Wednesday 20th of February 2019

writing the truth: five difficulties...


Fascism Is the True Face of Capitalism

by Bertholt Brecht, 1935

The truth must be spoken with a view to the results it will produce in the sphere of action. As a specimen of a truth from which no results, or the wrong ones, follow, we can cite the widespread view that bad conditions prevail in a number of countries as a result of barbarism. In this view, Fascism is a wave of barbarism which has descended upon some countries with the elemental force of a natural phenomenon. According to this view, Fascism is a new, third power beside (and above) capitalism and socialism; not only the socialist movement but capitalism as well might have survived without the intervention of Fascism. And so on. This is, of course, a Fascist claim; to accede to it is a capitulation to Fascism.

Fascism is a historic phase of capitalism; in this sense it is something new and at the same time old. In Fascist countries capitalism continues to exist, but only in the form of Fascism; and Fascism can be combated as capitalism alone, as the nakedest, most shameless, most oppressive, and most treacherous form of capitalism.

But how can anyone tell the truth about Fascism, unless he is willing to speak out against capitalism, which brings it forth? What will be the practical results of such truth?

Those who are against Fascism without being against capitalism, who lament over the barbarism that comes out of barbarism, are like people who wish to eat their veal without slaughtering the calf. They are willing to eat the calf, but they dislike the sight of blood. They are easily satisfied if the butcher washes his hands before weighing the meat. They are not against the property relations which engender barbarism; they are only against barbarism itself. They raise their voices against barbarism, and they do so in countries where precisely the same property relations prevail, but where the butchers wash their hands before weighing the meat.

Outcries against barbarous measures may be effective as long as the listeners believe that such measures are out of the question in their own countries. Certain countries are still able to maintain their property relations by methods that appear less violent than those used in other countries.

Democracy still serves in these countries to achieve the results for which violence is needed in others, namely, to guarantee private ownership of the means of production.  [our emphasis]  The private monopoly of factories, mines, and land creates barbarous conditions everywhere, but in some places these conditions do not so forcibly strike the eye. Barbarism strikes the eye only when it happens that monopoly can be protected only by open violence.

Some countries, which do not yet find it necessary to defend their barbarous monopolies by dispensing with the formal guarantees of a constitutional state, as well as with such amenities as art, philosophy, and literature, are particularly eager to listen to visitors who abuse their native lands because those amenities are denied there. They gladly listen because they hope to derive from what they hear advantages in future wars. Shall we say that they have recognized the truth who, for example, loudly demand an unrelenting struggle against Germany “because that country is now the true home of Evil in our day, the partner of hell, the abode of the Antichrist”? We should rather say that these are foolish and dangerous people. For the conclusion to be drawn from this nonsense is that since poison gas and bombs do not pick out the guilty, Germany must be exterminated—the whole country and all its people.

The man who does not know the truth expresses himself in lofty, general, and imprecise terms. He shouts about “the” German, he complains about Evil in general, and whoever hears him cannot make out what to do. Shall he decide not to be a German? Will hell vanish if he himself is good? The silly talk about the barbarism that comes out of barbarism is also of this kind. The source of barbarism is barbarism, and it is combated by culture, which comes from education. All this is put in general terms; it is not meant to be a guide to action and is in reality addressed to no one.

Such vague descriptions point to only a few links in the chain of causes. Their obscurantism conceals the real forces making for disaster. If light be thrown on the matter it promptly appears that disasters are caused by certain men. For we live in a time when the fate of man is determined by men.

Fascism is not a natural disaster which can be understood simply in terms of “human nature”. But even when we are dealing with natural catastrophes, there are ways to portray them which are worthy of human beings because they appeal to man’s fighting spirit. After a great earthquake that destroyed Yokohama, many American magazines published photographs showing a heap of ruins. The captions read: STEEL STOOD. And, to be sure, though one might see only ruins at first glance, the eye swiftly discerned, after noting the caption, that a few tall buildings had remained standing. Among the multitudinous descriptions that can be given of an earthquake, those drawn up by construction engineers concerning the shifts in the ground, the force of stresses, the best developed, etc., are of the greatest importance, for they lead to future construction which will withstand earthquakes.

If anyone wishes to describe Fascism and war, great disasters which are not natural catastrophes, he must do so in terms of a practical truth. He must show that these disasters are launched by the possessing classes to control the vast numbers of workers who do not own the means of production. If one wishes successfully to write the truth about evil conditions, one must write it so that its avertible causes can be identified. If the preventable causes can be identified, the evil conditions can be fought.


