Part one of a two part interview done with PCR in June. We cover some interesting ground.
Link to the audio podcast of this interview
R.K.: Welcome to the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, WNJC 1360 Am out of Washington Township reaching Metro Philly and South Jersey. Online you can get it at iTunes looking for my name, Rob Kall, K-A-L-L, or at opednews.com/podcasts. The show is sponsored by opednews.com. My guest tonight, coming back for the third, or fourth, or fifth time is Paul Craig Roberts.
He's had careers in scholarship and academia-- Stanford and Georgetown universities. He served in the Congressional Staff and as an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. He has been a columnist for The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, the Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. His latest book is How America Was Lost; From 9/11 to the Police Welfare State. Welcome back, Paul.
PCR: Thanks, Rob.
R.K.: So I've got a whole long list of topics and questions I want to ask you. I wanted to start with Russia, the neocons, Europe, and the dollar. Throw them all in there and you can do what you want with it.
PCR: Oh, you mean you're just giving me a carte blanche to respond to those topics?
R.K.: Well, you know, I mean I am throwing them all together because there is word that Putin is taking serious actions to get rid of the dollar as a means for exchange for energy and Russia is one of the biggest suppliers of energy now. We know that the neocons were very involved in setting off what's been going on in the Ukraine and you have written about how Europe is ready to get totally screwed by the US, because they're acting like a lapdog to Obama. So, I'm just kind of setting you up so you can launch.
PCR: Okay. Well here goes the launch. Russia is looked at with a jaundiced eye by Washington because of the Brzezinski doctrine and the Wolfowitz doctrine. You know Brzezinski was the National Security Adviser for Jimmy Carter who ended up funding Bin Laden and Afghanistan in order to help the Afghans drive the Soviets out of that country and Wolfowitz has had a number of Pentagon appointments including the second man, the Pentagon, the Deputy Secretary of Defense. Now-
R.K.: And IMF, isn't he, or was he the head of the IMF?
PCR: He was appointed the president of the IMF, but there was a scandal about he put his live-in girlfriend on some huge salary and there was a scandal about it-
R.K.: I hadn't thought about it but, really, if you're going to get somebody like him who wants to screw the world monetarily, might as well, it's not surprising to see that he is getting someone who he is screwing to help him to screw the rest of the world.
PCR: Yeah. So he didn't last long in the job, but his doctrine is very long-lived and it's-
R.K.: What is it?
PCR: Well, I am going to tell you. First, I'll tell you about Brzezinski because he came first. Brzezinski. His view, once the Soviet Union collapsed, was the United States should prevent reconstitution of Russia that would give it the same sort of power the Soviet Union had because at the moment with the collapse in the Soviet Union there was no barrier to America exercising its will all over the world; that the United States could call all the shots and so the world would be better off if we were calling the shots than if there were some shots we couldn't call because there were other global powers.
And so Brzezinski said that one way to prevent Russia from becoming, you know, gathering itself up again and in the new format being a powerful state was, for the United States to control the Eurasian landmass. And of course this whole thing was used by later Washington regimes to break all the agreements that Reagan had made with Gorbachev, to take NATO right up to Russia's border by putting Eastern Europe and the Baltics into it and then later by expanding Washington's control even into former constituent parts of Russia itself, like Georgia, the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, and Ukraine, which had been part of Russia for centuries. So, the notion was that the Russian Federation would be busted up into smaller pieces as sort of semi-autonomous and this would prevent Russia from controlling enough peoples and land mass and resources to be able to block any American initiative action. That's Brzezinski.
Now, Wolfowitz went further and said that the United States had to prevent the rise of any other country, that includes China, that could in any way with American hegemony over the world. This is the neocon doctrine, that we are the indispensable country, the exceptional people, that everyone else is dispensable and unexceptionable. In other words, it's really an assertion of the Nazi doctrine. I know you don't like that word but the Germans were-
R.K.: No, that word is fine. Some people over use it. So how is an assertion,
PCR: Well the Germans-
R.K.: How is a neocon doctrine an assertion of the Nazi doctrine?
