March 6, 2008

Strakon Lights Up

The Young Imam and the ruling class

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I was thinking just the other day about how the Reverend Doctor Obama might be an easy "capture" for the ruling class, despite all his talk about standing free of special interests and their lobbyists. That's assuming he hasn't been the Dark Suits' little friend from the very beginning.

Obama's outsider reputation and his goofy, occult Chance the Gardener maunderings should set the little hairs a-quivering on the back of all our necks. In a System that is virtually impervious to revolution from below, amorphous "new men" such as the Young Imam absolutely depend on old men of power and corrupt wealth. That very amorphousness helps such pols gull their childlike supporters while moving in the direction that the adults of the ruling class want them to go.

I recall that "outsider" Bill Clinton was stamped Good to Go by the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Bilderberg Group before he started his march toward the Imperial Palace — and Bill the Gardener, with his irritating "grow the economy" mantra, soon become Wall Street's favorite president ever.

John F. Kennedy, advertised as something of a "new man" and reformer in 1960 despite all the string-pulling by the ancient crocodile Joe, wound up consulting the eminent Dark Suit Robert Lovett — a Nixon supporter — about what serious men he might find to help him run his regime. Declining to accept Kennedy's offer to make him foreign minister, Lovett recommended Dean Rusk, Douglas Dillon, and Robert McNamara for the three top Cabinet posts. So it was recommended, and so it was done. Ruling-class analyst G. William Domhoff writes that Lovett was "an unusual advisor for a President-elect who had promised to get the country moving again." *

As for the faux outsider Jimmy Carter, Ronn Neff writes:

In the November 1976 issue of Playboy, in which the famous "lusted-in-my-heart" interview with Carter was published, there was a little-noticed piece dealing with the Georgian operators working with him. In it, Hamilton Jordan was quoted as saying that the Carter presidency would be different from its predecessors. If we saw a Cyrus Vance as secretary of state or a Zbigniew Brzezinski as national security advisor, we would know that Carter populism had failed. What can any historian say in the face of such a remark, except, "Thou sayest." ("'Any day is a good day to fight for liberty,'" part two, TLD, June 17, 2002 [1996])

Like Clinton, Carter was tapped by the Trilateral Commission (in 1973) and was thus certified as a conceivable president in the eyes of the ruling class. Some "outsider"!

Obama is a member of the CFR, as it seems almost every public man is who isn't a Gitmo-worthy dissident, but I haven't been able to tag him as an actual Trilateralist or Bilderberger. However, he does enjoy connections to at least two members of one or the other outfit, Brzezinski and — remarkably enough — Indiana Republican Senator Richard Lugar, "who has been called Obama's mentor," according to Victor Thorn at the American Free Press. (Lugar, of course, will have to publicly support John McCain in the electoral ceremonies, for appearance' sake. As elite maneuverings go, that's small potatoes.)

Comes now Pam Martens, in CounterPunch, writing a front-page piece for the February 1-16 issue, "Obama's Money Cartel: How He's Fronted for the Most Vicious Firms on Wall Street." It hasn't been posted to the CounterPunch site yet, but it's just as well that you'll be spared a link, because you'd have to read through all sorts of moanings about "diversity" and the wickedness of white males; attacks not just on the prevailing fascism but on capitalism itself; and praise for the evil, coercively collectivistic, Polite Totalitarian device of the class-action lawsuit. Amid all her leftist anti-Western rumble-bumble, though, Martens delivers some riveting intelligence, namely, that "seven of the Obama campaign's top 14 donors consist of officers and employees" of top Wall Street firms, including, in order of money given, "Goldman Sachs, UBS AG, Lehman Brothers, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Credit Suisse."

Ah, Goldman Sachs — my old bête noire and the investment bank that I suspect sits at the very summit of Dark Suitdom. To offer the merest sketch of the firm's inner-sanctum connections, I note that a startling number of its leaders — Abby Cohen, Jon Corzine, Robert Rubin, Peter D. Sutherland, Martin J. Taylor, and John L. Thornton among them — have been guests or members of the Bilderberg Group.

