Response to a Reader on World Events: "Crime Does Not Pay"

Thanks for your recent emails.

Yes, the distinction between earned and unearned wealth is indeed critical. And yes, I agree with your identification of monopoly control of resources as being at the root of the problem.

Of course the chief monopoly is that of creation of money which governments share with the international banking oligarchy. It is through the monopoly of money-creation that the oligarchs and militarists gain hegemony. Keynesian economics was the stroke of genius by which unlimited wealth could be funneled into the hands of the war-mongers with the bankers reaping the profits.

This is the paradigm by which the West functions. As time goes on and the superstructure becomes evermore shaky, the further are the extremes to which the ruling class must go to maintain power. Every other value, whether economic or cultural, is sacrificed to the mechanisms of control. These mechanisms are increasingly operated by outright criminals of the Mafia type.

I would say that at least half the population of the developed Western nations see through this facade and a higher proportion of the rest of the world. The control is facilitated by all vested interests including the churches. For all established churches, the individual human person is a sheep to be sheared. The churches are allowed to exist only because they serve the interests of the oligarchs so well.

There is always a trade-off, of course, because enough of the sheep must be kept alive to purchase the output of the rulers’ factories, whether located in China, Indonesia, or elsewhere. So there always have to be concessions in order to still provide the sheep with basic sustenance. Too much provender, of course, and the sheep get uppity, so to speak, and expect more.

The current balancing act being carried out by the Obama administration in trying to engineer a “soft landing” after the explosion of the recent financial bubbles, is a good example of trying to keep enough of the sheep on the plantation to permit the wheels to keep turning. Their true colors are shown by the president’s plan to freeze Social Security and other individual benefits, thereby subjecting individual income to the ravages of inflation, while allowing spending for the military, “homeland security,” interest on the national debt, etc., to grow without limit. (Note: It is not clear whether the desired cuts to individual benefits will come from the freeze cited by President Obama in his January 27 state-of-the-union speech or from his proposed budget commission to be convened to reduce the federal deficit.)

Having said all that, it is clear that Russia is the fly in the ointment, having rediscovered, under Putin, the ability of the state to harness resources for the good of society while utilizing the power of autocratic government to protect the people from the oligarchic wolves. The same goes to some extent for China and India and to those Latin American republics, including Venezuela and Brazil, that are inching off the plantation.

All this is laying the scenario for World War III, with the Russian nuclear deterrent playing the key role in keeping the Western wolf-states at bay. At a certain point, of course, the shifting snow-pack turns into an avalanche. Such an event is obviously coming.

Meanwhile, there is no chance that anyone within the West can make the slightest degree of difference by directly attacking the ruling oligarchy. They are protected with the greatest police-military power ever seen. What can be done against people who can perpetrate events like 9/11, surreptitiously blow up whole cities, as evidently was done in Haiti, or illegally track down and assassinate anyone anywhere who gets under their skin?

Better, perhaps, just to lead a quiet life until things blow over, especially since open rebellion is so easily diverted into frauds like the tea-party phenomenon.

One saving grace for the U.S. is that there is still a semblance of the Second Amendment so that people, if they are careful, can still arm and protect themselves to some extent. And they can start to grow their own food, as many are starting to do. Books on topics like “urban homesteading” are becoming best-sellers.

Someday mankind will wake up and see the truth, which is that the earth was made equally free for all. It is essential for a few people to understand this and carry the torch into the future. But there is likely to be a huge calamity in the meantime that will bring down the whole despicable superstructure. Though it often seems otherwise, “Crime does not pay.” The law of Karma comes from a higher level and cannot be repealed, even by the CIA, the Israelis, or the U.S. Congress.

In any case, we shall see.

7 Responses

  1. [...] Richard C. Cook Featured Writer Dandelion Salad January 28, [...]

