Discover more from Learning by Proxy with Vivek Srinivasan
Many have wondered if the third world war would be a nuclear war. The third world war is being fought at the bank!
As the lockdown began 2 years ago on the 23rd of March 2020, I started my newsletter. This edition marks the two year anniversary. Hence I wrote a pretty long post. Much like the 100th edition which weaved a lot of themes together, this one does the same. Last time I got a lot of love and a little bit of hate for that blog. It was a little hard to stomach for some people.
I hope that you will enjoy this one.
Bogeyman ~ A monstrous imaginary figure used in threatening children
Various cultures have their own versions of the Boogeyman. It is an essential tool to keep children in check.
This blog is not about the Boogeymen who are used to control children, but about those that are used to control adults.
Adults are also subjected to Boogeyman stories. Often, it is governments that tell the story of the Boogeyman giving it an air of credibility. From 1950 to 1990 American people and by extension many people across the world were told that Russia was the Boogeyman. Till the end of 2021, it was China that was the Boogeyman and now it is Russia again.
The Boogeyman makes you do things that you would otherwise not do.
Acquiesce, fall in line, obey, approve of doing stupid things; in politics, it provides aggression with a facade of legitimacy.
Fear will make you agree to stupid things.
The OG Boogeyman is God.
God as Boogeyman
Fully grown adults have had to be controlled since time immemorial.
The Oldest religion known to us is Hinduism, so the seeds of control seem to have sprouted in India. Then came Zoroastrianism in Persia. And then Judaism further west. All of them had some version of an angry god. A god, who would bring them to justice, who would not hesitate to hurt and who was omnipresent.
God was how people were controlled in early societies. God was who you had to be afraid of. The Kings were god’s representatives on Earth. This conferred them with all sorts of powers, even to take life.
In Egypt, Greece and Rome emerged Pagan gods. Gods had special powers and god could give and take away. God demanded worship and great creations for themselves.
In the US, even today, the entire pushback against abortion, against the LGBTQ community, etc is always framed from the perspective of God. A good Christian cannot accept these things. God will punish for those sins.
Silk Road and Genghis Khan
The Silk Road was the main trading route for the longest time. The longest part of the Silk Road passed through Mongol territory. There was a fear of being robbed on the road. For the Mongols, their tax collection depended on more and more traders choosing the Silk Road.
There was no way to patrol the entire Silk Road and ensure the safety of every single wagon passing through the Silk Road. The Mongols determined that they themselves had to be the Boogeymen.
In the Steppes, a caravan could be easily spotted and looted.
Genghis Khan and his horde rode all over their lands and made an example of those who would not listen. They plundered, destroyed and even completely decimated villages. Those who saw, reported people killed in such a gruesome manner, that it could only be the work of evil.
Genghis Khan developed a reputation.
People feared him and this ensured law and order across the region and safe passage for centuries to come, even after Genghis Khan was dead.
He is unfortunately only known as a murderer today.
Without Genghis Khan, the Silk Road would have never been as safe. It would have never become such as important economic conduit and the world would have been a very different place.
If the Europeans had never realised that Asia existed, maybe they would still be fighting amongst each other.
Gasp! They still are, are they not?
Spanish Loot of South America
The Spanish conquistadors set out to find “the new world.” They were financed by the royalty with the explicit expectation of garnering a return on that investment. When they reached South America, they did not even bother to put up a facade of trade. They just went there to get silver. They had two weapons guns and germs.
Interestingly, Silver was valued more than gold back in the day.
Tell me, who in their right mind would think that shit coloured metal is invaluable?
The price of silver fell because of the amount of Silver they found in South America. That silver was transported from South America to Europe and then used to buy goods from China. As a result, the Chinese markets were filled with Silver and the price of Silver fell precipitously. It never recovered.
In the 17th century, the population of Madrid dropped by a third. Everyone was looking for gold and silver. Nobody was investing what they found. Little wonder that Spain lost its eminence in the world and fell by the wayside.
The Spaniards were the Boogeymen. They brought disease, death and plunder.
