Bulletin N° 889
“The Coming War on China”
by John Pilger
Reviewed by Caitlin Johnstone
Subject : The capitalist dilemma: ‘Neo-Feudalism’ without noblesse oblige.
March 25, 2020
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
As always, we are seeking in this bulletin not a consensus, but rather diverse views in articles and essays in the Anglophone media, which shed new light on current events. In the books we present, we are looking at methods of inquiry, explanatory theories, as well as ideological blinders.
What can we learn from the radical laissez-faire liberal writer, G. Edward Griffin, whose ideology embraces what some Marxist might consider a primitive individualism, but nevertheless allows him to clearly see early neo-fascist formations and the full-blown political structure of what he describes as “high-tech feudalism”? Working within the Idealist tradition, Griffin’s history of the Federal Reserve System demonstrates the advantage of visiting different ideological perspectives in order to get a more complete picture of where we have been and where we are heading.
At the end of his book, The Creature from Jekyll Island (1994, 2018), after traveling on an avenue through extensive stretches of American history and across interesting literary byways, Griffin lists the seven reasons to abolish the Federal Reserve System:
In our previous bulletin we presented G. Edward Griffin’s view that international banks profited from both sides in time of war; that no matter who lost the war, they always came out winners. Not only that, but, according to Griffin and other authors, the central banks were also the historic instigators of major conflicts for their own private profits - national wars which could have been averted.
In the fourth section of this book, we turn now to another charge against the institutions of international banking and against those who control them, namely the accusation that historically they have engineered the “boom-bust cycles” of national and world economies for specific reasons – causing much misery to millions of families – in order to achieve a great concentration of wealth and, more importantly, to win popular collusion: a strategy to achieve widespread public submission in order to dominate society at large.
The Second Bank of the United States received its twenty-year charter in 1816. Just a few years before, Thomas Jefferson - now retired and living in Monticello – had explained in a letter to John Adams, written in 1814, the basis for his opposition to the creation of the First Bank of the United States (1791-1811) which followed the creation of the Bank of North America (chartered in 1781 and modeled on the Bank of England):
‘I have ever been the enemy of banks; not those discounting for cash [that is, charging interest on loans of real money], but of those foisting their own paper into circulation, and thus banishing our cash. My zeal against those institutions was so warm and open at the establishment of the bank of the U.S. that I was derided as a Manic by the tribe of bank-mongers, who were seeking to filch from the public their swindling and barren gains. . . . For these are the ruin of both republic and individuals. The Mania is too strong. It has seized by its delusions and corruptions all the members of our governments, general, special, and individual.’(pp.341-342)
Griffin comments on Jefferson’s insight into the danger of central banks:
Jefferson was right. Congress had neither the wisdom not the courage to let the free market clean up the mess that remained after the demise of the first bank of the U.S.. If it had, the fraud soon would have become understood by the public, the dishonest banks would have folded, the losses would have been taken, and the suffering would have been ended, perhaps forever. Instead, Congress moved to protect the banks, to organize the fraud, and to perpetuate the losses. All that was accomplished in 1816 when a twenty-year charter was given to the Second Bank of the United States.
In economics, every policy carries a consequence, and the consequence of the loose monetary policy of the Second Bank of the United States was that America was introduced to her first experience with what is called the ‘boom-bust’ cycle. Galbraith tells us: ‘In 1816, the postwar boom was full on; there was especially active speculation in western lands. The new Bank joyously participated.’(pp.342-343)
The author then goes on to emphasize the deliberate and bi-partisan nature of this new manufacture of social disaster.
In the past, the effect of this inflationary process always had been the gradual evaporation of purchasing power and the continuous transfer of property from those who produced it to those who controlled the government and ran the banks. This time, however, the process took on a new twist. Gradualism was replaced by catastrophism. The monetary scientists, with their hands firmly on the controls of the money machine, now began to throw the levers, first one way, and then the other. The expansion and then deliberate contraction of the money supply literally threw the nation into economic convulsions. Why wait for the apples to fall when the harvest can be hastened simply by shaking the tree?
In 1818, the Bank suddenly began to tighten its requirements for new loans and to call in as many of the old loans as possible. This contraction of the money supply was justified to the public then exactly as it is justified today. It was necessary, they said, to put the brakes on inflation. The fact that this was the same inflation the bank had helped to create in the first place, seems to have gone unnoticed.
There is no doubt that many bankers and politicians act in good faith in their attempt to bring under control the inflation that themselves have caused. Not everyone who benefits from the control-bank mechanism fully understands it. Like Frankenstein, they create a monster without realizing they cannot control it. Their crime is one of stupidity, not malice. But stupidity is not characteristic of the average banker, especially a central banker, and we must conclude that many of the monetary scientists are well aware of the monster’s power of destruction At best they just don’t care as long as they are safe. And at worst, they perceive that they are in the apple-harvest business. They deliberately tease and prod the monster in anticipation of his rampage through the village orchards. In the final analysis, of course, it is of little importance whether the shaking of the trees is out of innocence or malice. The end result is the same. My, how the apples do fall.
The county’s first experience with a deliberately created monetary contraction began in 1818 when the Bank became concerned about its own ability to survive. Professor Rothbard says:
‘Starting in July 1818, the government and the BUS began to see what dire straits they were in; the enormous inflation of money and credit, aggravated by the massive fraud, had put the BUS in danger of going under and illegally failing to maintain specie payments. Over the next year, the BUS began a series of enormous contractions, forced curtailment of loans, contractions of credit in the south and west. . . . The contraction of money and credit swiftly brought to the Unite States its first widespread economic and financial depression. The first nationwide ‘boom-bust’ cycle had arrived in the United States. . . .'
The result of this contraction was a rash of defaults, bankruptcies of business and manufacturers, and a liquidation of unsound investments during the boom.’(pp.344-345)
Griffin insists that the “boom-bust cycle” created by the Central Bank is worsened by government intervention.
It is widely believed that panics, boom-bust cycles, and depressions are caused by unbridled competition between banks; thus the need for government regulation. The truth is just the opposite. These disruptions in the free market are the result of government prevention of competition by the granting of monopolistic power to a central bank. In the absence of a monopoly, individual banks may operate in a fraudulent manner only to a limited extent and for a short period of time. Inevitably, they will be exposed by their more honest competitors and will be forced out of business. Yes, their depositors will be injured by the bankruptcy, but the damage will be limited to relatively few and will occur only now and then. Even geographical regions may be hard hit on occasion, but it will not be a national tragedy with everyone brought to their knees. The overall economy will absorb the losses, and commerce at large will continue to prosper. Within an environment of prosperity, even those who have been injured by fraudulent banking would have a good change for rapid recovery. But, when a central bank is allowed to protect the fraudulent operators and to force all banks to function the same, the forces of competition can no longer dampen the effect. The expansion becomes universal and gigantic. And, of course, so does the contraction. Except for the bankers and the politicians, everyone is injured at the same time; depression is everywhere; and recovery is long delayed.
