Michel A Rizzotti
With our essay on the Creation and Goddess Symbols in Genesis 1-3, we are celebrating the re-emergence of women’s equal prominence in the pantheon gods and goddesses. We recall vividly how a corporatist controlled media led a backlash against the coming of age of the goddess movement in the early nineteen nineties. Works by Marija Gimbutas, Merlin Stone, just to mention a few, were popular among women and gaining a wider audience. These authors were finally bringing to the fore the crucial role played by the goddess principle in the development of religion and the sacred. To explain the origin of the backlash, we will outline a chronology of events we believe are responsible for important changes in the US. Events that will usher an era of reactionary corporatism culminating in a messianic crusade.
In 1993 Susan Faludi wrote her book entitled, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against Women. In it she describes how an insidious political and cultural “war” had been waged against women’s rights and their growing economic independence. Faludi describes in innumerable examples the erosion of women’s rights ─and civil rights─ that began in the late nineteen eighties. Resulting in the current hijacking of the US government by a right wing “cabal” of cronies and war mongers.
The Working Group
To retrace the origin of the backlash we have to go back to October 20, 1987. On that day the Dow Industrial Average lost 508 points. The largest one day collapse in history. The DOW closed at 1738, dropping 22.6 percent, or nearly double the 12.8 percent plunge of October 29, 1929. The date that ushered the Great Depression.
A few months prior, on August 11, 1987, Alan Greenspan is sworn in as the new chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, succeeding Paul Volcker, who held the post since August 1979. Both were President Reagan appointees.
On March 18th 1988 the Executive Order 12631–Working Group on Financial Markets ─WGFM (also known as the Plunge Protection Team─ PPT) was decreed by President Reagan. This document represents an important change in the political and economic policy in US history. By this Order we have in effect a blueprint for the merger between the Security and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ─or their “designees”─ with the FED and the Secretary of the Treasury ─or their “designees”. Allying banking, corporate and political elites into a single controlling body with covert powers over key financial and futures markets. Irrevocably altering the healthy separation between Wall Street and Washington.
The crash of 1987 was the result of the huge budget deficits incurred during the Reagan years. These deficits were due to tax cuts and excessive military spending that were made in order to trigger the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Berlin wall did eventually fall, but ironically the merger ushered by the “Working Group” ended up replacing a political totalitarian system in the Soviet Union with a financial one in the US.
The greatest one day crash in the history of the DOW created a panic among the major banking and market players of the country. Facing the possibility of a financial collapse, drastic measures were felt to be justified to save the economy and avoid a depression. The general confusion surrounding the market turmoil was the perfect setting that allowed elitist interests to extend their financial controls over the economy with the help of government “designees”.
The Working Group sealed a merger between a “cabal” of covert elite players in banking, corporate and government circles. This Group and its “designees” were given legitimate access to privileged economic information and powers that are not available to the great majority of market players. Favoring a small but well connected group of cronies and their backers.
With the WGFM, the covert control of key financial markets is henceforth inaugurated. This era unleashes the image of the benevolent father figure in the guise of the CEOs as the new gods of the global economy. We see the subtle but effective advertising of the compassionate patriarchal image overseeing an orderly and efficient economic growth. CEOs become the modern reincarnation of the patriarch of old. The undisputed ruler over his corporate tribe and his herd of workers and shareholders. The idyllic “father knows best” image is restored. Invigorated, he begins to assert his power over his dominion and beyond. The backlash on unions, civil rights and women’s rights begins in earnest and unfolds.
Swiftly, the new high priests of corporatism, armed with secret control over financial and government powers, moved “globally” to promote a Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI). High flying lawyers, with the help of carefully planted political insiders, are ready to effectively lobby the political rulers of the world. The seed of MAI, globalism and neo-liberalism are slowly but surely planted in the highest levels of the governments of the planet. The incorporated tribalism is inaugurated and ready to subvert popular social policies put in place by decades of legitimate democratic activism.
Manic Depressive Markets
Following the advent of the WGFM we begin to see low paying interest savings accounts resulting in the transfer of savings to managed funds that eventually inflated the stock market, leading to the greatest transfer of wealth from the low income and middle class to a new class of super wealthy owning the bulk of the US economy.
The nineties also see the implementation of a brokered deal between the US and China to peg their currency to the dollar. The deal resulted in the massive import of cheap goods from Asia to keep inflation and labor costs low in the US. In exchange, the US exported manufacturing jobs and flooded the capital markets with US dollars. Causing inflationary pressures in commodities as exemplified by the current swings in oil price.
