By REG LITTLE—
“The Counterfeit Culture” is the title of an article on 2 September 2011 by Mike Adams in his widely distributed daily health email newsletter NaturalNews. He used it to express a dismay that is increasingly widespread, essentially as a result of the corporate takeover and corruption of America.
Amongst his protests were the following:
The Federal Reserve is in the business of counterfeiting money.
The mainstream media is in the business of counterfeiting news.
The pharmaceutical industry is in the business of counterfeiting medicine.
The medical schools are in the business of counterfeiting medical degrees.
Doctors are in the business of counterfeiting false medical authority.
The mega-sized food corporations are in the business of counterfeiting food.
The global consumer product companies counterfeit consumer products (“baby oil” from petroleum).
Social networks like Facebook are in the business of counterfeiting friends.
Home builders construct counterfeit homes (that won’t stand in 20 years).
Public schools counterfeit school diplomas. (Who needs to learn to write?)
The Pentagon counterfeits war. (Bomb the World Trade Centre & blame someone!)
Mainstream historians counterfeit history.
Apart from his initial noting of counterfeit money and counterfeit news, understandably Adams focuses mostly on healthcare counterfeits. His inclusion of the September 11, 2001 atrocity as “The Pentagon counterfeits war,” almost as an afterthought, captures something perverse about the contemporary American psyche. After all, this event transformed America more than any other nation in the following ten years, rarely for the better. Adams identifies it as a counterfeit but allows it to be hidden amongst a number of even more troublesome counterfeits.
There are many more iatrogenic deaths each year than the 9/11 deaths in 2001, but they do not normally serve as a cause for public outrage (iatrogenic refers to complications caused by medical errors). Certainly, they are far from being a credible justification for bankrupting the nation with foreign invasions and unwinnable small wars. Indeed, a commentator of the insight, knowledge and judgement of Mike Adams is so overwhelmed by the corruptions and counterfeits pervading healthcare that he seems to be exhausted by simply recounting his grievances and unable to do much more than list the abundance of counterfeits.
An article by Gary Null PhD et al reveals something of the extent of the medical counterfeits that preoccupy Adams.
“A definitive review and close reading of medical peer-review journals, and government health statistics shows that American medicine frequently causes more harm than good. The number of people having in-hospital, adverse drug reactions (ADR) to prescribed medicine is 2.2 million. Dr. Richard Besser, of the CDC, in 1995, said the number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections was 20 million. Dr. Besser, in 2003, now refers to tens of millions of unnecessary antibiotics.
“The number of unnecessary medical and surgical procedures performed annually is 7.5 million. The number of people exposed to unnecessary hospitalisation annually is 8.9 million. The total number of iatrogenic [induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures] deaths is 783,936.
“The 2001 heart disease annual death rate is 699,697; the annual cancer death rate is 553,251. It is evident that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States.”1
Shocking as it sounds initially, the immediate death toll from 9/11 of close to 3,000 was nothing in comparison. Moreover, annual expenditure per person on American health care is more than double that in most comparable nations, dwarfing the comparable impact and cost of 9/11 and highlighting the pervasive nature of American counterfeits. The subsequent reactions and wars that followed 9/11 incurred costs to rival those of the American medical system.
Related to the above, but still poorly understood, American deficit finance (the Fed’s counterfeit money), is beginning to threaten the viability of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. This casts dark clouds over the future authority of a nation that would have to reduce its spending (much of it medical and military) each year by at least $1.5 trillion were it not able to continue printing at whim the global currency.
Like the other counterfeits, this attracts surprisingly little reflective analysis. The direct link between the problems of the Fed’s counterfeit money, the waste inherent in the American counterfeit medical system, and the never-ending War on Terror forever maintained by the counterfeit commemoration of 9/11, is rarely remarked. This reflects the pervasiveness of Adams’ “counterfeit culture.”
