Computers, “financial engineering” and credit, social media, algorithms that predict what you want, NSA surveillance, giant new holding corporations called Master Limited Partnerships – all of these surround us and wrap us into a complicated modern web. Some of it is wonderful, other parts of it are threatening – while even more parts are just incomprehensible.
And behind it is the new money power – giant institutions, and individuals that can bend politicians to their will. The repeal of the Glass Steagall act in 1999 – which arguably did a great deal to create the financial corruption of our age – is just one example.
While the old institutions that grew up over the past hundred years to protect us now find themselves unable to comprehend or cope with the new systems of power. Politicians, regulatory institutions, intelligence agencies, the mainstream press, the police, the BBC, the colleges of academia- all of them, as McClure said in 1903:
“They do not understand”
And cut off from the real power struggles – these old institutions are starting to prey on each other. Leaving us both confused and undefended.