Superman Renounces US Citizenship

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Pat Caddell, who was Carter’s pollster, sent this tidbit and considers it to be a meaningful indicator:

Superman may be a comic book character, but he is very much an iconic cultural figure to Americans, particularly the Baby Boom generation.

As reported by Laura Hudson in Comics Alliance:

The key scene takes place in “The Incident,” a short story in Action Comics #900 written by David S. Goyer with art by Miguel Sepulveda. In it, Superman consults with the President’s national security advisor, who is incensed that Superman appeared in Tehran to non-violently support the protesters demonstrating against the Iranian regime, no doubt an analogue for the recent real-life protests in the Middle East. However, since Superman is viewed as an American icon in the DC Universe as well as our own, the Iranian government has construed his actions as the will of the American President, and indeed, an act of war.


Superman replies that it was foolish to think that his actions would not reflect politically on the American government, and that he therefore plans to renounce his American citizenship at the United Nations the next day — and to continue working as a superhero from a more global than national perspective. From a “realistic” standpoint it makes sense; it would indeed be impossible for a nigh-omnipotent being ideologically aligned with America to intercede against injustice beyond American borders without creating enormous political fallout for the U.S. government.

While this wouldn’t be this first time a profoundly American comic book icon disassociated himself from his national identity — remember when Captain America became Nomad? — this could be a very significant turning point for Superman if its implications carry over into other storylines. Indeed, simply saying that “truth, justice and the American way [is] not enough anymore” is a pretty startling statement from the one man who has always represented those values the most.

This, as befits a comic book story line, is an upbeat reason for Superman deciding to become a citoyen du monde. Reader gs_runsthiscountry gave a darker take yesterday:

One of the most tragic things I have heard the last 18 months, is sitting in the student union talking to younger students and have them tell me they want to move to Canada. Seriously, I have heard this more than once and have to believe this has traction in the 18-28 yr gen. Seeing students so disgusted with our politicians at such a young age, it is eye opening to say the least. It is incomprehensible to me a students frustrations are so high they have shifted their studies to health sciences, in the hopes they may get a work visa in Canada if all else fails.

Then there is the story of a former beer league softball teammate. I was asked to be a sub, they know I don’t play anymore, but I ask why? Well, he is gone and didn’t know that, because he signed up for the National Guard. I was floored – this person has a degree in business and a Law degree and is also tri-lingual. At the age of 29, having not found work, and faced with loan default, he felt joining the NG was his only option. WHOA!

What is there to tie people to a country if they are at odds with its values and lack mercenary reasons to stay? The prized idea of neoclassical economists and libertarians, that people are isolated actors in markets and social organizations don’t matter, is now being played out on a large scale and the results don’t look too pretty.

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  1. Mogden

    To this libertarian, the fact that citizens are awakening to the fact that their politicians are doing an absolutely appalling job and arestarting to consider options elsewhere, is a positive development.

    It is something that could put pressure on said politicians to compete with other countries to implement more effective policies. And God knows that is an extremely low bar to clear.

  2. skippy

    Some where Tonto shakes his head, and thinks … I could have told you so, along time ago…Personally I blame it on that rat named Micky, a rat that tricked everyone into thinking it was a mouse.

  3. Steve in a Red Flyover State

    Can’t blame the kids. I’m actually thinking about doing a little trailblazing myself.

    I lost my job two years ago, not because I did my job poorly, but because I worked for a financial company who believed all the Wall Street BS. And when a company loses 3/4 of it’s book value because they went “all in” on MBSs, well, you know the rest.

    I’ve been able to keep the sharks at bay with part time/contract work. But it’s been two years now, the Main Street economy is still in the crapper, half the guys in my line of work are on the street, nobody wants to hire anyone over 45 because they don’t want to pay for their health insurance, and every move the so-called “leadership” in Washington has done is for bailing out the f-tards on Wall Street that blew things up to begin with, instead of putting a few hundred thousand of them in jail.

    Basically, nothing is going better from where I view things, and I can’t see a dimes worth of difference between the oligarchs in the USA, or China, or Russia. We are turning into a Banana Republic with no bananas, and I have yet to see any talk or action from Wall Street or the Beltway indicating that they think this is a problem.

    The Democrats have been bought by Wall Street. The Republicans have been bought, plus they continue to actually believe their own worn out, obsolete, trickle down, supply side BS. Their solution is to double-down on all the stupid policies that got us here to begin with.

    1. DownSouth

      So college students are toatst.

      And working people over 45 are toatst.

      That leaves a pretty narrow age range of people who still believes things are peachy.

      1. LeeAnne

        Working people + 45 have been toast since the 1980’s; since the baby boomers became the + 30s they didn’t trust and disrespected and replaced with TV brainwashed poorly educated airheads and criminals. So much for pointing one finger at the other with 3 back on yourself; true for an entire generation so easily exploited by TV hucksters with the Goebbels/Frank Luntz propaganda machine continuing in full swing to this day unabated and unprosecuted.

    2. jonboinAR

      Hey “Steve In a Flyover State”:
      Do you want to report on your experiences on our blog? We’re looking for contributors from the middle of the country. We’re trying to find a way to concentrate political pressure and having a little trouble figuring out how to go about it. If you’re interested, follow the link in my “handle” to our blog and comment under one of our recent posts.

      Dear Ms Smith or moderators: I hope you don’t find my post objectionable, or spam. If you do, please let me know.
      Thanks. I think “Attempter” believes in my sincerity.

