JR'S Free Thought Pages
Con Man Capitalism
Capitalism as a Cancerous Tumor
By JR, October 2022
It ought to be no secret that the capitalist game is rigged. Moreover given that Mother Nature has been gang raped for several centuries and bottom up solidarity for revolution seems hardly possible in the near future, we are very likely doomed. Consequently, the abominable capitalist game of financial parasitism has descended to the point whereby the fix is in for good. The answer as to how we arrived at the bottomless pit of legalized theft that has led to a financial oligarchy whereby a few billionaires have more wealth than half the planet ought to perplex no one with sufficient curiosity for history and a functioning brain.
Nothing in the financial industry of legalized plunder is monitored, controlled, prosecuted or punished when massive theft is carried out on a daily basis on the global markets. How we got here was not by accident; we’ve been subjected to a neo-fascist political agenda and global coup whereby the common good has been tanked and public wealth pillaged. To add to the degradation and misery, all life on the planet is under siege by global heating, ecosystem collapse and species extinction; and that includes insects. Humans continue to reproduce like rabbits but this will soon end as biodiversity loss, pollution, oceans contaminated beyond belief, climate catastrophes and despoliation of water ways and soils will lead to illness and mass starvation. It’s all happening much sooner than we thought as where I live in the normally rainy lower mainland of BC, we have massive drought where water shortages are being experienced and restrictions imposed.
Can we ever acknowledge that certain groups had massively more responsibility for this destruction than other groups? Until we can, we will never recover - and they will remain in control. You'll have to find a country of people who actually “give a shit” about all this chaos and dysfunction. Like one of the many amazing scenes in the great 1952 movie High Noon with town Marshal Will Kane (amazingly played by Gary Cooper who won the academy award for the best actor), a rare man who does the right thing regardless of the consequences to himself. Consider a great scene among many such as the one with the old guy former lawman played by veteran actor Lon Chaney.
By the way, the movie takes place on a Sunday morning over a period of 2-3 hours. When Marshal Kane enters the town church to ask for help against four men out to kill him he was immediately given a mini-sermon by the self-righteous preacher regarding his never attending church. Following brief discussions, no one in the congregation offered to help Marshal Kane deal with the gang of four killers, the leader of which was arriving on the noon train.
The only citizens in the town who offered to help Marshall Kane confront the gunslingers who were coming to town to take him out were a 14 year old kid, the town drunk and a retired arthritic Martin Howe played by Chaney. The ailing Howe explained to Will why no one at the church service or anyone else in town would help their own one man security force. Chaney bluntly told Marshal Kane that “most people just don’t care”. This attitude (“I don’t give a shit; what’s in it for me?”) is the antithesis of what it means to be a moral person who genuinely cares about others (the generally ignored biblical notion of your brother’s keeper), a member of a genuine democratic community. Not caring about others is merely one of several moral failings and reasons why democracy does not exist anywhere in the world today, never has existed and never will. The brilliant screen play for High Noon was written by Carl Foreman who along with Dalton Trumbo was arguably one of the best Hollywood screen writers at the time. Both were subjected to the Joe McCarthy anti-communist hysterical witch hunts during the early Cold War years and subsequently blacklisted. Trumbo wrote the screenplay for what I believe to be the best anti-war movie ever produced, the 1957 Paths of Glory with Kirk Douglas outstanding in the lead role.
I think it can be argued that the capitalist tactics and MO in many ways have been adapted from mainstream Christianity and its nefarious devious doctrines. This is a compelling idea I’m working with on another paper with the title Why Capitalism and Christianity are Antithetical to Democracy and Morality in an attempt to provide cogent argument and evidence for the thesis.
My earliest recalled experiences with Christianity occurred when I was about 5 or 6 years old. It was likely the genesis of my skepticism and ultimate rejection of all things religious. Neither my mother nor my father were religious and never attended any church. My dad seemed to feel that religion so inane that it wasn’t even worthy of debate or discussion. He often told jokes about Catholics, referring to them as “brain dead bead slingers”. My very smart strong willed mother however, influenced by her Christian friends, insisted I be baptized and when I was old enough, to attend Sunday School- which I hated. Her reasons were that her friends informed my mom that I’d burn in hell without the Anglican Church holy water. Perhaps she was hedging her bets, even if based on a highly dubious and improbable hypothesis.
