who can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety, deserve neither liberty
-- Benjamin Franklin
"All governments lie and nothing
say should be believed."
"Power tends to corrupt, and
absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Great men
almost always bad men."
In fact, I did not find anything
Saturday December 26, 2015 - that I thought worth reviewing. Also, it
is the end of the year, and so I reproduce a file I wrote and published before, in fact twice, and the last time on February 16, 2014.
I reproduce it because I think it is quite good: I really think deregulation - the withdrawing of many laws
that protected the many from the depredations of the few to enrich
themselves - is the main
reason for the incredible increases in inequalities in power and in
money that enormously benefitted the anyway rich few, that characterize
the last 35 years: See Robert Reich's "Inequality for All", that I reviewed yesterday. (And yes, I concentrate on the
USA, because this is were most of this started, and because it has more than 300 million
So the rest is a literal reproduction of February 16, 2014
- and I included even the quotes in the beginning (above), though I did
not reproduce the section on ME. I updated the links to the crisis (about
which I now wrote over a 1000 files) but did not update anything else.
Finally, about my title: This is a play on Bill Clinton's "It's the
economy, stupid!"- and no, it is not "the economy": It are the laws that
protected the many, that every president since
and including Reagan, and most leading politicians from both parties, have
been breaking down, in order to benefit the rich few, at the costs
of the non-rich many: It was a major and very successful fraud, that is (according to Wikipedia) it was a "deliberate deception
to secure unfair or unlawful gain", and it was perpetrated by most politicians
of both parties in the United States (nearly all of whom are
kinds of things go wrong?
2. Since when
do these things go
3. What is the
reason these things go wrong?
Actually, the following text
is the same as that of January 16,
2013, apart from some added links and some boldings, and an added
"the" in the title. My reasons to duplicate it are as follows: It is
quite good; it is not sufficiently read; and also I can't much improve
on it at present. And I never read anything like this by anyone else,
in one file or article, while I still quite agree with it.
Incidentally, most of the points are not my own: what is my own are the
selection and the stresses.
There are some additional points to be raised, but these have to wait
till another time.
In this Nederlog I am only
trying to chart some very general tendencies
and patterns of explanation, so to speak. In a way, this can be seen as
the less cynical version of my
hypotheses of corporate fascism + the surveillance state, that
tended to the assumption (hard to
to disprove) that much
that has been going on, at least since 9/11/2001, has been planned.
Suppose, on the contrary, the
things that have gone wrong have gone
wrong mostly by accident and/or by confluence of existing tendencies -
which has the advantage of being true anyway, regardless of whether
there is a hidden planned component, e.g. in the arisal of and lobbying
for the surveillance
Then what sort of things have
gone wrong, in a major way, in Europe and
the US, and since when, and why?
I give some brief and sketchy
points and answers, that are only meant
to help one to get things clarified, and certainly not as complete or
kinds of things go wrong?
There are at least five
sectors of society and one of nature that seem
to go wrong currently and for quite a while now:
- the economy: The economies of Europe and the US are
in a major mess and a crisis since 2008, while also nothing much
effective has been done about this, other than save the banks while
forcing the population at large to pay for the debts. See the crisis series.
- health care: The health care systems of both the US
and Europe are in a major mess: The dominant end is profit rather than
good health care, and both the management of health care and medicine
itself are corrupt in major ways. See the DSM-5 series.
- education: The educational system, on all levels, in
both the US and Europe is in a crisis, and offers far worse education
for far more money than before. See my published columns.
& civil law: Politicians, political parties and legislatures
are all for the most part quite corrupt in the US and Europe, and seem
to attract and protect precisely the wrong kinds of careerist and
naturally born posturers, liars and deceivers (already feared by
the ancient Greeks). Also, it has turned out there are no really
independent courts: the courts follow politics mostly. See the crisis series.
- public debate: There
is hardly any intelligent public debate - language has grown corrupt
through political correctness; public relations talk and marketing rule
almost every important topic: much of the public debate - if there is
- is along public
relations lines, in Orwellian doublespeak. See Bernays' "Propaganda" to get
a grasp of what is going on.