PCR: The German doctrine was that the Germans were the ubermenschen, the superior, the above men, the upper men and most of the rest of humanity with a few exceptions like the British were untermensch. That means the under men. So it was a claim Germans had of Aryan superiority and the neoconservative claim is that we are the exceptional and indispensable people and that gives us priority over the rest of the world and that's the reason we have been chosen by history to prevail over the world. So, if you are chosen by history to prevail then whatever you do to prevent the rise of other countries is legitimate and that's the way the US government has seen it since the second Clinton term and through the Bush terms and through the Obama terms, that whatever we do to maintain and extend our hegemony has already been approved by history. Their complete collapse proves it.
R.K.: Well wait,
PCR: This is not me, it's what they say. You can read it in the doctrines and I'm not saying-
R.K.: Okay. But let me ask you this. You know, I was going to talk to you about American exceptionalism anyway and this seems like a good place to introduce that idea. Don't most nations have a form of exceptionalism? And how bad is-- or how would you assess American exceptionalism and where that fits in with this idea of neocons having this Nazi mindset?
PCR: Well, I don't think anyone has ever claimed it. The Germans, the neocons and I think for a short period of time the Japanese had that idea, that they were the Rising Sun, but these are not world wide, or normal types of thinking, I don't think Canada has ever had it, or Australia, or Brazil, or any country.
Now, the British had an empire and all the Europeans who had empires saw themselves as superior to the colonies, to the people in the colonies, but they didn't actually think they were superior to other empires or other European peoples. I don't know of any claim the British ever made that they were chosen by history to prevail over the world, or the French of having any made any such claim.
R.K.: Now when the neocons make that claim, do they cite some source or some religious aspects or entities? How do they claim?
PCR: Well they, are you familiar with the book, The End of History, what what his name [Francis Fukuyama], he wrote that, that was one of the first expressions, public expressions, of it and it sort of historical based. I hate to use these kinds of analogies because I don't know how correct they are, but you mean, Marx sort of said that history had chosen the proletariat and the proletariat was chosen by history over the capitalists.
So, there had been that type of thing and The End of History-- basically what it meant was the collapse of the Soviet Union proved there was no other socio economic system that was viable except American capitalism so we had been chosen by history now as the only path and this was the way he expressed this neocon idea. The neocons have turned it into a military formulation with the Wolfowitz doctrine.
This is publicly available, you can go Google it, the Wolfowitz doctrine. It's an official American- in fact it is the doctrine that determines our foreign policy and has determined it since Clinton attacked Serbia. So it really is just a claim that since we are the one that whatever we do to prevent the rise of others who might interfere with this exceptional, indispensable role that we have, we are to prevent it.
That's what the Wolfowitz doctrine asserts. I quote from it in some recent columns and it's very revealing. It essentially tells Russia and China that, no, you can't rise to any extent that you would get in our way and so that's the reason for Ukraine. Ukraine long part of Russia, it was separated when Soviet Union collapsed, largely this was Washington's doing. That Washington, if not instigated, supported and made possible the separation of Ukraine from Russia. It had been part of Russia for centuries.
Much of the Ukraine is former Russian territories that were added to the Ukraine by communist party leaders. For example, Crimea was added by Khrushchev in 1954. Khrushchev was a Ukrainian. He was known as the "Butcher of Ukraine" and I think, to make amends for all of the people he had slaughtered, he gave Crimea to Ukraine, but it didn't make any difference because Ukraine and Russia were constituent parts of the Soviet Union.
It was still the same country, same passport. Lenin had put the parts of the Ukraine that are now trying to separate, the east and southern parts, Lenin had added those to Ukraine and I think this was-- these were largely administrative reasons because of how the locations of these territories were.
So, the whole point of the coup that Washington organized in Ukraine-- it used its NGOs that it had financed with five billion dollars over the last ten years, just as Victoria Nuland said in her December speech in Washington, used that to groom politicians who would serve Washington to create organizations, among students and others, always hidden under the guise of teaching democracy or human rights or women's rights or education, but these were all essentially Washington fifth columns that they could put into operation behind a cause.
R.K.: Quickly, you just said these were essentially Washington fifth columns?