Bertolt Brecht (1935). Writing the truth: Five difficulties. Translation by Richard Winston, for the magazine ‘Twice a Year’. Collected in William Wasserstrom, ed., Civil Liberties and the Arts: Selections from Twice a Year, 1938-48. Syracuse University Press, 1964.

reading classics

Picture at top by Gus Leonisky. Statue of Brecht, on Brecht platz, Berlin.

for many, bush senior was a nasty nasty man...

Ariel Dorfman, (born May 6, 1942, Buenos Aires, Argentina), Chilean American author and human rights activist whose plays and novels engage with the vibrant politically engaged Latin American literary tradition of Pablo Neruda and Gabriel García Márquez.

Dorfman’s family moved from Argentina to the United States while he was still an infant and then to Chile in 1954. He attended and eventually taught at the University of Chile in Santiago. From 1970 to 1973 Dorfman served as a cultural adviser in the administration of Salvador Allende, Chile’s first socialist president, whom the U.S. government actively opposed. In September 1973 Allende’s democratically elected government was violently overthrown in a military coup that put the dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet in power. Dorfman was forced into exile, living and writing in the United States until the restoration of Chilean democracy began in 1990. In 1985 he began teaching literature and Latin American studies at Duke University.

Dorfman’s play La muerte y la doncella (1990; Death and the Maiden), perhaps his best-known work, was completed in Chile as he observed his country’s painful transition from authoritarianism to democracy. The politically charged play follows Paulina Salas, a former political prisoner in an unnamed Latin American country, whose husband unknowingly brings home the man she believes to have tortured and raped her more than 20 years before. It is a drama rooted in Chile’s particular human rights crisis, yet the lyrical power of Dorfman’s writing made the play a touchstone for exploring similar issues around the world. In 1994 the play was adapted for film by the director Roman Polanski. La muerte y la doncella is one part of Dorfman’s Resistance trilogy, along with the play Reader (1995), adapted from an short storyby Dorfman, and the novel Viudas (1981; Widows). Dorfman also published the novels Konfidenz (1994), Terapia (1999; Blake’s Therapy), and The Nanny and the Iceberg (1999).

Dorfman wrote extensively on issues related to Latin American politics, American cultural hegemony, war, and human rights, publishing essays in both English and Spanish. He also worked with organizations such as Amnesty International, Index on Censorship, and Human Rights Watch.


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But our aversion had more personal roots: Bush had operated as head of the CIA from 30 January 1976 until 20 January 1977. As such, he was undoubtedly privy to exhaustive information about the devastation being inflicted by the US-supported Pinochet regime in Chile, at a time when opponents were being disappeared, concentration camps were still open and torture was rampant. During his tenure, the American government facilitated the infamous Operation Condor, run by the intelligence services of six Latin American dictatorships to coordinate their repression of dissidents. Perhaps most inexcusable was that Bush remained unrepentant of his country’s involvement in so much suffering. Had he not stated – when an American missile had blown up an Iranian aircraft with 290 innocent civilians aboard in 1988 – that he would “never apologize for the United States of America. Ever. I don’t care what the facts are.”


Read also: when our barron is a bannon... in come to daddy .....

statistical economics... you're screwed...


One of the oddest things about 2016, so far at least, is how economic common sense is being twisted in all sorts of ways to explain what’s going on in the global economy.

By the end of 2015 market commentators were clamouring for an interest rate rise from the Federal Reserve to restore confidence. Normally, the only reason to raise rates is if there is inflation in the economy and you want to squeeze it out.

Problem: there was no inflation in the US, or almost anywhere else, at the end of 2015.

So despite that rather obvious fact, the markets got the rise that they wanted and … it helped lower economic activity, precisely as one would expect, which has had a decidedly negative impact on confidence.

Generally speaking, when you make something more expensive – in this case, money – people buy less of it. But in this world, “the markets” were arguing that people would buy more of something if you made it more expensive, and that would produce confidence, so they would buy more, which is a bit odd, to say the least.

The next bit of oddness, apparent as we entered into 2016, was that the fall in commodity pricesespecially oil, was not good news. Yet falling commodity prices means that everyone who is not a commodity producer or an oil company pays less for their inputs, and can then spend more on other stuff, which has to be good – right?

