December 19, 2012 | Paul Craig Roberts |
The Fiscal Cliff Is A Diversion: The Derivatives Tsunami and the Dollar Bubble
The “fiscal cliff” is another hoax designed to shift the attention of policymakers, the media, and the attentive public, if any, from huge problems to small ones.
The fiscal cliff is automatic spending cuts and tax increases in order to reduce the deficit by an insignificant amount over ten years if Congress takes no action itself to cut spending and to raise taxes. In other words, the “fiscal cliff” is going to happen either way.
The problem from the standpoint of conventional economics with the fiscal cliff is that it amounts to a double-barrel dose of austerity delivered to a faltering and recessionary economy. Ever since John Maynard Keynes, most economists have understood that austerity is not the answer to recession or depression.
Regardless, the fiscal cliff is about small numbers compared to the Derivatives Tsunami or to bond market and dollar market bubbles.
The fiscal cliff requires that the federal government cut spending by $1.3 trillion over ten years. The Guardian reports that means the federal deficit has to be reduced about $109 billion per year or 3 percent of the current budget. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/27/fiscal-cliff-explained-spending-cuts-tax-hikes
More simply, just divide $1.3 trillion by ten and it comes to $130 billion per year. This can be done by simply taking a three month vacation each year from Washington’s wars.
The Derivatives Tsunami and the bond and dollar bubbles are of a different magnitude.
Last June 5 in “Collapse At Hand” http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/12/18/the-fiscal-cliff-is-a-diversion/ http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/06/05/collapse-at-hand/
I pointed out that according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s fourth quarter report for 2011, about 95% of the $230 trillion in US derivative exposure was held by four US financial institutions: JP Morgan Chase Bank, Bank of America, Citibank, and Goldman Sachs.
Prior to financial deregulation, essentially the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act and the non-regulation of derivatives–a joint achievement of the Clinton administration and the Republican Party–Chase, Bank of America, and Citibank were commercial banks that took depositors’ deposits and made loans to businesses and consumers and purchased Treasury bonds with any extra reserves.
With the repeal of Glass-Steagall these honest commercial banks became gambling casinos, like the investment bank, Goldman Sachs, betting not only their own money but also depositors money on uncovered bets on interest rates, currency exchange rates, mortgages, and prices of commodities and equities.
These bets soon exceeded many times not only US GDP but world GDP. Indeed, the gambling bets of JP Morgan Chase Bank alone are equal to world Gross Domestic Product.
According to the first quarter 2012 report from the Comptroller of the Currency, total derivative exposure of US banks has fallen insignificantly from the previous quarter to $227 trillion. The exposure of the 4 US banks accounts for almost of all of the exposure and is many multiples of their assets or of their risk capital.
The Derivatives Tsunami is the result of the handful of fools and corrupt public officials who deregulated the US financial system. Today merely four US banks have derivative exposure equal to 3.3 times world Gross Domestic Product. When I was a US Treasury official, such a possibility would have been considered beyond science fiction.
Hopefully, much of the derivative exposure somehow nets out so that the net exposure, while still larger than many countries’ GDPs, is not in the hundreds of trillions of dollars. Still, the situation is so worrying to the Federal Reserve that after announcing a third round of quantitative easing, that is, printing money to buy bonds–both US Treasuries and the banks’ bad assets–the Fed has just announced that it is doubling its QE 3 purchases.
In other words, the entire economic policy of the United States is dedicated to saving four banks that are too large to fail. The banks are too large to fail only because deregulation permitted financial concentration, as if the Anti-Trust Act did not exist.
The purpose of QE is to keep the prices of debt, which supports the banks’ bets, high. The Federal Reserve claims that the purpose of its massive monetization of debt is to help the economy with low interest rates and increased home sales. But the Fed’s policy is hurting the economy by depriving savers, especially the retired, of interest income, forcing them to draw down their savings. Real interest rates paid on CDs, money market funds, and bonds are lower than the rate of inflation.
Moreover, the money that the Fed is creating in order to bail out the four banks is making holders of dollars, both at home and abroad, nervous. If investors desert the dollar and its exchange value falls, the price of the financial instruments that the Fed’s purchases are supporting will also fall, and interest rates will rise. The only way the Fed could support the dollar would be to raise interest rates. In that event, bond holders would be wiped out, and the interest charges on the government’s debt would explode.