That is exactly what happened in the so-called panic of 1819.(p.345)
In the period following the Civil War, Griffin points to four major contractions of the money supply: “the so-called panics of 1873,1884, 1893 and 1907.”
Each of them was characterized by inadequate bank reserves and suspension of specie payment. Congress reacted, not by requiring an increase in reserves which would have improved the safety margin, but by allowing a decrease. In June of 1874, legislation was passed which permitted the banks to back their notes entirely with government bonds. That, of course, meant more fiat money for congress, but it also meant that bank notes no longer had any specie backing at all, not even ten percent. This released over $20 million from bank reserves which then could be used as the basis for pyramiding even more checkbook money into the economy.
. . .
The monetary expansions and contractions of this period were large waves that capsized thousands of investment ships at sea. But there was one large vessel that, somehow, bobbed up and down with the surges quite well and could be seen throughout the storm salvaging the abandoned cargoes of those that were in distress. This vessel brought back to port untold riches that once had been the property of others but now belonged to the master of the salvage ship in accordance with rules of the high sea. The captain’s name was J.P. Morgan.
It will be recalled from a previous section that J.P. Morgan and Company was no small player in the world chess match called World War I.(pp.408-410)
Toward the end of this book, Griffin provides scenarios for the future of capitalism. He begins Chapter 23, “The Great Duck Dinner,” with a parable which purports to explain the capture and enslavement of the American people by an oligarchy of owners.
The story is told of a New England farmer with a small pond in his pasture. Each summer, a group of wild ducks would frequent that pond but, try as he would, the farmer could never catch one. No matter how early in the morning he approached, or how carefully he constructed a blind, or what kind of duck call he tried, somehow those crafty birds sensed the danger and managed to be out of range. Of course, when fall arrived, the ducks headed South, and the farmer’s craving for a duck dinner only intensified.
Then he got an idea. Early in the spring, he started scattering corn along the edge of the pond. The duck liked the corn and, since it was always there, they soon gave up dipping and foraging for food of their own. After a while, they became used to the farmer and began to trust him. They could see he was their benefactor and they now walked close to him with no sense of fear. Life was so easy, they forgot how to fly. But that was unimportant, because they were now so fat they couldn’t have gotten off the water even if they had tried.
Fall came, and the ducks stayed. Winter came, and the pond froze. The farmer built a shelter to keep them warm. The ducks were happy because they didn’t have to fly. And the farmer was especially happy because, each week all winter long, he had a delicious duck dinner.
That is the story of America’s Great Depression of the 1930s.(p.471)
He goes on to recount how farmers became the duck dinner.
During the war, prices for agricultural products rose to an all-time high, and so did profits. Farmers had put part of that money into war bonds, but much of it had been placed into savings accounts at banks within the farming communities, which is to say, mostly in the Midwest and South. That was unacceptable to the New York banks which saw their share of the nation’s deposits begin to decline. A way had to be devised to reclaim that money. The Federal Reserve System, which by then was the captive of the New York banks, was pressed into service to accomplish the deed.
Few of those country banks had chosen to become members of the Federal Reserve System. That added insult to injury, and it also provided an excuse for the Fed to wage economic war against them. The plan was neither complex nor original; it had been used many times before by central bankers. It was (1) extend easy credit to the farmers to lure them into heavy debt, and then (2) create a recession which would decrease their income to the point where they could not make payments. The country banks then would find themselves holding non-performing loans and foreclose property which they could not sell without tremendous losses. In the end, both the farmers and the banks would be wiped out. The banks were the target. Too bad about the farmers.
Congressman Charles Lindbergh, Sr., father of the man who made the world’s first solo transatlantic flight, explained it this way: ‘Under the Federal Reserve Act, panics are scientifically created; the present panic is the first scientifically created one, worked out as we figure a mathematical problem.’
The details of how this panic was created were explained in 1939 by former Senator Robert Owen, Chairman of the Senate Banking and Currency Committee. Owen, a banker himself, had been a co-author of the Federal Reserve Act, a role he later regretted. Owen said:
'In May 1920 ... the farmers were exceedingly prosperous…. They were paying off their mortgages. They had bought a lot of new land, at the instance of the government – had borrowed money to do it – and they were bankrupted by a sudden contraction of credit and currency, which took place in 1920….
‘The Federal Reserve Board met in a meeting which was not disclosed to the public – they met on the 18th of May 1920; it was a secret meeting – and they spent all day; the minutes made 60 printed pages, and it appears in Senate Document 310 of February 10, 1923…. Under action taken by the Reserve Board on May 18, 1920, there resulted a violent contraction of credit…. This contraction of credit and currency had the effect, the next year, of diminishing the national production $15,000,000,000; it had the effect of throwing millions of people out of employment; it had the effect of reducing the value of lands and ranches $20,000,000,000.’
The contraction of credit had a disastrous effect on the nation as a whole, not just farmers. But the farmers were more deeply involved, because the recently created Federal Farm Loan Board had lured them with easy credit – like ducks at the pond – into extreme debt ratios. Furthermore, the large-city banks which were members of the System were given support by the Fed during the summer of 1920 to enable them to extend credit to manufacturers and merchants. That allowed many of them to ride out the slump. There was no such support for the farmers or the country banks which by 1921, were falling like dominoes. History books refer to the event as the Agricultural Depression of 1920-21. A better name would have been Country-Duck Dinner in New York.(pp.475-447)
A few pages later, Griffin proposes the formulation of another “natural law” based on another historical lesson.
NATURAL LAW NO° 5
LESSON: It is human nature for man to place personal priorities ahead of all others.
. . .
LAW: When men are entrusted with the power to control the money supply, the will eventually use that power to confiscate the wealth of their neighbors.(p.500)
Without the aid of a theoretical grasp of historical materialism and the role played by social class struggle, Griffin pursues an idealist theory of political power which leads him to a quandary: by what path did we arrive at the present-day rule by plutocracy?
In the final section of his book, entitled “Time Travel into the Future,” Griffin first the “Doomsday Mechanisms” (chapter 24) which establish the basic assumptions upon which our political economy is founded. Here he returns to the idea of an elite circle of people who are intent on imposing their will on the world. Their will embodies “The New World Order,” the aim of which is a “global government … designed upon the principles of collectivism. It is the dream-come-true for the world’s socialist theoreticians, politicians, and technicians who see it as the ultimate laboratory for their social experiments upon mankind.”
There are two mechanisms of power being readied at the UN. One is a military command to eventually control all national armies and super weapons. That is being accomplished under the slogans of peace and disarmament. The other is a world central bank, now called the IMF/World Bank, with the ability to issue a common money which all nations must accept. That is being accomplished under the slogans of international trade and economic growth.