But the markets, once again, figured different. Falling oil prices were now seen as a bad thing, with markets in January having a mini heart attack as oil prices fell below $30 a barrel. When pressed as to why this was a bad thing, no one in these markets seemed to have a clear answer. But the markets freaked out anyway.

A cause for this volatility had to be found, and it was, by the middle of January, in the form of China’s banking sector. And so for the past month the markets have been fretting about the non-performing Loans (NPL’s) in China … and their “dodgy” economic statistics.

But just last year the IMF, who has plenty of data on NPL’s everywhere, brought the yuan into its basket of reserve currencies, which is hardly what you would do if you thought it was all going to pot. After all, China’s statistics and loan book have been questionable for years … but so has Italy’s and Ireland for that matter. And China has literally trillions of dollars (and other currencies) in reserves to throw at the problem – not to mention a decidedly non-democratic state that can, and often does, just make things go away.

So why is China now the cause of all ills? Along with China, cheap money, and everything else? Quite possibly because the world has changed, fundamentally, and financial markets are incentivised not to recognise this. 

Today there is no inflation anywhere that isn’t due to a currency collapse brought on when the country that issues the currency is heavily dependent on imports, such as Russia and Brazil.

Globalisation, and concerted action for 30 years by the political right, has killed the ability of labour to demand higher wages, hence record inequalityand super low inflation. Meanwhile, yields on assets, and interest rates in such a world, will stay long and low well beyond 2016 as global savings outpace global investment, and everyone except the US tries to run an export surplus.

This is an ugly world for financial markets, used to delivering the types of returns that people thought normal before the crash: 6 to 8%, liquid, and abundant. That money was made in a period when interest rates and inflation rates across the world fell year on year from abnormally high levels. In that world it was hard not to make money.

But now we find ourselves in a post-crisis world in which the old tricks no longer work despite growth at 1.5%, inflation at 0.5% and interest rates in some places at minus 0.25%.

Rather than face this fact, the markets blame China, this week, or it’s the Fed’s rate policy, last month, or its quantitative easing (another bete noire for markets of long standing).

But here’s the bad news. It’s not their fault. Long and low as far as you go driven by ageing populations in developed countries that save more than they spend pushing down interest rates and consumption to the point of deflationas everyone tries to run a surplus is the reality of the world today.

So what will the rest of 2016 look like?

Just like we have seen so far – periodic inexplicable and what the heck moments as markets everywhere hunt for causes to explain away something very inconvenient. That the game has changed for financial markets – that there is no going back to the boom times – and that the world going forward is a much more boring, and much less finance friendly place, than the markets want to admit. Most of all to themselves.


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spherical argument about rights...

Since the trend toward rising economic inequality in the United States became apparent in the 1990s, scholars and commentators have heatedly debated its causes and consequences. What has been less evident is a vigorous positive discussion about what equality means and how it might be pursued.


... More guff. Conclusion:


How, then, can we build institutional frameworks in the social and economic domains that guide our associational practices in the direction of social equality and our economic practices in the direction of egalitarianism? We need a virtuous circle in which political equality supports institutions that, in turn, support social and economic equality ― for without those frameworks, the result could well be the emergence of social castes or economic exploitation, either of which would feed back to undermine political equality.

Rising to such a challenge is clearly difficult, but the basic issues involved can be sketched simply. The two fundamental sources of power in a democracy are numbers and control over the state's use of force. The media have access to eyeballs and ears, and therefore to numbers. Wealth, celebrity and social movement organisation can also provide access to eyeballs and ears. Wealth secures that access indirectly, by buying media resources; celebrity brings it directly. Organising can also achieve such access, but only by dint of hard work. And wealth can also sometimes buy access to institutional control.

Many argue that the most important step needed to restore political equality now is to check the power of money in politics through campaign finance reform or to equalise the resources available to political actors by publicly subsidising campaigns. They have a point, but by themselves such remedies are insufficient because they focus on only part of the broader picture. Reformers should be considering not merely how to check the power of money in politics, but also how to rebuild the power of organisers and organising as a counterbalance to wealth.

A particularly productive path toward this goal has been identified by Yale law professor Heather Gerken, who argues for a new federalism that maps out consequential policy domains at all levels of the political system and supports citizen engagement at each level. Gerken's project is not about states' rights ― the federal rights enforcement structure would continue to establish the rules of the game for engagement at the local level. But she correctly points out that significant power resides throughout the various layers of U.S. politics and that there are rich egalitarian possibilities in all sorts of areas, from zoning, housing and transportation to labour markets, education and regulation. Policy contestation at the local and regional levels, she notes, can drive changes at the national level, with the case of marriage equality being only the most recent prominent example.