PCR: Yeah. That Washington organizes in other countries. They use them in Georgia, when you see the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004, they had a revolution but it failed to deliver the country so Washington redoubled its efforts and dumped another five billion dollars over the next ten years into Ukraine and then pulled off the coup against the elected government last fall and stuck in their guy.
They pulled off a similar revolution in Georgia. They tried it in Iran with the Green Revolution. It didn't work. These are-you have to have people on the ground and these are the people recruited by the NGOs with the money. And a lot of the people are sincere and think they're actually fighting for women's rights, or human rights and don't realize how they're being used.
So, when the president in Ukraine turned down the offer to join the EU, Washington put these NGOs in the streets and, of course, once that started the right wing elements took over the protests, introduced violence and the mixture... it may... I don't know if Washington was aware of these right wing elements or was relying on them, I don't know. I have not ever been able to figure that out.
But the result was a democratically elected government that was overthrown by a coup. Now, this is not a good precedent for having democracy because elections were coming up in a few months. When you overthrow a new democracy, and Ukraine had been a democracy for what, twenty years, and it was having its troubles because of the various oligarchs and because of the differences within the Ukrainian population because so much of it is not Ukrainian, it's Russian and even a few Tartars. So when Washington overthrew that government, it created the precedent, well, look, we don't have to change things in the ballot box, we just do it in the streets. So that's a big setback for Ukrainian democracy. I don't know that it will ever recover. It might. But when something like that happens so early in a transition, it's a bad precedent. So that's where that came from.
So what does Washington want to do with Ukraine? Well , mainly they want to bring all kinds of problems to Russia that will distract Russia from Washington's dealings in Syria and Iran. So, if Russia has got troubles in its backyard, a former part of Russia itself-- you know, a lot of these Ukrainians, they're in America. They've got Russian relatives, Russians have Ukrainian relatives. They were part of the same country for centuries.
So, it's a real, terrible situation for Russia because Russians, any Russian, has a right to Russian citizenship and if you've got a whole bunch of former Russian provinces saying we want to rejoin Russia and the Russian government says, no, then the Russian government loses support at home with it's own people-- you're not sticking up for Russians. If Russia says, okay, you can join like they did to the Crimea, then the United States says, oh, they invaded and stole the country, stole Crimea.
They're going to invade and steal the eastern provinces. So, the Russian government is kind of damned if they do, damned if they don't because Washington is using this crisis to bust up the economic relationships between Europeans and Russians. Washington is concerned that the European dependence on Russian energy, which is dramatic-- for example, German industry would be shut down without it and the growing economic relationships between German and French companies with Russia, they're now extensive; that Washington would lose its hold over its NATO puppet states.
So, it's trying to break up those relationships by demonizing Russia, by creating the notion that Russia is a great threat to Europe. We have to build up all the bases along the Eastern European Russian border, sending planes to Poland, troops to the Baltics, conducting war games continually as we're doing right now on Russia's borders.
And this makes it hard for the European leaders to tell Washington, look, we have a lot of interest in dealings with Russia, we don't want to be part of your controversy with Russia. There's too much at risk for us. So, in other words, the demonization of Russia is used to make European leaders accept the American delivery of a major strategic threat to Russia in Ukraine.
R.K.: But that demonization of Russia is not really working very well, is it?
PCR: Well, it is actually. It is and it isn't. The southern and eastern Ukraine, they're in revolt. Several of these territories have already voted in their independence and they've asked Russia to please reunite them with the mother country because that's what they are, they're part of Russia, and Putin hasn't done it. And so inside Russia now he's coming under criticism from the nationalists, the people who are particularly nationalistic, that he's not supporting Russians.
And it's not doing him any good on the propaganda front because Washington keeps lying through its teeth and they keep saying he's got troops on the border and he's supporting the revolts on the border, and it's all Russia's fault, it's Russia's fault. It's all he hears and so by not acting, by not accepting them, he's not avoiding being demonized. He's just as demonized as if he simply said, okay, they're part of Russia again. Now, if the Ukrainian right wing militias keep attacking them, they're attacking Russia and we're going to wipe them out.
