Decline and Fall of America: Endgame for crony capitalism

Decline and Fall of America: Endgame for crony capitalism

When government, institutions, and elites crowd out the people, the end is near. If it can’t go on, it won’t go on, and the economic reckoning is coming. Part 1 of 3.

"Progressives" don't care about you. They care about themselves but don't want you to know. (Cartoon by Branco, reprinted by arrangement with permission)*

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2015 – Let’s launch today’s essay on America’s ongoing decline and fall by quoting at length some provocative comments from Jesse’s Café Américain, a uniquely odd, provocative, pseudonymous, one-man website primarily devoted to gold, silver and economic matters:

Watching the conversations related to the political scene [is] a little more interesting now that the politicos are swarming the channels in anticipation of the big Election next year. I have included an updated chart of the ‘Political Continuum’ below.

You can divert yourself on these hot lazy days by trying to place the various candidates on the charts, and perhaps even yourselves. The toughest ones to place are likely to be opportunists, narcissists and sociopaths.

This is because they may have no inherent principles other than self-advancement or youthful experimentation. I know that I moved all over the chart when I was younger, and spent quite a bit of time on right side of the circle, but as I grew and aged and raised a family I started settling in the center and then to slightly left of center in the “progressives.” There are tests online that will help to place you if you answer them honestly.

I am not surprised that with such a range of choices and so many candidates, that so many people feel alienated with no clear cut choice.  I would find myself very hard-pressed to vote for either of the two establishment candidates, Bush or Clinton. And the rest of the broad range of the candidates seem to have been made from a cookie cutter, except for two. And therein lies both opportunity and danger. But it is still very early days and things may look very differently by Spring.

By way of explanation, “Jesse” – whoever he may be – presents evidence, via his site, that he was raised a Roman Catholic, is quite familiar with theological, economic and mythological areas of scholarship and holds to a strong but genuinely compassionate belief in “social justice” politics and religious dogma, à la our current Peronista Pope Francis.

Jesse is an excellent and sophisticated writer, but seems not to be alert to the serious and fatal flaws in the kind of extreme positions adopted by his fellow travelers, the SJWs (Social Justice Warriors), whose false Christianity is a significant tool in the already sophisticated arsenal of America’s hard and dedicated leftists.

At its core, the key argument of SJWs–or at least those SJWs who still claim to espouse Christianity–is that Jesus was the earliest socialist and a model for the compassionate modern socialist who wants only justice and fairness for all. This, of course, liberates “justice and fairness,” however defined, from the more stringent moral teachings of Jesus, which actually leave such simplistic relativistic arguments behind.

Yet it became the bedrock of 1960s and 1970s “liberation theology” movements, primarily in Central and Latin America. Banned by the Catholic Church for decades, it’s recently come back to life like a Frankenstein monster in the current papacy, whose tacit support for it is being gleefully cited by all manner of Alinskyites and Marxists to support and retread their already failed world view.

One needs to understand the powerful intellectual and emotional appeal of the SJW argument before examining Jesse’s comments as well as his interesting companion chart, which we have reproduced both above and here by permission via attribution.

Chart that purports linkage between extreme left and extreme right political goals.
Chart that purports linkage between extreme left and extreme right political goals.

Jesse observes – as the Prudent Man himself has often observed – that when it comes to the radical left and the radical right, the extremes at their respective endpoints achieve a kind of harmonic convergence.

That is, when either political or economic approach is radicalized and pushed to its most extreme, hyper-partisan conclusion, society inevitably winds up confronting the identical, inevitable situation: a totalitarian dictatorship and the overwhelming desire to exterminate all other points of view.

This very endgame is clearly described in this chart’s top-most legend, as “Power of an Elite/State” run by “Big Government,” which is most prominently characterized by “Centralized Power and Planning” and “Contempt for Others.”

The resulting government, as we see in the very center of the chart, ultimately runs on a unilaterally imposed “Militarism, Piracy, and Murder.”

Examples given on both sides of the chart include the violent, murderous Communist governments of Stalin and Mao on the left and the violent, murderous Fascist governments of Hitler and Mussolini on the right. But the chart ignores the seemingly paradoxical fact that the “fascism” of both Hitler and Mussolini was, in fact, state-imposed socialism, not capitalism or extreme conservatism. It’s a constant and likely conscious error imposed on the political narrative by generations of ingenious Marxists.

Jesse’s chart itself seems very logical on the surface, neatly positing moral equivalence on both sides. Indeed, both the radical left and the radical right don’t want anyone telling them what they can and can’t do. Or, as the bottom legend of the chart point explains this, “At their extremes, the Left and Right become almost indistinguishable in their disregard for the individual and for the concepts of morality and justice.”

However, in reality, this perception involves a matter of degree that social justice leftists simply cannot parse, since they regard their generic viewpoint as moderate and cannot come close to grasping the true nature of the right. Worse, the right side of this chart immediately posits a false equivalency between left and right. Consciously or unconsciously, the chart builds a false case for moral equivalence.

While the chart characterizes the left or “socialist” side of the circle/oval correctly in terms of history, politics and economics, it immediately misunderstands or mischaracterizes the progression that supposedly occurs on the right side.

