Cry for us, Enron-Tina
By Frank Scott
While sincere Americans were waving flags , Washington was picking their pockets to fill the coffers of corporate capital. At the same time, this government has been hysterically destroying the constitutional freedoms that make America, with all its moral flaws, a worthwhile dream of democratic possibility. Most elected officials, with the cooperation of mass media acting as a propaganda wing of the state, have united in a frenzy of thoughtless action alleged to fight terror elsewhere, but really create it within our midst.
During this orgy of mass financial looting and frenzied civil liberties theft , the economic horrors of a multi-billion dollar corporation, Enron, and a multi-multi billion dollar nation, Argentina, haven't been closely examined. They reveal more about what might ruin our future than present fears about retail terrorism practiced by dark-skinned amateurs , in contrast to the more common wholesale terrorism practiced by light-skinned professionals.
The capital theft at Enron may eventually lead to individual prosecutions, but personal crime is only a small part of this case. If we allow the soft shoes and weak spines of official opposition to be the only response to the cowboy boots and cow-pie brains of this administration, we will gain nothing. Some satisfaction for the craven cowards who called Bush a moron on 9/10, but made him a dictator after 9/11, will simply mean personal vengeance enacted against the mental minimalist president and his crew of power-mad petro-greasers. This kind of small time , short term politics won't protect us from the big-time, long term threat.
It is our capital fundamentalism , and well as our chemically dependent, petroleum addicted energy policy that lie at the root of the Enron corporate fiasco. The complicity of many within the Bush gang is only a sideshow; a focus on their behavior that misses the larger deregulatory horror responsible for this mess amounts to sending pretzels to the White House as a way of opposing the president.
While it was mainly a conduit for Republican funding, the cabal of energy and financial thieves at Enron dumped off money to the other wing of our corporate political Mafia and its henchmen , like Joe-God Leiberman, when it saw the need for a little help from more than one criminal gang.
And the national disaster of Argentina has been the story of everything supposedly right about the triumph of deregulated capital becoming everything that is wrong with the disaster of unregulated capital. IMF policy, which means US free market fundamentalism , was supposedly working like a charm in Argentina. Sure, until the drugs wore off. Then the invasion of foreign capital and the destruction of national currency became a living nightmare of unemployment, poverty, food riots and bank chaos.
Now, while thousands suffer the system's losses at Enron, millions suffer the system's deprivations in Argentina, and billions worldwide are threatened by further breakdowns in global capitalism. But there is some hope for Argentina; many of its people have shown they will no longer tolerate the nonsense that created their problems. The new, temporary government is withholding payments on foreign debt, which numbers even more billions than the old paper value of Enron. This could be a signal to other nations impoverished by capital to fight back. And even we Americans show some signs of waking up reality.
Business flacks tell us consumer confidence is increasing, but this may be because consumers realize what Argentineans finally understand ; they will never be able to pay their debts, which will outlive them, and they can't be prosecuted for incurring them if their debtors robbed them in the first place, and they band together to get more power than those to whom they allegedly owe the money .
It is the system's total dependence on waste, pollution, deregulation and debt that is most dangerous, and is the point at which Enron and Argentina offer lessons. This is how things work; for the unprincipled minority investors, and against the majority from whom they draw the interest they call profit, which is that majority's loss.
But awareness must come at a faster pace. More victims are sought in an endless war against "them," with dreadful Democrats like presidential wannabee Leiberman joining the chorus that sings for murder as the only way to stop more murder. The popular demon, Saddam Hussein, looms large, as both American and Israeli vampires of war thirst for more blood, having whetted their appetites with Afghanistan's powerless Taliban and Palestine's defenseless citizens.
International corporadoes desire a global empire under the total control of gas guzzling, environmentally destructive western civilization, in its most anti-democratic , fundamentalist form.
The perverse, greedy organism of modern capital is so focused on its private parts that it denies the larger body of society, which is composed of people in numbers far beyond the minority of investors and corporations on whose selfish interest its goals are focused. It is that majority which is kept divided by manipulation and teachings that claim all power to the individual, while robbing those individuals through governments controlled by wealth, which collect taxes to fill the pockets of their owners; the minority corporadoes.
The financial interests which profited from the crimes of Enron are the same ones which got fat sucking Argentina dry. And the workers at Enron, the citizens of Argentina and ultimately all of us are the ones who will pay. The neo-liberalism of the past thirty years that returned to primitive capital's attack on public service government, with all power placed in the market under private control, has brought Enron and Argentina to near or total ruin. But more importantly, that unregulated, debtor creating system threatens all people, every nation and the planet itself if it is not brought under democratic control. Today Enron-Tina; tomorrow, us?
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