According to one report, fear is gripping some people at Goldman Sachs to the point that they anticipate a public uprising about their corruption, incompetence, and bloated bonuses. Does anyone imagine that the NRA had Goldman Sachs in mind for any of its pro-gun publicity? In one respect, this seems a positive development for democracy. In another respect, the report reinforces a popular story in the media that might distract us from the larger issue. In Slavoj Zizek’s latest book, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce, he states the case:
The central task of the ruling ideology in the present crisis is to impose a narrative which will place the blame for the meltdown not on the global capitalist system as such, but on secondary and contingent deviations (overly lax regulations, the corruption of big financial institutions, and so on).
Zizek warns that one effect of focusing on the bankers alone keeps us dreaming that current corrective measures are different from the measures that caused this particular financial crisis, some of which can be traced to efforts designed to bring the economy out of the dot.com bust. The fiction about economic cycles promises, among other things, that if one simply waits long enough, bust will turn into boom (but then back to bust again). It seems safe to presuppose that the armed bankers at Goldman Sachs have no intention of living through a downturn, or of sharing anything with the masses. If need be, they will shoot first and spend bonuses later.