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2012: Diagnosis & Prescription for Revolution; A New Year’s Tale…

Perhaps there’s some truth to the saying that it takes one to know one…that bank robbers, thieves and fraudsters tend to sense their own.

Either some phenomenal synchronicity or sensory recognition process is going on in Wall Street and other financial centers, or the system itself is a criminal enterprise to begin with and attracts like-minded conspirators. My money’s on the latter.

How is it that so many seemingly normal, ambitious and intelligent people engage in mass theft and fraud? Many gleefully striving to impoverish an entire nation and destroy its social and political welfare for their own self-serving profit, pleasure, privilege and power?

Do they really believe in it? Do they really believe that their victims deserve the destiny that they create for them? Do they really believe they “earned” what they’re able to steal?

Do they tell themselves that since they didn’t create the “system”–they just live by its rules–thereby excuses their Gordon Gekko lack of social consciousness?

A brief example in the current news is the case against the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation (BNY Mellon). According to the NY attorney general and other agencies, BNY Mellon scammed its client pension funds for more than $2 billion over the past 10 yrs. They did it by the simple fraud of billing the funds for foreign-currency costs that BNY Mellon execs invented.

Clever bookkeeping or criminal accounting? Should they pay every dime back in restitution? Will their execs go to prison? Hardly…such “justice” is reserved for the “lower” classes. No doubt, they consider that their systemic theft is just good business…and the rest of us are just suckers who deserve what we get.

When we were children it took training to learn how things worked. Why is the sky blue? Why is there money? Why do people believe the way they do?

Gradually we become acculturated to answers. Some answers seem obvious and natural. Many answers start with legends and myths at a tender age, all the easier to carry thru life. Others are the result of abusive authoritarian discipline, which some call conservatism.

We routinely ignore the history that much of this wealth is derived from the mass theft and genocide of the native population, and the enslavement of over 10 million Africans. And that was only the beginning…

Most of our laws started as ruling or majoritarian moral proscriptions. Very few laws exist as universally applied in all places at all times, that is, as defensive against predatory behaviors.

The overwhelming majority of prisoners in America—as this site often witnesses—are actually statutory “criminals” as dictated by conservative “moral” legislation.

Despite these realities, societies do change, at times in quite extraordinary even revolutionary ways despite whatever powers they may seem to have: Witness the Stalinist dictatorship of the former “Soviet” Union, and the recent dictatorships in North Africa and the Middle East.

My reading of history leads me to conclude that there are basically three elements that precede revolutionary change. Among the first are the objective conditions when the socio-political form of society is no longer serving the vast majority of its population.

The second is what I’ve noticed as the general development of roughly one-third of the population becoming opposed to the dominant social system.

Third, is the creation of a radical cadre and organization emerging as leadership with a coherent alternative socio-economic model that captures the imagination of this opposition.

The objective conditions are long past ripe. The 1% ruling elite of the US and the world today have now criminally amassed more wealth, privilege and power than has ever been witnessed in history.

This systemic theft results in the impoverishment of vast sections of the US and world population. That makes perfect sense once one understands that the ruling elite themselves create nothing. All wealth, in fact, is created by labor.

Even the economists and political figures that capitalists seem to idolize, understood this perfectly. Adam Smith (1723-1790), perceived as the father of capitalism, taught that “the cause of increase in national wealth is labor.”

Abraham Lincoln was also perfectly clear on this reality. He spoke before Congress (1861) that, “Capital [and profit] is only the fruit of labor and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is [the natural] superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration.”

This is not the first Gilded Age where the financial elite have had the illusion that they are the authors of wealth. Nor is it the first occasion where they’ve believed—or at least a significant number of them—that they could assume total power in their own name.

The current crop of Croesus navel-gazers have only had a single generation to learn this lesson (states and ruling elites are not good at such history). Most of the explosion in the current wealth acquisition has only occurred in the past 30+ years.

Future Occupier...

Since the mostly me-me generations after the Cultural Revolution of the Boomer ‘60s, I was impressed with a couple of recent Pew Research Center polls.

Overall, Americans tend to oppose the concept of socialism by 60%. Small wonder, considering the level of state education and corporate propaganda they are exposed to. Significantly, 1/3rd of the general population have a favorable view. More than I would have guessed.

But in the age bracket of 18-to-29, while the pre-Occupy cohort (May 2010) indicated that 43% had a positive view, current research (December 28th) finds that 49% now have a positive view of socialism. (Blacks have a 55% favorable view, and liberal Democrats are at 59%.)

As income inequality, the central feature–99% vs. 1%–of the Occupy folks reaches historic levels, and which they force even the corporate media to publicly notice, the idea of social consciousness over the conservative “I got mine, fuck you!” philosophy, is gaining interesting ground.

While I wouldn’t quite take these figures to the barricades quite yet, I am optimistically impressed with the potential nature of current radical action and struggle in the year before us.

Dr. Publico

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