Alessio Rastani – The Face of Unacceptable Capitalism

Smiley Alessio Rastani is the product of a sick social system

Alessio Rastani’s appearance on BBC News sparked a virtual internet firestorm yesterday. Ultimately, this was because he dared to cut through the bullshit and speak honestly about the parasitical relationship between the ‘financial sector’ and the working class.

Questioned about the likely effect of the latest attempt to kick the can down the road and forestall enconomic depression, the Rastani was frankness itself, claiming that “the market is toast”, and that he “go[es] to bed every night and I dream of another recession, I dream of another moment like this.”

Rastani added that “The savings of millions of people are going to vanish,” and that viewers should “get prepared” because the “economic crisis is like a cancer, if you just wait and wait thinking this will go away, just like a cancer it’s going to grow and it’s going to be too late.”

In perhaps the most unintentionally stinging inditement of the current order, Rastani proclaimed that: “The governments don’t rule the world, Goldman Sachs rules the world.” In other words, forget your ideas about liberal democracy, there is a ferocious class war going on, and the financial aristocrats are calling the shots.

Many were stunned. “Jaws were collectively dropped” in the studio, according to reporter Martine Croxall, perhaps staggered that a moment of unvarnished truth had passed in the news room. Twitter went wild, especially with speculation that anti-corporate stunt act The Yes Men were behind it, just as they were the were behind a fake apology over the Bhopal disaster. As Phillip Pilkington on the Naked Capitalism blog put it:

“Some are shocked at the amoralism of it all. Some have their heads buried so deep in the sand that they try to convince themselves that Rastani is just a prankster. Which group is worse? One has to wonder. The former are fools, blind to the world in which we live and the considerable economic problems that haute finance has caused us in the past two decades. But the latter are arguably more loathsome; they’ve turned a very important statement on where we are today into another bit of fun to fill their time on Twitter.”

Pilkington’s language is more than a little harsh, but there are some realities we must face up to with sober senses: the financial aristocrats will do anything to make money, including bankrupting or near-bankrupting whole economies (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Spain etc), and when they tell the politicians to jump, the only question they get in response is ‘how high?’ As Marx warned the working class in The Communist Manifesto: “The executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the whole bourgeoisie.” Since then – as was inevitable – it has been the financial bourgeoisie that has gained exclusive sway over all global economics and politics.

Rastani is real, and as for Goldman Sachs, one look at its grip on the Obama adminstration should dispel any doubts over its influence. So what are we going to do about it?