Among the big donors to Obama, Martens writes,

there is ... a large hedge fund, Citadel Investment Group, which is a major source of fee income to Wall Street. There are five large corporate law firms that are also registered lobbyists; and one is a corporate law firm that is no longer a registered lobbyist but does legal work for Wall Street. The cumulative total of these 14 contributors through February 1, 2008, was $2,872,128, and we're still in the primary season.
Now, true, it would be interesting to know which big shots are channeling big bucks to Field Marshal Bombs Away and That Woman, and just how big those bucks are. It's quite possible that some of the same Dark Suits are helping to fund Obama's competitors (especially Hillary, I would think). But it is safe to say, at a minimum, that the ruling class has awarded the Imam its indispensable imprimatur as a conceivable president: you know, someone they could work with.

If it turns out that Goldman Sachs et al. are giving money disproportionately to Obama, then it is possible to go further and suggest that the Dark Suits — temporarily shaken by the destruction of their great towers on 9/11, followed by the irruption of Bush's neocon wildmen — are now actively working for a return to imperialism as usual. Percipient observers have pointed out that while Obama decries the current adventurism in Mesopotamia, he seems to have no objection to U.S. imperialism per se.

Writing in the February 25 issue of The American Conservative, Brendan O'Neill goes further, insisting that

President Obama would be a warmonger. He would be a wide-eyed, zealous interventionist who would not think twice about using America's "military muscle" (his words) to overthrow "rogue states" and to suppress America's enemies, real and imagined. He would go farther even than President Bush in transforming the globe into America's backyard and staffing it with spies and soldiers. He would relish the "American mission" to police the world and topple tyrannical regimes. ("Make the World Safe for Hope / Can Barack Obama, who campaigns as an icon of peace, actually be more bellicose than Bush? Yes, he can.")
Indeed, O'Neill seeks to overturn the claim that Obama "was a principled and passionate opponent of the war in Iraq." Galloping past my own assumptions, that analysis actually paints Obama as less than ideal from the traditional Dark Suit point of view: though they are pretty strong Zionists and sponsored quite enough instability and violence in the Mohammedan world to provoke the attacks of 9/11, the Suits normally prefer a kind of "moderate" imperialism that relies largely on financial and trade manipulation, foreign aid, multilateral alliances, Bilderberg consensus-building, and buying or bribing established dictators abroad.

Nevertheless, I stick to my guns, arguing that Obama's "new man" persona still makes him especially malleable by the powers that be. While there are plenty of War Liberals out there whom President Obama could appoint to important posts, the Bush neocons themselves would be cut out, as they would not be if McCain were elected. I expect that the Suits could more easily control the War Liberals; after all, the Democrat-tending Yankees in the ruling class promoted John Badback in 1960, and he was quite the little War Liberal himself, however incompetent he proved to be.

I mentioned Obama's talent for gulling the childlike. That is his special value for the ruling class. Obama has already seduced millions of the disaffected to lower themselves, again or for the first time, into the stinking slime pit of electoral politics. In effect he has served as a recruitment officer for the System, to a degree that the baggage-laden Hillary cannot match and the frightening McCain cannot approach. To exploit the old satirical line, it seems to be a case of new hope for the dead. Like the false reformers, outsiders, and tribunes of the people who have preceded him, Obama is making the whole corrupt, tyrannical, criminal System look legitimate to many of those who had just about written it off. And in supporting him, they support it.

I haven't haunted the Teak Room of Wall Street's Alexander Hamilton Club for a while, but now I'm channeling Mr. Morganfeller once again, as he lunches on his sautéed swan's pancreas and sips his Chateau d'Yqem:

Gentlemen, Obama's done some splendid work for us in public relations. Just splendid. Bright chap like that deserves a bigger office down there in our Washington regional office. Bigger desk, too. Not to mention the usual gold-plated retirement package.

Ah, this is a nice wine, if not quite up to the '82 ... Over the next few months, of course, the young fellow'll have to finish our training program. Wouldn't want him to start meddling in any important business!

March 6, 2008

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* The Powers That Be: Processes of Ruling-Class Domination in America (New York: Vintage, 1979), p. 164.

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