Observation 1; the revolution will not be televised. A strong argument can be made that Revolution is Now, though deliberately and skillfully ignored by the MSM. The status quo must, for its own protection, direct our gaze elsewhere, by presenting any information that might suggest 'the wheels are coming off' as normal business, humdrum hiccups and bumps along The One True Way. The MSM is The View of the World the status quo needs us to use, it is the window we are led to when we want to know what's going on 'out there.'
Some months ago, Yves Smith posted an article about the failure of the left to make hay while the sun shines, or rather, as capitalism's sun sets. It prompted some good debate, but my favourite comment came from an activist who lambasted the article and commenters for failing to 'get out there and act.' The commenter claimed to be part of a thriving community of people stepping out from the system and building a new one, of course unreported in the media. (I can't find the article, because I can't remember the title.) I wrote a blog on the opting out option, which I believe is an essential precursor of revolution, particularly today. Opting out is fairly bloodless in its initial stages, but should it generate momentum enough to upset the status quo's apple cart, attempts will be made to stamp it out. All systems want to live on and on, no status quo can be an exception to this, yet everything dies.
Observation 2; Foreclosuergate is massive and full of juicy stories of suffering and woe, so has to be in the mainstream to some extent. It furthermore follows an unbroken and ongoing succession of other scandals and robberies (bailouts and bonuses) I'm sure the majority do not want.
Is the great propaganda machine losing its grip? Not on everyone certainly, and where it is slipping, in different ways among different groups. The right is as dissatisfied as the left, each reacts differently, much as I hate to feed into what I see as cosmetic divisions fostered by the very propaganda I try to ignore. There is agitation and deep frustration, a yearning hunger for something else, but no real consensus. 'Divide and conquer' has worked well, though its harvest will be bitter indeed.
And yet, as Charles Eisenstein puts it, a millennia-old story is coming to a close. The heart of that story is 'self against other,' with its younger offspring, 'survival of the fittest,' 'nice guys finish last,' 'the invisible hand,' and Efficient Markets Hypothesis being but the latest iterations of it. The Guardians of this story occupy society's fulcrum as The Finance Industry, and have been in control of cultural definitions of money and wealth for a very long time. Since they possess the keys to the Money Making Machine, they get to shroud it in mystery while telling us, on a need to know basis, what success and wealth are. In short, they get us to want what they have to give; money. Therefore, money must be wealth, and monetary wealth must be success. Money must be the arbiter of all that gets done. 'Let Money; Price; and Hand, The Invisible take care of business, and everything will be just fine. Trust us. We know what we're doing.'
Faith in this tale is wearing thin, and the moles keeping on digging up the garden.
Recently, some US politicians have been getting a clue, and subjecting the Guardians' underlings to some half-way decent questioning. Yves Smith's article quotes a Congressional Oversight Panel paper:
While these documentation irregularities may sound minor, they have the potential to throw the foreclosure system – and possibly the mortgage loan system and housing market itself – into turmoil.
The guts of the Money Making Machine are at risk of prolapse, which means the status quo itself is at death's grim edge staring into the abyss. While they won't debate issues such as money and wealth, they will, and do, squeal about system collapse and the end of civilization, again (echoes of 2007-2008).
Chase Manhattan has been accused of perjury. The Republic of Ireland is facing its High Noon, an epic struggle that goes to the very core of Money Power, and the carrot society uses to propel itself 'forwards.' Regular Naked Capitalism commenter DownSouth posted the following:
Are the wheels starting to come off the corporate states? These are the anti-democratic governments that are underpinned by the ideology of state capitalism that emerged during the 19th century and became dominant in the West during the 20th century. Corporate states now rule over almost all Western peoples, as well as much of the rest of the world.
And let there be no mistake. American banking oligarchs are aware of the stakes, as became evident at Tuesday’s Senate’s Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing “Mortgage Services and Foreclosure Practices.” Senator John “Jack” F. Reed made this explicit in his comments starting at minute 2:15:35:
There’s a real question, I think: Do we have that time? And not just in terms of the individual homeowners but the economy. And if the economy gets worse for reasons not directly related to this—-sovereign debt crises overseas, etc—-then the foreclosure problem we face today, you know the bottom keeps slipping down, down, down, down, down, then this problem becomes really tremendous.
What is at stake here? The financier's will scream 'Life Itself!' or at least, 'The Good Life,' but I think it's our cultural definitions of wealth and money. The more often this putrid game repeats, the more often we borrow money to lend to those up to their eyeballs in debt to 'rescue the system,' the more ridiculous money seems to be. This soiling of money's 'good name' is behind recent attempts to bring gold back to the forefront as a 'store of value.' Solidity is sought as the ground beneath our feet crumbles away. People want something 'real' to hold on to. I don't believe gold can do it. Nothing can which is 'wealth as money or single commodity.' The rot is just too deep, the old story too old.
A new story is being written, people are opting out, the rich are eating themselves, and though mostly at the fringes and desperately ignored and finessed, this squeaks through into the mainstream, from time to time, as Catastrophe. For the mainstream it is a death knell, though allegedly 'fixable' with standard medicine. The old way is indeed dying. The Revolution is indeed Now, but is disjointed, straggly, leaderless and groping. As it grows down and out into society there will be increasing chaos, horror, collapse, and then something unknowable.
As I have come to see it and consequently promote it, real wealth arises spontaneously from healthy networks. A human being is a society of individual cells cooperating as one organism whose health depends on access to the right environmental conditions. Society is likewise a collection of individual cells (and clusters of cells) whose health depends on access to an appropriate environment. Wealth is a complex of relationships, not an 'out there,' detached object we can hold to ourselves like gold or money or property or land. The new emergent story is principally about this; systems interdependently embedded within other systems in a state of perpetual change. This is the counterargument capitalism and liberalism do not want to engage.
Transitioning from that old to this new will be, I believe, an unprecedentedly broad and deep planetary process, and the outcome is uncertain. But make no mistake, it is underway and cannot be stopped. The best we can do is give our energies to those processes we believe will promote societal and environmental health, hoping for a good outcome.