Saturday, September 26, 2015

Pope Francis Calls Out Greedheads and Power Mongers At UN - Is Anyone Paying Attention?

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Pope Francis called out world leaders at the UN yesterday  morning, calling for an end to the "selfish and boundless thirst for power ...fueling poverty, inequality and destruction of the environment". He nailed it but one had to wonder how many of these leaders were really paying attention or merely pretending to, in an act of formal respect.

He added that: "The unfettered pursuit of money rules and leads to the misuse of natural resources and the exclusion of the weak. . Once capital becomes an idol and guides people's decisions, and greed for money presides over the entire socio-economic system, the service of the common good is left behind."

The Pope particularly referenced the "financial agencies and the groups or mechanisms specifically created to deal with economic crises" a potent reference to the IMF, the World Bank and others, In case people may have forgotten, all of these agencies are dedicated to the Neoliberal imperative whose prime directive is to remove security for people worldwide. As Francis noted:

"And these agencies should not subject countries to oppressive lending systems. Far from promoting progress, these subject people to greater poverty, inequality and dependence."

Thus, the agencies' yen to cut pensions in Greece as well as social supports, and to privatize pensions in Barbados and to push for currency devaluation in many other less developed nations (such as already been done in Jamaica, Guyana and Trinidad).

The Pope, let's make no mistake, hit one of the prime targets (along with religious fanaticism) for what's wrong with this world.

Francis also referred to "World War III" going on right now,  yet most of us are somnolent, or better, comatose under the haze of Neoliberal puppet media propaganda - especially economic. The barrage on the nightly news has been so effective, that the poorly informed are left with their mouths agape  while those of us who know a thing or two are left to battle newly minted Zombies and attempt to get their brains liberated from the dross.

And, of course, like the Pope we are often attacked for our stance and arguing for a saner world where inequality and financial manipulation are finally wiped out. No surprise there, or that the Neoliberal media - which tolerates no efforts at others competing - viciously attacks Jeremy Corbin in the UK and Sen. Bernie Sanders in the U.S. for their efforts to upend the imperative.

No surprise then that like the brainwashed denizens of Oceania - in the scene where the Über villain Emmanuel Goldstein is depicted on the giant theater screen - the stooges of the Neoliberal state likewise go nuts clamoring for blood and action. Hence, the jubilation of the Tea Party nuts after Boehner resigned, so they believe they can now tear into Obama's legislation even more.   Having lost the ability to critically and logically think, thanks to the bastardized vocabulary of Neolib Newspeak, the brains of these pawns have now been colonized by "Big Brother" to his own ends. Those of us who inveigh against it are the new "Emmanuel Goldsteins".

The people of Oceania were no longer authentic beings in their own right but mere extensions of Big Brother and his will to power, to keep grinding their bodies and state resources up in a never-ending war to attain global domination. So it is with the "Neoliberal Frankenstein" and how it now seeks to grind nation after nation into more fodder for its misbegotten global ends. Ends which elevate and reify a global elite but which denigrate everyone else - offering only "gigs" for jobs. This is exactly what Francis condemned.

In a slashing piece last year Patrick Smith correctly asserted  that "Neoliberalism is our Frankenstein" and also noted:  "it is profoundly undemocratic, never mind that the English and American variants of democracy are the mulch from which it arises." He also added:  "It is also unrelentingly absolutist because it is intimately related to the myth of America’s providential exception, neoliberalism can tolerate no alternative".  His definition (formal) starts out:

"Neoliberalism denotes the revival since the 1970s, plus or minus, of English liberalism as expounded by Locke in the 17th century and numerous others in the 18th—Adam Smith and his “invisible hand,” most famously. John Stuart Mill and Jeremy Bentham, the utilitarian, are notable among 19th century apostles."

But then went into a lengthy discourse comparing early and 18th century forms of  liberalism to the neo-mutant. Let's just cut to the chase here and give Smith's core definition:

"Classical liberalism in its 'neo'  phase denotes not thought but belief, ideological conviction. It is the ideology of radical deregulation, radical corporatization, radical privatization—prisons? water? kindergartens? human health?—maximal profit without regard to consequences, and the radical devaluation of any serious consciousness of the communities in which all individuals are suspended."

I would add to this columnist Jay Bookman's insight from a 1998 Baltimore Sun piece ('The New World Disorder Evident Here, Abroad'):

“The global economy has been constructed on the premise that government guarantees of security and protection must be avoided at all costs, because they discourage personal initiative."

And there is Henry Giroux's insight on Neoliberalism:

"As an ideology, it casts all dimensions of life in terms of market rationality, construes profit-making as the arbiter and essence of democracy, consuming as the only operable form of citizenship, and upholds the irrational belief that the market can both solve all problems and serve as a model for structuring all social relations. "
Thus we see where the yen to cut social insurance arises, and why profit and enormous wealth is amplified for the richest, and  also how  the wealthier nations  especially benefit by placing desperate or unstable ones in regimes of adversely structured debt. This is exactly why the West's Neolibs are determined to make Ukraine part of the Neoliberal imperative and orbit. And also why they've arrogantly refused thus far to cooperate with Putin and Russia (as well as Assad)  to rein in the radical jihadi rebels and ISIS vermin seeking to wreck the rest of that forlorn country and send its remaining 11.5 million into permanent refugee flight.
 It follows from this that the true liberal must inveigh against this mission and that means siding with Russia and Putin (who will be giving a '60 Minutes' interview Sunday that I advise everyone to watch for a great example of a rational man). "Siding" at least to the extent that we agree the Ukraine outcome ends essentially in a draw - translated to mean neither in the West's orbit or Russia's but a separate buffer state. (This was advocated by Ret. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson two years ago.)

It further means that we agree Syria be returned to stability and a stable government - even if we may not like that government. Tough shit! In our history we have tolerated tyrants before - think of Papa Doc Duvalier in Haiti, or Manuel Noriega in Panama, or Fulgencio Batista in Cuba - and we can do so now if it means lessening the refugee chaos and migrant crisis.

But this may be difficult given as Smith writes:
"I was astonished many times as a correspondent to see how readily foreign leaders and their finance ministries drank the Anglo-American Kool-Aid. Here I single out Continental Europe as especially disappointing. A long social-democratic tradition notwithstanding, almost all European leaders—and every last technocrat in Brussels—went down like sticks of butter when neoliberals at State, Treasury and in the think tanks launched the post-Berlin Wall campaign."

Thus, the Europeans have now become puppets of the U.S. which let's face it, is the primary force bearer - the 'cop of the world' - enjoined to enforce Neolib standards. Hence, the threat to send lethal weapons to the Ukrainians - just as they have kept arming the jihadis in Syria seeking to overthrow Assad. But which any sober realist will assure you can never happen - and also never lead to an alternative rebel governance. For more on this please do read the FT article below (sign up for the free limited access if you have to!):

Again, what it's about is the Neoliberal imperative,  to convert nations into dependent debt slavery states and their citizens into slaves for the Neoliberals.  How accomplished? Well, via the draconian conditions required by the World Bank and the IMF: the privatization of numerous state-held assets, including airports, rails and even pensions. Also,  divestment of the most profitable of these first.  Leaving the governments impecunious, essentially beggars beholden to the Neoliberal empire.

If you consider yourself to have any skin at all in this ongoing war, you need to back Vladimir Putin and Russia as bulwarks against Neoliberal advance. If not, then you are part of the problem not the solution and if the whole world turns into a slave state for the richest, you must share the blame for the "boundless thirst for power and money" that the Pope vehemently condemned.

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