• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

donderdag 28 april 2016

Vluchtelingenstroom 96


Don Mancio Serra de Leguisamo, één van de genocidale Spaanse conquistadors die Peru hadden veroverd, zocht tegen het einde van zijn leven Gods genade door in de preambule van zijn testament de zonden te belijden van zijn volk. Hij schreef:

We found these kingdoms in such good order, and the said Incas governed them in such wise [manner] that throughout them there was not a thief, nor a vicious man, nor an adulteress, nor was a bad woman admitted among them, nor were there immoral people. The men had honest and useful occupations. The lands, forests, mines, pastures, houses and all kinds of products were regulated and distributed in such sort that each one knew his property without any other person seizing it or occupying it, nor were there law suits respecting it… the motive which obliges me to make this statement is the discharge of my conscience, as I find myself guilty. For we have destroyed by our evil example, the people who had such a government as was enjoyed by these natives. They were so free from the committal of crimes or excesses, as well men as women, that the Indian who had 100,000 pesos worth of gold or silver in his house, left it open merely placing a small stick against the door, as a sign that its master was out. With that, according to their custom, no one could enter or take anything that was there. When they saw that we put locks and keys on our doors, they supposed that it was from fear of them, that they might not kill us, but not because they believed that anyone would steal the property of another. So that when they found that we had thieves among us, and men who sought to make their daughters commit sin, they despised us.

Eerder al had Hernán Cortés, de al even genocidale veroveraar van Mexico het volgende opgemerkt: 'We Spaniards know a sickness of the heart that only gold can cure.’ De christelijke cultuur van de witte man kenmerkt zich al vijf eeuwen lang door de continuïteit van roofzucht, waarbij ‘we have destroyed by our evil example, the people who had such a government as was enjoyed by these natives.’ Er is daarbij geen wezenlijk verschil geweest tussen het blinde geloof in de goedheid van God en het daarop volgende rationalisme van de Verlichting. De christelijke geloofsleer en de Verlichtingsideologie liggen qua uitwerking in elkaars verlengde. Het is dan ook niet merkwaardig dat een domineeszoon als Geert Mak na het verschijnen van zijn Reizen zonder John. Op zoek naar Amerika (2012) met grote stelligheid verklaarde dat het christelijke ‘Amerika [de Verlichting] heeft uitgevoerd als real life experiment.’ Het bijna volledig uitroeien van miljoenen Indianen, en het in kampen opsluiten van de weinige overlevenden moet dus gezien worden als een ‘Verlichtings-experiment.’ Mak heeft gelijk, maar dan op een andere manier dan hij bedoelt. Net als het christendom verschafte ook de Verlichting de legitimering van het recht van de sterkste. Ik benadruk dit om het volgende duidelijk te maken. Toen in 2007 Alan Greenspan als voorzitter van de Amerikaanse centrale bank verklaarde dat ‘The Federal Reserve an independent agency’ was ‘and that means, basically, that there is no other agency of government which can overrule actions that we take,’ gaf hij daarmee te kennen dat de VS geen democratie was, een feit dat zijn opvolger, Ben Bernanke, nog eens onderstreepte door op te merken dat

If the GAO [Government Accountability Office] is auditing not only the operational aspects of our programs and the details of the programs, but is making judgments about our policy decisions, that would effectively be a takeover of monetary policy by the Congress,

hetgeen, volgens hem, ‘a repudiation of the independence of the Federal Reserve,’ zou zijn en dat ‘would be highly destructive to the stability of the financial system, the dollar and our national economic situation.’

