Monthly Archives: December 2011


I would define DOG-EAT-DOG capitalism as a system in which one profits using the capital and efforts of another while not being held accountable in the event things don’t work out. Bankers and politicians are very similar in that sense, since both are praised when things go right,  and both are usually not held responsible when the decisions they make lead to disaster.

The 2008 financial crisis and its subsequent  multi-national and multi-billion bailouts of the banks responsible for that very mess, resulted in the creation of a system where the profits are privatized, and risks are socialized. The worst of Capitalism and Communism combined.

Sure, since then, some governments have tried their hand at legislation to regulate the banking industry. But when the banking lobby is involved in the drafting of that said legislation,  it starts to lose its potency. It’s funny how virtual corporate citizens are intimately involved in the legislative process, while flesh-and-blood actual citizens are never allowed to have a word in it.

If, for example, the delicatessen industry was to be caught blatantly lying about the content of their product, there would sure to be some serious legal consequences. A company selling chicken breast that turned out to be mostly pig ears and pig tails, would most certainly be held accountable for it.

So why are companies operating in the financial industry, that get caught blatantly lying , not being held accountable against those very same high standards? Bankers get bonuses for selling predatory sub-prime mortgages to people who they know won’t be able to repay them. Then investment firms trick pension funds into buying into those bad loans, even though themselves are buying derivatives designed to profit when those very loans get defaulted. But that’s just business as usual, no one should be held accountable. No one  except the taxpayer.

And when a politician gets caught blatantly lying or screwing us, there’s usually no real serious consequences as well.  They usually get off pretty easy. Diplomatic immunity I guess.

So my question is: Why is it that the rules of accountability apply to the delicatessen industry, and pretty much everyone else, but not to the banking industry and the political industry?

The answer is that we expect at least some people out there to be able to swallow what comes out of the delicatessen  industry,  but nobody is expected to be able to swallow anything that comes out of the political industry.

And as far as the banking industry goes, they’re just accountants who  bought their way into not being accountable…


The days of interchangeable belief systems

They say a democrat is a republican who never got robbed. And if they’re implying that one’s political outlook is generally directly related to one’s environment and life experience, I think they might be right.

I’ve seen people switch back and forth from being anti-conformists to being pro-establishment, from being federalists to being separatists, from being left-wingers to being right-wingers, from being fiercely atheist to being religious. Belief systems are like jackets. Some people dress the same way their whole lives, other like to play dress-up.

So, the good news is: Even thought there might be a lot of people right now that are against the idea of switching to a digital democracy, that doesn’t mean that this cannot be easily changed. You just need the right context for it, whether it’s a string of political scandals, or it’s the influence or  a neighboring country that’s running a governmental system with a little more legitimacy than ours.

*NATNOTE: That illustration is a sketch I made some 15 years ago or so…    And back then I had a hard time convincing my friends that one day technology might allow us to have a real online democracy, instead of the old rotary system of deciding who decides for us.  People said I was crazy. But some 15 years later, when we live in an era where internet technologies have infiltrated almost all aspects of our lives, it’s not so crazy anymore.