Saturday, November 22, 2008

Peru is Another Word For Bush

"Wait, wait. You are not the dark one. We expected the dark one. Where is the dark one?"

The word for turkey in Portuguese happens to be "peru". Therefore it's only appropriate that George W. Bush, the Great Turkey of the West, would be attending his final G20 summit in the capital city of Lima, Peru.

Frankly, I cannot understand why they even bothered showing up. It's obvious they're holding out for the incoming Obama administration. Doha's going to be on the fritz until next year (the 6 1/2 year-long negotiations imploded this past July over agricultural issues) and about the most substantial idea that they've advanced is a big No on protectionism for corporations.

In other words, whatever Bush wants or has already done, the international community is bound to do the opposite. Even Sarkozy, when speaking to Vladimir Putin a week ago, cautioned that going after Georgian President Saakashvili like the Americans went after Saddam Hussein wasn't a good idea. Reasoned Sarkozy, "Yes but do you want to end up like Bush?" Putin was at a loss for words then acknowledged, "You have scored a point." (Matt Duss at Think Progress perfectly summed it up by saying, "Fear of 'ending up like Bush' now functions as a deterrent.")

Almost a year ago when Bush was in Saudi Arabia on his next-to-last visit, he'd weakly pleaded with the royal family to please open the spigots a little more so we can have some relief at the gas pumps. Then, as later this June they not only told Bush to go fuck himself in the politest terms, they've actually cut back on oil production by 1.8 million barrels a day in a fast-failing attempt to stem the downward spiral of oil prices.

Of course, if you want an alternative viewpoint, why listen to heads of state and international finance ministers when we have Randian Objectivist bloggers?

Here's an example: "How Socialism Comes to America."

Now, we all know Obama's a Socialist because he wants to rein in CEO pay and spread the wealth around a little bit. And Obama's going to do this by picking our pockets first and handing out $50,000,000,000 to the Big Three provided they honor a few preconditions such as restructuring bloated, out-of-control executive compensation under the supervision of a car czar.

How dare he?

Anyway, it doesn't take this loon very long to get around to saying what the right wingers have been saying about Obama all along: That this is attempted "socialism on the fascist plan." Yes, you read that right. Because, as we all know, these polar opposites to economics, socialism and fascism, are perfectly and magically compatible under the nonexistent Obama administration.

(One of his commenters even asks "By the way, is it true that Mussolini has a dedicated street in Chicago?" No, that was Italo Balbo. But I'm sure that Rush, Bill O and Sean can tie him to Obama with minimal effort.)

True, socialism and fascism have been closely tied but their respective approaches to industry are very different. Just because socialist/communist and fascist states have been historically tied doesn't mean they are mutually inclusive. That would be like saying that the Republican party is apart from yet a part of the Nazi party just because... OK, bad example.

But here's Ayn Rand's own partial definition of fascism, from Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal:
It is true that the welfare-statists are not socialists, that they never advocated or intended the socialization of private property, that they want to “preserve” private property—with government control of its use and disposal. But that is the fundamental characteristic of fascism.

One with even a rudimentary grasp of economics cannot do much more than quibble over semantics over Rand's definition of fascism as regards private industry. For starters, Rand draws a subtle yet unmistakable line in the sand separating the two. A quick look at the history of industry in Nazi Germany from 1933-1945 perfectly bears out Rand's definition.

Yet the libertarian whackjobs who metaphorically sprang from the bony thighs of Rand seem to be effortlessly conflating socialism with fascism with Obama without making one crucial distinction that would give any semblance of form or thought to their ignorant howling in the woods:

Regulation by a democratic government in a capitalist society is the perfect compromise between socialization, or nationalizing, of private industry as we would see with a leftist government such as Venezuela or Cuba and the willing, active collusion of private industry remaining private and completely unregulated while devoting its goods and services to a classic right wing state such as Nazi Germany.

You'd be hard-pressed to find a single Democrat in our government, starting with Obama, who's in favor of nationalizing the Big Three automakers or any other industry. What we're seeing now is the future Obama administration still trying to measure and make an opening move on a massive problem that actually perfectly fits Rand's own definition of a neofascist government in her ideal of laissez-faire capitalism.

And yet all this is the fault of a freshman senator who's barely been elected President and any attempt to impose some order on private industry and personal greed is at once socialist and fascist.

We have officially become, to use Rand's own phrase, welfare-statists with the passage of the $700,000,000,000 bailout bill yet no one was advancing the idea of nationalization of the home lenders or any other industry.

What we've seen over the last eight years (and for a dozen years at the Federal Reserve under Rand's former boytoy Greenspan) is a silent crisis growing under our own noses, a crisis brought about by a neofascist government that advanced laissez-faire capitalism further than Ayn Rand ever envisioned in her wettest dreams. Would she be cheering on banks and other lenders for taking uncalculated risks with the money of their own shareholders and possibly costing the taxpayers/homeowners trillions over the next several years? You're damned straight. Because that's the ultimate expression of individual achievement (to paraphrase Ambrose Bierce): Individual greed without individual responsibility.

