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When Did Our Elites Become Self-Serving Parasites?
#1
When Did Our Elites Become Self-Serving Parasites?

MONDAY, OCTOBER 03, 2016

Charles Hugh Smith

http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.co.uk/2...rving.html

Quote:Combine financialization, neoliberalism and moral bankruptcy, and you end up with self-serving parasitic elites.

When did our financial and political elites become self-serving parasites? Some will answer that elites have always been self-serving parasites; as tempting as it may be to offer a blanket denunciation of elites, this overlooks the eras in which elites rose to meet existential crises.

Following in Ancient Rome's Footsteps: Moral Decay, Rising Wealth Inequality(September 30, 2015): http://www.oftwominds.com/blogsept15/Rom...y9-15.html

As historian Peter Turchin explained in his book War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires, the value of sacrifice was a core characteristic of the early Republic's elite:

"Unlike the selfish elites of the later periods, the aristocracy of the early Republic did not spare its blood or treasure in the service of the common interest. When 50,000 Romans, a staggering one fifth of Rome's total manpower, perished in the battle of Cannae, as mentioned previously, the senate lost almost one third of its membership. This suggests that the senatorial aristocracy was more likely to be killed in wars than the average citizen….

The wealthy classes were also the first to volunteer extra taxes when they were needed… A graduated scale was used in which the senators paid the most, followed by the knights, and then other citizens. In addition, officers and centurions (but not common soldiers!) served without pay, saving the state 20 percent of the legion's payroll.

The richest 1 percent of the Romans during the early Republic was only 10 to 20 times as wealthy as an average Roman citizen."

Now compare that to the situation in Late Antiquity Rome when "an average Roman noble of senatorial class had property valued in the neighborhood of 20,000 Roman pounds of gold. There was no "middle class" comparable to the small landholders of the third century B.C.; the huge majority of the population was made up of landless peasants working land that belonged to nobles. These peasants had hardly any property at all, but if we estimate it (very generously) at one tenth of a pound of gold, the wealth differential would be 200,000! Inequality grew both as a result of the rich getting richer (late imperial senators were 100 times wealthier than their Republican predecessors) and those of the middling wealth becoming poor."

Correspondent Jim B. summarized historian Arnold Toynbee's study of the rise and fall of civilizations: "Civilizations fail when their elites change from an admired dynamic creative class to a despised Establishment of corrupt rentiers, an entrenched governing class unfit to govern."

I would trace the slide into self-serving parasites to three dynamics: financialization, neoliberalism and moral bankruptcy. While definitions of financialization vary, mine is:

Financialization is the mass commodification of debt and debt-based financial instruments collaterized by previously low-risk assets, a pyramiding of risk and speculative gains that is only possible in a massive expansion of low-cost credit and leverage.

Another way to describe the same dynamics is: financialization results when leverage and information asymmetry replace innovation and productive investment as the source of wealth creation.

Neoliberalism is the belief that the social order is defined and created by markets: if markets are free, participants, society and the political order are also free.

This conceptual framework is the perfect enabler for the dominance of credit-based, leveraged capital, i.e. Neofeudalism. In a "free market," those with access to nearly-free money can outbid everyone who must rely on savings from earned income to finance borrowing. In a "free market" where those with access to leverage and unlimited credit are more equal than everyone else, the ability of wage earners to acquire rentier assets such as rental housing, farmland and timberland is intrinsically limited by the financial system that makes credit and leverage scarce for the many and abundant for the few.

The moral bankruptcy of our financial and political elites is self-evident. Combine financialization, neoliberalism and moral bankruptcy, and you end up with self-serving parasitic elites.
"There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

Joseph Fouche
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#2
This is a very interesting article.

There is no doubt the so-called West fulfills all three checkpoints. I would like to point out this model used with Russian elites should also be attempted.
"We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

"We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl
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#3
I note the quote by Arnold Toynbee who, unfortunately, became a member of the elite in the form of being a leading member of the Rhodes-Milner kindergarten.

