woensdag 7 december 2011

The Winter of Our Economic Discontent

What do the United States, Russia and the Middle East have in common? They all have unpopular regimes run by out of touch kleptocrats who faced popular uprisings. The opposition groups in all those place don't have much in common, but the governments do.

Obama might have sneered at Mubarak or Putin, but for all the pretense of democracy he was sitting at the top of his own kleptocracy, doling out fortunes to supporters out of the emergency bailout and stimulus plans. The Tea Party was the outraged and vocal response of a working middle-class that was seeing its taxes and its children's future being squandered to feed the appetites of the oligarchy.

The media elite might bemoan the Tea Party as the second coming of the Klu Klax Klan, but it was a far more honest expression of economic discontent than OWS, which limited its manufactured anger to the junior partners in the kleptocracy, while giving the men in power a pass.

Russian voters who watched Putin build palaces for himself while their roads decayed did the unthinkable by challenging his cult of personality at the polls, and despite the massive voter fraud, dealt a severe blow to his grip on power. As long as Putin holds executive power, the repression will double and the suicides, violent assaults and criminal trials against critics will continue-- but it's clear to everyone that he has lost any popular mandate to rule.

Obama lost his popular mandate in 2010 and no matter what happens in 2012, his rule has already ended. Like Putin he wields executive power, but without the support of the public. It's ironic that he played such a key role in removing Gaddafi, when he had more than a little in common with him. The vain showboating, the flagrant corruption and the constant speeches are a feature of both regimes.

Read more at: Sultan Knish