Every once in a while, the thin veneer of bourgeois “democracy” is viciously stripped away and we get to see who actually runs a capitalist country.
While the Republicans and the Democrats were busily engaged in a ridiculous dirt-bomb fight over Wall St. sock-puppet Barack Obama’s pathetic Obamacare disaster, their phony posturing – intended to play to the cheap seats occupied by the few habitual voters who actually participate in America’s sham democracy – world bankers were starting to reveal their disdain for the comedy that was being played out in Washington.
With all the useful services run by the US Government shut down – of course, the vast U.S. police state and military apparatus was still running 24/7 – a small but powerful gang of Wall St. criminals representing the smaller and more powerful gang of even bigger criminals who actually run the United States Government – the U.S. capitalist class – were ordered to call a “timeout” between the Democrats and Republicans by arranging an unscheduled meeting at the White House to remind the politicians in Washington who is in charge.
The events that are unfolding as we write this will provide those who are paying attention with a profound lesson in where the real power actually resides not only here in the U.S. but in any capitalist state. While most capitalist states are nominally “democracies” they are a special kind of democracy: bourgeois democracies. The United States is one such critter, and a very fine example it is, too. On its face, it is a democratic country in which every adult citizen – man and woman, old and young – gets to select the people who run the country by voting in periodic elections, “freely” choosing candidates for all important political positions, from local to state to federal elective offices.
In reality, this is all a fraud. Every candidate for the most important public offices in the United States is pre-selected by the actual rulers of the United States – the tiny U.S. capitalist class – long before any election is held. Especially in the U.S., where running for office is quite deliberately made to be very expensive, it is only those candidates who are capable of raising hundreds of thousands (small-town mayor), millions (state governor, state representative or House of Representatives, Senate candidates) or even hundreds of millions (President) of dollars who are allowed to place their names on the ballot in a way that matters. This money is almost entirely “donated” to the political campaigns of the various candidates by businessmen and the top 10% of wealthy people in the U.S. – the capitalist class. If a candidate intends to pursue policies inimical to the interests of the capitalist class, he or she will be either gently or quite harshly told to remove themselves from consideration, or they will find that their ability to raise election funds has been cut off by the capitalist class. Long before an election is held, all the candidates for political office of any statewide or national significance must pass through this litmus test of the capitalist class, and pass it – or they will not be allowed to continue their campaigns. It is in this way that only the capitalists’ pre-approved candidates are offered to the workers so that they may then go through the charade of bourgeois democratic elections. “Go ahead and vote!” say the capitalists. “No matter who you pick from either of the two parties we allow to exist in our ‘democracy’, it is all right: they have all gained our ‘seal of approval’ already! Enjoy your ‘freedom to vote’!”
The Democrats, especially, have tended to forget that they are, in the final analysis, only the employees of the capitalist class. Barack Obama rode to power in the wake of the spectacular collapse of the U.S. economy “engineered” by the Republican “free-marketers” who ran the George Bush Jr. White House. So full of false indignation at the economic crisis they were handed were the Democrats at the time of Obama’s coronation – and so completely stunned at their own inability to prevent the collapse of the U.S. economy triggered by the real estate bubble the U.S. capitalist class had allowed to occur was that same capitalist class and their bankers – that the incoming Obama Administration was able, for a number of years, to publicly humiliate the very same Wall St. swindlers and capitalists who had financed the election of Barack Obama and who were in charge of all the top financial posts in his cabinet!
The truth is that – despite what the lunatic fringe of the Tea Party claims – Barack Obama is no socialist, communist or even a mere “fellow traveler” of Stalin; not even close. If anything, Obama and his cabinet represent Wall St. and the U.S. capitalist class even more nakedly than most of his predecessors in the White House; that is why the capitalists financed his successful run for re-election to the tune of $381 million dollars in advertising alone!
. Obama and his group of liberal greedhead war criminals are just the cabal, the ‘more moderate’ wing of the U.S. capitalist class believes, to pull the U.S. economy out of the mess created by the – shall we say – ‘less moderate’ wing of the U.S. capitalist class.
