Matrix : Selling the biggest lie of them all – Capitalism


Richard Moore

This is a great article, but I think the biggest lie is not 
'capitalism' but rather 'democracy'.



Selling the biggest lie of them all - Capitalism 

by William Bowles * Sunday, 27 November 2005 

Review: Gangster Capitalism - The United States and the
Global rise of Organized Crime by Michael Woodiwiss The
spirit of graft and lawlessness is the American Spirit. -
Lincoln Steffens, The Shame of the Cities , 1902

Well the jury is no longer out, there is no doubt about it
- the history of Western 'civilisation' is an unmitigated
disaster and one based upon a lie from beginning to what
might well be its end in a short space of time.

Perhaps the worst aspect of it all is the hypocrisy
involved and don't get me wrong here, we've all been taken
in by it, from buying into it starting from the 'Age of
Enlightenment' onwards even as a minority of us benefit
from the 'progress' it has bought us at a cost that is
incalculable not only to humanity but ultimately to the
planet itself.

Documenting the disaster is not that difficult, the
problem is getting people not only to take in the sheer
scale of it but to get off our tired and sorry arses and
do something about it. However, documenting it is
something that has to be done if only to set the record

The statistics are horrendous; in the Américas alone,
perhaps 80 million people exterminated between the 1600s
and 1800s; in Africa, perhaps 40 million - 20 million-plus
just in the Congo. 20 million exported into slavery of
which it's calculated 10 million never made it to the 'New
World'. In what is now South Africa, the indigenous Khoi
San people were all but wiped off the face of the planet;
I could go on but I think you get the point; wherever
Western 'civilisation' has gone, it has first exterminated
and then expropriated.

And in the 20th century, the combined effects of wars,
engineered famines that killed milions, and murderous
economic policies add up to perhaps another 100-150
million and all of it in the name of Western

So all-told we are talking of maybe a quarter of a billion
people but the numbers make one's head spin and ultimately
the total will never be known and in any case, the point
is not the numbers but the fact that it has been so well
hidden and worse, justified in one way or another. Very
often, the apologists merely recount the events brushing
them off as 'history', regrettable but worth it in the
long run, we, after all, are better off for it, aren't we?
But then the arrogance of the powerful and those who do
their bidding is legend and in any case, it relies on an
inculcated racist mindset that enables us to justify the
exterminations, they were, after all, 'not like us'.

But Holocausts are only 'news' when they justify the
ravages of capital, else how is it that they can sell only
one Holocaust in a relentless sales job that ignores the
far greater and just as calculated exterminations that
have taken place. The double standard is breathtaking in
its audacity but it relies on the simple fact that those
of us in the West are complicit in the crimes, we have
after all, benefited from them - we still do, every day we
go shopping or hop on a plane to some far-off (former)
'paradise' and get waited on by the recipients of

For the better part of the 20th century the mass media has
done an excellent job of selling the biggest lie of all,
that we in the West live in democratic societies ruled by
a political class that allegedly represents us and our
interests, and the country where this lie has been sold to
the greatest effect is undoubtedly the United States of

'Gangster Capitalism' documents the lie in all its sordid
details from the days of the 'Robber Barons' through to
the 'War on Terror' and all the stops in-between, the 'War
on Communism', the 'War on Drugs'. Between them, they are
responsible for an assault of unparalleled brutality that
is global in scope and a lie that has been so successfully
sold, it has dragged much of the planet into going along
with it.

From the United Nations to so-called independent states,
all have been bribed, blackmailed, threatened or finally
invaded/occupied into participating in the various 'wars'
the US is waging, ultimately to the benefit of capital.
That all of it has been done in the name of 'morality',
mostly of a Christian flavour, is perhaps what makes it
all so sordid, so disgusting and hypocritical.

