PLUTOCRACY

March 31, 2007

From the Greek: Ploutos = wealth + kratia = power. In day-to-day terms, Rule By The Rich.

A tour de force between the Socialist government and the opposition Partido Popular (Right Wing) is taking place these days in Spain regarding the purchase of the energy Company ENDESA and a Public Purchase Offer (PPO) presented by the multinational corporation E.ON, which is apparently supported by the opposition party, and another PPO from the multinational corporation ENEL together with the Spanish Building Company ACCIONA which, also apparently, have the sympathies of the government. I am not going to deal here with the technicalities of both offers nor am I going to step into, figuratively speaking, the positions held by both opposition and government, although my inclinations tend to be more favourable to the government’s.

I am going to deal here about my every day firmer conviction that the world is not ruled by political parties, be them democratic or not, nor is it ruled by the people in democratic terms. I firmly believe that the world is ruled by the rich people through a system which I would like to name Corporatocracy. I do not think I am coining any new term because I am sure many people in the world think like I do.

In the epoch of the last dictatorship the energy companies in Spain were owned by the state which controlled them through a sort of state holding : the Instituto Nacional de Industria (the National Institute of Industry). When the democracy(?) appeared in Spain after the dictator’s death, there were very important changes in the economic panorama, and little by little, with the shy opposition from the unions, the big companies changed hands from public to private, which was called privatisation.

It may not escape to anybody’s comprehension that the energy industry holds one of the safest positions in the world’s economy, particularly in the developed countries. Nothing can be done in terms of economy without the active intervention of energy, and it is in the energy sector which the avid eyes of those thinking with their purses stare continuously.

The offer presented by E.ON has been advised (?) by the following financial advisors:

BNP Parisbas S.A. – Citigroup Global Markets Ltd. – Deutsche Bank AG, London Branch –

J.P. Morgan Plc – Lehman Brothers (Europe) Ltd. – Merryll Lynch Capital Markets España S.A. –

You may find details about these companies in http://en.wikipedia.org because given that including in any post more than one link may make me the victim of cyber hackers I am not going to oblige them by doing so. In any case in future comments I’ll be pleased to include more links that are convenient to the issue under analysis.

I think it was Richard who suggested somewhere else that without the energy suppliers we would have nothing to do, and I think he was right. They have so much power, if you think carefully about it, that I would not be able to write these simple ideas today if I do not pay them their bill every two months. The energy suppliers are fundamental for everything: house building, car making, domestic appliances, clothes, shoes, combs, pins, post stamps, etc, etc., weapons of all kinds, aircraft, ships, nukes, you name it!

And I ask at this point: do any of you believe that with these assets and the political system that rules all of us is there anyone that dares to challenge the power of an Energy Corporation?

And in practical terms, although these corporations are ruled by a wealthy elite aided by super-intelligent persons who are not permitted to wholly integrate in their social layer, the public in general with money to participate in the property of those corporations by simply buying their shares in the Stock Exchanges, also benefit from the initiatives which at all times are directed to earn more money. Only that the latter cannot effectively participate in the decisions that are concocted by the real owners of the entities, you know those holding the majority of the shares.

In any case these extra shareholders are in no way a cause of worry to the top brass of the corporations.

Nor, of course, are they a majority among the public in general of whom they are members.

And believe it or not, the SEC has also something to do with these Public Purchase Offers. Do you know what the SEC is?

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the first comment to this post, I will give you a link to check this information about the SEC.

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65 Responses to “PLUTOCRACY”

  1. Jose said

    A link to illustrate you about the SEC, as promised in my post:

    http://www.lgebuilding.com/news.asp?id=12

    It is news published in 2002, but as you can see E.ON which is a German-based corporation, through its US subsidiary(?) bought the UK’s Powergen, the purchase of which had to be approved by the SEC. My question is why didn’t E.ON Germany directly make this operation?

  2. Jose said

    For good order’s sake, I give you below a link to E.ON and in another comment a link to ENEL.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.On

  3. Richard said

    Yes, it was me who said that real power lies with those who can ‘pull the plug’ on, for example, what we are doing right now – writing as a ‘community’ of people.

    If the electricity power is cut – and it appears to be happening to you over there, Jose, tomorrow morning – then we can’t use our computers, laptops, TV, brew tea, keep us warm, cook dinner, fill our petrol tanks etc. We’re totally ‘screwed’, and there would be panic – nobody would know be able to contact each other effectively to find out what’s going on.

    So, trans-national corporations (eg US power companies such as E.ON) have us ‘by the balls’ – to put it irreverently.