So he's losing both ways. He's losing at home because he doesn't support them, and he's losing internationally because the fact that he doesn't support them is kept out of the news by the Washington propaganda that he is the cause of the whole problem. So it is working for Washington. Now, on the other hand, the way it's not working. You have the Europeans, not so much the leaders, who I think are just simply bought off with money, but the business interests in Germany. They're very much opposed to this worsening of relations with Russia because there are six thousand German firms making profits doing business in Russia. There are three hundred thousand German workers whose jobs are directly related to trade with Russia and of course they are desperately dependent on the energy sources from Russia that, at the moment, have to go through Ukraine and can be disrupted by the Ukrainians simply on Washington's orders. So, they're not happy about that.
The French are not happy. They've agreed to provide Russia with two aircraft carriers and of course Washington has gone berserk trying to block this and the trouble for the French, of course, is employment and what happens to the profits of the companies involved in this and the workers?
And so Washington is meeting opposition from the business interests in Europe and it looks like so far in France Hollande is a bit more responsive to the French business interests than he is to Washington.
But in Germany, Merkel, so far, is more responsive to Washington than she is to the German business interests.
So how this plays out remains to be seen, but you can see how complex the picture is and you can see how Putin is trying to be very reasonable, very unthreatening, very reassuring, hoping that Europe will break away or one or two of the main companies like Germany or France will break away from the American grip and refuse to participate in Washington's scheme, in which case, Putin would come out the winner. It's a gamble because if he doesn't come out the winner on that he's already the loser at home because he's not supporting Russians. He's letting, essentially, right wing militias murder civilians who are protesting and that is costing him.
So that's the situation.
R.K.: Now there is also the discussion of Putin working to change from using the dollar to using the euro and Chinese currency to pay for energy.
PCR: Right. Yes.
R.K.: Can you talk about that?
PCR: Yes, let's talk about that because that's very important. Since WWII, the US dollar has been the world reserve currency. That means it performs a function that gold used to perform. It is the reserves of central banks and dollars then back the paper currencies of other countries the way that gold used to back them. When this was first set up, the dollars held by foreign and central banks were convertible into gold.
But when the French tried to do that, Nixon broke that connection. And he did what's called-- he took the dollar off the convertibility to gold that was the original backing under the Bretton Woods system. So the dollar no longer... a central foreign bank who held dollars could no longer convert them to gold, but the dollar remained the reserve and what that means is that any bill, anywhere in the world can be paid in dollars and the way the payment system is set up, all bills are paid in dollars, or most of them. So if Germany buys something from Japan, it doesn't pay in euros, it changes euros to dollars, it pays Japan in dollars. If Japan wants yen, it has to go back into the foreign exchange market and convert the dollars to yen.
So each country has a commission it has to pay in the currency transactions and the dollar remains the payment mechanism. So this means Washington can always pay its own bills by printing money. It can simply, if it can't pay its bills or has a huge deficit, it can just create dollars and pay them because they are seen as world reserves. They're like gold.
R.K.: And that's an advantage that only the US has because it has the currency that everybody exchanges.
PCR: That's right. That's the advantage and it's the basis of American power. Without that, the United States would be far, far less powerful. It's not a military based power. It's the financial hegemony that being the world reserve currency gives you.
Now, what's happened? In recent years people have seen that the United States has been creating dollars hand over fist, but not goods and services to match. So the dollar is being diluted and the holders of vast amounts of dollars around the world are saying, what are these dollars going to be worth? Look, they're printing a new trillion dollars every year, part of quantitative easing, they've been diluting our holdings already by four trillion dollars, shouldn't we think about doing something else?
So the BRICS, Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, formed up and said we're going to work it out such that we do our trade with one another in our own currencies and already there have been bilateral agreements.
Australia and China now trade in their own currencies and China and Japan made a deal. Now, we may have queered that second deal there because of Japan kind of does what we want, but the deal was made. So this was already starting.
