Death by Oligarchy and Peak Hubris


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
This article by Chris Hedges, Death by Oligarchy, describes psychopaths to a T:
"Oligarchs are blinded by hubris, wealth and power. Their cloying sense of entitlement sees them outraged by even the most tepid reforms or mildest of criticisms. They lack empathy and compassion, along with remorse or guilt, for what is done to those outside of their tiny, elitist circles." More:
All our institutions—the press, the courts, legislative bodies, the executive branch and academia—have been perverted to serve the oligarch’s narrow, selfish interests while an oppressed citizenry, struggling to survive, is seething with mounting rage and frustration. The corporate coup orchestrated by the ruling oligarchs over the past few decades gave us Donald Trump. If this coup is not reversed, far worse will follow.
There is a link in the article that references a serial killer whose chilling crime is beyond shocking - “the most horrible crime of the 1920s”. How that connects to current realities is another new input for me. My stomach is still churning. Disclaimer: the Hedge's article is meant to be a hit-piece against Trump and certainly Trump's actions fall far short of exemplary time and time again. But this is clearly poison propaganda.
The Right-Wing American Love Affair With One of the Most Disturbing Serial Killers

“We are in the midst of a major global, political, economic, social and cultural transition—but we don’t know which way we’re headed,” writes Lisa Duggan in “Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed.” “The incoherence of the Trump administration is symptomatic of the confusion as politicians and business elites jockey with the Breitbart alt-right forces while conservative evangelicals pull the strings. The unifying threads are meanness and greed, and the spirit of the whole hodgepodge is Ayn Rand.”

This spirit of meanness corrupts the far right and the far left. [...]
The oligarchs, who spent $1 billion in 2016 to deny Sanders the Democratic Party nomination and try to put Hillary Clinton in the White House, learned nothing from the debacle. If they can’t shove Joe Biden down our throats, how about Pete Buttigieg or Michael Bloomberg? And should Warren or Sanders miraculously become the Democratic candidate, which the oligarchs are working hard to prevent, they will reluctantly back Trump. Trump may be vulgar, corrupt and inept, he may have turned the United States into an international pariah, but he slavishly serves the financial interests of the oligarchs.

No battle to accrue profit is too small for oligarchs.[...]
Oligarchs, freed from outside oversight and regulation, wantonly pillage the political and economic institutions that sustain them. They run up huge government deficits by slashing taxes on the rich. This forces an underfunded government to borrow from the banks, further enriching the oligarchs, and impose punishing austerity programs on the public. They privatize traditional government services, including utilities, intelligence gathering, large parts of the military, the police, the prison system and schools to make billions in profits. They create complex financial mechanisms that ensure usurious interest rates on mortgages, personal and student loans. They legalize accounting fraud and suppress wages to keep the public trapped in a crippling debt peonage. They loot trillions in taxpayer money when their speculative bubbles burst.

They are no longer capitalists, if we define capitalists as those who make money from the means of production. They are a criminal class of financial speculators that rewrite the laws to steal from everyone, including their own shareholders. They are parasites that feed off the carcass of industrial capitalism. They produce nothing. They make nothing. They manipulate money. And this gaming of the system and seizure of political power by finance capital is why the wealthiest 1% of America’s families control 40% of the nation’s wealth.
Greed is bottomless. It is the disease of the rich. The more the oligarchs accumulate the more they want. This is the dark side of human nature. It has always been with us. All societies are plagued by social inequality, but when those on the bottom and in the middle of the social pyramid lose their voice and agency, when the society exists only to serve the greed of the rich, when income inequality reaches the levels it has reached in the United States, the social fabric is torn apart and the society destroys itself. Aristotle warned about the danger of oligarchies nearly 2,500 years ago. We stand on the cusp of social and political disintegration, bequeathed to us by oligarchs who have seized total power. The ruling oligarchs will stymie all attempts at reform. This makes a crisis inevitable. Once we enter this crisis, the oligarchs will become the most potent enablers of despotism.

Hedges, alas, is still delusional regarding the liberal end of the political spectrum:
"The political reformers, such as Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, who could save the system from self-destruction . . .".
He's still clinging to the erroneous belief that the social policies these two are advocating are either financially realistic or even could reverse the social and economic degradation that's been primarily aimed at the middle class. He's describing psychopaths but isn't actually acknowledging the reality of that fact. Nor, that Demorats and Repugnicans are two sides of the same coin. But then, maybe he's just another mouthpiece of the controlled opposition.

Another article in a similiar but decidedly different vein - a scathing, blistering critique:
Peak Hubris
by Paul Edwards

November 11, 2019 "Information Clearing House" - “Hubris” is defined as rash and foolish pride, a dangerous overconfidence, manifested with arrogance. The Deep State vaunts our “exceptionalism”, and since Reagan’s “City on a Hill” trope Americans have been assured by all succeeding Presidents that ours is the “indispensible nation”. The word describes the way America sells itself to the world, and has for generations.

The yawning cognitive gap between our nomenklatura’s relentless self-promotion and its pathetic history of botched, humiliating failures in every single act of Imperial overreach, demands examination. Are we at Peak Hubris? When exactly should the hubris of a vicious, lying, sloganeering criminal state be identified as what it is, a cover for unhinged stupidity? [or rather, unhinged psychopathy]

Viz. the deranged, hysterical Democratic Party, a subsidiary of the Deep State, led--if that term applies--by a geriatric clutch of morally squalid throwbacks and vacuous nonentities, which has its Depends in a knot in the effort to blame the entire debacle of recent U.S. historic crime on the repulsive Yahoo squatting in the White House. As Einstein observed, all explanations should be as simple as possible...but no simpler.