As to the climate: I rarely write about it
because (1) I have noticed it has been getting warmer the last decade;
(2) I cannot get my head around the popular explanations, though
I think it is quite probable there is a considerable human
contribution; but (3) I don't think this can be effectively changed, by
human beings and their societies such as they are: it seems to work out
mostly as marketing for the producers of modern windmills and for the
Good Intentions of politicians and bureaucrats, who acquire a Public
Conscience by supporting Noble Goals.
- climate: The climate
gets warmer and warmer and is effectively out of control, with
unforeseeable and unstoppable social consequences.
That is, as ends for realistic actions "the
climate" and also "the
environment" are blind alleys: The problems of the climate are problems
beyond real solutution at present, except through some sort of global
population control, which also takes several generations if it works at
This does not mean changes in the climate
may not have major social
consequences: it does mean that "the climate" cannot be changed or
warded off by present political or social means - which is also why I
tend to write little about it.
Since when do these things go wrong?
All of the
above developments, if you start
thinking about it, and know some recent history, or are over 60, or
both, as in my case, have been taking place for quite a while. Here are
some temporal indicatons:
economy: The present crisis started in 2007-2008, but got started
in principle under Reagan, Clinton and Greenspan, namely by
deregulations of the banking world, also obfuscated some by the
of PCs and the internet, that also fundamentally changed the economy:
1980-1990. See the crisis
- health care: (1) The management of health
care seems to have been always a mess in the US compared with Europe,
but in Europe the American model has been introduced since 2000 in the
name of "the blessings of market forces", and has grown steadily more
expensive and worse for patients, if highly profitable for medical
doctors and medical managers; (2) the practice of medical
science and health care has grown a lot worse: The science grew
an adjunct of the marketing of
the health care got thoroughly bureaucratized: All of this has been
ongoing since the 1980ies. See the DSM-5 series.
- education: Both schools and universities have been
giving less and less real education, normally in the name of equality,
since the 1960ies - and note this is one of the changes the victims can
neither really see, nor really feel, nor really understand: To be able
to know and understand what they miss they need what they miss - a
(half way) good
education. See my published columns.
& civil law: Politics became much more of a top down market and
public relations driven careerist thing especially since the 1960ies
and 1970ies showed anything can be sold by TV, including actors who
want to be presidents; politicians are for sale to lobbyists; opinions
can be created and bought by marketing / public
relations campaigns; and judges turn out to be not to
be independent from politics nor able to constrain politics, and indeed
for much that is new - computing and internet - there is no existing
and in any case no effective legislation. See the crisis series.
3. What is the
reason these things go wrong?
- public debate:
Ongoing with the decline of education and with the rise of marketing /
public relations as the tool of choice of governmental bodies,
corporate bodies, and political parties, the standards of public
debate have grown ever and ever lower, and indeed many questions that
should be intelligently discussed in public are either not discussed at
all, or only in marketing / public
relations terms that make a rational
debate, discussion or argument impossible. See Bernays' "Propaganda".
The main reason
the things mentioned have gone wrong is a combination of deregulation,
increased power of
governments, and mistaken ideas and ideals.
Again I limit myself to
headings and points:
decline of standards:
- in education
- in banking
- in lobbying
- in law
- in medicine
I have been writing
about this often in Nederlog, especially in the crisis series and the DSM-5 series; in my published columns; and in ME in Amsterdam, about the utter disappearance of the
maintenance of the law in Amsterdam and in Holland as regards illegal
I think deregulation and
the associated decline of standards in many
fields is in fact the main theme and the main force behind or enabler
of the things that went wrong: Relativism, postmodernism,
on an enormous scale through the lowering of educational
standards, and specifically:
The rise of
- "everybody knows that
truth does not exist"
- "everybody knows
that everything is relative"
- "everybody knows
that everybody is
equal or equivalent" 
For which see Scientific realism vs.
postmodernism and Morningstar
shines a bright light and Yahooism with a human face.
