No, idiot... capitalism is not democracy!

No, it wasn’t the first time that I heard, or read, the plagiarization of a famous phrase by means of word replacement. But yesterday’s ill-appropriation by an inexpert-expert guest of CNBC stood vividly for the remarkable ignorance this nation is all about; and how that television station, for the most part, promotes such ignorance and cheerleads fake growth to the catchy music of predatory capitalism.

Quoting Winston Churchill’s famous dictum, taken from a speech he gave in 1947 to the House of Commons, where he stated that, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time,” this guest simply replaced democracy with capitalism and government with economic system, and stood firm and unrepentant for the mendacity of America’s predatory capitalism.

Just like vainglorious Churchill, a man of war and not peace, bitter perhaps for being booted out of office, today’s advocates of unregulated capitalism – just about all of them holding a big self-interest in keeping the status quo – see great virtuosity in greed, and extreme vice in both social equity and love of neighbor. No such thing for them, in deed if not word, as fairness towards the commonalty so that society may expect to live in harmony… for everything under the sun is far more effectively ran, according to these squires of capitalism, as things are left to the undisturbed workings of the marketplace. That magical, inexistent marketplace that chivalrously, and chimerically, straightens or resolves every economic problem… as if emulating Don Quixote; a market that its followers dogmatically claim, converts the art of alchemy into an exact science.

Some may say that vesting such phrase on both democracy and capitalism does not imply that one follows the other, and the canons of logic support that. However, all you need to do here in the US is to listen to the defenders of American capitalism uttering the word democracy in the same breath, as if interlaced. These are the defenders who see a government by the people adhering a priori to an economic system based solely on private ownership; defenders who abide by the conservative catechism and place themselves at the vanguard of patriotism and moral rectitude, including the wearing of flag pins and other insignia to denote righteousness. How can the Right not be right?

Now it’s beginning to look as if President Obama is calling for new “rules of the road” for that murky world of finance which in suicidal fashion almost did away with capitalism in recent days. And Congress, at least its non-Republicans members, seems poised to quickly reverse what Senator Phil Gramm, the high priest of deregulation, did a decade ago with a conservative Congress and the consent of then President Bill Clinton.

In fact the legislation could go much beyond that, perhaps empowering the Federal Reserve to oversee the most influential financial firms; also creating a council of federal regulators to monitor risk across the broader market; and as a major, if not a finishing stroke to predatory capitalism, to establish a consumer protection agency to prevent deceptive practices from credit card lenders and mortgage brokers.

Legislation for such financial oversight, no greater than that which now exist in other more progressive capitalist democracies in the world, is likely to be contested by many American legislators whose true advocacy has more to do with their personal well-being than the welfare of the people they represent in Congress; for example, Sen. Shelby taking the lead as the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee. Yes, he’s the same legislator who is fighting Obama against major changes to our healthcare system, “the best in the world,” according to this irresponsible, conservative career politician.

During 2003-2007, the period when trillions of dollars of hot air were being created by “free to do as it pleased” predatory capitalism, Sen. Shelby was Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. He and Fed Chairman Greenspan were the guard dogs that permitted the defalcation and rape of most Americans, crimes of holocaustic proportion by a greedy and criminal few. Yet, this not so gentle man from Alabama is looked upon as a leader for the opposition to Obama’s modest regulatory changes; a man who switched his party alliance in 1994 as the Republicans gained the majority in Congress; a man who advocates a flat tax; and a politician whose voting record may well reflect not just a different political philosophy but personal, lucrative interests.

Perhaps what inspires least confidence in me as to what’s taking place to find a cure for our cancerous financial economy has less to do with what an idiot on CNBC says, and more, far more, with inadvertent commentary by our own president – coincidentally taking place at the same time the idiot was stating his plagiarized dictum – referring in this case to not imposing excessive oversight on the financial markets. “We don’t want to stifle innovation,” said Obama in his speech. What? Just what financial innovation is our president talking about…a new way, perhaps, of imprinting invisible toxicity to future financial paper? It appears rather obvious that for an entire generation Wall Street innovations had everything to do with the redistribution, not the creation of wealth.

Americans need protection from, not appeasement of, predatory capitalism.