    Continue your probing, Jose, because you are on to something…cutting domestic power supply is one of the ultimate weapons of social control – to keep the rabble in line.

  4. Jose said

    Energy is the word, Richard, energy, and the raw matter that is behind it. The cause of all our ills in the past, now and in the future. When the only source of our energy was the sun we were much better off than we are now. People then adored the sun, people now adore oil. What will people adore in future?

    And when I say people I mean people. Human beings, who are born, live, eat and drink like you and me, and eventually die. Born out of humans who also have gone through the same process.

    And who have made it possible that most humans are subjugated by a minority, as has always been the case from times immemorial.

  5. Richard said

    ENERGY/POWER has not been the only weapon of control “from times immemorial” – but also MONEY and FEAR.

  6. Jose said

    You are right there, Richard.

  7. Great article/post Jose. This public/private natural resources control is an issue that I consider more and more often these days. There are some very scary possibilities coming down there road.
    I’ll have to add more later as it’s a busy night, but don’t forget about Food as a lever of power and control. Those who control agri-production and irrigation have enormous influence on society and govts. I was reading an article in a University of Waterloo student news paper when I was in Toronto last week about Gwynne Dyer and his ideas for a new book. His essential thesis states that as global climates change over the next 50 years due in part to global warming the historically lush bread baskets of the world will begin to dry up and turn into waste lands. Europe, Asia and the America’s will war over food production and dispersal as well as energy production and dispersal in the new century.
    Man, I can’t wait to get off grid and start that garden. Better get a shot gun while I’m at it.
    http://www.gwynnedyer.net/

  8. Richard said

    Extremely good point, loneranger – FOOD is a weapon of control to go with ENERGY, MONEY AND FEAR.

    I hear the Wal-Mart vultures are circling Sainsbury’s here in England (thru their UK Asda subsidiary)…

  9. earthpal said

    Richard, that’s not something I want to hear about – Sainsbury’s being targeted by Asda/Walmart. The worrying things is, I guess they’ll be determined to bag it because of their rival Tesco dominating here in the UK.

    Gosh, some disturbingly provocative thoughts up there. What Loneranger says about food wars…this is an interesting article on the GREENPEACE website. Have a read. Sobering to say the least. The article was written three years ago and George Bush has conceded slightly since then but otherwise, it’s just as relevant if not more compelling.

  10. Jose said

    “We have met the enemy, and he is us”.

    Why is it that WE are always to bear any blame on our shoulders? The World wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for us. Oil and its derivatives wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for us.

    But the actual fact is that big corporations wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for us. Those big corporations whose main interest is the economic growth come suddenly up to say that WE are responsible for the ills of the planet. Those big corporations that are behind the educational systems and their lack of really good teaching, blame us for the ills of our planet.

    Come on, it’s about time the world realised that those big corporations ad the people behind them are the only responsible ones for the ills of the planet, and therefore they should pay for it.

    But no, they won’t pay for it, WE will. WE will be obliged to pay for it through the taxes, through the prices we will have to meet for renewable energies, for the changes to our cars, to our fridges, to everything that needs a change, and what WE will pay will include THEIR profit, that’s for sure.

    Food, 1loneranger, being something we cannot live without is not so important while it can be got through our own effort in our own orchards and fields. Agriculture-related corporations have found that the Genetically modified products obviate plagues that up to now were impossible to erradicate, but again these GM seeds can only be obtained from the chemical industries that have made them. Another dependence on corporations.

    The food industry relies also on the energy industry. Canned food cannot be produced without the energy industry and as everybody knows canned food is a day-to-day part of our supermarket purchases, where Wal-Mart is a leading company trying to become worldwide.

    And what about pharmaceuticals? Another corporate industry thriving on the human being’s physical needs.

    And still there are billions out there who think they are important.

    Billions who do not realise that Plutocracy is what rules the world.

  11. boldscot said

    It is only a short time before we hear of Walmart or Tesco invading another country with REAL troops rather than special offers.

  12. christianzionismexposed said

    Starbucks on Monday is set to announce that in order to beef up its’ tarnished image, it will be purchasing small, fairly well known local coffeehouses/small chains under a concept called ‘Siren Song’.

    Yes, Jose, you know I agree. The word I’ve used is Corpocracy. It is the future for all of us on earth. The rich have more than they can ever use but they want it all. My husband and I were talking about this last night.

    People who have everything in terms of this world’s wealth and power but they want more. They won’t pay themselves for it; they will use our blood and our resources (money), the little all of us have to gain it.