With such a catastrophe following the previous stock and real estate collapses, the remains of people’s wealth would be wiped out. Investors have been deserting equities for “safe” US Treasuries. This is why the Fed can keep bond prices so high that the real interest rate is negative.
The hyped threat of the fiscal cliff is immaterial compared to the threat of the derivatives overhang and the threat to the US dollar and bond market of the Federal Reserve’s commitment to save four US banks.
Once again, the media and its master, the US government, hide the real issues behind a fake one. The fiscal cliff has become the way for the Republicans to save the country from bankruptcy by destroying the social safety net put in place during the 1930s, supplemented by Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” in the mid-1960s.
Now that there are no jobs, now that real family incomes have been stagnant or declining for decades, and now that wealth and income have been concentrated in few hands is the time, Republicans say, to destroy the social safety net so that we don’t fall over the fiscal cliff.
In human history, such a policy usually produces revolt and revolution, which is what the US so desperately needs.
Perhaps our stupid and corrupt policymakers are doing us a favor after all. http://revolutionpac.com/articles/fiscal-cliff-is-a-scam
Not just the usual conspiracy theorists who beleive that the fiscal cliff is a hoax designed to rob the people of the U.S. while looking the other way as Wall Street bankers continue to loot the U.S. Treasury.
Thoughts from Dennis Kucinich on the fiscal cliff;
"As President Obama meets with congressional leaders at the White House in a last-ditch effort to reach a budget deal, we speak to outgoing Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich about the so-called fiscal cliff. If an agreement is not reached in time, $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases will go into effect on January 1. But the tax increases would not necessarily be permanent — the new Congress could pass legislation to cancel them retroactively after it begins its work next year. "We’ve been going in the wrong direction," Kucinich says. "Why haven’t we been talking about stimulating the economy through the creation of jobs? We’ve seemed to accept a certain amount of unemployment as being necessary for the proper functioning of the economy, so that for corporations it will keep wages low. That is baloney. We’re creating our own economic vice here that is entrapping tens of millions of Americans." http://www.democracynow.org/2012/12/28/dennis_kucinich_on_the_fiscal_cliff
Thoughts from Rush Holt on fiscal cliff;
"From the moment I learned about the impending “fiscal cliff,” I was skeptical. Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) recently wrote in an email blast with a subject line “An Artificial Crisis” something that should be shared widely.
Washington and the talk shows are captivated by talk of the “fiscal cliff”: the combination of automatic spending cuts and revenue increases scheduled to take effect at the end of the year. Unfortunately, this is the wrong conversation for America to be having.
The fiscal cliff is an artificial crisis created by renegades who used America’s statutory debt limit to hold the nation hostage in August of 2011. (How absurdly irresponsible to say we will teach ourselves a lesson by not paying our debts!) Just as the cliff was created by a vote of Congress then, it could be dispensed with by a vote of Congress today. Yet negotiators in Congress and at the White House are continuing to operate within the narrow, artificial framework imposed by last year’s hostage-taking: debating, for example, whether cuts to Medicare should be balanced with an appropriate increase in marginal tax rates to 39.5 percent.
We would do better to put today’s challenges in their proper context. From time to time in our history America has faced very large public debts before, most notably after the end of Word War II. Each time, we got to work, worked hard as Americans always do, and built the economy by building and doing things. We did not wring our hands over what America cannot do, but rather set about doing what we can do. There’s no question that the debt is an important problem – but the United States is not, as some would have us believe, defined by its debt. It is defined by its people, its infrastructure, its creativity, its innovation, its drive. We are not a “poor debtor nation,” as one might think listening to the debate this month. Our budget deficit is not an existential crisis.
Remember that, as recently as a decade ago, the United States had a balanced budget and was paying down the debt – not because of a gimmick or a response to a perceived crisis or a constitutional balanced-budget amendment, but because of rational lawmaking and policies that led to a thriving economy. We are still the richest, most productive, most capable country in the world. We should be asking how we will set about making certain that all Americans have food, housing, schooling, jobs, and vibrant culture. If we do those things, the resulting growing economy will make our fixation on a phony fiscal crisis recede into the past.
Those renegades held us hostage in 2011; we shouldn’t hold ourselves hostage today by arguing within the false framework they set then.
