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It's Not a "Fiscal Cliff" ... It's a Descent Into Lawlessness ... Torture, Torture Everywhere ... The "fiscal cliff" is a myth. ... Breaking the rules to bail out the big, insolvent banks is destroying our prosperity. A strong rule of law is essential for a prosperous and stable economy, yet the government made it official policy not to prosecute fraud, even though main business model adopted by the biggest financial crime in world history, the largest insider trading scandal of all time, illegal raiding of customer accounts and blatant financing of drug cartels and terrorists have all gotten away scot-free without any jail time. – Washington's Blog
Dominant Social Theme: The corruption in the US is so vast it will take a Herculean effort to clean it up. Justice must be reapplied with implacable vigor.
Free-Market Analysis: Few write with more sincerity or skill in the alternative media than those who produce Washington's Blog, whoever they are. But we have some questions about this article, no matter its eloquence.
The argument it advances seems to support what we call the Neo-Pecora faction of the alternative media. There is at least one prominent attorney we're aware of who has spent many months preaching to the alternative media that the US's banking elite needs to be punished. It is an elite meme that is gathering force ...
We are not sure, however, how punishment will rectify matters. What is necessary, in our view, is that the SYSTEM change. Given a choice between punishing people and doing away with central banking we'll take the latter.
We're quite aware this is a minority view. Even many in the alternative 'Net media regularly call for the prosecution of Wall Street bankers. Given an either/or proposition, we'd rather prosecute those who are perpetuating the current system.
Our net would be cast far wider, in other words. And we'd try not to use the current judicial paradigm at all if possible. We think, in fact, that the civil and military policing complex of the US – including the FBI and 16 separate intelligence agencies and a huge civil police force armed with military-style gear – is at least as inimical to civil liberties as the banking establishment.
Of course, the idea that a "banking elite" ought to be scourged is surely a dominant social theme of the elite. This sounds counterintuitive but it's not. The REAL elite is a tiny handful of central bank controllers, from what we can tell. It is congruent with their self-interest to cast blame on the larger manifestation of their monetary engine – the securities business itself.
It is this elite that is actively promulgating the current meme that Washington's Blog (unknowingly to be sure) may be seen as giving voice to: "The 'rule of law' must be applied to corrupt bankers and other money men that have taken down the US."
Travel back in time. The last time this sort of thing was tried was when Ferdinand Pecora was plucked from obscurity by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to virtually dismantle what was left of the free-market oriented securities industry after the 1929 crash.
Pecora's commission ultimately led to what we have now. It was the real beginning of the West's vicious regulatory democracy that is rapidly setting the stage for authoritarianism, fascism and totalitarianism. The regulatory meme he helped establish featured government enforced "transparency" administered by such facilities as the SEC, NASD etc.
In the early 20th century, the Federal Reserve was formed, the IRS came into being and the initial Pecora hearings were held. In the 21st century we see the rapid expansion of the Fed's monetary strategies and US taxing power – now proclaimed as worldwide.
The third element may be neo-Pecora hearings. They would finish off what is left of the US capital raising mechanism. It is manipulation, in other words, part of a larger directed history orchestrated by the power elite.
A subdominant social theme would be that Leviathan is necessary for proper civil functioning. Occupy Wall Street, apparently funded (partially) by elitist George Soros, promotes this sort of theme. The whole idea of Occupy Wall Street is that 99 percent need justice and the one percent needs to submit to it.
That's a mighty large number, though. In the US alone that amounts to some three million people – a good many to try to punish. There are, perhaps, elements of a pre-French Revolutionary fervor to Occupy Wall Street and sundry movements. We've written about it. Just search for Occupy Wall Street and The Daily Bell. Also, "French Revolution."
To some degree, the unquestioned idea is that the US justice system – run by the uncorrupted – must deal out justice to those who need it. This is key to Washington's Blog's eloquence – a palpable sense of outrage. The basic point is that as bad as the fiscal cliff appears to be, it is not the real problem, which is one of corruption and lack of prosecution of fraudsters.
The article tells us the following:
Let's look at some specific examples of our descent into lawlessness.
In many situations, austerity programs are imposed on countries that were previously under dictatorial regimes, leading to criticism that populations are forced to repay the debts of their oppressors.
The bailout money is just going to line the pockets of the wealthy, instead of helping to stabilize the economy or even the companies receiving the bailouts:
Bailout money is being used to subsidize companies run by horrible business men, allowing the bankers to receive fat bonuses, to redecorate their offices, and to buy gold toilets and prostitutes
A lot of the bailout money is going to the failing companies' shareholders
Indeed, a leading progressive economist says that the true purpose of the bank rescue plans is "a massive redistribution of wealth to the bank shareholders and their top executives"
Indeed, the IMF has already performed a complete audit of the whole US financial system, something which they have only previously done to broke third world nations.
Economist Marc Faber calls the U.S. a "failed state". Indeed, we no longer have a free market economy ... we have fascism, kleptocracy, oligarchy or banana republic style corruption.
The big banks went bust, and so did the debtors. But the government chose to save the big banks instead of the little guy, thus allowing the banks to continue to try to wring every penny of debt out of debtors.
Treasury Secretary Paulson shoved bailouts down Congress' throat by threatening martial law if the bailouts weren't passed. And the bailouts are now perpetual.
All of this sounds eminently reasonable. The US is indeed a kind of "banana republic" at this point, with corruption flourishing throughout the political establishment and beyond. Something must be done ... but what? Washington's Blog proposes "a strong rule of law that will punish evildoers." (See excerpt at the beginning of this article.)
It sounds great. The trouble we have with this analysis is that "the strong rule of law" often leads to the very problems being complained about. The idea of using the current configuration of US justice to reestablish civil law and order is surely a questionable one. This is indeed what we call the "neo-Pecora" argument. The whole article, in fact, cries out for a neo-Pecora-like approach.
But take a step back. From a libertarian standpoint, a "strong rule of law" may not be necessary for "civilization" to flourish. Many, of course, identify civilization with empire but we've tried to point out in a number of articles that empire is perhaps the last stage of a DYING civilization.
The vital first stages of civilization usually include some level of governmental competition: The Greek city-states leading to the Athenian Golden Age, the Seven Hills of Rome leading to Rome itself, the 13 colonies leading to the established of "these united States."
In each case, there were competing civic entities with the same basic language that people could flee to if they were oppressed. This made governments less oppressive and more cautious.
It's only later when consolidation takes hold that government and its backers become more oppressive. Not coincidentally, this is during the "empire" phase. The US is in an empire phase. Therefore, we submit the following conclusion: It is extremely dubious to propose that if US officials somehow established a strong "rule of law" that problems will be rectified.
In fact, when one weds "a strong rule of law" to a US$3 trillion leviathan, the result is probably more oppression not more "civilization." Washington's Blog has eloquently presented the problem. The article was featured at Global Research, as well ... a courageous Internet facility that is, unfortunately, also apparently partial to the Occupy Wall Street meme.
These are serious even brilliant prognosticators. Nonetheless, as stated, we have a different view. We don't believe that strong governments and a strong rule of law are necessary for the establishment of civilization. We think it is weak government and private "natural" law that best serve societies. This is a philosophical difference of opinion, one fraught with consequences. But we think history supports our view.
We are not, of course, overly optimistic that our perspective – correct as we believe it is – will win the day. But, of course, there is always the Internet Reformation ...