  13. Richard said

    Read Orwell’s 1984 – it’s all there ‘as clear as day’ – POWER…undiluted POWER. That’s the sole motivation of a plutocracy….aka…”Full Spectrum Dominance” (FSD)

  14. seachanges said

    Interesting comments – aren’t most western governments ‘plutocracies’? this is not just a matter of individual companies taking over certain sectors in a society but there’s also perhaps something much more sinister which is that we are all taking certain luxuries for granted and could not do without them. And I include myself in that – I don’t think we are honest if we try and attack one company or another: they are simply outcomes of what most of us want/desire. There are too many of us that rely utterly and totally on supermarkets, coffee chains and others if only to be able t do the job we do. I don’t think going back to a rural idyllic kind of existince is an option. Am I being too provocative?

  15. Richard said

    Provocative ? Not at all – very challenging.

    It reminds me of Gandhi’s reply to : What do you think of Western civilisation ?

    “I think it’s a good idea”

  16. Jose said

    You are right, seachanges, companies are but the outcome of people’s outsized greed, which is exploited by those with the psychology necessary to see through human idiosyncrasy. I have observed in many cases how the same interests are represented in various companies or corporations, circumstance that might have led us to believe in a conspiracy.

    Simply those with money have been cunning enough to know where their money was best invested, and in the majority of the cases those companies or corporations have been their initiative. Once inside they do their best to see to it that the co.s and corps are run to their satisfaction and in accordance with their interests.

    Clout in all cases is backed by economic influence.

  17. Dave On Fire said

    I don’t have that much to add to all that’s already been said, but I thought you might be interested in someone else who independently came up with the term “corporatocracy” – John Perkins in his book Confessions Of An Economic Hitman.

    He writes of how he was employed by large corporations to produce misleadingly optimistic economic forecasts and trick developing countries into taking huge loans from the U.S. and spending them on huge programmes from American companies. This trickery was, of course, complemented with a good degree of bribery and blackmail.

    In effect, money was transferred from American government offices to American corporate offices, work and thus profit was created for American companies, and the developing country in question was left in debt to America. That was the main objective; the magnitude of these debts (and the miracle of compound interest) makes them unpayable, and Perkins compares the U.S. to the mafia in the way they use this eternal debt to extract “favours”.

  18. christianzionismexposed said

    Dave, someone on another board Jose and I belong to had us read that book. It was fascinating. We were going to discuss it and somehow that never happened. I do wonder about what Mr. Perkins gained from the book; if it was only to ease his conscience.

    It seems I have been the recipient of a hoax re: the Starbucks thing. Apparently someone on the Coffee Business forum I belong to had played at April Fool’s joke. Blush.

    At any rate, speaking to seachanges: Interesting timing you mention self-sufficiency. My husband and I were talking about it just yesterday. But you wonder about how sustainable life is going it alone when the big corps also provide seed, and of course water is something we all have to pay for (very few have wells anymore).

    And, we’ve probably all heard the stories of rulers who diverted money for food aid for their starving citizens to build another palace or sock away in a Swiss bank account.

    I think we are all totally vulnerable (well those of us who don’t live on really self-sustainable farms that is.)

    We can also see, with this huge and growing pet food poisoning, where big corps have even bigger manufacturers as a single souce for many brands, that our daily bread could be tainted extremely easily for ‘crowd control’ or population control.

    Do I sound paranoid or realistic? :O

  19. CZE-

    I don’t think you sound paranoid at all. You sound aware and informed in my opinion. I think we’ve all become much too dependent on someone else taking care of our basic needs.
    I’ve always dreamed of owning a self sustainable property. Not only are you more self reliant when you’re ‘off-grid’ but you’re less of a burden on an increasingly over loaded system of public/private services. And of course, in the event of a natural or man made disaster or e-coli/bad food scare you have the capability to continue to stay ‘up and running’ as it were. But most importantly though, when you’re self-sustainable, you’re not as much under the thumb of “the man”.

  20. Richard said

    “Paranoically realistic” and “insanely sane” perhaps, CZE.

    Food, Fear, Energy, Money – and Water. Ultimate weapons of control. Next stop – Air.

  21. anticant said

    Oh – so CZE does sometimes read books that other people suggest, then? Interesting!

  22. christianzionismexposed said

    When CZE has time, she does. Question: If I suggest you read the entire Bible so we can have an informed discussion, would you take the time to do it?

  23. christianzionismexposed said

    I guess you said you had. I believe you said you had read most and then later said all? Forgive me if I am wrong.