    3. Job Entitlement

      “not because I did my job poorly”
      Workers continue to suffer the corporate supplies infection otherwise know as the Stockholm syndrome. Doing your job ‘poorly’ or otherwise doesn’t really have any meaning any more. Being without a job is supposed to imply something wrong with the worker, as if they aren’t posting their resume enough or they don’t have any skills or other destructive lies. Fuck the corporation, you’ll have a better chance of doing “work” that is far more valuable if you only would run to the exits.
      The propoganda and horseshit is so deep in this country we may never get out alive, even with Superman’s help.

    4. Job Entitlement

      “not because I did my job poorly”
      Workers continue to suffer the corporate supplied infection otherwise know as the Stockholm syndrome. Doing your job ‘poorly’ or otherwise doesn’t really have any meaning any more. Being without a job is supposed to imply something wrong with the worker, as if they aren’t posting their resume enough or they don’t have any skills or other destructive lies. Fuck the corporation, you’ll have a better chance of doing “work” that is far more valuable if you only would run to the exits.
      The propoganda and horseshit is so deep in this country we may never get out alive, even with Superman’s help.

  4. Steve in a Red Flyover State

    If the Chinese were smart, they would buy the Statue of Liberty, and move it to Hong Kong. That, and use that 800 billion bucks they are sitting on to hire 20-30 million high skill Americans.

  5. Glenn Condell

    Well, whaddaya expect of Superman, the guy’s a left-liberal wet-dream, always harping on about truth and justice and rescuing people from fates they probably deserved… Marvel Comics are just another example of the lock the left has on entertainment and the media in this country.

    Now if say Lex Luthor gets up and renounces his US citizenship, I will start to pay attention.

    ‘One of the most tragic things I have heard the last 18 months, is sitting in the student union talking to younger students and have them tell me they want to move to Canada’

    Perhaps more on past reputation than present reality. The fools have just voted that awful Harper fellow back in and neo-liberal nirvana is back on the menu. Still, at least you don’t get sick up there from worrying about getting sick.

    1. Peripheral Visionary

      Well, if they don’t like a country run by conservatives according to free market principles, they can always move to Sweden. Oh wait . . .

      1. anon2

        Look, up in the sky. It’s a bird, it’s a plane.

        No, it’s Peripheral Reactionary.

  6. Lurker

    This is totally unrealistic. Superman/Clark Kent wouldn’t have been given a passport to get back into the U.S. in any event: he wouldn’t have been able to prove he was born in a U.S. hospital since he was born on planet Krypton. You can’t renounce your citizenship if you’re not a citizen.

    Let’s call a spade a spade: Superman is an illegal alien.

    1. Zach Pruckowski

      In the new continuity of Superman, he was sent to Earth in an artificial womb and technically considered to have been born here.

  7. attempter

    So Superman (“truth, justice, and the American way”) won’t do away with lies and injustice where it’s the US government and corporations presiding over them. He’ll merely walk away. And he won’t fight for the American way (what it’s supposed to be in principle) where the US kleptocracy contradicts it. My hero.

    Seriously, if there existed such a superhero who really intended to fight for truth and justice, what would his targets be? Which power structures would he proceed to destroy? Corporate and government structures.

        1. KnotRP

          No, all we have is Jack Lint.

          When reputation has fallen so low that a superhero’s
          acts are questioned for political motive, one might
          look at the bright side…which is that one cannot sink
          any lower.

  8. gs_runsthiscountry

    *laughing* if I had I been sipping my coffee as I got to the end it would have been a messy desk, keyboard and philosophy text book for sure.

    Yves, I want you to know 20 somethings avoid homework with xbox, and 40 somethings like myself take diversions to your message board. Alas, Descartes is not my first choice in philosophers to write about, but the paper is finished.

    And, in regards to my comments, yes people have choices. Fight or flight as they say, I guess people are thinking flight at this point.

    1. psychohistorian

      I would just add anecdotally that I met a young (early 30’s) woman recently w/ 2 masters degrees who has moved to Spain to tend goats while America collapses.

      Which brings up the question of how long this train wreck of a nation is going to hold it together if the Rapture doesn’t happen in 2012? Can it last that long?

      1. Dave of Maryland

        Rapture has been moved to May 21, a week from this coming Saturday. So not much longer to wait!

  9. Jojo

    What will happen to Clark Kent’s job at the Daily Planet? How will he show up for work if Superman is no longer allowed in the country? I think Action comics/Superman finally jumped the shark for good with this one!

    1. GA

      I think it’s quite clear – Clark Kent will retain his U.S. passport, and continue to work. Superman can continue to have it both ways.

  10. frances snoot

    In our vending machine reality, one imbibes an identity ‘made in china’. When all the loose change changes, then the real pain begins.

    I think therefore I am?

  11. Middle Seaman

    It is easy to blame the politician, but you voted them in. No one forces us to elect them. We have a congress and a president who couldn’t care less about unemployment. But most Democrats voted for this guy; we had an alternative.

    It sounds like the country is a good weather place. Stay and fight for it, for everyone out of work and everyone not belonging to the rich.

    We all liked the current system as long as it worked for us. It has been 30 years of sitting pretty. Suddenly, we complain. Everyone, almost, looked down on unions; now they are the only body still fighting.

    1. DownSouth

      Middle Seaman said: “…we had an alternative.”

      Polyarchy: A system where the participation of masses of people is limited to voting among one or another representatives of the elite in periodic elections. Between elections the masses are now expected to keep quiet, to go back to life as usual while the elite make decisions and run the world until they can choose between one or another elite another four years later. So polyarchy is a system of elite rule, and a system of elite rule that is little bit more soft-core than the elite rule that we would see under a military dictatorship. But what we see is that under a polyarchy the basic socio-economic system does not change, it does not become democratized.
      ▬William I. Robinson, Behind the Veil, Minute 1:29:15

  12. DownSouth

    Yves said: “What is there to tie people to a country if they are at odds with its values…”

    I think we have to be very careful when we use terms like “its values.”

