomers here are upset at that, not meant to judge any one person just the "silent majority" who right now could conceivably have all the power but instead are silent to the looting of america. My generation is very likely to do the same but you can't judge us a failure yet, but in coming years young 20 something men are in history most likely to revolt so we shall see.

        •  if you think America's problems will wait for (0+ / 0-)

          my generation to finish dying off, you're insanely optimistic. America doesn't have 20+ years before catastrophic failure. It may not have 2.

          the baby boomers will go down as a massive fail of a generation

          Wrong. We invented the tools you're whining about us with. The personal computer, online connectivity, the Web.

          While my generation has largely sucked at government, in the unlikely event that things get fixed in America, they'll be fixed through people working with online organizing and fundraising and through computerized analytic tools. The spreadsheet, for instance.

          IOW, we gave your generation the tools to fix things if they can be fixed.

          So DO something with them.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 05:26:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're right (0+ / 0-)

            I did mean fail in terms of govt only but definitely should have mentioned it, but in terms of computers and other things a massive success of a generation, just too bad that none of it matters if the fail at the govt ends up making it all for nought.

  •  step one: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Situational Lefty

    annihilate their political wing..."The U. S. Republican Party" It is not a political party any more than the Cryps or Bloods..we all know this, we all know what the crimes are ( illegal wars, stealing elections etc) and anyone who willingly associates with this "party", like any other criminal, should be barred from office at least..Many of them (you know who you are, Dick, Willard, Yoo-hoo) can be directly linked to murder and torture. This  "party", according to Kos's polls, has SINGLE-DIGIT approval in New England, yet they are treated here like they have a right to steal.

  •  Another great truth teller. (3+ / 0-)

    I feel pretty helpless and hopeless about the mess.  I wish we had our old dailykos back so we might actually get to think out and plan some way to counter this coup.  I would invite you to crosspost this at Docudharma.  Essays from regular posters routinely get front paged and the group there certainly gets all of this.  You won't get snide remarks about Taibbi or Chomski there.

    Thanks again for being one of the few remaining truth tellers left on this site.  

    They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20. ~~ Dennis Kucinich

    by dkmich on Mon Jan 11, 2010 at 03:18:46 AM PST

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