Europe the Consumer - Not the producer
The Europeans produced very little. The little that they produced, they consumed themselves. They did not have much to trade. A trade involves give and take. You should HAVE something to give before you can take.
The only thing that they had to give was people. The Europeans were in the business of selling slaves mostly to the Persians. At first, they sold the Slavic people of Eastern Europe in trade. Then they added the Irish and the Dutch. Venice rose because of the slave trade.
Thereafter they discovered the African tradition of leaving the oldest male in the service of the person to whom a debt is owed. Thus began the slave trade from Africa to Europe. These slaves were sold all across the world to serve as payment for the goods that the Europeans needed.
Selling people, in whose development, the Europeans had invested not a dime was the chief commodity that they had.
Western and Northern Europeans were Boogeymen.
British Loot of Asia
The story goes, that when Vasco da Gama arrived in Calicut, India; he went to meet the Zamorin of Calicut. He had brought some items from Portugal to offer up to the Zamorin and to request permission to trade in India. The items that he had brought were so rudimentary and unimpressive that he was told by the Zamorin that his craftsmen can produce things with far greater craftsmanship. He was ridiculed and asked to leave.
The next ship that came from Portugal had something to give. War.
War was the boogeyman.
In 1500, India represented 25% of the global GDP. You can see from the chart below how the fortunes of the Europeans changed as the loot of Asia allowed them to get richer and richer.
In 1900, at the peak of the British Empire, less than 100,000 Europeans were living in India. They ruled over a population of more than 230 million people.
The Boogeyman - the European War Machine - kept these people from rising up.
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European Enlightenment - Decimation of North America
As the Europeans started arriving in North America, they were forced to contend with the harsh weather as well as the harsh living conditions. not to mention the need to work out a co-existence with the Indigenous.
Having to work out a living arrangement with the Indigenous was difficult. They were hence turned into Boogeymen. The indigenous were the “uncivilised” race. This was necessary to be able to claim moral superiority.
According to suggestions made by David Graeber in his book Dawn of Everything, it is likely that the European enlightenment started in the Americas. These were conversations between the Christians and the indigenous where the question of freedom, equality and brotherhood were brought up.
Those who concurred with the tribes of America had to release these thoughts in the form of conversations where they try to defend Christianity but eventually lose the argument. This was done so that they were not persecuted by the church for heresy.
The conversations led to a revolution in the European mainland and France ended up with the motto Liberté, Égalité et Fraternité.
On the other hand, the European settlers tried very hard to teach the “uncivilised” their ways. They asked them to farm the lands indiscriminately and heard things like -
“You ask me to plow the ground! Shall I take a knife and tear my mother’s breast? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest. You ask me to dig for stone! Shall I dig under her skin for her bones? Then when I die I cannot enter her body to be born again. You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it, and be rich like white men! But how dare I cut off my mother’s hair?”
Source: The Web of Meaning by Jeremy Lent (Page 262)
The settlers determined that the indigenous would not serve as great slaves. Having these arguments was difficult and counter-productive. Any European who went to the other side, to live with the Indigenous never returned but the reverse was almost never true.
Thus began the greatest genocide the world has “not” witnessed. Thousands were killed. The rest were forced to move west of the Mississippi and three-quarters of them died on the way.
A continent was robbed from its people.
The Indigenous Americans were dispossessed of their lands and sacred places. Hunted like wilder beasts, especially in Georgia and Florida where hunting parties would go out to find those who had not left. Diligently moving through the jungles and marshes, these men exterminated any trace of the indigenous.
While their lands were being appropriated, they were themselves painted as the Boogeyman. If only they had been civilised, all this need not have been done.
Their extermination opened the doors to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Somebody had to work the land.
In America, if you work hard, you find success. This is a lie, that has been perpetuated since the 17th century in America. Those who work hard keep working hard for minimum wage. But they have to be told that there is a way out. To take up three jobs, all at minimum wage. That is the route to millions.
Not working was the Boogeyman.
