Do Not Ask Western Leadership to Fix Anything
Why are people calling for Western leaders to “fight terrorism”?
Those attacks mostly weren’t hitting the West. Now, a tiny fraction are.
Without the US arming and organizing the Afghani Mujahideen in the eighties there is no Al-Qaeda.
Without the US and British invasion of Iraq, there is no ISIS.
Understand this: Widespread global terrorism exists because of the US’s actions specifically and the West’s generally.
Let us turn now to economics. Inequality has been increasing since the 1970s. It has become worse every decade, with only minor reversals. After the financial crisis, it became so bad that more than all the productivity gains in the environment went to the top three percent.
This happened in large part due to various financial, economic, and legislative “reforms.” It was deliberate, in other words. Inequality is a result of deliberate action by US leadership.
Austerity is, likewise, the result of deliberate action by Western elites, generally. They decided to deliberately impoverish their citizens and have done so.
This is not unique to the West. India claims much economic progress, but the average number of calories eaten per capita has gone down over the last thirty years. The average Indian is worse off than they were when India was run on frankly socialist principles.
The leadership classes are chosen for their ability and desire to become leaders. If that overlaps with an ability and desire to make their society good for the majority of the population, that’s great, but in most countries right now, that’s not how or why they are selected.
These people are selected by oligarchs, for oligarchs, and their skillset is pleasing oligarchs. This is done through a system that selects candidates before they get to voters, even primary voters or the equivalent. In most cases, you do not get a choice of a leader who will put ordinary people’s interests first.
To see what happens when someone does slip through, take a look at how UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has been treated by the Press. I have never seen such libelous coverage of a political leader. One UK headline yesterday read “Corbyn and his friends must choose what side they are on” with respect to the Paris attacks.
“Today, all our thoughts and sympathy are with the people of Paris.
“What took place in the French capital yesterday was horrific and immoral.
“We stand in solidarity with the people of France – as with all victims of terror and violence.
“I have cancelled my engagements today to hold discussions on events in France with shadow cabinet colleagues and be briefed by Downing Street security officials.
“It’s vital at a time of such tragedy and outrage not to be drawn into responses which feed a cycle of violence and hatred.
“We are proud to live in a multicultural and multi-faith society, and we stand for the unity of all communities.”
This is an eminently sane, statesmanlike statement that simply says our response should not make the situation worse, but Corbyn is being vilified for it.
This sort of propaganda works, Corbyn took over the Labour leadership with negative favorability ratings, virtually unheard of. He did so because he had been endlessly smeared by the Press.
Let me blunt. Anyone who wants our leadership to “fix” terrorism has either not been paying attention, is a fool, or is a tool who knows they’ll make it worse but expects to personally benefit in some way.
This situation is similar to the Iraq war in the sense that anyone stupid and immoral enough to invade Iraq could not be expected to run the war in a way which would lead to good results. One can make a theoretical case that an invasion of Iraq could have worked out well, but that can’t happen in the real world because no one who would invade Iraq in the first place would be competent or just enough to actually implement improvements.
Note, however, that the Iraq war was an immense profit opportunity and that a great deal of money was funneled to the right people. Again, this is one of our leaders’ core competencies, this is what they do well.
Years ago, Stirling Newberry told me that the job of modern politicians was to wrangle the masses for oligarchs. He was right. That is what they do. They are good at manipulating enough of the population, and they are good at giving money and power to those who already have both.
They are not good at anything else, and expecting them to do anything else is insane.
You do not want Hollande, Obama, and Cameron (let alone Erdogan) trying to fix the Middle East. You do not want the people who report to them trying to do so. You do not want western militaries trying to do so.
At least not if you want a reduction, rather than an increase, in terrorism.
The first rule of holes applies. The first thing you want the leadership to do is stop digging. Other than criminal investigations, you should want them to do nothing. No military action, no legislative changes. Military action hasn’t worked, legislative changes will just be more gutting of civil liberties, and that hasn’t worked either.
This is true of virtually everything. They cannot and will not fix inequality, because their raison d’etre is to create inquality. They cannot fix the financial system or the economy because it exists as it is to increase inequality. They cannot run a war because they were not chosen for that sort of competence.
If you want to fix any problem in the West, or have the West be helpful for fixing any global problem, you need to fix the Western leadership class. That means fixing Western media, education, corporations, etc, etc. The list is long, because they have deliberately broken virtually everything to turn it into an opportunity for a very few people to become richer.
If you are British, you have a decent, honorable man who actually wants to do almost all the right things: Corbyn. Get to work supporting him, however you can. If he goes down, the political class will take it as a lesson that trying to help ordinary people is a really bad idea. (Well, they have already decided this, so work to prove them wrong.)
But, in general, you need to retake control of the system which creates leaders, you need to restructure, bypass, or break the media conglomerates (or all three), and you will need to restructure society from the ground up so that it does not produce either such corrupt leaders or the people who enable them.
This is a goddamn big job. It is far harder than dropping some bombs on the Middle East, or sending in the troops again. But it is an actual solution to a whole series of problems.
In the meantime, don’t ask your leadership to “fix” anything. That’s not what they are there for. Whenever they want to do anything, your default position should be to oppose it–unless you are 100 percent certain it’s in your interest and have done the hard, cold research and thinking to support that conclusion. Sure, sometimes you’ll be wrong, but most of the time you’ll be right, because they are not in power to make your lives better, but to enrich a small class of people and impoverish the majority.
Any knock-on effects, like terrorism, are secondary to them, and even if they had the desire to fix such problems, they cannot–they do not have the ability. They will simply make them worse, even if it was possible they were sincerely trying to do good.
If you live in the West, the great danger to your life, health, and prosperity is your leadership. It is how your society is run. This is cold, hard, and true.
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