Kortom, het kapitalisme en de democratie sluiten elkaar uit, met of zonder alle met de mond beleden Verlichtingsidealen, zoals de financiële elite en haar politici maar al te goed weten. Zij zorgen ervoor dat deze status quo gehandhaafd blijft. Greenspan en Bernanke maakten duidelijk dat als het Amerikaanse Congres de relevante besluiten van de centrale bank van de Verenigde Staten zouden gaan ‘beoordelen,’ dit betekent dat de volksvertegenwoordiging bepaalt welk beleid er gevoerd moet worden met betrekking tot geld. Dit zou het einde betekenen van ‘de onafhankelijkheid’ van de ‘Federal Reserve,’ hetgeen in de ogen van de oud-voorzitters ervan, de stabiliteit van het ‘financiële systeem, de dollar’ en de hele ‘nationale economische situatie’ in de VS zal vernietigen. En aangezien de Amerikaanse centrale bank niet in handen is van de overheid, maar van particuliere banken, wil dit dus zeggen dat de kern van de Amerikaanse politiek wordt bepaald door enkele bankiers, die niet democratisch gekozen zijn en ook niet democratisch gecontroleerd kunnen worden. Tijdens de kredietcrisis in 2008 bleek weer eens op een dramatisch wijze dat de ‘Federal Reserve an independent agency’ is, waarvan de besluiten door ‘no other agency of government’ kunnen worden verworpen. Met andere woorden: omdat werkelijk alles in de Amerikaanse consumptiecultuur om geld draait, is de VS geen democratie, zolang slechts een handjevol bankiers, dat alleen de belangen van hun bank behartigen, er de dienst uitmaken. Zoals de Amerikaanse econoom John Kenneth Galbraith schreef in zijn boek Money: Whence it came, where it went (1975)

The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled. With something so important, a deeper mystery seems only decent. 

Vlak voor zijn dood in 2006 concludeerde Galbraith, die ‘wordt beschouwd als een van de belangrijkste economen van de 20e eeuw,’:

There's no question that this is a time when corporations have taken over the basic process of governing.

Vier jaar eerder had hij er publiekelijk op gewezen dat:

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

In haar ‘zoektocht naar een opperste morele rechtvaardiging voor egoïsme’ wordt de rijke elite bijgestaan door de ‘vrije pers’ die elke dag weer met een valse voorstelling van zaken de economische en politieke werkelijkheid verhult. Wanneer de grijze eminentie van de polderpers, Henk Hofland, de lezer van De Groene Amsterdammer onweersproken laat weten dat hij op zijn 88ste ‘nog altijd bij voorkeur onder Amerikaanse leiding, als het een Democraat is’ de toekomst in wil, dan betekent dit een onvoorwaardelijke steun aan een totalitair systeem waarop geen democratische controle mogelijk is, en dat, zoals Galbraith aangaf, niets anders is dan puur ‘egoïsme,’ omkleed met mooie woorden. Kort samen gevat:

Fundamentally, capitalism — the economic and political system by which goods and services are privately owned, commodified and distributed through the market — requires the majority to sell their labour in order to keep generating profits, while also relying upon both women's unpaid work in the private sphere to ensure the reproduction of labour power and the existence of a large pool of labour which remains unenfranchised and unintegrated into the formal wage economy. Such an exploitative system necessitates the majority relinquishing a great deal of their power over the political, social and economic forces that mould everyday life. 

Op mainstream-opiniemakers als H.J.A. Hofland na, zijn er weinig burgers die deze feiten in twijfel zullen trekken. Juist daarom rust op dit onderwerp een taboe in de westerse ‘corporate media.’ Vandaar ook dat Geert Mak op pagina 463 van zijn bestseller Reizen zonder John. Op zoek naar Amerika (2012) met grote stelligheid beweert dat het de ‘Amerikaanse presidenten, Wilson en Roosevelt’ waren, ‘die een begin van orde brachten in de mondiale politiek en economie,’ en daarnaast volhoudt dat Washington en Wall Street na 1945 ‘decennialang’ als ‘ordebewaker en politieagent’ van de wereld fungeerden. Mak’s ‘orde’ is de geglobaliseerde wanorde waarmee de hele mensheid nu wordt geconfronteerd. Hoe paradoxaal dit ook moge klinken, juist daarom kunnen vooraanstaande opiniemakers als Mak en Hofland onweersproken overal in de mainstream-media hun meningen verkopen. Daarentegen wordt iemand als bijvoorbeeld de kritische Amerikaanse onderzoekster Rebecca Fisher van Corporate Watch, waar zij zich vooral bezig houdt met vraagstukken betreffende ‘democracy and consent,’ door de mainstream-media geweerd. Als redacteur van de uitstekend gedocumenteerde essaybundels Managing Democracy. Managing Dissent. Capitalism, Democracy and the Organisation of Consent (2013) schreef zij in de introductie: 