    Another question: Are you suggesting that someone needs to read every book suggested to them in order to discuss a topic intelligently?

    P.S. CZE/I may be addressed in the first person, if so desired.

    1loneranger and Richard, I appreciate your assurances of my lack of unrealistic apprehension. 🙂

  24. anticant said

    No I’m not, but I AM suggesting that theists should not be so dismissive of non-belief without taking the trouble to inform themselves more accurately than you seem to have done about what those of us who are “anti-supernatural” are actually saying. There is a copious literature, and several excellent blogs to some of which I have provided links, so there’s really no excuse. Have a look at Stephen Law and the Barefoot Bum, for instance. Also my own posts.

  25. Richard said

    When Joad was dying, he was visited by a friend (a “secularist”), and Joad asked him : if you knew you only had a few months to live, what would you do with your time ?

    His friend answered that he would read all the books he had always wanted to read before, but never had the time.

    After his friend had left, Joad said to his nurse that his friend’s reply had not impressed him at all – he would not be reading books on his deathbed.

    Joad died 3 months later.

  26. christianzionismexposed said

    Anticant, I have read atheists and about atheists. Not all atheists come from the same mold nor do they all think alike. So, please know what you are talking about before telling someone else they should inform themselves.

    Richard, when my dad was dying, reading books was the last thing on his mind.

    On the other hand, I read that when Sam Walton was dying, he still ran the numbers from all the stores every day. Maybe a rumor but, having had Wal-Mart as a customer, I tend to believe it.

    Contemplation seems the order of the day with most dying folks, however. My dad, normally very outgoing and jovial, became very quiet and introspective.

  27. Jose said

    You say, CZE, of the money rulers of hungry countries divert to build palaces. I add that America has not got money to invest on social security or health care, something extremely important in the ruling of a country, as much important as looking after the needy, but America has money to go to war to help build the “other palaces” of corporatocracy, oil corporatocracy. Money that comes out of the tax coffers.

    I read books I am interested in and I understand what CZE says. Apart from the fact that sometimes too many books may make one’s brains weaken. Free thinking is for me the answer, more time to think is for me the answer.

    Dying is the most natural – when it is not accident or violent – aspect of our lives together with birth. We must think that it is natural and cannot rebel against it by using means to deviate our attention from it. A revision of what our lives have been is perhaps the best way to receive death.

    I expect my death will be so: to die thinking is much better than to die reading.

  28. Richard said

    It appears that we were all born thinking – not reading – so to die thinking seems to be the natural order of things.

  29. anticant said

    CZE, I do my best not to make negative judgments about people and you and I know far too little about each other to be in a position to do so. Generalisations are always dangerous: of course there are theists and non-theists of many different stripes. I have known many benign religious people, also toxic ones, and some who were positively evil because of the actions their beliefs in the supernatural inspired.

    There is a place for reading, and a place for thinking. Isn’t it a bit silly to decry the suggestion that some books you probably haven’t read are worth reading? I have over 10,000 books in my house, but I doubt whether I shall be reading any of them when my death is imminent. That time has not arrived yet, and meanwhile I am reading as much as I can while I still have the chance.

    I doubt whether we can generalise about dying, which is is a personal subjective experience, and one only known to us vicariously while we are still alive through the deaths of others. Having a terminal illness, I attend a hospice every week, and am in touch with a number of people who are dying more or less slowly. Their attitudes to the prospect vary widely; and whatever one anticipates, the event itself will probably be different. During my own two or three near-death experiences, I felt very placid – indeed, detached – from my fate, but I don’t recall actively meditating. I just ‘went along’ with what was happening in a “che sera sera” frame of mind.
    A poor old lady at the hospice whe died recently had been terrified of dying: she didn’t say so, but you could see it in her eyes. It’s sad that death is such a taboo subject in our degenerate greedy consumer society.

    America, btw Jose, doesn’t even have the money to go to war – it does it on tick. The sooner its creditors pull the plug, the better.

  30. Dave On Fire said

    @Anticant:

    America, btw Jose, doesn’t even have the money to go to war – it does it on tick. The sooner its creditors pull the plug, the better.

    And how do you propose they do that? If China’s President Hu sends the U.S. Treasury a bill, do you think they will have to give China its money back?

    No, the value of the dollar was decoupled from anything real in the 1970s. As China sells all its dollar reserves, the price of the dollar will simply fall. They won’t get much back, and the loss of their reserves would hurt them as much as America. They may try to get rid of them slowly – as, in my view, ashould all America’s creditors, but I don’t see much possibility of plugpulling.