Bolstering political equality throughout the lower and middle layers of the U.S. federalised political system is a not an easy or sexy task, but that is what is required to redress the outsized power of money in national life that has been both the consequence and the enabler of rising economic inequality. Liberty and equality can be mutually reinforcing, just as the founders believed. But to make that happen, political equality will need to be secured first and then be used to maintain, and be maintained by, egalitarianism in the social and economic spheres as well.

Danielle Allen is the James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, and Director of Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. She is the author of The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic AthensTalking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown vs. the Board of EducationWhy Plato WroteOur Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of EqualityEducation and Equality and, most recently, Cuz: An American Tragedy.


Gus: In democracy, we struggle with numbers.This is why Morrison (Scummo) got his totally undemocratic rule passed in the Liberal (CONservative) party that 2/3 of the caucus was needed to overthrow the Prime Minister of the said party, unlike the more democratic 50 per cent (1/2) plus one, of the past. The more people we have in our social networks, the more rules and regulations "we need" — in increments, (not so much in progressive values) — to make sure the social things we don't like don't happen — though they will on incidental levels — but not on a revolutionary scale nor on a level of uncertainty, nor on large numbers... And things we'd like to happen (and should happen) are negatively caught in this maelstrom of incremental rules. Our rulers know this, but they can stop themselves from using a big stick. 

No matter where you turn, rights have been eroded around the world — if ever they existed. Often we survive with the illusion of rights rather than their true application. We have displaced and rebranded slavery. We are racist, sexist, warriors, discriminatory and insular in our individual and collective decisions. We rob others from their ancestral lands, but we blame "history". We manage our hypocrisy rather than accept rights...


We can do better. Join the "yellow jackets"? Have we got the stuff?


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Note: I have argued in the past that "capitalism" isn't a form of government, but a facilitator of whichever government one chooses, in various value. Capitalism will facilitate fascism and neoconservatism in this fashion. Capitalism will only enter socialism on a much smaller local scale... but still exist as long as people are able to "trade money".

public assets going to the dog of fascist privatisation...



Privatization Is at Core of Facsism

Privatizations are increasingly fashionable, such as in Greece, Ukraine, the U.S., and UK — and privatizations are a central feature of fascism.

The core of fascism is the idea that there is some elite, whether ‘Aryan’ or ‘chosen by God,’ or otherwise, who should run things, and that everyone else exists in order to serve that elite. Inevitably, this official elite consists of the people whom the powers-that-be assign as constituting the owners of almost everything that’s valuable. Increasingly, things become those people’s private possession — even what was formerly a public asset becomes now private. Beaches become private. Schools become private. Natural resources become private. It’s not just the art that was stolen by the Nazis and privatized to them and/or shown at museums that they control, which becomes private; it’s whatever the elite want to have, and to control: it’s all now private. That’s the fascist ideal. 

The legal system accommodates the legal owners, in any fascist nation, just as the legal system accommodates the legal owners in any nation at all. And, in fascism, the legal owners are the aristocracy, which are the people who have helped bring the system into being as it now is. Typically, they are the aristocracy that already exists in the given nation, if it was formerly a democracy (aristocrats tend to hate democracy; so, they bring into being fascism to replace it), but they can also be a group that is partially new and that is also partially composed of merely the winning segment of the old aristocracy — the segment of the old aristocracy that had won the type of intra-aristocratic conflict that always exists, within any aristocracy. Whereas any aristocracy is always at war against the public, there are also competitions within any aristocracy to determine which aristocrats will be the dominant ones. 

Any fascism is controlled by the nation’s aristocracy, and serves those people — not really the public, who receive nothing but propaganda from the aristocrats’ regime. Even in a dictatorship, not only in a democracy, the press or media are needed in order to sell the government’s policies to its public. If the press is privatized, it’s owned by members of the aristocracy. If the press is owned directly by the government, it still is propaganda. The great majority of the public have no way around propaganda. If aristocrats are in control, few people will even know that that’s the case.

