Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Star is Born

I guess in the annals of “frightening and/or depressing headlines” the following has to be pretty near the top: “Geithner poised to inherit vast financial power.” And the first question has to be, “inherit” from whom, or from what? And the answer is – from nobody, since this particular concentration of power is unprecedented in American economic history, and probably in world history as well. As a result of Obama's financial “reform” package, this guy is about to have thrown into his lap all of the strings to the (still) largest economy and financial system on earth (or, again, maybe in history). Now... I don't know about you, but Tim Geithner is one of those guys who, if I shook hands with him, I'd turn around and check my wallet. And given his position (and his projected position) this would be a completely realistic act. You see, the world power has, in fact, shifted in our lifetimes away from the military and toward the economic – not that economic power hasn't always been paramount, even in times of war, but now it's becoming more so... more “official”, more overt, and much more pervasive. Time was, the country that had the most firepower ruled – but we still have the most firepower, and yet one can hardly say we “rule” in that sense. I mean, a bunch of goatherds in Iraq and Afghanistan has us hunkered down and barely able to move. So much for “high-tech weaponry”! No, the race is not always to the swift... or to the most high-tech. It's becoming more and more clear that dogged persistence and, yes, belief (religious or political) are at least as important, if not more so. We can bomb a place back to the stone age, but that's perfectly alright with them... they're comfortable with that. They can operate in the stone age, and we can't... and that's their secret (except that it's pretty obvious to anyone who is paying attention). The 9-11 attacks were, among other things, a technological and cultural anachronism – a technological David-and-Goliath match, and a culture clash between post-modernism and “medieval superstition” -- and guess who won?

And yet, Geithner, although he is not an elected official (Well, would you vote for him? For any office?), is an appointee of an elected official... and as we all know, elected officials come and go. How much power does George W. Bush have these days, for example? (How much did he ever have?) Even Dick Cheney can only do so much from his hospital bed... although it's rumored that he's already made arrangements to have his brain put in a jar -- hooked up with tubes and electrodes -- from which he can rule the world like some disembodied evilness in a B-grade sci-fi movie. The point is, elected officials and their minions have temporary power, at best – it is fleeting, and worse yet, it's subject, at least to some degree, to the whims of the voters, i.e. the clueless and unwashed. Such a situation cannot be tolerated by the powers that be – i.e. by those who are truly in control. I think that any elected official in the land is, ultimately, no more than a servant to the real power – and that power is long-lasting and persistent, and virtually impossible to dislodge, because it does not accrue to any one individual but to an elite group, whose membership requirements are as strict as any on earth. And even at those exalted levels, I daresay that no one individual is indispensable; they are all expendable to some extent, and when someone dies or falls from grace, there is a smooth transition by which someone else takes their place. It's like seats in the White House press room... or like the Mafia. And what unites them? I would say raw power and money, not necessarily in that order... and what those provide, in turn, is not only material and psychological rewards but the perceived opportunity to remake the world in their own image. Power and money are one thing, but to truly rule the world you have to rule minds – to be able to define reality itself for the mass of humanity. And this, I believe, is their ultimate goal. So in that sense, it's a metaphysical conquest they're after, not just a political or economic one. And, I suspect that, in their delusions of grandeur, they're certain that once they have nearly everyone on earth signed on to their world view, that world view will indeed attain the status of reality. In other words, they believe it, but they would feel even better if everyone else believed it as well. (But isn't this the way all collectivists think?)

There are, in fact, systematic and observable trends in the exercise of world power, in that it is overwhelmingly secular and materialistic, and consistently involves a continual attack on religion (i.e., on the competition) as well as attacks on individual liberties and freedom. The goal seems to be to turn the vast bulk of the human race into slaves – and “unchurched” slaves at that, who have no hope either in the material world or in the world beyond. Because, as everybody knows, the majority are unfit to rule and are good only as slaves and cannon fodder – to do the bidding of the elite without asking why, and ideally without even realizing what their true status is. A “happy” slave is a good slave, in other words – which is why the oppression is only turned up a little bit at a time. (The “tea party” movement is a sign that the rate of “change” may have gotten a bit too excessive of late – a bit too noticeable, a phenomenon that can be blamed more or less directly on Obama -- which provides more evidence that he is not in charge. But we see how much time and energy the Regime spends trying to co-opt and suppress the tea parties and other like movements. And then there are some groups that are allowed to wander off the reservation, simply because they are powerless and small in number; the libertarians come to mind. There are, in fact, certain safety valves that are allowed to exist, as long as they don't impact the program.)