  31. christianzionismexposed said

    Anticant, it would have been silly if I had said it. I don’t believe I did. Nor even imply it. But if you can find where I did, please feel free to bring it to my attention.

    Jose, I surely didn’t leave America out; I’m the ‘American basher par excellence’ these days. The leaders here are already insanely wealthy but use the crumbs of the poor to ‘fund’ their exploits.

  32. anticant said

    CZE, Sorry if you feel I misrepresented you. I don’t blog to be ‘right’ or to ‘win’ – I blog for interest and for therapy, being largely isolated from human social contact nowadays because of illness. I hope to develop some of the topics we’ve been discussing on my arena when I can get my thoughts together.

  33. Jose said

    I think America has money as it seems to be proved by this link

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070403/pl_nm/iraq_usa1_dc;_ylt=AhXPHMz2F2Ydeux.FsCc3JHMWM0F

    I agree with Dave that China will not be so fool as to get rid of the Dollar reserves just for the sake of damaging the US, because that action will damage China mainly. But there are oher ways: one of them I read recently China is going to use Dollars in updating peasants’ welfare using Dollars to that effect. On the other hand if the Dollar value keeps dropping, it will be in China’s interest no to speed up that fall, on the contrary it will be interested in strengthening its assets.

  34. Jose said

    You know what is the latest news in Spain about the Public Purchase offers for Endesa which opened my first post: both E.ON and ENEL have come to an agreement whereby E.ON withdraws from the public bid which will permit ENEL to take hold of the Spanish Power Corporation. E.ON will get a free ticket to make a Public Offer for another company of lesser importance.

    Any doubts these giants will not damage each other in terms of economy?

    The governments of Germany and Spain were on the brink to have a political crisis, the multinational corporations were wiser.

    The “small” shareholders are the losers.

  35. Jose said

    And see what E.ON is, furthermore, up to:

    “With Eon out of the running for Endesa, other potential bid targets came into focus. Britain’s Scottish & Southern Energy, long touted as a target for Eon if the Endesa bid failed, climbed 1.7 per cent to £15.84. France’s Suez (NYSE:SZE – news)gained 2.1 per cent to EU40.50, while Spain’s Union Fenosa and Gas Natural added 4.1 per cent to EU42.56 and 2.5 per cent to EU36.65 respectively.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ft/20070403/bs_ft/fto040320070702420848;_ylt=AkYTsrI66pppEhS1sg4OQnuyBhIF

  36. anticant said

    An interesting post by the Barefoot Bum [link via anticant’s arena] on “The Permanent Conservative Movement”. This, and the one [so far] comment are very relevant to the subject of this thread, and well worth reading.

  37. christianzionismexposed said

    No problem, anticant. I blog for therapy. And I wish there were more hours in the day. Right now, you have time to really put your writing talents and mind to work and it sounds like you are up to the task. I wish you the best as you are in this rough time.

    Jose, I believe the lust for money/power (one and the same, really) are the root of all evil on the earth. Keep up the good work on bringing us info which you seem to be able to stay on top of.

  38. Jose said

    Thank you, Nosie. Here is the latest news about the fight between oil corporations and the control of oil directly by the governments of oil-producing countries. It seems matters have not gone “so bad” for the corps, but already criticism is being raised on that government control. This is part of the article which in my opinion is rather favourable to the corporations:

    quote:
    Governments may focus much of their oil wealth on other priorities, causing oil-field efficiency and investment to suffer.

    It’s hard to shed a tear for Big Oil. The top five publicly traded companies racked up a record $119.5 billion profit last year – roughly the size of Ireland’s economy.

    Yet these corporations are steadily losing ground to a surging group of nationally run companies – a trend that could come back to hurt oil-consuming nations such as the United States, some experts say.

    The risk is that governments that run oil companies will lavish so much of their oil wealth on social programs and other priorities that efficiency and investment in new oil fields will suffer.
    unquote

    More can be read at this link:

    http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/040307E.shtml

  39. Jose said

    Anticant,
    Thanks for your suggestion.

    I have gone to the blog you mention above, Barefoot Bum, and I am generally in agreement with the speculations the blogger makes, although there’s a part which does not convince me:

    quote
    Secondary to this strategy is simply destroying excess wealth that cannot be usefully concentrated: $500,000,000,000 spend on Iraq is performing that task most effectively.
    unquote

    I don’t agree. We all know the war on Iraq is generating more richness. Weapon building, reconstruction by corporations, assistance by these corporations to the army deployed there, etc.

