Monday, June 13, 2011

Anonymous Goes After the Fed

. Monday, June 13, 2011

As of tomorrow, June 14th (Flag Day?), the cyber hacktivist group Anonymous is beginning "Operation Empire State Rebellion". The goal: take down Bernanke, and who knows what else. The purpose: I'm not sure. Justice? Apparently Bernanke has given trillions of "taxpayer" dollars to bankers and other wealthy people, despite not actually possessing that ability. He also stands accused of not prosecuting bankers for the economic crisis, which he also does not have the ability to do. Bernanke has "devalued" the dollar, and just you nevermind for now that that is good for the unemployed and less good for the asset owners. (Indeed, progressives now call for more inflation and more devaluation of the dollar, while the wealthy call for less of both.) I don't know how replacing Bernanke, or destroying the banking system, is supposed to help the common man -- that's not why we call the 1930s depression "Great" -- but who cares? Let's smash some shit up.

Also making an appearance: our old friends the global banking cabal, which controls everything all the time. I was waiting for a more explicit reference to Jews, but (thankfully) it didn't quite sink to that level. And the Freemasons haven't shown up yet, either. But just you wait.

The conspiracies revolving around the Federal Reserve are not new of course. And there's certainly been a resurgence in recent years. There are elements both in the Tea Party movement (influenced by Ron Paul), and in the anti-corporatist/neo-anarchist sentiment that Anonymous is tapping into. A decent segment of the college-aged population has been exposed to Zeitgeist, which melded Christ-myth and 9/11 "trutherism" with old-fashioned bankers-run-everything to explain how the "one world government" will soon take over everything, and unfortunately many find it at least somewhat persuasive.

In belittling Anonymous and Zeitgeist I do not mean to say that monetary policy doesn't have important distributional implications, or that politics doesn't matter, or even that bankers don't have disproportional effect over politics. Regular readers will know that those are not my views. But unfortunately reality is not as simple as "the Fed gives away our tax dollars to international bankers". Policy has real tradeoffs, which should be debated and judged by an informed populace. But this type of conspiratorial propaganda obfuscates more than it enlightens.

So it will be interesting to see what Anonymous is able to do to disrupt the Fed. It has threatened the IMF, although the recently-disclosed attack appears to have come from another group, and clearly has geopolitical intentions. But let's hope, for the sake of the very people Anonymous purports to be defending, that they fail.


Latinamericanist said...

Oh man, how I hate that movie. I wish so desperately that it didn't exist. 2hs of conspiracy theory tailored to the contemporary semi-informed College student. It's like the perfect poison. argh!

Kindred Winecoff said...

Me too. I've had the unfortunate experience of trying to explain why to folks who saw merit in it. And it's hard! At least without relying on a base of knowledge that folks who haven't had Intermediate Macro don't possess. And the ones who do have it don't need persuading.

In my experience, it's the business students that are most susceptible. Which figures.

It's a good conspiracy theory, by which I mean that it has all the hallmarks of a successful conspiracy theory: quasi-plausibility, reliance on complicated (or opaque) processes (so that few people know enough to contradict them), a rebellious streak, and an ability to connect disparate dots in a satisfying way.

Like you said, a perfect poison.

Anonymous Goes After the Fed




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