The Cost of the US Response to 9/11
Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate, notes in an article for Al Jazeera that:
“The September 11, 2001, attacks by al-Qaeda were meant to harm the United States, and they did, but in ways that Osama bin Laden probably never imagined. President George W Bush’s response to the attacks compromised the United States’ basic principles, undermined its economy, and weakened its security.
“The attack on Afghanistan that followed the 9/11 attacks was understandable, but the subsequent invasion of Iraq was entirely unconnected to al-Qaeda – as much as Bush tried to establish a link. That war of choice quickly became very expensive – orders of magnitude beyond the $60bn [billion] claimed at the beginning – as colossal incompetence met dishonest misrepresentation.
“Indeed, when Linda Bilmes and I calculated the United States’ war costs three years ago, the conservative tally was $3-5tn [trillion]. Since then, the costs have mounted further. With almost 50 per cent of returning troops eligible to receive some level of disability payment, and more than 600,000 treated so far in veterans’ medical facilities, we now estimate that future disability payments and health-care costs will total $600-900bn. But the social costs, reflected in veteran suicides (which have topped 18 per day in recent years) and family breakups, are incalculable.”2
Stiglitz captures succinctly the manner in which America often harms itself more than its “enemies.” Whether al-Qaeda was responsible or not for 9/11, and there are many who question the official story, the response has profoundly damaged US military, political, moral and financial credibility and authority. Moreover, the evolving situations in Libya and Syria could threaten to expose another counterfeit – increasing reports suggest that the US-led NATO alliance is relying on al-Qaeda identities, possibly originally part of some Saudi mercenary group, to advance rebellion in states that fall into disfavour.
It is the counterfeiting in news, education and history however, that ensures that all these other counterfeits go largely unremarked in serious political, administrative and public debate and comment. This has created a major anomaly in the present global environment where the world is being precipitated into a new order by the ineptness and incomprehension of American and other Western elites. These are trapped in narrow, short-term frameworks of information and thought. They have become defined by rigid ideologies that make them subservient to a chaotic collection of corporate interests. Corporate profit seekers have captured control of critical political, legal, academic and other processes in the major English speaking powers, and through them they cling with self-destructive desperation to the power to dominate and define much international interaction.
The Internal Decay of Corporate Power
The attempt to shore up corporate privileges, often related to access to energy in less developed nations, has led to seemingly endless entanglement and draining of resources in small unwinnable wars. In this process, the Pentagon has been given unlimited license to plunge the US budget ever deeper into deficit and its own activities ever further into dependence on foreign, and not necessarily friendly, financiers.
Moreover, the readiness of American corporations to become ever more dependent on cheaper and more efficient foreign production ensures both the increasing depletion of their own productive capacity and the growing vulnerability of their financial institutions. It is extremely difficult to identify anyone who has strategic responsibility for what seem to be a confusion of disjointed policies that plunge America ever further into a morass of crises.
Policies are overseen by those who win a few minutes in the political spotlight. Yet they are forever distracted and preoccupied by trying to win favour and approval by servicing the corporate lobbies that fund and endorse their campaigns. They have no time left to even reflect on echoes of more productive strategies from a dimly recalled past.
As the “counterfeit culture” suggests, the lack of coherent strategic thought has wreaked havoc within the United States. Although a multi-cultural community, America’s academia, media, corporate and political cultures display no capacity to generate meaningful policy discussion that allows for other than very narrow and stereotyped cultural assumptions. This cripples the capacity to comprehend the increasingly complex dynamics of the global community.
Corporate America has brainwashed a priesthood of trained economists to rehearse endless counterproductive economic theory. This has been successful in deceiving domestic populations but has been disastrous by leaving the nation totally vulnerable and defenceless before other cultures that have mastered American corporate dogma and identified and exploited its weaknesses.
The fragmented, short term and narrow corporate domination of the political process gives the highest priority to a cacophony of disputing corporate interests over any coherent recognition of community priorities and strategies. It makes it easy for external interests to associate closely with and achieve their goals through domestic corporate lobbies. In the midst of this self-serving and self-destructive corporate confusion, is it any wonder that medical and military systems have strayed far from the businesses of health care and national defence.