Lauren, I'd personally love an objective and independent study / essay about the Russian and Chinese elite. The problem will be, I think, finding one that is not tainted by western values and western propaganda. But if you can find one, please post it.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#4
David Guyatt Wrote:I note the quote by Arnold Toynbee who, unfortunately, became a member of the elite in the form of being a leading member of the Rhodes-Milner kindergarten.

Lauren, I'd personally love an objective and independent study / essay about the Russian and Chinese elite. The problem will be, I think, finding one that is not tainted by western values and western propaganda. But if you can find one, please post it.

All true about Toynbee, but worth noting that he went rogue in the mid- to late-50s, describing America as the leader of world counter-revolution in a series of lectures in, I dimly recall 1960 or 61. He fell so out of line that the CIA, presumably with the acquiescence of Dick White, his friend, ally & great spook patron, set Hugh Trevor-Ropey upon him in the pages of Encounter (and elsewhere).

HTR subsequently was set to the improbable work of Dallas coup sceptic and champion of Mark Lane. Now there hangs a tale!
"There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

Joseph Fouche
Reply
#5
Paul Rigby Wrote:
David Guyatt Wrote:I note the quote by Arnold Toynbee who, unfortunately, became a member of the elite in the form of being a leading member of the Rhodes-Milner kindergarten.

Lauren, I'd personally love an objective and independent study / essay about the Russian and Chinese elite. The problem will be, I think, finding one that is not tainted by western values and western propaganda. But if you can find one, please post it.

All true about Toynbee, but worth noting that he went rogue in the mid- to late-50s, describing America as the leader of world counter-revolution in a series of lectures in, I dimly recall 1960 or 61. He fell so out of line that the CIA, presumably with the acquiescence of Dick White, his friend, ally & great spook patron, set Hugh Trevor-Ropey upon him in the pages of Encounter (and elsewhere).

HTR subsequently was set to the improbable work of Dallas coup sceptic and champion of Mark Lane. Now there hangs a tale!

Good for him.
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14
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#6
The thing about klepto-parasites is that they find it genuinely funny that anyone should consider for a moment that they should be anything else, a bit like "Loadsa moneyyyy", but with your teeth kicked-out for tuppence, or the jolly of negotiating a trade deal for decades. I can't see what could possibly take longer than a few hours, or, like this new garden bridge in London, where £35,000,000 went, with not one sod lifted, or the PFI bullshit where you pay £35,000,000 for £10,000,000 worth of asset for schools in Edwin's Burgh which then fall down and injure ppl but that's OK 'cos there's this new scheme where there's a profit motive to actually injuring people, or HSsodding2... orr...

Not enough ​"going forward".
Martin Luther King - "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Albert Camus - "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion".
Douglas MacArthur — "Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons."
Albert Camus - "Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear."
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#7
Paul Rigby Wrote:
David Guyatt Wrote:I note the quote by Arnold Toynbee who, unfortunately, became a member of the elite in the form of being a leading member of the Rhodes-Milner kindergarten.

Lauren, I'd personally love an objective and independent study / essay about the Russian and Chinese elite. The problem will be, I think, finding one that is not tainted by western values and western propaganda. But if you can find one, please post it.

All true about Toynbee, but worth noting that he went rogue in the mid- to late-50s, describing America as the leader of world counter-revolution in a series of lectures in, I dimly recall 1960 or 61. He fell so out of line that the CIA, presumably with the acquiescence of Dick White, his friend, ally & great spook patron, set Hugh Trevor-Ropey upon him in the pages of Encounter (and elsewhere).

HTR subsequently was set to the improbable work of Dallas coup sceptic and champion of Mark Lane. Now there hangs a tale!