Now, when Washington starts threatening Russia with sanctions, real sanctions, they haven't had any real ones yet, these are make believe so far, but real ones would essentially exclude them from the payment system. And so Russia says, well, we don't need this. We don't even need to be in that payment system. In fact, I don't even know what we're doing in that payment system, Putin says, because it just gives Washington power over us. Why should we give them power over us when they're trying to do us harm? So, we're going to leave the system. And they did it in a dramatic way in that energy deal with China. It's the biggest energy deal in the history of the world and the dollar plays no role in it whatsoever.
So, the supposition is that this now will, what was largely talk and plans has now been launched and it will move forward and other countries will get in on it. And as the use of the dollar declines, the demand for the dollar in exchange markets, foreign exchange markets, will decline and therefore the exchange value of the dollar to other currencies will decline and Washington then will have a major problem of inflation because if your currency drops in exchange value all your imports rise in price and the American people are already hard pressed.
If they find, all of a sudden, that there is a huge jump in the prices of all the imported goods, we're now heavily in an import dependent country. We owe this to jobs offshoring, or free trade, as it's called, sometimes.
So that shows that the hubris and arrogance in Washington, determined to inflict damage on Russia, did not realize that the real damage is going to be on Washington because if you drive [out] a major country, or now two major countries, in fact the BRICS, the five countries that make up the BRICS account for one half of the world's total population-- so, they're removed from the dollar payment system. Who is hurt? Washington.
It's a crushing blow that that idiot in the White House has brought on the country by threatening Russia with sanctions. So that shows how smart people are in Washington. It shows how hubris and arrogance destroys the ability to think.
R.K.: Alright. Now, I want to continue and do a station ID. This is the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, WNJC 1360 AM. Reaching Metro Philly and South Jersey. Sponsored by opednews.com. If you jumped in in the middle of this conversation you can go to opednews.com/podcasts or to iTunes and by late tonight the full interview will be up and downloadable for free.
So, Paul, we've been talking about what's going on with Russia and Ukraine and the Russians and the BRICS's efforts to shift the currency of the world from the dollar to other things.
You've just talked about how stupid they are in Washington. You know, I used to-- to me, saying they're stupid is cutting them slack. Saying they're stupid or they make mistakes, or it's the other guy's fault. I really believe that they're doing what they want to do. Is it stupid if they're doing what they want to do and their intention is to do that? The question is, who are they serving and why are they doing it? Because, do you really think they're stupid?
PCR: Yes. I think they're stupid because if you drive the world away from your currency as the world reserve currency, you simply decimated your own power.
R.K.: But who benefits from that? Cui bono?
PCR: Well, Washington doesn't and Washington is the one that is threatening the sanctions.
R.K.: Then who does benefit?
PCR: The rest of the world. Because they get out from under American financial control. And of course, if the dollar goes, as reserve currency, there also goes the IMF and the IMF is the main instrument that the Western bankers use to loot other countries. So they're going to loot the Ukraine. The IMF deal is already set. Ukraine will be bled dry. If the dollar goes, the IMF goes, the world bank goes. All the looting mechanisms that the West has used historically to steal the resources and impose poverty in other countries, they're gone with the dollar.
R.K.: Well wait, because I just, I don't want to give up on this. It seems to me, things happen in Washington for a reason. If they're giving it up then I refuse--
PCR: They don't know they're giving it up. They thought how when we're so powerful and we're so arrogant, just like Hitler marching off into the Soviet Union. About the stupidest thing anybody could have done. It destroyed him. If he hadn't done that, Germany would be ruling all of Europe, England, North Africa, the Middle East.
R.K.: I think that Obama does what he is told. I mean, do the neocons think this? The neocons, as you said, are like the Nazis in their hubris. But, corporations have a huge influence on Washington. How do they stand to fare in terms of this change from the dollar to the euro or the renminbi or whatever?
PCR: They lost their financial hegemony and they lose the power to loot. So the reason this is a mistake, a stupid mistake, is that it was done just to assert power and they didn't think about the unintended consequences of threatening Russia with sanctions because it didn't occur to them that Russia doesn't need to be in the dollar system at all.