1990 $20 a barrel
1991 $41 a barrel
1999 $10 a barrel
2000 $25 a barrel
2004 $40 a barrel
08/05 $70 a barrel
Here is a brief list of the manic and depressive market fluctuations incurred by the US economy since 1988: From a savings rate of about 7% in the late eighties to the current negative savings rate. This occurs simultaneously as Americans get deeper into debt. To the tech mania of the NASDAQ reaching a high of 5,000 in 2000 followed by a low of 1,200 in 10/2002. From a balanced government budget in 2001 to the current record deficits as well as record trade imbalances. Accompanied by a record increase of per capita personal and government debt. From a dollar high in 2002 at 120 USDX ─dollar Index─ to a low 80 USDX in 2005. Culminating in a Fed Funds rates at 6.5% on May 2000 only to reach historic lows of 1.0% in June 2003. Triggering a real estate mania to perpetuate a wealth illusion among the population at large.
It is believed that the main areas of concern of the WGFM are the “perception management” of the DOW and inflation. The DOW, because it is the symbol of America’s corporate power, representing old money with all the proper political connections. Inflation, because if not kept in check, entitlements like social security, Medicare, etc., that are adjusted for inflation, would lead to a financial collapse. Unfortunately for the NASDAQ, which is made up mostly of tech and dot.com stocks, and seen as a growing challenge to old money, it was sacrificed at the altar of “orderliness”.
Other related market fluctuations since the establishment of the Working Group:
The Mexico currency crisis in 1994
Asian currency meltdown in 1997
The Russian currency collapse 1998
The crash of LTCM (Long Term Capital Management) 1998
The Enron collapse 2001
The Argentine and Brazil currency crisis 1995-2003
After the crash of 2000, however, globalism and corporate liberalism are loosing momentum. Cracks are begin to appear at the foundation of the New World Order.
Religious Right and a Rising Messianism
The economic market swings and imbalances that we have described above have affected the political branch of the WGFM in a very insidious fashion. The Working Group, boosted by the greatest concentration of wealth in recent history, needed to generate a new ally in order to maintain its political power. What the anointed capital needed was a faithful source of foot soldiers to vote for their unbeknown economic agenda.
The chosen one appeared in the form of a “born again” candidate saved by a miracle that saw him giving up a life of drinking and partying among a circle of his elite friends. The born again leader moved from a low in his personal life to a “high” in his presidential salvation. However, this miracle is not to be considered strictly religious. His presidency and his Working Group have not benefited the meek that Jesus graced of his presence, but his elitist “base”.
Born again, the President was able to rally enough support, from the religious people in general and the religious right in particular, to miraculously win two elections. As we have seen, the religious right is a formidable force of dedicated and faithful followers. They believe that their leader is a man of faith. Even though he contradicts the very principles espoused by Jesus-Christ in the Gospels.
The word messiah has a Hebrew etymology. It means being anointed with oil. The prototypical messiah is king David. He is the proverbial ruler who consolidated Israel’s political power and made Jerusalem its capital. He is the king that made Israel a great nation by unifying it militarily, politically and religiously. Essentially, the term refers in the Old Testament to a promised deliverer of Israel.
Christ is the Greek word for messiah. Jesus never claimed himself to be the Messiah. It is recognized by his apostles throughout the Gospels. Jesus accepted the term, but only metaphorically and spiritually. He refused to be associated or to participate with any political or Zealot movement of his time. Jesus considered the temptation of power, and consequently politics, to be work of Satan (see the temptation in the desert, Luke 4:1-13, Matt. 4:1-11). At the end, Jesus was betrayed by Judas who presumably was disappointed that Christ did not turn out to be a revolutionary messiah like King David.
The President’s election is considered to be a political and religious anointment by the leaders of the religious right and their following. However, the current messianism represents a cultic manic swing between Judaic and Christian principles. What we have today is a messianic regression into an Old Testament version of a political messianism mixed with New Testament contents. Contradicting the basic spiritual messianic principles laid by Jesus Christ in the Synoptic Gospels. The culmination of which can be seen in the polarity between the reality of a warrior king at one end and the impersonation of a spiritual and peaceful liberator at the other.
Ideology and Messianism
Messianic myths can evolve into insidious forms of ideology. They are propagated by a self anointed cultic leader to an exalted minority, promising salvation and the restoration of a Paradise Lost. These myths are essentially sentimental regressions based on a longing of a glorious past. They are the result of a deep felt anxiety in response to a changing and uncertain future.
Today’s messianism boasts a divine contention to political exceptionalism. For instance, the claim that a “higher father” told the President to wage a war against a sovereign country, even though it was based on false premises, is to be interpreted as a divine right that supersedes international law.