Of all the villainies attributed to Trump by Democrats and the Deep State--the Power Elite, Establishment, Ruling Clique, Permanent Unelected Government--the most egregious and only unforgivable one, is that his gross and vulgar bathos in Holy Office has exposed and profoundly embarrassed them, punching holes in their diligently crafted image. The Masters of Disaster can’t tolerate open revelation of their evil, witness the methodical crushing of a roster of whistleblowers, among whom the most damning and brutally handled are Manning, Assange, and Snowden. Two are jailed on bogus “charges” in peril of their lives, and Snowden is in exile, only free because the vengeful engine of American “justice” can’t nail him.

The three have exposed the hubris of “Exceptional America” far more substantively and damagingly than any of Trump’s galumphing, butthead blundering has done, and produced damning indictments of its despicable nature that assured their dragooning. Their work has done much more to trash and pulverize the mythology of The Empire but the operators of the propaganda machine have managed to hide the vast bulk of it from public awareness, a feat they couldn’t manage with Trump’s ranting, erratic, Pig-Town Jig diplomacy, and his imbecile, chunk-blowing Twitter yammer.

Moreover, the Deep State has been able to crush or stifle these heroes, but can’t seem to find a way to give His Bloviance the hook short of terminating him with extreme prejudice, which they haven’t had the balls to do... yet. They’ve had to settle, so far, for anathematizing him as the sole source of the betrayal of America’s exalted values and principles. As if we had any...

The reality is that America has made it ironclad policy to install, support and enrich a gang of the vilest, most murderous dictators, tyrants, caudillos and royal brutes in history behind its sinister fairytale of principled benevolence. Their names fill pages but let Pinochet, The Shah, Mobutu, Papa Doc, Marcos, Somoza, Kagame, and Mubarak stand as examples. To be “our sonofabitch” was simple: crush your people’s aspirations, kill their leaders, drain their economic blood, sell off their resources to Rape Capitalism for pennies on the dollar, and borrow billions from our IMF, taking only a modest 10% or so for your trouble. And keep the clamps on hard with torture, rape and murder so nothing queers the deal for you and Uncle.

The only “dictators” America despises are those who refuse, as Qaddafi, Saddam and Assad did, to knuckle and suck, or those with the muscle, wisdom and grit to balk and baffle our folly, as Putin and Xi do routinely.

This dirty hidden history that the three heroes’ work has revealed is the reason the Deep State knows it has to destroy Trump. His loose cannon, ADD follies, and zany, autistic impulses draw attention to their documenting of American crimes while blocking The Empire from retaking control of the game so it can function as it goddam pleases, the way it always has.

The single paramount commandment in the Deep State’s tablet of laws is that nothing must threaten the profits of the War Machine, and certainly not anything that benefits only The People. Very clear on this, the Democratic Party, richly suckled by the “defense industry”, excoriates Trump for his sophomoric efforts to end a small war or two, while whorishly advancing the Totenkopf Banner of the War Machine to the satisfaction of the Deep State.

Major problem, though. Americans not braindead are sick of endless war, which puts them at serious odds with the War Machine and the party that glorifies it. Virulent hatred of Putin and Russia, coupled with the raging lust to murder ignorant, guiltless peasants and destitute slum dwellers is no longer a foolproof formula for swelling the ranks of the liberal faithful. Which raises (but does not beg) the key question: are we indeed at Peak Hubris?

Judging by the loss of traction that pure American horseshit braggadocio from our organs of propaganda is having internationally, one would have to say we have. After the long line--beginning at division of Europe, solidified by stalemate in Korea--of shameful military muggings, half-assed regime change pratfalls, and humiliating downright defeats, it is at last becoming clear to the wizards behind the curtain that hubris ain’t cuttin‘ it no more.

The powerful Exceptionalist Myth, the central tenet of our catechism, which is the basis of the whole crevassed, dissolving superstructure of The Empire, the supreme Big Lie upon which our entire culture of fraud, falsity and philistinism is predicated, has buckled at last under the strain of our malevolent history, and is spectacularly shattering and decomposing.

The fact that The Myth and the hubris that buttressed it so forcefully are disintegrating does not mean they will be abandoned by the powers and dominions that have used them so long and so fruitfully. Absurdity in action is perhaps the most defining single quality of expiring empires. Buffoons and Snake Oil men will continue to pitch The Myth, stinking and decayed, long after its sell-by date as long as it keeps them on the payroll but where the opinion of the great world is concerned, the party’s over.

What follows? There is no reliable template for expiring empires. The end can be anything from devastating physical destruction, to ungovernable social chaos and barbarism, to just collapsing quietly into poor and feeble senescence.

Kipling said it best of an expiring British Empire:

Far called, our navies melt away,
On dune and headland sinks the fire.
Lo! all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre.

Paul Edwards is a writer and film-maker in Montana. He can be reached at:

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Peace and joy
Holy Sh*T! Talk about Truth to Power!! I think my computer screen is smoking!
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