Friday, November 18, 2011
delusions of innocence
OK, I'm beginning to understand. If there are people here who can show up at a political discussion board and claim with straight faces that extreme income inequality in America today is not a problem, and show every sign of sincerely believing it, then I understand why this country is in so much trouble.
It seems to me that people's capacity for self-deception is limitless, and the fact that there are many on Wall Street, to this day, who still insist that the events leading up to the meltdown of '07 was "a case of banks having legitimately sold something - whether it be mortgages or securities backed by those loans - that someone wanted to buy," rather than the simple and straightforward swindles and securities frauds they actually were, shows just how far the clearly guilty are willing to go to remain innocent in their own minds. It works the same way for relatively innocent people who take comfort in maintaining their pet illusions.
What I'm identifying here is a psychological problem which follows the same recipe, whether a person is an "innocent" B of A manager who sold liars loans and then bundled them into CDO's, a Democrat who believes that if Barack Obama can only find perfect "center" that he'll be able to reach a compromise with the neanderthals of Republicanism, or the lost souls in that neanderthal happy place where tax cuts produce growth in government revenue.
What's going to happen now is that all of these people with their various delusions and ways of deliberately misunderstanding, are going to be treated all the same by history, which will roll over them like an enormous wheel, and none of them will have any more understanding of what's happening to them or to their country than scorpions have of the purposes of kings' chariots by whose wheels they are crushed.
The hedge fund managers and traders in bogus securities you can read about in that article I linked to remind me of Louis XVI, who was still yelling "I'm innocent, I'm innocent" right up to the moment when his head and body went two different directions.