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    Pingback by The Liberty Voice » Web-Only Content » “Crime Does Not Pay” on January 29, 2010
  3. It’s true crime doesn’t pay. I know you disagree with me, Mr. Cook, but I still say that the only way to get out of this mess is to pull the teeth of the beast. Take away the beast’s weapon. And their weapon is any form of meduim of exchange. The human race has to make a major mental paradigm shift and realize that they do not need a medum of exchange in the current economic makeup of the world. One Hundred Fifty years ago, we might have due to lack of communication and transportation for goods and services. But today this is changed. All of the labor in basically this whole world is specialized. All the human race needs to know is if they have the materials and the manpower to enact a project or a number of projects and it is done. There will be no more investing in businesses except for induvidual investment of mental and physical labor to get projects started and finished. The people who have done their labor in the labor force have secured for thenselves the goods and services that are produced and distributed in society, just the same as a current generation of laborers are securing theirs. Then they must leave the work force and allow the next generation to secure their share for their later years. God did not make labor to be the be all and end all of our journey in this physical-biological universe that he created. He only wanted us to labor to secure our physical-biological necessities. He wanted us to enjoy life. Right now, I don’t believe that anyone is really enjoying life but the financiers and the bankers.

    Comment by Donna Gaddis on January 29, 2010
  4. As usual, Rick, you make some poignant observations — in this case, the criminal function of churches to maintain monopoly power and monetary control for the ruling class by keeping the sheep on the “plantation” (nice analogy), the elaborate smoke screen promulgated by the Obama administration and all its predecessors, and especially the utter futility of direct attack upon any of the aforementioned structures. Direct attack upon the ruling class seems not only suicidal, but also completely unnecessary when their societal role is more effectly dismissed through withdrawal of mass consent.

    As you well know, I tend to believe reorganizing commodity production cooperatively is an essential means toward that end because it removes employers (the ruling class) from the workplace. But as you persistently argue, the monetary system must also be reorganized toward that end by making credit a public utility rather than a means for bankers (the ruling class) to enslave whole societies in debt.

    Unfortunately, terms like “ruling class” and “capitalist” aren’t very popular in the United States, as they are generally misunderstood, and their usage generally tends to render an author either a Marxist or a fool or both. But what other term can possibly be used to denote a very specific category of the human population that derives its income primarily from ownership, not from wages?

    In statistics, the terms “category” and “class” tend to be used interchangeably to describe any “discrete” (versus “continuous”) distribution of data. The terms “classify” and “categorize” generally mean the same thing in terms of collecting and organizing data for analysis. For example, a discrete data set could could be used to compare the number of male fruit flies that have spots on their wings to the number of those who don’t. This is an essential study in genetics (and evolution) because the males with spots on their wings tend to attract all the women in the fruit fly population (hubba hubba). That is, the power (ability, potential) to reproduce belongs to the “class” or “category” of male fruit flies that have spots on their wings.

    So the term “class” is not restricted merely to describing various levels of human social status, as most Americans tend to assume. But if we must use the term “class” in socioeconomic terms, then what general categories or divisions are we looking for? What sort of “spot” or stain clearly separates “the men from the boys” under capitalism, and what sort of terminology should be used to distinguish between those categories?

    In strictly economic terms, I would dare to agree with Karl Marx that “capitalist” and “worker” are probably the best way to label the two most general categories (classes) in human society — and that “wages” are the most distinguishing characteristic between these two categories. Specifically, “workers” are people whose incomes are derived primarily from wages, and “capitalists” are people whose incomes are derived primarily from ownership, not from wages. “Workers” are people who compete for survival via wages (successfully or not) while “capitalists” are people who compete for political power through ownership (successfully or not). Such ownership includes not just land, finance and productive resources that control the labor process directly, but as J.W. Smith suggests, also patents, royalties, licenses and trade laws (tariffs) that control the labor process indirectly.

