We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Inside the New York Fed: Secret Recordings and a Culture Clash

Click here to access article by Jake Bernstein from ProPublica.

ProPublica's stated mission is to be the nation’s authority on professional, investigative reporting by “producing journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them.”  However, because ProPublica is so well-connected, well-funded, and well-embedded in the US ruling class, it can only manage a pretense of an exposé of the Fed and its inability to head-off the banking crisis of 2008 as illustrated in this article. Their investigative report, while very interesting, doesn't really lead to any insightful conclusions other than that the "culture" of the Fed was a major contributing problem that resulted in the banking crisis. WTF does "culture" mean as an explanation? 

Actually, I argue that these is a much larger problem of culture that is endemic to the entire capitalist ruling class. Any ruling socioeconomic class has a common interest in maintaining their rule and maintaining any systems that support their rule. The end result is the creation of a ruling class culture to establish the norms of conduct acceptable to this class, and their primary focus will be to maintain their power and interests, and the system of capitalism which supplies them with such fabulous wealth and power. The Fed is at the nerve center of their class rule, and as such it plays a key role in this class's control over society. And, because ProPublica is also a part of this ruling class, it cannot seriously offer an exposé of this key institution. Hence, the author concludes with bland conclusion that the problem with the Fed is "culture" without analyzing what this culture consists of.

Nothing will come of this report, as well as nothing will come of the lawsuit by the fired employee, Carmen Segarra, who seriously tried to do her job as a bank examiner for the Fed.