[The Rude Guy Podcast #81 July 15, 2011]
Rich Zubaty here. Write this on your forehead.
America’s Tahrir Square. America’s Liberation Square. Coming to Washington DC on October 6, 2011.
Margaret Flowers, one of the main organizers, the medical doctor who got arrested for trying to push the Public Option, onto the negotiating table, at Obama’s so-called healthcare summit…Margaret Flowers has put a link to The Rude Guy podcast from the october2011.orG Media page. This is the FIRST TIME Leftists have reciprocated with me on anything. So help me out here people. Get the word out on this. October 6, 2011…Fight like Egyptians in Washington D.C. America’s Tahrir Square. Send your friends to: october2011.orG Be there, or beware.
Here’s something disturbing. I just saw an online interview of Julian Assange with Amy Goodman on DemocracyNow.orG Amy asked Assange why he had not released the damning information on Bank of America we had been promised nine months ago. Assange said: “because Bank of America is blackmailing me. Of the various reasons for which you might imagine someone would try to blackmail me, probably the first or second one you think of, is the actual reason.” Unquote. Jesus fucking Christ. So for either some sex scandal, or because of some information that could be used to accuse Assange of espionage, and thereby facilitate his extradition from Europe to the United States …because of blackmail, we cannot find out how one of the worst too-big-to-fail banks in the United States, has screwed us again. Criminals. There it is, out in the open, Bank of America engages in blackmail. What a country. Obama’s justice department has put 400,000 illegal aliens in jail, and not one single Wall Street banker. So the tomato pickers go to jail and the banksters move right on, to driving up the price of oil, inflating our money, and destroying Greece. When I complained about the price of meat to the butcher at Safeway she told me: “the price of everything is going up, but our wages are not going up.” And I said: “ yeah…because of Wall Street bankers. They’re printing more and more money, and making the money worthless, so everything costs more, but they’re not paying us any more. It’s time for a revolution.”
Any time any wealth is created, anywhere in our society, Wall Street steps in and extracts it. Just plain removes it. Steals it. Through the inflation created by the FED, Wall Street is stealing money out of the pockets of every person in America. And over half the planet. Once upon a time the Nazis invaded Greece to grab its treasures, but they were fought off and beat back. Now German banks are telling Greece it has to “give” them the national lottery and the Partheon, and a few Greek islands, to pay for some bad debts created by Goldman Sachs. What the Nazis couldn’t accomplish the German banks, with the help of Goldman Sachs, have done
And here’s some good news. Rupert Murdoch just closed down News of the World, Britain’s best-selling Sunday newspaper, which has been operating at a profit for the past 160 years. His reporters were caught hacking into the cell phones of everyone from Prince William to dead soldiers to a murdered schoolgirl. So Murdoch closed the whole thing down. Wow! Why? He could have just fired the bad guys and started over no? No. The public outcry over this scandal became such an embarrassment to his empire, such a threat to his brand, that he cut out the entire cancer. And in doing so he exposed for all to see, the weak underbelly of corporate capitalism. Corporations are destroyed by negative public opinion, because negative public opinion means falling stock prices. Why do you think they spend so much money on NPR telling us what great companies they are?
We the people need to get that indignant about Bank of America and Goldman Sachs. They’re doing much worse things than hacking cell phones. They’re starving babies and killing our country. We need to find out exactly how they steal from the taxpayers and from their own clients, and then we need to get furious about it. We need a hundred Matt Taibbi’s and a hundred Wikileaks to collect information from disgruntled employees about how they game the oil markets, and lie to clients, and lie to Congress, and lie to media and lie to themselves. We need to expose them and embarrass them, pull down their pants and drive them out of business. They are truly vampire squids and we can yank them out of the ocean of money and suffocate them.
I just heard some asshole on NPR saying: well sure new job hirings are down, because the price of oil went up last spring. And what did the dumb cunt host on NPR say to that? Nothing. She wasn’t even smart enough or informed enough to ask – well, with oil supplies at a record high, and demand at a record low, how the hell can the price of oil have gone up! Is someone gaming the system? Goldman Sachs? Citibank? Bank of America? Is 40% of the inflated price of oil due to oil speculators, as one oil company executive asserted?