Reminds me of a story...
Jobless man - Lying on the beach doing nothing...
Working man - Why are you lying here on the beach uselessly, get a job and make yourself useful
Jobless man - Why should I work?
Working man - So that you can make money and get rich?
Jobless man - Why should I make money and get rich?
Working man - So that you can buy anything you want. Take a vacation whenever you want and lie on a beach with no worries at all?
Jobless man - And how is that different from what I am doing now?
American World War
The Civil War started with Lincoln's presidency. It started out as a war to keep the American South as a part of the Union. The south was opposed to the abolition of slavery. They did not want Lincoln to pursue abolition. Lincoln wanted to hold the union together, he did not want abolition.
But like Master Oogway says in Kung Fu Panda - “One often meets their destiny on the road they take to avoid it.”
Lincoln promised that he would not pursue abolition. The south did not believe him and went to war. Lincoln ran out of white soldiers and had to induct black soldiers. This made it about emancipation. The longer the war dragged on, the more it became about emancipation. The more it took on the cause of emancipation, the more the whites shunned it and more blacks had to be inducted.
Lincoln was the boogeyman. Lincoln was the accidental emancipator.
The World Wars
Most of the world was involved in those wars only because of colonialism. Asian and African soldiers were dragged to the European battlefields. Just like with Lincoln, the harder the colonists got hit, the more their subjects got involved.
Even in the second world war, Hitler went after Egypt because it was so important to the British. Suez Canal, you see. Do you think people were fighting in Cape Town? Japan was fighting an altogether different war. It got drafted as an ally. It had nothing to do with the European war. It attacked Pearl Harbour unnecessarily.
America dropped a Nuclear Bomb on Japan. This is perhaps the greatest war crime and the smoothest cover-up. They have not even offered an apology to this day for this crime. To add insult to injury, they confined the Japanese who had migrated to America in internment camps.
Germany offered itself as the Boogeyman on both occasions. Japan was painted as a boogeyman and it was said that they brought the bomb upon themselves.
Post Second World War - The New World Order
The second world war offered an opportunity to the victors to redraw the entire world order. For Britain, it was inopportune. They had been at the receiving end of Nazi bombings. London was decimated. Their colonial treasures were becoming impossible to hold on to. While the World War might have been over Britain was left fighting wars on many fronts.
Several colonies were determined to secure independence. There was a massive amount of reconstruction needed back at home. There were also several disputes that had to be engineered. Israel-Palestine and India-Pakistan were problems created by the mindless and senseless retreat of the British from what was their former colonies.
Technically, America could have sat out the war. Britain could have lost. As saviours, they needed to be paid. America needed Europe to make a lot of concessions towards it.
Also, only a madman would have used a nuclear bomb on civilians. Of course, America was the Boogeyman. America inspired fear.
But somehow, Communism was erected as the Boogeyman.
In one fell swoop, an East Vs West dynamic was created.
By extension USSR, China, Cuba and several other countries became Boogeymen and that made the creation of NATO possible.
They were also able to put military bases in Germany, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia among several other countries as their capitalistic saviours.
As USSR collapsed, the possibility of fending off climate change became impossible as Capitalism became the dominant system across the world.
Michael Douglas introduced Greed as a good thing in the movie ‘Wall Street’ and the entire world started sliding down a slippery slope.
My Oligopoly is Hard Work; Your Oligopoly is Evil
In the 1970s the idea of Index Funds became real. At the time Jack Bogle was toying with a revolutionary idea and started Vanguard. In the intervening 50 years, we have gone from Vanguard being an unknown commodity struggling to raise $10 Million to Index Funds ruling the market.
Between Blackrock, Vanguard and Stateside, close to $11 Trillion are managed by Index funds. The market cap of the entire Dow Jones Industrial Averages is $45.86 Trillion. Index funds own a quarter of all listed American companies.