The key error – and likely a revision from an earlier chart – involves Jesse’s reflexive characterization of the tea party, the left’s catch-all villain. Its membership has been so vilified by left-wing propagandists that their false description of the so-called “teabaggers” has become an willfully inaccurate caricature that has led nearly all low-information voters away from the genuine, logical appeal of this breakaway movement.

Tea partiers are not voters/politicians/economists who favor “austerity” at all. They favor limited government, limited taxes, limited intrusions on individual rights and, above all, economic growth via ability and merit rather than via incestuous relations between government and wealthy capitalist entities or owners of businesses. They earnestly desire economic freedom for all, and not just for the self-selected few as is currently the case in this country.

For this reason, supporting the kind of low-tax economic freedom and limited big government that the tea party actually espouses can in no way lead to “neo-Liberal Cronyism,” the next point moving right on the chart. The tea party is the antithesis of such a movement. In fact, if you read the legend at the bottom center of the chart, you’ll note that it precisely describes the philosophy of the tea party while most definitely not representing the viewpoint of the “left,” “labor” and “progressive” as its placement would appear to indicate.

The utter failure to recognize this fact immediately invalidates the rightward progression described by this chart. Even more astonishing: if you remove “tea party” from the right half of the chart, you have, in fact, the precise trajectory of today’s supposedly “progressive” socialist left.

Today’s hardline left, nominally led by America’s first communist president, advocates the kind of “progressivism” that is defined quite accurately by the right—not the left—side of the diagram. Since at least 2007, and likely 10 to 15 years before that, the American economy has increasingly come to be dominated by a “neo-liberal cronyism” spearheaded by big business, big financial institutions and by the supposedly “liberal” politicians all this money and influence can conspire to elect.

Today’s crony capitalists – particularly the know-nothing subspecies that currently operates out of Silicon Valley’s Bizarro World – scarcely acknowledge the existence of a Republican Party, let alone those yahoo members of the despised tea party. Instead, the vast majority of them heavily support, elect, and re-elect those “progressive” Ivy League Democrats who inevitably return the favor by ensuring their wealthy supporters, and their supporters alone, get big tax favors and big federal government contracts.

It’s this left-wing continuum, in fact, that is leading or has already led to the further progression outlined on the supposedly right (conservative) side of our chart.

To wit: We are currently “led” by a president whose very mantra appears on this chart directly following “neo-liberal cronyism”: “I am the Decider.” He and his party are both creatures of the new American oligarchy, currently led by the 21st century’s new robber barons, the hyper-rich, hyper-“progressive” leftist leaders of Silicon Valley’s various tech empires, virtually all of whom trumpet virtue and concern for others but rarely if ever practice it in their own lives or business dealings.

This new-century oligarchy is leading to the kind of extreme, fat cat “corporatism” that we last saw at the turn of the 20th century before Theodore Roosevelt launched his “trust-busting” campaign. And currently, in an odd way, it is actually leading to the chart’s next step, the new “police state.”

This ominous development is quietly developing behind the scenes and ignored by America’s compliant, faux-socialist media. It’s slowly taking place in hard-to-follow and never covered steps that include a massive and ongoing purchase of standard ammunition by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the purportedly race-based but devious federal attempt to federalize local police forces. This sneak attack on local government autonomy was launched by taking advantage of last year’s incident in Ferguson, Mo. It’s unclear how far it will get before 2017.

Looking at the structure and the strange fallacies apparent on this chart, it’s not a stretch to conclude that the organized left, having seen the ultimate failure of conventional communism as outlined on the left side of Jesse’s chart, has decided to co-opt its imagined right wing trajectory, re-inventing and re-characterizing Marxism as its antithesis in order to win this second ideological battle decisively, something which, at the moment, the left appears to be accomplishing quite handily.

But, ironically, this latest attempt at Marxist world conquest is being led and advanced not by the Marxist-Leninist proletariat but by wealthy elites and the Democrat politicians they own and pay to re-elect for life. This unfathomable, fashionable new “Marxism” is, in fact, demonstrably anti-proletarian and anti-working class. But neither America’s union members nor the average working stiffs who support this leftward drift appear to be aware of this, supporting those who actually oppress them with shoe-leather, tax dollars and union dues.

All of this is an astonishing turn of events, transforming crony capitalism and today’s oligarchy into a dominant political and economic movement that purports to adhere to the tenets of Marxism and socialism while getting away with precisely the opposite behavior. The ultimate outcome of this disastrous false narrative will likely be determined by the 2016 elections.

Marxists, SJWs and their fellow travelers simply cannot see this paradox, nor can they grasp the utter falsity of their absurdist vision of themselves and of the future. They may even assume that a dictatorship by some fellow SJW – perhaps similar to Barack Obama (but most certainly not Donald Trump) — is the only way to break the hold on the country currently exercised by evil capitalists and Washington politicians and bureaucrats.

But the SJW approach will solidify, not shatter, the oligarchical stranglehold on Americans and the American economy that they so wrongly and willfully attribute to a weak-kneed Republican Party that lacks the intellectual heft to oppose it.

The real tragedy here is that, as in the old, left-wing comic strip “Pogo,” the mirror-holding SJWs have already met the enemy—and it is themselves, not us.

Next: You can pay me now, or you can pay me later. How Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society slowly metastasized into the Great Recession and beyond.

* Cartoon above by Branco. Reprinted by arrangement and permission via this link to NetRight Daily.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17