By Mark L. Taylor
Daily Call (2/4/12)
So what would you think of a major corporate figure, a chief economist with the World Bank, who would write the following?
“Just between you and me, shouldn’t the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [Less Developed Countries]? … The measurements of the cost of health impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality. From this point of view a given amount of health impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that … I’ve always thought that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly under-polluted … Only the lamentable facts that so much pollution is generated by non-tradable industries (transport, electrical generation) and that unit transport costs of solid waste are so high prevent world welfare enhancing trade in air pollution and waste.” (“The Culture of Make Believe”, Derrick Jensen, p. 202)
Think for a moment about the kind of dank narcissistic moral universe such a man must live in. Can you imagine the kind of advice such a man would offer those with ultimate power? Who would sit to listen to such a man and actually invite such a mind to sit close as one of his most trusted advisers?
Explains a lot about the Cheney/Bush administration, doesn’t it?
The trouble is these are the words of Lawrence Summers, close confidant and adviser of two supposedly liberal Democratic presidents; Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Over and over, in the pantomime of democracy that has become our electoral process, we are offered the “evil of two lessers”.
Summers wrote those words in 1991, when he worked for the World Bank. Far from being hounded from office for his repugnant views when they became public in 1992, they were embraced by the World Bank and guide policy to this day. (Think of the oil industry in Nigeria.)
In spite of – no, because of - his views, Summers was invited to join the Clinton administration, where he eventually became secretary of the treasury, then went on to a stormy tenure as president of Harvard and then, along with Wall Street insider Timothy Geithner, became Obama’s closest economic adviser. Recently Summers oozed on back to Harvard and whatever lucrative consulting work that feeds such social lampreys.
The problem is not so much with Summers, after all he’s just another soulless run-of-the-mill sociopath and these days they are a penny-a-gross in the halls of Washington. No, the real issue is with those who cynically spout one thing to gain trust and power then eagerly embrace the likes of a Summers.
Think of all the change and hope hype of the ’08 Obama campaign. Remember how things were going to be different: no lobbyists in the administration; transparency; return to the rule of law; fairness; preservation of our Constitution and the highest ideals of America, yada, yada? Was Obama the campaigner the kind of man you would expect to draw close to the sinister oily mind of a Lawrence Summers?
Really, could you even conceive of that in the summer and early fall of ’08?
Progressives draw fire for being too hard on Obama. We often hear the pragmatic argument about the “lesser of two evils” and the need to be more diplomatic, patient … silent. Hell, evil is evil and the deepest evil is done by those who charmingly profess one thing then once in power pirouette to the exact opposite. Now, with the heat of the 2012 campaign building Summers is gone, Geithner’s on his way out and we see Obama slipping on back to some of the more compassionate, progressive themes of ’08.
It’s time for the fodder (that’s us, folks) that feeds the predatory likes of the Summers, Geithners, Obamas, Bushs, Romneys, Clintons and Gingrichs of the world to understand we are dealing with true moral and psychological pathology. Over and over, in the pantomime of democracy that has become our electoral process, we are offered the “evil of two lessers”.
The American ruling class of both parties is hopelessly corrupt and loyal only to the constituency of the corporatocracy from which it feeds, leaving the only avenue of hope and change in the hands of active free thinking citizens willing to occupy our homes; our government; our land and our minds.