Monday, April 12, 2010

The True Story of Civilization, Part 2

(Or “How Civilization Really Works”)
In part one of this article, I described the beginnings of government thousands of years ago. I also described how the age-old struggle for liberty has been a struggle between mentally healthy people and the psychopaths who run things. The question arose, “Do psychopaths control governments even in contemporary times? I pointed to Hitler as an object lesson.
There seems to be an immutable law of the Internet that, if an Internet argument runs long enough, someone will mention Hitler. I believe there are two reasons for this—one unreasonable, one reasonable.
The name Hitler has become a trigger word. Knowing that the name has the power to get people excited, excitable people often bring up the name when they run out of facts or reasonable arguments to bolster their cases. In short, it’s a cheap shot intended to circumvent the logical process.
The other reason is that the lessons of Nazi Germany are well known, well explored, and—to use a popular metaphor for such lessons of history—written in large, easy-to-read, easy-to-understand letters. To introduce a metaphor of my own, the history of Nazi Germany is like a For Dummies book on political science.
Hitler’s motives were clear: He was criminally insane and hated anyone whom he thought didn’t measure up to his ideas of lives worth living. He hated Gypsies, Slavs, labor unionists, communists, homosexuals, handicapped people, and many others, but most of all Jews. Just to make sure that he got his point across, he wrote a popularly selling book called Mein Kampf (My Struggle) in which he said that, if he gained control of Germany, he’d kill all of them. Almost everyone agrees—and I assume so do you—that Hitler was a sick puppy.
If it were just Hitler, I seriously doubt that he could have killed more than thirty people before he was caught and put away. If you’ve read The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, or some other book that details the history of Nazi Germany, I’m sure I don’t have to convince you that Hitler managed to attract hundreds if not thousands of criminal psychopaths to form a government.
That much shouldn’t be surprising. Like attract likes; and, as the economists like to say, people respond to incentives. In the Third Reich, psychopathic behavior was rewarded. The Nuremberg trials established that very many of the perps willingly committed these acts and were even proud of them.
Now we’re no longer talking about just one madman. We’re talking about thousands of them running one of the most advanced countries in the world.
Where did an underemployed paper hanger get the money to run for the nation’s highest office and win? No, he didn’t get it from angry people who were impoverished by rampant inflation. What about the Holocaust itself? In the closing months of the war, Germany was economically and strategically blockaded. How did Hitler get the materials necessary to manufacturer gas chambers, gas ovens, and Zyklon B gas? With fuel famously in short supply, where did he get the means to operate the gas ovens?
For the answers to all those questions, we have to look beyond Germany.
The Zyklon B gas was manufactured by I G Farben, the world’s largest chemical manufacturer, with branches in Germany and the United States. (The U. S. branch was a wholly owned subsidiary of the German company.) I G Farben was established with help from J. P. Morgan’s New York City Bank (the precursor of today’s Citibank). None other than James Paul Warburg sat on the U.S. board of directors. Warburg was a banker, an adviser to Franklin Roosevelt, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a founder of the Institute for Policy Studies. He was famous for saying to Congress in 1950, “We shall have world government, whether or not we like it. The question is only whether world government will be achieved by consent or by conquest."
In Germany, his brother Max Warburg sat on the board of directors.
Notwithstanding Hitler’s insane hatred of Jews, I G Farben donated RM400,000 to Hitler’s 1933 campaign for chancellor of Germany. Throughout the Holocaust, as six million Jews and three million others were rounded up and killed in Hitler’s death camps, I G Farben manufactured the gas that killed them. Throughout the Holocaust, Max Warburg, safely in the United States, remained on I G Farben’s board of directors.
Without the help of I G Farben and Wall Street, Hitler could not have gone to war. To see just how much I G Farben contributed to the German war machine, click here. Not one person in Germany or the U.S. resigned from I G Farben’s board of directors—not while their products were killing Americans, nor when the Holocaust they were supplying was in full swing. Do they sound normal?
After the Nuremberg trials were over, a second round of Nuremberg trials began. All but one the top officials of the German branch of I G Farben were tried for war crimes and most were found guilty. The only member who was not brought to trial was Max Warburg.
What about Wall Street and the American branch of I G Farben? Their participation in the Holocaust was conveniently dropped down a memory hole.
I mention I G Farben as only one example of collusion between Wall Street and Hitler. In point of fact, dozens of top Wall Street banks and other businesses were indispensable to the rise of Hitler and to the Holocaust. (Click here.) One of the co-conspirators was Prescott Bush, the grandfather of George W. Bush.