    Do the values of America’s current leadership reflect those of most Americans? Polls overwhelmingly show that they do not. The documentary film Behind the Veil ends (Minute 1:42:00) with some of that polling information:

    • More than 2/3 of Americans say the government should care for those who cannot care for themselves

    • 64% would pay higher taxes to guarantee healthcare for everyone

    • 60% are favorable towards unions

    • 70% want nuclear disarmament

    • 72% want the U.S. completely out of Iraq

    • 81% favored taxing the rich and/or cutting military spending as the best way to cut the deficit

    • Only 3% recommended cutting social security

    So I don’t read the current situation in the U.S. as being analogous to, for instance, 1942 Germany where, as Hannah Arendt put it in Eichmann in Jerusalem, “the overwhelming majority of the German people believed in Hitler” and Adolf Eichmann and the world he lived in were “in perfect harmony.”

    Could it not be said that America today is more like the Jewish sub-nation that existed within Europe in the 1930s and 40s?

    The Eichmann trial took an unusually ugly turn when it revealed the extent to which Jewish elites had cooperated with the Nazis in the extermination of the Jewish masses. The Jewish leadership did this in the belief that they could negotiate with the Nazis to buy their own salvation.* As Arendt points out later, however, this did not always work. After they had helped herd the Jewish masses onto the cattle cars, they themselves were often loaded on. And Arendt did not stray away from reporting this. (“Even before its publication,” she noted, “this book became both the center of a controversy and the object of an organized campaign. It is only natural that the campaign, conducted with all the well-known means of image-making and opinion-manipulation, got much more attention than the controversy, so that the latter was somehow swallowed up and drowned in the artificial noise of the former.”) The instances of collaboration of elitist Jews with the Nazis were manifold, but perhaps the words of a former inmate of Theresienstadt summed it up best: “The Jewish people as a whole behaved magnificently. Only the leadership failed.”

    * Dr. Kastner, in Hungary, for instance, saved exactly 1,684 people with approximately 476,000 victims. In order not to leave the selection to “blind fate,” “truly holy principles” were needed “as the guiding force of the weak human hand which puts down on paper the name of the unknown person and with this decides his life or death.” And whom did these “holy principles” single out for salvation? Those “who had worked all their lives for the zibur [community]”—-i.e., the functionaries—-and the “most prominent Jews,” as Kastner says in his report.

  13. agog

    Young Americans thinking of emigrating to Canada may want to acquaint themselves with the ideology of Stephen Harper and his newly elected majority government which will rule with a free hand for the next four years.

    Canada, ever eager to ape our southern neighbour (so close, so much closer than god, as someone once said about another country with USA!, USA! on its border) as we pretend to look down our nose at it, goes W…in 2011. It’s enough to make one weep.

    1. nowhereman

      I just love how the “hate Harper” crowd has managed to infect this post. When you look at what the alternatives that were faced by the Canadian electorate, we were very fortunate indeed to elect a majority Conservative government.
      Most Americans are completely ignorant of Canadian politics. Conservatives in Canada are far more liberal than even the Democrats in the US.
      Harper has been the leader of a Minority Government in Canada for the past five years, and under his stewardship, Canada has managed to survive the global economic crisis relatively unscathed.
      Perhaps now that Harper has his majority, we will witness the dismantling of the “nanny state” and the “culture of entitlement” so favored by the opposition parties on the left.
      All I can say is I welcome Americans students wishing to come to Canada. I welcome your entrepreneurial values, they can now flourish here, and I wish you well.

      1. youniquelikeme

        Oh please, Harper would would take credit for the sun rising!! He won because he was the devil people knew and Canadians were horrified that the Liberal leader was demonized as being too American. A little fear went a long way.

        Harper gave the Corporations more tax breaks and the Debt is being glossed over by the so called “Fiscal Conservatives” who always take us into further debt, so you see he likes to mirror the states.

        We should see the Canadian identity disappear as quickly as he sells more Canadian resources to the Americans and elsewhere, we have TD our own TBTF and multiplying like rabbits and our own bubble is bursting at the seams to make a fine show of how little guts we have voting for the arrogant a@@.

        But you go ahead and welcome people to take Canada even though we have our own high employment that will soon mirror the states as well. Pull that wool sweater down from your eyes. It isn’t sour grapes… it’s just pure astonishment.

  14. bsg

    No wonder comic books are no longer a mainstream hobby for kids. The writers fancy themselves as intellectuals and work to impress econ bloggers rather than 10 year-olds.

  15. CrazyCancuk

    For all those knocking Steven Harpers majority…two points.

    1) The Conservative Party of Canada is generally still LEFT of US Democrats on most social issues.

    2) A majority doesn’t give you the mandate you think it does, if anything it will help to unify the Canadian left.

    P.S. I didn’t vote for him either, but I’m not scared of his majority they way so many are…

    1. nowhereman

      What most Americans don’t understand about Canadian politics is that we don’t vote for the leader, we vote for the party of which the leader is head.
      Since the election, many of the people supporting the losing opposition parties have been posting anti-Harper messages on numerous blogs. Sour grapes I’m afraid.

  16. frances snoot

    When did ‘we’ agree? Isn’t it time we stop flinging nation/state constructs about in a bid to striate dissent? There was no marriage; there can be no divorce: man stands apart from words irregardless of his own insistence.