What do you think?" http://scienceblogs.com/deanscorner/2012/12/02/the-big-fake-fiscal-cliff/
Thoughts from Ron Paul on the fiscal cliff;
"As the year draws to an end, America faces yet another Congressionally-manufactured crisis which will likely end in yet another 11th hour compromise, resulting in more government growth touted as “saving” the economy. While cutting taxes is always a good idea, setting up a ticking time bomb with a sunset provision, as the Bush tax cuts did, is terrible policy. Congress should have just cut taxes. But instead, we have a crisis that is sure not to go to waste.
The hysteria surrounding the January 1 deadline for the Budget Control Act’s spending cuts and expiration of the Bush tax cuts seems all too familiar. Even the language is predictably hysterical: if government reduces planned spending increases by even a tiny amount, the economy will go over a “fiscal cliff.” This is nonsense.
This rhetoric is based on the belief that government spending sustains the economy, when in fact the opposite is true. Every dollar the government spends is a dollar taken from consumers, businessmen, or investors. Reducing spending can only help the economy by putting money back in the hands of ordinary Americans. Politicians who claim to support the free market and the lower and middle-class should take this to heart.
The reality is, however, that neither Republicans nor Democrats are serious about cutting spending. Even though U.S. military spending is exponentially larger than any other country and is notorious for its inefficiency and cost overruns, Republicans cannot seem to stomach even one penny of cuts to the Pentagon’s budget. This is unfortunate because this is the easiest, most obvious place to start getting spending under control. The military-industrial complex and unconstitutional overseas military interventions should be the first place we look for budget cuts.
Similarly, Democrats are digging in their heels on not cutting any welfare or entitlement spending and instead propose to fix the deficit by raising taxes on the rich, even though the U.S. Government already has a progressive tax code and the rich already pay more than their fair share. Furthermore, these higher taxes would fall on small business owners, investors, and entrepreneurs—in other words, the source of economic growth and new jobs!
The truth is that there is no excuse for government spending being as high as it is, nor for taxes being as high as they are. Even the God of the Old Testament only asked for 10% as a tithe and offering, and Americans revolted against the King of England for taxes that amounted to less than five percent. Yet so many people today complain about “loopholes” for the rich that lower their actual tax rate to “only” 13% in some instances. Even that is a criminal amount to pay for a wasteful, abusive, unconstitutional government.
We are indeed headed to a fiscal cliff and have been long before this latest hysteria cropped up. But it is not cuts to spending or reduced government “revenue” that will send us over the cliff, it is continued government spending that will. Until the federal government limits itself to its Constitutionally-mandated role, spending and taxation will remain out of control.
Look for a “bipartisan” compromise in late December, with Republicans giving in to tax increases and settling for phony spending cuts that actually grow government, and Democrats caving on defense cuts in exchange for tax increases. This is how the government has always grown: both sides will sacrifice their pro-liberty, small government stances in certain areas in order to grow the government where they prefer.
Liberty always loses in the 11th hour." http://www.ronpaul.com/2012-12-03/ron-paul-government-spending-will-push-us-over-the-fiscal-cliff/
Even mainstream economists agree that there is too much hype over the fiscal cliff;
"A single word comes to Paul Krugman's mind when trying to describe the U.S. political system: "dysfunctional."
The Nobel Prize-winning economist expressed his frustration with the government's endless budget wrangling, especially over the so-called fiscal cliff, during a Wednesday interview with WNYC, a public radio station based in New York City. "It's no way to run a country," Krugman said, referring specifically to the prospect of going over the cliff, a decision that would trigger a series of tax hikes and spending cuts next year, which would probably slow the economy.
Given the options though, Krugman admits going over the cliff might be preferable to the likely alternatives.
"There is nothing in there [the fiscal cliff] that is going to cause the economy to implode," Krugman said. "Better to go a few months into this thing if necessary than to have a panicked response or to give in to blackmail, which is certainly the question that's facing President Obama."
In Krugman's view, the fiscal cliff "has nothing to do with the budget deficit," he added. "This is about a dysfunctional political process. It's about kind of a self-inflicted wound here."
Krugman's not alone in his view that jumping over the cliff may be preferable to giving in to Congressional Republicans' demands. Peter Orszag, a former economic adviser to President Barack Obama, and Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, have both said recently that the jumping off the cliff may end up the country's best option." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/28/paul-krugman-fiscal-cliff_n_2205822.html
On bipartisan honesty and dishonesty
Notice that BOTH individual Democrats and Republicans have also come forth the question the legitimacy of the fiscal cliff as also both parties generally support the fiscal cliff austerity measures (Jason vs. Freddy, Obama vs. Boehner, etc...).