    And then, Barefoot Blum seems to forget the expenses for the war in Iraq are disbursed by the US Treasury.

    And, also, the war on Iraq is simply another form to pave the way to earn money, at the time that the Iraqi oil is being secured by oil corporations, the main source of the giant energetic business in the world, which as we can see from my previous comment is being affected by the legal and natural changes that are taking place in some countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia, Iran, Russia, to control their natural riches.

    This is the link to the blog which anticant mentions:

    http://barefootbum.blogspot.com/2007/04/permanent-conservative-movement.html

  40. Richard said

    “THERE IS STILL MONEY TO BE MADE OUT OF TERROR”

    (Source : “Coming to terms with the past…”, History Today Magazine, October 2006 – Page 46)

  41. Richard said

    Jose, you titled this post “Plutocracy” (aka Corporatocracy)…

    Orwell had a rather long-winded word for this : Oligarchical Collectivism.

    A brilliant description of this is in 1984 – Winston Smith’s ‘secret book’ : The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism by Emmanuel Goldstein

  42. Jose said

    Yes, Richard, but I’d say Oligarchy is the second step down the ladder, being the government by a few chosen ones, and that is what happens in Europe, whichever the social stances of the government in question.

    The example was given by Spain and Germany in the recent struggles by E.ON and ENEL. Germany’s is a right wing government – in old political terms – while Spain’s is governed now by a socialist one. Both are oligarchy, but it was eventually the corporatocracy that solved the problem by coming to terms and sharing the energetic pie.

    Now a new problem has arisen in the EU. While two countries, which I believe are American moles inside the Union: the Czech Republic and Poland, advocate a rather harsh policy regarding Cuba, Spain with far larger corporate interests in that country may be interested in a pacific transition – as happened here – after the disparition of Fidel Castro as visible symbol of the socialist – later communist – Cuban revolution. Again a new example that any government in the world is strung to the puppeteers’ fingers of corporatocracy. Oil is a main component of the interests of the said Spanish corporatocracy, sought indeed by others, too.

    Politics have always been economic, socialist governments try to reflect their social attitudes in public examples of tolerance and progress, but at the core of everything the piercing eyes of money watch.

  43. Jose said

    Doublespeak is really a fit adaptation of the two terms coined by Orwell, who was apparently prophetic because he knew when he wrote his book what was really happening, but that came to be overtly known when our education made us think. Because corporatocracy has always existed, not with the intensity it has now, but it has been permanently present in the political decisions taken by the governments of every period.

    It is true that Orwell’s times coincided with two World Wars – if I am not wrong – but those wars exposed really the gist of what everything was about : economic dominance.

    The second war was an exponent of that oligarchy controlled by the corporatocracy. The US had to invent a reason to come to Europe, as Bush had to invent a reason to attack Iraq. The American citizens had to be conviced that they were in peril, that they could be attacked in their own territory, something unthinkable until Japan took the step.

    There are ways in politics, as we have been able to see in films and books, that produce reactions. A leakage here and there may make a country rise in arms against another one: a reason sufficient to trigger hidden bellicose attitudes, which are eventually backed by the corporatocracy.

    We have heard on countless occasions speak about the German and Japanese miracles after WWII. Both countries’ constitutions forbid them the use of armies, both countries were occupied, Germany by the four countries that won the war: Britain, France, the US and the URSS; Japan just by the US. Both countries were the prey of the world’s corporatocracies, both European and American, the former strongly influenced by the latter.

    And I can see the same intentions were at the back of the Iraq war, but…alas! the Iraq war had not the success WWII had. South Korea is another example; Vietnam, Irak-like, was not. Have you ever asked yourselves why South Korea has also been an economic success? Paraphrasing the French expression:

    Cherchez la corporatocracie! Look for the corporatocracy!

  44. Jose said

    As if to confirm what we discuss above, the New York Times has published an editorial, part of which I transcribe below.

    quote

    Not since the Roaring Twenties have the rich been so much richer than everyone else. In 2005, the latest year for which figures are available, the top 1 percent of Americans — whose average income was $1.1 million a year — received 21.8 percent of the nation’s income, their largest share since 1929.

    Over all, the top 10 percent of Americans — those making more than about $100,000 a year — collected 48.5 percent, also a share last seen before the Great Depression.