Of the two mechanisms, monetary control is the more important. The use of military force is viewed as a crude weapon in the arsenal of world government to be used only as a last resort. The effect of monetary force is more powerful than mega-tons of atomic energy. It reaches into every shop and home, a feat that could never be accomplished by standing armies. It can be used with precision against a nation, a group, or even one person while spring or benefiting all others. Military force may be irresistible but it causes resentment and political unrest that can smolder for decades. Since monetary manipulation is seldom understood by its victims, it does not incur their wrath. In fact, the manipulators enjoy high social status and financial reward. For these reasons, monetary control is the weapon of choice in The New World Order.(p.514)
In an appeal to liberal idealism, Griffin declares his vision of a future with social justice, based on a faith in individualism and the “natural laws” of the market place.
A future world parliament base upon the concept of minimum coercion and maximum freedom could be a wonderful advent for mankind. without trying to cram all nations into a centrally-directed beehive, it would welcome cultural and religious variety. Instead of trying to place the world into a collectivist straight-jacket of rules, regulations, quotas, and subsidies, it would encourage diversity and freedom-to-choose. Instead of levying ever-larger taxes on every conceivable economic activity and destroying human incentive in the process, it would encourage member nations to reduce the taxes that already exist and thereby stimulate production and creativity.
A world parliament, dedicated to the concept of freedom, would have to withhold membership form any government that violated the basic rights of its citizens. It could be the means by which totalitarian governments would be encouraged to abandon their oppressive policies in order to obtain the economic and political advantages of acceptance in the world body. It could become the greatest force for peace and prosperity and freedom we have ever known. (p.515)
The obstacle to this positive development of the liberal tradition, Griffin believes, is not its own internal material contradictions, but rather malevolent institutions and wrong-headed people who relentlessly impose their own will on others.
But The New World Order that is now incubating at the United Nations is an entirely different creature. Its members represent just about every dictator and warlord in the world. Its philosophy is built upon the socialist doctrine that all good flows from the state. Those who do not conform must be bent to the government’s will or be eliminated. It cannot oppose totalitarianism for the simple reason that it is totalitarianism.(p.515)
In this idealist scheme, the people of the United States are key players in the fight for self-determination and they are targeted for destruction by the same elite who would rule the world and who have no national loyalties.
The New World Order cannot become a functional reality so long as the United States remains able to go it alone. America is viewed as a potential bull in the china shop. Right now, it is safely under control, but the world planners are worried it might break loose in the future. If the American people were to awaken to the realities of world politics and regain control over their government, they still would have the military and economic power to brake away. Among the world planners, therefore, it has become the prime directive to weaken the United States both militarily and economically. And this directive has come form American leaders, not those of other countries. CFR members sitting in the White House, the State Department, the Defense Department, and the Treasury are now working to finalize that part of the plan. It is yet one more doomsday mechanism that, once it gains sufficient momentum, will pass the critical point of no return.(pp.515-516)
Griffin concludes this chapter on “doomsday mechanisms” with a discussion of the controversial, bi-partisan think-tank study, Report from Iron Mountain, commissioned by the Department of Defense under Defense Secretary Robert McNamara released in 1966 by The Hudson Institute, located at the base of Iron Mountain in Croton-on-Hudson in New York. “The self-proclaimed purpose of the study,” he writes :
was to explore various ways to ‘stabilize society.’ Praiseworthy as that may sound, a reading of the Report soon reveals that the word society is used synonymously with the word government. Furthermore, the word stabilize is used as meaning to preserve and to perpetuate. It is clear from the start that the nature of the study was to analyze the different ways a government can perpetuate itself in power, ways to control its citizens and prevent them from rebelling.
It was stated at the beginning of the report that morality was not an issue. The study did not address questions of right or wrong; nor did it deal with such concepts as freedom or human rights. Ideology was not an issue, nor patriotism, or religious percepts. Its sole concern was how to perpetuate the existing government. The report said:
‘Previous studies have taken the desirability of peace, the importance of human life, the superiority of democratic institutions, the greatest ‘good’ for the greatest number, the ‘dignity’ of the individual, the desirability of maximum health and longevity, and other such wishful premises as axiomatic values necessary for the justification of a study of peace issues. We have not found them so. We have attempted to apply the standards of physical science to our thinking, the principal characteristic of which is not quantification, as is popularly believed, but that, in Whitehead’s words, ‘… it ignores all judgments of value; for instance, all esthetic and moral judgments.’
The major conclusion of the report as that, in the past, war has been the only reliable means to achieve that goal. It contends that only during times of war or the threat of war are the masses compliant enough to carry the yoke of government without complaint. Fear of conquest and pillage by an enemy can make almost any burden seem acceptable by comparison. War can be used to arouse human passion and patriotic feelings of loyalty to the nation’s leaders. No amount of sacrifice in the name of victory will be rejected. Resistance is viewed as treason. But, in times of peace, people become resentful of high taxes, shortages, and bureaucratic intervention. When they become disrespectful of their leaders, they become dangerous. No government has long survived without enemies and armed conflict. War, therefore, has been an indispensible condition for ‘stabilizing society.’
. . .
Having considered all the ramifications of blood games, the Report from Iron Mountain concluded that they were not an adequate substitute for war. It is true that violent sports are useful distracters and do, in fact, allow an outlet for boredom and fierce group loyalty, but their effect on the nation’s psyche could not match the intensity of war hysteria. Until a better alternative could be found, world government would have to be postponed so that nations could continue to wage war.(pp.516-521)
The 1966 Report rejected the space race and the threat of alien invasion as a substitute for war, the threat was not credible and the outerspace exploration was not sufficient. “The final candidate for a useful global threat was pollution of the environment.”
This was viewed as the most likely to succeed because it could be related to observable conditions such as smog and water pollution – in other words, it would be based partly on fact and, therefore, be credible. Predictions could be made showing end-of-earth scenarios just as horrible as atomic warfare. Accuracy in these perditions would not be important. Their purpose would be to frighten, not to inform. It might even be necessary to deliberately poison the environment to make the perditions more convincing and to focus the public mind on frightening a new enemy, more fearful than any invader from another nation – or even from outer space. The masses would more willingly accept a falling standard of living, tax increases, and bureaucratic intervention in their lives as simply ‘the price we must pay to save Mother Earth.’ A massive battle against death and destruction from global pollution possibly could replace war as justification for social control.
