The Oligarch Problem
The world has an Oligarch problem and we need to recognize it for what it is
When two professors at Princeton and Northwestern universities published a report in 2014 entitled “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens” which determined that the United States best fit the political model of Economic-elite Domination, not everyone fully understood what that meant but many agreed that it could be true. The United States had indeed become an oligarchy, a country in which the wealthy had greater influence over government than the populace.
Since the study was published in 2014, the oligarchy has strengthened and democratic institutions have weakened. The oligarchs have become an even greater problem and it is imperative that we understand the problem and what to do about it. It really is effecting us whether we realize it or not.
Who are the oligarchs?
One could say that oligarchs are very wealthy people who use a portion of their money to influence society to their exclusive benefit. Of course, not all of the very wealthy are oligarchs and some rich people use their money for the common good or their own hedonistic pleasure. And not all oligarchs are extremely wealthy, but may merely share the ideals of the oligarchs and get a seat at the oligarch table by virtue of shared interests and potential to further the oligarch agenda.
Oligarchs are control freaks and believe that they know what is best for the masses and that it is their right and obligation to rule over the masses. The are elitists.
Many oligarchs subscribe to the philosophies of Aldous Huxley, Bertrand Russell and Zbigniew Brzezinski — who believed that humanity should be effectively controlled for the benefit of the elite. This control comes in many forms and influences our behavior and thoughts from an early age.
Bertrand Russell believed, “The completeness of the resulting control over opinion depends in various ways upon scientific technique. Where all children go to school, and all schools are controlled by the government, the authorities can close the minds of the young to everything contrary to official orthodoxy.”
In 1970 Brzezinski stated “...society would be dominated by an elite whose claim to political power would rest on allegedly superior scientific know-how. Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite
would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control.”
The elitist philosophy is embodied in organizations such as the Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign (CFR) Affairs, the Royal Institute of International Affairs and others.
When Hillary Clinton was invited to speak at the CFR’S new headquarters in Washington, DC she said:
I have been often to, I guess, the mother ship in New York City, but it’s good to have an outpost of the Council right here down the street from the State Department.
We get a lot of advice from the Council, so this will mean I won’t have as far to go to be told what we should be doing and how we should think about the future.
While Hillary is not currently an official member of the CFR for political reasons, Bill Clinton and her daughter are both members.
Being told “what we should be doing and how we should think about the future” by an elitist organization is definitely oligarchy and Hillary Clinton desperately wants to become an oligarch herself.
Washington is infested with CFR members and their elitist philosophy dominates the federal government.
Oligarchs are not all American or European. Anyone with enough money and a similar world view can join the global oligarchy.
Oligarchs are not loyal to any one country and hold a globalist perspective.
Stashing the loot - oligarchs and taxes
The leaked documents commonly called the Panama Papers and the Luxleaks have highlighted the fact that a lot of really rich individuals and large corporations hide their money in offshore tax havens.
While having an offshore shell corporation and keeping money in offshore accounts is certainly not illegal or even immoral in itself, criminals do indeed utilize offshore secretive tax havens like Panama and Luxembourg to store their loot and some use portions of that loot to influence governments and media to strengthen their position and reduce the chances of being prosecuted for their criminal activity or simply having to pay their fair share of taxes.
While it is possible for a decent person to become very rich and not all billionaires are criminals or sociopaths, the chances of legally becoming a billionaire in many countries is actually pretty slim. There are all kinds of obstacles to legally making billions and keeping much of it. So, many of the world’s billionaires do get their money by less savory methods, some almost legal, some very illegal and some are methods that should be illegal but aren’t due to weak laws or enforcement.
This is nothing new. Throughout human history the rich have been using their money to gain privilege while denying the same to others. What many of us didn’t previously realize is just how much illicit money there is, or how some of these same criminals use that money to screw up the world.
In 2013, it was estimated that up to $32 trillion was hidden in offshore accounts, untaxed and available to subvert democracy around the world. Some of the money is used to sponsor terrorism and incite conflict to fuel the immensely lucrative war industry.
Oligarchs and the corporations they control generally pay little or no taxes and often enjoy taxpayer subsidies. The 1% get the 99% to pay the taxes and keep them rich. It is estimated that tax avoidance by just U.S. multinational corporations cost governments more than $130 billion each year.
