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"They’re all standing on the deck of the Titanic looking in each other’s eyes" - Robert Johnson on the oligarchs

transcriber's picture

Jesse's Café Américain post on Jeffrey Sachs included an additional YouTube, Robert Johnson on Oligarchy, at the 2012 Impact Festival in New York. Well matched:

Filmed July 25, 2012
Posted by DeepDishTV

Transcript

Robert Johnson: I think the, call it the oligarchy now is audacious. They don’t really care if they’re legitimate. There was a time – you know, I always hear Jurgen Habermas was paraphrased by saying, “Legitimate if you can, coerce if you have to, and accommodate if you must.” And I think we’ve gone past – I almost started, this was really eerie because we didn’t compare notes – I almost started my discussion about John Ralston Saul’s book, The Unconscious Civilization, and I think we’ve gone beyond – I’m grateful we have gone beyond the unconscious civilization. A lot of people don’t buy the package anymore that’s emanating from those corporations you talked about.

But there is a sort of, “Okay guys, you’re mad, how are you going to stop me?” mentality at the top. Now I’m going to say that that fight has to happen, but there’s also, you know, they always talk about Marx and capitalism, capitalists versus labor. A lot of the interesting fissures in a system are intracapitalist conflict, and right now, I guess the way I’d put it in a metaphor is it feels like there are an awful lot of the elite that know this system is not wholesome, and they’re all standing on the deck of the Titanic looking in each other’s eyes, and they’re asking a question with their eyes, “Are we going to help this navigator? Are we going to help this captain get off the ice? Or are we going to get the food and the jewels from the safe and put them in our lifeboat?” And my sense is that most of them are trying to get stuff into their lifeboat, and that system isn’t going to cohere. And in that dysfunction there is opportunity.

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Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

For your immeasurably beneficial service with this and the previous (far more involved) transcripts you have offered on Corrente.

It is striking how powerful Sachs's very un-wordy, straightforward indictment of the financial system versus how weak and evanescent is Johnson's with the squishy use of philosophical, symbolic, lofty language.

We need more Sachs speech -- it is effective. Johnson's may play well in an academic hall, but is limp as a wet kerchief in the real-world trenches of Kleptocracy.

I felt compelled to voice my entirely subjective and personal view on this matter because if there is one thing we have learned, it is that economics and finance affect each and every US citizen far more than the (utterly irrelevant) issues (or consumerism, or adoration of false political prophets) on which all have been and are focus. And that the technocratic and pseudo-scientific jargon surrounding finance, eonomics and business (the pillars of our corporatist kleptocratic state) has been one means by which the .01% have kept the 99.9% from paying attention to the MAIN EVENT.

Direct, unadorned and straightforward speech about the Kleptocrats and the system of they have created to destroy the rest of us is imperative and critically urgent to broaden understanding and inform action by the 99.9%.