Ron Paul’s Delusions Of Firestone In Liberia vs The Frontline-ProPublica Investigative Report On It’s Complicity In Genocide And Crimes Against Humanity
I wanted to put up a post on the comparative lunacy that is so common in modern corporate capitalist society. There is generally little truth in any mainstream position. Most everything has been corrupted by money, power, authority, corporations, politicians, political parties, etc. In other words, everything touched by profit, hierarchy and class or more broadly, everything touched by the state. The false left-right paradigm that defines so much of that lexicon is one of moral relativism that is completely bankrupt. Voting for lesser evil still results in greater evil and ultimately greater state tyranny. The false government vs free market (corporate capitalism) lexicon is equally, if not more, bankrupt. The reality is when two positions are both derived from an intent to control, there is no truth in either position. Only control. And control subverts discovery and truth.
Ron Paul penned an article a little over a month ago on how the wonders of corporate capitalism, and Firestone in particular, saved Liberia from Ebola. I remember seeing that article and how popular it was with the crowd that willfully supports their own economic slavery. Now, I like Ron and he speaks many truths about Washington corruption. But, he’s a useful idiot for corporate tyranny. In a vacuum his delusions seem rational and logical. Of course, most delusions are. But somehow, mainstream American libertarians believe this myth Ayn Rand perpetuated that corporations and money existed before the state. And, in one seminal work, corporations escape the injustices of state moochers and parasites and found their own corporate utopia where corporations are able to operate unfettered by the very institution that grants them all of its authority. That is, the state. I wonder how corporations would fill their factories with wage slaves without the violence of the state pushing human chattel into corporate servitude? Once again, this nation was not founded on corporate capitalism. Contrarily to Paul’s delusional blather, ProPublica has recently penned a very detailed, multi-part look at Firestone and the Warlord in Liberia. (Here is the excellent PBS Frontline video documentary that resulted from ProPublica’s collaboration. It is available to watch online.) It’s not a pretty picture.
The Frontline documentary, set to run on PBS in December, is damning on the complete lack of corporate morality that drives the primary intent of money and profit that is the basis for corporate capitalism. And the willful ignorance of modern corporate capitalist society that simply does as it is told that allows such consequences to exist.
In the documentary it is bizarre to watch American Firestone executives talk so abstractly about human moral issues, almost as if people are nothing more than objects of utility. And how these executives loved working in Liberia where they lived like royalty while Liberian workers did back-breaking slavery work for a nonliving wage, lived in atrocious slums without running water or electricity and performed the role of servants for American management. The American executives lived in Liberian mansions with African servants, drivers, golf courses and party houses. Twice during the documentary, American Firestone executives refer to the black servants as “boys”. What was obvious to me is how clearly the concept of division of labor has been completely absorbed into western society’s psyche. It has become normal for people to be economic slaves for those who believe they should be granted privilege due to the division of labor. That privilege is generally defined as a college graduate. The level of ignorance that drives this system is palpable. And, just like Nazi Germany, in nearly every aspect of modern corporate capitalist society’s existence I see example after example of behavior that can only be explained as ‘I was only doing what I was told’. There is a seeming disconnect between any morality and the consequences of personal actions or behaviors. Ignorance is not a valid defense. This system is crumbling because it truly is Godless. That includes the degree of subversive ignorance that this system enslaves humanity to.
The documentary focuses on the monetary and profit-driven relationship between convicted warlord Charles Taylor and Firestone. It is noted by a journalist in the documentary that he had never seen anything like Charles Taylor, the thug that Firestone essentially funded. That watching the actions of Taylor was like giving a country to a serial killer. Another American official in the documentary calls him a charming, manipulative and smooth-talking psychopath. Taylor’s appearance of authenticity and his actions as a pathological murderer should give anyone pause who believes in the words of smooth-talking politicians and anyone who seeks power over others. There is only one authority in this world beyond your own higher power. That is, the rule of law. Yet, American Firestone executives admit an admiration for Taylor and their actions follow suite.
But what is as intriguing as the limits Firestone would go to to turn a profit by being bribed by and bribing Charles Taylor and his band of murdering thugs, it is the foundations of how Firestone actually came to own much of Liberia and dominate its economy in the first place. You know, in the good ole days when corporate capitalism wasn’t corrupted as it is today. It is the capitalist class in conjunction with American and Liberian state actors that created the foundations of endless Firestone exploitation of Liberia nearly one hundred years ago. This after American rubber robber barons grew tired of being exploited by similar rubber plantation slavery operations of the British Empire. The very foundations of the system that allowed Firestone to create its rubber plantation is one of nondemocratic state-enforced injustice.