It's energy independent. It's vast. It sits over Eurasia. It borders China and all that Obama and the neocons have done is to force a strategic alliance between Russia and China. So when you do something like that you're stupid and that's why I said they're stupid. They're not doing it because of some vested interest somewhere.The Bilderbergers, or the Trilateral Commission, is going to get rich out of this thing? They're not.
R.K.: So who-- how will this change the world? How will these readjusted, revised balances--
PCR: Here's what will happen. You see, after WWII, it made perfect sense for the dollar to be world reserves. Not only was it convertible into gold for foreign central banks, but every other country was destroyed. The United States was the only industrial manufacturing country that was intact. Japan was destroyed, Germany, Russia, England, Italy, China was a third world country.
Most of the rest of the world was third world countries. Well since that time we've got many viable economies. China now has greater manufacturing industrial capacity than the United States. Russia hs powerful manufacturing industrial first world economic capabilities. Just look at their military. It can stand up to ours. Anything we got they got, or better.
So, you have so many countries now that they can trade with each other in their own currency. There won't be a reserve currency. There simply won't be one and the BRICS say they're going to start up their own IMF. So, what it means is that the United States, which has had financial hegemony for sixty, seventy years, in fact it started right after WWI because the British were so weakened. The pound continued as the reserve currency, but the dollar was making inroads.
So it's almost been going for a hundred years, strongly for sixty. If you lose that, if you've lost your ability to control financial movements, financial flows, your banks are no more important than any other country's banks. Your central bank, your federal reserve can no longer call the monetary policy in the world. It can no longer call up the Japanese and say we want you to go print some yen to buy some dollars because the dollar is under pressure.
They can't call up the European central bank and say we want you to print euros to buy the dollar because the dollar is under pressure because nobody will care. So it basically decapitates American power. And why did they do this? Oh, we're going to force the Russians to do what we want. We're going to use coercion, and threats. And Putin said, stick 'em up your butt!
R.K.: It seems like this is probably something that is inevitable. It will happen sooner or later because all of these other countries are becoming independently, economically viable. And the BRICS are creating a world of their own. So whether Obama did this or it happened later, it seems like this is something that is going to happen.
PCR: That's right. It would have eventually happened anyhow, but only because Washington was abusing it. If Washington had sense and said, look, we've got a good thing going, let's keep everybody a part of it. Don't go around making threats, throwing people out, throwing sanctions on them because we don't like them. All of that is strictly illegal under international law. It's just an exercise of brute power.
It's like the policeman who abuses his badge, abuses his authority because he likes to exercise power. So if Washington had not done that and used this in a responsible manner, it could have kept it forever because people were used to it. There wasn't any reason to get out of it, but when you use it to bully people and to prevail over them then they're going to eventually get out of it. So that's where it went wrong.
R.K.: So, I am going to transition from this to a topic that I've been covering a lot in the last year and that's psychopaths and sociopaths. I'm transitioning to it because you're talking about bullying and really what you're talking about is neocons who are engaging in a kind of narcissistic domination where they think they're better than everybody else and they're engaging in aggressive predatory behaviors. That sure seems to me to look like psychopathic, sociopathic kinds of behaviors.
PCR: You're absolutely correct. Yup. I completely agree with what you've been writing. It's true. Look, any time you take a doctrine like that, that's who you attract. That's who the Nazis attracted. Sociopaths, psychopaths "because we are superior. We are superior and all these other people are inferior and we can just walk right over them and the same thing happens where there is power and bullies go to wherever there is power because power usually is not very accountable."
So, a guy with a police badge is essentially not very accountable. He's not like you or I. You can see this. For example, look at the Cecily McMillan case, the Occupy protester whose breasts were seized by the cop, bruised and she was thrown to the ground. But when her breasts were seized, just reflexively, instinctively her elbow comes up as she swings around to see what's going on and the elbow hits the cop. So, she's arrested for assaulting a police officer. She was recently sentenced to prison.
PCR: Well, this is an example of the policeman as unaccountable. He assaults a young woman. He abuses his authority. He abuses his power. She is thrown to the ground and then she is arrested on a false charge and false testimony and she is convicted on false testimony and she's in prison. Now, the real perpetrator is back on the streets to do it again. In the trial, the judge refused for the defense to present any evidence on behalf of the defendant. For example, the cop who is responsible has a long record of violence against the public, of abuse of authority, of suspensions. The judge says you can't present that.