This is why I do this podcast. To ask the questions Walter Cronkite and Edward R Murrow would have asked. The questions Tom Brokaw and Rush Limbaugh and the airhead NPR women will never have the brains or balls to ask. God I am sick to death of the airhead gossipy cunts on NPR. National Jewish Women’s Public Radio.
OK…I’m gonna read you excerpts from Chris Hedges’ book: Death of the Liberal Class. This podcast is too long and it’s going to have to be split into two shows, so I’m not gonna waste time trying to make transitions between these excerpts. Two sentences might be three paragraphs apart or three pages apart. I’m just gonna pluck the gems out and read them to you. Shotgun podcasting. Here we go:
The fate of the liberal class is tragic. It has been annihilated by the corporate state it supported, while it willingly silenced radical thinkers and iconoclasts, who could have rescued it. By refusing to question the utopian promises of unfettered capitalism and globalization, and by condemning those who did, the liberal class severed itself from the roots of creative thought, from the only forces that could have prevented it, from being subsumed, completely, by the power elite. It was at once betrayed…and betrayed itself.
Since the presidency of Ronald Reagan, the corporate state has put the liberal class on a death march. Liberals did not protest the stripping away of the country’s manufacturing base, the dismantling of regulatory agencies, and the destruction of social service programs. Liberals did not decry speculators, who in the seventeenth century would have been hanged, for hijacking the economy. Liberals retreated into aaatrophied institutions. They busied themselves with the boutique activism of feminism and multiculturalism and political correctness. The liberal class was eventually forced on this death march, to turn itself inside out, championing positions it had previously condemned. That it did so with no protest exposed its moral bankruptcy.
The greatest sin of the liberal class, throughout the twentieth century, and into the early part of this century, has been its enthusiastic collusion with the power elite to silence, ban, and blacklist: rebels, iconoclasts, communists, socialists, anarchists, radical union leaders, intellectuals, and pacifists, who could have given the working class the words and ideas with which to battle back against the abuses of the corporate state…the liberal class became part of the corporate structure it should have been dismantling. It created an ideological vacuum on the left, and ceded the language of rebellion to the far right.
Sez me: and it did that because it was coopted by women and feminized men who wanted jobs, not workers who wanted revolution.
Capitalism was once viewed by workers as a system to be fought. But capitalism is no longer challenged. Capitalist bosses like Warren Buffet, George Soros, and Donald Trump are treated as sages, celebrities and populists. The liberal class functions as their cheerleaders. Such misguided loyalty, illustrated by environmental groups that refuse to excoriate the Obama White House, over the ecological catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, ignores the fact that the divide in America is not between Republican and Democrat, but between the corporate state, and the citizen. It is a divide between capitalists and workers. And for all the failings of communism, it got THAT part right.
This does not mean that we have to agree with Karl Marx…but we have to learn again to speak in the vocabulary Marx employed. We have to grasp, as Marx and Adam Smith did, that corporations are not concerned with the common good. They exploit, pollute, impoverish, repress, kill, and lie to make money.
Chapter Two: Permanent War
It was the decline into permanent war, not Islam, that killed the liberal, democratic movements in the Arab world….The same prolonged state of permanent war killed the liberal classes in Israel and the United States.
A Gallup poll in 2006 found that the more frequently an American attends church, the less likely he or she is to say the Iraq war was a mistake.
In what Charlotte Twight calls “participatory fascism”, “participatory fascism”, citizens have only virtual opinions. They can vote for American Idol or in polls designed and conducted by the power elite…Or in national elections, when they make a choice between personalities rather than between alternatives.
Liberals who claim to support the working class, vote for candidates who glibly support NAFTA and globalization, for fuck sakes.
As a senator, Obama promised he would filibuster Amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which retroactively made legal the wiretapping and monitoring of millions of American citizens without warrants…instead, as president, he supported the passage of that legislation.