American and the World Revolution (New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1962), comprised of three sets of three lectures delivered at the University of Pennsylvania, McGill University, and the University of Puerto Rico, respectively, in 1961 and 1962.

p.91: "America is today the leader of a world-wide anti-revolutionary movement in defence of vested interests. She now stands for what Rome stood for..."

p.211: "The paramount aim of the people of the US is the protection of their own vested interests, and they are not concerned for social justice except in so far as this can be made to serve a purpose that is, in truth, the opposite of what social justice stands for."
"There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

Joseph Fouche
Reply
#8
Paul Rigby Wrote:
Paul Rigby Wrote:
David Guyatt Wrote:I note the quote by Arnold Toynbee who, unfortunately, became a member of the elite in the form of being a leading member of the Rhodes-Milner kindergarten.

Lauren, I'd personally love an objective and independent study / essay about the Russian and Chinese elite. The problem will be, I think, finding one that is not tainted by western values and western propaganda. But if you can find one, please post it.

All true about Toynbee, but worth noting that he went rogue in the mid- to late-50s, describing America as the leader of world counter-revolution in a series of lectures in, I dimly recall 1960 or 61. He fell so out of line that the CIA, presumably with the acquiescence of Dick White, his friend, ally & great spook patron, set Hugh Trevor-Ropey upon him in the pages of Encounter (and elsewhere).

HTR subsequently was set to the improbable work of Dallas coup sceptic and champion of Mark Lane. Now there hangs a tale!

American and the World Revolution (New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1962), comprised of three sets of three lectures delivered at the University of Pennsylvania, McGill University, and the University of Puerto Rico, respectively, in 1961 and 1962.

p.91: "America is today the leader of a world-wide anti-revolutionary movement in defence of vested interests. She now stands for what Rome stood for..."

p.211: "The paramount aim of the people of the US is the protection of their own vested interests, and they are not concerned for social justice except in so far as this can be made to serve a purpose that is, in truth, the opposite of what social justice stands for."

For anyone interested in Terribly-Ropey's attack on Toynbee, try here: https://davidderrick.wordpress.com/2010/...d-toynbee/

The author doesn't appear to know, or pretends not to know, that Encounter was a product of the cultural gauleiters of MI6 and CIA; and that HTR was a faithful, and well-rewarded, servant of the Anglo-American political police apparat, but you can't have everything.
"There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

Joseph Fouche
Reply
#9
Paul Rigby Wrote:
Paul Rigby Wrote:
David Guyatt Wrote:I note the quote by Arnold Toynbee who, unfortunately, became a member of the elite in the form of being a leading member of the Rhodes-Milner kindergarten.

Lauren, I'd personally love an objective and independent study / essay about the Russian and Chinese elite. The problem will be, I think, finding one that is not tainted by western values and western propaganda. But if you can find one, please post it.

All true about Toynbee, but worth noting that he went rogue in the mid- to late-50s, describing America as the leader of world counter-revolution in a series of lectures in, I dimly recall 1960 or 61. He fell so out of line that the CIA, presumably with the acquiescence of Dick White, his friend, ally & great spook patron, set Hugh Trevor-Ropey upon him in the pages of Encounter (and elsewhere).

HTR subsequently was set to the improbable work of Dallas coup sceptic and champion of Mark Lane. Now there hangs a tale!

American and the World Revolution (New York and London: Oxford University Press, 1962), comprised of three sets of three lectures delivered at the University of Pennsylvania, McGill University, and the University of Puerto Rico, respectively, in 1961 and 1962.

p.91: "America is today the leader of a world-wide anti-revolutionary movement in defence of vested interests. She now stands for what Rome stood for..."

p.211: "The paramount aim of the people of the US is the protection of their own vested interests, and they are not concerned for social justice except in so far as this can be made to serve a purpose that is, in truth, the opposite of what social justice stands for."

In support of a Test Ban treaty and world government, among other things:

[video=youtube_share;60hQ5Vc5TMw]http://youtu.be/60hQ5Vc5TMw[/video]
"There are three sorts of conspiracy: by the people who complain, by the people who write, by the people who take action. There is nothing to fear from the first group, the two others are more dangerous; but the police have to be part of all three,"

Joseph Fouche
Reply


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