NB for those who can recall the postmodernism
of the 1970ies-1990ies, and who might want to object there is much
less of it: This is because so much has been widely accepted; because
so many standards have been replaced by propaganda
relations prose; and because the main damage, the decline of
education and educational standards have succeeded and are in force
Increased power of
corporations and governments:
- since 9/11/2001 and
the "war on terror"
- the introduction of
- datamining by
Google, Facebook and others
The internet has made it
possible for corporations and governments to
spy on everyone; the lack of any real or effective legislation combined
with the presence of computers everywhere and the apparent enormous
profitability or possibilities for control made it possible for both
corporations and states to spy on the population to an extent that
has been possible, and until very recently was not even conceived of by
Mistaken ideas and
- the "war on terror"
- the liberating forces
of the market
- the desirability of
spying on the population
- the European Union
If there was
and is no plan to create
in Europe and the US, that are effectively controlled by the executives and
owners of the big international corporations, and/or are being run by
politicians and yes-men that corporate powers mostly control, then
the fact that this was the outcome of the last 10 years must be due to
the wide acceptance of mistaken ideas and ideals:
The "war on terror"
works out as a tool to begin and impose state terrorism, in the form of
forced identity papers, reading of e-mails, secret wire-tapping, and
surveilled and stored internet behavior, followed by whatever a truly
corrupt and power-crazed government may impose using the force and the
information they acquired, including concentration camps, renditioning
to torture centers, and disappearance without trial or trace.
of the market" have turned out to be a ploy by
corporations, e.g. in health care, first to get free from control by
the law, the public and the press, by deregulating these checks and
balance away, and then succeeded by appropriating power and
control over health care by its managers, through public
The "desirability of
spying on the population", which is what has been
practised systematically by European governments and by the US
government since 9/11 is in fact a ploy to impose state terrorism
- which is a fundamentally insane notion even if, as perhaps in the
Soviet Union and China, it gets introduced for what seem moral reasons:
No man can be trusted with absolute power over other
men, and least of all the men who run a state or large
organization - if these are not controlled by effective checks and
balances, such as independent courts, a real free press, and an
educated public that needs not fear to speak or write as they please,
corporate or state governors will enthrall as much and as many as they
can, for that has happened always wherever they got the chance.
The "European Union"
a plan for a federal state that was not based
on any tenable social or political theory, and a plan for an economic
union that should not have been implemented by a common currency: Now
all hang together, so will fall together if any falls, while the vast
majority of the citizens of the EU is as nationalistic and chauvinistic
as they ever were.
So far for these brief
notes to help you and me get some perspective on
very complicated processes and patterns that depend on many factors,
and that for the most part exist for one to five decades at least.
 Here it is necessary to insist, with
Aristotle, that the governors do not
rule, or at least, should not rule: The laws rule, and the
if good, is part of its executive power. Here I quote Aristotle from my
More on stupidity,
the rule of law, and Glenn
It is more
that law should govern than any one of the
citizens: upon the same principle, if it is advantageous to place the
supreme power in some particular persons, they should be appointed to
be only guardians, and the servants of the laws.
(And I note the whole file I
from is quite pertinent.)
This is almost literally as these things were
taught, also to the public at large, and in the name of the Board of
Directors and the scientific staff of the University of Amsterdam,
since 1978 there, when these things were claimed in the speech
professor M.A. Brand that opened the academic year 1978-1979, and that
were still in force 25 years later. (See my Truth and Value, of
The reason these evident Orwellian insanities
were in force for - at least - a full human generation (i.e. 5 or 6
generations of university students) is that people liked it:
"No truth" meant nobody could be refuted; "everything relative" meant
nobody could be wrong; and "everybody equivalent" meant nobody was
than anyone else. It gave everybody a license to think, do, say and
feel as one pleased, while being at least as good as anyone
logical implication. Wishful
thinking is always the mode of thought the
majority prefers, for that way one gets what one wishes, in the
imagination at least.