Did the Report for Iron Mountain really say that? It certainly did – and much more. Her are just a few of the pertinent passages:
‘When it comes to postulating a credible substitute for war . . . the ‘alternate enemy’ must imply a more immediate, tangible, and directly felt threat of destruction. It must justify the need for taking and paying a ‘blood price’ in wide areas of human concern. In this respect, the possible substitute enemies noted earlier would be insufficient. One exception might be the environmental-pollution model, if the danger to society it posed was genuinely imminent. The fictive models would have to carry the weight of extraordinary conviction, underscored with a not inconsiderable actual sacrifice of life…. It may be, for instance, that gross pollution of the environment can eventually replace the possibility of mass destruction by nuclear weapons as the principal apparent threat to the survival of the species. Poisoning of the air, and of the principal sources of food and water supply, is already well advanced, and at first glance would seem promising in this respect; it constitutes a threat that can be dealt with only through social organization and political power….
It is true that the rate of pollution could be increased selectively for this purpose…. But the pollution problem has been so widely publicized in recent years that it seems highly improbable that a program of deliberate environmental poisoning could be implemented in a politically acceptable manner.
However unlikely some of the possible alternative enemies we have mentioned may seem, we must emphasize that one must be found of credible quality and magnitude, if a transition to peace is ever to come about without social disintegration. It is more probable, in out judgment, that such a threat will have to be invented.’(p.522-523)
The authenticity of this Report has been disputed since it was published by Dell Publishing House in 1967. Some have described it as a satire, and several men have claimed authorship (including National Review founder and editor William F. Buckley). Harvard professor John Kenneth Galbraith stated that he knew firsthand that the report of authentic: he had been invited to participate in it, but was unable to accept the invitation. Instead, he served as a consultant and had been asked to keep the project secret. Griffin quotes Galbraith in 1967 as saying:
‘As I would put my personal repute behind the authenticity of this document, so would I testify to the validity of its conclusions. My reservations relate only to the wisdom of releasing it to an obviously unconditioned public.’(p.524)
In Griffin’s view, this “culture against humanity” is embodied in institutions such as the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, The Club of Rome, and the Fabian Society in London, the former being an association to which Galbraith, among many others, belonged and the latter, the institution representing the view of Bertrand Russell, who wrote as early as 1953 in his book, The Impact of Science on Society :
‘I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing. . . . War, as I remarked a moment ago, has hitherto been disappointing in this respect, but perhaps bacteriological was may prove more effective. If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation, survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full. . . .
A scientific world society cannot be stable unless there is world government…. It will be necessary to find ways of preventing an increase in world population. If this is to be done otherwise than by wars, pestilences and famines, it will demand a powerful international authority. This authority should deal out the world’s food to the various nations in proportion to their population at the time of the establishment of the authority. If any nation subsequently increased its population, it should not on that account receive any more food. The motive for not increasing population would therefore be very compelling.’
Very compelling, indeed. These quiet-spoken collectivists are not kidding around. For example, one of the most visible ‘environmentalists’ and advocate of population control is Jacques Cousteau. Interviewed by the United Nations UNESCO Courier in November 1991, Cousteau spelled it out. He said:
‘What should we do to eliminate suffering and disease? It is a wonderful idea but perhaps not altogether a beneficial one in the long run. If we try to implement it we may jeopardize the future of our species. It’s terrible to have to say this. World population must be stabilized, and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. This is so horrible to contemplate that we shouldn’t even say it, but it is just as bad not to say it.(p.529)
Griffin concludes this chapter on “Doomsday Mechanisms” with a warning that the power elite are masters of deception.
… we must not be fooled by pretended concern for Mother Earth. The call-to-arms for saving the planet is a gigantic ruse. There is just enough truth to environmental pollution to make the show ‘credible,’ as The Report from Iron Mountain phrased it, but the end-of-the-earth scenarios which drive the movement forward are bogus. The real objective in all of this is world government, the ultimate doomsday mechanism from which there can be no escape. Destruction of the economic strength of the industrialized nations is merely a necessary prerequisite for ensnaring them into the global web. The thrust of the current ecology movement is directed totally to that end.
. . .
None of this is accidental. It is the fulfillment of a plan by members of the CFR who comprise the hidden government of he United States. Their goal is the deliberate weakening of the industrialized nations as a prerequisite to bringing them into world government built upon the principles of socialism, with themselves in control.(p.534 & 536)
The following chapter offers a “pessimistic scenario” of the future, given the basic premises of the present and moving them forward in time, without alteration. Griffin finds the natural evolution of these premises have been foreseen in the past as very real dangers lurking within the political economies of the time. The first of four items is warning by Thomas Jefferson in 1816, found in a letter written to Sam Kercheval, in which the former President said:
‘We must make our election between economy and liberty, or
profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts as that we must be
taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessities and our
comforts, in our labors and our amusements,... our people ... must
come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give our earnings of
fifteen of these to the government,... have no time to think, no means
of calling our mis-managers to account; but be glad to obtain
sustenance by hiring ourselves out to rivet their chains on the necks of
our fellow-sufferers.... And this is the tendency of all human
governments ... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere
automatons of misery.... And the forehorse of this frightful team is
public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and
The second item in which Griffin finds a startling parallel today is a political commentary and a prophesy from the year 1831, written by Alexis de Tocqueville, later published in his famous study, Democracy in America, which was commissioned by the French government. He toured the United States to prepare an official report to his government on the American prison system, but his real interest was the social and political environment in the New
World. He found much to admire in the United States but he also observed what he thought were the seeds of its destruction.
The Americans hold that in every state the supreme power ought
to emanate from the people; but when once that power is constituted,
they can conceive, as it were, no limits to it, and they are ready to
admit that it has the right to do whatever it pleases.... The idea of
rights inherent in certain individuals is rapidly disappearing from the
minds of men; the idea of the omnipotence and sole authority of
society at large rises to fill its place....
The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable
multitude of men, all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to
procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives.
Each of them, living apart, is a stranger to the fate of all the rest; his
children and his private friends constitute to him the whole of
Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power,
which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to
watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular,
provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like
that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks,
on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content
that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but
After having thus successively taken each member of the
community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the
supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It
covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated
rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds
and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the
crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and
guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly
restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents
existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates,
extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to
nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which
the government is the shepherd....
Our contemporaries are constantly excited by two conflicting
passions: they want to be led, and they wish to remain free. As they
cannot destroy either the one or the other of these contrary
propensities, they strive to satisfy them both at once. They devise a
sole, tutelary, and all-powerful form of government, but elected by the
people. They combine the principle of centralization and that of
popular sovereignty; this gives them a respite: they console
themselves for being in tutelage by the reflection that they have chosen
their own guardians. Every man allows himself to be put in
leading-strings, because he sees that it is not a person or a class of
persons, but the people at large who hold the end of his chain. By this
system the people shake off their state of dependence just long enough
to select their master and then relapse into it again.(pp.554-555)
The third item is a report, dated 1904, issued by the General Education Board, one of the first foundations established by John D. Rockefeller, Sr. :
The purpose of the foundation was to use the power of money,
not to raise the level of education in America, as was widely
believed at the time, but to influence the direction of that
education. Specifically, it was to promote the ideology of
collectivism and internationalism. The object was to use the
classroom to teach attitudes that encourage people to be passive
and submissive to their rulers. The goal was — and is — to create
citizens who are educated enough for productive work under
supervision but not enough to question authority or seek to rise
above their class. True education was to be restricted to the sons
and daughters of the elite. For the rest, it would be better to produce
skilled workers with no particular aspirations other than
to enjoy life. It was enough, as de Tocqueville phrased it, ‘that
the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing.’
