“Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.? That's a tough one, but I'll take a shot. Say I'm working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never met, never had no problem with, get killed.
Now the politicians are sayin', ‘Oh, send in the Marines to secure the area’, 'cause they don't give a shit. It won't be their kid over there, gettin' shot. Just like it wasn't them when their number got called, 'cause they were pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some kid from Southie takin' shrapnel in the ass. And he comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, 'cause he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks.
Meanwhile, he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And, of course, the oil companies used the skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices. A cute little ancillary benefit for them, but it ain't helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. And they're takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back, of course, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin' play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain't too long 'til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic.
So now my buddy's out of work and he can't afford to drive, so he's got to walk to the fuckin' job interviews, which sucks 'cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin' him chronic haemorrhoids. And meanwhile he's starvin', 'cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat, the only blue plate special they're servin' is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State.
So what did I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. I figure fuck it, while I'm at it why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president”
Will Hunting, Good Will Hunting, 1998
The past couple of years have marked a period of time when some very powerful people have not had everything their own way…and they don’t like it...not one little bit. For example:
- Britain voted to leave the EU against the advice of the British and European elites - governmental, financial, corporate and media
- The US rejected the establishment candidate, and elected instead an arrogant, loud-mouthed, braggadocio candidate who promised to ‘drain the swamp’
- The Italians rejected their government’s position in a constitutional referendum
- The Dutch gave the establishment parties a nasty scare, even though they held on to power
- The French kicked out the Socialists, rejected the Republicans and elected a political outsider…albeit one who is a fully trained lackey to European ‘old money’
- The Germans refused to give Merkel sufficient support to form her 4th coalition government without serious, and as yet, unresolved horse-trading
- The Syrians refused to give in to the relentless pressure from Washington and its terrorist proxies. Russia entered the war at Assad’s request and has tipped the balance – the US and its proxies have lost, Syria and her allies Russia, Iran and Hezbollah…have won
- Just this week 128 members of the UN voted in favour of the resolution supporting the longstanding international consensus that the status of Jerusalem – which is claimed as a capital by both Israel and the Palestinians – can only be settled as an agreed final issue in a peace deal…despite threats and tantrums from the US Ambassador, Nikki ‘Neocon Barbie’ Haley
In response, the neocon/neoliberal establishment has doubled down:
- The bollox of Russiagate is unceasing
- The neocons in Washington have increased their influence
- The militarisation of the US police is accelerating
- Governments on both sides of the pond are continuing to erode civil liberties…for our benefit and ‘safety’…of course
- Corporate capture of the media continues apace – the quality of journalism in the ‘quality media’ has reached the water table and carried on digging
- The ‘thought police’ are tightening their grip on social media through Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter, and as evidenced by the recent debacle around ‘Net Neutrality’, the wishes of millions of citizens mean nothing when they clash with a bunch of unelected corporate stooges
What does this mean for 2018? It means that the ‘war’ that I wrote about in my recent piece ‘Government vs The People’, will become more intense in 2018. The smug journalists and bureaucrats that think ’populism’ is going away and things are settling down, have another think coming. Those who believe that Russia, China or Iran are going to roll over whilst Washington regains its grip on the world’s throat, are going to be disappointed.
But equally, those who think that our democratically elected governments really give two hoots about what you or I want…dream on…
Censorship will increase, the thought police will be out and about in greater number. Critics of the system will be demonised. Just the other day Caitlin Johnstone wrote about how she was challenged on why an Australian is writing about the US. Think about that for a moment: An Australian daring to have an opinion on the actions of a warlike nation with almost 1000 military bases around the globe – what a bloody cheek! Similarly, this week I had a dozen or so rather creepy tweets from a guy accusing me of being part of ‘an orchestrated attempt’ to undermine ‘quality independent journalism’ at the FT.
These are symptoms of the new McCarthyism, which is growing across the west – it is designed to close you down.
For myself, I will continue to write about what I’m concerned about, rather than what some brainwashed dipshit thinks I should write about? To be clear:
- Why do I criticise the newspaper of the neoliberal elites – the FT, often very harshly…rather than beat up on the end of the market that lives permanently in the sewer?
- Why do I pan the politicians who are doing everything in their power to undermine the democratic choice of 17.4m people to leave the EU?
- Why do I heap scorn on the Democratic whiners who rigged their own primaries, & then when they lost the General election, tried to shoot the messenger, Wikileaks…and now, over a year later, are still trying to blame their loss on the Russians?
- Why do I loathe a Republican government that was elected on the basis of ‘draining the swamp’ and ‘bringing the boys home’…and yet has done the complete opposite?
- Why do I call ‘bullshit’ when the US claims victory over ISIS, when the reality is that the US created ISIS and Russia defeated it?
- Why do I oppose an Apartheid government in Tel Aviv that is illegally occupying West Bank land that belongs to Palestine, and brutally suppressing the Palestinians in the Gaza strip?
The answer to all these questions is simple: I figure fuck it, I’m holding out for something better.
Finally, a shout out to some of the folks that have contributed to me this year, in no particular order:
- John Ward (@therealslog) for his delightfully curmudgeonly insights and for making me laugh
- Rudolph Havenstein (@RudyHavenstein) for providing a one man media channel covering politics, economics, comedy, music videos et al
- Tim Price (@timfprice) for his no-bullshit wisdom on markets and his stance on Brexit
- Colin McCay (@derorcurrency) for his fundamental grasp of the abomination that is the monetary system, and his constant efforts to wake people up
- Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) for consistently ripping hypocrites a new asshole, and for bloody good writing
- Renegade Inc. (@Renegade_Inc) and its editor Claire Connelly (@_ClaireConnelly) for creating something different, and for inviting me to write for them
- Vagabundo (@libertadorzn) for his fearless attitude towards squaring up to the bully and giving him a black eye, even in his own backyard
Finally to all the people who write to me to offer encouragement, to contribute their ideas and to challenge my thinking
Bravo…thanks for your contributions to me, and to lots of other people too.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year…and a 2018 filled with Goodwill Hunting