Years pass and the U.S. economy – blissfully free of any kind of working-class struggle against massive wage and benefit cuts being shoved down the throats of the U.S. working class by the U.S. capitalist class and their toadies ‘leading’ the pro-capitalist AFL-CIO unions – stabilizes. Barely. The Obama brain trust is unable, after almost 5 years of effort, to engineer an economic recovery discernible with something other than an electron microscope. The Republican Party, which was uterly discredited when Obama was first elected, has regained its usual fanatical free-market delirium and is now sensing that it has a chance to take back the White House from Obama’s Wall St. Communist Party. To that end, the Republicans have engaged in all manner of obstructionist political shenanigans in Washington and in every state they hold Governorship in, conducting a nakedly racist campaign to attack everything done by Barack Obama’s administration, no matter how tepidly reformist in nature, like his Obamacare multi-multi-billion-dollar gift to U.S. insurance companies and their stockholders. This infighting between the two political parties has grown so intense and so all-engrossing – for the politicians involved – that they have “one-upped” each other to the point of shutting down the United States government itself. And that is dangerous enough, in the eyes of the U.S. capitalist class, whose “prestige” in the world is increasingly threatened by the irrationality – in the eyes of “First World” European leaders especially – of such a Quixotic pantomime being played out in the face of absolutely NO WORKING CLASS STRUGGLE AT ALL IN THE UNITED STATES JUSTIFYING THE REACHING OF SUCH A POLITICAL IMPASSE! To the European capitalist class, the U.S. government is looking like one giant unfenced lunatic asylum. And that makes them nervous, because the U.S. is armed to the teeth – and they aren’t, yet! – and the U.S. is where they have invested hundreds of billions of dollars, and where many of their gold reserves are stored – for the time being, anyway.
The first major, unmistakable shot across the U.S. bow regarding the dissatisfaction the European capitalist classes are feeling toward their U.S. imperialist rivals came late last year, when the central bank of Germany requested the repatriation of their gold reserves from the United States Federal Reserve Bank of New York – and was told that the U.S. would be happy to comply – in seven years, give or take! The reaction in Berlin to that timetable was not reported in the press, but can be inferred. What could they do but grit their teeth and agree to it? Germany’s ability to seize the initiative in these types of situations died thanks to the efforts of the Red Army back in 1945, though it is quite possible that by the time they get their gold back they will have taken steps to render themselves more capable of responding in kind to such U.S. insults to their “national sovereignty”.
The second, unmistakable shot across the bow of U.S. imperialism came in August when the U.S.’ closest ally in Europe – the capitalist class of the U.K. – through their political sock-puppets in Parliament refused to give a “thumbs up” to the United States’ deeply held desire to bomb Syria to kingdom come and to break that oil-rich nation up into tiny, easily defeatable feuding principalities a la Libya.
This, and the subsequent brokering by Russia and the endorsement by the U.N. of a WWIII-postponing accord for the destruction of Syria’s chemical arms stockpiles has tumbled the United States Government from that of being “the world’s sole superpower” into the position of the third or fourth most politically powerful country behind China, Germany, Russia and the U.K..
This rapid decline of the U.S.’ “honor” among the thieves of world capitalism has gone almost unnoticed by the squabbling politicians in Washington, who have been continuing to carry on as if nothing in the world is more important than whether or not they manage to get re-elected. So it came to pass last week that the U.S. capitalist class had to send their own envoys to Washington to call for a timeout.
Who called this meeting? It would appear to us that it was placed on the agendas of both the Republicans and the Democrats by the demand of the top swindlers running U.S. capitalism: the Wall St. investment bankers. They got together and decided that they’d better find out just how far gone into cloud-cuckoo-land John Boehner, Harry Reid and the Obama Administration had ventured and whether they intended to come back before they had accidentally trampled the goose that lays the golden eggs to death in the course of their heedless wrangling to cripple or defend the terrifying windmills of Obamacare.
The coverage variance between the New York Times and the Wall St. Journal was illuminating as well. The New York Times, though it prides itself on being America’s “newspaper of record” is only in reality a mere newspaper for the more literate masses, who – in the eyes of the U.S. capitalists who own it – need not be kept apprised of the inner workings of the capitalist system. Rather, it is the role of newspapers like the New York Times to pull the wool over the eyes of the working class of the erstwhile “capital of the capitalist world” – and to keep it pulled over their eyes.
