Yves Smith writes of Wall Street:
The reality is that an entire, large class of people is not accountable for their actions from the perspective of career performance or legal liability. Yet because they went to the right schools and worked for big brand name institutions, they can pass off failing upwards, or even outright predatory conduct, as the proper workings of a meritocracy. This is a blueprint for widespread delegitimation of authority. And if it does not produce a Trump presidency in 2016, it has high odds of yielding something even worse in 2020.
This echoes some of what Christopher Hayes writes of elites generally. And in reading about the State Department Inspector General’s report on Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, I am reminded of Neil Barofsky’s explanation of how inspector generals must walk a tightrope: He wrote in essence that their bark must be worse than their bite and that they must not actually draw blood.
What we’re getting to here is a fundamental failing of an authoritarian system of social organization: We accept government at a pretty minimum level to impose order and protect us from each other. But while assuming the worst of our fellow humans generally, we expect to be able to suspend that very distrust with those humans we allow to impose control over us. The question of who will watch the watchers doesn’t get asked nearly often enough or nearly seriously enough. And the result is a system that is a lot better at holding subaltern ‘others’ accountable than it is itself. It is hard to see how it can be any other way.
Yves Smith, “Wall Street Journal Tallies DoJ and SEC’s Pathetic Record in Tacking Wall Street Crime,” Naked Capitalism, May 27, 2016, http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/05/wall-street-journal-tallies-doj-and-secs-pathetic-record-in-tacking-wall-street-crime.html
Michael Knigge, “Hillary Clinton has bigger liabilities than email,” Deutschewelle, May 27, 2016, http://www.dw.com/en/hillary-clinton-has-bigger-liabilities-than-email/a-19286958?maca=en-newsletter_en_Newsline-2356-html-newsletter
David S. Bernstein, “How Hillary Loses,” Politico, May 27, 2016, http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/05/2016-election-hillary-clinton-campaign-loses-defeated-donald-trump-213924
Steven Shepard, “Democratic insiders give low marks to Wasserman Schultz,” Politico, May 27, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/05/debbie-wasserman-schultz-democratic-insiders-223631
Hadas Gold, “National Review’s gut check: Can we tolerate Trump?” Politico, May 27, 2016, http://www.politico.com/media/story/2016/05/national-reviews-gut-check-can-we-tolerate-trump-004552
- Yves Smith, “Wall Street Journal Tallies DoJ and SEC’s Pathetic Record in Tacking Wall Street Crime,” Naked Capitalism, May 27, 2016, http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/05/wall-street-journal-tallies-doj-and-secs-pathetic-record-in-tacking-wall-street-crime.html↩
- Christopher Hayes, Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy (New York: Crown, 2012).↩
- Democracy Now! “‘Significant Security Risks’: State Department Says Clinton Broke Rules Using Private Email Server,” May 26, 2016, http://www.democracynow.org/2016/5/26/significant_security_risks_state_department_says; Nadia Prupis, “Government Report on Clinton Email Scandal Much Worse Than Expected,” Common Dreams, May 25, 2016, http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/05/25/government-report-clinton-email-scandal-much-worse-expected; Byron Tau, “Watchdog Faults Hillary Clinton’s Email Practices at State Department,” Wall Street Journal, May 25, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/watchdog-faults-hillary-clinton-email-practices-at-state-department-1464188308; Jonathan Turley, “State Department Refutes Key Statements By Clinton On Email Scandal; Finds That She Violated Clear Rules,” May 26, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/05/26/state-department-refutes-key-statements-by-clinton-on-email-scandal-finds-that-she-knowingly-violated-rules/; Jonathan Turley, “‘The Mystery Emails’: State Department Report References Key Emails That Were Not Previously Turned Over,” May 27, 2016, https://jonathanturley.org/2016/05/27/the-mystery-emails-state-department-report-references-key-emails-that-were-not-previously-turned-over/↩
- Neil Barofsky, Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street (New York: Free Press, 2012).↩