Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Oct. 19: Neoliberalism in action.

The headline story is that a former mayor of Moncton who just gave a speech about the murder of three police officers in this city over two years ago. He had nothing to add to what we already know about it - and have known for two years.
Why is this the front page headline story?

The rest of section A  is the usual potpourri of courtroom chatter, pointless commentaries, free ads for businesses, and the mandatory propaganda  piece from the Fraser Institute.

Meanwhile, Irving is suing Greenpeace because it wants to protect our forests against assaults from the irvings and others. But that didn't make the news.

About a year ago, a report on our treatment of native peoples drew wails of remorse from our leaders, and promises to make good the damage we had done. So far, not a damn thing has been done. On the contrary, our governments are trying to bully and lie native peoples into accepting oil pipelines across their land, and fracking on it.

But we are moving speedily on drying the tears of that nice Mr. Oland who was convicted of murdering his father. He's getting a new trial, and the irving press is all agush.

In other news, a private hospital is suing the Canadian government, saying that medicare is infringing on its RIGHT to make money out of illness. Actually, this is an issue that is behind the reason why New Brunswick has been quietly cutting away at medicare by contracting out some of its work.

If they win, expect a general assault on medicare, one that will deprive most of us of any care at all, but which will return medical care to its proper role of making the rich richer. These people are pretty vile bastards. ( I remember the days when I was a child, and there was  no medicare. I remember people suffering and dying at home as I watched. They couldn't afford private medical care. Tough on them.)

Oh   - another item that didn't make the irving press - the Canadian army, funded by your tax dollars, is testing armoured cars to help out a Canadian company that is building the cars for sale to Saudi Arabia. What's wrong with that?

Canada is not supposed to be selling weapons for Saudi Arabia. We signed an agreement to that effect because Saudi Arabia is a notorious abuser of human rights. But Canada is not only breaking its word by allowing the sales; it is also subidizing the manufacturer by testing the cars at our expense.

And where will they be used? They will be used in Yemen against some of the poorest people  in the world who have been shot, bombed, starved and denied food by Saudi Arabia and the U.S. because -----well, nobody has ever bothered to tell us why. The suffering of that war has fallen on civilians - and deliberately so. This is a repeat of the suffering inflicted on Jews in Hitler's holocaust. ( Yes, I know we're not allowed to compare the holocaust to anything else. so sue me.)
In fact, the rate of civilian murder in the middle east today is rapidly approaching that of the holocaust. And our churches are accepting that as quietly as the Nazi churches accepted Hitler's brutality.

And that bring us to a term we need to understand. Neoliberalism.

Neoliberalism is the economic/political system we now live under. it is based on the idea that corporations, just like private individuals, have human rights. Yes. That's what democracy means to these people. Therefore:

1, Corporations should be free to do whatever they like to our environment, to our forests to our waters, to our soil.
2. Corporations should be free to do whatever they like to people. - pay them starvation wages, ignore their needs, charge them for medical care....
3. It follows that government is bad because it interferes with the human rights of corporations. That's why we have to get rid of it with trade deals that penalize governments for interfering with the right of corporations to make as much as they like any way they like. Neoliberals want to own and control even the courts that will decide their cases But the irving press hasn't noticed that.
The irving press is neoliberal. Read Norbert Cunningham. Notice his contempt for civil servants and for governments. That's a staple of neoliberal thought. The purpose of all human activity is to make profits for the wealthy. Government is not of the people, by the people and for the people. No. And both the Liberals and the Conservatives accept that.

Government is for the corporations. Just leave them alone to do what they want - and blessings will tumble from the sky. You can find that message on almost every page of the irving press.

To the very wealthy, the purpose of a military is to a)make money for the arms industry b)provide killers to murder people and take their land for neoliberal corporations. The purpose of government is to pass laws freeing the wealthy from paying for any of the above, and passing laws that make it possible for the wealthy to avoid paying taxes at all.

And it all runs around disguised as patriotism.

The Christian churches have, as usual, made it a point not to notice any of this, even though it is the final denial of Christian thought. And that is what happened in Germany, too.

Neoliberalism. Remember that word. It is the low point of western civilization - and perhaps the final one. It's not hard to remember. You'll see it reflected in every news medium owned by billionaires in the western world.
Quebec made The Guardian today with its fluttering and quacking about Muslim women who wear the burqa, the veil that covers the face except for the eyes. There really aren't that many of them. And I can recall the day when Quebec nuns wore headcoverings that no-one would dream of demanding they remove.
But Quebec is profoundly racist, always has been. That's true of both French and English. And it's been true for most of the history of every province in this country.

Generally, I found today's The Guardian full of bad news. But none of it with enough explanation to make it useful. And some of it is misleading. The people the Russians are bombing in Aleppo, for example, are referred to as 'rebels'. That's the preferred term in the western press. But large numbers of them are, in fact, jihadists, the people we call terrorists when we pretend we aren't helping them.

The U.S. and Britain are all indignant because they say the Russian bombers are killing civilians. Goodness gracious me. The U.S. and the U.K. would never, ever kill civilians.