They have grown so big that they are often the largest shareholders or amongst the largest in most of the fortune 500 companies. As you can guess, they are therefore required to take board positions and vote at the shareholder’s meets at all of these companies. By some estimates, they would have to attend 44,000 shareholder meetings each year. So they allocate proxies on their behalf whose job it is to attend these meetings and vote.
It is said that 12 people control pretty much all of the companies in America. Add institutionalised corruption to that, also known as lobbying, and you have a situation where the country is controlled by a few.
Oligarchy ~ a small group of people having control of a country or organization.
The current situation in America is an Oligarchy. That word was created exactly to encapsulate this kind of situation.
Even so, the media has been so trained to only refer to the Russians as Oligarchs. In America, 0.01% of the population takes 5.1% of the total income while 1% of the population takes 22% of the income according to the University of Chicago. I am pretty sure, the same is the case in Russia. It is not like 20 men have all the money and the rest of the 145 Million earn $5000 a year.
This mischaracterisation is essential to the Boogeyman story. 20 bad people are in charge of Russia. They are the Boogeymen. They are the ones who are sanctioned.
War in Iraq and Islamic State
When it comes to oil-rich states across the globe, America either has a preferential trade agreement with them or “liberates” them, so that they can enter into a preferential trade agreement.
Since Iraq had found America attempting to sell weapons to both Iraq and Iran during the war, they wanted to do no more business with America. George Bush went after Iraq with not a single shred of evidence.
George Bush Sr had spent a good part of his presidency painting, Saddam Hussain, as the Boogeyman. Even though 9/11 had provided America with a brand new Boogeyman - Osama Bin Laden; they decided that going after Saddam Hussain made more sense.
America painted itself as a liberator. It was no different from what Russia is to Ukraine today. Donald Rumsfeld would attend press conferences and extol the virtues of the American bombs and the great humanity that went into identifying targets. In fact, they killed a lot of civilians in Iraq “with great humanity”, as their bombs fell kilometres off target.
Not to mention, left a country in the hands of the terrorists and moved out. While they eliminated a NOT Boogeyman - Saddam Hussain. They created a far worse Boogeyman - ISIS.
ISIS will not dominate the news cycle in America for the moment because they are trying to acquire control over lands in Iraq and the surrounding areas. But once they are done...
China - Russia - India
Depending on who is the president of the US, the “Opposing Nation” Boogeyman keeps changing. For the longest time, it was USSR. After the USSR fell apart, Americans felt like they were watching a Bond movie that did not have a villain.
Bored of it, they determined to go back to the classics and Russia was now the Boogeyman.
As Trump came to power, China became the Boogeyman, because, you know, Russian Billionaires like to buy apartments in New York. American Billionaires by comparison just like mansions, ranches or whatever.
While North Korea is trying hard to be painted as a Boogeyman, they are getting no love from the Biden administration. Now we are back to the Russian Boogeyman again.
The current conflict has created a strange dynamic. China and India seem to be aligning strongly with Russia.
A few years ago, there was a group of emerging economies that were considered the hottest investment destinations. They, in fact, created a grouping and a forum to discuss how they could unleash their economic forces. That group was named BRICS representing Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
While they have left out the BS, there seems to be an alignment that is being formed to IRC the West. Three countries, one with a communist authoritarian, another a democratic authoritarian and the third a communal authoritarian.
America as Boogeyman
Since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the only true Boogeyman in the world has been America. The country has engaged in manipulation, regime change, forced Coup and many other activities across the globe through the CIA.
If Ukraine joining NATO is Ukraine’s decision and Russia should not have bothered about it; well then Cuba aligning with Russia was their decision and the US should not have bothered with it. Instead, much like Crimea, the US has occupied Cuban territory, the area that they occupy is called Guantanamo Bay.
The only country that has been known to suffer from Itchy Finger Syndrome has not signed the CTBT. If at all anything, they should have been the first to sign it. They have shown an incapability to resist.
In 1946, the US was engaged in a series of 23 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands. The area where the bombs were exploded was called the Bikini Atoll. A new line of fashionable swimwear was emerging at the time. It was supposed to be just as explosive to men’s libido and the line of swimwear was named Bikini.