Obama is part of the political stagecraft that trades in perceptions of power, rather than real power.
The illegal wars and occupations, the largest transference of wealth upward in U.S. history, the deregulation that resulted in the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and the egregious assault on civil liberties – begun under George W Bush – raise only a flicker of protest from the liberal class. Liberals, unlike the right wing, are emotionally disabled. They appear NOT to feel.
World War One destroyed the values and self-perceptions that had once characterized American life…and replaced them with fear, distrust, and the hedonism of the consumer society. The new mass propaganda, designed to appeal to emotions rather than disseminate facts, proved adept at driving competing ideas and values underground. It effectively vilified all who did not speak in the language imparted to the pubic by corporations and the state…the rise of mass propaganda, made possible by industrial warfare, effectively killed populism.
Chapter Three – Dismantling the Liberal Class
Progressive politics had enjoyed an upsurge before World War One, bringing on a golden era of American journalism and social reform…but the war ended that. Progressivism would flicker to life again in the 1930s, and then be crushed with the next war.
President Woodrow Wilson lied us into a VERY unpopular war, because U.S. bankers and industrialists had made massive loans to Europe, and those would not be repaid if Germany won.
Arthur Bullard was a muckraker, social activist and Bolshevik who had been to Russia in 1905 to report on their first, aborted revolution.
Bullard, with another liberal leftist, Walter Lippman, convinced Wilson that using repression would not work to whip the American people into a war frenzy. They argued that if the government controlled all the mechanisms of information, and used the creative arts to bolster its message, the country could be indoctrinated to support the war, without resorting to overt forms of control.
“Truth and falsehood are arbitrary terms,” said Bullard….”The force of an idea lies in its inspirational value. It matters little whether it is true or false.”
Wilson took their advice and set up the Creel Commission, headed by a former leftist muckraker named George Creel, who would end his days advising Joe McCarthy in his communist witch hunts. Creel invented the first modern propaganda machine. It’s goal was not, as Creel confessed, simply to impart pro-war messages…but to discredit those who attempted to challenge the nation’s involvement in the war. The News would be dictated from above. The News would have to deliver a constant drumbeat of propaganda, a consistent pro-war narrative, and shut out, or discredit, dissenting views. It would have to leech off the news pages into every aspect of the nation’s cultural life, from theater to films to novels to advertisements.
Remember the media onslaught in the run-up to the Iraq war? Where it came from was, George Creel in 1917. And every time there is war, progressive populist movements get smashed under the wheel of the war furor. We stop focusing on health, safety and living wages, and focus on hating people. Wars are started to destroy progressive politics.
All information about the war came from one source, and Creel’s bureau employed thousands of people to saturate the country with propaganda, and dismantle the local independent press.
The mass propaganda methods established during the war, which included journalists, entertainers, artists, public relations experts, novelists, and cartoonists…feeding propaganda, on a daily basis, to thousands upon thousands of…news outlets, librarians, banks, YMCAs, chambers of commerce, post offices, general stores, labor unions, manufacturers associations, the Red Cross and draft boards… became the model for twentieth-century corporate and government, advertising and publicity…the use of these kinds of propaganda techniques has enabled corporations to saturate the airwaves with images and slogans that deify mass consumer culture. And it has meant the death, by corporate hands, of…news.
Creel said afterward, his commission was the world’s greatest adventure in advertising.
No other American president in history did more to damage the freedom of the American press, or set back social reform, than that good old Liberal Democrat, Woodrow Wilson.
Nonetheless…thousands resisted, thousands were thrown in jail, including Eugene Debs and Bertrand Russell. Leftist publications stopped printing because the Espionage Act made it illegal to publish material that undermined the war effort.
The intent here was not just to fuel a war, it was to simultaneously suppress the populist and socialist activism, which had given us Trust Busting and eight hour work days and meat inspectors. Socialism had had wide appeal. Eugene Debs pulled a million votes in 1912. Socialists were elected to congress and became big city mayors. And then, in 1914, with war declared, it was all over. Socialism got banished to Siberia.
