In a discussion with Janine Wedel, author of The Shadow Elite, we discussed the prevalence of flexionism in other fields besides finance. She pointed out that big pharma has the same revolving door, and intersecting relations between consultants, government employees, university professorships, regulatory oversight, and profit making insider trading that so many of the graduates of my alma mater are so famous for and caused high officials to be fired after the payment of a 29 million fine for a friend. She pointed out that the military industrial complex is replete with such flexionism and pointed to such organizations as the BIA, and the directorships on military firms held by former high ranking generals. The recent spate of insider trading cases for hedge fundists who got information from Drs on the certification committees for drug efficacy, with more than 50 convictions so far shows how rampant this lapse is among Drs.

I immediately asked if romance was always involved in the rise and fall of such flexions and we discussed why pictures of the wife of one of the prime movers in my alma mater's foray into Russia, a hedge fundist, are no longer available on the Internet. And that led to a discussion of Petraeus's downfall and whether there is a invariable relation between flexionism and romance. Rumpole's famous lament "why is it always romance" was discussed. From my reading of economic history, I am currently reading e.g the pc book A New Economic View of American History by J. Atack and Peter Passell, I pointed out that our entire political history from the founding of America is replete with self dealing, flexionism and financial avarice influencing the course of events. We discussed the plight of holders of continental debt, and how relatives of Alexander Hamilton, then Secretary of the Treasury went to the south to buy the debt issued by the continental congresses at 8 cents on the dollar after southerners desperately needed the money for living expenses and were willing to take any amount for their worthless continentals, which Hamilton subsequently convinced Washington to redeem at par.

The history of the two Federal Banks of the United States also was replete with ample opportunities for financiers to profit, and the rise and fall of the Morrises and Biddle in conjunction with the fortunes of these banks, and their role in selling government debt before their fall was discussed.

A discussion of flexionism in Roman times could not be averred, and the self dealing of all the generals who were paid after political careers in the legislature with appointments to govern the provinces where they were expected to rekindle their fortunes with bribes from the merchants in the provinces, as well as the spoils of war was discussed. The Conway Rebellion where the revolutionary war almost ended with the sack of Washington by disgruntled soldiers wanting pay also came into discussion.

The questions arises—- what are the fields and times where flexionism must inevitably arise, and is it good or bad, and how prevalent is it in different economic systems and times.

Gary Rogan writes: 

Discussing the history of the world without self dealing and flexionism is like discussing human physiology without mentioning pathogens and immunity– it would be so incomplete as to not make any sense. Monarchy and aristocracy, the typical situation that humans found themselves in for almost their entire history in centralized societies, are basically codified and/or legalized systems of self dealing. The few attempts at democracy generally degenerated into flexionsims and self dealing with the passage of time. The short recent history of Egyptian democracy (one man, one vote, once) are probably at the short end of the spectrum and the unraveling American democracy is at the other.

It seems like there is no way to avoid self dealing altogether because human nature seems to be irresistibly drawn to it when the opportunity arises, but having a populace that is highly educated, full of enthusiasm and public spirit, and in some sense somewhat uniform in its composition, seems to control it to a degree. There is nobody to police self dealing and flexionism at the top but the population at large. The worst political systems will work better with a quality population, and that's one reason why the history of socialism is so different from one country to another.

Mick Tierney writes: 

On Nov. 19, the chair posted a theory put forward by Umberto Eco and his studies on mass media, culture, and interrupted romance. In respond to this most recent post, addressing flexions, prime movers, romance, etc., I suggest he once again visit Eco and his most recent "fictional" effort: The Prague Cemetery. It's a bear of a book - for the reader must first determine whether the narrators are, in fact, two individual in conflict, or whether it is a single schizophrenic doing battle with himself.

I placed "fictional" in quotes because all the events and participants [except for the narrator(s)] are real - and their exploits really occurred. Since I was to lead a discussion on the book, I spent hours Googling to fact check what seemed to be the familiar ramblings of the conspiracy nut. With the expected exceptions of the conversations, Eco lays out a history that makes it readily apparent that many of the events we once attributed to random occurrence and/or happenstance have been, in fact, orchestrated by individuals whose names you will most likely not find prominently mentioned.

His history covers most of the European countries as well as Russia. In his narrative, there is not a single country, nationality, religious or fraternal organization that does get libeled (although contrary to Russell Baker's contention, he doesn't even address wealthy white, Episcopalian males, much less slander them).

It's a monster book and not an easy read — if you're easily offended ignore it. If you want to witness an interesting account of the real causes behind "inexplicable events," it provides some interesting insights into powers that have always existed and that today's manipulators are, in fact, relatively ham-handed in their machinations.





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