The General Education Board was not interested in encouraging critical thinking. Rather, its focus was on organizing children and creating reliable, predictable, obedient citizens. In the first publication of the General Education Board, Fred Gates (1853-1929), the President of the Board explained the plan :
‘In our dreams we have limitless resources, and the people yield
themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present
educational conventions fade from our minds, and unhampered by
tradition, we work our own good upon a grateful and responsive rural
folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into
philosophers of mental learning or of science. We have not to raise
from among them authors, editors, poets, or men of letters. We shall
not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers,
doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen of whom we have ample
supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple as well as a
very beautiful one: To train these people as we find them to a perfectly
ideal life just where they are.... in the homes, in the shop, and on the
A fourth item reproduced by Griffin that reflects contemporary concerns about authoritarian corporate control of society is a passage from George Orwell’s work, 1984. His "futuristic" scenes now lie before us in our real world.
Orwell described the world of our future as being divided into three regions
called Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. Oceania consists of the Americas plus
England, Australia, and the Pacific Islands; Eurasia is Russia and continental
Europe; Eastasia comprises China, Japan, Southeast Asia, & India. These
superstates are constantly at war with each other. The wars are not fought to
conquer the enemy, they are waged for the primary purpose of controlling the
population. The people in all three territories tolerate their misery and oppression
because sacrifices are necessary in time of war. Most of the stratagems outlined
in The Report from Iron Mountain are to be found in Orwell's narrative, but Orwell
described them first. The think-tank was even willing to credit Orwell as the source
of some of its concepts. For example, on the subject of establishing a modern,
sophisticated form of slavery, the group at Iron Mountain said:
‘ Up to now, this has been suggested only in fiction, notably in the
works of Wells, Huxley, Orwell, and others engaged in the
imaginative anticipation of the sociology of the future. But the
fantasies projected in Brave New World and 1984 have seemed less and
less implausible over the years since their publication. The traditional
association of slavery with ancient preindustrial cultures should not
blind us to its adaptability to advanced forms of social organization.’
From this we see that Orwell's work is far more than an entertaining novel.
Our would-be masters have studied him carefully. So should we. This is
what he wrote:
‘These three superstates are permanently at war, and have been so
for the past twenty-five years. War, however, is no longer the
desperate, annihilating struggle that it was in the early decades of the
twentieth century.... This is not to say that either the conduct of the
war, or the prevailing attitude toward it, has become less bloodthirsty
or more chivalrous. On the contrary, war hysteria is continuous and
universal in all countries, and such acts as raping, looting, the
slaughter of children, the reduction of whole populations to slavery,
and reprisals against prisoners which extend even to boiling and
burying alive, are looked upon as normal....
‘ The primary aim of modem warfare ... is to use up the products of
the machine without raising the general standard of living. [The
machine is society's technical and industrial capacity to produce
goods.] ... From the moment when the machine first made its
appearance it was clear to all thinking people that the need for human
drudgery, and therefore to a great extent for human inequality, had
disappeared. If the machine were used deliberately for that end,
hunger, overwork, dirt, illiteracy, and disease could be eliminated
within a few generations....
‘ But it was also clear that an all-around increase in wealth
threatened the destruction— indeed in some cases was the
destruction— of a hierarchical society. In a world in which everyone
worked short hours, had enough to eat, lived in a house with a
bathroom and a refrigerator, and possessed a motorcar or even an
airplane, the most obvious and perhaps the most important form of
inequality would already have disappeared. If it once became general,
wealth would confer no distinction.... Such a society could not long
remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the
great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty
would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and
when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that
the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it
away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a
basis of poverty and ignorance....
‘ The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human
lives, but of the products of human labor. War is a way of shattering to
pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking into the depths of
the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses
too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent....
‘ In practice the needs of the population are always underestimated,
with the result that there is a chronic shortage of half the necessities of
life; but this is looked on as an advantage. It is deliberate policy to keep
even the favored groups somewhere near the brink of hardship,
because a general state of scarcity increases the importance of small
privileges and thus magnifies the distinction between one group and
another.... The social atmosphere is that of a besieged city, where the
possession of a lump of horseflesh makes the difference between
wealth and poverty. And at the same time the consequences of being
at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing over of all power
to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival....
‘ War, it will be seen, not only accomplishes the necessary
destruction, but accomplishes it in a psychologically acceptable way.
In principle it would be quite simple to waste the surplus labor of the
world by building temples and pyramids, by digging holes and filling
them up again, or even by producing vast quantities of goods and then
setting fire to them. But this would provide only the economic and not
the emotional basis for a hierarchical society....
‘ War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair.... waged by
each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is
not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure
of society intact’(pp.556-558).
At the end of his book, Griffin argues that the primary motive of our rulers is not the accumulation of capital, but rather to gain absolute political power over the rest of us. This urge to dominate every aspect of society involves neutralizing the population as often as necessary, and depriving it of the fruits of their labor. In short reducing them to a state of abject dependency, keeping them as stupefied as is humanly possible.
THE FUNCTION OF WASTE IN MODERN TOTALITARIANISM
Once again, it is clear that Orwell's grim narrative was a primary
model for The Report from Iron Mountain. The authors of that
blueprint for our future spoke at length about the value of planned
waste as a means of preventing the masses from improving their
standard of living. They wrote:
‘ The production of weapons of mass destruction has always been
associated with economic ‘waste.’ The term is pejorative, since it
implies a failure of function. But no human activity can properly be
considered wasteful if it achieves its contextual objective....
‘ In the case of military ‘waste,’ there is indeed a larger social utility....
In advanced modern democratic societies, the war system ... has served
as the last great safeguard against the elimination of necessary social
classes. As economic productivity increases to a level further and further
above that of minimum subsistence, it becomes more and more difficult
for a society to maintain distribution patterns insuring the existence of
‘hewers of wood and drawers of water.’..
‘ The arbitrary nature of war expenditures and of other military activities
make them ideally suited to control these essential class relationships....