    Words are a relic of the Iron Age.

  17. John Hall

    Wait, libertarians believe social organizations don’t matter. Apparently news to this libertarian. I recall that us libertarians have some respect for de Toqueville’s Democracy in America. Doesn’t he say that America’s social organizations are one of the reasons it is great (or something to that effect)? What prominent libertarian today is advocating abolishing social organizations or at a minimum that they don’t matter? Do they not argue that social organization can replace state functions?

    Nevermind, Yves, please commence with the straw-manning of libertarianism.

    1. DownSouth

      John Hall is emblematic of the American right. Its adherents fall all along the spectrum from Platonism to Pelagianism. But the philosophies become so corrupted by the time they trickle down to the man on the street that most on the right are clueless as to where they fall on this curve. The only unifying theme seems to be an abiding faith in the “self-interest is good” credo.

      I was watching Adam Curtis’s The Power of Nightmares again last night. Every time I watch the film I’m struck by what a basket case, philosophically and theologically speaking at least, the American Right is. (Not that I’m arguing the American Left is any more coherent.) The pertinent segment begins at minute 36:00 in Part 2:

      The neoconservative set out to reform America. And at the heart of their project was the use of religion. Together with their long-term allies, the religious right, they began a campaign to bring moral and religious issue back into the center of conservative politics. It became known as the “culture wars.” …. For the religious right this campaign was a genuine attempt to renew the religious basis of American society. But for the neoconservatives, religion was a myth, like the myth of America as a unique nation they had promoted in the cold war. Strauss had taught that these myths were necessary to give ordinary people meaning and purpose to insure a stable society….

      Michael Lind: For the neoconservatives religion is an instrument of promoting morality. Religion becomes what Plato called a “noble lie.” It is a myth which is told to the majority of the society by the philosophical elite in order to insure social order… In being a kind of secretive, elitist approach, Straussianism does resemble Marxism. These ex-Marxists or in some cases ex-liberal Straussians could see themselves as a kind of Leninist group who have this covert vision which they want to use to effect change in history while concealing parts of it from people incapable of understanding it.

      In the neoconservative pantheon, the greed-is-good God towers above all the rest, and all other deities must bow down to him. Thus we get the absurdities described by Robert Hughes in Culture of Complaint: A Passionate Look Into the Ailing Heart of America:

      The GOP’s “morality” was all about sex and honoring thy father, and it tactfully avoided other commandments, particularly the one against stealing.

      And if this weren’t enough, we then get people on the right who buy into this Platonist agenda, and then turn around and call themselves “libertarians,” which is the modern incarnation of Pelagianism, and philosophically and theologically the polar opposite of Platonism.

      1. John Hall

        I’m not a philosopher or have ever been a philosophy student, so I’m not sure I get these references.

        There is a difference between libertarianism and objectivism. Libertarianism doesn’t say self-interest is necessarily good, though an objectivist does. A libertarian economist might say that any purposeful action one takes is the one they prefer to all the available alternatives. Some might take this to mean that man acts in his self-interest. It is merely a fact, the man chose to do X, hence he preferred X to all the available alternatives. There is no moral judgement about why he prefers that action or the deep underlying reasons why he preferred it.

        Libertarianism isn’t neoconservativism. Go to and look for what they think of neoconservatives or Straussians. I also didn’t say anywhere in my post that social organizations need be religious in nature. You definitely overreached with this point.

        1. DownSouth

          Is it possible to be a libertarian and be benevolent?

          I believe that in theory it is. In practice, however, this is not very likely. Libertarianism’s emphasis on the material and the individual makes it entirely too corruptible. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said: “Liberalism failed to see that reason by itself is little more than an instrument to justify man’s defensive ways of thinking. Reason, devoid of purifying power of faith, can never free itself from distortions and rationalizations.”

          You do understand that individualism is the elevation of the individual over the group, whether the group be the nation state or a collective assembled around some smaller social setting?

          And you do also understand that when you say “There is no moral judgement about why he prefers that action,” that places you not only outside Christian morality, but also outside the morality of all of the major religious traditions in the world? I’d even ventrue to say, though I’ve not seen any research on this, that it places you outside mainstream atheism as well.

          1. DownSouth


            Dog society is based strongly on domiance.

            Dog society has almost no resemblence to hunter-gatherer society, in which humans lived in for all but about the last 10,000 years of their 2 million-year existence.

            Hunter-gatherer society is egalitarian. The way it works is that if some alpha male gets too upity, the others band together and beat the shit out of him, exile him or kill him. An individual hunter-gatherer, expelled from the group, very quickly dies.

            Coercion-free, totally voluntary human societies are nothing but a figment of the libertarian imagination. They are a fantasy. A lie. They never existed and never will, because human beings require cooperation for survival, and cooperation cannot exist unless selfish behavior is punished.

          2. John Hall

            I would argue that the libertarian society would be only as benevolent as the people within it. Similarly, it is only as concerned with material affairs as the people constituting it are. Similarly, it is only as individualist as the people constituting it are.

            Libertarianism at its core is a theory of justice: when you are justified in using force to stop someone from doing something. It is not a morality or a complete system of ethics. People should look inward, to other theories, philosophies, or religions to guide them in those areas. What I meant was that libertarianism does not convey a moral judgement about one’s attitudes. I did not mean that no such moral judgement existed, just that it is outside the purview of libertarianism to provide it.