The judge would not let them present photographs of the mangled, abused breast. So, there was nothing that the judge permitted on behalf of the young woman, but the cop's lies were permitted but they couldn't be challenged because the judge wouldn't allow it. So, off goes the innocent to jail and the cop is back on the street.
Now, when you have power like that you're going to get psychopaths and sociopaths joining the police. They flock to power. This is the trouble with any kind of power. It attracts people who want to use it and who get thrills from using it no matter what it does to other people. And so that's why the neocons are all for war; they have no remorse. If you look at the Twenty-First Century, Rob, what has the United States done? They've slaughtered by murder, it's maimed, it's displaced millions of people in seven countries.
I have not heard one word of remorse from any public figure, from any General, from the New York Times, from the Washington Post, from anybody except for some internet writers. So, that's the whole problem with power and I agree totally with you. We have a nation run by sociopaths and psychopaths.
R.K.: So what do we do about it?
PCR: You know, it doesn't look like you can do anything about it. The only real opportunity is third party. We saw recently in Europe what is said to be the right wing, anti-immigrant parties. They prevailed in the EU elections. They got the most votes in France and England. Of course, they're being demonized in the Western press. It's racist or something, but what it really is about everybody has given up on the EU. They're sick to death of it. They're tired of the Americans dominating their life and so they voted for the only alternative which is the third party. Now we saw something like this happen the other day when Eric Cantor got defeated in Virginia.
Now, this is really stunning. They didn't even bother to put on a campaign because this is the Israel lobby's favorite guy. I mean, who has ever heard of an Israel lobby candidate going down to defeat? It's never happened in American history and he gets beat by some college professor running on a fifty thousand dollar budget. So, it can be at some point people finally realize voting democrat, voting republican, it doesn't lead anywhere. Just like the British finally realized, hey, voting Labour or voting Tory doesn't lead anywhere.
Or just like the French realized that, hey, voting socialist or voting conservative doesn't go anywhere and so let's vote for somebody else. So that's one way. Now, the question is though whether these parties will be tolerated, whether the leaders will be assassinated, physically assassinated, or will they be assassinated in the press like Dominique Strauss-Kahn was. You just start a campaign against him because the establishment controls the press, not third parties.
So it doesn't-- there is no real guarantee that the people, even when they vote third party, can succeed in replacing government because the power structure raised against these third parties is just overwhelming. They can be destroyed in the press, any intelligence service can assassinate them. They are unaccountable. Nobody would ever be able to do anything about it, even if you had a movie of it happening. It would simply be seized and declared to be a national security secret. So, it's not clear anything can be done.
That's why it's so often the case, once things start going bad, Rob, they end up in collapse and what changes things is collapse.
R.K.: What does that look like?
PCR: Well, in the United States it would look pretty bad. There would be massive economic disruption, food shortages, break down in all public services, employment would cease, transportation disrupted, food deliveries disrupted, riots. All this well armed paramilitary force that the United States has now created, you know, we've got the education department with guns and ammunition, the post office, the social security administration, the agriculture department, all of these people have bought huge numbers of hollow point bullets, sub machine guns. We've got the local police with tanks and armored personnel carriers and all kinds of military equipment including helicopters and night vision and you would just... and you have a well armed population. It would just be chaos and death and destruction and people starving to death. Particularly if the dollar collapses.
Right now, people don't have, other than the mega rich, they don't have any slack in their budget. They can barely get their housing paid, their food paid, their gasoline bills paid, their utilities paid and all of the sudden your prices go up? What would they do? What would happen to Americans if gasoline price goes from four dollars a gallon to eight, to ten, to twelve? They can't even, even if they had jobs, they can't commute.
So the whole thing is dangerous and this is why I think it's... this is why I speak out because it's irresponsible for government to assume it's all powerful now and forever. That nothing can ever go wrong against it, that it would always prevail and it can smash up it's own people as much as it wants because they don't have the alternative, but it will never get so bad that they can't get by and as long as they can get by they will all accept what the government does.
