I want to return to the global stampede toward privatization, which I mentioned in my last post. Privatization means greater and greater concentration of wealth, until everything is owned by a mere handful of people. You can blame this phenomenon on various groups if you want (Rothschilds, Illuminatis, Bilderbergers, etc.) but I blame it on everyone who regards public ownership (i.e. socialism) as evil, and private ownership of everything as good.
Whatever business is privately owned becomes profit-based. Whatever is profit-based becomes a black hole if it grows large enough, consuming everything. Hence the eternal hunger of the One Percent to have more. Always more. No amount of profit, austerity, and debt slavery can ever be enough. Indeed, the more they get, the more they want.
A black hole is a parasite, and parasitism is the theme of Michael Hudson’s influential book Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy.
The original title was Killing the Host: Financial Parasites and Wall Street’s War on Capitalism.
“War on capitalism” means that financial parasites such as Wall Street firms don’t produce anything. Instead, they suck the life out of capitalist economies via debt bondage.
Hudson notes that in the natural world, most parasites can only survive by injecting chemicals into their host’s brain that makes the host think the parasite is part of the host’s body. This behavior modification makes the host protect the parasite at all costs.
Financial parasites do exactly the same thing. They have convinced their host (i.e. society at large) that public ownership is evil, and private ownership is good. They have caused their host society to mentally invert everything. Freedom is slavery. War is peace. Austerity is prosperity. Ignorance is wisdom. Rent collecting is productive. Parasites are “makers.” Hosts are “takers.”
The parasite kills productivity, while calling it “enhanced productivity,” meaning the host is productive in fattening the parasite.
The parasite’s ideology is neo-liberalism. Its weapon is debt, lies, and austerity. The parasite convinces the host that the host will die without the deadly parasitic bankers. This behavior modification makes the host protect the parasite at all costs, even if it kills the host. Let millions of people die of hunger, as long as the bankers are kept well-fed. Let millions of debt-slaves perish, as long as their vampire creditors live in splendor.
The financial parasite says that public ownership is “evil,” since public ownership means life without parasites. It says that the parasite, which is killing the host, is the only thing that sustains the host. It praises whatever strengthens the parasite (e.g. deregulation) and condemns whatever weakens it (e.g. nationalization).
A hundred years ago in America, John Bates Clark and other pro-parasite ideologues claimed if the financial parasite sucks up all the money in the form of interest, fees, rents, or monopoly charges, it is because the parasite is an inherent and vital part of the host. Therefore, according to this lie, the parasite adds to GDP.
In reality the parasite kills GDP.
Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs says that the reason Goldman Sachs’ managers are paid so highly is that they are so productive, meaning they are skilled parasites. By “productive,” Blankfein means they make their host society produce vital juices for the parasites to suck until the host is dead.
In the USA the Bureau of Economic Analysis (which is part of the Department of Commerce) produces an accounting of American GDP that is called the “national income and product accounts” (NIPA). This is one of the main sources of data on general economic activity in the United States.
The financial parasite has designed the NIPA to regard a person as “productive” in proportion to how much money he gets. It does not matter how he gets the money. If he gets it via fraud, theft, war, slavery, bribery, murder, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. If he inherited the money, it doesn’t matter. As a parasite, the richer he is, the more “productive” he is, according to the NIPA. The more he kills productivity by sucking the life out of the economy, the more he is “enhances productivity.”
The financial parasite injects venom into the host’s brain so that the host says there is no parasite, and no such thing as a free lunch. Meanwhile the parasite’s entire existence is based on a “free lunch.” It denies that there is any such thing as unearned income. It denies that it enjoys a free lunch. Milton Friedman got famous for promoting the idea that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, when parasitic finance is all about getting a free lunch, with risks picked up by the government.
Speaking of Friedman, he was part of the “Chicago School” whose members advised the genocidal dictator Augusto Pinochet after the CIA engineered a coup in Chile (1973). The “Chicago School” was a cult of the parasite.
