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Which Rotten Fruit Falls First?

October 20, 2017

I predict the current investigations will widen and take a variety of twists and turns that surprise all those anticipating a tidy, narrowly focused denouement.
The theme this week is The Rot Within.

To those of us who understand the entire status quo is rotten and corrupt to its core, the confidence of each ideological camp that their side will emerge unscathed by investigation is a source of amusement. The fake-progressives (fake because these so-called "progressives" support Imperial over-reach and a status quo whose only possible output is soaring wealth and income inequality) are confident that a "smoking gun" of corruption will deliver their most fervent dream, the impeachment of President Trump, while Trump supporters are equally confident there is no "smoking gun."

One camp is confident that the wily Clintons and their army of enablers, from former FBI Director Comey on down, will finally be brought to long-evaded justice for their various perfections of corruption and collusion: pay to play, and so on.

Clinton supporters are equally confident that there is no "smoking gun" that will bring down the House of Clinton, and by proxy, the organs of the Democratic Party.

The implicit historical model each camp is anticipating is of course Watergate, which unfolded with a dramatic inevitability that in retrospect almost seems scripted: a minor burglary led to the hubris of cover-up which led to the destruction of the Nixon presidency.

Often overlooked in this history is the key roles played by insider informants (such as Deep Throat) and the wider political demands for greater transparency the scandal triggered. The Church Committee ended up investigating the illegal campaigns of the FBI and CIA against the anti-war and civil rights movements (COINTELPRO etc.), and a small dent was made in the federal government's decades-long reliance on official secrecy to cover up official corruption, collusion, malfeasance, lies, etc.-- the ugly underbelly of agencies protecting the Empire from any inconvenient leaks of truth.

I submit that Watergate will not be the template for the multiple investigations being pursued in the present. It seems highly likely to me that who and what gets taken down by the investigations is much less predictable than in the Watergate template, which distilled down to an escalating campaign of cover-ups and stonewalling which simply compounded the crimes previously committed.

I submit that the investigations launched with an implicit intent of bringing down selected targets may well end up destroying people and institutions that weren't in the crosshairs. The reason why this seems so likely is that the entire status quo is corrupt: the fraud, pay-to-play, lies and collusion are institutionalized and system-wide, and once some investigation drills a hole in the dam of secrecy and collusion, the hole may quickly widen as the fetid gush of hidden truths pours out.

In other words, when the entire status quo is corrupt and hiding its collusion, gathering evidence to nail one target inevitably tugs loose other threads, threads that the original investigators reckoned could be safely left untouched.

It doesn't work that way, folks. Insiders end up releasing more than investigators bargained for, and all it takes is one insider and one journalist who isn't beholden to a colluding-insider corporate boss to widen the hole in the dam into a veritable flood.

Longtime readers know I have long made the case that the Deep State has fractured into competing camps. For example:

Is the Deep State Fracturing into Disunity? (March 14, 2014)

Surplus Repression and the Self-Defeating Deep State (May 26, 2015)

Public investigations are one field where this conflict plays out, but unfortunately for the players, it's a game that's easier to start than to control.

For this reason, I predict the current investigations will widen and take a variety of twists and turns that surprise all those anticipating a tidy, narrowly focused denouement. Which of the many rotten fruits will fall first? How many will fall by the time the investigations have burned through a corrupt status quo that's exquisitely vulnerable to a single lightning strike? Only one lightning strike is needed to ignite the combustible corruption and trigger a conflagration tha quickly escapes the handlers' control.

If you want a recent example of this dynamic, consider Harvey Weinstein, a mere brush fire that may well spread further and faster than the handlers expect.

For more on the systemic nature of corruption in our status quo, please check out my books:

Resistance, Revolution, Liberation

Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform

Correspondent Rudy C. kindly noted that the GDP chart I displayed yesterday was misleading as it did not adjust for population growth. This chart is of GDP per capita, which shows GDP per person rather than as an aggregate total. Thank you, Rudy, for the correction.