So if you have that kind of attitude you're not aware of unintended consequences, you're not aware of how things can blow up in your face and you can bring down the whole society just from trying to exercise power.
R.K.: Where will corporations be if this kind of thing happens to the US, if the dollar is no longer the currency? Corporations are transnational now. They have most of their money in overseas banks and do you think corporations are anticipating this or planning for it or maybe even helping to make it happen?
PCR: Well, if they're American corporations, they're subject to American laws and if they are earning profits abroad they're paying foreign taxes and get a credit for that in the US, but they're still subject to taxes. And if America goes down the tubes they will, too. I mean, the Chinese don't need them now, the Chinese have all the technology and the business know-how and they'll just be-- they won't be protected by a powerful government and they'll be at the mercy of the countries in which their plant and equipment is located.
It'll be up to those countries. They'll decide what to do and if the business interests say we've had enough of these people, we don't want them as competitors, they'll simply be confiscated, the way we do people.
R.K.: So this is against the interest of the big multi-national corporations?
PCR: Oh yeah. Sure. But so is jobs offshoring, but it doesn't stop them. You see, look, what they don't realize is it's against their interest because the CEOs are short-term. You don't have a CEO who comes into office when he's thirty years old and stays till he's sixty five and he's thinking about decade after decade. You've got a guy who comes in and he's sixty, he's going to be out when he's sixty five. He may not come in until he's sixty-two and he'll be out in three years. What is he going to do? He is maximizing his short run profits because he's only got a short run time.
And how do they do that? Well, we do that by destroying our own consumer market. We fire all of our workers so they don't have any income and we hire Chinese and the labor costs go down, the profits go up, my bonus is mushroomed. Well, he is better off and the shareholders are better off.
But what happens down the road is what happened to the buying power of the American people. They were working here in this manufacturing plant making twenty-five dollars an hour, now they're unemployed or they're hospital orderlies at seven dollars and twenty-five cents an hour or fast food workers or they're stocking shelves at Walmart or Home Depot or they are waitresses and bartenders.
R.K.: So let me just jump in again. So, I started off this second part of the conversation talking about psychopaths and we've gone in different directions with this and it's kind of shocking to me that even the biggest corporations are going to be hurt by the actions of the United States here. Do you think that psychopaths have a role in this in terms of being in government or in corporations?
PCR: No, it's what I have said. Corporations are basically hurt by their own actions because they have a short term time horizon. There are very few exceptions to this. One I think is Monsanto. I think Monsanto has long term... which is we're going to take over the seed production in the world and there are not going to be any other seeds but ours. See, right now they use their power with the US Government to force other countries to accept their GMO seeds. Right now, El Salvador is getting a three hundred million dollar loan and, at Monsanto's urging, Washington is telling El Salvador government, okay, you're going to get this loan, but you know what you've really got to do if you really want to get it. You've got to stop relying on all the seeds that are native that your farmers have and buy instead from Monsanto. So, Monsanto is an exception to the rule that I laid down.
But the manufacturing companies and the high-tech knowledge skilled companies, you know software engineering, that type of thing, they are all destroying their future American consumer market because they're laying off their workers and hiring Chinese and other people and so, in the short run, they do well because the profits go up, the bonuses go up. The shareholders are happy because they've got capital gains, but after a decade or two of this you've destroyed the income of American consumers and they can't buy.
And that's what we're seeing now. We see all of these reports, Rob, you can read them. No growth in American medium family income for several decades and so they made up the lack of income growth by going deeper into debt. But now they're so deep into debt they can't take any more debt. So there's no way to expand American consumer spending and that's why there's no real recovery. That's why the economy can't get off its butt. It can't get on its feet because there's no income growth to drive it.
R.K.: Okay, so I want to transition to another topic now and that's economics, capitalism, wealth inequality. These are big issues that don't have simple answers, but... and also globalization. I want to throw that in, too. We've got major problems there and it seems to me and a growing number of people that the answer is not capitalism as we've known it. What are you thinking about that?
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.
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Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com
Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.
To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V.. and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table
Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. .
To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click here. Watch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.
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