This writing "Calling for Revolution in America, It's Not Just Me" is my fundamental manifesto.

Society is like a stew. If not stirred frequently, the scum rises to the top.” – Edward Abbey

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chief Joseph Tars 'n Feathers McArdle; Awards Warrior Headress to Taibbi

A television interview between Matt Taibbi and Megan McArdle centered around criminal charges being brought against Goldman Sachs perfectly illustrates the incredible attitude toward malfeasance that has developed in America. Listen for yourself, but for me McArdle seems steeped in circular reasoning. It's like she's looking for some rationale to essentially argue that greed is good, or at least OK. By that same token, it's also permissible for smart Goldman Sachs to take advantage, rig the game and spring booby traps against "institutions" like Aunt Millie's pension fund. She repeats a feeble refrain that Goldman's actions were "complicated." Calling things "complicated" in public discourse is a refuge for those who avoid critical thinking.

Reading about McArdle in Wikipedia gives some perspective about who she is, essentially an Ayn Rand libertarian. Such people really worship at the alter of greatness and the ideal the great people carry humanity forth. A hardcore libertarian would say leave such people alone and to their own designs. I admit some sympathy myself with this philosophy, at least when I was young and more impressionable. In an environment like today, such thinking is highly dangerous. Today, kleptocrats have largely rescinded the rule of law as it applies to themselves, rewarded malfeasance, greed and selfishness, while encouraging leveraged theft from future generations. Equivocation and sophistry rule; inaction, delay, obfuscation, circular reasoning is promoted. Kleptocrats play libertarians like a fiddle, turning them into stooges for their own means.

McArdle has fallen into that trap. To her credit, she editorialized against the bailouts, but in the real world, "free market" principles are swamped by expediency and so-called emergency conditions. Nowhere does she write about the U.S. Treasury making Goldman Sachs whole on credit insurance trades with AIG, as Matt Taibbi did. These were private transactions between private parties, one of whom was failing without government intervention. I call this libertarianism as long as it's convenient. Where is the outrage, Ms. McArdle?

Frankly I wonder why she has been promoted to business editor of The Atlantic. She was a mere blogger a few years ago. I know I come from a different slant, but I have perused little from her that I would call readable, let alone anything that resonates. To me, she sounds like an oligarchical stooge -- maybe not knowingly, but a stooge nonetheless. Not to solely pick on McArdle. I wonder the same things about a lot of people in the American limelight. I am conspiratorial enough to suspect she was planted in her position to spin the neoliberal line and counter rare arguments with moral backbone, such as those from Matt Taibbi.

For those not familiar with Taibbi, I suggest starting with "Why Isn't Wall Street in Jail" and then go on to his Goldman Sachs articles. Isn't it interesting that Taibbi, the guy with moral backbone, writes for Rolling Stone, a counterculture publication, while McArdle, the apologist, writes for the mainstream literary publication The Atlantic. Nao combinam, this doesn't square.

Chief Joseph hereby awards The Warrior Headdress to Matt Taibbi, and the Tar'n Feather treatment to Megan McArdle.



1 comment:

  1. Excellent read. Thanks for the link to the video clip. I have long liked what Taibbi writes, even through his use of profanity, he is eloquent, and his point is always crystal clear. Dylan Ratigan has been doing a good job on the Kleptocrat side, as good as can be hoped for on a mainstream channel.