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Check out both of my new books, Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print) and Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform ($3.95 Kindle, $8.95 print, $5.95 audiobook) For more, please visit the OTM essentials website.



Inequality is rising globally, and rising inequality is destabilizing. A status quo of increasing inequality self-destructs. To avoid this fate, we must answer this question: why is the gulf between the wealthy and everyone else widening so dramatically?

The answer boils down to one word: privilege.

What is privilege? There are many types of privilege, but they all share two characteristics: privilege delivers benefits, wealth and power that are unearned.

Privilege is destabilizing for many reasons: the dead weight of privilege reduces productivity, generates perverse incentives and fuels social injustice. Innovation and competition are threats to privileged monopolies and are therefore suppressed.

The only way to foster sustainable stability is to dismantle institutionalized privilege.

We have a moral imperative to eradicate privilege: privilege is immoral, as rising inequality is the only possible output of privilege. Privilege is exploitive, parasitic, predatory and destructive to the society and economy, and generates inequality by its very nature.

Stripped to its essence, privilege is nothing but institutionalized racketeering.

The only way to reverse rising inequality is to eradicate its source: privilege.

Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege ($3.95 Kindle ebook, $8.95 print edition)



Recent entries:

Which Rotten Fruit Falls First? October 20, 2017

GDP Is Bogus: Here's Why October 19, 2017

Fraud, Exploitation and Collusion: America's Pharmaceutical Industry October 18, 2017

The United States of Weinstein: Complicity, Greed and Corruption Is the Status Quo October 17, 2017

The Fading Scent of the American Dream October 16, 2017

The Endgame of Financialization: Stealth Nationalization October 13, 2017

Are You Better Off Than You Were 17 Years Ago? October 12, 2017

About Those "Hedonic Adjustments" to Inflation: Ignoring the Systemic Decline in Quality, Utility, Durability and Service October 11, 2017

Our Protected, Predatory Oligarchy: Dirty Secrets, Dirty Lies October 10, 2017

The Consent of the Conned October 9, 2017

Migration of the Tax Donkeys October 6, 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For: Inflation Is Much Higher Than Advertised October 5, 2017

What Few Expect: Inflation Will Surge, Destabilizing the Status Quo October 4, 2017

What If the Tax Donkeys Rebel? October 3, 2017

2009 - 2016: Was the Eight-Year Experiment in Maintaining the Status Quo a Success or a Failure? October 1, 2017


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Our status quo--the pyramid of wealth and power dominated by the few at the top--has failed and is beyond reform.

This failure is not rooted in superficial issues such as politics or governmental regulations; the failure is structural.

The very foundation of the status quo has rotted away, and brushing on another coat of reformist paint will not save our societal house from collapse.

Yet those who benefit from our status quo naturally deny it has failed, for the reason that it has yet to fail them personally—either pretending to not understand that all unsustainable systems eventually collapse, or hoping to postpone it.

Our status quo is not only failing to solve humanity’s six core problems--it has become the problem.

Since this failure is now inevitable, something is coming to replace it.

Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform ($3.95 Kindle ebook, $8.95 print edition, $5.95 audiobook)



A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology & Creating Jobs for All


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Automation is upending the global order by eliminating human labor on an unprecedented scale--and the status quo has no solution to this wholesale loss of jobs.

What if we could hit the reset button on the way we create money, work, commerce and community? What if we could design a social economy rather than a merely financial one? These are not idle questions, for technology now enables us to hit that reset button and organize the creation of money, work, commerce and community in new ways.

If we could start from scratch, what would a new system look like? Clearly, we need a system that offers what the current system cannot: meaningful work for all.

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A radically beneficial world beckons—what are we waiting for?     Introduction     Chapter One (free PDF)



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(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $17.76)   audiobook, $19.95 (Audible.com)
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