The members of the Creel Commission had no trouble finding jobs after the war; they went right to work for Madison Avenue and Wall Street! And this was all accomplished by leftists and liberals!
And when there was no more Hun left to hate, they shifted our attention right onto the Bolsheviks.
By the late 1920s you have the emergence of a fairly elaborate social psychological apparatus designed to take the temperature of public emotions, not for the purpose of reporting on what people feel, but for the purpose of shaping what people feel.
The amount of money spent on the miseducation of the American people is much greater than the amount spent on the education of the American people.
The cultural embrace of simplification, meant reducing people to speaking in clichés and slogans. Original thought simply did not fit in anywhere…Fox News anyone?
The power of art to shape and explain realty was something the power elite did not intend to extend to the working class.
The majority of American arts and theater neutered themselves, becoming prey to the basest commercial and escapist interests.
Entertainment masquerading as art, herds viewers and audiences into the mass collective. Dinosaur movies anyone? Star wars? Vastly over-simplified battles between good and evil?
The new corporate capitalism promoted leisure, self-indulgence and wasteful consumption…activities that called for traits suchas charm, a pleasant appearance, and likeability. Hedges is afraid to say it, but what he is talking about is the feminization of societal values. The feminization of America for corporate profit. Which is one of the main themes of my book: What Men Know that Women Don’t. I wish he’d read it.
Most radicals who became converted to psychoanalysis or mysticism, abandoned their political activism. Sez me, Yeah, like the New Age crap that descended on us in the wake of Vietnam. Forget about organizing unions and collectives. Salvation would come through granola and crystals and yoga. The selling of the counter culture. If they can sell it, they can subvert it. They can defang it.
After World War One, ad campaigns to glorify female emancipation, were used to double consumption of cigarettes.
Artistic expression soon became devoid of social purpose. It created the religion of art. Abstract painting emerged as the expression of this sterile form of rebellion. There was no longer any psychic basis common to all humanity. Sez me, Rich people needed places to stash their ill-gotten cash…and soulless, sell-out, abstract artists were willing to oblige.
The final purges of radicals in the late 1940s and early 50s included the blacklisting of writers, actors, directors, journalists, union leaders, politicians, suchas FDRs vice president, Henry Wallace, government employees, teachers, artists and producers in the film industry.
In the course of this battle liberals attacked liberals with more venom than they had ever directed at any economic royalist…, because they wanted to dispose of rivals…and sez me, because they wanted to prove they weren’t liberals too. Ever listen to the people who listen to Rush Limbaugh? They’re desperate not to be tarred with the label: Liberal! The old Star Wars good versus evil simplistic mind fuck.
The Taft Hartley Act, passed in 1948, and the single most destructive piece of legislation to the union movement, was a product of anti-communist hysteria. When it passed, half of all American workers belonged to labor unions. Now that number is down to 12 per cent.
It banned wildcat strikes and political solidarity strikes – meaning one union striking in support of another union, which disemboweled solidarity in the entire union movement. And it allowed states to pass right-to-work laws to suppress unions.
Meanwhile the docile and anti-communist AFL-CIO, was allowed to flourish, while the really militant unions were purged or closed down.
Fast forward to Vietnam: The New Left groups like Students for a Democratic Society found their inspiration in Vietnamese peasant guerillas, rather than the U.S. labor movement, who they rightly concluded had sold out to big business.
Sez me: I remember it well. The union thugs beating up the anti-war leftists. Leftist against leftists. It destroyed this country. Both movements have gone downhill ever since.
The control of the arts is important to the power elite… just as important as control of the economy and churches and schools. Sez me: And control it they did. That’s how we got abstract art, which is fundamentally apolitical cowshit smeared on a canvas. Beating off in bronze. Modern Art is divorced from politics. Artists are rewarded for mastering arcane subjects and techniques, rather than challenging the systems of power.
Liberal institutions and the power elite determine who is able to succeed in the art world. Universities, by demanding that professors attain doctorates, written on obscure subjects, approved by faculty committees, replenish their ranks with the timid and mediocre.
