A few thoughts from my friend Coyote on Columbus Day…
Happy Conquistador’s day… The conquest continues…
Do you have stock in the stock market or government bonds perhaps? Well, yes, then you too, have a vested interest in Empire. You too, are an accessory to the ongoing massacre in Yemen. You too, are profiting off the blood of innocent children blown to bits with US manufactured bombs. So what do you think about that? Yeah, I know, you are probably whining about old Chris Columbus, the Empire’s mascot, because you watch “progressive” brain washing rather than all that crappy retrograde brain washing on Fox News. The truth about Chris Columbus and his genocidal insanity is becoming more well known so you think he makes for a bad symbol to celebrate. But look at your stock portfolio my friends, aren’t those dividends great? Where does the money come from? You don’t know, really. I know you don’t. That’s what the brain washing is all about. To separate you mentally from the morality of your so-called profits. There is common stock and preferred stock. There are mutual funds and 401ks. There are corporate bonds, municipal bonds, junk bonds, and derivatives. Your money is in the hands of professional financial managers who are considering complicated mathematical formulas and many competing variables. You look at your monthly balance sheet to keep track of your portfolio and watch the numbers go up. But where does the money come from? You don’t know… You really don’t. I hate to be the one to have to tell you but, the money comes from conquest… Plain and simple. If you are making money from investing and are not at all personally involved in the business you are profiting from, you are investing in Empire and it’s religion of conquest. So shut the hell up about Chris Columbus and his insanity, he is the perfect symbol for you to celebrate.
You could, of course, divest from Empire if you wanted to. Just take all your “money” from the hands of “professional investors,” and invest it locally in your community and/or in businesses you are actively involved in. Then you would have every right to complain about Chris Columbus. But seriously, you can’t be an active participant in the religion of conquest and at the same time complain about its metaphorical hero.
It seems hard to believe now, in my present incarnation as an affable stone mason, but I once worked for the Empire and was a bit of a whiz kid with the international financial stuff. That was over 25 years ago so I really have to shake my brain to re-connect with most of the memories but I will never forget the secret truth that caused me to quit. That truth is this… It is very very easy to make lots and lots of money by “investing” in the market if you are (1) willing to do a little research, (2) have half a brain and (3) don’t care about the morality of where the money comes from. If, however, you care about the morality of where your money comes from and you actually do the research to understand the “source” of the profit, it is impossible to make money by investing in the market.
Do I need to clarify?
If you know what you are doing, the basic winning strategy to make money on the market is to bet on darkness, bet on evil, bet on war and incarceration and pollution and the conquest of the living planet by blood thirsty multi-national corporations. Of course, most ethical and sane Americans don’t really want to profit from war and mass murder and conquest so we hire “financial experts” to do it for us. They speak in euphemisms with numbers and charts and the terminology of the capitalist religion. The moral truth of our investments is hidden from us. You don’t want to know because if you did, your conscience would not allow you to continue. So you pretend… you go along with their tall tales and their euphemisms. You are investing… securing your financial future by actively participating in the legal, legitimate economic system.
I can remember a very brief time back in the early 90s when “socially responsible investing” was a “thing”. Ha ha ha ha…. It gives me belly laughs to think about it. Nothing but a marketing trick. A way for some cagey “financial professionals,” to rope in the business of naive middle classers that dabble in left wing literature. Don’t you get it? The whole concept of “profit” as separate from earnings is the opposite of social responsibility. I’m completely serious. Social responsibility is about giving and sharing the earth’s bounty for the benefit of all, not the efficient exploitation of resources and people for individual gain. Indeed, the two terms are inversely proportional. In other words, the more “profit” you make the less socially responsible you are. It doesn’t really mean dogshit if the CEO of your favorite multi-national corporation is a member of the Sierra Club and talks a good game on global warming. It doesn’t matter if your favorite multi-national corporation gives support and donations to Planned Parenthood instead of Right to Life. And it doesn’t really mean diddlysquat if your favorite multinational corporation hires people of all races and sexualities. They all… by definition of their by-laws treat “employees” as assets to be exploited, treat the earth as a resource to be exploited and treat the general public as customers who will bear the costs of their externalities. Some CEOs are better at the exploitation game than others. Some CEOs are better at public relations. Some CEOs swing right with their publicity and some swing left. But it’s all just advertising because they are all playing the conquest game. They are really only after market share.
I, personally, am opposed to the conquest game. I don’t believe in it. That makes me a heretic. I am an Unconquistador. I believe humans should work together to make the world more live able and beautifully, not compete for control of it. As such, I divested myself from the Empire some 23 years ago. I refuse to participate in their blood thirsty game. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to live here within the boundaries of the U.S. and divest from Empire. Indeed, that is, perhaps, the primary issue that the imaginary revolution seeks to address.
One of the great horrors of the modern day reality in America is the extent to which average citizens are enslaved to the war machine whether or not they want to be or even think about it. I first came to realize this when I tried to quit the Empire by going to work for a not-for-profit, social service corporation oh so many years ago. The organization existed to help the poor and all the people who worked there were kind souls who dedicated their working lives to helping others. I was on the job for about a year before we had the big morning meeting. A couple of guys in suits and ties were there to talk about our retirement plan. Oh my god… they are “financial professionals,” and they are there to explain the various “funds” we can invest in to reap the best rewards for our retirement. The scene that unfolds is classic because one of the nice older ladies from reception actually asks the question out loud. “But what about social responsibility?” She says. “Do you invest our money in socially responsible funds?”
The two “financial professionals,” respond to the question like a couple of clowns in suits. It is absolutely hysterical. One is tall and skinny with longish hair while the other is short and fat with a pronounced bald spot but they both wear the same dark blue suit jackets with red power ties pulled too tight on their necks. Their faces turn simultaneously green in response to the question and then they both giggle nervously. Then they look at each other as if they are waiting for each other to respond. Then they look back at the room full of socially responsible do-gooders, and stutter simultaneously. “Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh”. When they speak, they kind of stumble and interrupt each other. “The first thing we think about is, of course, profits,” says the fat guy. “The main thing we think about is the profits,” says the skinny guy. “Well, yes,” says the fat guy “profits are the main thing and the first thing.” “But we can also consider social responsibility if you want us too.” “Yes, yes, I see no reason why we can’t take social responsibility into account, if of, course, you want us too.” “We don’t have to. Mind you. No no. We don’t have to. Profits are the main thing. The important thing.” “But yes, we can consider social responsibility if you want us to. Any other questions?”
There weren’t any other questions. The “financial experts,” went ahead with their presentation about the various funds and relative risk and other such stuff. Most of us dozed off until it was over. Afterwards, we went back to work trying to help poor people navigate an obviously broken economic system. We hardly even noticed the weekly deduction from our paycheck directed towards our “retirement plan.”
I, honestly, think it is that way with a lot of people. Teachers, firefighters, Medical professionals and so many people who dedicate their lives to serving the public but invest in the Empire to provide for their Retirement. Most of them have no real understanding of what they are investing in. They give their money to financial professionals and go about their day jobs. If they understood the truth about the relationship between investment and conquest would they allow the game to continue? I don’t know. The truth is, if you are the owner of publicly traded stocks and bonds, you are modern conquistador. It doesn’t make logical sense to complain about Chris Columbus.
Happy Conquistadors Day America!
And the coyote howls…. Owoooo! Owooooo!