(ZERO HEDGE) In the end, the elites will be overthrown and a power vacuum will form. The transition period will be extremely difficult as the elites will fight their demise to the end. For you see, they care nothing for you they care about their power and control. Nevertheless, rulers have always only ruled by the will (or apathy) of the people and when the people become overly taxed and abused they always rebel. The main thing to think about is what kind of society do we want to rebuild from the ashes. I am of the view that it must be a return to the Constitution and an elimination of central banking power and secrecy. Let’s not fall for a demagogue or be pushed into a war when things are at their worst.
– From my 2010 post: The Elites Have Lost The Right to Rule
While the Trump and Brexit movements are indisputably fascinating merely as public indictments against the greedy and criminal status quo, they are equally meaningful from another perspective.
The reaction from many in the media to both Trump and Brexit have betrayed their ulterior motives by exposing dangerous, antidemocratic biases. Now this has nothing to do with whether or not you are in favor of either Trump or Brexit. Personally, I think Trump is a very unwelcome reaction to the destructive trends going on around us. He’s extraordinary divisive (even amongst people who hate the establishment), has no regard for civil liberties, and displays obvious authoritarian tendencies. Despite this point of view, I don’t focus obsessively on all the negative aspects of Trump in my posts, because I acknowledge that Trump is a symptom of a much larger problem, not the root cause of it. Dealing with symptoms can keep things settled for a time, but the problem will invariably return in far worse form should the underlying causes remain unresolved. People are acting as if it can’t possibly get worse than Trump. Believe me, it can get a lot worse.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about root causes. Donald Trump and Brexit are direct responses to a horribly rigged, parasitic and phony global economy. I’ve been writing about this dangerous reality and warning about its unpleasant inevitable outcomes for over half a decade. It’s not just me of course. Countless people have been doing it, including self-aware individuals from the 0.01%. Recall Nick Hanaeur’s article which I highlighted in the 2014 post: The Pitchforks are Coming…– A Dire Warning from a Member of the 0.01%.
If we don’t do something to fix the glaring inequities in this economy, the pitchforks are going to come for us. No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.
Nick, I and the millions of others who are angry about this destructive system aren’t crazy. Nor are we racists or ignoramuses. We’re merely people who pay attention and are willing to admit the obvious. The system is rigged and the current crop of “elites” rigged it. Take for example some data from a recent Market-EdisonResearch poll:
The latest Marketplace-Edison Research poll shows Americans’ stress over their personal financial situation building even before Brexit. We asked basic questions about, for example, household budgets, family vacations and paying bills. Americans’ responses showed that, in May, our country’s anxiety level climbed to its highest point since the beginning of our poll.
Here are a couple of things Americans told us:
- More of them are losing sleep over their financial situation: 32 percent now compared with 28 percent in September 2015.
- They are less confident that they could find a new job within six months if they were to lose their current job: 41 percent are very confident about finding a new job now compared with 46 percent in September 2015.
On questions about trade and economic fairness — issues that British voters debated in the U.K. before Brexit — and that are resonating in the U.S. 2016 presidential campaign:
- A majority of Americans — 55 percent — think the decline of manufacturing jobs is more due to trade deals than natural changes in the economy.
- Americans from across the economic and political spectrum — 71 percent of them — think the U.S. economic system is “rigged” in favor of certain groups.
Go ahead and read that again. 71% of Americans from across the economic and political spectrum think the U.S. economy is rigged. The truth is they don’t think the economy is rigged, they know it is. This knowledge coupled with an understanding that the status quo will do everything it can to keep it that way, is precisely why so many people are grasping for something, anything to potentially blow up the status quo irrespective of any negative consequences. The people aren’t to blame for this situation, the elites are.
So Trump and Brexit represent the sorts of outcomes that anyone paying the slightest amount of attention should not be surprised by. The volcano that is the average citizenry was bound to erupt, and erupt it has in 2016. As such, you’d hope those trusted media pundits and journalists who are anti-Trump and anti-Brexit would spend a little time reflecting upon what exactly got us to this point. Incredibly, many of them are doing absolutely nothing of the sort. It’s just like all the people who said after the 2008 financial crisis hit that “nobody could have seen it coming.” Well a lot of people saw it coming, just like a lot of people predicted the burgeoning political mayhem.