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An End of Empire Moment
It is highly questionable that the events of 9/11 could have produced the outcome they did in any other than such a community as contemporary America. There is in the United States an almost total breakdown of culture, whether political, strategic, financial or military. In a sense the task for rivals is now simply a matter of feeding these weaknesses and being patient. Yet, the frenetic character of American society makes this seem unbelievable, only making it more inevitable and ever closer.
The corporate adventurism that built the British Empire has become the corporate self-indulgence and corruption that devastates the contemporary American Empire. All the elite groups that exercise real power and influence in the United States – such as politicians, financiers, Pentagon strategists, corporate managers, pharmaceutical executives, food scientists and agricultural entrepreneurs – have assumed a type of unchallenged authority in their areas and a variety of alliances of convenience with the other groups. This ensures that little reform is imaginable, let alone possible. All politically correct information is designed to reinforce the interests of the very groups that have brought the country to its present plight. Deviation from such information signals the end of any personal professional aspirations. Even successful presidential candidates have no option but to negotiate a modus vivendi with such groups and, in the process, abandon any aspiration to dealing with the real challenges at the end of an empire. This shows some surprising similarities with those at the end of other empires, even including the Chinese Qing Dynasty.
America’s end of empire moment is unique in an important respect. Even Britain was still controlled by a type of inherited aristocracy when it entered into decline. All previous empire collapses tended to be associated with aristocracies that had become ineffective. Apart from a few inter-generational banking families, America’s fate has been guided and dictated by privileged professional groups who have a monopoly on “expert knowledge.” They have become accustomed to a type of indolent privilege based on this “expert knowledge,” which, unfortunately for them, is no longer competitive, or even relevant, in a rapidly changing world. Consequently, they have become the guardians of little more than their own illusions, indulgent privilege and the nation’s decline. This is the source of dismay about the counterfeit culture, whether in medical, military of other areas.
Disintegration of the Existing Global Order
There is a growing body of observation, particularly but not exclusively in financial commentary, on the imminent collapse of a global system based on American pre-eminence. This takes on particular importance because it signals not just a decline in American power and authority but also the end of a period of what might be called loosely Anglo-American global order.
Marc Faber, Mr. Doom and Gloom himself, who is well respected in the financial world, spells it out: “I think we are all doomed. I think what will happen is that we are in the midst of a kind of a crack-up boom that is not sustainable, that eventually the economy will deteriorate, that there will be more money-printing, and then you have inflation, and a poor economy, an extreme form of stagflation, and, eventually, in that situation, countries go to war, and, as a whole, derivatives, the market, and everything will collapse, and like a computer when it crashes, you will have to reboot it.”3
Irish journalist Eamonn Fingleton recalled a pertinent observation by the late American historian Chalmers Johnson: “The United States today is like a cruise ship on the Niagara River upstream of the most spectacular falls in North America. A few people on board have begun to pick up a slight hiss in the background, to observe a faint haze of mist in the air on their glasses, to note that the river current seems to be running slightly faster. But no one yet seems to have realised that it is almost too late to head for shore.”4
They foreshadow the end of an Anglo-American order that can be traced back more than four centuries to the founding of the British East India Company. This gave birth to a new form of dynamic human organisation, the corporation, largely independent of government oversight. This led to a freewheeling corporate form of foreign adventurism that built the foundations of the British Empire.
Anglo-American power and authority, largely based on the discreet but ruthless use of corporate initiative, has established a global pre-eminence over the past two centuries. In the process it established forms and norms of modern life that have until recently assumed the character of certainties, largely beyond meaningful questioning or criticism.
Mounting and varied American difficulties and uncertainties have, however, intensified serious doubts about the continued viability of this order. Indeed, many of the international organisations founded in 1945 after World War II, whether the United Nations itself, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the GATT and later the World Trade Organisation, or other less prominent organisations like the World Health Organisation and CODEX, seem to be approaching a use-by date.
