Chris Hedges describes our Mafia State

December 5, 2016 | By | 1 Reply More

I wish I didn’t agree with Chris Hedges:

Systems of governance that are seized by a tiny cabal become mafia states. The early years—Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton in the United States—are marked by promises that the pillage will benefit everyone. The later years—George W. Bush and Barack Obama—are marked by declarations that things are getting better even though they are getting worse. The final years—Donald Trump—see the lunatic trolls, hedge fund parasites, con artists, conspiracy theorists and criminals drop all pretense and carry out an orgy of looting and corruption.
The rich never have enough. The more they get, the more they want. It is a disease. CEOs demand and receive pay that is 200 times what their workers earn. And even when corporate executives commit massive fraud, such as the billing of hundreds of thousands of Wells Fargo customers for accounts they never opened, they elude punishment and personally profit. Disgraced CEO John Stumpf left Wells Fargo with a pay package that averages nearly $15 million a year. Richard Fuld received nearly half a billion dollars from 1993 to 2007, a time in which he was bankrupting Lehman Brothers.
The list of financial titans, including Trump, who have profited from a rigged financial system and fraud is endless. Many in the 1 percent make money by using lobbyists and bought politicians to write self-serving laws and rules and by forming unassailable monopolies. They push up prices on products or services these monopolies provide. Or they lend money to the 99 percent and charge exorbitant interest. Or they use their control of government and the courts to ship jobs to Mexico or China, where wages can be as low as 22 cents an hour, and leave American workers destitute.

As part of his article, Hedges describes how parasites work, whether real life or as the protagonists of our Mafia State:

The parasite can’t simply come in and take something. First of all, it needs to numb the host. It has an enzyme so that the host doesn’t realize the parasite’s there. And then the parasites have another enzyme that takes over the host’s brain. It makes the host imagine that the parasite is part of its own body, actually part of itself and hence to be protected. That’s basically what Wall Street has done. It depicts itself as part of the economy. Not as a wrapping around it, not as external to it, but actually the part that’s helping the body grow, and that actually is responsible for most of the growth. But in fact it’s the parasite that is taking over the growth.

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Category: Corporatocracy, Corruption, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. A sad case in point is this one: https://twitter.com/ChuckWendig/status/804323948951470080

    As flat text transcript:

    ********

    It is ironic to tell entertainers to shut up about politics when we just elected a greasy reality show host to the highest fucking office.

    “Apes shouldn’t have guns,” you bellow, as you load a revolver and hand it to a bigoted orangutan.

    “Entertainers shouldn’t talk politics,” you bellow as you vote for a carnival barker con-man to wield the nuclear codes.

    I’m back from vacation and I’m settling back into angry, bewildered mode. And I still don’t know how the unholy fuck we got here.

    (I mean, I KNOW how we got here. Racism, sexism, bigotry — all weaponized and backed by sinister elements within and outside our borders.)

    I still have flashbacks to election night, like I was watching the gears slip on this machine, plunging us into the Darkest Timeline.

    It’s like, what the shit. WHAT THE ACTUAL SHIT HAPPENED. We elected *that* guy? THAT guy? That oleaginous anal leakage? THAT GUY? Fuuuuuck.

    What rubes we must be. And how strong bigotry must be to convince people that voting this sticky shit-baby into office was fine, just fine.

    I know, I know, the “white working class, so forgotten, many lamentations.” Let me tell you about the white working class.

    I grew up on a farm. My father raised deer, was a factory plant manager, and also ran a gun shop in his spare time.

    He was, at turns, a good man, a good father, a bad dad, a bad dude, and also racist and sexist out his white working class ass.

    I loved my father, now passed, but let’s just say — we had some problems.

    Thing is, those problems didn’t bloom in him on their own — HIS own father was by all reports abusive as hell, and generally a rough guy.

    A lot of this stuff is like a hereditary disease, okay? It gets in you. Can’t cure it. Can only mitigate your symptoms. Some don’t bother.

    Growing up, we started off with NOT MUCH MONEY but ended up, as it were, being soundly middle class, probably in the upper half of it.

    And my father was of the mind that — correctly, to a point — you could work your way up out of a hole. Work would save you.

    He worked hard. Did well. Yay him, yay us.

    But, but, but —

    You knew there was a but, right?

    Once you have something, you don’t want anyone to take it away. And it’s easy to stir the threat of forces vying to undo what you have.

    It’s also easy to convince you that you don’t have what you have, or that you’re worse off, or that the Future Is In Danger.

    And when you’re already packed tight with the poison of bigotry, it’s easier to accept Those People are screwing you, not Your People.

    I saw an article that lionized how WWC lionize rich people but loathe professionals AND the poor, and that was my father’s way, too.

    He had a rich boss who he adored, even though the guy screwed him on the daily. But he hated executives. And he hated the poor.

    Both professionals and the poor had a thing in common in his mind: neither were willing to work for a living.

    The poor were poor because they were lazy, and professionals were weak because they didn’t do real work. They were lazy, in a way, too.

    (Again, that was his view, not mine, just to clarify.)

    And over time it was easy to see how his job was fucking him over — my father was an engineer without a degree, basically.

    He designed machines meant to mix pigment and paint and other things that saved the company MILLIONS. It got him nothing.

    And of course anything he designed they owned, and still do, and that’s that.
    But he didn’t see the problem.

    He didn’t see the, for lack of a better term, kleptocracy happening all around him. He didn’t see rich white guy hands in his pockets.

    He LOVED these guys. They liked guns. He bought and smithed special hunting rifles for them and they took him on hunting trips.

    He wanted to be those guys, but those guys didn’t want him to be them. They just wanted him around. Useful, kept, but not equal.

    And any time he felt aggrieved or dismissed, it was easy to point to Everyone Else. It was Them, the Other, the Not-Hims.

    Because that was the rich white guy lie. As they pointed past you to the black guy or the woman, they quietly took your wallet.

    And then when you notice your wallet is gone, they say, “It was them. Them over there. They took mine, too. Tsk, tsk.”

    The White Working Class *is* getting fucked, that much is true. But it’s a Trickle-Down Dicking from its own ruling class.

    And these Pokemon-evolved Mine Barons are still fucking the working man at the company store, but pretending it’s not them.

    My father was well-off, but still screwed, and his ingrained hereditary disease of bigotry was used and stoked to facilitate it.

    Sold on a lie of white male loyalty. Which doesn’t really exist. But they want you to believe it does, so they can hang you with it.

    The white working class is being eaten by the white rich. And until they see that, I don’t know how they improve, how they get smart.

    Meanwhile, they make $70k a year and get rolled up into culture wars and swaddled in a lie that they’re being screwed by The Other.

    The WWC don’t need coddling. They don’t need saving. They need an awakening. They need to see the hand that’s hitting them.

    Anyway! That’s my random rant for the morning. Please to enjoy or ignore and now have a picture of an otter.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CymP2QeXUAAoBg-.jpg

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