The secret life of J Edgar Hoover | Film | The Observer
Wednesday January 4, 2012 12:30 am Leave a comment
Happy new year to all my readers. I hope you both enjoyed the festivities as much as my wife and I did on our first trip to Spain. Absolutely gorgeous. Already trying to figure out how we can move there.
Right, that’s the frivolities out of the way. Now, on with the serious shit. This is going to be a very tough year for the species. The most serious threat, by far, is the failure of the hypnotic trance which persuades people to believe in fiat currency: the illusion that money magicked into existence by edict from the authorities (e.g. so called “quantitative easing” which used to be known, less opaquely, as “printing money”) has any real value.
The financial earthquake which will be triggered when Greece (almost certainly) defaults on its Sovereign debt will, in the opinion of respectable economists, cause a tsunami which has a high probabibility of bringing down the Euro and initiating the eventual collapse of all existing tradeable currencies, forcing us back onto reliance in precious metals and other commodities with “real” value. Trouble with that is the value of those “real” value items is only a tiny fraction of the multi trillion dollar debts that will suddenly go bad. Financial Capitalism is thus about to take the biggest haircut in its history and not many financial capitalists will survive.
Do we care? Not for the individuals perhaps, but the way the economy is currently structured means that for each financial capitalist that goes to the wall, tens of thousands of ordinary citizens will be plunged into poverty. That’s not good news.
The photon of light I am focussed on – at the end of a very long tunnel – is that the resulting collapse might be the straw that breaks the authoritarian camel’s back. Last time the world went into financial meltdown, we saw the rise of the worst rash of authoritarian dictatorship in history. This was possible, I like to kid myself, because the State had total control of the means of communication and they were able to abuse it to broadcast their insidious propaganda with such effective results that whole populations either believed their lies or were intimidated into compliance.
I also like to kid myself that such State control of “the message” is no longer possible and that, instead, the complete failure of the State is becoming increasingly clear to the very same ordinary citizens who are about to suffer the consequences of the kind of collapse we can expect. Hopefully, enough ordinary citizens will not fall for the next attempt at instituting fascism and the attempts will be nipped in the bud.
Why am I bleating all this in the context of this article? Because – as I’ve been saying for some years, though I was certainly not the first – J Edgar Hoover represents the worst form of State control in all it’s glory. He was the epitome of the “Corrupt Insider”
What ordinary citizens must take on board is that to a greater or lesser extent he represents normal behaviour for every politician – or policeman – who achieves any kind of power. They’re not all as bad as he was, obviously. Some are even worse. But, in virtually all cases, the differences are those of degree, not principle. Power corrupts. We’ve known that for centuries. It’s time we dealt with it.
The solution to our ongoing and emerging problems is never going to be found by changing which corruptible individuals hold what passes for economic or political power. NONE can be trusted to wield it on our behalves. We have to design systems of decision making which dissipate power to the people as far as is technically and practically possible. We need to minimise the opportunities for any individual to achieve significant power over any other individual, and, in those few areas where such authority is genuinely operationally necessary, we need to monitor the conduct of that authority much more tightly than any surveillance the authoritarians have been trying to impose on us.
Such systems will expose any attempt to abuse authority, hopefully before it causes significant damage and will make it impossible for the authoritarians to hide what they have done in our name. This is the primary purpose of Trusted Surveillance and Hoover is the poster child for explaining why it is so necessary.