In modern-day capitalism, political and economic decisions are made largely in the interests of corporations — the institutional managers of the capitalist system — their profit margins, and a transnational class of elites. Governments frequently serve as vital handmaids of the perpetual drive for the profits and resources. They create and maintain the conditions necessary for continual capitalist accumulation, and provides protection from the resistance capitalism inevitably provokes, via the legitimation of capitalism and  repression of dissent. From   political   policing   to   generous corporate-friendlv legislation, from massive bank bailouts to military interventions to secure corporate access to valuable resources and markets, governments  protect the functioning of the market and the accumulation of capital above all other social or ecological considerations. Wide-ranging political and economic decisions which affect the lives of billions are made in largely unaccountable inter-governmental institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Such antidemocratic forms of governance are necessary to ensure that the corporate engine continues to accumulate profit through new resources , new markets and ever cheaper sources of labor. The socio-political polarity thus intensifies as global capitalist penetration deepens, making the task of its legitimation increasingly difficult. For as social and economic oppression intensifies, so can the clamors for redress, clamors which must be contained. This is the contradiction at the heart of capitalism, and that which demonstrates the lie of democratic capitalism.

Hoe duidelijker die leugen zichtbaar wordt des te afhankelijker de elite is van propagandisten als Mak en Hofland. Dit geeft meteen het belang aan van het voortdurend aan de kaak stellen van het bedrog van dergelijke opiniemakers. Zo luid mogelijk, zo lang mogelijk, en zo vaak mogelijk. Zij zijn namelijk de onmisbare schakel in de legitimering van het onrecht. Werden voorheen dit soort charlatans met pek en veren de stad uit gejaagd, nu kunnen ze ongestoord in de publieke ruimte met hun leugens leuren. Om te voorkomen dat het bedrog ter discussie wordt gesteld, blijft het, aldus Fisher, 

essential that the incompatibility of genuine democracy and capitalism is disguised, and for the majority to believe that democracy and capitalism are not compatible but indivisible: that one engenders the other. And if this connection seems not to be quite watertight it is reinforced by the more negative notion that capitalism is the form of social organization truest to basic human nature, and thus no more equitable, or sustainable system is possible. Together, they help to engender the widely held belief that challenging capitalism is not only misguided but unprogressive, even pernicious, and as a result, deserving of the marginalization an repression it receives. 

This ideological perversion of ‘democracy’ is therefore used to create a hegemonic order in which a set of beliefs which broadly correspond to the ‘democratic’ nature or at least potential of capitalism becomes so accepted, even internalized, throughout the public mind, that it acquires the status of ‘common-sense’ or even of a self-evident ‘truth,’ and thus opposing values or ideas are deemed ‘illegitimate’ or ‘unacceptable’ or even ‘illogical.’ Unlike more totalitarian systems, such ideological hegemony does not entail one particular dominant world-view, but allows for a variety of differing opinions as long as they do not transgress particular boundaries of ‘legitimate’ or ‘reasonable’ values, opinions and actions. In this way a semblance of plurality and open debate can be created, even though the overall limits can in effect be as rigid as any totalitarian system, but without as much overt policing of thought and action. For if these notions are largely internalized, the need for them to be so visibly policed by overt propaganda or coercion, which would only expose the pretense of democracy, is obviated (afgewend. svh). The power of ideological hegemony results from its ability to limit or repress the imagination of the possible or even conceivable, thereby facilitating the implementation of policies and systems which might otherwise be deeply unpopular, and the incorporation, recuperation and neutralization of forms of politics which might otherwise have remained fundamentally oppositional.