            As for King’s quote, I’m not really sure I understand it. I looked up the whole quote and he seems to be saying that humans use reason to rationalize sin, liberalism (classically speaking, I presume) uses reason without grounding in faith, therefore liberalism is wrong. I’m not really sure that argument follows…

            I prefer Malcolm X, “Wrong is wrong, no matter who says it.”

        2. Tao Jonesing

          The “Power of Nightmares” is a BBC documentary that anybody with half a brain will understand. You can find it on YouTube, even if you don’t have half a brain.

          No study of philosophy is required. I disagree with Curtis in that I think the core ideology is neoliberalism, not neoconservatism, which is just a preachier version of mainstream “libertarianism” (people who frequent don’t recognize the fact that they’re just the true believers of Hayek, Mises and Friedman’s neoliberal ideology).

          1. John Hall

            I had meant his discussion of platonism vs. pelagianism and I haven’t seen this documentary and I’m not going to waste three hours to do so.

            Since Lew Rockwell is the head of the Mises Institute, I am fairly sure he realizes that he has been influenced by classical liberalism. Hayek and Mises both would have called themselves classical liberals (and probably also Friedman). Though there may be parts of it they agree with, people who frequent don’t ascribe themselves to the Washington Consensus, if that’s a decent indication of one being a neoliberal (I believe that term was coined in the late 80s, after Mises died, and near the end of Hayek and Friedman’s lives). I’m not sure who in academia really calls themselves a “neoliberal.” It seems to be more of a term for politicians and people of criticize “neoliberalism.”

            I might be inclined to agree that neoconservativism is a preachier version of neoliberalism, but I would not say the same thing for libertarianism.

  18. F. Beard

    Truth’s a very sharp tool
    but dull it just a whit
    and by it you’ll be bit.

    Justice is a must;
    too bad you let it rust.

    “The American Way”?
    It’s gone astray.



    PS: I’ve moved to China.
    PPS: I left the Hulk in charge.

  19. frances snoot

    Anderson’s analysis makes sense: which argues for the exodus from print material (‘print-capitalism’) in the death of the nation/state:

    “According to Anderson, creation of imagined communities became possible because of “print-capitalism”. Capitalist entrepreneurs printed their books and media in the vernacular (instead of exclusive script languages, such as Latin) in order to maximize circulation. As a result, readers speaking various local dialects became able to understand each other, and a common discourse emerged. Anderson argued that the first European nation-states were thus formed around their “national print-languages.””

    1. Susan Truxes

      Frances, this is such a fine insight about language. I think I feel where you are going with this because you have followed up almost non-linear today. But I can’t yet imagine where you will land. But, anyway, I like it.

  20. F. Beard

    I’m not sure but wasn’t the Fed approved by leading Progressives? Wasn’t it President Wilson who signed (and later regretted doing so) the Federal Reserve Act?

    And what Yves calls “libertarian”, I call fascist. There is nothing libertarian about a government enforced monopoly money supply for private debts be it fiat paper or fiat gold.

    1. Susan Truxes

      It was always my reading that by the turn of the 20th century imperialist war was in the air. The Fed was created by those imperialist ideologies. How could we mobilize a nation without money? I still don’t know how it works because the ways of the Fed are a mystery but I do know we have spent a miserable century fighting wars which have not refined our theories of democracy and justice. The last century seems to have just confused us and impoverished us. I think private debt is a concept that only you have talked about, F. How do you separate it out from all of our public debt which we incurred, however unwillingly, to pay for all of our misadventures? Should this renounced use of public money (per down south above) be allowed to exist and compound? I bet when Superman went the U.N. they all yawned.

      1. F. Beard

        How do you separate it out from all of our public debt which we incurred, however unwillingly, to pay for all of our misadventures? Susan Truxes

        Since the entire population was looted by the government enforced counterfeiting cartel then the whole population should be bailed out with a large and equal check of new, debt-free, full legal tender fiat. And after that, fundamental reform including governemnt fiat that was only legal tender for government debts not private ones.

        1. Susan Truxes

          Hi again. Here is what would be good in my mind. Give all 350m citizens each 1m dollars just because they have endured so much unmitigated impoverishment and crap. Blah blah blah. So that’s 1m x 350 m, and I’m told (since I can’t even balance a checkbook) it would come to 3.5t. 3.5 big ones. And are we worth it? Have we indulged our often misdirected government while it went charging off to war like Don Quixote on steroids? And now it comes dragging home to us so forlorn and defeated. Didn’t we all mean well at one time. So why should only some of us suffer a loss of employment, housing, savings, you name it. And all the while the fat cats and outright blatant fraudsters get richer. God. It is all so obscene. I think I agree with you F. that separate (maybe specific) currencies would create a good fire wall. But where the hell lis the “government?” Where is authority. I can’t find it.

          1. Numerati Calculatori

            Hey Susan,

            It’s easiest to multiply it in scientific notation

            1×10^6 * 350×10^6 = 350×10^12 or 350 trillion = roughly 6 years of the world’s economic output.

            Still less than 1/2 of the value of all outstanding derivative contracts though ;)

          2. Susan Truxes

            I got a funny reply to you, I am forced to reply to myself. But that fits since I am so mathematically faulty. I am saying that we all contributed to this mess and therefore we should all benefit or contribute, as reality dictates. I apoloigize for my math. I confess it is hopeless in the sense of actual “bean” accounting. But in terms of justice my accounting is tenable. Can you please address those differences.

          3. F. Beard

            But in terms of justice my accounting is tenable. Can you please address those differences. Susan Truxes

            Who are we to judge? If Americans have been cheated by the banking and money system (and they have been) then they are entitled to restitution.