    Those findings are no fluke. They follow a disturbing rise in income concentration in 2003, and a sharp increase in 2004. And the trend almost certainly continues, spurred now as then by the largess of top-tier compensation, and investment gains that also flow mainly to the top. For the bottom 90 percent of Americans who are left with half the pie, average income actually dipped in 2005. The group’s wages picked up in 2006, but not enough to make up for the lean years of this decade.

    Sensing a political problem, administration officials from President Bush on down have begun acknowledging income inequality. But in their remarks, they invariably say it has been around for decades and is largely driven by technological change. Translation: “We didn’t cause it, and trying to do something about it would be silly.”

    unquote

    You can read more at the link:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/04/opinion/04weds2.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

  45. anticant said

    What puzzles me about your thesis, Jose, is: what is the ultimate benefit to the corporate plutocrats if their only goal is the endless amassing of more and more money, regardless of the social wellbeing of the world population? Money, as money, is nothing in itself [a Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 1940s famously described it as a ‘meaningless symbol’.] The amount of money we possess matters to you and me, with our limited incomes and monthly budgets to meet – but what does it matter to a wealthy plutocrat whether he [or she – there are some stinkingly rich women in USA] has a few million dollars more or less in his personal or corporate bank account?

    The pursuit of money as an end-in-itself is a psychological neurosis. When it results in a few thousand greedy selfish people controlling the economic assets of a country or a region and paying no regard to the social health and wellbeing of the populations of those places, it becomes self-defeating madess. I would not want to be such a plutocrat, sitting gloating over my bank balances isolated in my luxury enclave behind mechanical and human barriers protecting me from the starving populace prowling around outside. What would be the point? I would probably end up being lynched like the French aristocrats in the 1790s.

    Granted that plutocracy has always had far too much power in modern democracies, and needs to have its wings clipped, I think you do not give enough credit to the benign achievements of capitalism in creating and distributing real [non-monetary] wealth and giving at least some regions of the world a more than tolerable standard of living. I have never understood how you can run a business without aiming at a reasonable profit. What is needed is effective anti-monopoly laws such as existed in the earlier part of the 20th century. Having worked for more than a decade in the national federation of a privately-owned major industry, I do know that it is possible to run successful businesses on ethical, socially responsible lines.

  46. Richard said

    The question : “What is the ultimate benefit to the corporate plutoctats” is answered very, very clearly by Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four – and in detail – POWER

  47. Jose said

    You raise a fundamental point there, Anticant, which I’ll deal with as soon as I can. What Richard says is the final use of money when possessed in quantities that I cannot even dream of.

    I cannot find a better system than capitalism at this stage, I grant you that, but it is not capitalism which I judge if I may use this word, it’s its control in the high spheres of the financial network.

    I can’t be more in agreement with the last sentence of your comment, my experience confirms that there have always been good and bad employers, as there have always been good and bad employees but that is not what I am analysing in this thread.

    Will revert soonest and deal with the money side of this issue.

  48. Richard said

    Would I be correct in saying that the ancient, biblical term for modern plutocrats, corporatists, businessmen, capitalists etc was MERCHANTS ?

    If that is the case, these merchants of old had their place – an important place – in the scheme of things, BUT they were not the rulers, the governors etc.

    Today, it appears the merchants are the rulers – but that is not their place – so they are making a complete hash of things. They are simply not up to the job – because that is not their job. They are modern merchants – not modern rulers.

  49. Jose said

    Well, Richard, it has always been so. I remember small towns and villages in Spain where the leaders of the community were, and are, the rich, those with estates, cattle and servants, the Doctor, the Chemist, the Priest, the Grocer, the Noble. There were mayors elected, and there were police, but they eventually had to do what the rich imposed in each sector of their influence.

    And it happens, too, in Crawley, doesn’t it?

  50. Richard said

    Yes, but in the past these rich merchants worked in, with, and for the local community.

    Today, most merhants are not part of the community – but exert an all-too-powerful influence over it.

  51. anticant said

    “Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder. In the Middle Ages when the feudal lords who inhabited the castles whose towers may still be seen along the Rhine concluded to enlarge their domains, to increase their power, their prestige and their wealth they declared war upon one another. But they themselves did not go to war any more than the modern feudal lords, the barons of Wall Street go to war.

    “The feudal barons of the Middle Ages, the economic predecessors of the capitalists of our day, declared all wars. And their miserable serfs fought all the battles. The poor, ignorant serfs had been taught to revere their masters; to believe that when their masters declared war upon one another, it was their patriotic duty to fall upon one another and to cut one another’s throats for the profit and glory of the lords and barons who held them in contempt. And that is war in a nutshell.

    “The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose-especially their lives.”

