Manufacturing Crisis


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or, Warmongers “R” Us.

The 1% has been progressing from crisis management to crisis exploitation to manufacturing artificial crisis as a means to an end. Manufacturing crisis is the take-no-prisoners, attack without mercy version of manufacturing consent

Crises range from 100% natural to 100% man-made with many combinations of the two.

Disaster capitalism (Naomi Klein) is only one example of how crises can be exploited by individuals and groups that are prepared or equipped to take advantage of the special circumstances that exist during and after a crisis.

The aims of crisis exploitation may range from lowering the market price of assets prior to acquisition to non-economic goals such as military or political advantage.

A classic example of crisis exploitation is war profiteering which is widely considered immoral and sometimes criminal. The worst cases may be those in which a third party actually instigates or provokes a war, or throws fuel on an existing conflict, for the purpose of exploiting the situation for financial and/or political gain.

Even such relatively benign cases of artificial crisis as the “Fiscal Cliff” may ultimately lead to real-world economic and physical casualties.

Meanwhile there seems to be a world-wide trend toward  populations and cultures becoming more internally divided along left-right (or egalitarian-authoritarian, secular-religious, etc.) lines. Conditions are increasingly ideal for creating and exploiting many kinds of crises.

Divide and rule … that seems to be how the snowball of globalization is going to roll until the people of Earth are fully converted to neofeudalism (private governance) and our brief experiments in self-government, democracy, the commons, and the public trust are fading from human memory.

As our social, economic, and ecological systems deteriorate I won’t be surprised if national civil wars continue to proliferate, eventually fusing into a bloody global culture war. Under such conditions some kind of Pax Plutocratica may be the best we can look forward to.

Poor Richard

see also

Understanding crisis exploitation

New Word Order keywords: Crisis Profiteer, Crisis-monger, Crisis Vulture


TULE: The Universal Legal Entity

Wenger Swiss Army knife, opened.

Wenger Swiss Army knife, opened. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Corporations are TULEs (the universal legal entities). They have become the Swiss Army Knives of legal hacking, government lock picking, treasury robbing, regulation cutting,  jury rigging, and democracy hijacking.

They are increasingly blurring all the  lines between the person, local government, nation state, and international entity. They have almost entirely rubbed out any lines between the private and public sectors.

A corporation can now emulate almost every legal attribute of a person. It can emulate almost every structural and legal detail of  a nation state, with the exception of a dwindling number of national legal powers. Governmental jurisdictions still have a degree of sovereignty or legal superiority over corporations, but things like “international free-trade agreements” are  whittling these governmental powers down.

In some respects the powers and authorities of corporations actually exceed those of nation states and even those of international legal bodies. The most powerful international legal bodies are in fact those constituted by the largest multinational corporations themselves.

All economic and political theories that stress or depend on any of the past distinctions between persons, corporations, and states have become (or are rapidly becoming) obsolete. Little things like democracy, justice, capitalism, socialism, markets, property, and commons, for example.

What does this mean? How does this affect us?

The corruption of campaigns, elections, and political leaders, and the corporate “occupation” of government bodies and agencies mean that  large corporations control the institutions of civil society and make the rules (or control the selective enforcement) of labor policy, taxation, government spending,  financial regulation, food and drug safety, the environment, and so on.

We now have a strongly bifurcated, two-tiered justice system–one set of laws for the rich and one for the rest of us. The laws for the rich give them cover to practice disaster capitalism, creating and/or exploiting economic bubbles or boom-bust cycles that enable the rich to vacuum up assets from all the lower classes and the commons at fire-sale prices.

The rapid co-evolution of corporation law and technology are making the practice if not the concept of governmental regulation obsolete. The majority of government regulations now have the effect if not the intent of granting monopolies, immunities, and other advantages to big corporations over small corporations, local governments, and persons.

The public sector and the commons are being privatized en route to becoming monopolized. In most cases that also means being undemocritized. This invasion of our governments and the commons is producing a new system of ownership and governance of society that in many ways resembles the feudalism and manorialim of the Dark Ages. This has been called plutocracy and neofeudalism.

All the progressive democratic revolutions of the past two thousand years including the Athenian democracy, the Magna Carta,  the European and US revolutions against monarchy, the revolutions of  labor unions against the Robber Barons, and the petit revolutions of social movements and civilian governments against the militarily-industrial-financial-surveillance complex (such as the New Deal, the civil rights movement, and the Watergate and Church Committee Hearings, etc.) are all being rolled back by this universal authoritarian counter-revolution.

Things that will never be the same:

  • elections
  • education
  • the middle class
  • the rule of law
  • law enforcement
  • justice & the courts
  • property
  • contracts
  • markets
  • commons
  • public services and utilities
  • privacy
  • equity
  • civil rights
  • you name it

And there’s no place to run. No place to hide.

Poor Richard

Network diagram showing interlocks between var...