The "usual suspects" of honesty are once again Dennis Kucinich and Ron Paul, who are also unusually honest about excessive military spending, NAFTA/WTO caused job losses here and elsewhere and other relevent issues usually pushed under the rug by the majority of their respective parties. My feeling is that these two heroes of honesty would be better off leaving their corrupt parties and strengthening the third party movements (Greens, Libertarians, etc...) instead of putting up with humiliation from their dishonest peers.
The general bipartisan corruption in BOTH parties is beyond hope and we will need UNIFIED guerilla action to throw of the imperialist oppressor;
"The Guerilla, the Resistance and the Anti-Imperialist Front
RED ARMY FACTION Strategy Paper
We are going to discuss what we have learned in recent years, and what we want to do as a result. This is strongly limited to general considerations.
We believe that it is now possible and necessary to develop a new stage in the revolutionary strategy in the metropoles.
As a preamble, we will outline some of the terrain on which this can occur. Then we will examine some of the tentative discussions and real advances that have occurred, one following the other, over the last two or three years. An idea, a conception, has been established from which we can develop. The concrete beginnings show the possibility and the primitive structure of: THE GUERRILLA AND THE RESISTANCE. A SINGLE FRONT.
The imperialist system is obliged - to put it in concrete terms - to reduce its power to a concentrated form: the State, the unified structure of the chain of States that are dependant on the USA, the reconstruction of the capacity for military, economic, and political action and of its instruments of domination. In an effort to regain control of global developments, they will attack everywhere; in the existing struggles in Asia, Africa and Latin America, in the new national States, in the opposition between East and West, in West Europe… always with the objective of using this general offensive to re-establish their hegemonic position.
For the anti-imperialist struggle this means that it is necessary, faced with the unity of imperialist reaction, to carry out parallel struggles on all fronts. For they are all different sectors of a single front and struggles that are carried out side by side. No sector – and this includes the European sector - will become a front capable of shaking imperialism except by its own strength, its own specific development and its actual conditions and specific history." http://www.germanguerilla.com/red-army-faction/documents/82_05.html
We need to remember that the French Revolution did not occur in a vacuum and the guillotine was not built simply for entertainment. Our fellow traveler Max Robespierre was first to notice that virtue needs terror to be effective, as virtue without terror is impotent and terror without virtue is meaningless;
"From the first, Robespierre was a radical and a democrat, defending the principle that the ‘rights of man’ should extend to all men – including the poor, and the slaves in the colonies. This stance won him a reputation among the sans-culottes and the radical left, but the earlier years of the Revolution were dominated by men who had no wish to see power in the hands of the propertyless. Robespierre was undaunted. As a spokesman for the opposition and critic of government, he was tireless and consistent. He was also for a long time a vehement opponent of the death penalty. Why did he later change his mind and become an advocate of Terror? Part of the answer to this question lies in the deterioration of the political situation between 1789 and 1792, and the failure of the attempt to set up a workable constitutional monarchy, under Louis XVI.
From the spring of 1792 onwards France was involved in a spiral of war, revolt and civil war. Counter-revolutionaries were plotting the restoration of the absolute monarchy with the support of the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II (succeeded in March by Francis II). The Girondins, then the dominant revolutionary faction in the Legislative Assembly, spearheaded the drive for an aggressive war with the Empire, declaring war in April 1792. The avowed intention of their leader, Jacques-Pierre Brissot, was to polarize French politics, oblige the counter-revolutionaries to emerge into open opposition, and force the monarchy either to capitulate to the revolutionaries or to face its own destruction. In these circumstances, political views hardened, suspicion and fear increased, and the early optimism of the Revolution vanished.
Robespierre himself had long warned of the dangers of provoking counter-revolution. He had tried to oppose the war, because he thought it would divide France and rally support for the counter-revolutionaries. Nor did he believe, as Brissot did, that the ordinary people of Europe would welcome an invading French army, even one that claimed to deliver liberty and equality. ‘No one,’ said Robespierre, ‘welcomes armed liberators.’ He stuck doggedly to this position, though it was deeply unpopular and he became politically isolated.