The belief in the inevitability, viability and democratic nature of capitalism within civil society leads to popular consent — that is, the majority participate in a social order even though it is inherently incapable of achieving social equality, or meeting our needs and interests, and is an order over which we have very little say. Today, most people have little choice but to sell their labour in return for the minimal freedoms granted by wages, although many others have not been granted even this, hard-fought, concession. Either way, labour provides the profit necessary for the continued accumulation of capital, and the majority are left with a meagre degree of wealth and freedom which suffices to contain antagonism and dissent. In addition, the jobs most of us are permitted are actively connected to the maintenance of capitalist systems of production, providing surplus profit for employers, providing the social welfare services that train and educate workers and providing services that seek to soften the worst effects of socio-economic inequalities. As the capitalist system is forced to become more coercive to protect the social and public order, so the security industry increases its share of the labour market — the army, police, prison officers, security guards, private mercenaries etc. In return we are ‘rewarded’ with grossly unequal wages, with which we are compelled to purchase or rent basic requirements for life, such as food and housing, which have all become ensnared by the market. Meanwhile, services such as education and healthcare are becoming even more overtly divorced from our control, increasingly placed in the hands of private companies over which we have even less authority than our governments. The idea of common ownership and entitlement of such provisions has been hacked away at to such an extent that to advocate more democratic control is to risk accusations of naivety or lunacy. Trapped in the capitalist system in which we must participate to gain the money necessary for survival, anti-capitalist, democratic notions contradict the prevalent ‘common-sense’ and are thus rarely heard, let alone heeded. Instead, we are force-fed the illogical ‘truth’ that capitalism is inevitable and progressive, and that, in spite of the inherent social limits to capital accumulation, and the obvious finiteness of the planet’s resources, it will eventually provide for all; indeed, that it is the only system that ever will.

Of course, this is not to negate the reality of people’s conflict with the system. People will continue to fight to improve their lives and the lives of others, in spite of the way economic dependence on work and economic insecurity limits the time and energy available for such efforts. But collective internalization of the ‘truth’ of the ‘democratic’ nature of capitalism and its destiny to engender the best possible life for all, can limit such struggles, and heavily circumscribe their political intent, when they do emerge. For a collective belief in the illegitimacy of challenging the fundamentals of capitalism will engender only reformist political activity - that is, working to make certain changes which even if granted remain compatible with the functioning of the wider social order. Arguably, such actions which can be incorporated within the system actually strengthen the capitalist social order, insofar as they create the impression of a citizenry armed with democratic political freedoms to effect change. And so, great lengths are taken to co-opt resistance struggles, and to keep them within these boundaries, thereby protecting the capitalist system and reproducing the ideology of ‘democracy’. And while activities which are not contained in this way, and which do fundamentally challenge that system, are deemed to be morally illegitimate, it becomes legitimate to use state (or privatized) repression against them, ironically in the name of protecting ‘democracy.’

Typerend voor de corrupte houding van bijvoorbeeld Geert Mak is dat wanneer hij stelt dat het de ‘Amerikaanse presidenten, Wilson en Roosevelt’ waren, ‘die een begin van orde brachten in de mondiale politiek en economie,’ mijn oude vriend dan refereert aan juist de periode waarin de financiële macht een begin maakte met de uitholling van de westerse democratie. In hetzelfde jaar dat president Wilson op 23 december 1913 de zogeheten ‘Federal Reserve Act’ tekende, waarbij de financiële elite de macht over het geld kreeg en zelf geld kon creëren uit lucht, schreef hij in zijn boek The New Freedom:

Shall we try to get the grip of monopoly away from our lives, or shall we not? Shall we withhold our hand and say monopoly is inevitable, that all that we can do is to regulate it? Shall we say that all that we can do is to put government in competition with monopoly and try its strength against it? Shall we admit that the creature of our own hands is stronger than we are? We have been dreading all along the time when the combined power of high finance would be greater than the power of the government. Have we come to a time when the President of the United States or any man who wishes to be the President must doff his cap in the presence of this high finance, and say, ‘You are our inevitable master, but we will see how we can make the best of it?’