Network diagram showing interlocks between various U.S. corporations/institutions, and four major media/telecom corporations (circled in red). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Cargo cults became global in the wake of mass media. Now its called consumerism. Many of the non-essential material goods are important mainly for their symbolism.

A frequent conversation in the commons movement is exchange value vs use value, with some parallels in debates about property ownership vs use rights. Its six of one and half a dozen of the other to me. Although accounting methods (manipulating symbola) are seldom neutral, I think the more fundamental issues are things like well-being, sustainability, subsidiarity, and externalities. Maybe those are pragmata. PR

Inquiry Into Inquiry

Re: Cathy O’NeilProfit as Proxy for Value

There is a deep and pervasive analogy between systems of commerce and systems of communication, turning on their near-universal use of symbola (images, media, proxies, signs, symbols, tokens, etc.) to stand for pragmata (objects, objectives, the things we really care about — or would really care about if we examined our values in practice thoroughly enough).

Both types of sign-using systems are prey to the same sort of dysfunction or functional disease — it sets in when their users confuse signs with objects so badly that signs become ends instead of means.

There is a vast literature on this topic, once you think to go looking for it.  And it’s a perennial theme in fable and fiction.

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Decelebration (NWO)

New Word Order (NWO) Addendum:



1. The transformation (sometimes very sudden) of a celebration into something opposite such as a disaster or panic: a rapid decelebration of the Boston Marathon occurred following the explosion of IEDs.

Image by Aaron Tang (wikimedia)

Photo by Aaron Tang (via Wikimedia Commons)

PR comments:

First of all, the bombing of the 2013 Boston Marathon was outrageous. Sickening. Eff-ed up. It was an act of terrorism. But President Obama’s initial comment called it an act of  cowardice.”  It has become fashionable for politicians to call terrorists cowards.  Terrorists can be called a lot of things — murderers, psychopaths, monsters, flaming assholes — but cowards?  I wonder. . .  That particular accusation may say more about the source than the intended target.

I’m categorically opposed to terrorism, of course; but the better we understand it, the better we may become at averting it. I think it is fair to say that most terrorist acts are prompted by deeply-felt grievances or grudges that fester and develop into violent obsessions or compulsions when no better method of seeking attention, redress, or justice seems to be available (in their own view at least) to a particular group or individual.  Their perception may be rational or irrational depending on the circumstances, but the label of  “cowardice,” considering the grave personal risk usually involved to a perpetrator, is probably not apropos in any case.  What’s more likely, IMO, is that critics who fail to question or to consider their own roles in creating (or ignoring) the conditions and circumstances contributing to such extreme grievances (and the lack of adequate opportunities or better means for their non-violent, lawful resolution) might be demonstrating some kind of political, moral, or intellectual cowardice.

Second:  Numerous politicians, pundits, and other assorted mental masturbators have said things like “Americans refuse to be terrorized.”


Martial law, warrantless searches, militarized police forces, mass surveillance, kangaroo courts, state-condoned torture, and too many other suspensions of civil rights and due process to list here would argue otherwise. In fact, it is all too obvious that a great many Americans (especially those who seek security at the expense of free speech, free association, privacy, due process, and democracy itself) are not only cowards — they are anti-American assholes who are too timid and/or too stupid for democracy.

We can’t simply put this down to incompetent and/or corrupt political, civic, and moral leadership. It is fair to say that the US has become a virtual Plutocracy or Oligarchy, but when bad leadership is as pervasive and prolonged as it has become in the US, the contribution and complicity of the general public can not be ignored.

“We have met the Enemy and He is Us.”  –Walt Kelly, Pogo

Pogo - Earth Day 1971 poster

Pogo – Earth Day 1971 poster (Wikipedia)

Happy Earth Day . . .



El prisionero en esta fotografía apodado Maest...

Excommunicado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pursuant to the First Encyclical of the Occupy Working Group for Defending Our Faith in the Utility of Speech , the following Foul and Malignant Words have been banished from the New Word Order, to be cast into Verbal Purgatory, purged from the Rectified History of Civilization, and declared unfit for human utterance. The following linguistic turds are henceforth and forever declared Excommunicado:

Category I. P.U.phemisms

(Note: P.U.phemisms (or “pee-you-phemisms”) are exceptionally putrid, fetid, malodorous euphemisms that insult the nostrils of the soul by trying to camouflage or minimize extreme antisocial or criminal behavior as something relatively innocuous or even noble.)

1. kerfuffle: a P.U.phemism for a conflict or scandal; the nasty, egregious, outrageous, shameless, or blatant nature of which has been

Arab slave traders and their captives along th...

Job Creator Shenanigans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

publicly exposed by some massive, bloated, stinking carcass of evidence.

2. shenanigans: P.U.phemism for organized murder, mass depravity, or unmitigated and unpardonable villainy.

3. job creators: P.U.phemism for Monopolists, Robber Barons, Slave Traders, War Profiteers, etc.

