Obama, bin Laden, and Bank of America

Last night came the welcome news that Osama bin Laden is no more. There are those who will say that they will seek revenge against the Crusaders for murdering the apostle of a return to the seventh century. Never mind that bin Laden, or at least al Qaeda collectively, has killed far more Muslims than Westerners. Such are comparable to those who will insist Obama is not a U.S. citizen, and a Muslim to boot, no matter what evidence to the contrary might be offered. Others will feel relief, or at least a sense of justice served. The Obama administration, for its’ part, will insist that U.S. motives are pure, and will never acknowledge any responsibility for the world’s plague of terrorism. Ignore the U.S. military bases in 130 countries. Set aside the fact that the U.S. military budget exceeds the “defense” spending of the entire rest of the planet.

There are no innocents, including me, and including you, dear reader. In the meantime, the criminals of finance capitalism, in stealth mode, invent new ways to get around any attempts at restricting their predations. They continue to find new ways to fleece the helpless consumer, and to pick his/her pocket. Today, the morning after the surprising news of the killing of Osama bin Laden, I receive in the mail “Important Consumer Notices and Other Changes to Your Bank of America Credit Card Account,” one notice for each account. These notices put me on notice, as it were, that if I were to make a late payment on any account, the APR will go to 29.99 percent, and that this new rate will apply indefinitely. It is debatable as to who has caused more disruption of the world’s well-being in the last few years, bin Laden, who had become more or less irrelevant, or Bank of America and its ilk, driving the world as fast as possible to penury. To this class of criminals, a white collar class, as opposed to addled-brained terrorists, nothing matters except profit, and human suffering be damned.

As it happens, I have no credit card debt, having made the decision a couple of years ago that it was imperative that I escape from the clutches of these immoral robbers. I make purchases only with cash, a debit card, or with an American Express card. Ironically, (and I am not apologizing for Amex) the much maligned American Express treats its card holders quite well, compared to the issuers of credit cards, such as Bank of America or Chase, or the like. I pay off my American Express balances in full every month. If I cannot make a purchase under these terms, I just don’t buy. It’s actually much better for me, as my life style is tempered by the limits of my means.

But these are personal decisions, not related directly to “the way things are.” As I have written in an earlier post, it has been a recurring theme in these blog posts that in modern society, money trumps everything. Well, more accurately, money and power. The urge to accumulate more things seems endemic to human societies all around the world. Yet it only seems so. This acquisitiveness is learned, not innate. One could write volumes an this topic, and I can’t do it justice in a blog. But there is a class of humans for whom accumulation of wealth, or power, or both, is the driving force in their lives. One might think that they would shy away from a mode of behavior virtually certain to bring about an economic collapse in the forseeable future, but they either don’t believe it will happen (leading one to think they are stupid, after all) or they don’t care, as they are fixated on their own aggrandizement. I have stated many times, and I’ll try again, that a system postulated on unending growth, indeed exponential growth, is patently absurd. The bulk of humankind, at least that portion with the leisure to even contemplate such, and are not consumed with merely surviving, chooses to ignore this. But it puts the survival of the species in peril.

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