By the summer of 1792, his worst fears were realized. The French army, far from being victorious, was on the verge of defeat and suffered from disorganization and raw and inexperienced troops. Many people thought (not without reason) that Louis was secretly on the side of the Austrian and Prussian armies, which were now threatening Paris itself. Many now felt that Robespierre spoke for them when he declared that the aristocrats were plotting a conspiracy to destroy the Revolution. In August the monarchy was overthrown in a pitched battle at the Tuileries palace. A new government, the National Convention, was formed in September 1792, which promptly declared France to be a republic. By now Robespierre’s ascendancy in the Jacobin club was unrivalled. The Jacobins identified themselves with the popular movement and the sans-culottes, who in turn saw popular violence as a political right.
The most notorious instance of the crowd’s rough justice was the prison massacres of September 1792, when around 2,000 people, including priests and nuns, were dragged from their prison cells, and subjected to summary ‘justice’. The Convention was determined to avoid a repeat of these brutal scenes, but that meant taking violence into their own hands as an instrument of government.
When the Convention debated the fate of Louis XVI, now a prisoner of the revolutionaries, Robespierre and his youthful colleague, Saint-Just (1767-94) – also once an opponent of the death penalty – led the way in claiming that ‘Louis must die in order for the Revolution to live’. Robespierre had not abandoned his libertarian convictions, but he was coming to the conclusion that the ends justified the means, and that in order to defend the Revolution against those who would destroy it, the shedding of blood was justified.
In June 1793, the sans-culottes, exasperated by the inadequacies of the government, invaded the Convention and overthrew the Girondins. In their place they endorsed the political ascendancy of the Jacobins. Thus Robespierre came to power on the back of popular street violence. Though the Girondins and the Jacobins were both on the extreme left, and shared many of the same radical republican convictions, the Jacobins were much more brutally efficient in setting up a war government. A Committee of Public Safety was established to act as a war cabinet. It became the chief executive power, with Robespierre – now moving from opposition to government for the first time – one of its twelve members. Like so many politicians making such a move, Robespierre’s attitude to political power was to change dramatically from this moment. In June the Jacobins drafted a new constitution, the most libertarian and egalitarian the world had yet seen. Yet for some months they hesitated to implement it, as the pressures of war with Austria and Prussia, and of full-blown civil war in the Vendée in the west were compounded by revolts across the country by départements rejecting the authority of the radical government in Paris.
In September 1793, the impatient sans-culottes once again invaded the Convention to exert pressure on the deputies. They wanted economic measures to ensure their food supplies, and the government to deal with counter-revolutionaries. A delegation of the forty-eight sections of sans-culottes urged the Convention to ‘make Terror the order of the day!’ The Jacobins responded: the Law of Suspects was passed on September 17th, 1793, giving wide powers of arrest to the ruling Committees, and defining ‘suspects’ in broad terms. In October the Convention passed the Decree on Emergency Government. This authorized the revolutionary government to suspend peacetime rights and legal safeguards and to employ coercion and violence. Saint-Just decreed that the government ‘would be revolutionary until the peace’. The constitution was shelved: the libertarian ideals of the Revolution were suspended, indefinitely. Sans-culottes formed armed militias to go out into the provinces to requisition supplies for the armies and the urban populace and to root out counter-revolutionaries. In October Brissot and other Girondin leaders, as well as Marie-Antoinette went to the guillotine.
For the first time in history terror became an official government policy, with the stated aim to use violence in order to achieve a higher political goal. Unlike the later meaning of ‘terrorists’ as people who use violence against a government, the terrorists of the French Revolution were the government. The Terror was legal, having been voted for by the Convention.
Robespierre, like a number of the Jacobin government, had been a lawyer. He clung to the form of law partly in order to prevent the sans-culottes taking the law into their own hands through mob violence. As fellow revolutionary Danton said, ‘let us be terrible in order to stop the people from being so’. The resort to Terror also emerged out of relative weakness and fear. The Jacobins had only a shaky legitimacy and innumerable opponents throughout France, ranging from intransigent royalists to more moderate revolutionaries who had seen power centralized and their ideas superseded. Many people in France were already indifferent, if not openly hostile, to the Revolution. For many the Revolution now meant requisitioning of supplies, military conscription and the constant threat to their traditional ways of life, churches, even time – for the revolutionaries had even invented a new calendar. Throughout the year of Jacobin rule, it was the sans-culottes who kept them in power. But the price of that support was the blood-letting.