A recent article in The Intercept detailed how the oligarchs use their money to influence the U.S. agencies who shape tax policy on the rich and their corporations: the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committee. Both are infected with lobbyists who previously worked for large corporations seeking to avoid taxes. Now the lobbyists help run the very organizations they were previously lobbying.
At the executive level, the Obama administration is filled with former lobbyists and minions who do the bidding of the oligarchs - most are members of elitist organizations or aspire to be.
If an oligarch can’t get the low or no taxes they want in the U.S. or Panama they can get it in Luxembourg, if they pay enough money. The 2014 Luxleaks documents showed that over 340 multinational corporations were allowed to claim much of their profits had
been generated by Luxembourg subsidiaries taxed at rates as low as 1%, even when those companies actually did no business in Luxembourg. The companies included Pepsi, Fedex, IKEA, AIG, Walt Disney, the Carlyle Group, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Procter & Gamble, ebay via Skype, and many others.
Instead of shutting down its fraudulent tax evasion schemes, Oligarchy Luxembourg is prosecuting those who leaked and published the information.
Most large multinational corporations continue to evade taxes by fraudulently shifting profits to no or low tax jurisdictions, because their servants in Washington and elsewhere prevent legislation from being passed that would make it illegal.
Oligarchs, the CIA and organized crime
Some historians claim that the CIA was founded not really as a government intelligence organization to support America’s national security but was created on behalf of America’s oligarchs to protect & promote their interests. The known misdeeds of the CIA and its massive intelligence failures support this assertion.
The CIA was the primary force behind the creation of Panama as a haven for dirty money. Panama’s 1976 Constitution guarantees banking secrecy, and it imposes no tax on revenue generated outside the country. With more than 110 international banks and 400,000 offshore corporations, it is one the world’s leading havens for dirty money and has remained immune from the requirements imposed on other countries for banking transparency. Bill Clinton, Bush Sn. & Jr. and Obama have all helped preserve Panama as a dirty money safe-haven.
In the thoroughly researched and referenced 2015 book Operation Gladio, author Paul Williams exposes how shortly after being formed after WW II, the CIA recruited some of the worst Nazis for a secret staybehind European army to check communist expansion. Investigations by the Italian government led to it being commonly called Gladio.
To keep Gladio secret and to not have to go to Congress for funding, the CIA made arrangements to keep it self-funded with drug money in partnership with the Sicilian mafia. Gladio quickly became a secret international criminal enterprise that has grown to immense proportions and is now one of the greatest threats to the world.
Thanks to the CIA and the oligarchs, Gladio remains untouchable.
One example of Gladio influence is opium production in Afghanistan. Not long after the Taliban banned poppy production in Afghanistan in 2000, the U.S. invaded in 2001, opium production was restored and eventually U.S. soldiers were protecting poppy fields and drug shipments. According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in 2001 opium production in Afghanistan before the U.S. occupation was at only 7,600 hectares. Shortly after the occupation it had risen to 74,000 hectares and rose steadily to 224,000 hectares by 2014. In the same period, heroin addicts in the United States rose from 189,000 to 2,500,000 and deaths from heroin overdose rose from 1,779 a year to 10,574 per year.
Gladio has also been linked to numerous assassinations, coups, the Savings & Loan fraud of the 1980s in which hundreds of billions were stolen and the more recent sub-prime mortgage fraud in which trillions were stolen.
For many decades, Gladio remained unknown for what it was but was the subject of various investigations. Journalist Danny Casolaro referred to it as The Octopus and just before he expected to obtain definitive proof of its existence he was murdered and all of his notes taken.
Former FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds has also written about Gladio but has protected herself by presenting the more sensitive information in the form of a novel.
While some oligarchs reign over vast criminal enterprises, most earn their money in semi-legal means through layers of corporations. When one of their corporations is caught breaking the law and charged they merely pay a fine.
Oligarch corporation Mcgraw Hill paid a $1.5 billion dollar fine for the role of its subsidiary Standard & Poors for fraudulently rating bundled sub-prime mortgages. The fine was a small prices to pay to make trillions disappear and crash the world economy. The company could easily afford the fine and none of the criminals responsible went to jail.
Oligarchs and the war industry
Because the U.S. Pentagon functions as a massive piggy bank to the war industry, many oligarchs are heavily invested in the war industry and manufacture conflict to ensure that the funding continues and there is no effective oversight of where the money goes.