    I would further agree with Marx that the main problem in this arrangement is that capitalist income is siphoned away from the productive activities of workers through some form of “usury”, with some percentage returned to workers in the form of “wages”. This percentage is just enough to keep workers alive so they can return to work the next day. Any amount above this percentage is deemed “economically inefficient” because it threatens the capacity of capitalists to compete effectively in the commodities market for political power. Any amount below this percentage threatens the capacity of workers to compete in the labor market merely to survive. That is, workers are literally killed through all the crimes and diseases generally associated with unemployment, homelessness, and starvation. Ironically, any increase of competition for higher wages between individuals tends to decrease wages in the aggregate, which increases capitalist income and stimulates capitalist monopolies. So the interests of workers and the interests of capitalists are directly and dramatically opposed.

    But as you suggest in all your writings, Rick, the most enduring problem with any form of “usury” is the gap which is deliberately established and expanded between purchasing power and production. For example, it seems reasonable to assume the “soft landing” you describe above is intended to placate the American public into a quiet acceptance of long-term double-digit unemployment without a big fuss. The jobs simply aren’t coming back. The manufacturing base of the US economy isn’t coming back. The role of the “middle class” has been exported to China — and it isn’t coming back. Democratic collusion between corporation and state has concluded that 10-percent unemployment will be the new status quo in the US, and that we shall now proceed into the future from that general assumption. The overall result is greater competition for wages and reduced competition for business — capitalist monopoly — the interests of capitalists and the interests of everyone else are directly opposed.

    The function of “usury” is for any common criminal to start the day with a sum of money and to end the day with a greater sum of money at the expense of many others. Period. Unlicensed, this sort of activity is called “theft”, and perpetrators are prosecuted as criminals. With a license, on the other hand, these activities are called “business”. Whether an artificial increase is arrived at through finance, production, distribution or some creative combination of all the above, the criminal return is always called “interest” and the process of deriving that return is most appropriately termed “usury”. The people who “use” this system to derive unearned income are called “capitalists”. The people who are typically “used” by this system to forfeit most of their income are called “workers”. The dividing factor and the antagonism between the two — the typical receipt of workers — is called “wages”.

    I realize these are views which you typically reject, Rick. Truth be known, that’s one of the reasons I keep pestering you about it. You’re obviously a very reasonable man, and you understand the inner workings of our economic system. You’re a good man, and a good friend. So I keep pressing to find something that you and I can agree upon.

    What can we do? “Lead a quiet life until things blow over, especially since open rebellion is so easily diverted into frauds like the tea-party phenomenon”?

    Gimme a break, Rick! The “tea-party” is a paid advertisement that targets the general public just as lobbyists are a paid advertisement for Capitol Hill. Both approaches are intended to generate chaos, not community, and your recommendation above sounds like option “E” of a multiple choice question in an Economics 101 exam. Either that or your lovely new wife stroked you on the shoulder and said, “It’s getting late, honey. C’mon. Let’s go have some fun!”, so you abruptly ended the article, and strolled off to the “tea-party” room.

    Good job, Rick. I’d never fault you for responding with urgency to your wife’s seductive invitation (hubba hubba). But c’mon! I know you can do better than this. I always get the impression from your writing that you are a powerful voice for the truth — right up until you bump up against ideas that might smack of “Marxism” or something else that your conservative peers might object to — so then you conspicuously back off and end your article(s) with some kind of painfully compromising statement that generally suggests: “We’re all just screwed. I do apologize for the inconvenience”.

    But I don’t believe “we’re all just screwed”, Rick, and I don’t think you believe that either. In fact, I’m going to hold your feet to the fire. I honestly think the one belief that you and I hold in common with people like J.W. Smith, Henry George, C.H. Douglas, David Schweickart, Karl Marx, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, John Locke, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Thomas Paine, John Kenneth Galbraith, Murray Rothbard and many others from many different walks of life — is that — the ruling class must be eradicated from society altogether for humanity to arrive at more sustainable conditions of “economic democracy”. This generally means we must first identify the dysfunctional role of the “ruling class” in our society and then reorganize our society to dismiss it.