The US drops bombs on targets across the Middle East and North Africa with impunity. The country is not answerable to anyone for any of its actions. Here is a US government document for instances of the use of Armed forces abroad.
Africa. On February 12, 2020, the Secretary of Defense announced that the Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, based at Fort Benning, GA, would soon deploy to Africa to provide training and assistance to African forces as a way to better compete with Russia and China. The deployment is the result of a review of DOD forces, programs, and activities within each Combatant Command to ensure support with the National Defense Strategy’s priorities. As a result, infantry brigade personnel from the 101st Airborne Division would return to Fort Campbell, KY.
They sent the army into Africa to train them to specifically compete against Russia and China. On the other hand, it is great to see that even in the corridors of the government, they see Africa as a nation. This report is the American government reporting to its own people.
The question that immediately follows is - What is the CIA up to, which is going to force African countries to “compete” with the forces of Russia and China?
America uses its media to make it seem like they are such do-gooders. America is the Boogeyman capable of painting itself as a saviour.
Ultimately what was the problem with USSR? Was America concerned about the well-being of the Russian people?
Were 20 countries being communists so bad? If 100 others followed capitalism?
Capitalism is a modernised form of slavery. Who amongst you can quit your jobs without any fear? You are enslaved by your job and it has been done so well, you don’t even realise it. American fear was that if people went to the other side, they may just not return.
More than that it was about consolidating the financial system.
That brings us to the real Boogeyman
The modern financial system is primarily controlled by the West.
They say never argue with a foolish man, he will bring you down to his level and then win at the argument. A great metaphor for the modern financial system.
The fight against communists was to make sure that everyone is on the same financial system. Further, they invented a “science” that bears greater similarity to astrology than to physics to describe how money works. We call it economics.
Many have wondered if the third world war would be a nuclear war. The third world war is being fought at the bank!
In the book Debt, David Graeber asks some incredibly thought-provoking questions. He asks, should money appreciate in value just because it is sitting around? But the modern ‘interest’ paradigm makes us assume that. If I give you money and you are not doing anything with it, even so, there should be an interest that accrues to it. This assumption has been baked so hard into the modern psyche that it is impossible to even question it!
He says, when multi-lateral organisations lend and charge interest, the interest is supposed to bake in the possibility of default. You are factoring risk in there. But has any country been able to escape paying back their debt? Where is the risk if you are going to descend on their policies and dictate them in the event of a failure?
If that is not permitted the country is turned into a financial pariah. They will not be allowed to transact with other nations across the globe and the “credit rating system” which rates bonds is used against these countries to dissuade their fellow countrymen from investing in their own country’s bonds! All the Credit Rating Agencies are Western.
But, no matter how much debt the USA issues, its bond rating will keep scraping the stratosphere.
There are several aspects of the financial Boogeyman that are out in the open for everyone to see but there are so many aspects of it that have been subconsciously baked into the system in such a way that none of us realises it even exists.
Also, this boogeyman is the most brandished weapon that the west utilises under the garb of sanctions.
Ultimately, the Boogeyman is not real. It is in your mind that you give the Boogeyman power. In a documentary about UFOs, the narrator said, “The best way to hide something is to hide it in plain sight.”
Make the suggestion of it sound so ridiculous that nobody seeking to hold on to their credibility would ever suggest it.
Would any economist suggest that we should abolish interest on money that is not invested?
Would any security advisor advise getting rid of nuclear weapons altogether?
Would any conglomerate announce that they have grown enough and want to grow no more?
Silk Route by Peter Frankopan
48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Ivory Throne by Manu S Pillai
Unworthy Republic by Claudio Saunt
The Web of Meaning by Jeremy Lent
Lincoln’s Dilemma on Apple TV
Trillions: How a Band of Wall Street Renegades Invented the Index Fund and Changed Finance Forever by Robin Wigglesworth
Black Wave by Kim Ghattas
The Dawn of Everything by David Graeber
Debt: The first 5000 years by David Graeber