            Furthermore, not only is restitution just but it should work just fine in restoring the economy, at least temporarily. However, the long term solution is fundamental reform to prevent the injustice from reoccurring.

        1. Susan Truxes

          Yes it did. And why? Why tame capitalism? If the investment bankers make money coming and going? Why calm the waters? They calmed the waters to facilitate their own goals. At that time socialism was their biggest fear. Many of the elite actually became altruistic. Cotton mill owners in the South actually built mill towns to help support the workers, etc. But this was not done in the spirit of socialism at all. It was done to avoid socialism. And likewise, all the wars of the 20th century which we fought were fought to prevent socialism or communism or bolshevism or whatever it was called at any given time. We worried about Russia in 1913 but we didn’t enter that war until after the Russian Revolution was well underway in 1917 and we were totally freaked out.

          1. Glenn Condell

            ‘Why calm the waters? They calmed the waters to facilitate their own goals. At that time socialism was their biggest fear. Many of the elite actually became altruistic. Cotton mill owners in the South actually built mill towns to help support the workers, etc. But this was not done in the spirit of socialism at all. It was done to avoid socialism.’

            Spot on. Many of the workers benefits that accrued from the late 19th into the early 20th C were brought in top down rather than bottom up, though as you say the tops acted in this way from fear of the bottoms rising, so to speak.

            TR was the prime example; hated by many in his own class (proto-Alan Simpson or David Koch types, the same gimlet eyes and predatory mouths, but in spats and top hats) whose greed and arrogance blinded them them to any potential threat, TR felt the instability of the times, Czolgosz’s hit on McKinley only the most obvious symptom, and knew that at least a few of the thorns in the lion’s paw needed removal if things were to remain calm. Trusts were busted and workers got compo, etc.

            Hardline conservatives have been trying to reverse this tide ever since; the results from their point of view are encouraging so far, but they’re not done yet.

      2. frances snoot

        Words are a form of currency: print is a medium of exchange. Money is mere faith.

    1. F. Beard

      What happens if we don’t preserve a copy? frances snoot

      “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. Matthew 24:35 (New American Standard Bible)

        1. frances snoot

          “This, and more to this purpose, His Majesty that now reigneth (and long, and long may he reign, and his offspring forever, Himself and children, and children’s children always) knew full well, according to the singular wisdom given unto him by God, and the rare learning and experience that he hath attained unto; namely that whosoever attempteth anything for the public (especially if it pertain to Religion, and to the opening and clearing of the word of God) the same setteth himself upon a stage to be gloated upon by every evil eye, yea, he casteth himself headlong upon pikes, to be gored by every sharp tongue.”

          Isn’t that a little ridiculous, Beard? Are we really envoyant for the princi-palled approach of the dust-dinned-royals?

          1. F. Beard

            Read 1st Samuel 8 for the Lord’s warning about royalty and 1st and 2nd Kings for His “I told you so”.

            The Bible has been sorely misused and mis-characterized. There is NO substitute for reading it oneself.

          2. frances snoot

            You use Old and New Testament like a patient incapable of connection between right and left brain, Beard. The Woden principal is one of petrified wood: used by men of tin.

          3. F. Beard

            You use Old and New Testament like a patient incapable of connection between right and left brain, frances snoot

            “Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the world.” Archimedes of Syracuse

        2. frances snoot

          Words are jumbled about on paper and misconstrued like a child’s jacks thrown on a terazzo floor. Words make worlds. Structures without walls. Walls with no foundation.

          Do you love words more than life, F. Beard?

          1. F. Beard

            Do you love words more than life, F. Beard? frances snoot

            “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” John 6:63

            I read that I may live.

  21. dave

    I don’t read comics, but superman basically worked because he remained non-political. A political superman can’t exist in the real world without either taking down or being taken down by the government, which has to maintain its monopoly on force.

    1. John Hall

      To the extent that Superman is loved by the people (unlike Spider-man for the most part in the early years), the government would be very limited in stopping his activities, unless they had a solid collection of Kryptonite or red sun weapons (I believe they do now, but that’s b/c they geared up to fight New Krypton, not sure what happened to those weapons).

      Regardless, the U.S. government has a varying relationship with Superman in the comics. For instance, when Lex Luthor is President, he actively goes after Superman and Superman actively fights back with Batman after trying to remain apolitical (so you’re obviously wrong here). In the New Krypton saga, a bunch of Kryptonians get in a war with Earth, sparked by Gen. Lane/Luthor/Brainiac.

      Outside the main continuity, in the Secret Origins books, Gen. Lane goes after Superman with Metallo. In Red Son, he originally lands in the Soviet Union and works with Stalin and the communists.

  22. brian

    if i was 20 something and not happily retired at 61
    with skills and education and nothing to tie me down i’d look at migration
    the ruse is up
    kids have figured it out
    the system is riged and morally rotten to the core
    and the government is captive and will do nothing about it
    young couple i use to catch Saints games with he a lawyer she a vet went to New Zealand
    i use to help co workers acquire dual citizenship for them and their new born children to of all places Ireland
    i trust and hope they are still here
    the problem is that as exposed over the last few years the toxic arm of wall street has now reached out a destroyed the economies of many other countries
    the new icon for America is not Superman
    for many looking at us its Darth Vader

  23. lambert strether

    This boomer almost went under when the dot com bubble burst in 2001. (I remember the month when Bush “created” 500 jobs and I got one.) And this boomer almost went under in 2008 when the housing bubble burst. It would be really nice if the coming austerity-driven double-dip depression didn’t send me down for the third time. I’m more resilient now, for sure, but if I were younger I’d get out from under too. In fact, that’s what I’m advising the young people I know to do. I mean, in Canada, if the political class is trying to kill you, at least they’re polite about it.