Corporate media chooses to ignore political art. Millions of people who might see it, and be inspired by it, don’t ever get the chance. Better to cram the airwaves with sex, diets and the Obamas.
Corporate media profits from war. They get higher viewership and outright military contracts for their parent companies. So they don’t ever want to talk about anti-war anything.
The media accepts the idea that art is anything the artist says it is – so long as it’s not political. This podcast is a type of art – ideas and facts, quite capable of informing and uplifting the human spirit, that are never presented in the mainstream media. I have the easiest job on earth. All I have to do is report on what the mainstream media circus is ignoring. But no one will ever refer to this podcast as art, or support it as art. Or award me grants to do it. Oh no, those grants go to writers of detective novels and those mausoleums of dead musicians we call concert halls. Fucking moronic shitheads. Sheeple.
I built this podcast show on the back of the fabulous work of Chris Hedges, just as many of my paintings are built on the backs of painters like Jean-François Millet (Millet in English) from the Barbizon school…guys who painted peasants working in the fields and baking bread, while the hotshot painters of the day were painting portraits of Noblemen seated next to their anorexic hunting dogs. Fucking sell-out shithead sheeple.
Sez Hedges: So much of how we define our civilization comes from artists, that I want artists to feel like they can take leadership in the world, not just be relegated to the “art world”.
Hear hear! God bless you Chris Hedges. Somebody besides the people who listen to this podcast actually gets it. Artists are supposed to be leaders in how society thinks, not alcoholic drug-addled fuckups, smearing shit on canvas and selling it to Russian mobsters and Wall Street pirates.
Sez Hedges: Artist’s educate us in values. It’s a kind of therapy.
Artists translate troubles into issues, and issues into understanding.
Sez me: artists give color and shape to our world. They reify it, make it real, make it appear out of the fog. So we can see what it is really like. And so we can work with it. We can do something about it.
New York galleries, Hollywood, films, the music business do not produce art. They produce entertainment. They do not reveal the deeper meanings and true relationships of life. They distract us from life.
These days we are smothered by entertainment and desperate for real art. The great so-called artists of our time are all a-political. And that’s exactly how they garnered the media publicity to become world famous. People like Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, Madonna, Steven Spielberg could do so much to make things better, but they don’t do a thing. Taking a stand on things would get in the way of their art and party-going. But Sean Penn and Angelina Jolie do it. They get involved. So what I am talking about here is not impossible.
Sez Hedges: Funding a civilization through advertising is like trying to feed yourself by connecting a tube from your mouth to your anus.
OK, there’s too much more Chris Hedges left to cover, and I will have to splice the rest into next month’s show. And YOU should read his book. Death of the Liberal Class.
Here’s a comment from Rod, a Kiwi living in London, who just bought a couple copies of my What Men Know that Women Don’t book, from amazon.com, to give away to his friends. And on top of that, he just donated 15 bucks through Paypal at my web site. What a guy!
Hi Rich, I don’t know if you realize this, but your podcasts are hard to comment on? They are all so different, all so rich and all so complete.
You rant, you despair, you study, you teach, you shock, you laugh!
What can us reader’s say?
You are too good! – What’s left to say? Right on man? – I’d sound like an arsehole!
Thank you for being,
And thank you for being…Rod. You made my month.
So…if you can, go to therudeguy.com or happyfool.orG and be like Rod. Buy a book, or make a small donation. Everything helps. And tell a friend about the podcast. And tell your library to order my books. That might help. And thanks to those of you who bought Kindle books, in North America, the UK and Germany. They cost a third of paper books, and I get twice the royalty. A good deal all around, I guess. Once you can afford to buy the reader. Which I can’t, yet.
And be sure to tell your friends about october2011.orG America’s Tahrir Square. Coming to Washington DC on October 6, 2011…Fight like Egyptians in Washington D.C. on October 6. Send your friends to: october2011.orG Be there, or beware.
[RG: no more bullshit]