Essentially, Firestone runs a Liberian rubber plantation spanning thousands of square miles that is very similar in operation to historical southern slave plantations in the U.S. These descriptive words of comparison are actually spoken in the documentary. Freed American slaves, who are of a lighter color, ruled Liberia as an aristocracy and they exploited and victimized the darker-skinned local tribes. There we go again. The state exists for one reason. To commit violence on behalf of state actors. The original deal between the Firestone family and the Liberian aristocracy was no exception. For the better part of a century, the Liberian plantation workers essentially have been fed, housed and taken care of by the Firestone plantation. Just like in former U.S. southern slave plantations. And, given the investment in their slave chattel, any good plantation owner knows his beasts of burden must be kept healthy in order to exploit them for profit.
“Abraham Lincoln did not cause the death of so many people from a mere love of slaughter, but only to bring about a state of consent that could not otherwise be secured for the government he had undertaken to administer. When a government has once reduced its people to a state of consent – that is, of submission to its will – it can put them to a much better use than to kill them; for it can then plunder them, enslave them, and use them as tools for plundering and enslaving others.” --Lysander Spooner, abolitionist
The documentary points out that the freed American slaves and their descendants essentially created a Liberian society modeled after the American plantation society they fled. Obviously, this system of class eventually led to an uprising and revolution. It should be no surprise the world is now revolting against the modern corporate capitalist state as Liberians did. While Frontline doesn’t confirm the CIA handling of Charles Taylor, it does state that he somehow, mysteriously and miraculously, escaped from prison in the U.S. and ended up back in Liberia. And Frontline reports that rumors are the CIA arranged it. Why? Because the U.S. wanted an overthrow of the local uprising and revolution against Firestone and the pliant bought-and-paid-for Liberian aristocracy. Sound familiar? it should. It has been the playbook for American and European corporate capitalist colonialism for the last century.
As Liberia was plunged into revolution and chaos, and Charles Taylor’s marauding murderers were heading towards the Firestone plantation, more than one thousand workers showed up at the mansions of the American Firestone executive team and pleaded for help. Not only were they turned down, but they were told to leave Firestone’s property. This certainly was a death sentence for many. Could Firestone have protected any of these workers and their families? Probably, if Firestone had pleaded with the American government. Kind of makes one wonder if the CIA rumors are true and the U.S., and possibly Firestone, wanted this uprising to run its course and overthrow the interim government that represented the repressed local population.
Again, with Charles Taylor having no legal standing as a legitimate authority or governmental legitimacy in Liberia, the U.S. government sent a team to try to work a deal with him that would benefit Firestone. The head American of Firestone in Liberia was in that meeting. When Taylor asked if Firestone worked for the U.S. government, the U.S. officials rebutted that they worked on behalf of Firestone. The reality is the U.S. government, banks and the military-industrial complex have always used force to push corporate capitalist agenda around the world, as has every other corporate capitalist nation.
Charles Taylor eventually made an agreement with Firestone that involved the payment of “taxes”. This, even though Taylor was in no way associated with any government in Liberia. Taylor was nothing more than a murdering criminal who extorted payment that Firestone was more than willing to pay to serve the gods of money and profit. Firestone essentially paid for a protection racket that put money in the pocket of a war criminal. With this money and economic legitimacy that the Firestone agreement gave him, he was able to pillage the country of billions and buy weapons to launch a campaign of terror that eventually landed him on trial at The Hague for crimes against humanity. (He is now serving a 50 year sentence after his conviction of rape, murder, genocide… )
Corporations have time and again proven they are willing to do deals with any devil. In fact, they seem to prefer thugs who have an ability to control their population and their citizens (wage slaves). Uppity workers and empowered populations create problems for corporations in exploiting a country’s resources and populations. There is a cookie-cutter appreach where corporations shovel money at a pathological, yet small and bribable ruling class that controls the state, who then sells out its population for a cut of the extorted profit. Of course, that applies to whether that is how corporate capitalism dominates the U.S., Mexico, Canada, England or any of the bribable “emerging markets” they loot with impunity.
While Frontline does not talk about the financial details under which Firestone has always operated in Liberia, it is clear from commentary that it has never actually paid for its exploitation to any degree that truly benefited the nation as a whole. But, rather it paid just enough to buy off state actors. If Firestone was actually required to pay a living wage and a tax commensurate with the products they produce, we can imagine that Liberia could substantially provide educations and training to start on a path of substantial economic development for all of its citizens rather than new mansions and limos for its ruling class.
The message presented in the documentary is again that there is no way to serve both mammon and truth.