The reason for this is simple. These were all defined by the leading victorious powers in 1945 to serve discreetly their own, particularly corporate, interests. Accordingly they have many built in privileges for the United States, the United Kingdom and their close allies. These are rapidly becoming anachronisms, and unacceptable burdens on newly empowered emerging states that can insist on fundamental reform.
It is unlikely, however, that such reform will prove acceptable to the United States and its developed allies and it seems inevitable the existing international institutional system will become dysfunctional and marginal to important international activity. Already, the establishment of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) offers an indication of likely future developments. The rise of other important states like Turkey, Indonesia and Iran will likely advance this process as none of these communities has any interest in preserving Anglo-American privileges.
The situation might be redeemable were America and its close allies not widely understood to be bankrupt, propped up only by the continued tolerance of creditors. Were that withdrawn, the US dollar would cease to be the global reserve currency, the Pentagon budget would collapse, American troops could not be maintained offshore, the impoverishment of large numbers of Americans could raise questions of civil unrest and the poor productivity and competitiveness of the “counterfeit” American economy would be exposed and leave little prospect of recovery.
It is not surprising there is an increased body of English language commentary that implies a situation where global order and activity as it is known can no longer continue. Little effort is made, however, to explore the likely character of a new order with new opportunities. Why is there not more strategic realism and flexibility in the English language world that seemed dominant and assured for so long?
The events of 9/11 have provided a great distraction from the deteriorating situation outlined above. Many of the aspects of counterfeit culture mentioned by Mike Adams predate 9/11 by decades and have long been corroding and undermining the foundations of the Anglo-American global order.
The hyping of the 9/11 atrocity and the lust for crude vengeance met little resistance in a counterfeit culture where not only media but also academia had long been accustomed to serving causes backed by powerful corporate, political or other interests.
The 9/11 psyche is a symptom and a symbol of a counterfeit culture. Vast resources are squandered on the preservation and promotion of a simplistic, misguided, popular sense of righteousness as Anglo-American corporate power and privilege declines and disintegrates.
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1. “The American Medical System Is The Leading Cause Of Death And Injury In The United States” by Gary Null PhD, Carolyn Dean MD ND, Martin Feldman MD, Debora Rasio MD, Dorothy Smith PhD, www.ourcivilisation.com/medicine/usamed.htm
2. “The price of 9/11: Ten years after 9/11, al-Qaeda has been greatly weakened; but the price paid by the US was enormous, and unnecessary” by Joseph E Stiglitz, 5 Sep 2011, http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/09/20119572556433850.html
4. Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic by Chalmers Johnson, Holt Paperbacks, www.americanempireproject.com/bookexcerpt.asp?ISBN=0805087281, cited in “Chalmers Johnson: The passing of a true scholar” by Eamonn Fingleton, www.fingleton.net/?p=712
REG LITTLE was an Australian diplomat for over 25 years in Japan, Laos, Bangladesh, the United Nations, Ireland, Hong Kong, China, Switzerland, and the Caribbean, obtaining advanced language qualifications in Japanese and Chinese. Deputy or Head of Mission in five overseas posts, he served in Canberra as Director of North Asia, International Economic Organisations, Policy Planning and the Australia-China Council. He has participated in Conferences in Asia since 1987, has been a Founding Director of the Beijing based International Confucian Association since 1994 and has co-authored two books, The Confucian Renaissance (1989) in English, Japanese and Chinese, and The Tyranny of Fortune: Australia’s Asian Destiny (1997). His 2006 book A Confucian-Daoist Millennium?, available from www.confucian-daoist-millennium.org, examines if the leadership of a renascent Confucian-Daoist civilisation can displace that of a declining West.
The above article appeared in New Dawn No. 129 (November-December 2011).
© New Dawn Magazine and the respective author.
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