The continuance of the war system must be assured, if for no other reason,
among others, than to preserve whatever quality and degree of poverty a
society requires as an incentive, as well as to maintain the stability of its
internal organization of power. ’
These documents from the real past and the imagined future can help us
to better understand our present. The spectacle of wasteful government
spending suddenly becomes logical. It is not stupidity that pays farmers to
destroy their crops, or that purchases trillion-dollar weapons systems that
are never deployed or in some cases not even completed, or that provides
funding for studies of the sex life of the tse-tse fly, or that gives grants to
pornographers posing as artists. The overriding object behind most of these
boondoggles is to waste the resources of the nation. It is obvious by now that
the decline in living standards in the Western world is associated with a
widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. What is not so obvious
however, is that this is according to plan. To that end, massive waste in
government spending is not an unfortunate by-product, it is the goal.(pp.558-559)
In his final Chapter 26, entitled “A Realistic Scenario,” Griffin advocates “a proactive crusade.” He has no optimistic fantasies to share. Such illusions exist in superabundance on the internet. The future will be hard and require sacrifice if we are to regain our historic birthright from Corporate/Collectivist controls.
The Creature has grown large and powerful since its conception
on Jekyll Island. It now roams across every continent and compels
the masses to serve it, feed it, obey it, worship it. If it is not slain,
it will become our eternal lord and master.
Can it be slain? Yes it can.
How will it be slain? By piercing it with a million lances of truth.
Who will slay it? A million crusaders with determination and courage.
The crusade has already begun.(p.588)
[In his addendum to the 2018 edition of this book, Griffin states: “Since writing the first edition of this book, it has become increasingly obvious that much more needs to be done than abolishing the Fed. Although that would be a great victory in the battle for economic and personal freedom, unfortunately, the creature has siblings. There are many other fronts and issues that also need our attention. It is for that reason I have launched an aggressive action program based largely on the ideals advocated in this book. It is called “Freedom Force International” and its mission is nothing less than to change the world.]
for more, see:
The 14 + items below offer readers information which constitutes a challenge both intellectually and emotionally. The difficult times we are now going through are obvious to all. We see the maneuvers of capitalist profiteers more clearly than ever, and we feel the threat they represent to our collective well being. The writings of the French revolutionary intellectuals, Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze, and their classic study of schizophrenia and "desire" in the age of late capitalism, offer a myriad of insights into power and everyday behavior in contemporary capitalist society. The passive indifference to suffering is itself a crime against humanity.
In the politics of experience, "all is fair in love and war”; which side are you on?
Professeur honoraire de l'Université Grenoble-Alpes
Ancien Directeur de Researches
Université de Paris-Nanterre
Director of The Center for the Advanced Study
of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
Rumble with Michael Moore: Episode 50
“The Awful Truth: What They Know About Uncle Joe”
Dr. Jill Stein on U.S. Election, Bernie Sanders' setbacks, Coronavirus,
Assange & Manning
Tulsi Gabbard Explains Why She Sold Out To The DNC
with Jimmy Dore
Tough Questions For Tulsi Gabbard Over Biden Support
Is the DNC Repeating History in Derailing a Socialist Candidate?
by Marjorie Cohn
Bernie Is Being Cheated Again. Will He Fight?
with Tim Canova
Anti-Capitalist Chronicles: Anti-Capitalist Politics in the Time of Covid-19
with David Harvey
Creation and Spread of Coronavirus
by Tom O’Connor
COVID-19: All Truth Has Three Stages
by Larry Romanoff
COVID-19 – The Fight for a Cure: One Gigantic Western Pharma Rip-Off
by Peter Koenig
A few days ago, Dr. Tedros, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) repeated what he said already a few weeks ago, that there are about 20 pharmaceutical laboratories throughout the world that are developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, named COVID-19, also called 2019-nCOV, or SARS-CoV-2. For the layman, it is just a stronger mutation of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus, that broke out in 2002 / 2003, also in China. To be sure, a mutation made in a laboratory. In a US high-security biological warfare laboratory. In other words, both SARS and COVID-19 – among many other bio-war agents – were made in the US.
And now, the chaotic western-style race of private corporations for a vaccine wanting to outdo one another, has begun.
Who is first to develop a vaccine? – It’s a fierce competition to establish a patent, a monopoly – for a possibly multi trillion-dollar business. Its western neoliberal capitalism at its very worst – or best, depending on the angle from where one looks.
There are no words to describe this chaotic fever for profit over human wellbeing. It has nothing to do with health, with healing sick and suffering, possibly dying people. It’s all about money. Hundreds of billions, if not trillion of profit for the pharmaceutical oligarch and their associated research laboratories and enterprises. And even more so, if the WHO-declared “pandemic” (sic) will prompt a forced vaccination campaign, enhanced by military and police surveillance.
Let’s put COVID-19 in context. As of 23 March 2020 (18:33 GMT), and according to WHO statistics, reported worldwide cases are 372,572; deaths 16,313; recovered 101,373 – a death rate of 4.37%. However, these figures must be considered with caution. In many countries, especially developing economies, accurate testing may be a problem. Test kits are often not available, or not reliable. So, may people who go to the doctor with some flu symptoms are possibly falsely diagnosed as COVID-19 victims, as it serves the publicity hype.
Miscalculations and false reporting may even occur in the United States. Mr. Robert Redfield, CEO of the US Center for Disease Control (CDC), testified before Congress that CDC does no longer carry out regular tests, that these were carried out at State-level and only in extreme cases. See also this reference from the LA Times of California measures and directives.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO
They Knew, And Didn’t Tell Us
by Rod Dreher
Senators Choose Stock Portfolio Over Public Health
audio recording of Sen. Richard Burr’s warning at the elite Social Hill Club
Honest Government Ad | Coronavirus: Flatten The Curve
satire with Ellen Burbidge
Trump seeks to reopen 'large sections' of US by Easter, clashing with experts
by David Smith
From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020
Subject: [MCM] The real danger of COVID-19, and why we DO need "social distancing" (MUST-READ)
As we struggle to make sense of this unprecedented crisis, with lockdowns imposed throughout the world, under a global blizzard of official lies, we must pay close attention both to the abundant evidence that this crisis was deliberately created, to the obscene benefit of state and corporate powers, and to the very solid evidence that this disease is not a hoax, but very real, and just as dangerous as our fear-mongering "free press" says it is, whatever interests may be driving them.
This certainly is not to say that all the terroristic coverage is remotely adequate, as it keeps hammering the lie that COVID-19 is (to quote You-Know-Who) "a Chinese virus," while blacking out the copious evidence that it originated here. Those who get their news from "our free press" also must know nothing about Event 201 (just as they knew nothing of PNAC's pre-9/11 recommendation of "a new Pearl Harbor"), nor anything about the promising treatments for this new coronavirus, since that news might moderate the panic we've been made to feel.