It would be interesting to see Ron Paul respond to the ProPublica-Frontline investigative report. Really, there is no response that can defend his level of willful ignorance and support of nondemocratic, class-based control systems. Noam Chomsky recently remarked that American Libertarians were anything but. A position that I must agree with. A true Libertarian appreciates the primacy of the individual over the violence of the state. Mainstream libertarians in this nation believe in the primacy of corporate capitalism, a state-created construct, and the mythical markets they serve has primacy over humanity. This is a position based purely on ignorance. Chomsky remarked that free markets was the choice people had to become enslaved to private tyranny and that corporate capitalism and democracy were contradictory and could never exist together. It’s clear he was taking a shot at Ron Paul, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, (Ayn) Rand Paul and other fundamentalist corporate capitalist fruitcakes on the right. Corporations certainly can serve as economic constructs that benefit humanity and democracy but that means they must be owned and controlled by democracy for the betterment of humanity. That has never been the case in corporate capitalism. Ever. That is an impossibility.
In closing, this documentary begs a persistent question that plagues the human existence. Why is the majority of humanity constantly battling for survival and scraps when we supposedly live in a world generally defined by some modicum of democracy or representative government? Why is the natural world and human family experiencing unprecedented levels of suffering? Throughout the modern ages of invention and technology, we find ourselves working longer than people did thousands of years ago. Often with little to show for it. And we find ourselves at a level of unprecedented global conflict, misery and suffering. One observation is evident. Human morality clearly has not kept pace with our know-how. Our achievements are used to enslave us to greater and greater state authority.
Amazingly, most of the people who are successful under this system see the world through one of two broad belief systems. One, we need more government bureaucracy to make the world a better place or to fend of big corporations or private capital. And two, we need less government so corporations, private capital and free markets can effectively operate unfettered. Where exactly do corporations, politicians, political parties and corporate-derived economic markets come from? They aren’t natural manifestations of the laws of the universe. They are institutions of the ego or of control. They are inventions of the state. Asking the state to protect us from state-derived constructs of ego has resulted in mass lunacy that is now destroying humanity and the natural world.
It used to be that Republicans wanted to enslave people to the private tyranny of corporations, private capital and their mythical free markets. Democrats wanted to enslave people to the tyranny of state control. Both efforts require big government to marshal the resources necessary for both class-based, state-crated control mechanisms to function. Now, with full blown fascism in our presence, there is no clear demarcation line between the state and the creatures of its invention - politicians, political parties, “free” markets and corporations. It’s one massive tyranny of class-based, hierarchical state power. And, the state uses another of its institutions of the ego, private, class-based money, to ensure that these institutions remain in power. Obviously, the primary intent in all of this is to control humanity so that a predatory and pathological class of of people, who derive their power through the violence of the state, can exploit humanity with impunity.
Let me end by highlighting some of the more disturbances of state violence and its gross immorality as recently reported in the press.
James Risen’s look at how corporate capitalism exploits security and war through sucking on the teet of Homeland Security through debt enslavement of our citizens. As noted on here many times, the only way corporations can exists in perpetuity is through the extraction of rent. There is no profit-driven corporation that can exist forever under any other circumstances. The only way they can extract that rent is through state violence. One must consider how reliant on state violence corporations are. There literally isn’t a major corporation in the world today that would not collapse were it not propped up through state violence, be that handouts, crony capitalism, tax subsidies, trickle down economics or whatnot. Capitalism has a maturity model to it. Risen’s book is a sign of the times and a very esoteric sign of the maturity of this system. There are no good ole days. Corporate capitalism has always been this corrupt. We simply see it more clearly because of where we are in that maturity model. That is, teetering on the precipice.
Jon Stewart on Chris Christie’s pork problem. Both of these Chris Christie links are the same issue. That is, the horrendously cruel and inhumane treatment of pigs. Not that it matters how intelligent an animal is, all life should be respected. But, pigs are incredibly smart animals. And this despicable treatment is so cruel it actually drives them mad. What kind of nation do we live in that we are even debating this type of behavior? And what kind of farmers do we have that actually practice such inhumane treatment? Anyone who is responsible for this type of behavior is operating from a place of evil. Anyone who works in this type of environment cannot stay connected to any degree of humanity. To be around such cruelty every day certainly has a profound impact. That includes turning people into animals. The corporate food complex
On that note, Fortune just ran an article that our obesity is causing a $2 trillion drag on the global economy. Really? More like $2 trillion in the global economy is dedicated to making people fat. Making people fat IS a large part of the global economy. And the United States is its chief exporter in unbridled use of antibiotics, industrial food production, industrial farming and animal production, mass overuse of pesticides and toxic chemicals, etc.
