Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

The Real Republican Goal on the Shutdown and Debt Ceiling


It is interesting to see clearly the two theories of capitalism reflected in the government shut-down. On the one hand one has the ultra conservative section led by the Koch Bros. finances of “give the people nothing because it will encourage them to take more” and on the other hand the theory of allowing some sliding benefits to delude the people that in gradual concessions they have won something worthwhile and that their life is bettered.

The resistance to the obvious exploitation of the people by this Affordable Care Act shows that the US public is not so easily deluded any longer The ensuing health benefits are a stop-gap to blind the exploited to the real underlying purposes of this ‘health’ law, which is to guarantee more profits to the large insurance companies. At the same time it obviates calls for a single payer national health policy at the government’s cost like so many of the industrialized countries already provide.

Of course the information industry will confuse and then reinforce that confusion into compliance. An unease of experiencing the subtle oppression that US citizens are subject to, is becoming more palpable, even though most of this remains unexpressed and not acted upon except by groups such as the Wall Street Occupiers. Despite the take-over as usual of revolutionary slogans (the 1% versus the 99% , a term now touted by all the media as if they care), the US public is notoriously compliant and locked into a firm bourgeois ideology and existence, whether they are from the financial upper-classes or middle-class wage earners.

The shutdown provides measures to shrink the government in order to further reduce social benefits and make the government leaner and meaner and more competitive. In consequence the cost of governing will be drastically reduced through the far smaller amounts of people to be employed in government agencies. It is the perfect means to apply capitalist principles of lower labor cost with a higher productivity as the available government jobs are to become scarce. Both parties agree on the waste presently in force in Washington and the governmental agencies spread elsewhere in the US and abroad.

Additionally the debt ceiling crisis is the perfect method for starving out competitors by lowering one’s prices, i.e. the dollar will fall sufficiently so that China’s investments become well-nigh valueless. At the same time the guarantee that the US fully backs US government bonds will be moot and thus by as it were bankrupting the nation, the US will be able to keep its economic hegemony. As for understanding these tactics, it is good to keep the excellent analysis in mind of “The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein.

Gui Rochat is an art dealer and consultant, specializing in in seventeenth and eighteenth century French paintings and drawings. He lives in New York.


Gui Rochat is an art dealer and consultant, specializing in in seventeenth and eighteenth century French paintings and drawings. He lives in New York.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Gaddafi
Diana Johnstone
Hillary Clinton’s Strategic Ambition in a Nutshell
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Stephen Cooper
Hell on Earth in Alabama: Inside Holman Prison
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Rob Urie
Name the Dangerous Candidate
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Neve Gordon
Israel’s Boycott Hypocrisy
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Victor Wallis
On the Stealing of U.S. Elections
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Stanley L. Cohen
Equality and Justice for All, It Seems, But Palestinians
Steve Early
In Bay Area Refinery Town: Berniecrats & Clintonites Clash Over Rent Control
Kristine Mattis
All Solutions are Inadequate: Why It Doesn’t Matter If Politicians Mention Climate Change
Peter Linebaugh
Ron Suny and the Marxist Commune: a Note
Andre Vltchek
Sudan, Africa and the Mosaic of Horrors
Keith Binkly
The Russians Have Been Hacking Us For Years, Why Is It a Crisis Now?
Jonathan Cook
Adam Curtis: Another Manager of Perceptions
Ted Dace
The Fall
Sheldon Richman
Come and See the Anarchy Inherent in the System
Susana Hurlich
Hurricane Matthew: an Overview of the Damages in Cuba
Dave Lindorff
Screwing With and Screwing the Elderly and Disabled
Chandra Muzaffar
Cuba: Rejecting Sanctions, Sending a Message
Dennis Kucinich
War or Peace?
Joseph Natoli
Seething Anger in the Post-2016 Election Season
Jack Rasmus
Behind The 3rd US Presidential Debate—What’s Coming in 2017
Ron Jacobs
A Theory of Despair?
Gilbert Mercier
Globalist Clinton: Clear and Present Danger to World Peace
James A Haught
Many Struggles Won Religious Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Dear Fellow Gen Xers: Let’s Step Aside for the Millennials
Uri Avnery
The Peres Funeral Ruckus
Tom Clifford
Duterte’s Gambit: the Philippines’s Pivot to China
Reyes Mata III
Scaling Camelot’s Walls: an Essay Regarding Donald Trump
Raouf Halaby
Away from the Fray: From Election Frenzy to an Interlude in Paradise
James McEnteer
Art of the Feel
David Yearsley
Trump and Hitchcock in the Age of Conspiracies
Charles R. Larson
Review: Sjón’s “Moonstone: the Boy Who Never Was”