Vengeance, Feuds and Memory
Rivals for Power, Part Three. The vectors of social control.
A speculative inquiry continues, as part of the Rivals for Power series.
I began by discussing how corporations, far from a modern innovation, have their roots at least one thousand years ago in the guilds. While they have gained legal autonomy and power in the past two centuries, their corporatist ideology, role in structuring the social order, and use of elite and secret institutions to apportion rewards, is measured in millennia.
In part two I examined how the bankers have influenced not just technocratic means of control but the very ideology that perceives people as binary digits. Without the bankers, we would not have Event Covid.
In this part, I examine through the lens of anthropology and psychology how society has split into predators and prey. I do not see this in terms of race, and certainly not in terms of hatred or supremacy. For I see the primary failing in the muddled Western masses who have been schooled to ignore the motivations and interests of peoples.
July 28th, 2021
Vengeance may bide its time beneath the courteous, urbane likeness of society. Even the occasional blood feud may have its positive properties. Acknowledge its role and we should be more sentient of the ropes that have always provided tension to the truss under which we all shelter.
We hear a lot about justice and equity. The premise that loss has been suffered and restitution is due. Burrow deeper and it becomes clear that this is a feature of our increasingly secular society. No longer are the poor and dispossessed to await peace in the afterlife. Instead they are urged to demand real-time compensation. Social justice seeks to address sleights in the physical world, not the spiritual.
I once let slip my first-world view of blood feuds to a Kosovan colleague. I took it for granted that an impartial justice system would deal with killings. Surely it was primitive for sons and cousins to carry grudges to the next generation. He was nonplussed. What if the blood feud system was the only justice available? If there is no law-giver or if that law-giver honours his own family ties rather than external concepts of right and wrong, then there is no justice to lean against like some neo-Grecian column or heroic statue standing, robust and impartial, impervious to the changing seasons in the civic square.
Dimly I perceived another world; one that we actualize, safeguard and vindicate by our own action. A world in which we have no rights except those we voice and defend on a daily basis. One in which positives derive from reckoning what was done, putting it right, burying the grievance and moving on. In contrast, consequences bear down upon us when we fail to put things right. Later I realized this is of clear and present relevance.
Go back to the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency. It was the aftermath of the 2008 banking crisis. People were livid at the bankers. The financial crisis was no Act of God or 100-year deluge. It was a pump-and-dump using fraud in mortgage-backed securities as the vehicle. It was perpetrated by bankers and insurers — some of the same names as in 1929 like Goldman Sachs — rubber stamped by regulators and ratings agencies.
The etymology of aftermath is æfter meaning ‘later in time' and mæð from the proto-Indo-European root me-, meaning the scything or mowing of grass. We never got our aftermath. The bankers never got scythed. Instead, outgoing president George W. Bush bailed out the banks and Obama ensured that borrowers and taxpayers paid the bill.
We did not put things right, nor address the grievance. We did not move on in light but colluded in dark deceit.
Give someone an inch and they’ll take a yard, give them a yard and they’ll take a mile. That’s what the bankers did. Failing to punish corruption we generated more. The courts were corrupted, district attorneys were bought and installed (by a financier, George Soros) then the entire Department of Justice shrugged its shoulders at crime. The three-letter agencies turned out to be complicit, and anyone who points the finger at great malfeasance is likely to end in the stocks.
Like the Kosovan, the Western denizen has discovered that there’s no external arbiter of right or wrong. It depends who commits the crime. Justice is partial; there is no law-giver but only a feudal lord who favours his own political family and connections.
THE TIES THAT BIND
Here is the difference between the banker and the muddled masses. The financier lives by law of contract. More than that, he thrives. He must construct his contracts in such a way as to maximize his income.
His status within society and his extended family depends on him winning, every time. Like the casino owner, he configures the odds so that the house can never lose. He has learned this not through the vicissitudes of one man’s life, for that would chance catastrophe, but over aeons. The odds he uses have been fixed for generations to ensure that wealth passes to the next.
In this he has learned to emulate the most successful rulers. No longer do Yorks or Tudors take their turn on the battlefield. Now they let proxies risk their lives. Like Reuter and Rothschild, the banker profits at several removes, as rumours of loss shock the stock market and secret knowledge of victory secures his profit.
These, as Ned Beatty said in Paddy Chayefsky’s Network (1976), are “the primal forces of nature… the immutable bylaws of business.” They go way back, to somewhere around the origins of the Old Silk Road.
A financier, who by then was a British MP, once told me that the first rule of finance is, never gamble with your own money. But it goes deeper than that. Finance, like war, is build on deception. The key to winning it to ensure that your opponent (your customer) is misinformed as to his chances. And never to interrupt him while he is making a mistake.
But it goes deeper still. Even your victim — ahem, client — is not entirely stupid. After repeating the same mistake he is likely to learn. So you must gaslight him; keep his points of reference in perpetual motion. The only constant is that he must keep working to plough all his money into financial investments and taxes. When the central banks persuaded governments, instead of issuing their own money, to put bankers in charge and borrow from them, charging the interest to taxpayers, your person became chattel — of the bankers.
SAY IT AIN’T SO
The denial of reality is crucial. Better still if you can raise denial to an ideology so that children are taught to doubt their own eyes, opinions become proof of privilege and deferring to another’s “truth” an emblem of virtue.
Or to put it another way, the liberal artifice is to ignore those unalterable Neanderthal underpinnings of our society; to say it ain’t so. And by ignoring the realities of power to facilitate their persistence.
