Street of Gilt and Shame

Corporatism is evil. Full stop. It isn’t that the Free Market is a corrupt cesspit of murderous intentions. It isn’t that government interference causes poisonous and self-destructive eddies of incentive warps.

It’s that the whole fucking shebang, as it is set up right now, is a haze of pure, fucking evil upon both the regulator and the marketer. That every level of it doesn’t so much skew the incentives of the financial practitioners and enforcers under its aegis, but defines the very practice of monetary trade.

A while ago, author John Scalzi had made a pointed and levelheaded post outlining why the common charge of sociopathy against corporate entities is, at least, not quite accurate. To summarize, while there may be problems aplenty with corporations and the business of monetary billions, sociopathy certainly doesn’t fit – the behavior of corporations is not fundamentally different from that of a sane and healthy individual, after all, even as they dodge the taxman and figure out loopholes. We certainly don’t begrudge our neighbors (or ourselves) when we ask the accountant to figure out a way to decrease our taxes – more foolish would be not to, in our estimates, when such an option is available to us.

I agree. Sociopathy isn’t the issue at hand here. The symptoms of it certainly don’t fit. CEOs, presidents and regulatory department heads are quite the other thing from sociopathy. As Matt Taibbi’s article illustrates in stark, defiant detail, it’s not that they’re antisocial, but that they’re excessively so.

The bankers and regulators have formed a fucking tribe on the rest of us. They’ve gotten chummy. There is, effectively, no line drawn between the SEC and Lehman Brothers. In terms of people involved, in terms of incentives at play, in terms of the lucrative, lucrative business they operate and oversee, their relationship is less that of cops and robbers, and more of occasionally fractious departments under the umbrella aegis of Dollar, Inc.

This isn’t a partisan issue. This isn’t a matter of governmental interference or big corp greed. This is a matter of both at once. There is no difference between Government and Financial Corporation on this issue – they are one and the same.

And anybody not disgusted by this, not willing to scream at their senators for not pushing the issue harder, not willing to commit whatever little noospheric manipulation and control they have available to push momentum against this farcical tide of wealth and corruption, is merely feeding their gluttony.

There is no justice, merely the mocking pretense of it, while our jails are stuffed to bursting with non-violent offenders whose only crime is wrecking their own health… and these fucks roam free, their colons unscathed by the raging stiffie of a three-hundred-pound murderer.

Trillions of dollars. A literally unimaginable quantity – one our brains had not evolved to deal comfortably with except in the abstract.

It represents every lost home. Every lost career. Millions upon millions of shattered dreams and forced hardships.

Yours and mine.

…seriously, fuck those assholes.

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~ by Gonzo Mehum on March 27, 2011.

2 Responses to “Street of Gilt and Shame”

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  2. not willing to scream at their senators for not pushing the issue harderThere is no difference between Government and Financial Corporation on this issue

    But what is screaming at senators going to achieve, given that they themselves are part of the same plutocratic system you are denouncing? They have deeply vested interests in retaining the status quo, especially as they can only – except in rare circumstances – get where they are thanks to being invested in by the groups you would have them control, and rely on the same groups to provide for their post-political career. Even if you remove the issue of campaign contributions from the equation, they are still part of the same system, and stand to lose greatly by opposing it.

    I do not know what the solution is, but expecting change from within the system is as likely to produce meaningful results as expecting industry self-regulation to work… because, in this case, the two are indistinguishable.

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