In her book The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein uses the term disaster capitalism in connection with government policies that cause disasters which, in turn, bring huge profits to disaster-related corporations and to government officials with investments in those corporations. The term shock doctrine refers to the principle that only a major shock can cause people to accept radical changes in their lives such as preemptive war on a nation that’s no threat to us, a surveillance society, or a host of other radical changes wrought by the Bush-Obama administrations. She points out how Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and others in the Bush administration multiplied their wealth as a result of investments in the War in Iraq, in domestic surveillance, flu scares (Rumsfeld’s investments in Tamiflu increased eightfold in value while he was in government “service,”) and other profitable disasters.
She also demonstrated how government service has become, in her words, a reconnaissance mission to become familiar enough with the workings of a government agency to leave government “service” and start a consulting business built around gaining contracts from that agency.
Before Bush unilaterally ordered the invasion of Iraq, his own chief arms inspector told him that Saddam Hussein no longer had any weapons of mass destruction. The invasion of Iraq was ordered after Saddam Hussein had indicated that he was going to make an oil export agreement with Russia, effectively cutting off American oil companies. Naomi Klein indicated that that was the real reason for the invasion that has killed more than a million Iraqi civilians and made millions of others homeless. Don’t forget that Bush and Obama have also caused the deaths of thousands of Americans in Iraq.
Contrary to what we’ve heard from Bush, and now Obama, people in Iraq don’t hate us for so flimsy a reason as “our freedoms” (which we have less of now than before 9/11.) They hate us because the U.S. government started a war with them when they were no threat to us, because our military hit mainly civilian targets with 30,000 bombs and 20,000 precision-guided cruise missiles in just five weeks; because over a million Iraqi civilians (out of a population of 25 million) have been killed and several million others have been made homeless. They hate us because, every day, they see foreigners who have become wealthy or wealthier by looting the Iraqi economy. They hate us because the war on them has raised their unemployment rate to 67%. While 17 Iraqi cement plants and countless workers lie idle, cement and workers are being imported at ten times the expense it would take to do the jobs locally. There’s no incentive to keep costs down because it’s all either looted from the U.S. taxpayers or looted from the Iraqi economy.
Does all this sound like the sort of things mentally healthy people would do?
From reading the newspapers over the past few months, we read how Goldman Sachs, a heavy contributor to the 2008 Obama campaign, was rewarded for betting on disasters. Even as they were advising people to make risky housing loans, they created a financial instrument for betting that the housing market would fail. Only one day before the British Petroleum blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, Goldman Sachs “bet short” on BP stocks.
We also learned that Halliburton (of Dick Cheney infamy) had the contract for BP’s blowout valves, and they had installed them only a few days before both of them blew out. More recently, newspapers reported that Halliburton had heavily invested in oil spill cleanup equipment. It’s worth asking how much of a profit they’re making from the oil spill.
Whether you call it disaster capitalism or, as Congressman Michele Bachmann calls it, “gangster government,” the history of Wall Street at least as early as 1910 has been a history of Wall Street insiders capitalizing on disasters. In some cases, such as the sinking of the Lusitania, leading to America’s involvement in World War I, or the looting of Iraq, or the collapse of the housing market, insiders caused the disasters and then profited from them. In others, such as the “Gulf of Tonkin Incident,” which was used as a pretext for ratcheting up the War in Vietnam, and the flu “pandemic” scares, the disasters or threats never existed; but the American people were told that they had.
On spurious grounds, we went to war with Afghanistan and Iraq, we’re now engaged in a secret war to destabilize Pakistan, and the disaster capitalists are trying to push us into a war with Iran over their non-existent nuclear weapons program. Does that sound like the policies of mentally healthy people?
The psychopaths who now run the U.S. government have at least one Achilles heel: amoral congressmen, whom the psychopaths have bought with campaign contributions. The overwhelming majority of our congressmen and senators have voted to loot the U.S. Treasury and borrow trillions of dollars against our future after accepting massive campaign contributions from such gangsters as the health insurance racket, Big Pharma, the military industrial complex, and Wall Street banksters.
[Note: For more information on political ponerology (the study of psychopathy as a source of political evil) click here.]
To see whether your congressman represents you or the gangsters, click here and go to one of the sites listed. They include OpenCongress.org, which tells you where your congressman gets his campaign contributions and other income; Project Vote Smart, which tells you how various interest organizations rate your congressman, and other information you’ll need to sweep the rats out of Congress this November 2.

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