Tuesday, 12 October 2010


A few weeks ago (27 August) I wrote a piece about “Propaganda as Subjective Reality,” and indeed we see it very clearly these few weeks remaining before the US elections. Examples of propaganda as subjective reality: Jerry Brown called Meg Whitman, his gubernatorial opponent in California, a “whore”; Democrats are solely responsible for government fraud and do not wish to eliminate it by rejecting the generous assistance of the benevolent corporate world; Democrats are solely responsible for the real estate bubble; Democrats are solely responsible for the banking crisis; Democrats are running fiefdoms by staying in office for half a century, instead of practicing honest democratic politics and serving limited terms like those hard-working, honest, people-oriented benevolent Republicans. All of this and more is to be expected from Fox News and other Tea Party backers, and we will see more of it in the future. But here is what the LA Times is actually reporting on Jerry Brown. “Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman declined to comment Sunday about a recording on which someone associated with rival Jerry Brown’s campaign suggested characterizing her as a “whore” for allegedly limiting her pension plan’s effect on public safety officers in order to garner their endorsements.”
Such language is not so unusual among politicians. Nixon had a rather loose tongue especially when drinking his favorite whiskey–but so what, such language humanized him. What really matters is policy not colorful language, sense of humor, or any trait unrelated to how politicians govern. The larger issue is whether the epithet “whore” does a gross injustice to prostitutes. Political elites whether Democrat or Republican, Conservative or Liberal, whether in the US or outside, serve as conduits for the financial elites with only a marginal role as caretakers of society’s welfare that includes all people. In short, politicians are “Machiavellian whores,” and why is anyone surprised? Politicians are indeed “Machiavellian whores” about which the only doubt is the price (power, glory, money, prestige, etc.) they extract from the financial elites, not about their chosen profession. To blame either Democrats or Republicans for the state of the US economy–health care problems, fraud and waste, high unemployment, banking crisis, real estate bubble, and campaign funding sources–serves no purpose because both parties are responsible and both serve the same master, namely, corporate America. On the IBM story offering its services to save the government $900 billion annually, do we not need to know why the White House rejected the offer before we accept IBM’s version of the truth as God’s word! The IBM story is making the rounds in all the right-wing media and blogs, but they do not mention that in November 2008 IBM requested that the incoming Obama adopt a techno-fix for all problems facing the country from health care to traffic jams. Obama rejected the IBM offer that many saw as a self-serving or even bailout for tech companies like IBM with a history of trying to monopolize the mainframe market around the world. The only thing that IBM has been pushing since the 2008 election is securing lucrative contracts for itself, while it has been shipping jobs to China, India, and Brazil. Is it not true that building a data processing systems for health care (Medicare and Medicaid) turned out to be a very profitable enterprise for Ross Perot almost half a century ago? Could IBM, which is considered the master of jobs outsourcing, be after the same lucrative market as Perot 45 years ago? And is it not true that in late July 2010, the EU launched anti-trust investigations against IBM for “abusing its position in the mainframe computer market”? Incidentally, what do Oracle, Cisco among other companies have to say about IBM having its foot in the door with freebies at the outset as bait for shark-like bites out of the US tech budget that follow?
As far as Mort Zuckerman, it is hardly a secret that the billionaire real estate and media mogul is feeding this story, for he has been an Obama critic and Joe Lieberman-style Democrat (Conservative in Liberal clothing). All the noise these days before the mid-term election is due to the fact that Obama and the Democrats want to institutionalize some moderate reforms in an economic system that will weaken substantially in the next cyclical recession. The distortions of policies and policy proposals are not driven just by the election in November but mostly by Obama’s concern that if he does not take additional steps to “rationalize the market economy” as some EU and other G-20 leaders are demanding, the system will be seriously debilitated and China along with the other BRIC nations will indeed emerge much stronger much faster than any one now believes. Stephen Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone Group, a Zuckerman ally who has received lots of press in business media and in Zuckerman’s publications, has stated that “it’s war with Obama.” Why war and why compare Obama’s attempt to raise taxes on private equity firms to “Hitler invading Poland?” The US business community does not want higher taxes, stricter environmental regulation, greater oversight for banks and Wall Street, and tighter energy and labor regulation. The are the same people that created the current global crisis for which millions of Americans and billions of people around the world are paying with their livelihoods and those of their children; these are the same people who have weakened the middle class and devastated the working class; these are the same people engaged in massive schemes (Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, etc.) of fraud; yet, they have the audacity to demand a “free hand” from the government that bailed them out at taxpayer expense so they can continue to ruin the lives of the middle class and workers, so they can enjoy their privileges. Greed is the only driving force behind the current and ongoing propaganda campaign against Obama, who is an otherwise moderate Democrat president trying to prevent the worst from taking place in the future. Finally, those who disagree with everything I have written on ideological/political grounds, may argue that my essay falls in the category of “propaganda as subjective reality.” Yes it does indeed! The only question is one of honesty whether it comes from the right, center or left–the ability to publicly state that one is a propagandist and the constituency I serve is the financial elite, the trade unions, lower middle class professionals. Nor is there is moral equivalence in propaganda, because one may propagate to defraud the public and another to prevent such developments. A good example of an establishment politician who has come clean with the public about propaganda and hidden political and business interests is Jean-Claude Juncker, Euro-Group President and Luxembourg Premier, who last week admitted at the IMF-World Bank meeting of foreign ministers that the EU knew of the impending Greek debt crisis before the outbreak of the current global recession, and did nothing about it, allowing French and German corporate interests to rake in billions in profits.

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