There is a direct relationship between the extermination
of 'inferior' peoples and the crimes of the Gangster
Capitalists, from the owners of the plantations, to those
who built the railroads that opened up the interior of
America, to those who built the stockyards of Chicago, the
auto plants of Detroit that consumed the immigrants in
their millions and co-opted them into swallowing the
'American Dream'.

'Gangster Capitalism' does one heck of a job in
documenting the process, indeed it is relentless in its
exposure and all the while revealing the underlying
motivations; power and control by the few over the many.
Underpinning the process has been the use of a twisted
Christian 'morality' that in reality justified a system of
exploitation that is unparalleled in history. And,
Woodiwiss emphasises the role that race plays in the
process, something that cannot be stated too strongly if
we are to understand why US capitalism has been so
successful at persuading so many to go along with the lie.
"Property is King"

I think it is entirely proper to describe US capitalism as
organised crime on a gigantic scale largely, because as
Woodiwiss makes clear, until Roosevelt's 'New Deal',
business was almost completely unregulated and since the
days of Nixon presidency, the US has returned to those
heady days of the Robber Barons but one that now spans the
globe. The emergence of the 'Robber Barons' at the turn of
the century, mistakenly described as we have seen from the
Enrons and Global Crossings scams, as a thing of the past,
are in fact, only possible because they exist in a
free-for-all society, where property rules. The Enrons are
not merely a couple of 'rotten apples in the barrel' but
illustrate a barrel that is rotten to the core.

By the 1920s America had "become a land of criminal
opportunity" due largely to a completely unregulated
business environment made all the more possible through
the creation of giant business corporations and where it
was impossible "to draw a line between legitimate business
practice and genuine rackets". The irony of a society
which is based upon 'moral authoritarianism' is not lost
on me, an hypocrisy which Prohibition threw into sharp
relief. Worse still, Prohibition impacted mostly on the
poor; the rich and connected not only carried on with
business (and pleasure) as usual but were well placed to
exploit the business opportunities that Prohibition opened
up, after all, the wealth of the Kennedy clan was based
upon illegal liquer.

'Organised crime' as it is called, whether the so-called
Mafia or Colombian drug cartels are a drop in the
capitalist bucket, even the figures upon which the mass
media bases its headlines, are fictitious, based upon
nothing more than grossly inflated figures for which there
is no statistical basis.

From the womb to beyond the grave

Chapter 1 deals with fraudulent fertility clinics,
medicare scams, morticians that dump bodies, trade in body
parts, medical insurance scams involving literally
hundreds of millions of dollars, price fixing by the
pharmaceutical companies, the list goes on and, as the
author points out, "Adult, working Americans are far more
likely to die young as a result of organised, corporate
crime than from any other form of criminal activity."

And so too with the food industry "Every day Š roughly
200,000 people sickened by food-borne disease, 900 are
hospitalized, and fourteen dieŠ [M]ore than a quarter of
the American population suffers a bout of food poisoning
every year." (p.34)

And once more the cause is the almost total lack of
government regulation. Forget OSHA and government
oversight not only of the food itself but also the working
conditions. The meat processing industry is the most
dangerous occupation in the US. The stark reality is
revealed by the fact that "None of the cases [mentioned]
involves a member of the Mafia or any of the other
supercriminal organisations that constitute organised
crime according government sources." (p.39)

The book explodes the myth of organised crime as being a
major threat to society and illustrates the reality that
the real threat to society comes from the government's own
policies and the economic class it represents. And
although the book doesn't mention the 'war on terror' at
all, the policies enacted and forced on the rest of the
world, especially the 'war on drugs' that Nixon
introduced, served as the ideal model for the 'war on
terror', based as they both are, on a mythical
globe-spanning network of 'supercriminals' dedicated to
the destruction of Western 'civilisation' whether by
accident or design as in the case of 'al-Qu'eda'.