Therein lies the rub. This is all about power and stature, and the current status quo and their henchmen/henchwomen know that they can never admit they were wrong about anything. To admit they were wrong would mean to ultimately lose their positions and influence. They would do anything to preserve it, which is precisely why so many of these so-called “thought leaders” are panicking now. They are used to getting away with anything, including propagandizing an entire country to war, torture and countless crimes against humanity. Some of them are rightly terrified that their days of unaccountable punditry could be coming to an end. Thus, they lash out against the public for rejecting their “expert” wisdom.
I think it’s once again important to take a look back at the immediate post-financial crisis period. How many of the people who saw the crisis coming were put into prominent positions of power within the Obama administration? I can’t think of one. On the other hand, I very vividly recall the day Obama announced that Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner would be brought into prominent government positions. His team assembled, Obama went to work by bellowing propaganda, throwing money at the financial companies that blew up the planet, and pretending the crisis was an act of God. As as result, the status quo maintained its position.
The exact same thing is happening again right now, but this time members of the media/punditry feel personally under attack. Most of them are incapable of admitting that their careers exist solely as a condition of constantly glorifying and promoting the agenda of the rich and powerful, while pretending the rest of the country doesn’t exist. Perhaps if the media had done its job all these years, the citizenry would’ve been far more informed and halted some of these trends before they reached the terminal stage. But the media as whole didn’t do that, and here we are.
As such, many journalists and pundits are furiously scrambling to put the blame somewhere else. It’s all Trump’s fault. Or it’s the crazy racists, the poor, the uneducated, as if all these populist movements spontaneously emerged out of some magical revolutionary vacuum just like they told us the financial crisis did. One thing these people never, ever do is reflect upon how we actually got to this place.
Of course, I don’t want to overly generalize. There have been many excellent and introspective articles written in the wake of Trump and Brexit, as there should be. We shouldn’t be in a position where we have to applaud the good ones simply because there are so many bad ones, yet that’s the world we live in.
In this regard, I want to highlight two very distinct articles contemplating Brexit which I read today. One demonstrates media at its best, while the other perfectly characterizes all that is wrong with the status quo and its sycophantic minions.
First, the good. Ellie Mae O’Hagan wrote an article for the Guardian titled, When Political Leaders are Selected via Elitism Not Talent, You Get Chaos. Here are a few excerpts:
This total incompetence, this craven self-interest, this embarrassing fecklessness is what you get when you live in a country where political leaders are mainly selected via elitism rather than talent: 33% of MPs went to private school, and nearly a quarter went to Oxbridge. This doesn’t just end with members of parliament either: 43% of newspaper columnists and 26% of BBC executives were all educated privately. Oxbridge graduates make up 57% of permanent secretaries, 50% of diplomats, 47% of newspaper columnists, 44% of public body chairs and 33% of BBC executives.
It’s no surprise that people feel alienated by politics and locked out of democracy, and view the people who represent them as out of touch. Indeed, Brexit should be seen as an expression of that as much as anything else. But there is less discussion about what this elitism means for the quality of people who actually end up leading us and formulating political discourse. And this seismic crisis should change that, because it reveals that a lot of these people are basically defunct – obsolete in this new era of crisis.
Think of what has been happening in this country since 2008. In mainstream politics there has been virtually no analysis of what caused the financial crisis, no attempts to address the underlying structural problems in the economy, no retribution for the people that caused it, no serious attempt to stem widening inequality, no support for the people who lost their jobs during the recession, no viable solution to a worsening housing crisis, no hope for a generation of young people entering into an unstable, precarious economy.
This is not about individual politicians. Indeed, there are many who are talented – Ruth Davidson, Nicola Sturgeon, Caroline Lucas to name a few. But the political class as a whole, and how it functions alongside its outer circle of pundits, lobbyists, policymakers and so on, has proven itself to be woefully unqualified to cope with crisis as well as being utterly unable to comprehend the country it is supposed to be governing.
Now compare that to the title of an article written by James Traub at Foreign Policy. His piece, published yesterday, comes with a headline so mind-bogglingly detached and clownish you’d think it came from the The Onion. It’s called: It’s Time for the Elites to Rise Up Against the Ignorant Masses.
