Obama’s Crusade to Save the Banksters

The quickening spiral of economic decline finds Black America utterly without political or psychological defenses — damn near helpless, and pitifully so. Although it is common to hear Blacks half-joke that “white folks” waited until the system was in meltdown to hand over the White House keys to a “brother”, it is Barack Obama who has pulled off history’s biggest trick on African Americans. Obama caused Black America to drop its primary defense — a deep and abiding suspicion of the intentions of Power — at precisely the historical juncture when suspicion is most needed. As Constitutional power flowed into Obama’s person on January 20, African Americans in their forty millions willed themselves to believe they had “overcome”, when, in reality, they had been overcome by the delusion that the new president did not represent the Power that was never to be trusted, always to be resisted. No, he was a walking, talking treasure to be protected by the group as a whole, the repository of ancient Black hopes and the living proof of change.

Most literate Black people are familiar with Frederick Douglass’s maxim, “Power concedes nothing without a demand.” But Black Obamites cannot conceive of making demands on “their” president, whom many believe is literally a God-send. Who would even think to make demands of an emissary from Jesus? Religion, that vaunted “rock” of Black society, once again knocks us senseless.

Shorn of defenses and politically neutered, Blacks become befuddled spectators to Obama’s version of economic “recovery” — a desperate effort to resurrect from near-death the investment bankster class that ultimately made like Richard Pryor and, driven by its accumulated contradictions, set itself on fire. Obama must also fulfill his obligations to American Empire, which sustained through threat and force of arms the artificial, unjust U.S. global advantages that allowed the Wall Street banksters to believe they could forever feast on the world’s sweat and resources while producing nothing themselves.

Between the multi-trillion dollar pincers of an addicted military and the limitless cost of detoxifying a universe of derivative, fictional assets, the real economy and those that depend on it will be squeezed beyond endurance.

Obama’s mission is truly impossible: to bring back from the dead the mighty investment banks that were until lately the arbiters of economic development in the United States. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proclaimed at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, “[T]oday, the pride of Wall Street — the investment banks — have practically stopped existing.” The composition of Obama’s economic team, which is suited only to the warped world of investment banking, shows the new president is determined to raise the dead. But even if such a resurrection were desirable, it cannot be done. By the end of 2007, the banksters had created $596 trillion in over-the-counter derivatives — 12 times the value of the gross planetary product of Earth. Bailout is a nonsensical proposition. What is occurring is a desperate effort to save the core institutions of the financial capitalist class at the unlimited expense of the real economy and its dependents — the rest of us.

It is logical, therefore, that the misdirected “recovery” of the real economy is by design rudderless, lacking any guiding federal institutional structure or general plan for economic development, despite unprecedented projected spending. The Obama team’s overarching goal, like the Bush team before it, is to recreate the primacy of investment bankers in guiding economic development, not to replace them with governmental mechanisms. Since the investment banksters “have practically stopped existing,” the real economy’s recovery effort will ultimately degenerate into a free-for-all grab fest amidst dwindling spoils.

In the process of attempting to breathe life into the bankster zombies, Obama and his bipartisan buddies will exhaust the capacity of the federal government to make money out of nothing. At that point, it will be too late to pay for band-aid “reforms” to mend a gravely wounded economy and society. The self-immolation of the banksters, and the futile attempt to save them, will have destroyed the larger system.

Black folks will be powerless to affect the trajectory of disaster, so long as the Obama delusion holds sway. In any case, from its conception the Obama plan contained no transformational elements that might have narrowed the institutional gaps between Blacks and whites, nothing that would alter the two-to-one ratio of Black unemployment to white joblessness, or shrink the Black Prison Gulag, or bring Blacks closer to wealth parity with whites. African American economic standing relative to whites is likely to slip further, given the fragility of the Black middle class.

Obama will preside over a society that is poorer, less fair, and likely to be engulfed in war, as the U.S. military tries to retain America’s unjust advantages in the absence of any recovery.