We heard so much about the patriarchy until a bunch of male suits in Big Pharma — and one in a pink cardy — revealed their modified-RNA shots. And the Rockefeller Brothers put their vaccine passports on the table. And the bankers declared The Great Reset ready to go and — poof — all the talk of the male hierarchy vanished from the media.
This doesn’t surprise you, or shouldn’t. The emotional or political trappings just train you how to react to these issues. One day they flame in your belly, burning a hole in your pocket until you make that investment: financial, political, emotional. The next day they are squibs as damp as yesterday’s papers left out by the trash.
A POUND OF FLESH
Have you noticed that the business of payday loans is booming? It is no longer the province of a numerate thug with an office next to the pub. It attracts big investors like private equity firms and or the financier and former British prime minister David Cameron. Not content with hocking the million-strong NHS workforce with a wage-deducting app, Cameron tried to get Greensill a piece of the Covid action, so it could lend out government relief to cash-strapped firms. Other financiers have the military in their sights, taking soldiers’ salaries as collateral for short term loans with interest rates of up to 1,000 per cent.
If you really need $200 in an emergency for two weeks, it’s going to cost you $100 on top or even multiples of that. Read the paperwork of these credit shops and payday lenders. “Late repayment can cause you serious money problems” — AKA destroy your life.
Sunny Loans, Lending Stream, Credit Star… the babbling brook, the planets in alignment. I like the poetic, elemental, the human contending with fate. There is something Shakespearean about it.
Loan sharks exist but these are not they. Fraud happens in short-term lending, amounting to $3.3 billion last year, according to the Federal Trade Commission, but I am not talking about crooks.
Short-term lending is our society’s lodestone; the magnetic attraction of credit, an eternal psychological weakness that those who understand, exploit.
“If only I could have it now.”
“But you can… You understand the terms? And if you fail to meet them, the price?”
This was Shylock’s honest spread of cards on the table. It is clear from my reading of the terms and conditions of short term lenders that Shylock’s pound of flesh is a metaphor: This is an unsecured loan. Our only guarantee that you will repay is to make the consequences of default so catastrophic that only a fool would risk losing a pound of flesh.
Shylock understands it; society does not. You can escape your obligations now, only by piling up greater obligations in the future. The only person who will lend you in dire circumstances is an expert in the casino of life, but one who never gambles himself because he has mastered the odds and the psychology of his clients.
The gulf between the two puts the muddled masses in imminent danger and cannot be bridged unless society goes cold turkey on its opiate of short-term ideological borrowing. For now the people, their politicians and the media squirm helpless and vulnerable as a customer on the floor of a drug den.
Irony of ironies, the same Woke movement that demands social justice in the here and now, misconstrues Shakespeare’s exposition of the same.
FEUD OR FEUDALISM
Conventional forms cannot describe where we’re at. One part of society so utterly despises the other that it’s preparing to scuttle the vessel.
The sailor class who run the good ship Orwell are not sure of the plan but obey to keep their berths aboard. The muddled masses in second class are pleased to accept extra rations of gin; in third they notice the gates are locked but accept assurances that it’s for their own protection.
A tournament of friends converges on a card table in first class. Between hands they recount snatches of conversation overheard. Between gulps of brandy they attribute motives: “its a coup…,” “to seize the assets — but how are they going to lift the cargo off…,” “they can’t have everybody on their side. Surely there’s opposition?”
So we’re stuck in the doldrums and can’t escape. We’ve got “the best evah whatever it is” and have learned nothing from the Chinese or the Turkic peoples or the Persians who’ve passed this way before.
It’s common nowadays to hear people at the card table talk about “the revelation of the method,” as if the brains behind the scheme wish to reveal their hand, if only to expunge their guilt.
The method is millennia old. It is the contract — if you are foolish enough to sign. It is the beauty and poise of the snake waiting for you to walk away. But if you don’t, the predator shall have prey.
Ethnicity is not race: it is culture. That includes the psychology that determines survival, and success in trade and warfare, along with adaptability in language and environment. For millennia these have jostled, one by another. Some have triumphed by military means but lasting dominance was more often secured by absorption or, more accurately, by forming a suspension of particles that don’t dissolve but which spread throughout a solution until they become it. This, by several accounts, is a rough parallel of the mRNA vaccines.
Our history and politics disguise and misrepresent this reality. Textbooks favour great victories and sudden conquests. No other version of history is allowed, for that would cast doubt on the fitness of our state security and the honesty of officials.
The media and politicians speak in absurd metaphors about the “levers of power” and “commanding heights” that bear no relation to the way society or power operates.
In reality, we have a clash between predators and prey, fortified by the thousand-year old institution of the corporation, AKA ganging up. As a Darwinist society we should perforce acknowledge the survival of the fittest. But it wouldn’t do to admit that, so we go silent.
The dominant ideology of the richest Western nations is not free-market liberalism or Marxist critical theory (you’ve got to be joking) — it’s credit. It is a cheap store where we can scoop up self-indulgent dopamine highs and alcoholic short-trips to oblivion against next month’s salary.
Freedom is anything that comes free of obligation, because we don’t want to meet it. Above all, we are determined to ignore the consequences of our actions or the motivations of others, because acknowledgment would oblige us to act.
The first step we must take is to jettison our historical amnesia and confront the reality of human transactions — the good and the bad.
"Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U.S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it." – Woodrow Wilson (1913).