Privatization thus replaces public, government-owned, assets, by privately owned assets, and so it transfers control from publicly elected (government) leaders (who are answerable to everyone at ballot-boxes), to private ones — to private stockholders who decide how those assets will be used — regardless of whether the asset happens to be schools, or hospitals, or land, or natural resources, or roads, or whatever. Anything can be privatized. Anything can be run by an elite, by an ‘owner.’ Fascism tries to maximize that: private ownership of what was formerly public property.

Consequently, the first group of privatizations occurred in the first fascist nation, Italy, in the 1920s; and the second group of privatizations occurred in the second fascist nation, Germany, in the 1930s. Privatizations started under Mussolini, and then were instituted under Hitler. That got the fascist ball rolling; and, after a few decades of hiatus in the wake of fascism’s embarrassing supposed defeat in WW II, it resurfaced and then surged yet again after 1970, when fascist forces in the global aristocracy, such as via the CIA, IMF, Bilderberg group, and Trilateral Commission, imposed the global reign of the world’s main private holders of bonds and of stocks: the world’s aristocrats are taking on an increasing percentage of what were previously public assets.

Privatizations, after starting in fascisms during the pre-WWII years, resumed again in the 1970s under the fascist Chilean leader Augusto Pinochet; and in the 1980s under the fascist British leader Margaret Thatcher (a passionate supporter of apartheid in South Africa) and also under the smiling fascist American leader Ronald Reagan (who followed the prior success of Richard Nixon’s «Southern Strategy» of White domination in the by-then resurgent-conservative U.S., and might even be said to have been America’s first fully fascist President); and in the 1990s under several fascist (formerly communist) leaders throughout the former Soviet Union, under the guidance of Harvard University’s fascist economics department, which transferred control from the former nomenklatura, to the new (Western-dependent) «oligarchs».

And, privatizations are now all the rage throughout the world, such as in today’s fascist United States, and today’s fascist United Kingdom.

Mussolini was the man-of-the-future, but — after Franklin Delano Roosevelt died, and finally Thatcher and Reagan and other ‘free-marketeers’ came into office — Mussolini’s «future» has increasingly become our own «now»: the Axis Powers’ ideology has actually been winning in the post-WW-II world. Only, this time, it’s called instead by such names as «libertarianism» or «neo-liberalism», no longer «fascism», so that only the true-believing fascists, the aristocrats, will even know that it’s actually fascism. It’s their Big Con. It’s their Big Lie. Just renaming fascism as «libertarianism» or «neo-liberalism», has fooled the masses to think that it’s pro-democratic. «Capitalism» has thus come to be re-defined to refer to only the aristocratically controlled form of capitalism: fascism. The ideological battle has thus apparently been won by a cheap terminological deceit. That’s all it takes for dictatorship to be able to win.

The democratically controlled form of capitalism, such as in some northern European countries, has commonly been called «socialism»; and, of course, it’s opposed to all forms of dictatorship, both communist and fascist. Socialism is the democratic form of capitalism. It’s the form of capitalism that serves the public, instead of the aristocracy, at any point where the two have conflicting interests. It subordinates the aristocracy to the public. Fascism instead subordinates the public to the aristocracy, which is the natural tendency (because the «World's Richest 0.7% Own 13.67 Times as Much as World's Poorest 68.7%», and the «World’s Richest 80 People Own Same Amount as World’s Bottom 50%»). 

(Thus, recognizing those just-linked-to shocking realities, the basic decisions for the future of the world can actually be made by perhaps as few as only a hundred or so people, whose representatives at forums such as Bilderberg can coordinate things in private, and so can provide a sort of global supra-government, with those representatives serving as ministers to their principals, who, of course, will then carry out the details of whatever has been agreed upon between their agents, on their behalf. Payments then can be made in the normal way, between their respective corporations, and this arrangement can include payments to lobbying firms, etc., as well as to media companies, for advertisements, both of a commercial, and of a political, nature, in order to keep everything in line with the mutually-agreed-upon global-aristocratic plan.)

Within recent decades, the international aristocracy, with America’s in the lead, has, in fact, set into motion a plan to privatize an emerging world government, so as to prevent it from being democratic: instead of socialist, this would be a fascist world government. Its origins can even be found in the writings by Mussolini himself. (If he might be said to have had a «Plan ‘B’», then this could have been his, and the plan’s ultimate adoption seems now to be only a matter of time. The present informal fascist system, via Bilderberg meetings etc., as was just summarized, would then operate only around the fringes of that more formal system, which would destroy national sovereignty and any trace of democracy, regarding many currently governmental matters, such as regulating the environment and product-safety. In a sense: virtually the whole world would then be a prison containing the public, and only aristocrats would have keys to unlock it, if and when and where they wish to let someone out into their tiny luxurious free world.)