Regardless of how one feels about the attacks on 911, if one looks closely enough one can see the oligarch’s finger-prints on it:
15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi Arabian and Osama bin Laden was Saudi Arabian and funded with Saudi money, yet Saudi Arabia was not held accountable in any way. Why?
Saudi planes were the only planes allowed to fly in the days after the attacks. Why?
The 28 pages of the 911 commission report that implicates the Saudi ruling family remains classified to this day. Why?
Most of the U.S. government employees who allowed and even facilitated the attacks were rewarded with promotions. Why?
After 911, the ready-made Patriot Act was forced through without Congress having time to read it and America went to war against Iraq and Afghanistan, not the oligarchy of Saudi Arabia which was actually involved in the attacks.
Saudi Arabia’s militant Wahhabi sect of Islam is the world’s primary source of Islamic terrorism. Wahhabi religious mind-control schools around the world are highly effective at manufacturing a steady stream of willing terrorists and jihadists.
Obama supporter Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut recently told the oligarchy think tank, the Brookings Institution, “support for the Wahhabi movement forms the foundation, the building blocks, of the very extremist movements we say is a top priority to fight in the region.”
The U.S. continues to supply the ruling Saud family the weapons and support it needs to stay in power.
When the families of victims of 911 tried to get Congress to let them sue Saudi Arabia the Saudis threatened to dump $750 billion of their American assets. Obama was quick to assure the Saudi oligarchs that he wouldn’t allow anyone to sue them.
Official calculations put the direct cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to-date at $2 trillion, most of it unaccounted for and substantial sums known to be stolen. Harvard economist Linda Bilmes, claims that the cost of the two wars to American taxpayers will ultimately be $4 to $6 trillion when “counting long-term medical care and disability compensation for service members, veterans and families, military replenishment and social and economic costs.”
The United States is by far the world’s largest arms dealer. The second largest is the oligarchy Russia with approximately half the amount sold. Supplying the world with a steady supply of weapons ensures instability and creates an environment conducive to oligarch’s expansion of power.
Oligarchs behind document leaks?
The Panama Papers were selective leaks that appear to have been targeting specific individuals while avoiding implicating American oligarchs and the CIA and its vast criminal empire. Putin’s oligarchy, which doesn’t fully cooperate with the Euro-american oligarchy was one obvious target.
Other targets may have included the Prime Minister of Iceland and even the UK’S Prime Minister.
Former Swiss banker and whistle-blower Bradley Birkenfeld believes that the CIA is responsible for leaking the Panama Papers. In an interview with CNBC he said, “The CIA I’m sure is behind this... The very fact that we see all these names surface that are the direct quote-unquote enemies of the United States, Russia, China, Pakistan, Argentina and we don’t see one U.S. name. Why is that?”
Some believe that the leak of NSA documents by Edward Snowden was also an oligarch-cia leak designed to replace the head of the NSA with one more aligned with the oligarchs. None of the information leaked was really sensitive or damaging and much of it was obsolete. Snowden had previously worked for the CIA and while employed there claimed that leakers of classified information “should be shot”.
The oligarchs shape military doctrine and the U.S. military doctrine calls for “full spectrum dominance” over all possible adversaries, in every class of warfare, for the indefinite future. Any country that is not aligned with American oligarchs or under their control becomes a target. This includes competing oligarchs.
On May 9th at 2 PM EDT more of the records stolen from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca will be made available at https://offshoreleaks.icij.org. The documents will include information on 200,000 offshore entities that are part of the Panama Papers investigation.
Oligarchs and trade agreements
The heinous trade agreements currently being pushed onto the world, and some of those already in place, are moves by oligarchs to strengthen their position and weaken democracies that pose a threat to them.
The mechanism by which the oligarchs weaken national sovereignty and democracy through trade agree- ments include the clause on “Investor-state Dispute Settlement,” or ISDS. The ISDS clause gives corporations the ability to sue governments in tribunals and impose massive penalties for obstructing the profits or potential profits of a foreign corporation. This violates national sovereignty and eliminates the right of a nation to make and enforce its own laws or to govern responsibly.
Some trade organizations, such as the Word Trade Organization (WTO), impose restrictions upon a country’s ability to merely stockpile food. Some famines in Africa are a direct result of WTO policies. Famines create social and political instability which means more arms sales, loans and expansion of oligarch power.
