An blog by a member of the Catholic peace movement, Pax Christi, to explore the nexus between contemplation and resistance. "The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Obama's vision is timid and conventional and fails to challenge the ruling assumptions that have resulted in the current crisis.
"Aside of the immense injustice and irony of this, the main macroeconomic consequence of these bailouts then is that the upper crust will emerge from this crisis even richer relative to everybody else, and literally by extorting hard cash from everybody else." - comment on Paul Krugman's New York Times column "The Market Mystique", March 27, 2009.
The system is working normally. The fact that those who made themselves wealthy by exploiting unregulated holes in the system are now about to become much wealthier means that the system is doing what it was designed to do. An informed citizenry will not be able to influence Obama because he owes no loyalty to them. His election was financed directly by Wall Street and he is serving his masters well. Nothing is less important to Washington today than public opinion.
erplus is exactly correct that "the real scandal is that we are all being taxed in order to pay for the resurgence of a self-anointed neo-feudal upper crust" - that was the point of the banking crisis. Read Matt Taibbi's "The Big Takeover: How Wall Street Insiders are Using the Bailout to Stage a Revolution" if you want the inside story. Obama wants to return to the status quo before the financial crash which began two years. He and his team can't imagine that there may be something fundamentally wrong with what was happening two years ago.
We need to get over the illusion that citizen pressure counts for anything in Washington. We need to question the entire system and awaken the imagination that lies latent within us - to imagine another type of economic system altogether. What so many commentators on the crisis fail to recognize is that we are not "all in this together". There are some who are making a massive profit out of this crisis and we know exactly who they are. The rest of us will be taxed in various ways to pay for those profits and we know who we are. Warfare is being waged against us and we are too cowed to respond effectively. And that too means the system is operating according to plan.
"In the world of high finance, the rules are a little different. When you lose, the federal government steps in to cover your losses. You get to keep paying yourself a nice bonus, more in a year than most people will see in a lifetime of work. And you--along with colleagues who've changed job descriptions and now work for the government--get to plan the 'rescue' to your collective advantage." - Alan Maass,
"How the great AIG heist was pulled off"
The ruling elite see the present crisis as a prime opportunity to consolidate their wealth and the imaginationless Obama plays fiddle for them with gusto. Obama says we are all in this together, which means you get to plan your 'rescue' with the full endorsement of the Treasury. Not so fortunate those who have to work for a living.
"Now, the hedge funds are among the firms that AIG is preparing to pay off with money from the federal bailout. In other words, taxpayer dollars will end up in the pockets of financial speculators who bet on millions of homeowners' lives being ruined by a downturn in the housing market." - Alan Maass, "How the great AIG heist was pulled off"
Bet on ruin and you will be rewarded. Sorry, but Obama has the imagination of a gnat. His bailout will ensure the profits of the majors for decades to come.