Ethnological and anthropological studies have shown that the emergence of messianism is in many cases related to economic imbalances made visible by colonialism and imperialism. Most of it the result of a cultural shock brought on by the encounter of a vastly different ideological beliefs and superior economic power. The most prominent forms of colonialism are in great part induced by an outside power trying to impose their cultural and political might on a lesser culture. However, other forms of colonialism emerge when a corporatist frenzy to enhance profitability drains the consumers by inducing them into excessive spending. Striping the people of their economic ability to save and driving them into debt slavery.
In essence, “messianism” refers to a nostalgic claim to a glorious past by a culture or nation that is confronted with uncontrollable changes ushered by an unpredictable future.
The twentieth century was the golden age for the USA. During the past century the US has been the agricultural and industrial powerhouse of the world. As a consequence the dollar grew stronger until it became the world’s reserve currency. In the 1970s, shortly after the collapse of the gold standard, an agreement was made between the US and Saudi Arabia so that OPEC’s oil could be traded in dollars, in effect replacing the “gold standard” with the “oil standard”.
Reversing trends are now occurring in the dollar’s status as a reserve currency. Today’s world oil consumption and demand is increasing disproportionately with oil production. This is occurring as the estimates of future oil reserves are dwindling. What made the petro-dollar rise as a reserve currency is now seen as money with depleting reserves.
These future adjustments in the US dollar and the economy creates uncertainty among a once sheltered portion of the US population. Those who have been blessed in the past may feel the dread of being left behind in the future. Typically, this type of deep felt anxiety about the future is compensated with messianic expectation and exaltation. It is fulfilled with a mental regression into a glorious past. Rekindled with a nostalgic World War victory and the liberation of a continent against the tyranny of an evil Nazi leader. However, Saddam Hussein might very well be a Hitler, but Iraq is not Germany. The Middle East is not Europe.
Concurrently, the incorporated media that promoted a strong America to the world throughout the 20th century is now being challenged by a shift in communication dynamic inaugurated by the Internet. The new medium paradigm is no longer based on a linear New World Order but on a non-linear interactive bottom up dynamic. The top down corporate control can no longer generate or sustain a backlash like it did in the past. It now appears that a swing has occurred in the world of information and its dissemination. US Media Inc. is no longer in command of the planet’s political agenda.
Not until Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code did we see a global resurgence of interest in the subject relating to the importance of women and religion. Dan Brown’s work of fiction recounts the esoteric role of women in the life of Jesus. What is so interesting about Brown’s book is the ongoing fascination with secret societies, popular myths and Church politics. The later is somehow being confirmed by the crucial role played by Opus Dei, a secretive religious right wing movement of the Catholic Church, in the election of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
Brown’s accessible best seller brings to the fore the important role played by women in Jesus’ life. He reopened the door to a subject that has been excluded from the main stream cultural debate since the backlash.
Prior to the Da Vinci Code’s record sales worldwide, Code Pink undertook a drive to reclaim women’s issues.
Code Pink is a celebration of life. It is not necessarily a reactionary movement against a patriarchal Order. The “activists in angel wings” are women who resort to their most innate and natural ability to communicate and promote the sacredness of Life. Non-confrontational, colorful, seductive, Code Pink turned out to be an efficient women’s movement. A movement of life against a metastasizing corporatism that always leads to militarism and war.
In 2003 Code Pink became one of the more visible forces behind the first strike against the “Order” and its shadow government. It appeared in the form of a surprise victory over an FCC ruling that would have allowed further corporate consolidation over the county’s media ownership.
The most surprising aspect about the defeat of the FCC ruling is how it was done. Code Pink with the help of an unusual alliance of liberal and conservative organizations, like National Rifle Association (NRA), the National Organization for Women (NOW), and a collection of nonprofit organizations, won the battle against the ongoing corporate consolidation of the public’s airwaves.
The catalyst that linked all these diverse groups together was MoveOn.org, and the Internet. MoveOn.org, which had been mostly an organizing force against the war in Iraq turned their mobilizing talent to help defeat the FCC ruling. They were instrumental in providing an avalanche of petitions and donations in a matter of days.
Not Until the Executive Order 12631 is scrutinized and challenged in court can we expect to restore open and free markets for the benefit of the planet’s economic growth. Only then can we hope to re-establish the US as the democratic beacon of liberty for all.
Both Brown’s book and Code Pink share the word “code”. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the subliminal “code” of the World Wide Web. It is used to build an alluring interface in order to be more accessible to an ever wider number of participants and allow us to reach beyond our screen into the other worldly sphere of interactivism.