Oligarchs, philanthropy & social engineering
Oligarchs give a lot of money to various non-profit organizations, think tanks, academic institutions, media and other organizations to create a social framework to support their agenda.
How we view ourselves, the world around us and our place in the world is determined to a great extent by the social framework the oligarchs have created for us. But we can reject it, question everything, make new observations and hold new beliefs until new information is available to update those beliefs.
One good example of how we are constrained by the oligarchs social framework is the belief that one shouldn’t discuss politics or religion. But, we really should discuss both topics rationally and on a meaningful level, try on new ideas for size and share our perceptions.
Another constraint is the belief that America is a democracy, the best country on Earth and the American way is the only way. As long as we believe that then we aren’t likely to see the truth or try and improve things.
One of the most damaging beliefs is “doctor knows best”. Medical malpractice is the third leading cause of death, so maybe doctor doesn’t always know best. Many oligarchs are heavily invested in the pharmaceutical industry and really do want to keep people sick.
We have been lied to for a very long time and need to question everything.
Oligarch social engineering only works as long as we don’t think for ourselves.
What to do about the oligarchs
In some ways, the oligarchs are right. Many people want someone to rule them and tell them what to do. Many Americans really aren’t qualified to participate in a democracy and don’t make wise choices.
Yet, if we do nothing about the oligarchs and continue to let them rule us, the downward spiral will continue. Democracy and liberty will be further eroded, the middle class will get poorer, there will be more manufactured war and conflict, we will get sicker and medical costs will increase and the environment will continue to be degraded. Our children will inherit a world of despair instead of hope and promise.
Oligarchs may seem immensely powerful and a formidable foe but they aren’t. They enjoy their positions over us only because we allow it. We can still make other choices and create entirely new options, but time is running out. If we aren’t willing to expend the time and energy to regain our democracy then we don’t deserve it.
To start, we can stop voting for oligarchy by not voting for a Democrat or Republican. We don’t have to vote the way TV and other media tell us to. Most of us already know that both parties are corrupt and serve the oligarchs. There are other parties not controlled by the oligarchs. If you understand this concept, share it with others.
More of us 99% can run for office. We non-oligarchs can insert ourselves into the system and change it from within. We can also lobby those we know in key positions to do the right thing and hold those accountable that do the wrong thing.
We can get more involved in our local government and ensure that it serves our needs, not the needs of the oligarchs.
How many times have you expressed your thoughts and feelings to those in power? Ever called your Congressman or Senator to let them know what you think? It really can help in some cases. If we don’t do it then the oligarch sponsored groups will be the only voice heard.
Websites like Change.org may have some campaigns that they shouldn’t but such petition sites can make a big difference in some cases.
We can also stop giving our money to oligarch corpora- tions who spend more money on lobbying than taxes, who support oligarch politicians and oligarch media, source their products from sweat-shops and who trash the planet. We can choose to buy from local businesses who share our values, if there are any left.
Educating ourselves is also essential. Instead of spending 4 hours a day vegetating in front of the TV we can invest that time into improving ourselves, making better choices and helping others extract themselves from the oligarch’s social framework.
Not all oligarchs are malevolent. We can also lobby the few good ones and help them do more.
The whole conservative - liberal social framework is designed to pit us against each other and get us to vote for one party or the other and think that if we just keep voting everything will be OK. This game is obsolete and we should stop playing it.
Most of us really do want the SAME things and have the same fears and concerns. We want a decent job, a comfortable home and for our children to grow up in a hopeful world with opportunity.
Guess what? We don’t really need political parties at all.
We can replace representative democracy with direct democracy, do without political parties and give the vote to the people and collectively make decisions.
Perhaps the oligarchs are wrong and we don’t really need to be governed if we know that we have responsibility and there are consequences to our choices.
Government as we know it is not necessary if we step up and act more responsibly as a people. Certainly we still need various agencies to perform the tasks needed but we can collectively manage those agencies within the proper framework.
Perhaps we could start with a small town, get residents to attend town council meetings in person or remotely and vote on issues along with the council.
What if the 99% created a new political party to end all political parties and replaced government with collectively managed service providers? Wouldn’t that help displace the oligarchs?
Please share your ideas with us on how to cope with the oligarchs.