So, though the Russians have offered a ceasefire, the U.K. and U.S. have refused to accept it. And where that takes us is anybody's guess. But where it takes us could be nuclear war. That's what the U.S. seems to want. After all, that's what U.S. corporations seem to want - nuclear war against Russia and China. And, gee, corporations have human rights.
The American invasion of Iraq destroyed the conventions that had held that country together. Now, all these years after 'victory', the killing is still going on with the country  increasingly victim to the wars of factions. In reality, the war in Iraq is as long and, probably, as unwinnable as the war on Afghanistan. The U.S. has created one hell of a mess for itself, for the middle east, for the world.
September 2016 was the hottest September on record. The story didn't appear in the irving press, course. Our oil barons prefer to assure us that  none of this is happening  so we can go on happily pumping fossil fueld forever.

Neoliberalism promotes unlimited greed. And unlimited greed creates gross stupidity. But don't expect to read that in the irving press, either.
I shall not be watching tonight's presidential debate.

So far, it's been a disgraceful display by the candidates and by the news media - and by American voters.
And we're being set up. The U.S. wants more war.

These are the people  who denounce  terrorism for a home population that doesn't realize that they are the world's leading terrorists.
When Canadians voted for Trudeau, they voted for a man who has the same bosses harper did. And his policies on major issues are pretty much what Harper's were.
The following is from the Russia Times, a news source that our leaders are telling us is propaganda. So it is. My experience is that it's usually truthful propaganda - which is far superior to the lies for morons we get from the irving press, and even from bigger media outlets.
The following item is from the Boston Globe, by no means a radical newspaper. The US record in The Phillipines, never mentioned in our news media, is quite dreadful. Worse, The Phillipines may not be the only region eager to break out from U.S.control. But not a word about it has appeared in the irving press. (Isn't it terrible the way Russia Today spreads propaganda?)
Who can be surprised?
Trump is an obvious danger. Clinton is not so obvious - but probably even worse.
I have seen no mention in the irving press that Clinton is promising a big tax cut for corporations. But she is. So what the hell is going on here?

Corporations in the western world now have easy access to tax havens. That has given them the power to steal from all of us in what must be the greatest such theft in history. Uncounted billions of dollars, money that is owing to us, goes out of our countries every year.                    That's why millions are hungry or unhoused, uncared for. That's why so much of our taxes goes to paying interest in the debt.

There have been lots of reports on this. So where is the government action?

Where is the press that should be digging into this story?

All other considerations aside, such massive theft means disaster for us all - and not far down the road. Where is the public demand in this nation of wimps? Large numbers, quite likely including you, are going to suffer from this. Greed and stupidity in our business world is bad enough. We make it worse by our silence.

Professor Saillant of U de Moncton writes a book on the perils of the New Brunswick economy with no mention of this massive and constant theft of our money. Norbert Cunningham slobbers all over the book as if this were the second coming. An Irving gives a very small part of his fortune to a charity (deductible), and the Chamber of Commerce goes into an almost sexual excitement to fete him and kiss his feet at a dinner.

God made some big mistakes in designing humans.
Let's take a look at the reality of these wars we are fighting. Let's take a look at "economic santions" which sound so harmless.
Most of all, let's stop acting as if kissing up to corporations means that goodies will trickle down from the wealthy to us. They won't. They never have, and they won't start now. The idea of creating prosperity in New Brunswick by encouraging big business doesn't work. It never has.

This province, this country, needs governments that govern for the good of all the people. What we have, and have always had, is governments that govern for the good of the rich on the theory it will benefit all of us. It never has. It never will. (But it has put more than a few -ex-premiers into great jobs.)


  1. So if neoliberalism is government by corporations, and this is facilitated by bribe-taking politicians who represent corporations instead of the people, is this not fascism? As in fascist corporatism?

    Clearly a "captured government" is not a democratic government. It's certainly not a communist government. So the only logical conclusion is that it is a fascist government.

    I find it interesting how many "progressives" who claimed Stephen Harper was a fascist are now ardent Hillary Clinton supporters — even though there are myriad examples of her having taken money for representing various industries in government: healthcare insurance, Big Oil fracking, the military industrial complex, the private prison industry, Wall Street. She even represented the Saudis and Russians for big donations to the Clinton Foundation.

    In short, Hillary Clinton is off the charts fascist!

    I think that in order to bring focus on the goal of restoring the Progressive New Deal Era that began with FDR and was ended by Reagan — ushering in the disastrous Friedmanian neoliberal era — we have to call a spade a shovel. Forget euphemisms like "captured government." We are talking about the collapse of our democratic institutions (including the fourth estate) and the outright emergence of fascism.

    Although Donald Trump is a pig, he is a lesser evil to Hillary because he supports unwinding war-profiteering interventionism and free-trade globalization (wants to plow the savings into tax cuts for the rich.)

    Not only that: he says he will order a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary's illegal email server she used as Secretary of State to conduct pay-for-play Clinton Foundation related "business." (The only function of having a private email server set up in your basement as a politician is the capacity to destroy evidence which would otherwise be subpoenaed — which Hillary most certainly did. She data-shredded 33,000 emails AFTER an FBI subpoena. She also smashed her old smartphones with a hammer.)

    I think this would be a tremendous step forward in putting an end to fascist corporatist government and restoring post-war democracy. With Hillary in the hot seat, all the other corrupt politicians would think twice before taking promissory bribes. This could lead to further investigations. Forensic techniques could be used to connect the dots from bribe-payer to bribe-taker to corrupt legislation.

    Green New Deal 2020!

    -Bernie Orbust

  2. Well, it's not quite the same as corporate fascism - but close enough. And it is probably even worse than fascism.