What's also missing from the coverage is the expert testimony of those doctors who've been on the front lines trying to treat COVID-19 patients. Why have there been no press conferences featuring such doctors? Why has (say) the New York Times not told its readers what's been happening, specifically, in New York's hospitals (i.e., those that haven't been demolished to make way for luxury high-rises, as over 30 have)? The
absence of such reportage has left a void that's been filled in by speculations that nobody, or very few, have really died of COVID-19, just as some of those notorious mass shootings were mere theater, whose seeming victims were just crisis actors.
In fact, those speculations often are convincing, based on solid evidence—whereas the theory that COVID-19 is really no more lethal, or, indeed, less lethal, than the flu, and isn't really killing anyone, or killing very few, is dangerously wrong. The evidence (blacked out by "our free press") that it may well have been concocted for eugenic purposes confirms the fact that this coronavirus is uniquely lethal, as it is peculiarly persistent and contagious, and therefore overwhelming hospitals, and killing people
just as the attacks on 9/11 did. This bitter truth is something we must face, and not deny by treating this new plague as nothing but a propaganda fantasy, however true it also seems to be that mighty interests have rolled out this crisis with the utmost skill at propaganda "shock and awe."
To grasp the scope of this real danger, please read, and circulate, this comprehensive overview by Dr. Meryl Nass, whose expertise as a biowarfare epidemiologist is far more appropriate than, say, Dr. Ron Paul's (he being an obstetrician/gynecologist), and whose heroic record as a fighter for the truth against Big Pharma and its vaccine absolutists, and as a canny disbeliever in the state's Big Lies since JFK had his head blown off in Dallas, should be enough to make the toughest skeptics listen to her. Those of us who care about the truth, however troubling it may be, must
study her expert assessment here, and then do what we can to help slow down the spread of this disease, so that its makers don't prevail.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
This paper is designed to help readers understand the new corona virus and why it has inevitably led to the quarantine measures currently imposed. I will refer to the virus as the COVID-19 virus, as does the W.H.O., instead of using the official, but confusing, name SARS-CoV-2. The official name of the disease is COVID-19.
A novel coronavirus, similar to the virus that caused the 2003 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic appeared in China in December 2019 or earlier. It caused a new syndrome with primarily respiratory symptoms. The degree of rapid spread was phenomenal in the megacity of Wuhan, population 11 million. Wuhan ran out of gear, doctors, hospital beds. The Chinese government was able to commandeer supplies, doctors and nurses from other provinces, and retrain medical professionals to cope with an extraordinarily infectious, and sometimes lethal, virus. This included having doctors put on full PPE--being covered head to toe, and not changing out the gear for a full 12-hour shift. No bathroom breaks, no meals. They have worked 7 days a week, with no time off. Doctors have been housed in hotels and unable to visit family members--not that they wanted to visit, since contact might spread the disease to their families. With extraordinary lockdowns, China gained control of its epidemic. The western press portrayed this as another example of China's authoritarian regime. Little did they know.
The Chinese report that almost all people who catch this disease are symptomatic. But 85% have only mild symptoms and can be left to care for themselves at home with rest and fluids. However, 15% of those diagnosed required hospitalization, due to lack of oxygen from extensive viral pneumonia. One third of these, or 5% of all cases, required ICU care and frequently needed to be placed on mechanical ventilation. Some percentage, probably about 2-4% in China and about 8-10 % in Italy, with an older population, could not be saved despite the most aggressive medical measures, and died of this disease. Italy found considerably more of its population required ICU care.
It is possible that many more people than we know have asymptomatic cases, and that our statistics make things look worse than they are. I certainly hope so. But I have seen no evidence to support this hope.
I had assumed the Chinese, who were practiced in handling such diseases after SARS, would get this one under control expeditiously, and much more quickly than has happened.
This assumption turned out to be wrong. Why? It turns out that while this virus's mortality rate is not nearly as high as mortality from the SARS virus, at 30%, it has other features that make it much more contagious. These were not immediately appreciated in China, and it took far too long for this to be appreciated elsewhere in the world.
The Covid-19 virus is extraordinarily contagious
This is like nothing ever experienced
with Richard Wolff
Investors are finally showing signs of buying into the Federal Reserve’s desperate bid to rescue Wall Street. Economist and founder of Democracy at Work Prof. Richard Wolff joins Rick Sanchez to discuss the Trump administration’s enormous stimulus package and whether it can resolve the current financial crisis. He argues that “we are in a situation for which no precedent exists.” He also points out that we are seeing the economic results of failing to prepare for the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Late-Stage Imperial Omni-Crisis: Death by Virus
and Internal Contradictions
by Glen Ford
“Citizens have become aware that the oligarchs – their rulers -- are the vectors of mass insecurity, sickness and death.”
For Profit System Can't Provide Healthcare During Pandemic
with Richard Wolff
by Tim Wu
Review of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power”- by Shoshana Zuboff
Economic Lessons for 2020
with Michael Hudson
with Richard Wolff
The coronavirus pandemic offers a chance to make the world safer and fairer
Debts that can’t be paid won’t be
by Michael Hudson
Neoliberalism’s Death Knell?
by Michael Hudson
1918 Spanish Flu historical documentary | Swine Flu Pandemic | Deadly plague of 1918
Debt Forgivness and Nationalization Are the Answers to the Economic Crisis
by Paul Craig Roberts
As Corporate Capitalists Beg For Socialism,
Let's Not Forget They Tried To Destroy It
with Taya Graham
CN Live! From Paris: “A Day With the Yellow Vests”
with Cathy Vogan
President Rouhani Sends Message to People of America
From: GAZA PALESTINE
Sent: Sunday, March 22, 2020
Subject: After a long trouble ... We were able to create a new campaign .... I hope you will support us through the following new link .... before the Gaza Strip is closed.
We may be
subject to continuous shutdown due to an outbreak of corona disease.
I hope you will support us to continue to help the injured people in the Gaza Strip who were injured by the Israeli occupation forces in the major marches of return during the previous months.
We are on a date for the start of the major return marches at the end of this month.
But we do not know the circumstances we are going through. These events may be canceled due to the outbreak of Corona disease in Palestine.
We in Gaza do not have any case of this disease, but perhaps in the coming days the Gaza Strip will be closed.
I wish you before the start of the quarantine on the Gaza Strip, I hope you will support us and my team.
We do not work much these days because of the lack of support.
We need you and need your support.
Thank you very much.
From: Al Burke [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2020 1:42 PM
Subject: The Assange case: January – March, 2020
Julian Assange vs. USA and accomplices
News reports, commentaries and other information
concerning the persecution of Julian Assange
1 January – 24 March 2020
In response to numerous requests for news about the situation of Julian Assange, a compilation of information on that subject has been prepared in PDF format and is available for download at:
The size of the PDF document is roughly 6.3 megabytes. It includes substantial reports on the initial stage of the extradition hearing that was contrived in London during the week of February 24th.