The number of death sentences in Paris was 2,639, while the total number during the Terror in the whole of France (including Paris) was 16,594. With the exception of Paris (where many of the more important prisoners were transferred to appear before the Revolutionary Tribunal) most of the executions were carried out in regions of revolt such as the Vendée, Lyon and Marseilles. There were wide regional variations. Because on the whole the Jacobins were meticulous in maintaining a legal structure for the Terror clear records exist for official death sentences. But many more people were murdered without formal sentences imposed in a court of law. Some died in overcrowded and unsanitary prisons awaiting trial, while others died in the civil wars and federalist revolts, their deaths unrecorded. The historian Jean-Clément Martin, suggests that up to 250,000 insurgents and 200,000 republicans met their deaths in the Vendée, a war which lasted from 1793-96 in which both sides suffered appalling atrocities.
Today the civil war in the Vendée is largely forgotten except by specialists. It is of the guillotine that most people think when they hear about the Terror. After so many bloodlettings of the twentieth century, why does that image still have the power to shock us? The historian Lord Acton once famously said that in terms of the time, the deaths under the Terror were relatively few in number (he was thinking of the official death sentences). As Acton pointed out, many millions were to die in Napoleon’s wars for no better reason than his own glory. Yet the aura of the hero still clings to Napoleon, while Robespierre’s name is synonymous with violence and horror.
Perhaps it is because of the stark contrast between Robespierre’s ideals and what he became that the question of the Terror remains shocking. In the mind of Robespierre and many of his colleagues, the Terror had a deeper moral purpose beyond winning the civil war: to bring about a ‘republic of virtue’. By this he meant a society in which people sought the happiness of their fellow humans rather than their own material benefit. France must be regenerated on moral lines. ‘What is our aim?’ he asked in a speech of February 1794:
The peaceful enjoyment of liberty and equality; the reign of that eternal justice whose laws are written, not on marble or stone, but in the hearts of all men, even in that of the slave who forgets them and of the tyrant who denies them.
He came to the conclusion that in order to establish this ideal republic one had to be prepared to eliminate opponents of the Revolution. The irony of this idea rings through in the same speech, when he justified the Terror. He said:
If the basis of popular government in peacetime is virtue, the basis of popular government during a revolution is both virtue and terror; virtue, without which terror is baneful; terror, without which virtue is powerless. Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue; it is less a principle in itself, than a consequence of the general principle of democracy, applied to the most pressing needs of the patrie.
Throughout his time in government Robespierre conducted his private life as a man of virtue. Far from living in palaces, amassing treasure, or allying himself with royalty, as Napoleon was to do, Robespierre lived a celibate life as a lodger, occupying simple rooms in the house of a master carpenter. He was known as ‘the Incorruptible’ for, unlike many politicians, he refused to use a public position for private gain and self-advancement. He lived simply on his deputy’s salary. He walked everywhere, never taking a carriage. He enjoyed walks in the country and musical soirées with his landlord’s family.
Yet the other side of this benign, if dull, domestic life, was the public role he undertook as a spokesman for the Committee of Public Safety and the guiding hand on the policy of Terror. He had become an astute political tactician, and he used these means finally to achieve political power. He could be accused, justly, of political ambition, but he himself did not see this as inconsistent with his dedication to the Revolution. He had an unshakable belief that his own aims coincided with what was best for the Revolution. He was a man of painful sincerity. He was not a hypocrite. He really did believe that the Terror could sustain the republic of virtue. But he was naturally self-righteous, suspicious and unforgiving. All these qualities came to the fore as it became evident that while the Terror played a key part in winning the war and quelling the counter-revolution, it was having the reverse effect as far as installing the republic of virtue was concerned, undermining any genuine enthusiasm for the Revolution. Even Saint-Just, Robespierre’s most loyal friend on the Committee of Public Safety, could not be blind to the way the Terror, with its neighbourhood surveillance committees and denunciations, encouraged an atmosphere of duplicity, cynicism and fear, even among the Revolution’s most fervent supporters, the Jacobins. ‘The Revolution is frozen’, he wrote dispairingly in a private note in 1794." http://www.historytoday.com/marisa-linton/robespierre-and-terror
Indeed bullying can create psychopathic personalities, the greedy capitalist pigs only have themselves to blame for the monster that they created. Max Robespierre's spirit will be here with me until my body departs the physical plane. During that time we will rebuild the guillotine and bring the theives and liars in DC to justice. We may lose some friends in the process, though seeking justice isn't a popularity contest.
Our current government regime is infested with nothing more than theives and liars; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc6TUEIRi34