The CIA wants to destroy thousands of emails to hide the state’s crimes against humanity. And, it is being reported that Obama is shielding the CIA. Is it really any surprise that the CIA wants to hide its crimes against humanity rather than ever face prosecution?
The rogue president. Pat Buchanan’s article is an excellent look at the fraud of unconstitutional executive orders and how it is certainly driven by benefits to the aristocracy and corporations rather than some great act of kindness. The rule of law is dead. We live under the tyranny of the rule of man and with it, the rule of corporations. And one of those greatest tyrannies is the U.S. meddling in Central and South America that perpetuates human misery and poverty. If Obama wants to do something virtuous, then support policies to create self-determinism, democracy and economic freedom in these nations. This diaspora is created substantially by U.S. corporate capitalism and the state. And it perpetuates misery for both people outside and inside of this nation. No person who is suffering should be turned away from kindness and empathy. But that is not what is going on. It is pathology of the corporate state that is creating these messes where people must flee their own families and cultures. And once again the corporate state is socializing its losses with estimates, accurate or not, topping $2 trillion for Obama’s rogue behavior. This on top of Bush’s $5 trillion rogue behavior in Afghanistan and Iraq. We certainly have awoken substantially in this nation but there are still a substantial number of people who still believe working within the system, supporting Democrats and Republicans, will yield changes necessary. That is not going to happen.
How Obama has enslaved Americans to the industrial medical complex. This article exposes the real truth to Obamacare as has always been presented on here. That is, it was a financial bailout for a corrupt, fraudulent sick care system that is terminal. I refuse to call it the Affordable Care Act as that is pure state propaganda. The health care companies supposedly whined and cried when Obama and his party cronies wrote this corporate state fraud. Even the expansion of Medicaid has been taken over by corporations as noted in this article. The reality is much more clear now. That is, Obamacare is a fascist state-enforced tax to prop up corporate profits.
Putin says west is provoking new cold war. While I am no fan of Putin, there is little doubt that the European and American plutocracy is trying to recreate the dynamics of a cold war. This is consistent with prior remarks that the west very well could have created the Cold War. Systems of class and hierarchy such as capitalism and the state can only exist while creating boogeymen. And Europe’s cesspool of state liberalism rot needs a boogeyman on its doorsteps far more than the U.S. does. In fact, there is some very strong evidence that the west funded the creation of the Soviet Union for that very reason. Without a conjured and contrived state of fear, there is no impetus to serve the endless exploitation, victimization and predation of the state and corporate capitalism. This has been understood for thousands of years and written of quite elegantly by many cited on here in the past.
Graft hobbles Iraqi military’s fight against ISIS. It’s nice to see Iraq has learned well from Americans. The military-industrial complex is a massive syphon of fraud and corruption that steals trillions from the American people. The only difference between Iraq and the U.S. is managed perceptions. In the U.S. that military corruption is institutionalized and legitimized through corporate profits. Beyond state propaganda, there really is no difference.
Poison on a platter. How corporations and the Indian government conspire to enslave its people to poisonous food. The problem is global. It is the state.
Industrial metals all on China property data. We are in a slow motion fizzle right now. Signs of the topping of real estate in China are becoming more evident. Their real estate bubble dwarfs the U.S. real estate bubble. Price increases in China were 10x that of the U.S. Compounding those increases leads to an even more astronomical crisis on the horizon.
Darren Wilson in action. Interestingly, the mainstream right still doesn’t get what is going on any more than the mainstream left. The Democratic Party may be very close to losing the black vote with decades of horrendous policy decisions and the injustices we now see everywhere that are impacting black Americans. This is a necessary dynamic needed for social progress and effective change in our nation.
ISIS expands its reach to yet another country. Isn’t it interesting that the U.S. empire has no effective answer to stop ISIS? This is, in many ways, an element of radicalization that the U.S. empire has played a major role in creating. And now they are armed with U.S. weapons of murder and death that have been exported around the world. The U.S. military-industrial complex and U.S. propped up stooges and lackeys are now essentially fighting their own creation armed with their own weapons. Karma is a bitch.
Revolutionary new car created with 3D printer. A little more positive and interesting news. Not everything associated with corporations is rotten. Smaller, developmental-stage corporations can actually be quite useful to society. But, corporate capitalism will collapse without a massive overhaul. That won’t happen until we experience a crisis so overwhelming that it requires change for the system to survive. About eight years ago I wrote on here that Wally World’s endless isles of useless, mass-produced junk were in jeopardy and that Wal-mart as a company was closer to failure than anyone realizes because of the massive changes to new production methods. And, look what the cat drug in. That day is getting closer not only for Wally World but much of the slave labor camps in Asia that fill their shelves with mass-produced junk.