Economy Of Shame

Now admittedly I saw these while -gulp- looking at the front page of the Daily Mail site, but it seemed these two disparate stories in comparison said something about the the ego and relative capacity for guilt between us regular people and the Great & the Good. Blair committed war crimes and even as he maintains his denial he costs us money that could be far better spent on the public welfare, meanwhile a smalltime fraudster is so wracked with shame, terror and guilt she and her husband kill themselves. Their crimes are really incomparable, over a million dead, billions spent, generations -some as yet unborn- damaged by war while he becomes an even multier-millionaire. She embezzled a good wedge, used her job to steal while her bank made $7.1bn profit for 2009, no one died except her and her husband, a far too severe a punishment they imposed on themselves than they deserve. The amount she stole was eclipsed in one appearance by Blair to contribute to the Chilcot pantomime. They are not really connected, not directly in any measurable way, but they are, aren’t they?

8 Responses to “Economy Of Shame”

  1. otto Says:

    The innarestin’ one here is about personal logos. The suicide couple made money the central lever of their life. Once that central support had been yanked out from under them they felt they had nothing else to live for. Life is lived (and died) subjectively after all.

    Whereas Blair has no moral centre so doesn’t give a fuck either way.

    (ps trivia: the kids fave cartoon has just come on the TV (via DVD). It’s Bugs Bunny and elmer fudd doing Wagner’s Ring (“kiwwww the wabbit” etc). Y’see, there’s hope for the future of mankind after all-)

  2. RickB Says:

    Yes I think that’s true, also they went about enriching themselves in an artless way, Blair does it lot better maybe class plays a role (and perhaps race). I think Blair thinks he is a good guy, some regrets but by and large a great statesman legacy shall be his, he may well be right!

    Wascally Wabbit! I think that is the format Wagner always envisaged.

  3. Jotman Says:

    A remarkably similar story in the US today — “special investigation” into something called “food stamp fraud.”

    Essentially, that’s when you use your food stamps (actually its a government-issued debit card) to pay for stuff that’s not food-related groceries. Some people use the cards to buy cigarettes, alcohol and — according to the CNN report condoms! (Only in America is a considered a a scam when government funding makes it possible for low income people to practice birth control) . Sometimes the grocery store gets a kick-back for misuse of the card.

    Anyway, the small store owner that CNN investigated — his store may have processed $3 million in questionable purchases — got arrested.

    But this story had a really tragic ending. The next day the small shop owner was found dead. Suicide perhaps….

    Anyway, I think the principle is the same as what your are blogging about here: Media plays up these stories about small-time corruption, involving small amounts of money, and — this is key — a low-income demographic.

    Where are the investigations about the banks, insurance industry, and military contractors?

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/03/18/florida.fraud.arrests/index.html?hpt=Sbin

    • RickB Says:

      Reminds me of a joke told by Jeremy Hardy (or maybe Mark Steel) – you never hear of a BMW being pulled over by police on suspicions of insider trading.

      food stamp fraud (and the condom buying) the crime is they exist in the first place. Food stamps, in the richest empire on earth, although that is not surprising the hatred of people needed for imperialism is easily turned on the domestic populace. You either make the elite rich or you are, what did Kissinger (by way of Malthaus) say, ‘useless eaters’. As humans we have zero value other than the surplus capital we can generate for owners.

  4. Jay Vos Says:

    OMG, it’s sad all around, innit?

  5. libhomo Says:

    Think how much the banksters have stolen, compared to the teller.

  6. RickB Says:

    Also I am reminds me of the way debt collectors work, they play on the general feeling of guilt by people who are in debt, while those with little morality rule we are told to be ashamed of small mistakes. Crime like taxes (Helmsley!) are for little people I guess.


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