    For example, I’ve recently been very encouraged to learn of a collaboration between US steel workers and the Mondragon Cooperatives of Spain in this regard. This is potentially a very powerful development for the cooperative business sector, since no just one company but an entire industry and many related industries are involved. But the whole endeavor is also held hostage by the American financial system. These developments need financial support from either the Mondragon or US banks, but either proposition seems dubious. With fore-knowledge of these difficulties, I’m not sure why the Mondragon would have ventured such a risk in the first place. But then again, they are the Mondragon — the largest and most successful worker cooperative in the world — and they don’t tend to facilitate business failures. So I’m hoping maybe they know something that you and I don’t know about reorganizing business cooperatively in the United States.

    On a more sour note, the US Supreme Court recently granted corporations exclusive control of the American electorate system through unlimited campaign finance. This provides corporate entities with unbridled access to federal legislation that directly affects every US citizen, including and especially firms that are trying to reorganize cooperatively. The most entertaining question in this regard is whether existing cooperatives will respond by sprouting a set of testicles in unified financial collaboration or if they will simply close their doors and fold the cooperative movement altogether.

    You can bet I’ll be watching, and as you say, Rick, “we shall see”. Thanks as always for your update, and for the opportunity to respond. Give ‘em both barrels, Rick. I know you can do it. I’ll be waiting…


    Comment by David Kendall on January 29, 2010
  5. It’s funny you should make that remark about the role of the church today – I have just posted an article expanding that exact subject on my blog:

    Enjoy !

    Comment by Sir Burton on January 30, 2010
  6. This is the crux of the matter; right here in what you have written, Mr. Cook. I have thought and thought about the circumstances we are in, and I keep coming back to the same conclusion, there is not much we can actually do, apart from putting our own houses in order (and maybe that is a lot if we ALL did this).

    Sometimes I think most people get caught up in certain details, without connecting all the details for a fuller picture. But its overwhelming (the big picture) and this might be why people stick to their own narrowly defined perceptions. Its not really fun being a person that can see the broader implications of all this. And others sure don’t appreciate what they consider “negative” attitude, no matter how true.

    What is amazing is how organized these oligarchs are that they can even control the oppositions effectively without their intentions and agenda being compromised. (such as the example of tea parties).

    I can’t help but think that the American people, and many other westerners, may be hit in some future time with reparation lawsuits. These oligarchs are only thinking in respect to their own class, and they are actually working to destroy themselves also….so maybe we do just need to keep low until it “blows over”…but I don’t think there is a final END to this. Once economy makes a final implosion, then the REALITY of what the West has done will hit people in face full force, because then they will be forced to see the carnage.

    Comment by cathy on February 2, 2010
  7. I’m not a religious person myself, although I admire and read a lot of the gnostic and eastern philosophies. But, it is kind of weird how the events unfolding are in line, to an extent, of some of the old “prophecy” books such as revelation.

    I wonder sometimes that maybe Revelation and other prophecy-type writings are more of allegories or myths (myth being a truth of our collective conscience…not as a falsehood) that are repeated over and over throughout humanities journeys. That these “prophecies” represent culminating Era of cycles…when one era is ending and another is beginning. Chaos starts reigning, in societal culture as well as world events. That seems to be what is happening.
    Kind of like this 2012 stuff….its not the end of world, but the end of era, and the beginning of something new.

    I’m not completely sure…its just a thought.

    Comment by cathy on February 2, 2010
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Challenger Disaster

In January 1986 Cook became the first NASA official to testify publicly on the space agency's prior knowledge of flaws in the solid rocket booster O-ring joints that destroyed Challenger and took the lives of its seven astronauts. He told his story in the book Challenger Revealed, published in 2007. Publisher's Weekly wrote of the book: "Easily the most informative and important book on the disaster."

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What I am calling the 'Cook Plan' is to pay each resident of the U.S. a dividend, by means of vouchers for the necessities of life, in the amount of $1,000 per month per capita starting immediately as our fair share of the resources of the earth and the productivity of the modern industrial economy. The money would then be deposited in a new network of community savings banks to capitalize lending for consumers, small businesses, and family farming.

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