Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Pitchforks and Torches
This post image reflects a recent comment by President Obama addressing bankers in which he used the phrase of "pitchforks" being wielded by unhappy citizens.It's a surprising image harking back perhaps to the 1931 film Frankenstein when the villagers came at Dr Frankenstein's villa looking for the monster. It gives me a glimmer of hope that the president is at least tuned in to America's increasing rage at the financial establishment who has destroyed their world. Of course torches and pitchforks are just a metaphor. How many Americans own pitchforks and how do you make a torch? I took part in massed demonstrations in Washington DC against the Vietnam War years ago and despite the hundreds of thousands outside the white house expressing displeasure at our pursuit of a futile war, I never felt any real rage was apparent then, but I think the first stirrings of rage against the financial establishment in and out of government could be gathering strength. I personally do not think mob action is the way to run a democracy because mobs can get out of hand in a hurry but democracy in America is more of an illusion than a reality. We have a financial corporate power base which has hijacked the American democracy. Finance has become so powerful that it can bypass the congress and the will of the people. Has there been a referendum put before the people asking them if they want to mortgage their financial future and pay for the mistakes of these financial plutocrats? No. Of course not. Treasury and the Federal Reserve don't need to ask permission to loot the taxpayer's wallets. They just do it and will keep doing it until the taxpayer says "ENOUGH!
I hope that we will see a popular uprising against the Influence of what has been called the FIRE economy(Finance, Insurance, Real Estate). In fact today the Insurance industry has come hat in hand for more federal bailout money. It is past time for Americans of all persuasions to write congress and the president demanding change we can believe in. This president has been blundering forward using advisers tied to finance. In the meanwhile we have lost our manufacturing capability to these looters. The president fired a manufacturing CEO at GM but the criminal incompetent CEOs at AIG,Citi, JPM and GS live on with still huge pay packages plundering the people who are fast on their way to serfdom. I think that finance is now analogous to 19th century robber barons and thank god that America had a fair minded conservative president Teddy Roosevelt who engineered anti trust legislation which reduced their power. The same thing needs to happen now. I hope it can happen peacefully but Barak has shown no willingness to even consider or discuss the seriousness of this issue.Many Americans have weapons at home far more lethal than pitchforks and once enough of them have nothing left to lose, watching corrupt corporate bankers receive another bailout could be the straw that finally breaks their back.