One traumatizing incident I’ll never forget at that pre-school age was when my dog Rusty was run over by a car, his intestines splattered over the road and his head turned to mush. My dear mother attempted to console me by informing me that I’d meet Rusty again – in a place called heaven, a venue and location she could not explain and perhaps did not want to, since one had to be dead to get there. At the next boring episode of Sunday school I told the teacher about my dog being killed and the story my mother told me that I’d see Rusty in heaven. Surely he would know what and where is this place called “heaven”. Correcting my mother, the Sunday school teacher informed me that since dogs don’t have “souls”, Rusty would not make it to heaven. He could neither explain in any meaningful coherent manner what heaven was; nor could he explain what is meant by a “soul”. When I told my mother about this conflicting incident she immediately removed me from the all-too-boring Sunday school classes. So even though I still don’t know where “heaven” is and what is the meaning of a “soul”, I was now free to do what I wanted on Sunday mornings.
Some years later while in high school I concluded that the opaque afterlife, heaven and the soul are all fabrications to facilitate the massive con game and racket of the Christian religion. Christianity provides the credulous masses with the fictitious problem of “sin” and the fictitious solution to that pseudo-problem in the same manner that capitalists provide fictitious wants and needs and fictitious superfluous products to satisfy bogus wants and needs. I expand upon this claim in the other paper I mentioned, a work still in progress.
The great American clever cowboy comedian Will Rogers once said, “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”In the most recent issue of Harper’s Magazine a brief article appeared called “No Dogs Go To Heaven” which is germane to my comments above, reminding me of the death of my soulless dog Rusty, religious con games that mirror the capitalist counterparts, including the gobbledygook and gibberish that banned Rusty and other canines from heaven:
No Dogs Go to Heaven
From a list of frequently asked questions on the web site After the Rapture Pet Care…
Who are these Pet Caretakers and how do I know they’ll take good care of my pets?
Most Pet Caretakers fit this description: They are atheist or a non-Christian religion. They love animals enough to register with us even though they do not believe there will be a Rapture.
Can I contact the Pet Caretakers in my area?
We have promised our Pet Caretakers that we will keep their information strictly confidential. If they thought that Christians might try to pressure them to become Christians, they simply would not sign up.
Isn’t the world going to be totally collapsed after the Rapture?
When all the Christians on the planet disappear, there will certainly be massive confusion. However, the majority of people will still be on earth, and communication will be their first priority. Therefore, it will not be a problem to coordinate activities to rescue and care for your pets. The data about all registered pets is located on Google servers as well as on our own server in Lansing, Michigan (away from political and military hot spots to minimize chance of destruction if there is a post-Rapture war). The non-Christian administrators assigned to coordinate our efforts after we’re gone are in multiple locations.
If there is going to be a time of great tribulation, suffering, judgment, and confusion after the Rapture, won’t these Pet Caretakers be much more concerned about that?
There really is little information about what will happen after the Rapture. We do know, though, that the anti-Christ will bring temporary peace and that the world will worship an idol god, so therefore there will be a societal structure at least for a while. You can bet a quick “scientific” explanation will be given to calm the masses.
Shouldn’t you be more concerned about the people left behind going to hell than pets?
We don’t feel it’s an either-or situation.
But shouldn’t you spend your time witnessing to the unsaved volunteers instead of caring about pets?
This IS a ministry to the unsaved after the Rapture. Let me explain. The Bible says there will be people saved after the Rapture. And what better way to prepare someone than to have them sign up to do something only if the Rapture happens? When they are alerted that the key people in our structure have simply disappeared, and they are asked to rescue and care for the pets of Christians who have disappeared, what do you think will go through their heads?
What kind of pets do you allow?
Most pets registered are dogs and cats. If you have horses or other larger animals, feel free to register them, but we may not be able to accommodate them when needed.
I expect my dog to be raptured with me or to die when I’m raptured. So why would I register them?
It’s true God loves all animals, but there is nothing biblical about pets being raptured or dying at the Rapture. Expecting God to deal with your responsibility at death or the Rapture is no different than waiting for God to feed your pets. And registering your pets is only $10, so why not do it, just in case?