Pinochet murdered tens of thousands of people, to Friedman’s delight. Chile then became a parasite’s laboratory and playground. The parasites (Friedman et. al.) immediately closed down every economics department in Chile except the one department they controlled at the Catholic University. They arranged for the assassination of left wing professors, labor leaders and politicians who questioned parasitism. They imposed neoliberalism by gunpoint.
The parasites knew they could not have anti-labor, deregulated “free markets” that strip away social protections and benefits unless they had totalitarian control over the markets. They had to censor any idea that there has ever been a time without the parasite. They had to rewrite economic history to say that the parasite was good and eternal and necessary, and was not a parasite.
When the financial parasite says it is against government, it means genuinely democratic government (which can only exist if there is no parasite). Once the parasite takes over, it depends on government to keep providing vital juices. Police, soldiers, and politicians all protect the parasite, and they squeeze vital juices out of average people for the parasite. Everything and everyone exists to produce vital juices for the financial parasite. (By “vital juices” I mean human energy and natural resources.)
The feudal system was ultra-parasitic, and we are fast returning to that condition. In feudalism, a parasitic lord owned everything (especially land). His hosts (i.e. people who lived on the land) were forced to provide vital juices for the parasite (i.e. pay taxes, surrender their income, work in the fields, die as soldiers etc. etc.). The parasite called itself “noble,” and its hosts “inferiors.”
Eventually, of course, the financial parasite always kills the host. That’s what happened to the Roman Empire. Rome developed a financial cancer that became malignant. The entire Roman Empire was itself a parasite on the rest of the world. Vital juices from foreign lands were called “tribute” and “taxes.” And then the parasite ate itself, just as the USA is doing.
Military conquerors take slaves in many forms, and thereby become parasites. They impose things like land rents. In England in some cases you must pay two rents: one for your house and another for the land. The two may have different owners.
There was a time when continental Europe prevented parasitism by keeping the most important natural monopolies in the public domain: the post office, the state broadcasting companies, the roads and basic transportation, the early national airlines, and so on.
As I said, the parasite injects its host’s brain with chemicals that modify the host’s behavior and awareness. For example, we remain in a permanent depression because we have an 11.8 trillion-dollar parasite on our back, in the form of private debt for cars, houses, education, medical expenses, and so on. But the parasite doesn’t want you to think about that. The parasite programs you to worry about the trivial public debt (the so-called “national debt”) that no one will ever have to pay a penny on. The public debt is not a burden, and not a parasite. But the parasite says, “Don’t look at me; the parasite is the national debt!”
The wealth of the 1% comes from the 99%. The parasite sucks you dry via student loans, for example, while programming the people around you to think it is your fault for being sucked dry. This is the behavior modification that all parasites must do if they are to survive. The parasite says you need him because the U.S. government is “bankrupt.” It says you need austerity.
Meanwhile the host (i.e. the masses) worships the parasite. We see this whenever someone calls socialism “evil.” Socialism means freedom from the current parasites.
Of course, socialism can create its own parasites in the form of party bosses and apparatchiks, but that is another matter.
Wealth creation consists of manufacturing and farming. It consists of performing needed services like health care and education. But the parasite says that true wealth creation consists of giving your vital fluids to the parasite – for example, paying interest to private banks. What the parasite calls wealth creation is wealth destruction. What the parasite calls a “free market” is a captive host for the parasite. (A genuinely free market has no parasites.)
A hedge fund owner making a million dollars an hour does not contribute to society 66,666 times what a $15 an hour person contributes. But the parasite says he does, as do all the textbooks and media pundits (today anyway).
Periodic financial crises are caused by the tendency of debt-parasites to grow exponentially, without regard for growth in the productive powers of the host economy. And now the financial parasite is so huge that it is killing the USA, just as financial parasites killed the Roman Empire.
And still the parasite is not satisfied. The parasite now wants its host societies to go cashless, so that no one can hide his vital fluids (i.e. hide money) from the parasite. Everyone in the 99% now serves the parasite.
Do you think the Rothschilds are behind all this? Illuminatis? Bilderbergers? Extraterrestrials? No. The cause is everyone around you that says public ownership is evil, and parasitic private ownership is good.