  24. steelhead23

    Exactly what are the real benefits of U.S. citizenship? At one time, the U.S. was a bastion of human rights. We fought wars for them. We codified them. We relished them. Today, each time we fly, we are subjected to indignities that would have astonished our predecessors. Our conversations are monitored by our government. If we dissent, we may be labeled as ‘terrorists’, affording our president the authority to arrest, incarcerate, torture, or even assassinate us. Hell, if I were Superman, I might just leave the planet, not just the U.S.

  25. kevinearick

    Harper is not completely dissimilar to Fox, in Mexico, and Canada’s housing bubble, more leveraged than the US is bursting. Yes. At least they are polite about it.

    I went up there to install a bunch of computer-controlled kilns, at heavy debt incurrence to the owners, replacing the well-seasoned barns, which should have been a clue to the tobacco farmers, right before the government put them all out of business.

    OK, so, if the price of silver is some number, pick one ($35), which includes both the physical silver and the false promises to deliver physical silver, which are being employed as the prybar for leverage in both directions, what is the value of physical silver alone, what does that tell you about when the prybar is going to be applied, and what does that tell you about catching JPM ahead of the flip-flop, each and every time?

    Silver is just a precursor. Controlling prices always ends up badly. The sovereigns are failing because the legacy families running their primary industries refuse to change, as should be expected, as the lies pop off the stack of History.

    Like it or not, this country is being run by a bunch of mama’s boys, and its the prototype for the global IC chip, hence the crash. Like it or not, bioliogy requires the doe to follow the buck, net, on average. The bucks got out of the valley a long time ago, expecting the flood.

  26. Jim Davey

    NakedCapitalism is one of my favorite reads every day, and this article really touched a nerve! It is not just 18 to 28 year olds that want to leave America, and I understand the guy that joined the National Guard to avoid personal financial demise. At 64, laid off in 2007 in a small shrinking town with no jobs, 75 miles from Las Vegas in the county in the country with 58% loss of property values, in a home that is upside-down, and with a disabled wife; when the BofA serviced BofNY mortgage modification is denied, and the foreclosure end comes and we are on the street, we are moving out of the country. I’ll take my small pension and her social security and escape … leave behind what I no longer believe in. No, I am not joking, and after the next paragraph I’ll say why.

    If one feels I am being irresponsible to my wife the bigger bread winner in the family for a long time, she feels the same as me. She has never gotten over the fact her employer cancelled her disability insurance deductions when she became ill, so she ended up with only Social Security disability; they even tried to cheat her out of her commissions which lowered her monthly Social Security income for life. As a top producer for her company she realized just how ruthless corporate life can be. Remember ruthlessness IS a corporate obligation so it is deemed good, and greed is even better.

    I no longer believe in capitalism as it is being practiced by Wall Street; the disconnect from Main Street has gotten beyond repair; total financial collapse is the only mechanism that will restore a workable balance (and I do not want to be here in gun crazy America when that happens). If one divides the totality of outstanding unregulated derivatives by the total population of the Earth, the last I read showed there are $190,000 “worth” per person …. and houses of cards DO fall. Americans are told to invest in stocks while Goldman Sachs has a Cray computer that makes free untaxed trades in the thousands per second to determine trends faster than the human mind can comprehend, so as to make money in the hundreds of millions per week? So much for free and open markets. Hey to all you suckers and greater fools out there, I have a house for sale in Nevada that the bank appraised and told me was worth a lot, and loaned me a lot; we all trust each other don’t we? Remember Phil Gramm said the 2008 economic collapse was caused by predatory borrowers; I’m so proud of my 25% down-payment accomplishments.

    I no longer believe in American democracy as it is being practiced; politicians serve monied interest before citizens, banks and corporations write laws only for their benefit, the common man essentially no longer counts; and the supreme court sanctions unlimited corporate political power without their allegiance or responsibility to our nation’s people or our Treasury; while corporations preach morality to us about paying mortgages while dissolving underfunded pension obligations through bankruptcy. MERS is a disgrace to any rational mind, it is an ongoing criminal enterprise at the highest levels of American society fostering a fraud on the world through unbacked CDOs. Lies built on robo-lies to benefit liars. America is not of the people by the people and for the people, it hasn’t been for a long time. Remember Cheney said Reagan taught us that deficits don’t matter, look where that thinking got us.

    I do not believe my five tours of duty in SouthEast Asia for 37 consecutive months including 13 months in Special Operations was for any good purpose, but only part of a state of constant undeclared war … I figured out why we never declare war … because to do so, it would engage the existing federal laws against unreasonable profit (roughly anything over 15%) in a time of (real Constitutionally declared) war. Imagine w getting Congress to declare war on 9/12/2001 … Wall Street bankers and hedge-fund managers and traders, all the multinational corporations doing business in America, all the military industrial no-bid contractors would have DEMANDED bin Laden’s head on a platter and a very quick end to declared war, so they could get back to the business of making unreasonable profits … Tora Bora would have been nuked or turned into an American tourist destination. Since WWII we fight for endless profit, not to win. Remember all the different reasons for these wars, what they cost in our broken and dead youth, and the national debt?

    I am no longer be a middle class person, my net worth is gone, my real value to capitalism was my 810 FICO which is now in the 500s, I have no chance to start life over here at 64. I will soon not be part of the consumerist culture here, no matter, I’m used up and ready for disposal. Remember, your turn might be next.