Harpers, October, 2022, pp 16-17
Returning to the real world of gangster global capitalism and the cess pool of scams, rip offs, manipulation of markets and endless iterations of boom-bubble-bust-bailouts, consider these further gruesome facts and cogitations. The US Federal government alone is $31 trillion in debt. Considering other branches of government, state, municipal and all private debt by its citizens, the total is $93 trillion. And no, as your head explodes, I’m not kidding.
Rather than investing in a sustainable mix of renewable energy and in increasing the productivity of labor and industrial processes, we squander irreplaceable billions of dollars of capital and credit in oh-so profitable insider trading, skimming, scamming and out in the open theft such as $10 trillion in stock buybacks since the 2008-09 bailouts of corporate crooks and other their multiple criminal unproductive speculative absurdities.
With no consideration for its own people, capital that was “invested” in shifting production overseas, moving profits to offshore tax havens, financial scheming, speculation and other financial shenanigans cannot be replaced. All the credit that was thrown down the shithole, squandered on skims and scams (borrowing billions to fund stock buybacks), borrow trillions to reward cronies and buy the complicity of the masses by non-stop marketing and propaganda is now an unstable toxic waste dump that threatens the entire financial system that is now the crumbling edifice of the entire global economy. It ought to have gone down the toilet in 1929 and 2008. Now, as inflation has hit the fan - and this may be the beginning of the end – or until these corporate and banking cockroaches are bailed out once again. Will they use the “too big to fail” horse crap again and will the gullible public swallow it?
We didn’t have to be this stupid, but the incentives for easy money made it all rational to squander trillions of irreplaceable capital and decades of irreplaceable time. Climate scientists now pull no punches, informing us it’s too late, to prepare for the oncoming calamities that are already occurring. The incentives reward maximizing short-term profits by any means available, which include bribery, buying political favors, balance sheet fraud, loading companies with debt then taking them public, hundreds of trillions of dollars in derivatives that may implode (high roller betting on the future), none of which increase productivity, create meaningful employment, innovation or sustainability. The only innovations have been exploitive self-induced wage slavery schemes such as Uber, Door Dash and Skip the Dishes and other swindles that only reward the “entrepreneur” founders (aka slime ball crooks) and owners of seed stock before the shares are listed on the stock exchange. There’s a sickening TV ad that says, “Did Someone Say Skip?” Yeah, Skip “Skip the Dishes”, avoid exploiting workers and pick up the pizza yourself. These incentives follow a power-law distribution: the greater the leverage, debt, monopoly and financial shell games and sorcery, the greater the gains.
The Sinkhole Stench of Late Stage Cancerous Crony Capitalism
None of these extremely profitable financial strategies create real jobs, productivity or efficiencies except for bullshit management and other redundant positions within the corporate hierarchy. All they accomplished was enriching the already rich. Call this incentive structure whatever you like: late-stage capitalism, crony capitalism, financial apocalypse or cancer capitalism (an apt metaphor by Canadian philosopher John McMurtry for a deadly incurable tumor - like capitalism). The stark reality is this global system doesn’t reward investing in productivity or long-term sustainability because those investments involve a certain amount of risk and critical thought. Why look for promoting the common good when there are no rules in place for lining your own pockets and to hell with the rest of the dying world.
Why invest in something risky when you can generate billions in pure profits via untrammeled exploitation, fraud and financial con games and swindles that were once illegal like buying back your own stock, lotteries and the newest swindle, online betting on pro sports? These sordid con game atrocities are all underwritten and legitimized by the conservative and liberal governments they own and control. Elections are merely window dressing – a farcical illusion of fake democracy. We live in an amoral world in which anything goes if it turns a profit. Exploitation by arbitrage low wages and minimal environmental standards by shipping production overseas; should costs rise slightly as residents object to their nation becoming a toxic waste dump and their workers being ripped off, production is moved to a more exploitable locale.
And rampant bribery (aka lobbying) and fraud, off-balance sheet scams, buying a company with debt, selling off its assets, hiding expenses and debt in off-balance sheet footnotes and then selling the indebted shell to unwary investors. Financial swindles such as load the company with debt to buy back their own stock, reducing the float and boosting per share earnings without increasing sales, productivity or profits. Stock buybacks were in the past illegal not that long ago because they are blatant means of stock manipulation and insider trading which in an earlier time would get you prosecuted, convicted and thrown in the slammer. Even ads for pharmaceutical drugs were illegal back then when ethics mattered; Cold-FX or Dr. Ho and Dr. Oz anyone?
