Saturday, September 27, 2008

PNAC: Major Fail

OK, so it's the weekend, which means I've gone over to Watching America. This week, because of the "financial crisis", the US presidential campaign has to share the world stage with the US bailout, which only makes sense. After all, the Wall Street robber barons worked with multinational corporations, so the entire world is wrapped up in our economic mess, just as it is in foreign policy mess.

Germany's Die Zeit has an article entitled "Socialism, George
W. Bush Style." That ought to grab anybody's attention, not to mention twist the knickers of a whole lot of conservative Americans. The thesis is clear, and not really news for people who have been following the trajectory of American politics since the end of the Cold War.

Under the motto “for a new American Century,” Bush and the neo-conservatives embarked on a policy of unilateral American supremacy. The results can now truly be seen:

America has lost its moral credibility because of Guantanamo and its use of torture; thanks to the Iraq war, Iran has become the foremost power in the Middle East; America’s military has been over-taxed because of this phony, unnecessary war; Bush inherited a budget surplus from Clinton and has transformed it into a gigantic mountain of debt; China is now America’s largest creditor; the dollar is in serious danger of losing its role as the world’s dominant reserve currency; the American financial system is in serious danger of collapsing. This crisis threatens to destroy the entire global financial system and the best solution the Republican administration in Washington can come up with is “nationalization”!

Now, I would quibble that the nationalization is a sign of socialism. I think it's more akin to the fascism of the second and third decade of the 20th Century. I also think a lot of the crisis has been manufactured to further that goal. The semantics aside, however, I also can understand the angst of the rest of the world as it has been swept up in the debacle of the neocon wet dream. For at least the last twenty-plus years (vide the Contract With/Against America), the goal of the far right of our political scene has been to undermine any kind of rational regulation of national and, by the nature of globalization, world economies. As a result "paper" became more important than production, as this article pointed out: underground economy in the banking and financial system was created that successfully bypassed the existing controls and legal limitations placed upon it. Markets took on a life of their own and, not for the first time in the history of capitalism, unbridled greed ultimately proved a recipe for self-destruction.

"Unbridled greed," aided and abetted by a misguided sense of exceptionalism.

There's a recipe for disaster.

And we not only let it happen, by our silence we abetted it.

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Anonymous darms said...

Who is this "we" of whom you speak? I exited the markets in 2002 and am and have been largely debt-free for quite some time. Yeah I'm one of the suckers who will pay Wall Street's debts but that wasn't "my" financial industry and I reaped none of the benefits.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Travel Case said...

"Unbridled greed," aided and abetted by a misguided sense of exceptionalism.

That, right there, says it all.

Thank you for your post. It's the only one of it's kind and I scoured all the usual financial blogs hoping for just one blogger, commenter, anybody to pick up on this, to no avail.I find that fact, well, frightening. You've restored my sanity.

By the way, Sarah Palin must've stumbled upon your blog because "exceptionalism" is her new favorite word. Except she uses it as an adjective.

1:14 AM  

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