25 juillet 2017
On Oligarchs and Lords
“We don’t have oligarchs. We have lords like they have in Britain”.
-Fragment of a conversation with a Norwegian
Well, I thought to myself, that pretty much says it all. I guess if he says there is a difference (somehow), there must be one. Memories of Rovian “reality creation” came to mind. I was momentarily speechless in front of this heavily tattooed young man, a pure product of modern Norway’s democratic socialism, and here he was defending the originators of The Enclosure Act as somehow being what, exactly, more benevolent than the predators of global capitalism?
He was aghast at the thought that I considered Obama a fascist, and went off on a rant, explaining it was Putin who was the fascist, putting only unfriendly oligarchs in prison, while giving a free pass to the oligarchs who supported him; who was seizing Norwegian fishing boats; who was ordering his Air Force to fly along the Norwegian coast; who was planning to attack Norway; whose Orthodox Patriarch was against contraception and gay marriage, and, and …
I could see where all this was going and reckoned that I might be dealing with either a severe case of cognitive dissonance (a phenomenon that maybe takes up too much of my time, but that I encounter way too often), or that I had drunk too much Russian kool aid (or whatever it’s called). I mean, I’m open to all kinds of interpretations as to what’s going on these days, but when I’m confronted with an all too familiar so-called argument that seems to have come straight from DNC/NeoCon/MSM central, I tend to be a little wary. To say the least.
People seem to have this Bernie Sanders/Michael Moore idea that everything is perfect in Scandanavia, but those arguments propose something out of context, in the sense that the Nordic countries are tiny compared to the US, much more wealthy per capita (in spite of the high taxes, which we used to have in the US), resulting in a kind of false equivalency. The generous benefits enjoyed by the Norwegians, for example, result from the convenient discovery of a lot oil in their territorial waters. Otherwise, they might still be a second tier country of fish and potato eaters, watching their once proud merchant marine being undercut by flags of convenience.
And in that sense, their wealth is based upon the continued consumption of oil of which, per capita, they have rather a lot. Which leads us to the following conclusion: the Norwegian social contract model is based upon one of the things that is killing the planet.
They can vaunt their cocooned lives all they want, but when it’s based on ecocide, along with obedience to US belligerance worldwide, I tend to get kind of upset.
Or really confused?