And the likes of Greenspan, who only last month admitted to Congress that he was wrong about his approach to these problems (which is to say, no approach at all, which is the prime directive of laissez-faire capitalism) and the likes of Bush took neofascism (with cost-plus, no-bid contracts in a neverending outsourcing orgy) to its illogical extreme.

Obama was a state senator and community organizer long after this crisis began looming and the right wingers and libertarians are already making this Obama's fault, seemingly giving Bush a free pass just because his time in the sun is almost up. Whatever Obama proposes is going to be met with scorn, calls for Palin in '12 and impeachment proceedings. This is a trend that began with fart bags like Rush Limbaugh mere hours after the election.

Yes, we're in a big fucking mess and it's all Obama's fault, doncha know, just like 12 years of Republican buttfuckery and laissez-faire capitalism was Bill Clinton's fault from the gitgo (while eliding over the fact that he balanced the budget in three brief years, two years ahead of his promised five).

But if McCain had won the election, there wouldn't be any problems (Bush said we didn't have any because he couldn't see any) and McCain would be taking us into the golden age of hands-free corporatism taken to unprecedented heights under the turkey now in Lima.


At November 23, 2008 at 8:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everything bad that happened in America form 2001 to 2006 was Clinton's fault, everything that was bad that happened in 2006 and 2007 was Pelosi/Reid's fault and everything bad that happened in 2008 and beyond is Obama's fault.

The results of the policies of the Republican Party simply can not be connected to the Republican Party. Trying to hold the architects of a disaster accountable for their own intentional misdeeds is merely the 'Blame Game'. The people responsible had nothing to do with it. Fox News said so, it must be true.

At November 23, 2008 at 10:56 AM, Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

here's where the politics of rand, and the political "theories" of friedman and laffer come to grief.

the whole system is based on the presumed moral superiority of the rich. those with riches are those favored by gawd. if they weren't the chosen favored ones they'd be poor schlubs like those filthy proles. n'est c'est pas?

when, beginning with reagan, they began cutting the costs in taxes on the rich, the rich, being morally superior and shit were supposed to reinvest this profit into the infrastructure, start more businesses, triggering innovation and more jobs.

we can plainly see that this cruicial first step on which the whole theory and structure is based never fucking happened.

instead of reinvesting, taking innovative risks, producing new products and jobs. the rich made themselves move up from merely rich to filthy fucking rich.

rather than build new plants or design new cars the big 3 automakers gave themselves huge salary increases, shoveled out the largesse to shareholders (usually only insider shareholders, car stocks are on a 3 tier level right now you got to know somebody who knows somebody who inherited shit to get the stocks that actually pay dividends)

rather than find new companies to nuture and bring into the economic system they destroyed the life's work of generations of manufacturers by divvying up little parcels to sell for ready cash.

the rich, far from being the moral paragons of the fevered dreams of the past glories of imperial russia, the rich turned out to be venal, grasping, greedy motherfuckers. they have been shiiting where we all eat for so long that even the most gullible among us know that it's shit on the plate, not caviar.

they based their whole philosophy and policy on fiction. pedestrian, and turgid fucking fiction.

now, reality is making itself known.

reality has teeth and it's hungry.

At November 23, 2008 at 11:03 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

reality has teeth and it's hungry. Minstrel Boy

It also has a liberal bias, Gawd-dammit!

At November 23, 2008 at 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis, MB, especially about the auto compaany stock. I vaguely knew it was divided into tiers -- doesn't Ford have series "A" through "H" stock? -- but I didn't know that you needed to be connected to buy the dividend-paying stuff. Shit like that is part of why I stopped playing the market years ago. Same reason I didn't play the few times I went to Las Vegas. I'm not so dumb as to think I'm smart enough to beat a rigged game.

To get back to the original oxymoronic point of "socialist fascism," it helps to realize that ignorant bastards like that fat fuckfaced Hollywood-wannabe you link to don't have a clue about fascism. These Aynal cultists, for all that they like to spout her jargon-cant sayings like "Words have meaning," can't see the meaning of the word "fascism" as it plays out in real life.

What "fascist" and "socialist" means to them is just another word for "people I don't like." And what they don't like is "sharing." The Rand mentality boils down to "I got mine, Jack. Fuck you if you don't got yours." People like that blogger (a pudgy weenie who names his blog after the imaginary Viking warrior he'd like to be if he didn't spend so much time on the toilet jerking his junk) are like 3-year-olds who start crying if they think some other baby might touch their toys.

Hopey is still months away from actually taking possession of the Prezznicy, but Myfwad or whatever he calls himself is crapping his diaper at the thought that someone, somewhere, might get something without suffering for it. Meanwhile, rich motherfuckers are stealing so much money that the very concept of money is going to become meaningless. But Randers with their heads up their asses don't get exercised about that one bit.

The only satisfaction is that people like that guy will be mowed down with the rest of us. But even as he's being evicted from where he lives and dying of pneumonia from sleeping in a drainage culvert (it's a good diet plan, pudge-boy) he still won't have a clue why it happened.

At November 25, 2008 at 4:39 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Laffer, I seem to recall, is the clown who did the spade work for trickle down economics, or what HW called "Voodoo economics."


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