This is not the warm and fuzzy whitewashed version of capitalism found in bullshit college economics (the “dismal science”) textbooks. In the sanitized college textbook version, entrepreneurs (aka con artists, mountebanks, snake oil salesmen) “create wealth and jobs” via innovation that create new products and services and boost productivity by increasing the skills of the workforce and the efficiencies of industrial production. Hot Steaming Bovine Excrement!
Those paid to glorify this facade can cherry-pick examples, but the real money isn’t made by competition or innovation. Money is made by creating monopolies, killing or buying out the competition and plundering productive assets. Rather than promoting innovation, monopolies choke off disruptive innovations, destroys jobs and competition as threats to their steady flow of profits.
Rather than invest in increasing productivity which is the only real source of wealth creation, profits have been maximized by plundering productive assets: the workforce, resources and once-productive sectors. Any collateral damage such as oil spills and pollution are offloaded to the public. Privatize profit and socialize liability is the name of the game. All this profiteering required cheap energy and resources and limitless near zero interest rate credit for granted. As long as somebody somewhere was doing the dirty work of extracting and processing all the energy and resources needed to keep the system running, then the financiers were free to create wealth out of a vacuum (fictitious capital) for themselves via fraud, exploitation and con games. Money for nothing as the Dire Straits song informs. Now that the low-hanging fruit has all been pilfered it’s taking much more capital and expertise to extract harder-to-find resources.
Credit seemed infinite when rates were near zero and everyone thought this would be the new normal. But alas, capital still responds to risk by demanding a return and the happy days of infinite credit and zero rates are over, regardless of whatever hopeful predictions are issued by those who covet bottomless credit lines. Add to this the stark reality of multiple existential threats such as drought in a rain forest as we currently have in mid-October (usually a rainy month) in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley of British Columbia. Forest fires are left to burn because the water bombers can’t find any rivers of lakes with sufficient water to scoop up H2O and douse the out of control fires. Smoke is so thick in communities like here in Chilliwack you have to be crazy to venture outdoors without a quality KN95 mask. And getting back to the reality of death wish cancer capitalism, rather than incentivize investing in our workforce and productivity, the system incentivizes plundering the workforce and productive assets, commoditizing everything into smaller portions that can be tossed into the plunder-meat-grinder to maximize the short-term gains of those who own the financial assets and the political power.
Time is running out to change the incentive structure and the system to reward investment in productivity rather than plunder. Look at the charts of global energy and out of control human population. Hundreds of billions of US dollars (the dominant currency backed by the power of the American controlled NATO (which ought to have been dismantled decades ago) and the US military with 800 or more military bases throughout the world), yen, yuan and euros have been invested in alternative energy sources but their share of global energy is still miniscule.
To make a real difference, hundreds of nuclear energy modules will have to be manufactured, and not next century but starting now. Where are the resources, fuel, capital, expertise and political will to do so when creepy cockroach conservatives and loony limousine liberals control our governments, with fascism slowly replacing those incompetents that are bought and paid for sock puppets of banking mafia, financial thieves and billionaire corporate oligarchs.
Investing in our workforce has morphed into an especially cruel form of financial plunder - self-exploitation - the workforce is expected to borrow tens of thousands of dollars to fund their own education and careers with little guidance from a rapacious banking system funding what should be free higher-education. And to add to the student debt, misery and scandal, real college 21st century “education” has replaced the critical thinking courses of philosophy, history, literature, logic and mathematics and science with totally useless banalities such as management and business degrees – total wastes of time and effort. Your degree isn’t worth jack shit and you are likely in debt for life with nothing but an embarrassing Mickey Mouse diploma.
Plundering is great for the narcissistic greedy leeches - until everything has been plundered and the planet becomes a barren wasteland devoid of all life forms. We’ve already lost 70% of all wild animal life in the past 50 years and all are in extinction mode, including insects. We are screwed.
If everyone held to the minimal ethical principle of the golden rule, capitalism would not last a week. It would be a good start.
But what now folks; wait for the rapture?