Friday, March 18, 2022

Bill Bonner, "Who We're Fightin' For"

"Who We're Fightin' For"
by Bill Bonner

"The fool doth think he is wise, 
but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."
~ Shakespeare

San Martin, Argentina - We promised to explain the real reason for America’s meddling in the affairs of the Eurasian steppes. This will require more space than usual, but we will just continue connecting the dots until we get a better picture.

“What are we fightin’ for?” We posed the question on Wednesday and were unable to come up with a convincing answer. The obvious ones – protecting the US, protecting our families, saving lives, matter of principle, making money etc. – didn’t seem to apply. So let us rephrase the question: Who are we fightin’ for? Now the picture becomes clearer.

What we see is the US elite… spoiled, corrupt and incompetent. Instead of looking out for the nation… and helping its people avoid the obvious pitfalls of imperial vanity… it has joined a global caste determined to pursue its own goals. Widely known as the ‘liberal world order,’ it is not ‘liberal’ at all, not in the classic sense of favoring free trade and free speech. Nor is it at all conservative. Instead, it is a caste of busy-bodies who aim to reshape the world in their own image.

Let’s begin with a wide perambulation, in which we condense tomes of history, philosophy, the Bible and the Encyclopedia Britannica into a few paragraphs. (Readers who think we are ‘over-simplifying’ are probably right!)

The Right to Inequality: The goal of ‘equality’ is a fraud. Nobody wants to be equal. We want to be superior. We take pride in whatever we’ve got. Smarter… more cunning… bigger muscles… a brighter smile… a flashier car… a sharper wit. Whatever it is, it marks us as ‘better,’ not equal. This desire for superiority is probably hard-wired, and probably derives from the desire to make ourselves attractive to the best possible mate, but there’s no need to go into that. Whatever is behind it, we are a very competitive species. We’re always trying to get a leg up on everyone else. We want to win games… get richer… and make our enemies flee in terror before us.

Our ability to feel superior individually is hampered by the closeness of the facts… or a spouse. Elizabeth is so competitive that she wants to win even in a blood test. She’s convinced that her O positive is ‘better’ than our O negative. In a wine tasting, she races to pick out the flavors, identify the ‘terroir,’ and guess the vintage, while her husband can barely tell the red wine from the white. Then, we look in the mirror or climb onto the scales… and we don’t feel so superior, after all. But join with a group… and the sky’s the limit.

Humans discovered long ago that they could compete more effectively by forming cooperative groups rather than going it alone. One tribe won. Another lost. One chief puffed out his chest and strutted across the battlefield. The other lay on the ground, dead.

Cooperation was greatly amplified in the modern, civilized era. A small primitive force with bows and arrows is no match for a large army, equipped with drones and coca-cola. Modern cooperation – based on trade, trust and reliable money – is what produced our prosperity… and our drones. In the modern world, in order to make money and feel superior, you have to provide goods and services to others. So the drone maker aims to make the best drones he can, not because he loves his fellow man or hates him, but because he wants his money. A whole world of people who are trying to bake better bread, build faster computers, and look better in bikinis is not a bad world!

But competition takes many forms. Sports teams mimic tribal combat. The fans feel the warm light of glory reflected upon them after a SuperBowl win. And it is not surprising that they send their boys onto the field of battle even when there is nothing really at stake, except their feeling superior. That is why people have such contempt for shirkers, malingerers and free-thinkers – they don’t help the team win.

Yes, dear reader, it is a wicked world as well as a wonderful one. And the mob – prone to hysteria, bred to compete, readily manipulated – is, like all of us, neither good nor bad, but always subject to influence.

That’s why an honest elite is so important. It is supposed to be wise… the ‘voice of reason,’ of calm deliberation and patient reflection. It is supposed to know we are all fools, in other words, and do its best to restrain us. Instead, in the 21st century, the American elite led us into the dumbest, most hysterical campaigns in US history.

Control-Freak Complex: In 2001 a tiny group of terrorists attacked the World Trade Centers. Instead of tracking down the perps, the US launched a war against millions of people who had nothing to do with the attack. The elite in military-related industries made fortunes. But the result was nearly a million dead… and $8 trillion added to US debt.

In the big hysteria of the Mortgage Finance Crisis (caused by the Fed’s too-low rates for too-long), Ben Bernanke, to his everlasting shame, panicked the whole nation with his absurd ‘we may not even have an economy’ remark to Congress. The big pay-off went to Wall Street, whose bonuses and stock options were protected. Rich investors, too, gained about $30 trillion in the stock market alone. The cost: approximately $44 trillion more debt – public and private – added since 2008.

Then, in the COVID hysteria, it was the Pharma/medical/public health/control-freak complex that hit the jackpot. Life-long bureaucrats, such as Anthony Fauci, became celebrities. Pfizer, now recommending a 4th booster shot, got richer than ever. Pfizer stock price approximately doubled after March, 2020. And yet another $8 trillion in government debt that Americans will have to pay. Hardly had we gotten over that hysteria when the elite whipped up another one. Yes, it’s time for another boost to the empire’s military/industrial/empire/surveillance complex with a new panic over the Russo-Ukrainian war. 

The US could have perfectly well sat this one out. “The Ukraine” carries the article “the” to distinguish it from a nation state. We do not say The Britain or The France. We say “The Ukraine” because it is a place, like the Northwest Territories, the Caribbean Islands, the Argentine, the Sahara Desert, not a real country. But the elite has dropped the ‘the’… and acts as though its borders were permanent and inviolable.

Chris Hedges imagines where this will lead: "The roads across the earth will be clogged with desperate refugees. All dissent will be treason. The young will be sacrificed for the tired tropes of glory, honor, and country. The vulnerable will suffer and die. The only true patriots will be generals, war profiteers, opportunists, courtiers in the media and demagogues braying for more and more blood. The merchants of death rule like Olympian gods. And we, cowed by fear, intoxicated by war, swept up in the collective hysteria, clamor for our own annihilation."

Meet the EEE: But what kind of a scammy system is this? The EEE (Enlightened Elite Establishment) comes up with one Big Threat after another. Each one brings it more money and more power. Meanwhile, the average American is worse off. Every penny that is squandered on these serial hysterias must come – one way or another – from him. Not from Wall Street. Not from Washington. But from people who sweat and bus and toil… people who make things and satisfy customers. People in Georgia or Idaho. Each hysteria costs them wealth… and freedom.

And freedom too is not just an abstract principle. It is the ability to decide. Where to live, what to do, how to spend your money and how to live your life. Take the decisions away from the individual, and they do not disappear. Instead, they go to a new decider. Who? Yes, who. Here is the ‘who’ we were looking for. The western liberal elite. Instead of restraining and channeling the barbarous impulses of the wild masses, they gin up a new hysteria… and use it to transfer more money and more power to themselves.

The loss of freedom is hard to measure. The money is not. The top 1% has tripled its wealth in the last 20 years. No other group even comes close. The next richest-group – from 91% to 99% – doubled their wealth. And everybody else remains approximately flat. The elite gained, in other words; nobody else. Who are these people? What do they want? Are they really looking out for the rest of us… or just for themselves? Tune in Monday… we will name names."

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