As ever, the mythology of organised crime has been peddled
very effectively by the mass media, playing on the fears
of the 'alien' in our midst from the 'Sicilian Mafia'
through to the Colombian drug cartels, both of which have
attained the power they do possess directly as a result of
US government policies. Woodiwiss also points out the fact
that anti-Communism has been central to the creation of
the alien 'conspiracy' and once again it was US government
policies in fighting Communism in Afghanistan which saw
the rise of the heroin trade, supplanting the traditional
source, Turkey. Massive interdiction, for example
Operation Intercept, designed in theory to stop the supply
of drugs from Mexico, resulted in the searching of 2
million people but was terminated after only three weeks.
The sheer futility of such exercises was made plain after
the Turkish government, for a payment of $35 million,
banned poppy production Šwhen an economist calculated that
the US demand for heroin could be met by the amount of
opium poppies growing on a 10- to 20-square-mile patch of
land, roughly equivalent to the island of Manhattan.

The scale of the government's 'war on drugs' is amply
illustrated with the following figures In 1969, $65
million was spent by the Nixon administration on the drug
warŠ In 1982 the Reagan administration increased this
commitment to $1.65 billion. In 2000 the Clinton
administration massively increased this figure to $17.9
billion. In 2002 the Bush administration spent more than
$18.822 billion. (p.108)

Predictably, these policies have resulted in a vast
increase in the prison population, mostly for simple
possession, In 1973, there were 328,670 arrests for drug
law violations Š In 1989, there were 1,361,700 drug
arrests, nearly 10 per cent of all arrests. In 2002, [the]
number rose to 1,538,813. Forty-five per cent of the 2002
arrests were for marijuana rather than for more dangerous
drugs Š Between 1980 and 1994, the prison population
tripled from 500,000 to 1.5 million. In 2002 the United
State incarcerated 2,166,260 persons. (p.108)

And, It has long been known that prisons were
self-perpetuating institutions because they reinforced
existing criminal attitudes and because they provided many
opportunities for learning new criminal techniques.

The War on Organised Labour Roosevelt's New Deal saw the
state intervening into the affairs of business
unprecedented during peacetime in an effort to curb the
virtual anarchy that prevailed, an anarchy which played no
small part in the Crash of '29. Organised labour in turn
made overtures to the Democratic Party which were rejected
and as Woodiwiss points out, this led to the Democratic
Party "incapable of defending the key achievements of the
New Deal." (p.68)

Following a wave of massive strikes during 1945-46, a
campaign aided in no small part by the fear and paranoia
instigated by the rising anti-communism of the 1940s and
1950s. Big capital was determined to reverse at all costs
the gains made during the period of the New Deal and to
"reeducate the public in the principles and benefits of
the American economic system. These campaigns successfully
projected a vision of America as the perfect society.
Perfect because it was 'harmonious, classless, free,
productive and, therefore, affluent and successful."

Selling the capitalist system

What should not be let out sight in cataloguing the crimes
of capitalism is the plain fact that underpinning and
rationalising the 'morality' of the capitalist way of life
is an economic system that is in a permanent state of
crisis, lurching from boom to bust and with every crisis
the stark reality that to maintain the rate of profit it
must, perforce, extract ever more from our labours.

To justify this process, it must on the one hand, seek to
justify and cover up the robbery and on the other, create
the right conditions for an ever-increasing rate of
profit, whether by 'fair' means or foul. What the history
of the United States reveals is that capitalism, when left
to its own devices is a system run by a gangster class
whose actions as Woodiwiss so clearly demonstrates, makes
the affairs of the 'Mafia' pathetic and amateur copies of
those whose 'morality' they essentially seek to emulate.

Gangster Capitalism is a devastating exposé of the blanket
propaganda we have been subjected to for generations;
propaganda that seeks to present the capitalist system as
just, moral and the 'best of all possible worlds', when
the reality is diametrically the opposite.

Gangster Capitalism - The United States and the Global
rise of Organized Crime by Michael Woodiwiss. Constable,
London, 2005. Buy it from or .



"Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World"

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