But here's the question. If people like Geither – and Obama, his boss – are servants, who do they serve? And how did those people become members of the power elite? Is it only about money, or is it more a matter of “connections”... organizational ties... family ties... race... ethnic group... creed (or the lack thereof)... or what? Are there any visible channels of advancement to the upper reaches – any ladders to ultimate success – or is this all predetermined based on factors of which we know nothing? Can "any boy born in a log cabin...", etc.? What I suspect is that it's some sort of combination of hereditary position (regardless of money or overt position or power) and old money (by which I mean _really_ old money – older than any money in the U.S. for sure). But is even this enough? I mean, any organization needs “new blood” now and then, especially considering some of the problems than can arise when the same people stay on top for too long. (Think only of European royalty and some of their “issues” -- like inbreeding, for instance. Can you imagine if the British “royals” were actually in charge of anything? Scary.) And even “old money” can be dispersed and stretched too thin – the reason you don't hear much about the du Ponts any more is that there are just too many of them; it's hard for a great fortune to survive having thousands of descendants. (I imagine the Kennedys will eventually suffer the same fate – unless their shallow gene pool catches up with them first.) But many rich families have had the sense to see to it that their fortunes remained intact – the Rockefellers being, probably, the best example in this country. (And what about the really new money – the Waltons, Gates, Buffet? I haven't yet figured out where they fit into this scheme. It has to be, at the very least, a state of peaceful coexistence with the Regime, if not actual membership. I mean, they were “allowed” to get rich. But then what do they owe, and to whom?)

So it seems to me that there must be a process by which, once in a while, someone who has risen in the ranks by being a skilled servant is eventually anointed, and allowed into the inner circle (think of becoming a “made man” in the mob). And I also suspect that elected politicians – current or former – seldom if ever qualify. What it takes to get elected to office is simply not the same skill set as what it takes to really run things (as we can plainly see from the performance of the likes of Bush, Obama, etc.). You have to have, let's say, a global perspective on things, and not be loyal to any particular political or economic system, country, party, or movement. You have to be someone like, say, Henry Kissinger, who, to all appearances, is one of the anointed ones (even though he has a much higher profile than would be typical). And I'm sure that there are many out there who are aware of the situation and of the hierarchy, and would very much like to be admitted to the inner circle – but they simply don't have enough of the “right stuff”, and so are relegated to perpetual second-class citizenship. (Dick Cheney comes to mind in this regard.) So, bottom line, what are the chances that Geither will ever wind up in the Pantheon? I'd say pretty much nil. He is, no doubt, a good and faithful servant – but I just don't see him having that much staying power. And it certainly isn't about “charisma”. It has to be about having (or acquiring) the values of the elite and being able to make a substantial contribution... and, above all, complete reliability and discretion. No “loose cannons” allowed – although George Soros comes close at times. And this is because one of the key features of the Regime is its ability to rule without anyone knowing it exists – at least none of the “common folk”. I'm not even sure how much the higher-ranked servants know. I mean, does Obama know who his bosses are? Does he get coded messages left in cactuses or under park benches? Or does he have a “handler” who he checks in with bright and early every morning? He's a smart enough guy, but he has the towering ego of a politician... and that can cloud the mind. I'm sure that George W. Bush, for instance, existed, throughout his administration, in a kind of fog, or a house of mirrors. Who knows, he might have even thought he was in charge! (“I'm the decider.” Remember that? What if he really believed it? A scary thought.)

But clearly, the control mechanisms are far from being vague and aloof. If any of the servants step out of line, their chains are rudely jerked in an instant by means of the media... and how, and from whom, do the media get their orders? Because they all say pretty much the same thing at the same time about the same people. We're not just talking “talking points” here; it's more like those “large character posters” that used to appear all over China whenever Chairman Mao got another of his bright ideas. Allegedly, no one knew how those posters got there or who put them there... but they all said the same thing; they were like unto holy writ. Even the farthest provinces got the word instantly. And our version of this holy writ is what is put out by the news networks and the major press agencies... outfits like Time and Newsweek... the “newspapers of record”... and it even extends into the “entertainment” industry. No “comic” is going to seriously go against the party line and survive, career-wise. And no “public” effort or activity is too small or trivial to come under the gun. And I don't have to bring up academics, do I, I hope? So this operation, far from being abstract, is extremely tangible, fast, and efficient – but the amazing thing is that even its favored operatives labor under the delusion that they're somehow “independent” and “objective”. I mean, look at how often the “journalism” combine toots its own horn in this regard. If they were truly objective, they wouldn't have to keep claiming objectivity, would they? So again, this is all part of the massive, multi-layered deception process, which, once again, is designed primarily to keep people ignorant and avoid trouble. After all, even the elite still live on the same planet as the rest of us (as far as I know) – they breathe the same air, and so on. Why open yourself up to all sorts of popular movements, protests, insurrections, revolutions, etc. when you can get what you want more readily by administering a continuous, slow drip of anesthetic to the populace? The notion is to draw as much blood as possible without killing the patient – because, after all, there is no power unless most people are powerless... and no wealth unless most people are poor, or at least un-wealthy. You can't accumulate wealth that no one is producing, in other words. What is the king without the peasants? So in that sense it's all relative... and it's also materialistic in that spiritual considerations are given very little value; in fact, they're considered an annoyance and a hindrance.

So really, in Geithner's case, all he is is a placeholder. Yes, he will have tremendous apparent power... but will he have any real initiative? I doubt it very much. He will, rather, be on the blame line if anything goes wrong – which it almost certainly will. How would you like to have all sorts of apparent authority, alleged responsibility, but real accountability? It's enough to give a person ulcers. Whereas the people really in charge have actual authority, no risk of being held responsible, and no accountability whatsoever. Must be nice... but frankly, I prefer to be one of the “folks” Obama is always talking about so condescendingly. It's much better “karma” to simply sit under one's own vine and fig tree, and leave everyone else alone (and keep your hand off their wallet).

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