We are at the parting of the ways. We have, not one or two or three, but many, established and formidable monopolies in the United States. We have, not one or two, but many, fields of endeavor into which it is difficult, if not impossible, for the independent man to enter. We have restricted credit, we have restricted opportunity, we have controlled development, and we have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world — no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men.

Wilson zette uiteen dat 

A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men…

This money trust, or, as it should be more properly called, this credit trust… is no myth; it is no imaginary thing. It is not an ordinary trust like another. It doesn't do business every day. It does business only when there is occasion to do business. You can sometimes do something large when it isn't watching, but when it is watching, you can't do much. And I have seen men squeezed by it; I have seen men who, as they themselves expressed it, were put ‘out of business by Wall Street,’ because Wall Street found them inconvenient and didn't want their competition.

Dit systeem, waarbij de ‘groei van de natie,’ en ‘al onze activiteiten in handen zijn van een paar mannen,’ wordt door Geert Mak aangeprezen als het scheppen van ‘orde’ in ‘de mondiale politiek en economie.’ Gezien de talloze kredietcrises en beurscrashes die het Westen na 1913 aan de rand van de afgrond hebben gebracht, en tot wereldoorlogen hebben geleid, kan de conclusie niet anders zijn dan dat Mak’s ‘orde’ de grootst mogelijke wanorde is, die de kloof tussen rijk en arm wereldwijd almaar doet toenemen. Op zich zou zijn dwaasheid niet zo rampzalig hoeven te zijn, ware het niet dat ook de rest van de mainstream-pers er rotsvast van overtuigd is dat deze wanorde de best denkbare ‘orde’ is. Mijn collega’s van de 'corporate media' zijn zo succesvol gehersenspoeld dat ze niet eens beseffen hoe krankzinnig hun beweringen zijn. Zij zijn het levende bewijs dat het rationalisme van de Verlichting even weinig invloed heeft gehad als het evangelie van Christus op de dwaasheid van de mens. In dit verband schreef Rebecca Fisher in Managing Democracy. Managing Dissent:
  
Today, the processes of managing dissent via the ideology of democratic capitalism are highly developed. Yet as a consequence of many processes, including the deepening globalizing penetration of capitalism, the resulting financial crisis and the accompanying imposed austerity measures, the ecological crisis asserting the planetary limits on capitalist expansion, and the structural social limits to capital accumulation (the ability or willingness of workers to keep working and consumers to keep consuming), the hegemonic order is arguably becoming increasingly vulnerable. The myth of ‘democracy’ has to be carefully and constantly (re)created, not only in the media and other information-producing institutions, but also through the influencing, neutralizing and outright repression of people’s political agency. From the structures and nature of institutions through which people choose to take political action, to the sources of funding for political groups; from the the circumscription and control of information and culture to which people have access, to the manipulation of the very language we have to describe our realities, much of this channelling and influencing is subtle, insidious and, even covert, taking effect incrementally and cumulatively. But sometimes the process is forced to be more overt, risking exposure, particularly when people resist co-option and containment and so coercion must be applied. The struggles over the meanings and definitions of democracy form a fundamental battleground in the struggle for a just and equitable world. It is thus vital to try and understand this issue, from a theoretical, historical and contemporary perspective.

This volume thus aims to expose some of the overt and covert ways in which democracy is managed to protect unequal power structures of capitalism from the potential force of participatory democracy. It is made up of five sections, which together build a picture of how the hollow promise of capitalist ‘democracy’ is promoted, while our political thoughts and actions are heavily circumscribed through subtle and sometimes not so subtle methods, in order to protect capitalism and forestall genuine democracy.

Met recht zouden Mak en de Makkianen kunnen zeggen: ’Wij witte mannen lijden aan een ziekte van het hart dat alleen goud kan genezen.’ Het gruwelijkste is evenwel dat ze zich van geen kwaad bewust zijn. Zolang de opportunisten de macht blijven dienen is de mensheid gedoemd zichzelf te vernietigen.



De Makkiaanse 'orde,' verkondigd vanaf de kansel.




1 opmerking:

  1. Die verwaten kop van de onvermijdelijke Mak. Bah!

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