Category II. Dud Words

(Note: Duds are failed attempts at dramatic impact.)

1. horrific: better, more descriptive, or more emphatic words include horrifying, terrifying, ghastly, nightmarish, gruesome, disgusting, repulsive, etc.

2. demeanor: this word is a lame attempt to make descriptions of affect or behavior sound more classy. Linguistic lipstick for two-legged pigs, often applied to the phoney public bearing of persons accused of misconduct.

Category III. Semantic Bullcrap

(Note: Semantic Bullcrap is language that is corrupted, mutilated, or mutated beyond all legitimate utility, often to obfuscate and mischaracterize information or to fabricate disinformation. Political, economic, and religious ideologies and “brands” are concocted mainly out of bullcrap.)

1. Capitalism, socialism, anarchism, etc: These and many similar words are so ambiguous as to be meaningless without extensive technical specifications (which are rarely provided in any form that stands up to serious scrutiny). What  ideologies have in common is that they imply various patterns of relations between individual persons, groups (or institutions) and resources while failing to actually specify any definite relations or patterns at all. As with the “Emperor’s New Clothes” each person “sees” a subjective set of meanings and assumptions in such terms as “private”, “public”, “property”, and “market” according to the social, cultural, and cognitive biases and the set of implicit associations peculiar to each individual or group.

Poor Richard

New Word: euphemasia

The worlds of politics and economics have become so awash in euphemisms nowadays that George Orwell is spinning in his grave. I have decided to add another new word to all the languages of Earth (the New Word Order).

euphemasia (you-fem-ay-sia)


1. The act of putting a mind out of its misery by stripping language of all meaning through the excessive use of euphemisms. The death of the mind by this means is generally painless and many who practice euphemasia claim that it is a act of mercy. It was first applied only in the case of a feeble or chronically ailing mind, but now it is practiced on large segments of the world’s population.

2. In addition to committing euphemasia by using a very large number of euphemisms, euphemasia can sometimes be committed by the use of a single euphemism that is so egregious as to be lethal on its own. An example is the euphemism “austerity”, when used to refer to a  campaign by super-rich, authoritarian sociopaths to return the world to feudalism.

Verb: euphemize

Use liberally and enjoy!

Poor Richard

Euphemisms for the Intimate Enemy

Euphemisms for the Intimate Enemy (Photo credit: Sweet One)

New word: plutocon

My search of the web, including online dictionaries, for the word “plutocon” came up empty (except for videos of a Spanish-speaking dog named Pluto), so I am adding this word to all the languages of Earth (the New Word Order).

Mitt Romney - Creating the American Plutocracy

Mitt Romney – Creating the American Plutocracy (Photo credit: EN2008)


Noun. A mash-up of the words plutocrat, neoconservative, and con man.

Use “liberally” and enjoy!


Vaguely Related:

Pluto con su peluche

Plutocons ain’t got no style. . .

New Word Order – Non-Prophets

I might  as well throw this in for good measure:

Leaked U.S. Army Document Outlines Plan For Re-Education Camps In America


I’d like to see “STING” operations (like those run against liberals by the late, unscrupulous, and McCarthy-esque character assassin Andrew Breitbart) on GOP figures like Boehner and Santorum and on media clowns like Rush Limbo. An actor would confront the target with paraphrased quotations from Thomas Jefferson or the US Constitution and record their naive, hostile, and derogatory reactions.

Jefferson vs Santorum on public education:

Speaking of that late-but-unlamented reputation bushwhacker, back-stabber, and information terrorist, Andrew Breitbart, I propose a new verb for the English language:

breit-sided: verb. A play on the word “blind-sided”: to be caught off-guard by cleverly manufactured but unfounded accusations, lies, defamations, and other kinds of sleazy, cut-throat “yellow journalism”. The practice evolved in “tabloid” media outlets like those controlled by the notorious robber-baron of crap-based media, Rupert Murdoch, to the point it is rapidly becoming a “new normal” in the mass-media ecosystem.


Money = speech?

Logical Fallacy of the day:

False analogy or false equivalence: False analogy is an informal fallacy applying to inductive arguments. It is often mistakenly considered to be a formal fallacy, but it is not, because a false analogy consists of an error in the substance of an argument (the content of the analogy itself), not an error in the logical structure of the argument.

False Analogy Examples: money = speech, or corporation = person

How about this logic: Money is speech + Speech is free = Money is free

The US Supreme Court seems to have based their Citizens United decision on that venerated principle of jurisprudence, “money talks”.

But if “money talks”, why is money = speech a false equivalence or false analogy? Because money is to speech as gasoline is to fire–

two completely different things!

In the real world money is not speech. Money is property!



Re Citizens United v. FEC

Dear US Supreme Court  Justices,

They say “talk is cheap.”  I guess its time for each citizen to “put his money where his mouth is”. So just how much does a Supreme Court opinion cost now?

Poor Richard



Debate: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (


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