Unfortunately, that’s not a joke, and it gets even better. Check out the caption below the headline, which I’m sure Mr. Traub was especially proud of.
In writing this, Mr. Traub is explicitly saying that the 71% of Americans who think the economic system is rigged are merely “mindlessly angry.” What Mr. Traub is doing is merely spewing propaganda to achieve what Aldous Huxley explained in the following quote: “the propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that other certain sets of people are human.”
By calling the masses “mindless,” he is dehumanizing them and therefore providing intellectual justification for continued status quo abuse of the general public. It’s a downright evil strategy to protect himself and secure his position going forward. His attitude perfectly reflects exactly why society needs to relegate people like him to the fringes, as opposed to positions of prominence and influence. Nevertheless, for some perspective about who’s actually “mindless,” let’s examine a few of his pearls of wisdom. Mr Traub writes:
One of the most brazen features of the Brexit vote was the utter repudiation of the bankers and economists and Western heads of state who warned voters against the dangers of a split with the European Union. British Prime Minister David Cameron thought that voters would defer to the near-universal opinion of experts; that only shows how utterly he misjudged his own people.
Both the Conservative and the Labour parties in Britain are now in crisis. The British have had their day of reckoning; the American one looms. If Donald Trump loses, and loses badly (forgive me my reckless optimism, but I believe he will) the Republican Party may endure a historic split between its know-nothing base and its K Street/Chamber of Commerce leadership class.
The schism we see opening before us is not just about policies, but about reality. The Brexit forces won because cynical leaders were prepared to cater to voters’ paranoia, lying to them about the dangers of immigration and the costs of membership in the EU. Some of those leaders have already begun to admit that they were lying. Donald Trump has, of course, set a new standard for disingenuousness and catering to voters’ fears, whether over immigration or foreign trade or anything else he can think of. The Republican Party, already rife with science-deniers and economic reality-deniers, has thrown itself into the embrace of a man who fabricates realities that ignorant people like to inhabit.
Did I say “ignorant”? Yes, I did. It is necessary to say that people are deluded and that the task of leadership is to un-delude them. Is that “elitist”? Maybe it is; maybe we have become so inclined to celebrate the authenticity of all personal conviction that it is now elitist to believe in reason, expertise, and the lessons of history. If so, the party of accepting reality must be prepared to take on the party of denying reality, and its enablers among those who know better. If that is the coming realignment, we should embrace it.
What’s so incredible about this piece is his instinctual and self-important condemnation of the “ignorant masses” for a variety of offenses, while failing to recognize the gigantic elephant-like ignoramus in the room: himself. After all, he’s basically saying everything would be fine and dandy if it weren’t for these mindless citizens meddling with elitist plans. He believes this nonsense so strongly, the headline of his article is essentially a call to arms for the elites against the pubic.
Moreover, I have to ask: Did Mr. Traub see all of these emergent trends back in 2010? If not, why not? I sure as heck did, and I’m nobody special. Recall what I wrote in, The Elites Have Lost The Right to Rule:
In the end, the elites will be overthrown and a power vacuum will form. The transition period will be extremely difficult as the elites will fight their demise to the end. For you see, they care nothing for you they care about their power and control. Nevertheless, rulers have always only ruled by the will (or apathy) of the people and when the people become overly taxed and abused they always rebel. The main thing to think about is what kind of society do we want to rebuild from the ashes. I am of the view that it must be a return to the Constitution and an elimination of central banking power and secrecy. Let’s not fall for a demagogue or be pushed into a war when things are at their worst.
So how was I able to see all of this so far ahead of time? The answer is it was obvious if you were willing to pay attention, think critically and admit unpleasant realities. Yet here we are in 2016, with pundits, “thought leaders,” and experts alike screaming about Trump and Brexit as if these movements came from nowhere, while we all know they came from somewhere.
They came from the dark, corrupt and hopelessly deranged policies of the status quo. The same status quo that remains in power to this very day. The sooner we rid ourselves of this societally cancerous tumor the better, because the longer it takes to move on to something else, the more negative that something else is likely to be.