Mussolini, incidentally, did not create fascism; he learnt it from his personal teacher, Vilfredo Pareto, who was one of the founders of the microeconomic theory that exists to this day and that is intrinsic to all cost/benefit analyses in capitalist economics. (It’s actually fascist economics, neither socialist nor communist economics. No microeconomic theory for a democracy — no socialist microeconomics — has yet been put forth, or else none has survived that was.) Aristocrats liked Pareto’s theory, so it became embodied in what’s called «welfare economics», which is designed to fit with his political theory, which is fascism. Pareto was even rightly called «the Karl Marx of fascism.» For example: According to Pareto, freeing a slave from his or her master would be wrong unless the master accepts it as part of a transaction in which the slave is being sold and the master is satisfied with the payment that is being offered in the transaction. If the master isn’t satisfied, then the transaction would be «inefficient», in the terminology of fascist microeconomic theory, which is the foundation of the existing type of capitalist economics — the type of economics that is being taught around the world.

America’s President Abraham Lincoln was one of the first people to advocate coherently for socialism. Whereas, to Pareto, property came first; to Lincoln, persons came first. To Pareto, property-rights were supreme. To Lincoln, human rights came first.

Lincoln was tragically shot by a conservative, and the political Party that he had helped to found (the Republican Party) was then quickly taken over by America’s aristocrats (and it, too, is described at that last link, making clear that Lincoln would have despised the Republican Party that followed after him; he would repudiate it).

Although the America of today is opposed to socialism, America’s two greatest Presidents, Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, were both socialists: they both placed human rights above any property rights; they both favored democratic capitalism. Unlike FDR, Lincoln existed before fascism did; so, in his era, the equivalent was feudalism, and he was determined to end that in the U.S. South — thus, the Civil War.

Even an ordinary American scholar has argued that both Lincoln and FDR were «socialist», and in the case of Lincoln he lists the actions this President took, as being the reasons for calling him a «socialist.» Lincoln wasn’t merely a pioneering socialist; he was, indeed, a very bold one.

America did not become fascist until recent decades. At the end of an analysis of polling-data in 2012, I had concluded: «The danger of outright fascism coming soon in Washington is real – the culmination of Reagan’s rightward thrust. It’s shown not just in the polling data, but in each day’s news, especially when viewed in the light of history. Everyone should be made aware of it.» But now I would say: We are already there.

And the last U.S. President before Ronald Reagan, which was Jimmy Carter, has recently said, in a startling outburst of honesty, reflecting upon what has happened to the United States after he left office:

Now it's just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members. So, now we've just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over.

He just described fascism: the privatization of the government itself.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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In Australia, the public assets (land and resources) have long been sold (given) to adventurers and gold diggers from the mid 1800s. This was part of the world's search for gold where private enterprise — from one person to full-fledge companies — could enrich themselves in "gold rushes". The Eureka Stockade was but a brief revolution in this country when the "government" wanted its share of the loot, and increased taxes on miners. Welcome the "Gilet Jaunes" of the time, 1854. 


In regard to gold one needs to read, the way some countries steal other countries cash:

not to mention the banks...

Every new scandal of the past 20 years — foreign exchange rip-offs, overcharging and fee gouging on everything from credit cards to accounts and advice, rigging markets from currency to interest rates and even gold, predatory lending, unfair foreclosures, hidden commissions on superannuation, financial advisors, mortgage brokers, et al — has thrown up the same excuse.

Just a couple of bad apples.

Rather than an excuse, it's a pretty accurate explanation of exactly what's happened. For a couple of bad apples really can spoil the entire load, as ethylene gas causes apples to ripen and then mould.

That mould quickly spreads to healthy apples in search of food. Before you know it, you have a barrel, rotten to the, um, core. And if the barrels are stored close together, say four or five in row, well, you get the picture.

As the royal commission has shown, the entire financial system has become infected, terrifically illustrated by the procession of perplexed executives leaving the witness box stunned and seemingly incapable of seeing the injustice being held before them.

It was all just standard practice.

As if Robin Hood switched sides

What Mr Hayne has exposed is not something peculiarly Australian. It's global. Arguably, it has been worse in the US and across Europe, at least in scale.



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