    EUGENE DEBS: 16 June 1918: The speech was given to about 1,200 people and was later used against Debs to make the case that he had violated the Espionage Act. The judge sentenced Debs to ten years in prison.

    [From ICH Bulletin, 6 April 2007]

  52. Jose said

    A victim of his ideas, Anticant. If Eugene Debs had said this today he wouldn’t have been tried, but his ideas, together with those of others of his ilk, paved the way to the freedoms we have today. Not that I am pleased with how some countries deal with these freedoms, but this is because we have not been able to keep up the example those ancient heroes of the thought gave us.

    Yes, Richard, and they have official chambers of commerce to protect them.

  53. Jose said

    Money, Anticant, as you correctly say is not to be kept. As a peasant’s saying goes here: it is not to be spent or to be kept, it is to be controlled.
    And money is controlled.

    Controlled by the banking system, the central banks and the financial system. Money can be made cheap or dear at will, fluctuations in its value are dependent on the economic going of each, or all, respective countries.

    The Euro was invented so as to check the Dollar’s influence, if the Sterling Pound had joined the Euro system, the Dollar’s value may have dropped even more than it has actually. China and other countries that have large reserves in dollars are the least interested in its depreciation. They know they must get rid of a sizeable sum but they know they must do that in a controlled way.

    Privately saving large sums of money is taking the risk of reducing its value, banks, as you know, promote savings because it suits their needs of money to be lent, but this is extremely dangerous for the savers, inflation little by little would erode the money’s purchase power.

    Investment, then, is the best way and that is what the Stock Exchanges have been built on, curiously enough nothing to do with the actual financial situation of the companies whose shares are offered. In this again the value of the money is also controlled, but in my opinion in the long run it is safer there than saved.

    I was speaking of money in terms of power, of influence. Average investors must in all cases content themselves with what the brokers can get for them. This will give them no influence or power in the high spheres of the economy. Paraphrasing Debs, these minor investors are the happy serfs of those who really know how to invest their influence, not their money. Those large investors are so powerful, their riches are so huge, that I would not be surprised that their money reserves were proportionally lower than those of the minor serf-investors.

    An investment for a tycoon is not in terms of money, it is in terms of merging companies, of Public Purchase Offers, the money needed in many cases is not provided by them, it is provided by the financial entities where they have true influence. In short much of the money they need comes from the savings of those minor shareholders and investors, which if it does not cover their needs they still have the possibility of getting it through the banks’ influence with the central bank of every country. And these tycoons have their own exclusive “clubs” to discuss all types of businesses that may come their way. They will never risk individual capitals, the risk is in almost all cases split among them. And then, to cover it all up, most of the shares are sold in the Stock Exchanges.

    That is the true importance of Capitalism.

    We still are the poor serfs (consumers) that offer their lives (money) for the sake of our lords (tycoons)’ battles between feuds (clubs) to win supremacy.

    I have written this and the other posts and comments propping myself on the freedom of expression those fighters of old struggled to get and which are being spoilt by our contemporaries.

    Otherwise I might be sentenced to spend a lot of years in prison, that is if I am considered important enough.

  54. Richard said

    You might be getting on a bit, AC, but it seems clear to me, by what you have just written, that you haven’t lost that old ‘fire’ of your younger days.

    Thank you.

  55. Richard said

    Whoops, wrong old bloke – sorry. Jose posted that ! But it applies to AC as mush as it does to Jose.

  56. Jose said

    Thanks, Richard. Anticant, though, is younger than me.

  57. anticant said

    I think you have forgotten, Jose, that I am several years older than you. Not that I am pulling rank!

  58. Jose said

    I haven’t, Anticant. There’s something hidden in that sentence.

  59. anticant said

    Most times these days, Jose, I feel older than the hills – from whence cometh my strength, as the Psalmist says. When you have been born and brought up in the Pennines, as I was, you are always an exile away from them – as I have been for most of my life. It is wonderful country, and I think of it every day.

  60. Jose said

    Curiously enough, Anticant, I have always felt at home everywhere I have been to. I cannot understand why, but that happens with me. I have my preferences, of course, but wherever I am that’s my home.

  61. anticant said

    Home is where the heart is, Jose – so yes, I am at home, even in increasingly horrid London where I’ve been for the past almost 60 years. And it was my choice to come here in the first place. So I suppose I musn’t grumble. But friends who were born and worked most of their lives here and now live abroad can now scarcely bear to revisit the place. It’s certainly not what it used to be – much more violent and dangerous, for one thing.

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