ASSANGE, OLIGARCHS, TECHNOCRATS, ECUADOR, AND THE GREAT DEBATEAugust 19, 2012
Yesterday I wrote about what I consider the proper historical and economic background from which to view Ecuador's decision to grant Mr. Julian Assange political asylum. It was, as I suggested there and last week in my News and Views from the Nefarium, a decision based in part upon some shrewd geopolitical calculation on Ecuador's part - possibly and in my opinion probably after quiet consultation with the Chinese, Russian, Brazilian, and Argentinian embassies in that country - and in part from a long and bitter experience with the West and its "aid" in helping "develop" the country by saddling it with enormous loans and debts it can never possibly repay.
Today, I am in a philosophical mood, but not "philosophical" in the sense of emotionally detached or apathetic to Ecuador's position, but rather, which the converse. I mean by my "philosophical mood" only to highlight what I believe is the real underlying cultural debate now taking place.
It has become something of a mantra, or a dogma, with the international financial banking-corporate elite in London and New York - that whole cesspool and gaggle of high frequency traders, corrupt CEOs and bought-and-paid-for politicians that we call "the Powers that Be" - that the nation-state is an obsolescence at best and obsolete at worst, and that the real wave of the future lies in Barrel-hoops Hillary Clinton's global village, and the multinational corporate state.
Ecuador is saying "not so fast," for its history, as I detailed yesterday by citing John Perkins' Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, is one of the policy of that internationalist financial oligarchy: mercantilism. Consider what Ecuador has been through, and consider the implications of the policies and strategies Perkins outlined in his book: (1) huge loans are made to Ecuador; (2) portions of these loans went directly into the pockets of corrupt Ecuadorian politicians while (3) openly the loans were "talked up" as being beneficial to develop the country and lift it from its poverty while (4) the bulk of the loans went into the pockets of Western - principally American - companies to construct the projects while (5) Ecuador was saddled with the debt and interest on said loans and thus (6) had to specifically allocate or earmark the income from the resources the West was "developing" to pay the interest on the loans.
Now, pay attention to those last two points, for here we are chin to chin with a very old tactic, so old, in fact, that its first earliest and explicit examples date from the High Middle Ages, and which were employed by the international corporations and banks of the day. Then, companies doing business with kingdoms would make loans to them in return for specific allocations of income from various resources or commodities to repay the loans. Oftentimes, these mediaeval companies would even require a special jurisdiction and taxing power to ensure that the allocated income from particular commodities was in fact paid. This is the essence of mercantilism, and it formed the backbone of the rise to power of the great financial oligarchies of Genoa, Florence, and Venice.
There was a major fly in the ointment, however, and that was the near-simultaneous rise of the nation-state, particularly in France and England, where, oddly enough, the crowned heads of those countries took the meddling of international financial oligarchies to be something that ultimately threatened not only the well-being of their subjects, but, because of that, their own royal blue-blood arses.
The oligarchical financial elites of the West would have us believe that the nation-state is an obsolete thing... but the reality, as plucky little Ecuador is reminding us of, is otherwise. If the nation-state was not a major problem for these oligarchies, they would not be bending every effort to corrupt or otherwise deadlock the political systems in whatever countries they do business in. But ultimately, the reality goes even deeper, and here the cultural debate must begin, for Ecuador is reminding us that, in the end, human beings are not chattels, are not mere "human resources" to be manipulated on a ledger book and counted as assets by the banks behind the bankrupt nations.
The real cultural battle and debate of this age - with the increasingly shrill calls of the technocrats for a global New World Order and transhumanist singularities and all the other tired litanies they sing - is what it means to be human, and if, indeed, our humanity will be at the top of the list of the hierarchy of value, and not, as it increasingly seems to be for the mad hatters and nutters of Wall Street and the City of London and all their stupid and blind policy groups and round tables and secret conferences and foreign policy forums, at the bottom. They have sought, with some success, to turn "human rights" into a weapon... by organizing "spontaneous" color revolutions and "Arab springs" that degenerate into the worst forms of mediaeval religious oppression. But they don't like it so much when the same tactics are used against them, to expose their own lack of humanity and their own hypocrisy, and their own lack of tolerance that they preach to everyone else.
Three cheers for Ecuador for reminding all of us of the basic values of our Western culture and civilization.
See you on the flip side.