08 - 731 9200
Russia China and the New World Order
with George Galloway
Changing Strained Alliances of World Capitalism
with Richard Wolff
Economic Update: Comedy and Tragedy of Capitalism
with Lee Camp
“An economic crash is coming and it will be bad”
with Richard Wolff
“The Worst Economic Collapse In History Is Starting Now: Be Prepared”
with Jack Chapple
“How much worse will pandemic impact US economy?”
with Larry King
From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Subject: [MCM] COVID-19 stimulus offered by House committee creates a new "digital dollar"
Using the coronavirus to give the elites absolute control of the economy.
by Jason Brett
This Is Why Americans Are Scared To Death Of Being Tested
For The Coronavirus
by Michael Snyder
How would you feel if you received a bill for more than $34,000 after being tested and treated for the coronavirus? This pandemic is showing the entire world that the U.S. healthcare system is deeply, deeply broken, and there is no way that we can continue to go on like this. If coronavirus testing is quick, inexpensive and widely available all over the rest of the globe, why can’t that be the case here too? Democrats and Republicans have been fighting about fixing our healthcare system all the way back to the 1990s and they haven’t gotten the job done. Now we have a system that is a complete and utter embarrassment, and it is about to be overwhelmed by the greatest public health crisis that any of us have ever seen.
Even under normal circumstances, most Americans are deathly afraid to go to the hospital because of what it will cost.
I have written about this numerous times before, but not even I would have imagined that getting tested and treated for coronavirus would cost more than $34,000…
A woman in the United States says she was billed $34,927.43 after being tested and treated for the coronavirus, Time magazine reports.
When Danni Askini first came down with the symptoms of the virus — shortness of breath, a fever, a cough and migraines — she was told by a doctor to go to the emergency room. There, she was told she had pneumonia and could go home. She visited the emergency room two more times as her symptoms persisted and worsened before she was finally tested for the coronavirus. Three days later her results showed she had COVID-19.
How in the world is it possible for a bill to get that high?
As Danni pointed out, she now owes the hospital more than she paid for both of her college degrees.
Trump “Understands Nothing, Listens to Nothing” as Pandemic Surges in U.S.
with Jeffrey Sachs
Like Freedom? Then You Won’t Like the FREEDOM Act
by Ron Paul
Last Monday, a
bipartisan group of Senators and a coalition including libertarian and
progressive activists thwarted a scheme to ram through the Senate legislation
renewing three provisions of the USA FREEDOM Act (previously known as the USA
PATRIOT Act). The bill had already been rushed through the House of
Representatives, and most expected it to sail through the Senate. But, instead,
Senate leadership had to settle for a 77-day extension.
Senate leadership was also forced to allow consideration of several amendments at a later date. Included is Sen. Rand Paul’s amendment that would forbid the FISA court from issuing warrants targeting American citizens.
Deep state supporters claim the expiring business records provision (which authorizes the collection of our communications and was at the center of Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations), lone wolf provision (which allows government to subject an individual with no known ties to terrorists to warrantless surveillance), and roving wiretaps provision (which allows government to monitor communications on any device that may be used by a targeted individual) are necessary to keep Americans safe. But, since Congress first passed the PATRIOT Act almost 20 years ago, mass surveillance, warrantless wiretapping, and bulk data collection have not stopped a single terrorist attack.
From: Mark Crispin Miller
Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Subject: [MCM] How the US is "helping" other nations deal with COVID-19
Cuba's helping other nations deal with the coronavirus:
China's helping other nations deal with the coronavirus:
Russia's helping other nations deal with the coronavirus:
The US "helps" Iran with still more sanctions—and bombing runs, if
Mike Pompeo and John Bolton have their way:
Pepe Escobar's highly pertinent thoughts on China's aid to Italy:
We Are All Stoics Now
March 24, 2020
Earlier this week a delegation of Chinese medics arrived at Malpensa airport near Milan from Shanghai on a special China Eastern flight carrying 400,000 masks and 17 tons of equipment. The salutation banner the visitors rolled out on the tarmac, in red and white, read, “We’re waves from the same sea, leaves from the same tree, flowers from the same garden.”
In a stance of supreme cross-cultural elegance, this was inspired by the poetics of Seneca, a Stoic. The impact, all over Italy, where people still study the classics, was immense.
The Chinese were consulted in advance and they preferred Seneca to a Chinese saying. After all, for China, a 5,000-year-old civilization-state that has confronted perhaps more than its share of instances of luan (“chaos”), there’s nothing more rejuvenating than post-chaos.
China is donating coronavirus test kits to Cambodia. China sent planeloads of masks, ventilators – and medics – to Italy and France. China sent medics to Iran, which is under unilateral, illegal US sanctions – and to Iraq, which the Pentagon is bombing again. China is helping across the (Eurasian) board, from the Philippines to Spain.
President Xi Jinping, in a phone call with Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, pledged in the wake of Covid-19 to establish a Health Silk Road, a companion to the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative.
Thus, finally, there’s the Philosophical Silk Road celebrated at an Italian airport, a meeting of Greek/Latin stoicism with Chinese stoicism.
EP.859: Tariq Ali on Coronavirus: US Sanctions Against Iran, Venezuela are Disgusting!
with Tariq Ali
Read this: “What is going on in the UK?”
22 October 2018
Last updated 21 March 2020 — see all updates
Now watch this video from Channel 4:
Is the current “pandemic” just the latest contrived “enemy of the state”
by V F - The Chicago Economist
I’m beginning to believe the current
“pandemic” is perhaps just the latest contrived “enemy of the state”. An
opportunity taken by western governments that have,
over the past 20 or 30 years, gotten bolder in their willingness to fabricate
fear to secure a political end. Political ends are always about greater
control, corruption, and ultimately, cover ups.
In the age where air has become second to digital noise in terms of ubiquity, and hyperbole has replaced truth as the journalistic objective, governments’ ability to leverage misinformation (i.e. propaganda) has become a precision tool. Like it or not, society has become confused by the amount of information thrown at us and that makes us susceptible.
But if this is contrived political hysteria, what is the objective?
I’ve heard people on either side of the aisle suggest it is to help or hurt Trump. And perhaps, it is that simple. However, given equally good points on both sides of that argument I am skeptical. So then what? Well, I think back to 9/11 and whether you believe it was an act of terrorism by our own government or some other group, the end result was the same - The Patriot Act, and a truckload of knock-on legislation that quietly edged out our individual rights and freedoms. All in the name of keeping us safe from harm.
Freedom Rider: Revolutionary Change and COVID-19
by Margaret Kimberley
“COVID-19 is an opportunity to demand change while the people are paying attention to the crisis.”