    Call me a traitor if you like, but one of my wealthy conservative neighbors told me to my face that no one that ever worked for the government deserves a pension because we never produced a product or a profitable service, with my 32 years public service I’m just an entitlement leach to him. Another wealthy neighbor wants to do away all public education, EPA, all government inspectors, all tax collectors, all safety net programs, unemployment insurance, Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare, government fire departments and most police, but he supported the last administrations efforts to go to off-budget wars while lowering taxes, and borrowing the funds from our enemies … he actually tells me we need more and permanent tax reductions only for the rich because trickle-down economics works, because the wealthy are the only job producers. I even have another wealthy neighbor that tells me he thinks we should become a benevolent dictatorship like Singapore. I’m not making this up, this is an American neighborhood in Sharon Angle territory. I’m not sure who became disenfranchised first, them or me, but I do not fit in, or belong here. I will not miss some of my neighbors, or the Tea Partiers (there IS NO actual Tea Party … they are ALL registered republicans), the NeoCons, or those in America that have such superiority Texas School Board mentalities that are bigoted racists in disguise trying to re-write history. Remember that old saying, be careful what you ask for, you might get it.

    Thanks for letting me vent before we leave. I haven’t felt this good in a long time! I’m almost looking forward to the foreclosure.

    1. Michael H

      Thanks, Jim, for telling your story, and I think there are many war veterans who feel the same way you do. Excellent comments such as yours are the reason I keep reading Naked Capitalism day after day.

    2. Rick Smiley

      No need to apologize Jim. More people need to vote with their feet if they can. Many already have. You learned the hard way that the social compact has been broken by the elites. Most people are still in denial.

      I think it’s really unfair that people who devote their life to public service are treated like crap by MBA types. MBA types treat everyone who isn’t one of them like crap though. The only thing that’s certain is that they’ll create their small-minded MBA dystopia on earth and we’ll see how long everyone will go along with it.

      If I could and I didn’t have a family here I’d move with you.

    3. Skippy

      15 years ahead of you and never looked back, better for it.

      Skippy…Hope you find as nice a spot as I have, happy trails and no regrets.

  27. Jim

    “What is there to to tie people to a country if they are at odds with its values and lack mercenary reasons to stay?”

    Great Question.

    It strikes me that democracy tends to make all relations and all social bonds voluntary.

    Democracy seems to aim to go from a life that one inherits, suffers or receives to a life that one wills.

    But can we live fully without belonging to some type of political form that claims our allegiance?

    What can bind people once obedience has lost its power and interest deals only with self-interest?

  28. Skippy

    Scott Vollum
    Cary D. Adkinson
    College of Criminal Justice
    Sam Houston State University

    Any examination of the impact and enduring influence of Superman and Batman must
    consider the historical context which gave them life. Both products of the 1930s, their origins
    and subsequent mythologies owe much to the American cultural landscape following the Great
    Depression (Goulart, 2001). Movies, serials, and radio programs offered escape from the
    memories and lingering effects of the Depression and quickly became popular forms of fantasy
    entertainment. As a cheap and easily accessible medium, comic books offered an especially
    attractive form of escapist fantasy for youth. Furthermore, with the passing of the Depression
    came a reluctant optimism that the worst was over and America’s best times were yet to come.
    Public works projects moved mountains, changed the flow of mighty rivers, and raised buildings
    that tickled the clouds. In many ways, it seemed as if anything was possible for Americans. At
    the same time, however, the Depression shattered the fantasy of America’s invulnerability, and
    with this Americans awoke to a new cultural landscape characterized by the realities of urban
    decay, poverty, and crime.

    Skippy…my favorite extract, as one cannot usher in superman with out examining his significant other in the comic book Mythos see:

    Although both superheroes fight for justice, attempting to protect and serve the powerless
    and innocent masses against threats of crime and criminals, justice is notably different in their
    respective worlds. For Superman, law and the justice system are bright and shining examples of
    “the good guys.” Law and justice must always prevail and are always to be respected. The
    officials of law and justice act in the best interest of the citizens of Metropolis and represent
    value-consensus about what is good and what is evil. For Batman, things are not so clear-cut.
    The line between good and evil is blurred. Those representing law and justice are not always the
    good guys. In Gotham City there are corrupt officials and irresponsible law enforcement
    officers. It is no surprise that Batman feels compelled to work outside the confines of the law,
    while Superman works only within the bounds of the law. The nature of society in Metropolis is
    one of consensus regarding values and norms. Gotham City, on the other hand, represents a state
    of conflict in which good and evil spring from the same place and where what is right and wrong
    is not always agreed upon.

  29. Psychoanalystus

    I don’t know about that… I’m thinking Superman is just another oligarch desperate to ditch his US citizenship so he won’t have to pay US income taxes anymore.


  30. Psychoanalystus

    In any event, I have now, for almost 3 years, been writing in this blog about the importance of having dual citizenship and owning a home abroad. Preferably somewhere in a country stable enough but also connected enough with the land so that when the sh*t in globalization hits the fan you won’t starve just because Walmart can’t deliver you tomatoes from New Zealand. Eastern or Southern Europe meet that criteria. Greece, Poland, Croatia, Romania, Israel, etc. And, by the way, don’t buy the BS about Greece or other PIIGS nations – the financial hoopla we read about in the press has not affected the population there much – it is all imperial propaganda.

    So, what are you waiting for? Dig up any documents or information about parents or grandparents born abroad and apply for citizenship in those countries. You don’t have to give up your US citizenship (which is not easy to accomplish anyway). Just have other options open.


    1. Allen C

      I agree with your main premise. I suggest that you are underestimating the global impact of the sovereign debt bubble pop.

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