In this case, though the meeting was mentioned on the front page of the “National Edition” of the Times, it was only in a brief blurb at the bottom of page one: “Wall St. Wary of Default Peril – As the shutdown continues, Wall St. is shifting its focus to a greater concern: the possibility that the government could default in two weeks”. Those who are not put on alert by this seemingly mundane “government shutdown” story are sent to the Business Section – a place seldom visited by members of the working class. Here, the importance of the meeting is thoroughly downplayed: “Wall St. Fears Go Beyond Shutdown”. In this article, the New York Times utilizes its opiate-like style to allay any fears that might be evoked by such alarming news as the fact that if the US Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling by Oct. 17th, it could force “an unprecedented default” on U.S. debt. A photo on page 3, where the article continues shows a group of scowling business leaders walking on the White House driveway, but the caption says only: “Chief Executives headed to the White House on Wednesday for a meeting of the Financial Services Forum with President Obama”; it does not identify who they are. The text of the article only identifies one of the “Wall Street chieftains” present at the meeting: “Lloyd C. Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs.” Only those who are aware of the seriousness of the looming deadline for an agreement to be reached on raising the debt ceiling would fail to be placated by the Times’ pacifying blather about White House “game theory” over the issue preparing the road for a very questionable use of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as a pretext for Obama ordering the Treasury to make payments on the U.S. debt regardless of whether or not the Republicans and Democrats in the Congress agree to raise the debt limit or not.
In the Wall St. Journal article describing the very same meeting, the tone and description are, of course, much more detailed and to the point, though the articles are also relegated to the interior of the newspaper: “Top Bankers Say Default Would Be Disastrous”. The lead paragraph: “Top financial leaders met with President Barack Obama and his economic team Wednesday, warning that a protracted battle over the nation’s ability to fund itself and pay its bills would have serious ramifications.”
Blankfein is quoted as saying that the group of executives had “told Mr. Obama ‘exactly how bad it would be.’ ”
Unlike the New York Times, who downplayed the importance and the rank of the people involved in this meeting, the WSJ gives us a clear idea of the rank of the top capitalist criminals involved: “Among those at Wednesday’s meeting [besides Goldman Sachs’ Blankfein – IWPCHI] were J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. CEO James Dimon, American International Group Inc. CEO Robert Benmosche, Citigroup Inc. CEO Michael Corbat, Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman and John Stumpf, who heads Wells, Fargo & Co.” – in other words, it was a group of the most powerful private bankers in the world, representing many hundreds of billions of dollars of investment capital. Oh, and the U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Vice President Joe Biden were there with the President as well. Damned right! When this much financial firepower calls a meeting with their servants in Washington, they all better be there. And we are also informed that this meeting took place AFTER the same group of Wall St. criminals had held a similar tete-a-tete with the top Republican leaders earlier that same morning!
This was not just a wake-up call for official Washington as to who is actually running the show down there; it was a bold move by these banker-criminals to fully publicly regain the whip hand over the Washington politicians that they had superficially “lost” in the eyes of “the public” in the wake of the 2008 U.S. economic disaster that the bankers had brought upon the world. This time, it’s the politicians whose heads are getting publicly knocked together. “Participants said the White House struck a more collegial tone than it has in the past when dealing with Wall St. executives who have become a lightning rod in the wake of the financial crisis.” Indeed.
This isn’t the first time that such a situation has occurred in U.S. history. On one memorable occasion in 1975, New York City faced bankruptcy and then-acting-President Gerald Ford told New York Mayor Abraham Beame to “Drop Dead!”
“Only a month after Ford’s October speech, after a barrage of criticism from such elite figures as the chairman of Con Edison [and] the president of the Bank of America […] the administration reversed its position and agreed to extend loans to New York.” [Source: The Nation, “The Legacy of the 1970s Fiscal Crisis” by Kim Phillips-Fein, 6 May, 2013]
That’s because under capitalism – and especially in the United States – where money doesn’t talk – it swears – and political bullshit walks – or else. And in the eyes of the world’s capitalists today’s political bullshit in Washington had better take a walk, too or the world’s bankers are going to take aim at the U.S. economy and open fire, selling off stocks and U.S. assets until the asshats in the Democratic and Republican parties put down their water pistols and start playing “political statesmen” again.
This gang of cretins who we – the working class of the United States – continue to allow to play ‘chicken” with the world’s economy and the lives of the 7 billion-plus human beings on this planet – are going to get us all wiped out economically and/or killed one of these days. We need to start RIGHT NOW to build revolutionary working class parties determined to overthrow the corrupt capitalist politicians, the capitalist class and their capitalist system and introduce rational planning in the interests of the working class of the world where there is now only untrammeled greed in the interests of less than 5% of the world’s population. The longer we wait, the more damage they will do to this planet and its inhabitants.
Workers of the World, Unite!
Independent Workers Party of Chicago