The debacle will be exceedingly painful for Obama, who entered office with the apparent idea of creating a 21st Century “Era of Good Feeling,” much like the harmony that was said to reign over (the white sectors of) the nation from around 1815 to 1824. Back then, with the collapse of the Federalists, American politics was dominated by the Republican-Democrat Party. President James Monroe won the White House in 1820 with only one electoral vote against him — the kind of bi- or non-partisan heaven (except for slaves and Indians) that Obama craves, and attempts to recreate in his own small way by populating his cabinet and advisory ranks with Republicans.

Those wishful souls that convinced themselves Obama would become the vessel in which to pour progressive ideas and programs in time of economic crisis, did not give him credit for having notions of his own — ideas that would sacrifice the people for the benefit of the banksters. Obama pursues his bankster rescue crusade in plain sight, yet white “progressive” supporters insist he’s up to something else, and Black Obamites avow he’s doing the work of God.

Not quite. More like the work of Goldman Sachs, in hopes it will rise again.

Glen Ford is Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report, where this article first appeared. He can be contacted at: Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com. Read other articles by Glen, or visit Glen's website.

6 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. RG the LG said on February 4th, 2009 at 10:30am #

    Because our society considers anyone with even a drop of black blood in them black, it seems to me that what blacks did … like all Americans … is to forget that O’Bama is half-white! Why they trusted the black half, and didn’t understand the reality of the half-white linkage is certainly beyond my powers of insight.

    The whole notion of black fear of power is probably true in part. But Tomism (as in Uncle Tom) is rife in all populations. Here is the southwest some refer to the process as ‘Tio Tomasito’ … and there are others who understand that sucking up is ubiquitous. O’Bama is no different from any other politico … he sounds good. But hell, so did Reagan. I hated his policies and the affect of what he did was pernicious … but he, like O’Bama, understood that the empire and its perquisites are what Americans want … and we’ll do whatever it takes to remain on top …

    So, the haves (who always win) have won again.

    Is anyone really surprised?

    RG the LG

  2. Doug Page said on February 4th, 2009 at 1:11pm #

    I am an old retired white who voted for Obama. I am ready for a multi-million march on Washington DC. Is anybody else? Or are we just kvetching?

  3. anthony innes said on February 4th, 2009 at 6:14pm #

    “the power of the federal government to make money out of nothing ” IS exhausted. Not just in the USA .Fiat money with the toxic derivative bubble crashing is destroying the illusion of money .
    People whose identity is caught up with the colour of their skin,where they come from on the map , religous delusion…….. pick an issue are about to enter the bottleneck of history as Garret Harding called it.This is where finite resouces come up agianst infinite demand .
    The development model is turning the planet toxic. Human hubris is coming to the reckoning .Power dressing in a suit no longer qaulifies as a credential , world leader is virtual avatar posturing and if it was not all so very tragic for the biosphere one could laugh.No one gets out of here alive……… world citizens should make sure the Bank of International Settlements and the CEO’s of the bankster cartel are among the first to perish. War is a crime. OK got that? War is a crime!

  4. The Angry Peasant said on February 4th, 2009 at 9:21pm #

    Doug Page,

    I’m with you, man. If anyone has the resources to organize that protest, I will be there. I will quit my shit job, hop on a bus and be there. But it has to be the protest nobody is willing to enact: The protesting and demanded overthrow of the federal government. Nothing less will do. Enough bitching about just the war; you have to cut the snake’s head off to get the body to stop moving. And enough with these pointless, meaningless fucking “issues” like gay marriage and abortion. How pathetic. Anyone who thinks these topics deserve notice when we have an evil empire to overthrow is absolutely stupid. Period. Full revolution of the people is what we need, dammit!! Revolution!! Why are we so cowardly we won’t walk out of Wal-Mart and demand revolution? It’s us or them.Your neighbor is your brother; grab his hand and run.

  5. Deadbeat said on February 5th, 2009 at 4:11am #

    The public is not ready for a revolution until it has solidarity and a strategy of understanding and knowledge of what to “revolve” to. The public is much too far from that. A lot of those problems are evident by the corrupt state of the U.S. Left.

  6. kalidas said on February 8th, 2009 at 10:31am #

    The public isn’t even ready for this…